The Michigan Engineer News Center

Nilmini Abeyratne selected for the Lipschutz, Ayers Host and Olcott Smith Award

Her research focuses on computer architecture as it applies to high performance computing, supercomputers, memory, and interconnects.| Short Read
EnlargeNilmini Abeyratne
IMAGE:  Nilmini Abeyratne

The Rackham Graduate School has selected CSE graduate student Nilmini Abeyratne for the Susan Lipschutz, Margaret Ayers Host and Anna Olcott Smith Award.

Nilmini is advised by Professors Trevor Mudge and Ron Dreslinski. Her research focuses on computer architecture as it applies to high performance computing, supercomputers, memory, and interconnects.

Today’s supercomputers are built from the state-of-the-art components to solve the most computationally intensive problems in the world. Building the next generation of exascale supercomputers that can carry out 1018 floating point operations per second would require extracting 50 times more performance than the current fastest supercomputer in the United States. With Moore’s Law creeping to an end, the exascale computing challenge requires fundamentally re-thinking the way supercomputers are designed. To contribute towards this goal, Abeyratne has developed a new on-chip network topology that scales to 1000 cores on a single chip. She also created a checkpoint/restart framework based on commodity DRAM and flash memory platforms to achieve resiliency against failures in supercomputers.

Success of Women.

Abeyratne was selected for this award for her contributions towards the success of women and her drive to increase the number of women in science and engineering. She served on the founding team of U-M’s CS KickStart, a camp that introduces undergraduate freshman women to computer science. In just six short months, she helped organize the 1-week summer camp where 21 students learned how to program and met computer science faculty and industry engineers. The first camp session was a success and it has led to useful discussions between professors to improve the way in which introductory computer science classes are taught at Michigan.

In addition to her work with CS KickStart, she has also participated in ECSEL’s mentoring program to mentor new female graduate students.

Recipients of the Lipschutz, Ayers Host and Olcott Smith award have demonstrated exceptional scholarly achievement, a sense of social responsibility and an interest in the success of women in the academic community.

Nilmini Abeyratne
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The electrons absorb laser light and set up “momentum combs” (the hills) spanning the energy valleys within the material (the red line). When the electrons have an energy allowed by the quantum mechanical structure of the material—and also touch the edge of the valley—they emit light. This is why some teeth of the combs are bright and some are dark. By measuring the emitted light and precisely locating its source, the research mapped out the energy valleys in a 2D crystal of tungsten diselenide. Credit: Markus Borsch, Quantum Science Theory Lab, University of Michigan.

Mapping quantum structures with light to unlock their capabilities

Rather than installing new “2D” semiconductors in devices to see what they can do, this new method puts them through their paces with lasers and light detectors. | Medium Read