A 2010 study by Tauhid Zaman, an associate professor of operations management, has won the ACM SIGMETRICS Test of Time Award, which recognizes research with a lasting impact on the field of computer systems performance evaluation.
“Detecting Sources of Computer Viruses in Networks: Theory and Experiment” was co-authored with Devavrat Shah of MIT and published in the proceedings of the 2010 conference of ACM SIGMETRICS, a special interest group within the Association for Computer Machinery.
The award “recognizes an influential performance evaluation paper whose impact is still felt 10 to 12 years after its initial publication.”
“Receiving the Test of Time Award is an amazing honor,” Zaman said. “I was speechless when I found out.”
The paper that received the honor played an important role in Zaman’s development as a researcher, he noted.
“The paper title says computer viruses, but really we had found a way to find the source of anything spreading in a network, ranging from biological viruses in contact networks to my personal favorite, rumors in social networks,” he said. “Our key insight was realizing that the shape of a network contained information on who the source was, if you looked at it the right way. This paper was the spark that led me to study other problems in social networks, like finding online extremists or propaganda bots. It means a lot to me that other people are showing it some love.”
Zaman’s research focuses on solving operational problems involving social network data, using probabilistic models, network algorithms, and modern statistical methods. He has also investigated data-driven approaches to investing in startup companies, non-traditional choice modeling, algorithmic sports betting, and biometric data.