M. Ceylan Morgul, a Ph.D. student of electrical engineering, advanced his research on computer memory as a Design Automation Conference 2020 young student fellow.

Morgul presented his current research on active recovery for flash memory. Flash memory is a type of computer chip to store and transfer data between a personal computer and digital devices, found in USB flash drives, MP3 players and digital cameras. The reliability of flash memory decreases with usage over time.

Whereas many studies address recovery of flash memory with passive resting and temperature, Morgul is developing active techniques that utilize electrical phenomena such as voltage/current to increase the chip’s lifetime. Morgul earned a young fellows poster presentation award; conference organizers selected 21 out of 287 submissions for this honor. 

The Design Automation Conference organizers assigned the young student fellows into teams to foster collaboration. Morgul served as a team leader, organizing weekly meetings and moderating the team’s virtual poster session. “The experience much improved my communication skills for technical subjects,” Morgul said. He continues to connect with a teammate who is working on a similar subject, realizing DAC’s objective to help students make lasting bonds with people they might not have met before.

Mircea R. Stan, Virginia Microelectronics Consortium Professor at the University of Virginia, is Morgul’s advisor. Morgul met Stan through a summer research program at UVA while working on his M.S. at Istanbul Technical University, advised by Mustafa Altun. Altun and Stan guided Morgul’s research project on crossbar arrays and co-authored Morgul’s paper, Integrated Synthesis Methodology for Crossbar Arrays, published in the Proceedings of the 14th IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Nanoscale Architectures.

“My father and uncle are engineers and had a positive influence on me. Mircea also had a positive influence; UVA was my one and only choice for Ph.D. education in the U.S. mostly because of him,” Morgul said. Morgul plans to remain in or close to academe throughout his career.