Computer architecture is at the interface of computer hardware and software. Its practitioners are responsible for specifying, designing, and implementing at the architecture level the hardware structures that carry out the work specified by computer software. Computer architects share the responsibility for providing mechanisms that algorithms, compilers, and operating systems can use to enhance the performance and/or energy requirements of running applications. Computer architecture spans many dimensions, such as the scope of a processor (embedded processors, desktop systems, servers, and supercomputers); the target application (general-purpose versus domain-specific); the characteristics of the design objectives (speed, power consumption, cost, reliability, availability, and reconfigurability); and the measurement and analysis of resulting designs.
UT ECE offers 9 different Academic Tracks. Academic Tracks are areas of research interest that students choose to help guide them in selecting a course of study and a research area. Many tracks have overlap, and most faculty belong to more than one Academic Track. Research the Academic Tracks to learn which track best fits your interests and goals.
This track is focused in the following areas: biomedical instrumentation (primarily cardiovascular measurements, including clinical applications of admittance volume measurement), very-large-scale integration biomedical circuits (biosensors, lab-on-a-chip, and handheld MRI), biolelectromagnets (RF surgery, electromagnetic field exposure, and quantitative assessment of thermal damage processes), image and signal processing (feature extraction and diagnostic interpretation), machine learning, and health information technologies (data mining and electronic medical records archiving and analysis).
This track involves research and design in the following fields: (1) Communications and networking: all aspects of transmission of data, including: wireless communications, communication theory, information theory, networking, queueing theory, stochastic processes, sensor networks; (2) Data science and machine learning: all aspects of extraction of knowledge from data, including: algorithms, data mining, optimization, statistics, pattern recognition, predictive analytics, artificial intelligence; and (3) Controls, signals, and systems: estimation and detection; signal, image and video processing; linear and nonlinear systems.
This track includes the study of electromagnetic and acoustic phenomena ranging from ultralow frequencies to the visible spectrum. The activities in electromagnetics involve research in antenna design, radar scattering, computational methods, wave-matter interaction, bioelectromagnetics, wave manipulation using artificial materials, wireless propagation channels, microwave and millimeter-wave integrated circuits, guided wave devices and systems, electromagnetic forces (including electrostrictive and magnetostrictive forces), and Maxwell's stress tensor. The activities in acoustics involve research in transducers, microelectromechanical systems, atmospheric and underwater acoustics, and noise and vibration control.
This track involves research in the production, distribution, conversion, and use of electric energy. Present investigations are concerned with renewable and alternative energy, advanced electrical machines, power system-related analyses, simulation of power systems, energy system economics and optimization, open-access transmission, electricity markets, energy efficiency and demand-side management, power system harmonics, power quality, distributed generation, power electronics, electromagnetic levitation, intelligent machines and drives for robotics and control, and electromechanical devices for pulsed power applications.
This track involves all aspects of analysis, design, synthesis, and implementation of digital, analog, mixed-signal, and radio frequency (RF) integrated circuits and systems for applications in computing, sensing, and communications. Research in the area spans levels of abstraction from devices to systems-on-chip (SoC), and involves transceiver architectures, data converters, signal processing systems, integrated bio-chips, high-performance and low-power design, fault tolerance, design for manufacturability (DFM), design for test (DFT), verification, and computer-aided design (CAD).
This track involves research in plasma dynamics, optics, quantum-optic and photonic devices, and plasma processing of semiconductors. Plasma investigations include the design of plasma diagnostics, high-order spectral analysis of plasma waves, and plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition. Research in quantum electronics includes optical systems, lasers and laser applications, optical signal processing, optoelectronic devices, and lightwave systems. Investigations include quantum transport studies of double barrier heterostructures, components for very-high-speed communications and computation, high-energy laser applications in materials synthesis and processing, nanophotonic devices and materials, and plasmonics.
This track involves all aspects of engineering software systems. In addition to the problem of requirements, research and study in the area addresses architecting, designing, building, testing, analyzing, evaluating, deploying, maintaining, and evolving software systems. Problems investigated include theory, techniques, methods, processes, tools, middleware, and environments for all types of software systems in all types of domains and applications. This area of study is also available through the alternatively scheduled program in software engineering to professionals who are working full time.
This track focuses on the development and improvement of micro- and nanoelectronic, optoelectronic, and electromechanical devices, and associated materials for a variety of applications. Devices include nanoscale and nontraditional complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) transistors, and beyond CMOS transistors; photodetectors, photodiodes and lasers, solar cells, and nanostructure optical metamaterials; and electronic and microelectromechanical sensors and actuators, including chemical and biological sensors. Material systems include unstrained and strained conventional column IV and III-V semiconductors; organics and polymers; novel materials such as graphene and topological insulators; and insulators such as silicon dioxide and high and low dielectric permittivity materials; along with their thin films and heterostructures.