(Sept. 30, 2010)--Dakai Zhu, UTSA assistant professor of computer science, has received a five-year, $400,000 Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to research how multi-core processors can be used to develop smart car technology.
The CAREER award goes to junior faculty members who embody the role of teacher and scholar by integrating teaching excellence with outstanding research. Zhu is the fifth faculty member in the UTSA Department of Computer Science to receive the award.
"CAREER awards are extremely competitive and are given to junior researchers who show significant promise in their areas of research expertise," said George Perry, dean of the UTSA College of Sciences. "Professor Zhu's award is the fifth in a row received by our Department of Computer Science, which demonstrates that the department is flourishing as UTSA grows toward Tier One status."
Zhu, who joined the Department of Computer Science in 2005, specializes in scheduling theory, real-time systems, low-power computing and parallel and distributed systems. The CAREER award will fund his research on the scheduling theory of real-time computing systems. While computer processors work well individually in computers, cell phones and other electronic gadgets, combining them in a complex system like an automobile poses many challenges. Zhu will study ways to ensure that each processor in a multi-core system completes its required tasks in the proper sequence and amount of time. He also will study ways to determine if each processor in a multi-core system is working at maximum capacity.
Zhu's research has significant applications for vehicles with smart technology. Examples currently on the market include vehicles that parallel park themselves or warn their drivers of an obstacle. The technology also is used to control anti-lock brakes and the fuel injection system. Zhu, however, envisions that research like his will contribute to the development of the ultimate smart vehicle, one that will drive itself while properly navigating obstacles or detecting the distance to another car to help avoid collisions.
Previous UTSA recipients of NSF CAREER awards include UTSA computer science professors Jeffery Von Ronne (2009), Qing Yi (2008), Carola Wenk (2007) and Daniel Jimenez (2006), as well as engineering professors Yufei Huang (2005) and Hai-Chao Han (2007).
UTSA prides itself on giving students a well-rounded education. Combining a top-tier academic program with opportunities for personal growth prepares students to compete in a global economy. And that's not all. They learn to be informed and engaged citizens as well. At the heart of that academic program is an award-winning core curriculum.
For four consecutive years, UTSA has received an A-rating from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni for the caliber of its core curriculum. According to ACTA, UTSA requires its students to take six of the seven courses deemed "crucial" to a well-rounded education: composition, literature, U.S. government or history, economics, mathematics and science. Only a handful of other institutions in the U.S. are giving students these tools, which are needed to succeed in careers and the community.
Did you know? UTSA is one of only three Texas institutions and 23 in the United States to receive the highest rating for its core curriculum in the 2014-2015 edition of the ACTA's "What Will They Learn?" report.
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