Min Li of Blacksburg, Va., a computer science doctoral candidate in Virginia Tech's College of Engineering, has received an IBM Fellowship, an intensely competitive worldwide program that honors exceptional Ph.D. students who have an interest in solving problems that are fundamental to innovation.

Li, who holds a 3.95 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale), is advised by Ali R. Butt,  assistant professor of computer science and a past recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER award. Li is originally from Shishi, Fujan Province, China.

Li focuses her research on distributed storage systems for the emerging virtualized cloud computing systems. In part, the goals of this research are to address the increasing performance gap between computing power and storage technology, especially for high performance and cloud computing, of vital interest to IBM.

Modern scientific applications, such as analyzing information from large-scale distributed sensors, climate monitoring, and forecasting environmental impacts, require powerful computing resources and entail managing an ever-growing amount of data. However, modern advanced computing setups do not meet the demands of analyzing all of this data.

Li spent the summer of 2011 as an intern with IBM's Almaden Research Center, working with Dinesh Subhraveti to help improve storage performance in cloud computing, where the key idea is to have shared resources provided to computers using a network like the Internet.

"Min Li designed an efficient cloud adaptation platform for data intensive analytic applications while she was at IBM. At the end of her internship, a patent application for the project was submitted," said Butt, one of her nominators for this fellowship.

"Min Li has published her research at highly-selective conferences, such as Supercomputing 2010, at which the acceptance rate for papers is less than 20 percent. We are very proud of her research achievements, especially of her receipt of this highly-selective IBM Fellowship award," added Barbara Ryder, computer science department head and holder of the J. Byron Maupin Professorship.

Li received her bachelor's degree in computer science in 2005 from East China Normal University of Shanghai, China, and her master's degree, also in computer science in 2008 from the University of Science and Technology of China.