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UC Merced's 40th CAREER Award Funds Computer Efficiency Research

March 13, 2024
Professor Hyeran Jeon is pictured with her MoCA lab group.
Hyeran Jeon works with the MoCA lab group.

Professor Hyeran Jeon has received a CAREER award for her research into computer efficiency.

She is the 40th researcher from UC Merced to earn a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

CAREER awards are among the NSF's most prestigious awards. They are given through the Faculty Early Career Development Program to recognize untenured faculty members as teacher-scholars. Early-career faculty members are selected based on three factors: the strength of their research proposals; their potential to serve as academic role models in research and education; and their leadership in their field and organizations.

Jeon will receive just under $500,000 over the next five years for the project "Building Scalable and Reliable Composable Computer Architectures."

The project is aimed at improving communications and memory components in computers, and scaling that performance. Jeon and her team work to continue the performance scaling of Moore's law, which found several components in integrated circuits would double every year, in the post-Moore era by enabling efficient communications among computing and memory components.

"Due to physical limitations of transistor technology and immense performance demands of emerging workloads, computing systems become more heterogeneous and fragmented," Jeon said. "Performance now is highly determined by efficient interfaces among them. We will tackle unique challenges in highly heterogeneous and composable computing architectures."

Jeon and her MoCA lab focus on energy-efficient, reliable and secure computer architecture and systems design.

"The proposal couldn't be written without the help from my super talented and hard-working students," she said. "It was especially developed based on the initial discussions with my student Yuan Feng."

Jeon has been with UC Merced since 2020.

Each CAREER award proposal includes an educational outreach.

Jeon's research will be included in undergraduate and graduate courses as well as K-12 outreach programs.

"I plan to integrate the research outcomes to my computer architecture courses in both undergraduate and graduate levels," she said. "Various accelerators and highly scalable memory systems will be explored in the revised curriculum."

Jeon said she also is planning to work through channels such as UC Merced's CalTeach program to expand the reach of her research.

"I think this award is a great encouragement from the research community," she said. "We are excited to continue our journey to make computer architecture more scalable."