Computer Science Professor Wins Award for Computer Architecture Research

August 08, 2011

August 8, 2011 — Kevin Skadron, professor of computer science in the University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science, recently won the Maurice Wilkes Award at the International Symposium on Computer Architecture. The annual award comes with $2,500.

Skadron won the award "for outstanding contributions to thermal-aware computer architecture modeling and design." The award recognizes research conducted in collaboration with Mircea Stan, professor of electrical and computer engineering. One of their most notable accomplishments was development of the HotSpot tool for modeling temperature in microprocessors. It has been downloaded more than 2,900 times since its release in 2003, and is widely used in research on thermal-aware computer architecture.

Skadron's other contributions to the field include development of feedback control techniques for managing temperature at runtime, techniques to accommodate the imprecision of on-chip temperature sensors, analyzing the impact of thermal constraints on processor design and analyzing the interaction of thermal constraints and manufacturing variations.

His research continues to focus on how to design multicore computer architectures in the presence of severe physical constraints, especially thermal, power delivery, process variations and wear-out.

The Maurice Wilkes award is given each year at the Association for Computing Machinery/Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers International Symposium on Computer Architecture, which is part of the ACM Federated Computing Research Conference. 

Skadron also had a paper accepted at this year's conference. The paper selection process is highly selective with an acceptance rate of about 15 percent to 20 percent.

The award's namesake, Wilkes, who passed away in 2010, is best known as the creator of the EDSAC in 1949, the first computer with an internally stored program. He is also known as the co-author of "Preparation of Programs for Electronic Digital Computers" in 1951. The book effectively introduces program libraries. He was a regular attendee at ISCA for many years.

Skadron received his Ph.D. in computer science from Princeton University in 1999. He joined the U.Va. faculty as assistant professor in 1999, was promoted to associate professor in 2005 and became a full professor in 2010.

He is a senior member of the IEEE and a Distinguished Scientist of the ACM. In addition to the recent honor, he received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2002, a Seven Society Teaching Award in 2002, a U.Va. Teaching Fellowship in 2003, a U.Va. Excellence in Science and Technology award in 2002 and several awards for best student paper.  He is also co-founder and editor-in-chief of IEEE Computer Architecture Letters.

Skadron has graduated nine master's and 11 Ph.D. advisees and co-advisees. He is author or co-author of more than 100 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters.

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