WSU Leads Efforts to Launch Research, Journal, Gathering
By Tina Hilding, Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture
With the launch of a professional journal and a conference, a WSU professor is helping to develop leading research in sustainable computing.
Behrooz Shirazi, the Huie-Rogers Chair professor and director of the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), is special issues editor of the journal Sustainable Computing. Launched earlier this year, the journal is published by Elsevier, a leading science and technical publisher.
Shirazi worked with Editor-in Chief Ishfaq Ahmed, professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington, to establish the journal. They also launched the International Green Computing Conference (http://www.green-conf.org/). Held for the first time in August in Chicago, it drew approximately 150 researchers.
Sustainable computing is a research area of growing interest in academia as well as in industry. The amount of computing that occurs every day is growing exponentially, contributing to significant cost and resource concerns.
“Green computing provides a new and exciting avenue for addressing the global challenge of sustainability and promises to be of fundamental importance,” said Candis Claiborn, dean of the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture. “I’m pleased to see WSU taking a leadership role in this important research area.”
Companies that deal with large numbers of computers, such as Microsoft or Google, often are more concerned with power costs than the cost of maintaining the computers themselves, said Shirazi. Very large data centers are looking at ways to improve efficiency. Enterprises that house hundreds or thousands of computers are looking for ways to reduce computing power consumption.
Researchers also are looking at computer hardware itself – such as CPUs, memory, I/O devices and displays – for ways to improve power efficiency.
“People worry about sustainability and about being responsible with our resources,” said Shirazi. “Computing can benefit from efforts along those lines.”
The Sustainable Computing journal will cover a variety of topics from a number of disciplines, including computer science, power engineering, environmental engineering and mechanical engineering, to name a few. The journal will feature research about ways to improve computing as well as using computers for sustainable living.
Researchers in EECS have taken a leading role in green computing in the past several years, said Shirazi. The school has a strong history in power engineering and is one of a few in the country where computer science and power engineering are housed in the same school.
EECS also offers a unique course in renewable energy that was made possible by a gift from Puget Sound Energy.
WSU has received significant research support in the areas of smart grid technology and smart homes, which includes managing energy needs.