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“DARPA Young Faculty Award”

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The School of Electrical and Computer Engineering is pleased to announce that Professor Christopher Batten received a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Young Faculty Award for his research project entitled "Complexity-Effective Vector Specialization for Image and Video Processing".

This project is exploring a new approach to designing hardware accelerators called complexity-effective vector specialization (CEVS) that is based on a novel combination of the single-instruction multiple-threads (SIMT) architectural design pattern often used in graphics-processing units and scalar instruction specialization. CEVS should approach the efficiency of custom image/video accelerators, yet preserve much of the flexibility of general-purpose multicores while reducing overall software and hardware complexity. The project is using a vertically integrated research methodology that spans application kernel development, instruction set design, microarchitecture design, and VLSI implementation. The three goals for this project are: (1) to conduct a simulation-based design-space study of CEVS; (2) to build a small proof-of-concept CEVS ASIC prototype; and (3) to quantitatively measure the benefit of CEVS using the ASIC prototype.

The purpose of the DARPA Young Faculty Award program is to identify and engage rising research stars in junior faculty positions at U.S. academic institutions and expose them to Department of Defense (DoD) needs as well as DARPA's program development process. In addition, the program provides funding, mentoring, and industry and DoD contacts to awardees early in their careers so they may develop their research ideas in the context of DoD needs.

Batten is an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, a graduate field member of computer science, and a member of the Computer Systems Laboratory at Cornell University. He leads a research group focusing on energy-efficient parallel computer architecture for both high-performance and embedded applications. His work has been recognized with several awards including an NSF CAREER award (2012) and an IEEE Micro Top Picks selection (2004). Prior to his appointment at Cornell, Batten received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2010. He received an M.Phil. in engineering as a Churchill Scholar at the University of Cambridge in 2000, and received a B.S. in electrical engineering as a Jefferson Scholar at the University of Virginia in 1999.

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