The William C. Carter Award is presented annually at the DSN Conference to recognize an individual who has made a significant contribution to the field of dependable computing through his or her graduate dissertation research.

The IEEE TC on Dependable Computing and Fault Tolerance (TCFT) and IFIP Working Group 10.4 on Dependable Computing and Fault Tolerance (WG 10.4) jointly sponsor the William C. Carter PhD Dissertation Award in Dependability. Instituted in 1997 as the William C. Carter Award, it was reformulated in 2016, where the present name and eligibility requirements aim at recognizing an individual who has made a significant contribution to the field of dependable and secure computing throughout his or her PhD dissertation.

The award commemorates the late William C. Carter, a key figure in the formation and development of the field of dependable computing. Bill Carter always took the time to encourage, mentor, and inspire newcomers to this field and this award honors and sustains this aspect of his legacy.

The award recipient receives a $2,000 US cash award, and a waived registration fee to attend the edition of the IEEE/IFIP International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks (DSN) at which the award is presented. The recipient will be required to attend DSN to receive the award and is invited to give a short presentation to DSN attendees.

To be eligible for the award, the nominee’s PhD defense must be completed prior to the nomination deadline and must have occurred no more than 16 months prior to the nomination deadline. A candidate can be nominated only one time. Previous recipients of the (old or renamed) Carter Award are not eligible.

The winner of the 2020 William C. Carter PhD Dissertation Award in Dependability is:


Bo Fang, University of British Columbia, CA

PhD Dissertation title: “Approaches for Building Error Resilient Applications”
Defense date: February 11th, 2020

Thesis Advisor:
Karthik Pattabiraman (University of British Columbia, CA)

Dissertation Summary: “Bo Fang’s thesis addresses the problem of transient hardware faults in high performance computing (HPC) systems. Starting form the idea that most transient hardware faults have no significant impact at the software layer, Bo’s thesis proposes an error propagation model and a crash model to identify which faults really matter, particularly the ones that may cause silent data corruption and crashes, in order to selectively trigger recovery actions. Subsequently, Bo proposes the innovative idea of applying the roll-forward recovery scheme in standard checkpoint/restart system to allow trading confidence in results for efficiency in both performance and energy saving. Bo’s work has already been making an impact on the design and implementation of HPC systems at two national labs in the US, namely Pacific Northwestern National Labs (PNNL), and Los Alamos National Labs (LANL). ”

Presentation teaser: 

Carter award presentation is scheduled on June 30 at 16:55 (CEST). Further details can be found at the program of the conference.

DSN-2020 Carter award Committee

Henrique Madeira, U. Coimbra, PT

Lydia Chen, TU Delft, NL
Susanna Donatelli, U. Torino, IT
Nuno Neves, U. Lisboa, PT
Cristina Nita-Rotaru, Northeastern U., US

Complete information on the award can be found on the award web page: