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A Great Partnership Yields Prize-Winning Research: Grove School Student Takes Top Honors at ACM
Start: 07/08/08
End: 07/31/10

Backer and ZahranAssistant Professor of Computer Engineering Mohamed Zahran is bursting with pride. His mentee, Jerry B. Backer, has placed among the top three in the undergraduate category of the Association for Computing Machinery’s Student Research Competition, a prestigious nationwide contest sponsored by Microsoft Research.

Engaging undergraduates in research is one of the hallmarks of the Grove School. To do this, GSE recruits and retains faculty members who are both experts in their fields and committed teachers. This leads to mentoring relationships which result in research excellence.

Jerry’s prize-winning project, “Towards a Bandwidth Friendly Memory System,” is the fruit of just such a partnership with Dr. Zahran. “Our research has to do with the bandwidth requirement between the microprocessor and the main memory,” explains Dr. Zahran. “The memory is almost one thousand times slower than the processor, so we need to reduce the traffic to the memory or make it friendlier. The object is to avoid contention at the memory and extensive delay. Our work concentrates on making the traffic friendlier. We give the processor a budget of allowed traffic. The processor must use this budget as wisely as possible, while not affecting the overall performance of the system.”

“Research which involves improving memory bandwidth is becoming increasingly important because in modern computers, we have more than one processor,” says Jerry Backer. “The ACM competition gave me a platform to present my work to a group of people working in the industry. Hopefully with their insight and advice, I will be able to make more progress with the project and as a research student in general.”
The Grove School of Engineering

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