News 2009

Michael Backes awarded an ERC Starting Grant, selected by Technology Review as a "Young Innovator"

July 2009

MPI-SWS fellow Michael Backes has been honored as a recipient of the ERC Starting Grant 2009. Michael was also recently selected by the editors of Technology Review as one of the 35 young innovators under the age of 35 whose work they found most exciting.


The ERC Starting Grant was established in 2007 by the European Research Council to support up-and-coming research leaders in Europe. Recipients are selected based upon "outstanding track-record of early achievements appropriate to their research field and career stage."


Michael's 2009 Young Innovator award is based on his work proving that Internet security protocols can really be trusted. Software designed by Backes' group can prove in less than a second whether an Internet protocol is truly secure.


Michael received his Ph.D. from Saarland University in 2002. He was a Research Staff Member at the IBM Zurich Research laboratory before accepting his current position as a professor at Saarland University in 2006. He was named a fellow of the Max-Planck Institute for Software Systems in 2007.

MPI-SWS researchers win ICWSM best paper award

May 2009
Congratulations to Meeyoung Cha, Juan Antonio Navarro Perez, and Hamed Haddadi. Their paper "Flash Floods and Ripples: The Spread of Media Content through the Blogosphere" was selected as the ICWSM'09 best paper using the Spinn3r dataset. The winning paper was selected out of all papers in the main conference and the data challenge workshop that used the 2009 Spinn3r blog dataset.

MPI-SWS graduates first four students

July 2009
In the spring of 2009, MPI-SWS graduated its first four PhD students—Andreas Haeberlen, Alan Mislove, Animesh Nandi, and Atul Singh. All four students have landed competitive academic or research positions in a very tight job market.

This fall, Andreas Haeberlen will be an Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Alan Mislove will be an Assistant Professor at Northeastern University, Animesh Nandi will be a researcher at Bell Labs, India, and Atul Singh will be a researcher at NEC Labs, Princeton. The students received their PhD degrees from Rice University after spending the last several years of their graduate studies at MPI-SWS.

Paul Francis joins the MPI-SWS faculty

January 2009
Paul Francis joins the institute's faculty as a scientific director. Paul's work over the years has focused on network routing and addressing problems, with a particular interest in large and self-configuring systems.

Paul's work has had tremendous impact on both research and industrial practice. He is best known for inventing Network Address Translation (NAT), shared multicast trees (which form the basis of PIM-SM), and the use of multiple addresses to scale routing in the face of site multihoming, which was adopted by IPv6.

Paul joins MPI-SWS from Cornell University, where he was on the faculty of the computer science department. Prior to that, Paul spent many years in industry labs such as Bellcore, NTT Research Labs in Tokyo, ACIRI in Berkeley, and at several Silicon Valley startups.

Paul Francis's arrival marks the opening of the insitute's Kaiserslautern site.