Computer Science Professor Aruna Balasubramanian Wins 2021 ACM SIGMOBILE ROCKSTAR Award


Aruna Balasubramanian, Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science, has been selected for the ACM, early career SIGMOBILE Rockstar award.   ACM SIGMOBILE is the international professional organization for scientists, engineers, executives, educators, and students dedicated to all things mobile. The Award recognizes an individual who has made recent outstanding research or product contributions to the field of mobile computing during the early part of their career. Professor Balasubramanian received this award “In recognition of her significant contributions in the areas of mobile systems and mobile Web performance, and her mentoring and leadership efforts in improving diversity in the SIGMOBILE community.

Balasubramanian’s research contributions are at once deep and bold.  One research thread that exemplifies her work is on understanding the performance of web access, particularly from mobile devices. She has developed multiple insights in the matter of understanding web access and analyzing various performance measures. Another thread that shows the depth of her research contributions is in the area of mobile power consumption and the significant energy benefits of offloading mobile workloads from the device to the cloud. Similarly, sensing tasks can also be offloaded from the device to a low-end microcontroller for power savings. She is currently studying the critical problem of sustainable Natural Language Processing (NLP) by modeling energy consumption of large NLP applications that require enormous amounts of energy.

Several of Balasubramaian’s research projects have strong societal components. Her PhD dissertation was on improving Internet access under extreme disconnection -- disconnections due to lack of infrastructure or due to natural disasters. She demonstrated how to modify the operating system to adapt smartphone interactions for blind users for significant power savings. 

Samir Das, Chair of the Department of Computer Science, said, “Aruna is a renowned early career researcher who has made significant contributions to mobile web performance and other aspects of mobile computing. Her work is both technically insightful and societally relevant. We are proud of her recognition by ACM SIGMOBILE. Her leadership will continue to inspire the mobile computing research in Stony Brook.”

The Rockstar award is just one of many recognitions Balasubramaian has received. She has received several scholarly awards including a best paper award at Ubicomp 2015, the VMWare early career award, the UMass outstanding dissertation award, and the SIGCOMM dissertation award runner up. She has also received impact awards such as the Applied Networking Research Prize (ANRP) and a Google Research Award. 

Aruna Balasubramanian

- Andrew Solar-Greco