Lui Sha


Lui Sha graduated with Phd. from CMU in 1985.


  • Professor, Department of Computer Science, UIUC                                         1998 – present
  • Member Technical Staff, Software Engineering Institute, CMU                        1988 – 1998
  • Research Associate, Department of Computer Science, CMU                         1985 – 1987


  • Donald B. Gillies Chair, CS Department, UIUC.
  • The Tau Beta Pi Daniel C. Drucker Eminent Faculty, College of Engineering, UIUC


His research has been on safety critical cyber physical systems. His recent research includes: 1) Physics Model guided DNN. A physics model is a validated low-dimensional model of causality with critical properties such as provable stability. DNN is a high-dimensional model of correlations that may capture not only unmodeled dynamics in physics model but also spurious corrections in the training samples (overfitting) that leads to outputs inconsistent with physical laws. Physics Edited DNN combines the best of the physical model and DNN model; 2) Medical GPS systems to dramatically reduce preventable medical errors, which are the misapplication of complex modern medical knowledge. Preventable medical errors claim 250,000 lives per year and are the third leading cause of deaths in the USA alone.

Recognition and Awards

  • Fellow of the IEEE, 1998
  • Fellow of the ACM, 2005
  • IEEE Simon Ramo Medal, 2016. This gold medal is IEEE’s highest honor for exceptional achievement in systems engineering and systems science
  • David Lubkowski Award for the Advancement of Digital Avionics, AIAA, 2021.
  • Member of National Academy of Science’s Committee on Certifiably Dependable Software Systems, 2005 to 2007. See National Academy’s Report on Dependable Software Systems.
  • Member of NASA Advisory Council’s Aeronautic Committee, assisting NASA in the formulation of her research programs, 2015 to 2017 and served as a reviewer of NASA Langley’s Safety-Critical Systems Branch, 2013 and 2017.
  • IEEE Distinguished Visitor, 2005 – 2007.
  • Outstanding Technical Contributions and Leadership Award, IEEE Technical Committee on Real-Time Systems, Dec. 2001.
  • Test of Time Award, and Influential Paper Award. IEEE Technical Committee on Real-Time Systems, 2020

Research Impact

  • Transformation of real-time computing practice from an ad hoc process to an engineering process based on analytic methods.” IEEE Fellow citation.
  • Technical leadership and contributions to fundamental theory, practice and standardization for engineering real-time systems.” IEEE Simon Ramo Medal citation.
  • Global Positioning Satellite: “The navigation payload software for the next block of Global Positioning System upgrades recently completed testing. … This design would have been difficult or impossible prior to the development of rate monotonic theory”, L. Doyle, and J. Elzey “Successful Use of Rate Monotonic Theory on A Formidable Real-Time System, technical report, p.1, ITT, Aerospace Communication Division, 1993. International Space Station: “Through the development of Rate Monotonic Scheduling, we now have a system that will allow [Space Station] Freedom’s computers to budget their time, to choose between a variety of tasks, and decide not only which one to do first but how much time to spend in the process”, Aaron Cohen, Deputy Administrator of NASA, October 1992 (p. 3), Charting The Future: Challenges and Promises Ahead of Space Exploration.
  • International Space Station: “Dear Dr. Sha, I hope this finds you doing well. I frequently recall your efforts on everyone’s behalf in convincing IBM on RMS principles for the Space Station Software…It has been a very exciting 5 years since the reconstruction of the Station from Freedom to its present configuration International Space Station.” ISS C&DH Architecture and Software Manager, David Pruett, NASA Johnson Space Center, January 19, 2001.
  • Mars Pathfinder: (Rescuing Mars Pathfinder when its software repeatedly crashed on Mars due to real-time computing problems) “When was the last time you saw a room of people cheer a group of computer science theorists for their significant practical contribution to advancing human knowledge? 🙂 It was quite a moment. … For the record, the paper was L. Sha, R. Rajkumar, and J. P. Lehoczky. Priority Inheritance Protocols: An Approach to Real-Time Synchronization. In IEEE Transactions on Computers, vol. 39, pp. 1175-1185, Sep. 1990.” reported by Dr. Michael Jones of Microsoft Research.
  • Digital Avionics: National Academy of Science’s Committee on Certifiably Dependable Systems wrote, “One key to achieving dependability at a reasonable cost is a serious and sustained commitment to simplicity, including simplicity of critical functions and simplicity in system interactions. This commitment is often the mark of true expertise. There is no alternative to simplicity. Advances in technology or development methods will not make simplicity redundant; on the contrary, they will give it greater leverage”. A notable invention of our team in this area is the Physically Asynchronous Logically Synchronous (PALS) architecture. Rockwell Collins Inc has shown in their lab that using PALS, the verification time using model checking time for a dual redundant flight control system has reduced from 35 hours to less than 30 seconds, winning the 2009 David Lubkowski Memorial Award for the Advancement of Digital Avionics from American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). Running on top of PALS middleware, engineers can design, verify and run a networked (single-core) real-time control system as if it were a single computer at the fastest possible speed permitted by the platform.


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