The Role of NSF in Computer Architecture Research

Prof. A. Yavuz Oruc
University of Maryland
Director, Computer Systems Architecture Program, 2000-2002
National Science Foundation


Computer architecture research has been a melting pot of theoretical concepts for devising concrete techniques by which next generation computer systems are designed and put together. From the design of early vacuum tube computers to shaping today's impressive single-chip processors, housing tens of millions of transistors, computer architecture researchers have been at the forefront of an amazing journey of discoveries that have helped usher in the new age of personal computing and global web of information sharing and exchange.

In this talk, I will attempt to describe the critical role that the National Science Foundation has played and continues to play in stimulating computer architecture research. The talk will draw from my recent experience as the Director of Computer Systems Architecture Program at NSF. It will explain the delicate dynamics of balancing mainstream computer architecture research projects with new ideas and technology-driven problems such as molecular and nano architectures. The talk will also include a survey of research projects currently funded by the Program and explain the various stages that proposals go through after they are submitted for funding.


A. Yavuz OruÁ is a professor and member of the Computer Engineering Group in the Electrical Engineering Department at the University of Maryland. He previously held teaching and research positions at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Institute for Advanced Computer Studies at the University of Maryland, and Computer Science Department at Bilkent University. He recently completed a 2-year term as the Director of the Computer Systems Architecture Program at the National Science Foundation. Dr. OruÁ's research interests cover a range of topics including interconnection networks, parallel processing, and computer science education. His research work has been supported by National Science Foundation and published in IEEE Transactions on Computers, Communications, Information Theory, VLSI Design, Parallel and Distributed Systems, and several other archival journals and conference proceedings. He holds a patent on performing algebraic operations using permutation networks and received the University of Maryland's Innovation in Teaching With Technology Award in 2000.