Every year, the Center for Embedded Systems and Critical Applications (CESCA) celebrates student accomplishments over the previous year on CESCA Day. This years CESCA Day took place on Saturday April 27th, at Claytor Lake State Park. Against the picturesque and relaxing background of the waterfront marina and Spring greenery, 45 CESCA faculty and students gathered to listen to stimulating presentations, discuss research and educational achievements, and get better acquainted with their fellow CESCA members over food, refreshments, and entertainment. After an introduction by CESCA Director Dr. Yaling Yang and words of encouragement by ECE Department Chairman Dr. Luke Lester, the keynote presentation Mythic: Pioneering Analog compute at the edge to overcome the end of digital scaling was delivered by Dr. Michael Henry, who received his Ph.D. from Virginia Tech in 2011 (advised by current CESCA member Dr. Leyla Nazhandali), and is the founder and CEO of Mythic, Inc., a start-up in California and Texas which builds novel chips designed to facilitate artificial intelligence.
There were 20 student poster presentations, presented in two groups of 10 posters each, during morning and afternoon sessions. Prior to each poster sessions, students introduced their work through a three-minute elevator speech, which is designed to succinctly promote their work, and invite viewers to learn more at the poster. Based on faculty voting, Keyvan Ramezanpour and Yuan Yao both received awards for Best Poster Presentation (1st-place tie), based on their respective presentations, Accelerating Fault Attacks with Deep Learning, and Gate-level Leakage Assessment: Pinpointing Side-Channel Leakage at Design Time. Additionally, Yecheng Zhao received the award for Best Elevator Speech for his presentation Optimization Techniques for Time-Critical Cyber Physical Systems.
Each year, CESCA awards an Outstanding Student Award based on achievements in high-impact journals, conference, and research presentations. This years award went to Qingyu Liu, who is advised by Dr. Haibo Zeng, and who will receive his Ph.D. in May with a thesis title "Delay-aware multi-path routing in a multi-hop network: algorithms and applications."
Reflecting on the event, Dr. Yang remarks all CESCA faculty, postdoctoral researchers, and students efforts make CESCA Day such a success. This annual celebration of CESCAs past achievements and demonstration of our academic and personal developments helps to create an environment of mutual cooperation and nurturing among the various CESCA faculty and their respective research groups. Dr. Yang and all CESCA members look forward to CESCA Day 2020, while CESCA continues striving for excellence in research and education, as well as in its funding portfolio, graduation of students, and publications.