Postdoctoral Researcher Opportunity

Project: Continuous Reconfiguration of Polymorphic Hardware
Location: Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Advisers: Christopher Batten, Adrian Sampson, Zhiru Zhang
Duration: 1-2 years starting fall 2018

The Computer Systems Laboratory at Cornell seeks a postdoctoral researcher to help launch a new project to design a new kind of continuously reconfigurable machine. The project spans computer architecture, compilers, and programming languages research.

The Team

The postdoc will work with the research groups of Professors Christopher Batten, Adrian Sampson, and Zhiru Zhang in the departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science. The postdoc will have opportunities to mentor PhD, masters, and undergraduate researchers in these groups. The project also includes research groups at the University of Washington.

The Project

While one-off ASICs offer leaps in computational efficiency even in face of slowed returns from Moore's law, they sacrifice flexibility and programmability. We are designing a new kind of reconfigurable architecture based on a programmable memory system and configurable spatial compute fabric. The system is designed for high-frequency reconfiguration based on shifting application demands. It includes an HBM2 memory interface and CGRA-like spatial array of RISC-V cores with a reconfigurable interconnect. The project aims to approach ASIC-like efficiency by continuously optimizing the system's organization to specialize the compute datapath and exploit the HBM2 memory's high bandwidth and low latency. We plan to tape out prototype hardware and build a realistic compiler toolchain to target it.


We are seeking recent PhDs in CS or ECE with expertise in architecture and/or compilers. Researchers in one area or the other will fit well; researchers whose interests span hardware and software are ideal. Prior work on FPGAs, CGRAs, spatial architectures, program synthesis, and JIT compilers is all relevant. Good candidates will be "builders" and have a track record of releasing or deploying real systems.

The Job

The position starts in the fall semester of 2018 and lasts for one or two years, depending on the candidate’s preference. The postdoc will work with the PIs and students to define the research direction, build the system, release open-source hardware and software, and write papers for top-tier architecture and PL conferences. This is a leadership role; there will be opportunities to mentor students and to give talks at companies and other universities.


We take diversity and inclusion seriously. Cornell is a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities.

How to Apply

Send the following materials to Prof. Christopher Batten in PDF format: (1) a cover letter summarizing your relevant research experience, why you are good fit for the position, and how the position relates to your career goals; (2) your CV including a list of all publications; (3) a list of 2–3 references including your PhD research adviser; (4) your undergraduate and graduate transcripts. Applications are due by August 31st, 2018. Late applications may be considered; please reach out to Prof. Batten.