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Computer Engineering and Embedded Systems



The Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Colorado at Denver has a number of active research projects in computer engineering and embedded systems.

Research projects involve:

  • computer architecture
  • energy-efficient computing
  • embedded and system-on-chip computing
  • VLSI design and test
  • methods for assessing heat dissipation
  • network-based computing
  • parallel languages
  • FPGA prototyping
  • emerging technologies for computing


Current projects in computer engineering and embedded systems cover a wide range of areas. Some of our principle projects are outlined below.

Power-Aware Fault Resiliency in Multicore Architectures (PARMA)

We are investigating integrating multiple distributed system controls and monitors to enable power-efficient fault resiliency strategies for on-chip processing cores and interconnection networks in multicore SoCs.

High-performance Computing (HPC) with GPUs (Funded by National Science Foundation 2010)

Performance improvements for computational sciences such as biology, physics and chemistry are critically dependent on advances in multicore and GPU hardware. GPU and multicore computing represent both a unique opportunity for the numerical simulation community and a huge challenge for the HPC community. We are currently exploring GPUs to advance several state-of-the-art science projects. In particular, we seek convenient and efficient interfaces to render our code as independent as possible of the underlying hardware to enable durable solutions. We are currently investigating:

  • WildFire: a data-driven weather-wildfire simulation code that accelerates image registration and morphing.
  • Ion Channel: a simulation of AMPAR ion channel activity and kinetic model rate constants to biological data.
  • PALM: imaging intracellular fluorescent proteins at nanometer resolution with photoactivated localization microscopy (PALM).
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition: focus is on accelerating automated computer vision techniques for measuring/recognizing facial expressions, motion, etc.

Faculty Information

Brian Atkinson, MS, Senior Instructor

Kelly Campbell, MS, Instructor

Dan Connors, PhD, Associate Professor
Web site:

Related Courses

Undergraduate Courses

  • ELEC 1510 – Digital Logic Design
  • ELEC 1520 – Embedded Systems I (C Programming for Engineering Problem Solving)
  • ELEC 2520 – Embedded Systems II (Computer System Organization)
  • ELEC 2531 – Logic Laboratory
  • ELEC 3651 – Digital Hardware Design
  • ELEC 4309 – Senior Project I
  • ELEC 4319 – Senior Project II
  • ELEC 4501 – Microprocessor-based Design

Crosslisted Courses

  • ELEC 4511/5511 – Hardware Software Interface
  • ELEC 4521/5521 – Microprocessor Laboratory
  • ELEC 4561/5561 – Hardware Software Interface Laboratory

Graduate Courses

  • ELEC 5593 – Advanced Computer Architecture

For complete, up-to-date course descriptions, visit the CU Denver academic catalog and search for the course numbers listed above.


The Parallel Distributed Systems Laboratory (established spring 2010) houses a 12-node 192-core cluster to support teaching and research in all areas of parallel and distributed computing: advanced computer architectures, operating systems, parallel programming languages, applications, and high performance computing and networking. Each node is an AMD Opteron processor and has 12 cores. The server node is equipped with 3MB L2 and 6MB L3 cache, 32 GB RAM, 250 MB RAID 1 storage and 2TB RAID 5 storage, Infinitband Network card, and 1GB Ethernet network card.