"Why Tools Matter"

Todd Austin, Professor, EECS, University of Michigan

October 21st (Monday), 10:00am
Harold Frank Hall (HFH), Rm 1132 (CS Conference Room)

Capable and accessible infrastructure is an accelerant for good research, as it enables creative people to quickly and effectively explore new ideas. In this talk I will reflect upon my experiences with the SimpleScalar tool set, an open-source simulation infrastructure that has been employed by more than 5,500 published papers. I will use SimpleScalar as a case for why more researchers should release their tools, and I will share with you my best advice for building and distributing research infrastructure. Finally, I will speculate on the future of computer engineering research tools, and suggest where budding infrastructure hackers might want to spend their efforts.

About Todd Austin:

photo of todd austin Todd Austin is a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. His research interests include computer architecture, robust and secure system design, hardware and software verification, and performance analysis tools and techniques. Currently Todd is director of C-FAR, the Center for Future Architectures Research, a multi-university SRC/DARPA funded center that is seeking technologies to scale the performance and efficiency of future computing systems. Prior to joining academia, Todd was a Senior Computer Architect in Intel's Microcomputer Research Labs, a product-oriented research laboratory in Hillsboro, Oregon. Todd is the first to take credit (but the last to accept blame) for creating the SimpleScalar Tool Set, a popular collection of computer architecture performance analysis tools. Todd is co-author (with Andrew Tanenbaum) of the undergraduate computer architecture textbook, "Structured Computer Architecture, 6th Ed." In addition to his work in academia, Todd is founder and President of SimpleScalar LLC and co-founder of InTempo Design LLC. In 2002, Todd was a Sloan Research Fellow, and in 2007 he received the ACM Maurice Wilkes Award for "innovative contributions in Computer Architecture including the SimpleScalar Toolkit and the DIVA and Razor architectures." Todd received his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin in 1996.

Hosted by: ECE & CS Departments and Computer Engineering Program