Undergrad Architecture Mentoring (uArch) Workshop

Worldwide Virtual Event, Full-Day Workshop
June 18, 2021 in conjunction with ISCA 2021

The uArch workshop is open to all ISCA registrants. You are welcome to attend!


[June 19th] Thanks so much to everyone participating in uArch -- and a huge thank you to our insightful speakers and panelists!

Also, a great big thank you to all of our "office hours" mentors: Xuehai Qian, Prashant Nair, Jishen Zhao, Matt Sinclair, Timothy M. Pinkston, Gennady Pekhimenko, Iris Bahar, Adwait Jog, Dimitrios Skarlatos, Yuhao Zhu, Scott Beamer, Wen-mei Hwu, Ashish Venkat, Daniel Wong, Xun Jian, Mohammad Shahrad, Alaa Alameldeen, Mark Jeffrey, Hyeran Jeon, Jonathan Balkind, Dan Sorin, Kevin Skadron, Adrian Sampson, Jakub Szefer, David Black-Schaffer, Boris Grot, Alberto Ros, Rachata Ausavarungnirun, Heiner Litz, Hung-Wei Tseng, Arkaprava Basu, Vijay Nagarajan, Elaheh Sadredini, Jongse Park, Jae W. Lee, Jian Huang, James C. Hoe, Ulya Karpuzcu, Trevor E. Carlson, Rakesh Kumar, Rajiv Gupta, David Kaeli, Antonio Gonzalez, Karu Sankaralingam, Mengjia Yan, Rajeev Balasubramonian, Dan Zhang, Arrvindh Shriraman, Natalie Enright Jerger, Murali Annavaram, Daniel Sanchez, Sandhya Dwarkadas, and Babak Falsafi

We did not expect such a huge volume of support from the community! This let us reach a large number of students, and we really appreciate all of your efforts!

[May 28]
115 students have been selected for funding and participation in the uArch office hours. All other applicants and ISCA registrants are still welcome to attend the keynotes and panels.

[April 23]
The application deadline has been extended to May 14. Apply here!


The workshop program for Friday June 18, 2021 is as follows (all times are in EDT):

Morning Session

9:00 am - 9:15 am Welcome

9:15 am - 10:00 am Keynote 1

Speaker: Asim Hussain, Microsoft

Title: Green software engineering: building carbon-efficient and carbon-aware applications

Abstract: Green Software Engineering is an emerging discipline at the intersection of climate science, software, hardware, electricity markets and data centre design. By grasping the first principles of Green Software Engineering, you can learn how to build, deploy and manage green applications in any application domain, industry, organization, programming language or framework.

Bio: Asim is a developer, author and speaker with over 20 years experience working for organizations such as the European Space Agency, Google and now Microsoft, where he is the Green Cloud Advocacy Lead. He's also the executive director and chairperson of the Green Software Foundation, co-organizer of climateaction.tech and a host on theclimatefix.com podcast.

10 am - 10:50 am Panel 1: Applying to Grad School

Hyesoon Kim


Georgia Institute of Technology

Samira Khan

Assistant Professor

University of Virginia

Russell Joseph

Associate Professor

Northwestern University

Onur Mutlu


ETH Zurich

Trevor Carlson

Assistant Professor

National University of Singapore

10:50 am - 11:00 am Break
11:00 am - 12:00 pm Office Hour 1 (Meetings with Professors)

Afternoon Session

12:00 pm - 12:15 pm Break

12:15 pm - 1:00 pm Keynote 2

Speaker: Lisa Hsu, Microsoft

Title: What is Computer Architecture?

Abstract: What is Computer Architecture? Much like building architecture, where there are many questions to consider - is it an apartment building, is it a single-family home, how many bathrooms does it have, what is the budget? Computer architecture has similar questions and constraints, and with constantly evolving technologies and materials, there is always something new and interesting to think about.

Bio: Dr. Lisa Hsu has a BS in Electrical Engineering from Princeton University and an MS and PhD in Computer Science from the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor. She enjoys most sitting at the intersection of research and product – doing things for the first time (but ideally not only) time. Her path has taken her from AMD Research and Qualcomm Research to her current role at Microsoft in Azure, where she is currently a Principal Engineer working on strategic datacenter initiatives. She is a Senior Member of the IEEE, on the WICARCH organizing committee, and holds 15+ patents. She is also the co-host of the Computer Architecture Podcast.

1:00 pm - 1:50 pm Panel 2: Life in Grad School

Esha Choukse



Akshitha Sriraman

PhD Student

University of Michigan

Poulami Das

PhD Student

Georgia Institute of Technology

Elba Garza

PhD Student

Texas A&M University

Muhammad Adnan

PhD Student

University of British Columbia

TianCheng Xu

PhD Student

Rice University

1:50 pm - 2 pm Break
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Office Hour 2 (Meetings with Professors)


The Undergraduate Architecture Mentoring (uArch) Workshop is designed to introduce undergraduate and early Master's students to research and career opportunities in the field of computer architecture in particular and graduate school lifestyle and survival skills in general. The program will include technical sessions that cover past, current and future research directions in computer architecture, mentoring sessions that cover how to apply to graduate school and how to navigate the architecture research landscape effectively, and networking sessions that create opportunities for students to interact with their peers and established architects in academia and industry.


The central theme of this workshop is to attract students who are interested in graduate school in computer architecture. To this end, uArch will likely include:

  • The Route to Graduate School: Students will learn how to apply to graduate school, how to find their research interests, how to talk with a potential advisor, etc.

  • Life at Graduate School: The workshop will include keynote talks from academic and industry leaders about how to thrive at graduate school.

  • Computer Architecture Research Landscape: The workshop will include technical sessions covering history, current state-of-the-art research and challenging problems that are left unsolved.

  • Meet an "Architect in Process": As part of the workshop, attendees will be paired with students who are pursuing a Ph.D. degree in computer architecture to hear their first-hand experience about research and life at graduate school and build a mentor-mentee relationship.

  • Ask an Architect: The workshop will include a panel of established architects in the industry and academia from whom students can seek career advice.


Many faculty mentors are participating! Selected applicants can meet with professors from:

Brown University, Carnegie Mellon University, College of William and Mary, Cornell University, Duke University, EPFL, Google Brain, IISc Bangalore, KAIST

KMUTNB, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, National University of Singapore, Northeastern University, Ohio State University, Polytechnic University of Catalonia, Rochester, Seoul National University, Simon Fraser University, U. Minnesota, UCSC, Univ. of California - Merced, Univ. of California - Riverside, Univ. of California - San Diego, Univ. of California - Santa Barbara, Univ. of California - Santa Cruz, Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of British Columbia, University of Edinburgh, University of Murcia, University of Rochester, University of Southern California, University of Toronto, University of Utah, University of Virginia, University of Wisconsin - Madison, Uppsala University, Virginia Tech, Yale University


This workshop targets undergrads, who typically do not have advisors or departmental support to attend conferences. Early Master's students are also eligible to apply, as well as recent graduates who are currently in industry but are planning to apply to graduate school. Given the virtual format of the conference, funding this year will cover the conference/workshop registration.

All undergraduate and Master's students are invited to apply, but priority will be given to students who will finish their undergraduate degree in 2022 or 2023. Applicants will be reviewed by a panel, with factors influencing the decision including year in school, statement of interest, and membership in underrepresented groups in computer architecture (e.g., gender, race, ability, LGBTQ status).

We will fund as many students as possible. Note that funding may not be available for students from U.S.-sanctioned countries, but all students are welcome to attend.

Application Form: To apply to the workshop, fill out the form here: https://forms.gle/MFLEWpeRb12XR6V77.

Note for women undergraduate and graduate students for additional funding: ACM-W provides support for women undergraduate and graduate students in Computer Science and related programs to attend research conferences. The application deadline is April 15 for conferences taking place in June—July 2021. For more information and to apply visit here.

[Update: May 28]
Thanks all for applying! 115 students have been selected for funding and participation in the uArch office hours, hailing from all over the world (more info on right).

All other applicants and ISCA registrants are still welcome to attend the talks and panels. We will consider accepting more students for the office hours if more slots open up.

We look forward to seeing you all at the workshop!

Important Dates

Application Deadline:
May 14, 2021 (extended)

May 28, 2021

Workshop Date:
June 18, 2021

Organizing Committee

Newsha Ardalani, Research Scientist, Facebook AI
R. Iris Bahar, Professor, Brown University
Divya Mahajan, Researcher, Microsoft
Abdulrahman Mahmoud, Postdoctoral Researcher, Harvard University
Srilatha (Bobbie) Manne, Principal Engineer, Microsoft
Tony Nowatzki, Assistant Professor, University of California, Los Angeles
Lena Olson, Software Engineer, Google
Joshua San Miguel, Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Common Questions

  1. Who can apply? Because the workshop is partly focused on informing students about graduate studies in computer architecture and in applying to grad school, we expect that the students who will benefit most from it will be in their second to last year of undergraduate studies. However, the workshop is open to all interested attendees.

  2. Can I attend without funding? The workshop is open to everyone. If you have an alternate funding source, we encourage you to directly register for the workshop when the conference registration opens. However, only selected applicants will be scheduled for "office hours" meetings with professors.

  3. Advice for attending the first conference? Our answers to some frequently asked questions.

  4. How can we sponsor uArch? Please contact us at isca2021.uarch@gmail.com