Professor David Z. Pan and Kun Yuan Receive Best Paper Award at 2011 ACM International Symposium on Physical Design UT ECE Professor David Z. Pan and former graduate student Kun Yuan received the Best Paper Award from the 2011 ACM International Symposium on Physical Design (ISPD), for their paper "E-Beam Lithography Stencil Planning and Optimization with Overlapped Characters". ISPD is the premier conference to exchange ideas and promote research on all aspects related to the physical design of VLSI systems, along with its interactions with architecture, behavioral- and logic-level synthesis, and back-end performance analysis and verification. Every year, IEEE Transaction on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems (TCAD), the premier journal for VLSI CAD, runs a special issue/section on top picks from ISPD. ISPD-2011 was held March 27-30, 2011 in Santa Barbara, California. In this paper, the authors bridge the gap between the emerging e-beam lithography (EBL) manufacturing and nanometer VLSI physical design by formulating and solving a new problem of EBL stencil planning and optimization with overlapped characters. The proposed techniques can significantly improve the EBL throughput, which is a key bottleneck for EBL. This research was funded in part by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and IBM Faculty Award. Dr. Kun Yuan finished his Ph.D. at UT Austin under Prof. Pan's supervision in Dec. 2010. He is currently a Senior Member of Technical Staff at Cadence Design Systems in Silicon Valley.