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Rahman Awarded VMware Fellowship

7/21/2016 10:02:00 AM By Leanne Lucas, CS @ ILLINOIS

CS grad student Muntasir Rahman has been awarded a graduate fellowship with VMware for the 2014-2015 academic year. The fellowship provides tuition and fees and a $35,000 stipend. As part of the fellowship, Rahman will intern with the VMware Service Applications Storage (SAS) and Availability Group in Palo Alto, California for twelve weeks this summer.

Muntasir Rahman
Muntasir Rahman
Muntasir Rahman

The nomination process for this fellowship is two-fold. The department accepts internal nominations (Rahman submitted his application through his advisor, Professor Indranil Gupta) and then selects two candidates to present to VMware. Fellowships are awarded to outstanding students pursuing research related to VMware’s business interests. The competition is international in scope. This year, four fellowships were awarded: three to students in the United States, and one to a student from Lausanne, Switzerland.

Rahman received a bachelor’s degree in computer science and engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology in 2006, and a master of mathematics degree in computer science from the University of Waterloo in 2010.

Rahman is a member of the Distributed Protocols Research Group at Illinois, led by Professor Gupta. His current PhD research focuses on mechanisms and algorithms for measuring and enforcing consistency-based service-level agreements in distributed storage systems. Rahman chose Illinois because, he said, “It’s a highly-ranked school with an excellent reputation and top-notch faculty.” Rahman has also completed research internships at Microsoft Research, HP Labs, and Xerox Labs.

VMware is a global leader in virtualization and cloud infrastructure, and the SAS and Availability Group works on highly available storage—storage that is fault tolerant and can serve users despite failures to systems that are common to large companies whose infrastructure is in a countrywide or even worldwide distributive setting. Rahman knows his time at VMware will prove valuable to his research. “I hope to work with top systems researchers at VMware,” he said, “and publish a paper at a major systems conference.”

Rahman said that although he is leaning towards working in an industrial research lab, he wants to keep his options open. “I like working on hard distributed systems research problems that involve difficult tradeoffs,” he concluded. “I want to do something that makes a real contribution to society.”