About

So what is CSL?

The Computer Systems Laboratory was founded in 1998 by Rajit Manohar (currently Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering) and Mark Heinrich (now at Univeristy of Central Florida). It was a way to bring together researchers from the ECE and CS Graduate Fields who were broadly interested in computer systems. Today, CSL comprises about 10 full-time Faculty and about 50 Ph.D. students. Additionally, numerous M.Eng. and undergraduate students actively conduct research within CSL.

Physically, the Computer Systems Laboratory spans two buildings, namely Rhodes Hall (ECE) and Gates Hall (CS). However, interaction across departments is a key strength of the lab. CSL Faculty are all ECE and CS Graduate Field members, which allows them to chair Ph.D. committees of students in either Field.

A brief timeline

1998

Prof. Rajit Manohar and Prof. Mark Heinrich found the Computer Systems Laboratory at Cornell University.

2000

The School of Electrical Engineering officially becomes the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, putting CSL’s research and teaching front and center of the School’s mission.

2006

The School of Electrical and Computer Engineering builds a new space for CSL in Upson Hall.

2013

Cornell University wins bid for a new NYC Tech campus. Prof. Rajit Manohar becomes first CSL member at Cornell Tech.

2016

The College of Engineering builds a new, state-of-the-art CSL space in the 4th floor of Rhodes Hall.

2017-

The Computer Systems Laboratory continues to grow in size, breadth, and impact. It currently has 12 full-time Faculty members and 40+ Ph.D. students. CSL’s latest hire, Prof. Kirstin Petersen, reflects the lab’s commitment to robots as one of the key computer systems of the future.

New CSL facilities

In 2016, the College of Engineering approved the construction of a brand-new, state-of-the-art facility to host the Computer Systems Laboratory. The $2.4M project includes a hardware lab; 50+ graduate seats; a large conference room and multiple smaller breakout rooms, all with videoconferencing capabilities; multiple open areas for collaborative work and social interaction; and even a kitchen and a dining area.

The architecture and layout of the lab seeks to maximize the use of natural light, while the playful variety of colors and furniture provides an inviting and diverse set of work/play areas, each which its own character.