Computer Engineering Program Qualifying Exam


The objective of the qualifying examination is to assess the student’s potential to begin doctoral-level research. The latter requires the student to demonstrate the following in their primary research area and two secondary research areas:

  • an ability to state a problem clearly, provide its motivation, and the requirements for a solution.
  • an ability to determine if a solution is correct.
  • an ability to assess to what extent a (presumably correct) solution meets the requirements (solves the problem).
  • an ability to describe how a problem and its solution fits into the big picture (and to understand the big picture).
  • an ability to communicate effectively (both in writing and speaking) and to answer questions relating to the problem and its solution and the broader research context.

Tools to assist the student:

 

Exam Dates: August 12-16, 2019

July 10, 2019 -- Declare intent to take the Qualifying Exam and state your selections of primary and secondary areas. (Please submit by email to compe@virginia.edu.)

August 1, 2018 -- Student will submit a 3-page written report on the Type-1 paper to Prof. Dugan by email.

Day of the Exam -- Provide the Director of CpE with a partially complete PhD Examination Report and Program Specific Qualifying Exam Report form at the time of the exam. These forms will be completed by the committee and submitted to the CpE office after the exam.

The areas identified in Computer Engineering Graduate Handbook for the qualifiers are as follows:

  1. Computer architecture and high-performance computing
  2. VLSI, System on chip; low power design
  3. Distributed systems; Dependable and Secure computing; software engineering
  4. Cyber-physical systems; Embedded, Autonomous, Mobile and Robotic Systems
  5. Machine Learning; NLP; Vision, Image and Signal Processing
  6. Networks and Internet; Internet of Things; Cloud computing

 

NOTE: Please read the handbook carefully and note the committee’s expectations. The committee will both “assess the student’s potential to begin doctoral-level research,” as well as examine fundamental understanding by asking questions on “related topics.” Therefore, students should not only understand the problem and solution presented in the paper (and demonstrate the “abilities” listed in the handbook), but also be responsible for background material (which is *not* limited to references in the paper) for the question-answer session.

 

 

List of Papers for the August 2019 Exam Offering

 

 

Computer architecture and high-performance computing  

Neural Cache: Bit-Serial In-Cache Acceleration of Deep Neural Networks, C. Eckert, X. Wang, J. Wang, A. Subramaniyan, R. Iyery, D. Sylvester,  D. Blaauw, & R. Das ISCA 2018.

 

VLSI, SoC, Low Power Design

"FPGA-SPICE: A Simulation-Based Architecture Evaluation Framework for FPGAs", Xifan Tang ; Edouard Giacomin ; Giovanni De Micheli ; Pierre-Emmanuel Gaillardon, IEEE Transactions on VLSI, Publication Year: 2019,

 

Cyber-physical systems; Embedded, Autonomous, Mobile and Robotic Systems 

SnapLoc: an ultra-fast UWB-based indoor localization system for an unlimited number of tags. In Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Information Processing in Sensor Networks (IPSN '19). ACM,  Bernhard Großwindhager, Michael Stocker, Michael Rath, Carlo Alberto Boano, and Kay Römer. New York, NY, USA, 2019.

 

Distributed systems; Dependable and Secure computing; software engineering​

“Distributed Attack Detection in a Water Treatment Plant: Method and Case Study", S. Adepu & A. Mathur,” IEEE Transactions on Dependable & Secure Systems, October 2018.

 

Networks and Internet; Internet of Things; Cloud computing​

"Polymorphic radios: a new design paradigm for ultra-low power communication".  Mohammad Rostami, Jeremy Gummeson, Ali Kiaghadi, and Deepak Ganesan. 2018.  In Proceedings of the 2018 Conference of the ACM Special Interest Group on Data Communication (SIGCOMM '18). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 

 

Machine Learning; NLP; Vision, Image and Signal Processing​

“Threat of adversarial attacks on deep learning in computer vision: a survey,” Naveed Akhtar & Ajmal Mian, IEEE Transactions, Vol. 6, 2018.

 

 

The Computer Engineering Committee Members are:

Joanne Bechta Dugan, Chair
Brad Campbell
Samira Khan
​Mircea Stan