ADA student Abraham Addisie, a PhD candidate at the University of Michigan, has been awarded the Richard F. and Eleanor A. Towner Prize for Distinguished Academic Achievement by the UM College of Engineering. This prize is presented to a graduate student in each degree program to recognize active participation in research, leadership, and academic performance. Addisie is advised by ADA Center Director Valeria Bertacco.
His work focuses on domain-specific architectures for data-intensive applications, specifically on boosting the performance and energy efficiency of big-data applications. These application domains are becoming increasingly popular in a wide range of applications ranging from traffic and road networks to social networks, DNA sequencing, and beyond.
Addisie has devised specialized and distributed hardware units that augment contemporary processors' capabilities in these domains. His solutions tackle bottlenecks that conventional memory hierarchies experience when storing large datasets, leading to poor performance and high transfer latencies. They also explore the memory access patterns common in emerging application domains, such as graph analytics, to identify opportunities and leverage them for optimizations.
Addisie holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia. Since joining University of Michigan for his PhD study, he has maintained strong ties with his alma mater. He has mentored several undergraduate and graduate students by traveling to Ethiopia in the Summers of 2016 and 2018 as a part of the University of Michigan's broader collaboration efforts with various institutes in Ethiopia.
As the computing industry struggles to maintain its historically rapid pace of innovation, the ADA Center, based at the University of Michigan, aims to streamline and democratize the design and manufacturing of next-generation computing systems.
The Center for Applications Driving Architectures, or ADA, is developing a transformative, "plug-and-play" ecosystem to encourage a flood of fresh ideas in computing frontiers such as autonomous control, robotics and machine-learning.
Today, analysts worry that the industry is stagnating, caught between physical limits to the size of silicon transistors and the skyrocketing costs and complexity of system design.
"The electronic industry is facing many challenges going forward, and we stand a much better chance of solving these problems if we can make hardware design more accessible to a large pool of talent," said Valeria Bertacco, an Arthur F. Thurnau professor of computer science and engineering at U-M and director of the ADA Center. "We want to make it possible for anyone with motivation and a good idea to build novel high-performance computing systems."
The center is a five-year project that includes researchers from several leading universities.