Vasudevan wins IEEE CEDA Early Career Award


Daniel Dexter, ECE ILLINOIS

Assistant Professor Shobha Vasudevan has made a major impact in her field in a short amount of time.

Shobha Vasudevan
Shobha Vasudevan
The IEEE Council of Electronic Design Automation (CEDA) recently presented Vasudevan with the Early Career Award “for outstanding contributions to design verification including assertion generation and coverage analysis." The Early Career Award annually recognizes a single individual who has made substantial contributions to the area of EDA. The selection is among nominated assistant and associate professors, as well as industrial researchers within the first eight years of their careers.

“I am glad that the paths that I decided to explore were fruitful,” Vasudevan said. “A great team of students and trust in one's intuition is what it took for the ideas to be realized.”

Vasudevan is best known for developing the verification software GoldMine, which has been used in major companies such as IBM, Qualcomm, AMD and, Texas Instruments. This software helps automate a manual, difficult, and slow part of verification, a process that ensures there are no bugs in the product.

Vasudevan has recently branched into analog and mixed signal verification, in which she and her students are working on a circuit simulation technology that has the potential to revolutionize the design process of these chips. She has high hopes for the future of this research because of the prevalence of analog and mixed signal designs in every device.

“We bring to the table certain core technologies,” Vasudevan said of her research group. “Our algorithms are versatile and general in their applicability. My intention is to take them beyond the applications so far."

She credits her students for much of the success she has had so far in her career. Vasudevan encourages her students to try "high risk, high impact" ideas, since she believes that creative energy is best channeled that way.

Vasudevan will carry this message with her as she branches out beyond analytics in hardware and software into Big Data analysis.

She is collaborating with professors in the Illinois Institute of Genomic Biology on applying analytics toward studying genomic data. She is also working with other collaborators on security of enterprise log data.

“So far, all our successes have come from creatively combining model based approaches with data-driven approaches,” Vasudevan said. “We have seen this combination work magic in hardware verification, software test, hardware security, automotive reliability, and embedded system performance. I am very excited to bring these algorithms into analysis of large-scale data. This is my dream for the foreseeable future.”

As a younger member of the faculty, Vasudevan said her senior colleagues in ECE ILLINOIS create an environment where the focus is on generating a worldwide impact. She feels privileged to have learned from individuals with uncompromising standards of excellence.

“All of us are focusing on futuristic ideas, and on research that is going to make a difference,” Vasudevan said.  “We owe that to the atmosphere in this department and to the senior colleagues who have made that the norm. They taught us how to think like that.”