SICSA Research Scholar Funding: Highlights from ACACES 2022

25 July 2022,

by Jude Haris, University of Glasgow

Hello, I am Jude Haris. I am a second-year PhD at the University of Glasgow in the School of Computing. My research interests are Computer Architecture, FPGAs and DNN accelerators. Thanks to SICSA Research Scholar Funding I was able to attend HiPEAC’s ACACES summer school, 10-16th of July.

The summer school took place in the picturesque town of Fiuggi in central Italy. The summer school covered a variety of topics. We were able to choose 4 out of 12 courses to attend and take part in across the week. Additionally, two keynotes were given, first by Andrea Corbelli, IBM  (Sunday) and then by Maximilian Odendahl, Xilinx (Monday). The summer school also consisted of a careers session (Tuesday) with a panel consisting of academics and industry veterans. We also were given an opportunity to present a poster of our works(Wednesday). During this, I was able to present my current work on DNN acceleration using FPGAs and talk to many like-minded researchers. On the last day (Friday) we were awarded a certificate of attending the summer school and were treated to a final day party.

During the week our courses started at 9 am and lasted until 4:30 pm with coffee breaks and lunch in the middle. The first course of the day I attended was “Post-Modern Computer Architecture: Software Maturity and Dataflow” by Karu Sankaralingam, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

This course was very relevant to my area of work and contained very interesting insights into the problems and some of the solutions that we currently face.

Second I had  “Accelerator-centric System Design” by Mark Silberstein, Technion. The courses looked at accelerators from the perspective of the operating system which was something I had lacked knowledge about.

After lunch, in the third slot of the day, I took “Software-hardware co-designs: The compiler science behind the spark” by Alexandra Jimborean, University of Murcia.  This course was very novel to me and helped me understand some of the basics of compiler problems, as I have not worked in this area, in every lecture I learned something new and interesting. For the final slot of the day, I took “Compilers Challenges for Heterogeneous Architectures” – Henri-Pierre Charles, CEA. This was again similar to the third slot where I learned a lot and gave me a new perspective than just the hardware point of view which is normally the case for me.

Overall the main takeaways for me from the summer school were: that there are a lot of fellow researchers that are working on similar problems and that there is definitely potential for future collaborations; sharing my ideas and learning about other researchers’ work over a lunch break or dinner is completely different from sitting in a zoom call; and also that the best gelato in town was at the top of the hill.

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