The first Design Automation Summer School (DASS) sponsored by ACM's
Special Interest on Design Automation (SIGDA) was held in Cape
Cod, MA from May 19-26, 2001. The school offered
graduate students seeking a Ph.D. in design automation (DA) the opportunity
to participate in a one-week intensive course focusing on ten different areas
of research areas in DA. The school is intended to broaden and complement a limited
and often highly focused curriculum in CAD currently offered at universities.
Ten top-notch researchers were chosen to deliver the lectures. Each
lecturer defined a topic, described recent research advances, and outlined
upcoming challenges. Some follow-up discussions and technical activities
further increased the interaction among the lecturers and students and
allowed additional opportunities for the students to ask related questions.
Brad Hutchings from Brigham Young
University discussed configurable
computing. Wayne Wolfe from Princeton
University covered hardware/software
co-design. Qu Gang from the University
of Maryland outlined security
issues in IP-Based design. Karem Sakallah from the University
of Michigan focused on Boolean satisfiability models and algorithms. The lectures of Kaushik Roy from Purdue
University and Diana Marculescu from CMU covered a wide range of issues
related to low power design and optimization. Tamal
Mukherjee from CMU was effective in teaching design
and CAD principles for MEMS (micro electrical mechanical systems). Sachin Sapatnekar from the University
of Minnesota discussed interconnect issues in VLSI Design. Leon Stok from IBM stressed gain-based delay models in logical
and physical design. Yervant Zorian
from Logic Vision captivated the audience with a lecture on embedded test
strategies for SOCs. Technology lectures about SOI
technology, software radios, and network processors were provided
respectively by industry lecturers: Ron Preston from Compaq, John Chapin from
Vanu, Inc., and Lynn Brown from Intel.
Twenty eight students in their second or third year of their Ph.D.
programs attended the school. Common to all students' backgrounds were
classes in Algorithms or Automata, Computer Architecture, VLSI design, and
CAD. The students were selected based on an essay explaining their interest
in design automation. Twenty seven of the students represented U.S.
schools, while one represented Ghent
University in Belgium.
All students received full scholarships from SIGDA to attend the School.
The Design Automation Summer School was organized by Dr. Soha Hassoun from Tufts
University. Dr. Hassoun serves as the director of Educational activities
within the SIGDA Advisory board. She strongly advocates creating educational
opportunities for members of the DA community and involving everyone in
building a larger and more inclusive community. Other activities initiated by
Dr. Hassoun include the Ph.D. forum at DAC, which
was first held at DAC in 1998 and has since been annually held at DAC.
The transformation of the students during the course of
the school was evident: more questions were asked; more students boldly
participated in discussions; and more technical discussions were initiated
outside the classroom. Students talked of establishing a mailing list for all
participants, and they planned an informal gathering at the Design Automation
Conference in Las Vegas in June,
2001. The school certainly succeeded in implanting seeds for long-lasting