Agrawal wins Intel PhD Fellowship

7/22/2013 Mark Pajor, ECE ILLINOIS

ECE's Aditya Agrawal has won an Intel PhD Fellowship for the 2013-14 academic year for his research into low-power micro-architectures and memory subsystems.

Written by Mark Pajor, ECE ILLINOIS

ECE PhD student Aditya Agrawal has won an Intel PhD Fellowship for the 2013-14 academic year. The fellowship, for outstanding graduate students conducting research in computer science, engineering, social science and other fields relating to high-tech computing technologies, includes a $24,000 stipend, a travel award, and tuition. Recipients also work with an Intel technical mentor who is an established leader in the field. Fifteen fellowships were awarded nationwide.

Aditya Binodkumar Agrawal
Aditya Binodkumar Agrawal

Agrawal, of Bombay, India, is a fourth-year ECE PhD student, and is working on low-power micro-architectures and memory subsystems under the guidance of CS professor Josep Torrellas. Agrawal’s research focuses on reducing the power consumption of computer devices, designing computer architectures that are built from the ground up for energy efficiency.

Professor Torrellas said the fellowship will motivate Agrawal to work even harder to make his work relevant to future Intel machines. “He is an outstanding researcher who is very dedicated to his work,” Torrellas said. “He has also been working with Intel researchers for two to three years.” Torrellas explains that together, Agrawal and Intel are “organizing a 1000-core chip that is the building block of the machine and main memory for the system.” The fellowship is very competitive and a great honor for a PhD student. “[Agrawal] and I are very grateful to Intel.”

When Agrawal found out at the end of May that he had been awarded the fellowship, he said he was completely surprised. “I know many smart people over there,” he said, and he is excited to continue working with them.  He is particularly eager that his Intel technical mentor is someone he’s already been working with in his internships.

Agrawal earned his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering, but he has expanded his interests to include software and computer architecture. He believes that researching computer architectures allows him to use his abilities to the greatest effect. According to Agrawal, there is a good match between his and Intel’s research, since his interests in computer energy efficiency complement Intel’s business interests.

An additional benefit for Intel PhD fellows is the opportunity to travel to the Intel PhD Fellowship Forum, which is the primary purpose of the included travel grant. “The travel grant is very important for meeting with other people in the field,” Agrawal said. Attending the forum will provide him with the opportunity to network with fellow PhD Fellowship winners, technical leaders, and top Intel executives.

“Intel is extremely selective, granting fellowships only to the topmost students in the field,” said Ken Vickery, the director of external fellowships in the Graduate College at Illinois. With this award, Agrawal is, “solidifying [his position] at the very forefront of computer technologies research worldwide.”

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This story was published July 22, 2013.