Grad Student Profile: Anita Lungu

From the Fall 2008 issue of Threads

Anita Lungu joined Duke’s Department of Computer Science in Fall 2004, after completing her undergraduate education at the University of Craiova, Romania. She is currently pursuing her PhD degree in the area of computer architecture under the supervision of her advisor, Dan Sorin.

Anita Lungu

Lungu’s research interests lie at the intersection of computer architecture and formal verification techniques. The motivation of her work is the challenge of verifying that increasingly complex processors are functionally correct in all situations. Lungu addresses this challenge by considering verification effort to be a primary design constraint and proposing processor design techniques specifically targeted at decreasing this verification effort.

Using model checking and theorem proving techniques, Lungu explored various processor design aspects—such as the organization of caches, pipelines, and translation lookaside buffers—to identify which designs contribute disproportionately to the verification effort. Based on her observations, Lungu developed design guidelines for minimizing verification effort. This work represented her Masters Project which was given the departmental Outstanding MS Thesis Award in May 2007.

This work on microprocessor design for verification was extended in a collaboration between Duke and Pradip Bose’s group at IBM’s TJ Watson Research Center. Lungu spent her 2007 and 2008 summers at IBM extending the scope of her research to multicore processor designs. Her project proposed designs for verification in the area of dynamic voltage and frequency scaling power management techniques. She evaluated tradeoffs between verification effort and other established metrics such as performance and power consumption, and she identified better points in the design space. As a result of her achievements at IBM, Lungu was awarded an IBM PhD Scholarship for the 2008-2009 academic year.

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