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Computer Engineering Qualifying Exam Information

Exam Dates: August 22, 2014


FAQ for Computer Engineering Qualifying Exam

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Tentative Dates for January Qualifying Exam


July 22, 2014 -- Declare intent to take the Qualifying Exam and state your selections of primary and secondary areas. (Please submit by email to Natalie Edwards.)

August 8, 2014 -- Student will submit a 3-page written report on the Type-1 paper to Prof. Dugan by email.

Day of the Exam -- Provide the Director of CpE with a partially complete PhD Examination Report and Program Specific Qualifying Exam Report form at the time of the exam. These forms will be completed by the committee and submitted to the CpE office after the exam.

The areas identified in Computer Engineering Graduate Handbook for the qualifiers are as follows:

  1. Computer Architecture
  2. VLSI, Switching Theory
  3. Operating Systems, Real-Time and Embedded Systems
  4. Compilers, Software Systems and Software Engineering
  5. Fault-tolerant Computing and REliability Engineering
  6. Networks, Distributed Systems and Security

NOTE: Please read the handbook carefully and note the committee’s expectations. The committee will both “assess the student’s potential to begin doctoral-level research,” as well as examine fundamental understanding by asking questions on “related topics.” Therefore, students should not only understand the problem and solution presented in the paper (and demonstrate the “abilities” listed in the handbook), but also, be responsible for background material (which is *not* limited to references in the paper) for the question-answer session.

Official List of papers for the Computer Engineering Qualifiers --To Be Announced Soon

Computer Architecture

H. Cook, M. Moreto, S. Bird, Khanh Dao, D. A. Patterson, K. Asanovic, "A Hardware Evaluation of Cache Partitioning to Improve Utilization and Energy-Efficiency while Preserving Responsiveness", in ISCA'13, Tel Aviv, Isreal, 2013, pp. 1-12.

VLSI, Switching Theory

T. Lui and M. M. Rabaey, "A 0.25 V 460 nW Asynchronous Neural Signal Processor With Inherent Leakage Suppression," in IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits, Vol. 48, No. 4, April 2013, pp. 897-906.

Operating Systems, Real-Time and Embedded Systems

A. T. Clements, M. F. Kaashoek, N. Zeldovich, R. T. Morris, and E. Kohler, "The Scalable Commutatively Rule: Designing Scalable Software for Multicore Processors," in SOSP'13, Nov. 3-5, 2013, Farmington, Pennsylvania, pp. 1-17.

Compilers, Software Systems and Software Engineering

E. Rohou, K. Williams, and D. Yuste, "Vectorization Technology to Improve Interpreter Performance," in ACM Transactions on Architecture and Code Optimization, Vol. 9, No. 4, Article 26, January 2013, pp. 26:1-26:22.

Fault-tolerant Computing and Reliability Engineering

P. Costa, M. Pasin, A. Bessani, M. Correia, "On the Performance of Byzantine Fault-Tolerant MapReduce," in IEEE Transactions on Depedable and Secure Computing, 2013, pp. 1-14.

Networks, Distributed Systems & Security

G. Malewicz, M. H. Austern, A. J. C. Bik, J. C. Dehnert, I. Horn, N. Leiser, and G. Czajkowski, "Pregel: A System for Large-Scale Graph Processing," in SIGMOD'10, June 6-11, 2010, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, pp. 135-145.


The Computer Engineering Committee Members

  • Joanne Bechta Dugan, Chair
  • Benton Calhoun
  • Marty Humphrey
  • Mary Lou Soffa


Past Qualifying Exams in Computer Engineering (to return to current page, use back button)

May 2014 Qualifying Exam Information

January 2014 Qualifying Exam Information

August 2013 Qualifying Exam Information

January 2013 Qualifying Exam Information

August 2012 Qualifying Exam Information

January 2012 -- Qualifying Exam Information

History of Qualifying Exam Information