CSE Seminar

Faculty Seminar Series–Research is a Wonderful Adventure (Rejected Title: The Joy of Research)

Karem SakallahAssociate Chair, Computer Science and Engineering

The best discoveries are accidental. I will briefly describe three of my own:
1) conflict-driven clause learning (CDCL) for propositional satisfiability,
2) extremely fast symmetry detection in huge graphs, and
3) automatic abstraction and refinement for hardware verification.

All three can be viewed as incremental contributions that leveraged the work of earlier
researchers. Significantly, though, they all came about by challenging the received wisdom
and by asking "stupid" questions. And in some weird way, they're all related.

My goal in this talk is to stimulate discussion and to seek out partners who can help
me understand the field of cyber security, the challenge I am currently tackling.
Karem A. Sakallah received the B.E. degree in electrical engineering from the American University of Beirut in 1975, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical and computer engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, in 1977 and 1981, respectively.

In 1981, he was with the Department of Electrical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University as a Visiting Assistant Professor. From 1982 to 1988, he was with the Semiconductor Engineering Computer-Aided Design Group at Digital Equipment Corporation in Hudson, MA, where he headed the Analysis and Simulation Advanced Development Team. Since September 1988, he has been with the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, as a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and where he is currently the Associate Chair of the Computer Science and Engineering Division.

From September 1994 to March 1995, he was on a six-month sabbatical leave with the Cadence Berkeley Laboratory in Berkeley, CA. From 2006 to 2008, he was a member of an advisory board for the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development that was tasked with developing plans for a computing research center in Qatar. Some of this planning took place while he was on sabbatical leave at Carnegie Mellon University's Qatar campus during the 2007/2008 academic year.

Dr. Sakallah has authored or coauthored more than 200 papers and has given numerous seminars, invited lectures, and tutorials at conferences, symposia, research centers, and high-tech companies. His current research interests include the area of computer-aided design of electronic systems, Boolean satisfiability, discrete optimization, and hardware and software verification. In 2009 he was a co-recipient of the prestigious Computer Aided Verification Award for "Fundamental contributions to the development of high-performance Boolean satisfiability solvers.' His research in satisfiability and hardware verification led to the creation in 2009 of a start-up company, Reveal Design Automation, which he cofounded with two of his doctoral students.

Sponsored by