Mike, PhD student in Computer Engineering


Leading new research: Mike, a PhD student in computer engineering, is currently conducting research in the new field of graphics architecture—a combination of computer architecture and computer graphics. Mike became interested in graphics architecture through his graphics research, as well as his involvement with computer architecture as an undergraduate.

Making advancements: The goal of Mike’s research is to improve the current state of graphics hardware, which will allow for additional capabilities and faster runtimes of current applications. “Over the last five years, graphics hardware has seen a much wider audience of users. Because it is so new, there are a lot of advancements that can be made,” he says.

The big picture: Mike’s primary work involves rendering the 3-D models for graphics used in computer games using a custom simulator. “We try to get out pretty close to the same image that current graphics can do, but just do it faster. If you’re familiar with graphics, it’s actually a bunch of still images repeated about 30 frames per second,” Mike says. “Game designers determine what all goes into a game level based on trying to meet that frame rate. If you are able to have hardware that can render an image faster, you can put a lot more detail into the image and get a higher-quality image at the end.”

Enjoying his work: According to Mike, the most exciting part of his research is the actual output and results he gets. “A lot of times you are working with graphics, so you can get some really cool images. Working with 3-D graphics is always fun, and it gives you the output of something you can show to other people to help explain your work,” Mike says.