Seven Ph.D. students came to Georgia Tech for the Rising Stars in Computer Architecture Workshop (RISC-A) on Oct. 25. Now in its second year, the all-day event is a forum for Ph.D. candidates and post-doctoral students looking for feedback on how to join academia.
“We call it Rising Stars because we want to take the opportunity to learn about research from the top architecture students and give you advice on how to succeed in academia,” said School of Computer Science (SCS) Assistant Professor Alexandros Daglis, who co-chaired the event with School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Assistant Professor Tushar Krishna.
The workshop was co-hosted by SCS and ECE with faculty chairs providing welcomes and explaining why Tech is such a hotbed of promising computer architecture research.
“Innovation is in the DNA of everyone at Georgia Tech,” said SCS Interim Chair Mostafa Ammar. “We’re never resting on anything. We do celebrate our achievement, but we’re always looking to improve.”
ECE Associate Chair for Research Justin Romberg also credited Tech’s influence with its location.
“We’re nestled here right in the heart of Midtown Atlanta, the economic capital of the South,” he said. “The city has dumped a lot of resources into things like startup incubators, and there is a budding culture of entrepreneurship here, too.”
Yet the focus of the day was student research. Students from four top-ranked universities — including University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and Princeton — came to give talks on cutting-edge computer architecture research like security and computing in the post-Moore era. More than 20 Georgia Tech faculty and students provided suggestions on how the students could make their research more accessible to stand out in the academic job market.
The workshop also offered a candid faculty panel on what life in academia is like, from interviewing for jobs to various faculty duties. The four panelists were SCS Assistant Professor SCS Assistant Professor Paul Pearce, SCS Professor Vivek Sarkar, ECE Associate Professor Alenka Zajic, and ECE Professor Arijit Raychowdhury.
Pearce gave tips on how to apply for teaching positions strategically.
“You will need to be your own advocate, but you will need to find people who can be your advocate and let you know which schools might be the best fit for you or who they know there,” he said.
Sarkar spoke about how to pick the right department to join.
“Think about the research problem you want to work on and where to find the best people to collaborate with,” he said.
Student participants found the event useful for getting ahead on the job search.
“I learned a lot from your feedback and from interacting with everyone at the workshop, and I think it is a great initiative and effort from Georgia Tech,” said Gokul Ravi, a student from University of Wisconsin-Madison.