Funding Doctoral Research: Catacosinos Fellowship Awardees for 2021

The Department of Computer Science celebrates this year’s Catacosinos Fellowship awardees.

This month, Stony Brook Computer Science doctoral students Yongming Shen and Qingqing Cao were recognized by the Catacosinos Fellowship Fund for their research and academic accomplishments.

“For several decades, Catacosinos awards have supported many stellar computer science graduate students. Our awardees this year continue to push the boundaries,” said Samir Das, Chair of the Department of Computer Science.

In 2021 there was a large pool of students who were considered for the $5,000 award. Each application package consisted of a research statement, curriculum vitae, recommendation letters, and the student’s transcript. The selection committee was led by Professor Nick Nikiforakis. The committee selected two students for the 2021 Catacosinos Fellowship award.

Yongming Shen:

Before coming to Stony Brook to pursue his PhD in Computer Science, Yongming attended the South China University of Technology. There, he earned a BE in Computer Science and Technology and ME in Computer Systems Organization. As a PhD student in the Department of Computer Science at Stony Brook, Yongming’s research area is computer architecture and system software, with a focus on designing hardware accelerators for deep learning workloads.

“I’m honored to receive the Catacosinos Fellowship. I would like to thank my advisors Professor Ferdman and Professor Milder for their guidance over the years. I would also like to thank my family and friends for all their support. Designing computers for challenging workloads like deep learning is a lot of fun, and it feels great to be awarded for doing something fun,” stated Yongming.

With eight publications throughout his career as a researcher, many of which at top venues, as well as internships with NVIDIA and Cavium, Yongming has proven his diverse array of skills and applied use of his research knowledge. As a dedicated member of the field, he has participated in many service opportunities, such as serving as an external reviewer for seven journals in his research area, and volunteering to help run the PC meeting of ISPASS 2020.


Qingqing Cao:

Qingqing began his academic career at Wuhan University, pursuing his BE Computer Science and Technology from 2011 - 2015. Currently completing his PhD at Stony Brook, Qingqing has broad interests in natural language processing, mobile computing, and machine learning. He has focused on building efficient and practical NLP systems for both edge devices and the cloud, such as on-device question answering (MobiSys 2019), faster Transformer models (ACL 2020), and more recently accurate energy estimation of NLP models.

“It is a great honor for me to receive the Catacosinos Fellowship, I would like to thank everyone who has helped me through my PhD career. My research vision is to bring together systems and natural language processing (NLP) research to build intelligent systems and applications (for example, intelligent personal assistants like Siri or Alexa and search engines) that are more energy-efficient, privacy-preserving, and run faster on heterogeneous hardware including mobile devices and cloud servers,” Qingqing said.

Qingqing has seven publications at top venues throughout his early career and is a research assistant at the NetSys and Lunr labs at Stony Brook. He has also been a research intern at Microsoft Research and Bell Labs. His considerable set of skills and commitment was recognized by the University of Chicago, awarding him the honor of ‘CDAC Rising Star in Data Science.’

One of the most notable aspects of Qingqing’ pursuits is that he utilizes his passion and commitment to serve the research community and help others. He has helped review numerous papers in prestigious conferences in his field; and he has served as a student volunteer for MobiSys 2017, and ACL 2020. He also serves as a mentor for junior graduate students through the Stony Brook Computer Science Graduate Student Organization Grad Buddies Program. As a mentor, Qingqing plays an essential role in helping junior graduate students receive the guidance they need from their peers so they are set up for success.

Congratulations to all of the winners and thank you to the Catacosinos Fellowship Fund for advancing computer science research.



-Andrew Solar-Greco