Graduate Studies

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Graduate Research in Computer Engineering

Computer Engineering research at UCSB is multi-disciplinary and involves faculty from Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and other departments. Although students choose a home department from which to receive their degree, CE research often crosses departmental boundaries.

We are often asked about research that is being done in the field of computer engineering at UCSB. Areas of research include but are not limited to the following areas: bioinspired computing; circuit and system design; computer architecture; electronic design automation and testing; emerging technologies for computing; energy-efficient computing; nanotechnology; networking; operating systems and distributed systems; and software and languages.

Additionally, many faculty are also involved in research at many on and off-campus centers and institutions such as the on-campus California Nanosystems Institute (CNSI) and the Institute of Energy Efficiency (IEE).

See Research Overview and Areas of Research for additional helpful information about our center, news, faculty spotlights, and faculty member's research interests and groups/labs.

Grad Profile: Joseph McMahan, M.S. / Ph.D. in ECE

photo of joseph mcmahan

Hometown: Petaluma, CA
Graduate Study Area: Computer Architecture
Research Interests: architecture, formal methods, security, side channels
Advisor: Professor Tim Sherwood / ArchLab

Tell us about your research: My research has been in the intersection of formal methods and hardware design, with occasional security thrown in --- essentially, I want to build hardware systems that we can be sure about. This manifests both in new techniques for analyzing circuits and designs, and well as new architectures supporting software level reasoning.

How and why did you get into your area of research? I loved computer science as an undergraduate, but in particular I was drawn to systems and architecture. Once I was a grad student, I fell into my main project almost by accident: I attended a meeting with my advisor and a few others about a project they were starting up, and I offered my hand in helping out. Soon enough, I was the main contributor and the topic would become my PhD thesis. I've enjoyed the casual approach to research in my lab; falling into new projects is exciting and fun!

Why did you select UCSB and the ECE Department in regards to your research? It was the right combination of a highly regarded program, quality faculty, and good environment.

(More about Joseph's & other graduate student experiences...)