The NVSL has two goals: To produce world-class systems and architecture researchers and to be a world leader in understanding how memory technologies will impact future computing systems. We are always looking for new students, post-docs, visiting researchers, and staff to help realize these goals.
This page describes how the NVSL goes about meeting these goals and described some of our success stories that compliment the papers write and systems that we build. The rest of the web site provides on those aspects of our work. More information and the NVSL's people, projects, sponsors, and news available via the tabs above.
We like building systems that involve hardware, software, and the boundary between them. Recent projects have re-architected the Linux IO stack, built custom computing systems from FPGAs, constructed the first publically demonstrated phase change memory solid-state disk, identified weaknesses in SSD security, and help set international standards for data security in SSDs. These projects have lead to many publications in top venues as well as popular press articles in EETimes, MIT Technology Review, Engadget, Slashdot, and the New York Times.
You can read about many of these systems by following the "Projects" link above, but the work you'll find there represents just the beginning of what you might work on as lab member.
We are currently working distributed systems, high-performance computing, "Big Data," scalable databases, "NoSQL" data management systems, virtualization, processor memory hierarchies, and intelligent storage. We will also be looking beyond non-volatile memories to identify and exploit other emerging computing technologies.
But that's just the current plan... The best projects in the lab come out of solving problems that our students are passionate about, so as new students arrive they inevitably alter our research trajectory. If it's cool and makes for good research, we want to build it.
It takes more than building great systems to be a great systems researcher. As part of working in the NVSL, you'll also develop the other skills you need. These including writing papers, giving talks, and framing research questions. These aspects of your grad school experience are just as important as doing great research -- telling the world about your work is essential to having impact on how computer systems are built in the real world.Our approach to training graduate students is reflected in the awards and honors our students have received over the years. For instance, Michael Wei recently received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, Arup De is a Lawerence Scholar, and Laura Grupp was honored as a Microsoft Research Graduate Woman's Scholar. Todor Mollov, was a finalist for the CRA's Undergraduate Research Award.
Collaborations and Connections
The NVSL is part of the UCSD Computer Science and Engineering Department, one of the top CS departments in the country. At UCSD, we work with the Center for Network Systems, the San Diego Supercomputing Center, and the Center for Magnetic Recording Research, and we have also collaborated with researchers at Microsoft Research, UCLA, Cornell, University of Virginia, and the University of Michigan. You can read more about some of these collaborations below.
The NVSL is a partner in C-Far (The Center for Future Architecture Research) and Steven is a member of the center's executive committee and head of the center's efforts to develop new storage architectures. C-Far involves 26 faculty at 16 schools around the country including MIT, Berkeley, Stanford, and Harvard. C-Far's mission is to support the design of the next generation of computers that will enable applications such as computer vision, speech recognition, enhanced graphics, and “big data” analysis. The NVSL is leading the way in integrating new storage technologies into those systems.
Center for Network Systems
The Center for Network Systems is one of the world's leaders in modeling network traffic and topology, network security (including botnets, spam, and the underground economy), data center architecture, energy efficiency, thermal and energy management in compute infrastructure and wireless devices, “cloud” computing, data center networking, wireless system performance and diagnosis, and database organization for unstructured (“XML”) data.
As storage becomes faster and systems become more tightly integrated, the line between storage, networking, and other system components is blurring, giving rise to an amazing array of challenging research problems. The NVSL and CNS are working to meet those challenges.
San Diego Supercomputing Center
The San Diego Supercomputing Center is blazing trails in how to use non-volatile memories high-performance and data-centric computing systems. Steve helped architect the Flash Gordon supercomputer, the first of a new class of the high-performance systems that use solid-state drives to enhance memory capacity, improve performance, and reduce energy consumption. The NVSL is working SDSC to understand how to apply SSDs effectively and demonstrate their effectiveness on key applications and social network analysis, web indexing, and genome assembly.
The NVSL's goal is shape how computers build and use storage technologies, and we partner with a wide range of companies to help us achieve that goal. Our interactions go beyond the list of NVSL sponsors to include internships and permanent job placements. Working with these companies gives us insight into what problems industry thinks is important, but also lets us advocate for our vision of the future.
The most important goal of the NVSL is to produce great students and place them in excellent jobs. We have been very successful in this regard. Joel Coburn and Alex Eisner recently took jobs and Google, Amin Akel is working with phase change memory pioneer Micron, and Todor is working for a hot, stealth-mode SSD startup in Silicon valley.
We also work hard to place our students in top internships to broaden their experience and give them an idea of what it's like working industry. This summer, NVSL students will be interns at FusionIO, Hitachi Global Storage, and Teradata. In recent years students have also gone to Microsoft research, Google, and Samsung.