Carnegie Mellon trio to receive IEEE Simon Ramo Medal

December 04, 2015

IEEE, the world's largest technical professional organization, will award Carnegie Mellon University faculty members John Lehoczky and Ragunathan "Raj" Rajkumar and the University of Illinois' Lui Sha, a CMU alumnus, with the 2016 IEEE Simon Ramo Medal, which recognizes technical leadership and contributions to fundamental theory, practice and standardization for engineering real-time systems.

Lehoczky, Ragunathan and Sha are being honored for revolutionizing how systems handle tasks with deadlines under serious weight, power and space constraints. Their work has been used on the original Mars Rover, NASA's Space Station, submarines, military jets and GPS satellitesThe trio will receive their medals, sponsored by the Northrop Grumman Corporation, at the IEEE Honors Ceremony in New York City on June 18.

Lehoczky, the Thomas Lord University Professor of Statistics and Mathematical Sciences, has been on the CMU faculty since 1969. In addition to his work studying stochastic processes and how they can be used to model real applications, he is well known for applying stochastic modeling to problems in finance. He helped create CMU's unique master's degree program in computational finance - a joint program between the departments of Statistics and Mathematical Sciences, the Tepper School of Business and the Heinz College. The program has been ranked number one among financial engineering programs by QuantNet three times.

Beyond teaching and research, Lehoczky has served CMU in numerous administrative roles, including interim executive vice president (2014-2015), dean of the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences (2000-2014) and head of the Statistics Department (1984-1995).

"John Lehoczky has worked behind the scenes for decades to develop ways that systems can reliably - and often in very complicated situations - meet demanding timing requirements. This honor is most deserving to recognize his work that, along with his fellow collaborators, many crucial national projects rely on," said Richard Scheines, dean of the Dietrich College.

Rajkumar is the George Westinghouse Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the co-director of the General Motors-Carnegie Mellon Autonomous Driving Collaborative Research Lab. He also directs the Center for Technologies for Safe and Efficient Transportation (T-SET), one of five U.S. Department of Transportation National University Transportation Centers. Rajkumar founded Ottomatika, a Carnegie Mellon spinoff that was acquired by Delphi. Ottomatika's software acts as the brain powering Delphi's advanced network of sensor technology for autonomous vehicles, creating a platform that enables vehicles to make safe, highly complex decisions in an instant.

"Raj is continually a top performer in his field, and because of his outstanding work, he was chosen to be the faculty director of the Metro21 initiative, a university-wide effort that will improve metropolitan areas by delivering smart, high-quality, cost-effective infrastructure systems and public services," said Jim Garrett, dean of the College of Engineering and the Thomas Lord Professor of Engineering.

Sha, the Donald B. Gillies Professor of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, received his Ph.D. from CMU in electrical and computer engineering in 1985 and was a student of Lehoczky. From 1986-1998, he was a senior member of the technical staff at CMU's Software Engineering Institute before joining the University of Illinois. His research includes leading the creation of the generalized rate monotonic scheduling theory (GRMS), as well as work in real-time computing and safety critical system integration.

Lehoczky and Rajkumar join CMU faculty member William "Red" Whittaker as recipients of the prestigious Simon Ramo Medal. Whittaker, the Fredkin University Professor of Robotics, was honored in 2012 for his pioneering contributions to mobile autonomous robotics, field application of robotics and systems engineering.

Carnegie Mellon University

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