Faculty-Student Research in IT / Web and Mobile Computing

April 14, 2020

Two of our IT / WMC students, Matija Šipek and Dino Muharemagić, under the mentorship of Dr. Branko Mihaljević and Aleksander Radovan, wrote a research paper "Enhancing Performance of Cloud-based Software Applications with GraalVM and Quarkus” which got accepted for presentation at the 43rd International Convention on Information and Communication Technology, Electronics, and Microelectronics – MIPRO 2020, which is planned to take place in late September 2020, in Opatija, Croatia. The research paper discusses the usage of GraalVM, a polyglot high-performance virtual machine for JVM-based and other languages, combined with a Java-tailored stacked framework named Quarkus, as well as explores GraalVM creation of native images using Ahead-Of-Time (AOT) compilation and Quarkus’ deployment to Kubernetes. We used this opportunity to talk to Matija about his experience.

RIT Croatia professors – experts in their field who are approachable and ready to help their students

Matija is a junior student that has been involved in research with his professors for the past two years: „A great opportunity that RIT presented me are excellent professors who are not only experts in their field, but are also very approachable and ready to help. In our work, we focus on exploring the newest technological breakthroughs in the IT field. With our topic choices, we are trying to follow the industry benchmark closely. I can say we are doing it quite successfully as our research paper has been accepted for the second year in a row at the MIPRO conference. MIPRO is a convention with several conferences, and SP - MIPRO Junior is one of them where the best students from Croatia and all over Europe come to present their research projects and modern technologies. When we were starting last year’s GraalVM research project, it was still in beta phase and wasn’t well known, but this year it was one of the main topics at several Java conferences all over the world, including Javantura in Zagreb, Croatia, which proves that we are definitely on the right track and pioneering in the given research topic. These publications of our work are a great introduction to the world of scientific research and it is a unique experience which for I am very grateful for.”

Working on complex projects means that challenges and ‘brick walls’ are a constant situation

"This year’s topic at Javantura was regarding industry shift to cloud services, precisely enhancing scalability and performance of cloud-based software systems,” says Matija and emphasizes that working on complex projects means working in a dynamic and challenging environment. "As number of clients and requests toward services is rising every day, we need to handle it by increasing channels of communication. Spawning this work processes (channels) requires an initialization subsystem, which would improve time and memory usage of a traditional system. For this initialization subsystem, we were using Java focused technologies. GraalVM Ahead-Of-Time (AOT) mechanism and Quarkus framework present an optimized Java-based cloud system that is scalable, fast, and responsive.”

Working with challenges is exactly what RIT Croatia faculty teaches their students. The key learning objective is to know how to approach the problem, no matter the technology or program that is being used. "Most of the new technologies are, to a certain extent, enigmatic and you really have to get yourself deep into the methodology and, most importantly, practical examples in order to fully understand it,” says Matija. "It takes time, patience and sometimes going with your head through that wall in order to figure it out. Staying calm, focused, and moving towards a final goal is essential.”


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