Aruna Balasubramanian receives prestigious Microsoft Fellowship

Microsoft Research selected Aruna Balasubramanian, a graduate student advised by Professors Brian Levine and Arun Venkataramani, as a 2008 Microsoft Research Fellow.

Competition for the fellowship was extremely intense. Microsoft received applications from over 140 highly qualified students and conducted interviews with 56 applicants for 12 Microsoft Research Fellowships and four Microsoft Live Labs Fellowships. The fellowship covers 100 percent of tuition and fees, provides a stipend for living expenses, and includes an allowance for attending professional conferences and seminars. Each fellowship recipient also gets a TabletPC, and is invited to participate in a 12 week paid internship at Microsoft. In March, Balasubramanian was honored at an awards ceremony at Microsoft Research (MSR) in Redmond, Washington.

Balasubramanian will spend this summer as an MSR intern working on building infrastructure for Web access from shuttles on the Microsoft campus. Her current research involves mobile networking, including disruption-tolerant networking (DTNs), which are networks deployments in challenging environments. DTNs assist ecological and habitat monitoring, underwater sensing and actuation, vehicles in municipal networks, robust communication in disaster areas without requiring infrastructure, low-resource deployments in underdeveloped nations, and more.

“It is clear why MSR chose Aruna for this award,” says Levine. “She is extremely bright and knowledgeable about networking and security, has very good intuition, and is always ready with a new idea to extend her research. Aruna has all the qualities of a top graduate student researcher.”
Prior UMass Amherst CS recipients of Microsoft Research Fellowships include Benjamin Carterette (2007), Aron Culotta (2006), and Donald Metzler (2006).