Leonhard Spiegelberg Wins A Facebook Fellowship


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Brown CS  PhD student  Leonhard Spiegelberg has received a Facebook Fellowship for his research on systems for big data analytics. His paper “Tuplex: Data Science in Python at Native Code Speed”  was also published at the ACM Special Interest Group on Management of Data conference.

The Facebook Fellowship provides awards to outstanding PhD candidates currently conducting research in the fields of computer vision, programming languages, computational social science, databases, and more. This year, 26 candidates were selected out of 2,163 applicants to receive tuition and fees paid as well as a stipend of $42,000.

Leonhard’s research focuses on building more efficient and productive ways of processing large amounts of data. “As a data scientist, you want to focus on the data and the data questions, not on debugging, tuning, and fixing the tools you need to answer them,” Leonhard says. “Hence, I asked myself whether there isn’t a better way to have the high productivity of a high-level language like Python without having to sacrifice performance when scaling out to large datasets."

At Brown, Leonhard worked in the systems and database groups, advised by Brown CS Professor Malte Schwarzkopf. Leonhard is the lead developer of Tuplex, a new framework that facilitates the processing of large datasets.

"Data science is part of nearly every business today, and Leonhard's research makes data scientists more productive and energy-efficient by compiling Python code to highly efficient machine code. Pulling this off required a rare combination of skills: Leonhard wrote Tuplex, a Python compiler and a parallel execution framework similar to the popular Apache Spark, completely from scratch,” says Malte. “He is amazingly quick and efficient at turning ideas into code, and has been a fantastic mentor to several undergraduate students who are working on the project. I’m delighted that Facebook chose Leonhard for this prestigious fellowship and therefore supports his research going forward.”

Leonhard joins Brown CS alum Jonathan Mace as the second Brown CS recipient of the fellowship.

For more information, click the link that follows to contact Brown CS Communications Outreach Specialist Jesse C. Polhemus.