Two University of Waterloo professors have received Google Faculty Research awards to help their work in computing sciences.
Lin Tan, who is looking into improving automated software testing, and Wojciech Golab, who is building a tool that can analyze to what extent a storage system serves stale data, are the latest Canadians to be given funding by Google.
Tan also received Google funding one for software engineering in 2010. Between the two awards she has received more than $100,000 towards her research.
Google said it has awarded more than $2.5 million in funding to Canadian Universities through the its Research Awards Program since 2005.
“Google has always been really good at supporting research,” Tan said in a release. “I’m looking forward to doing more research and to improving people’s daily lives.”
Her research uses an unusual attack for finding software bugs: searching comments developers use accompanying their code to explain what they’re trying to accomplish. Acccording to a universiyt Web page describing her work, Tan’s research looks at finding ways to use those comments to detect bugs.
In a release Google said Golab’s research will help the search giant gain a deeper insight into the complex behavior of their data storage infrastructure. The tool he’e trying to build to find stale data is a fundamental concern when multiple users distributed around the world interact through social networking or cloud file sharing applications, Google said.
“Collaborating with Google is a terrific opportunity to advance research that is both technically challenging and relevant to Internet users around the world,” Golab said.
Faculty members from around the world can apply for grants of up to US$150,000, which allow professors to cover tuition of a graduate student to work with them. The program also gives researchers the chance to work directly with Google researchers and engineers.
The bot threat
Some of the most serious threats networks face today are "bots," remotely controlled robotic programs that strike in many different ways and deliver destructive payloads, self propagating to infect more and more systems and eventually forming a "botnet."