Engineering School to Tackle Data Bottlenecks

Steve Hedberg
The University of Virginia’s School of Engineering and Applied Science will receive $27.5 million in funding to establish CRISP, the Center for Research on Intelligent Storage and Processing in Memory. Through the five-year funded project, UVA will lead a group of researchers across eight universities in tackling a processing bottleneck that is inhibiting computers’ ability to mine large data sets.

The funding comes from the Joint University Microelectronics Program, managed by the Semiconductor Research Corporation, a consortium of technology companies and government agencies. This virtual center will primarily fund Ph.D. students and faculty addressing the challenge that is commonly referred to as “the memory wall,” which happens when data transfer from memory or disk to the processor is inefficient and the processor spends a lot of time waiting for data, says Kevin Skadron, Harry Douglas Forsyth Professor and chair of the Department of Computer Science. “This challenge has been growing in severity for a long time, and it impedes our ability to solve important problems for societal well-being, such as medical analytics and national security. Within our center, we’ll be looking at new processor architectures that very tightly couple the processing and the data storage,” he says.

Kiplinger ranks UVA No. 3

UVA was ranked third in top value among public colleges in Kiplinger’s annual rankings, behind the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and the University of Florida.

“Our rankings are looking for schools that are a blend of academic quality and affordability,” Kiplinger staff writer Kaitlin Pitsker says. “Sometimes a school really excels on either the academic or on the financial side. In the case of UVA, it’s really that blend—there’s a couple of values on each side where UVA excels.”

UVA’s highest ranking is its four-year graduation rate of 88 percent, the highest of all 100 public colleges considered in the rankings. Financial assistance is also stellar at UVA; it is one of only two schools in the top 100 public colleges to meet 100 percent of students’ demonstrated financial need.

History Chair Wins Math Award

Courtesy Karen Hunger Parshall
Awarded every three years by the American Mathematical Society, the Albert Leon Whiteman Memorial Prize was established to “recognize notable exposition and exceptional scholarship in the history of mathematics.” In 2018, the prestigious $5,000 prize was awarded to UVA professor Karen Hunger Parshall (Col ’77, Grad ’78) for her outstanding work on the history of mathematics, particularly “her work on the evolution of mathematics in the USA and on the history of algebra, as well as for her substantial contribution to the international life of her discipline through students, editorial work, and conferences,” according to the American Mathematical Society website.

Parshall is chair of the Corcoran Department of History and Commonwealth Professor of History and Mathematics. She researches a range of topics, including the history of 19th and 20th century mathematics, both from a technical and institutional point of view and the point of view of mathematical interactions across geopolitical borders—how mathematical ideas circulate more broadly, Parshall says. She’s working on a book about the American mathematical research community between 1920 and 1950, and how the U.S. became the top mathematical community in the world during that time, surpassing Germany and the European communities.

A Matter of Degrees

At its January 2018 meeting, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia released data on degree completion, noting that nonprofit colleges and universities in the Commonwealth awarded a record number of bachelor’s degrees in 2016-17: 54,508. Here’s a look back at some of UVA’s degrees by the numbers, with some historical context.


In all of its schools, UVA awarded a record number of degrees last year, up from 5,172 two decades ago.


The Darden School of Business has had the most growth in degrees given, up 72% from two decades ago.


The most undergraduate degrees last year were earned in Economics.


The undergrad program with the most growth over the past 20 years was interdisciplinary cognitive science