ACM SIGARCH/IEEE CS TCCA Outstanding Dissertation Award

The SIGARCH/TCCA Outstanding Dissertation award will recognize excellent thesis research by doctoral candidates in the field of computer architecture. Dissertations will be reviewed for technical depth and significance of the research contribution, potential impact on computer architecture, and quality of presentation. The award will carry a monetary value of $1000. The winner will receive the monetary award; honorable mentions receive no monetary award.

2021 ACM SIGARCH/IEEE CS TCCA Outstanding Dissertation Award Call for Nominations

Eligible dissertations must have been successfully defended and deposited in the previous calendar year.

Each nominated dissertation must be on a topic relevant to computer architecture.  The determination of whether a thesis is within scope for the award will be made by the SIGARCH/TCCA Dissertation Award Committee.  A dissertation can be nominated for both the SIGARCH/TCCA Dissertation Award and the ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award.

Nomination for the award must include:

  1. English language copy of thesis
  2. Statement from the advisor limited to two pages addressing why the nominee’s dissertation should receive this award.  This should address the significance of the dissertation, not simply repeat the information in the abstract. Nomination must come from the advisor; self-nomination is not allowed.
  3. Three letters of support limited to two pages each. Supporting letters should be included from experts in the field who can provide additional insights or evidence of the dissertation’s impact.  (The nominator/advisor may not write a letter of support.)  The letter should also contain the qualification of the endorser and his/her role with respect to the nominee. If a letter writer is supporting more than one nomination, they may be asked to rank those nominations. At least one letter must come from an expert outside the nominee’s university. Additional letters beyond three will not be considered.
  4. List of publications contributing to thesis
  5. Member number for nominee (Nominee must be a SIGARCH or TCCA member)
  6. Suggested citation if the candidate is selected. This should be a concise statement (maximum of 25 words) describing the key technical contribution for which the candidate merits this award. Note that the final wording for awardees will be at the discretion of the SIGARCH/TCCA Dissertation Award Committee.

Please send nominations (preferably electronically) no later than February 1, 2021 to the chair of the SIGARCH/TCCA Dissertation Award Committee, Natalie Enright Jerger at Nominations must be submitted in English. PDF format is preferred for all materials. Late submissions will not be considered.

The committee will consist of an even number of members, initially six (one SIGARCH EC member, one TCCA EC member, four at large SIGARCH or TCCA members). This number can be adjusted in the future to keep workload moderate. The members will serve three-year staggered terms, with the SIGARCH and TCCA ECs each appointing one new member each year. The committee chairperson shall be the more senior of the two EC members; an EC member should not chair the committee in their first year of service.

The SIGARCH/TCCA Dissertation Award Committee will make a recommendation to the SIGARCH Chair and the TCCA Chair by April 1 of each year. Upon approval of the recommendation by the executive boards of ACM SIGARCH and IEEE TCCA, the chair will inform the winner and honorable mentions.

David Albonesi
Cornell University

Natalie Enright Jerger (Chair)
University of Toronto, SIGARCH EC

Antonio González
Polytechnic University of Catalonia, TCCA EC

Jaehyuk Huh

Martha Kim
Columbia University

Yanos Sazeides
University of Cyprus


Winner: Dimitrios Skarlatos, UIUC, for “Rethinking Computer Architecture and Operating Systems Abstractions for Good & Evil.” Advisor: Josep Torrellas
Award citation: “For contributions to redesigning the abstractions and interfaces that connect hardware and operating systems.”

Honorable Mention: Yatin Manerkar, Princeton University, for “Progressive Automated Formal Verification of Memory Consistency in Parallel Processors.” Advisor: Margaret Martonosi
Award citation: “For developing scalable, sound, and all-program hardware verification methods that demonstrate the potential of progressive correctness verification from early-stage architectural design to late-stage implementation.”

Honorable Mention: Hyoukjun Kwon, Georgia Institute of Technology, for “Data- and Communication-centric Approaches to Model and Design Flexible Deep Neural Network Accelerators.” Advisors: Tushar Krishna and Michael Pellauer
Award citation: “For developing mechanisms to quantify the relationship between deep neural network mappings, data reuse and communication flows for system design of flexible deep learning accelerators.”


Winner: Caroline Trippel, Princeton University, for “Concurrency and Security Verification in Heterogeneous Parallel Systems.” Advisor: Margaret Martonosi
Award citation: “For developing efficient, formal, hardware-aware concurrency verification methods, which resulted in the identification of important correctness and security vulnerabilities.”

Honorable Mention: Mengjia Yan, UIUC, for “Cache-based Side Channels: Modern Attacks and Defenses”. Advisor: Josep Torrellas
Award citation: “For introducing secure processor and cache architecture designs that effectively thwart cache-based side channel attacks, including new attacks proposed in the dissertation.”

Honorable Mention: Joseph Earl McMahan, UCSB, for “The ZARF Architecture for Recursive Functions”. Advisor: Timothy Sherwood
Award citation: “For introducing a novel approach to software verification and cross-stack hardware design for critical systems by rethinking instruction-set architectures from a mathematical perspective.”


Winner: Yu-Hsin Chen, MIT, for “Architecture Design for Highly Flexible and Energy-Efficient Deep Neural Network Accelerators.” Advisors: Vivienne Sze and Joel Emer
Award citation: “For contributions to efficient and flexible dataflows and architectures for deep learning acceleration.”

Honorable Mention: Alexandros Daglis, EPFL, for “Network-Compute Co-Design for Distributed In-Memory Computing.” Advisors: Babak Falsafi and Edouard Bugnion
Award citation: “For contributions to network-centric server architecture for in-memory datacenter services.”


Winner: Aasheesh Kolli, University of Michigan, for “Architecting Persistent Memory Systems.” Advisor: Thomas Wenisch
Award citation: “For contributions to the semantics and implementation of programming models for persistent memory systems.”

Honorable Mention: Matt Sinclair, UIUC, for “Efficient Coherence and Consistency for Specialized Memory Hierarchies.” Advisor: Sarita Adve
Award citation: “For enabling an efficient global address space for heterogeneous systems.”

Honorable Mention: Yuhao Zhu, UT Austin, for “Energy-Efficient Mobile Web Computing.” Advisor: V.J. Reddi
Award citation: “For innovations in computer architecture, spanning hardware design, runtime orchestration, and programming language implementation, for making the Web energy-efficient.”