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    Soner Onder Awarded NSF RD Grant

    Soner Onder (CS/ICC) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $149,996 research and development grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

    The project is titled “IRES: Track I: Collaborative Research: Supporting FSU and MTU Student Research with NTNU Faculty on Automatic Improvement of Application Performance.”

    OISE/IRES Project to Fund International Research Experiences for Grad Students

    Professor Soner Onder, Computer Science, has been awarded $150K of a $300K project funded by the Office of International Science and Engineering (OISE) and the International Research Experiences for Students (IRES) programs, both units of the National Science Foundation (NSF). The remaining project share was awarded to Florida State University (FSU).

    The project provides international research experiences for eight Michigan Tech PhD students (and eight FSU students), providing a stipend, travel expenses, and living expenses while they pursue research in Norway for ten weeks in each of three summers.

    The students will be working with Dr. Onder’s collaborators at Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Prof. Magnus Jahre and Prof. Magnus Själander. The two institutions are pursuing joint interdisciplinary work involving compilers and architecture . The work is expected to result in several joint research publications.

    “I believe this project will help improve our international recognition and stature as a major research institution,” Dr. Onder says.


    When the technology for computers advance and programs execute faster, more computer applications become possible. This project will enable Florida State University (FSU) and Michigan Technology University (MTU) students to visit the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) to conduct research that will allow the performance and energy efficiency of computer applications to be automatically improved. Over the three years of this project, 16 FSU and MTU students (in cohorts of five, five, and six) will visit NTNU, which is in Trondheim, Norway, for a period of 10 weeks during May, June, and July. While in residence, the students will work closely with the faculty, postdoctoral associates, and graduate students in the research groups of Professors Magnus Sjalander and Magnus Jahre who are affiliated with the Computer Architecture Laboratory (CAL) at NTNU. The participating FSU and MTU students will not only increase their research knowledge, but will also become more globally engaged and better prepared to work in a culturally diverse, international environment.

    The era of improving processor performance without innovations in computer architecture or compilers is over since increasing the clock rate for computers has not been possible in recent years due to thermal limitations. However, manually modifying programs to efficiently exploit computer architectures is time consuming, error prone, and not portable to other systems. The most effective way to improve application performance is to automatically exploit architectural features without the intervention of the application developers. Our focus will be on automatically achieving high performance and energy efficiency by generating code to exploit existing and proposed architectural features at the machine instruction level. We propose to develop the compilation tools to facilitate the process of automatically generating code to exploit these proposed architectural features and to develop the simulation tools to evaluate the impact on both performance and energy efficiency.

    The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) is the second largest university in Norway and is consistently ranked among the top one percent of universities world-wide; their current ranking is 101st.

    Office of International Science & Engineering (OISE) is the NSF focal point for international science and engineering activities both inside and outside NSF. OISE’s focuses on three activities: (1) promoting the development of a globally competent U.S. workforce, (2) facilitating and supporting international partnerships and networks to leverage NSF and foreign resources, and (3) providing opportunities for U.S. leadership to shape the global science and engineering agenda.

    The International Research Experiences for Students (IRES) program supports international research and research-related activities for U.S. science and engineering students. The IRES program contributes to development of a diverse, globally engaged workforce with world-class skills. IRES focuses on active research participation by undergraduate and/or graduate students in high quality international research, education and professional development experiences in NSF-funded research areas.

    Dr. Junqiao Qiu Awarded $174.8K NSF pre-CAREER Grant

    Dr. Junqiao Qiu, Computer Science, has been awarded a two-year, $174,797 NSF pre-CAREER grant, which supports research independence among early-career academicians

    The project is titled, “CRII: SHF: GPU-accelerated FSM computations with advanced speculation.”

    Dr. Qiu’s research focuses on parallel computing, programming systems, and compiler optimization.

    He is a member of the Scalable Architectures and Systems research group of the Institute of Computing and Cybersystems (ICC).

    View the grant on the NSF website.


    Finite State Machine (FSM)-based computations have played critical roles in a variety of important applications, ranging from cyber security and data analytics to software engineering and hardware design. Due to the growing data volumes and limitations on computer processing power, nowadays FSM efficiency is greatly constrained, and a new dimension of efficiency optimization is desired. This project proposes a novel framework to enhance the computing efficiency of FSM-based computations on GPUs. The combination of GPU acceleration and speculative parallelization developed in the proposed framework shows promise for boosting performance of FSM computations and presents the potential to optimize even more general non-FSM computations.

    This research investigates how to build up the synergy between highly-parallel GPU architectures and FSM computations. The key idea is exploring multiple dimensions of parallelism for increasing compute utilization as well as reducing data-movement overheads. Additionally, this research designs and integrates advanced speculative parallelization into FSM computations. The advanced speculative parallelization not only enables more effective predictors on different FSMs, it also provides efficient speculative-thread scheduling. All these optimizations will be built into a framework that further explores the trade-offs between different objectives and automatically optimizes application configurations based on the given objectives. Finally, this research seeks to enlarge the applicability of the envisioned results, and it brings the preliminary exploration about a new dimension of computing efficiency for irregular computations as well as applications associated with speculative parallelization.

    Dr. Qiu’s lab has openings (RA/TA support) for self-motivated students who are interested in doing system research. For more information, please email Dr. Qiu at

    Yakov Nekrich Paper Accepted for Top Computing Conference

    A publication by Associate Professor Yakov NekrichComputer Science, has been accepted to the 53rd Annual ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing (STOC).

    The paper, “Optimal-Time Dynamic Planar Point Location in Connected Subdivisions,” describes an optimal-time solution for the dynamic point location problem and answers an open problem in computational geometry. 

    The data structure described in the paper supports queries and updates in logarithmic time. This result is optimal in some models of computation.  Nekrich is the sole author of the publication.

    The annual ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing (STOC), is the flagship
    conference of SIGACT, the Special Interest Group on Algorithms and
    Computation Theory, a special interest group of the Association for
    Computing Machinery (ACM).

    Junqiao Qiu to Present Lecture November 6

    Assistant Professor Junqiao Qiu, Computer Science, will present his lecture, “Speculative Parallelization for FSM-centric Computations,” this Friday, Nov. 6, 2020, at 3:00 p.m., via online meeting.

    Lecture Abstract

    As a fundamental computation model, finite-state machine (FSM) has been used in a wide range of data-intensive applications, including malware detection, bioinformatics, semi-structured data analytics, natural language processing and even machine learning. However, FSM execution is known to be “embarrassingly sequential” due to the state dependences among transitions. Current studies find that speculation is a promising solution to address the inherent dependencies in FSM computations and thus enables scalable FSM parallelization.
    This talk will firstly introduce the fundamental scalability bottleneck in the current FSM parallelization, and then an aggressive speculation, a generalized speculation model that allows a speculated state to be validated against the result from another speculation, is proposed to address the scalability limitations. Finally, this talk will discuss the possibility to enlarge the applicability of the proposed approach and go beyond the FSM-based computations.

    Juneiao Qiu is a member of the Institute of Computing and Cybersystems’ (ICC) Center for Scalable Architectures and Systems (SAS).

    Hongyu An: Curious About the World and Exploring the Unknown

    by Karen S. Johnson, Communications Director, ICC

    “A scientist should be a person who is always curious about nature and the world, and who tries to explore the unknown.” –Hongyu An, Assistant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Hongyu An, Assistant Professor, ECE

    Exploring science and technology is always exciting for new Assistant Professor Hongyu An, Electrical and Computer Engineering. He says he is “very pleased to have the chance to mentor the next generation and share my knowledge and experience with undergraduate and graduate students.”

    Several things drew Hongyu An to Michigan Tech, including his observation that as an institution Michigan Tech cares about its employees. “The excellent professors, smart students, and the supportive environment are the main reasons I joined Michigan Tech,” he says. “As a new faculty member, I am facing a lot of new challenges. There is great support in my department (ECE) and through the ICC.”

    Hongyu is a member of two Institute of Computing and Cybersystems (ICC) research centers: Human-Centered Computing and Scalable Architectures and Systems. He also sees synergies with the Center for Cyber-Physical Systems.

    “It is my great pleasure and honor to be a member of the ICC,” Hongyu says. “ I can collaborate with the experts in HCC for exploring the brain and artificial intelligence, and the professors in SAS for hardware and architecture designs. Moreover, the neuromorphic chips I am working on can potentially be applied to Cyber-Physical Systems.”

    Hongyu’s primary research area is hardware design for AI and neuromorphic systems. He believes that Artificial Intelligence is probably one of the most challenging research topics in science, noting that recent work in deep learning and artificial neural networks is demonstrating great progress in approaching artificial intelligence. 

    “But the traditional computers under von Neumann architecture cannot keep up with the development of neural networks and deep learning,” he cautions. “My research is addressing this challenge by using a new hardware design, from device to architecture levels.”

    Hongyu’s teaching interests include VLSI, Circuits, and Electromagnetics. Desribing his teaching philosophy, he notes that making complicated things simple is more challenging than making simple things complicated, and that he strives for the former. This academic year, An is teaching EE 4271 VLSI Design and mentoring ECE master’s student, Sarvani Marthi Sarvani, whose project aims to design a silicon retina through CMOS and Memristors.

    Hongyu and his research team are also investigating associative memory learning, a new learning method that aims to create a neuromorphic system that can learn from its surroundings directly. 

    “Associative memory is a widespread self-learning method in biological livings, which enables the nervoussystem to remember the relationship between two concurrent events,” Hongyu explains. “Through this learning method, dogs can learn the sound of bells as a sign of food; people can remember a word representing an object.”

    “The significance of rebuilding associative memory at a behavioral level not only reveals a way of designing a brain-like, self-learning neuromorphic system, it is also to explore a method of comprehending the learning mechanism of a nervous system,” he adds.

    And finally, beyond his work as a professor and scientist Hongyu hopes that he is “a good husband to my wife, a good father to my sons, and a good son to my parents.”

    Hongyu completed his Ph.D. in electrical engineering at Virginia Tech, his M.S. in electrical engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology, and his B.S. in electrical engineering at Shenyang University of Technology.

    Recent Publications

    An, Hongyu, Mohammad Shah Al-Mamun, Marius K. Orlowski, Lingjia Liu, and Yang Yi. “Robust Deep Reservoir Computing through Reliable Memristor with Improved Heat Dissipation Capability. IEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems (2020).

    An, Hongyu, Qiyuan An, and Yang Yi. “Realizing Behavior Level Associative Memory Learning Through Three-Dimensional Memristor-Based Neuromorphic Circuits. IEEE Transactions on Emerging Topics in Computational Intelligence (2019).

    Founded in 2015, the Institute of Computing and Cybersystems (ICC) promotes collaborative, cross-disciplinary research and learning experiences in the areas of computing education, cyber-physical systems, cybersecurity, data sciences, human-centered computing, and scalable architectures and systems, for the benefit of Michigan Technological University and society at large.

    The ICC creates and supports an arena in which faculty and students work collaboratively across organizational boundaries in an environment that mirrors contemporary technological innovation. The ICC’s 55 members represent more than 20 academic disciplines at Michigan Tech.