CS 6501: Modern Computing Architectures, Spring 2024

General Information

Course Description and Prerequisites

Description: This course will cover several non-traditional and traditional computing paradigms and architectures such as graphics architectures, quantum computing, cryogenic designs, and superconducting architectures. The evaluation will be based on components such as paper presentations, reviews, semester-long projects, and class attendance (in-person), and class participation. More details can be found here.

Prerequisite(s): Background in computer organization and design is expected. Background on other mentioned topics (e.g., graphics, quantum, cryogenic, superconducting) is not expected.

Breadth area coverage: Computer Systems

Grade Distribution

Class Attendance (In-person)


During the papers presentations, instructor will assign scribing duties to 1-2 students. Their job would be to summarize the class discussions and come up with a document that can be shared with the entire class.

Paper Critiques

Deadline for the review submission is just before the class when the paper is scheduled to be discussed.

Submission Format: Each critique should not exceed one-page (in the PDF format) and must consists of four sections: 1) paper summary (2-3 lines), 2) strengths (2-3 lines), 3) weaknesses (2-3 lines), and 4) comments (2-3 paras).

In-Class Presentations

Each student will present a few papers throughout the semester (actual number will depend on the number of students enrolled in the class). When you present a paper, be prepared to answer a variety of questions asked by the instructor or other fellow students. Paper assignment will be done by the instructor.

Semester-long Research Project


Optional Textbooks and Resources

Academic Integrity

Students with disabilities or learning needs

It is my goal to create a learning experience that is as accessible as possible. If you anticipate any issues related to the format, materials, or requirements of this course, please meet with me outside of class so we can explore potential options. Students with disabilities may also wish to work with the Student Disability Access Center (SDAC) to discuss a range of options to removing barriers in this course, including official accommodations. We are fortunate to have an SDAC advisor, Courtney MacMasters, physically located in Engineering. You may email her at to schedule an appointment. For general questions please visit the SDAC website. If you have already been approved for accommodations through SDAC, please send me your accommodation letter and meet with me so we can develop an implementation plan together.

Religious accommodations

It is the University's long-standing policy and practice to reasonably accommodate students so that they do not experience an adverse academic consequence when sincerely held religious beliefs or observances conflict with academic requirements.

Students who wish to request academic accommodation for a religious observance should submit their request to me by email as far in advance as possible. Students who have questions or concerns about academic accommodations for religious observance or religious beliefs may contact the University’s Office for Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights (EOCR) at UVAEOCR@virginia.edu or 434-924-3200.

Harassment, Discrimination, and Interpersonal Violence

The University of Virginia is dedicated to providing a safe and equitable learning environment for all students. If you or someone you know has been affected by power-based personal violence, more information can be found on the UVA Sexual Violence website that describes reporting options and resources available.

The same resources and options for individuals who experience sexual misconduct are available for discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. UVA prohibits discrimination and harassment based on age, color, disability, family medical or genetic information, gender identity or expression, marital status, military status, national or ethnic origin, political affiliation, pregnancy (including childbirth and related conditions), race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status. UVA policy also prohibits retaliation for reporting such behavior.

If you witness or are aware of someone who has experienced prohibited conduct, you are encouraged to submit a report to Just Report It or contact EOCR, the office of Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights.

If you would prefer to disclose such conduct to a confidential resource where what you share is not reported to the University, you can turn to Counseling & Psychological Services (“CAPS”) and Women’s Center Counseling Staff and Confidential Advocates (for students of all genders).

As your professor and as a person, know that I care about you and your well-being and stand ready to provide support and resources as I can. As a faculty member, I am a responsible employee, which means that I am required by University policy and by federal law to report certain kinds of conduct that you report to me to the University's Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator's job is to ensure that the reporting student receives the resources and support that they need, while also determining whether further action is necessary to ensure survivor safety and the safety of the University community.

Support for your career development

Engaging in your career development is an important part of your student experience. For example, presenting at a research conference, attending an interview for a job or internship, or participating in an extern/shadowing experience are not only necessary steps on your path but are also invaluable lessons in and of themselves. I wish to encourage and support you in activities related to your career development. To that end, please notify me by email as far in advance as possible to arrange for appropriate accommodations.

Student support team

You have many resources available to you when you experience academic or personal stresses. In addition to your professor, the School of Engineering and Applied Science has staff members located in Thornton Hall who you can contact to help manage academic or personal challenges. Please do not wait until the end of the semester to ask for help!

Community and Identity

The Center for Diversity in Engineering (CDE) is a student space dedicated to advocating for underrepresented groups in STEM. It exists to connect students with the academic, financial, health, and community resources they need to thrive both at UVA and in the world. The CDE includes an open study area, event space, and staff members on site. Through this space, we affirm and empower equitable participation toward intercultural fluency and provide the resources necessary for students to be successful during their academic journey and future careers.


The majority of the course materials used in this course are adapted from the courses taught by several faculty members. We thank Mary. J. Irwin (Penn State), Chita Das (Penn State), Yuan Xie (Penn State), N. Vijaykrishnan (Penn State), Onur Mutlu (ETH/CMU), Tor Aamodt (UBC), Moin Qureshi (GaTech), Murali Annavaram (USC) for their contributions and or feedback. Also, thanks to Elsevier and book authors for making their slides and other companion materials available here, here, and here.