NSF-SIGDA-DAC Design Automation Summer School

June 2-3, 2007
San Diego Convention Center
San Diego, CA

Sponsored  by


Important Links


Final Program



DASS 2001


Kartik Mohanram

Steve Levitan

Soha Hassoun

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CADathlon at ICCAD

Ph.D. Forum at DAC

DASS 2001

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 collegial relationships.