Students claim first place in Computer-Aided Design competition
Julia Sullivan, ECE ILLINOIS
4/3/2018 2:41:07 PM
Their sacrifices paid off when they won first place in the prestigious competition during ACM Special Interest Group on Design Automation (SIGDA)'s International Conference on Computer Aided Design (ICCAD). They are the only domestic first place team in the last five years of the competition. Top honors have gone to teams from National Taiwan University and National Chiao Tung University in 2011-16.
Lin, an ECE ILLINOIS PhD student, had never competed in the CADathlon before. Huang, also a PhD student at the time, had competed previously in 2014. He and Haitong Tian (PhD '16) won second place that year.
Lin and Huang said deciding how to divide the work was a vital part of their strategy. They took turns at the single computer they were allotted during the competition. Time management was crucial, as they looked at the six problems in the areas of circuit design and analysis, physical design, logic and high-level synthesis, system design and analysis, functional verification, and future technologies. They chose to tackle the problems that seemed most achievable first, but emphasized the importance of knowing when to abandon a problem and devote resources to another.
What's next for the winners? Lin continues his graduate studies, and Huang received his PhD last December. He continues to conduct research with their adviser, including tackling problems like simplifying programming for computer clusters.