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 2018

July 15, 2018 -- 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 5, 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 2018 Exam Offering

 

Computer architecture and high-performance computing

Althosff, Alric, et al. "Hiding Intermittent Information Leakage with Architectural Suport for Blinking." 

 

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

Ma, Selby, et. al.  "Drone Relays for Battery-Free Networks." SIGCOMM, 2017.

 

Distributed systems; Dependable and Secure computing; software engineering​

Racoon++: A semi-Automatic Framework for the Selfishness-Aware Design of Cooperative Systems 

 

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

Mao, Hongzi, Ravi Netravali, and Mohammad Alizadeh. "Neural adaptive video streaming with pensieve." SIGCOMM, 2017.

 

Networks and Internet; Internet of Things; Cloud computing​

Dong, Mo, et al. "PCC Vivace: Online-Learning Congestion Control." NSDI, 2018.

 

VLSI, System on chip; low power design

Vashishatha,et al. "Robust 7-nm SRAM Design on a Predictive PDK."  

 

 

The Computer Engineering Committee Members

Joanne Bechta Dugan, Chair
Brad Campbell
Haiying Shen
​Mircea Stan