SIGDA Annual Report

July 2002 - June 2003
Submitted by: Robert A. Walker, Chair SIGDA


This past fiscal year was one of consolidation for SIGDA. A new set of officers entered their second year in office, and slight changes were made to the SIGDA Advisory Board. The new Chair, Robert Walker, had promised an increased emphasis on members and member benefits, and the Executive Committee and Advisory Board continued to build on that theme. However, the economic downturn and the events of 9/11 also forced a financial review and re-evaluation of new and ongoing programs, and the tradeoff between member benefits and finances was considered at Advisory Board meetings at the International Conference on CAD (ICCAD) in November 2002, at Design, Automation, and Test in Europe (DATE) in March 2003, and at the Design Automation Conference (DAC) in June 2003.

As in the previous year, SIGDA marketing continued to emphasize three major areas of SIGDA activities: conferences and conference programs, electronic publications, and support for students and new professors. While most of these were ongoing activities, two new initiatives this year were SIGDA's E-Newsletter and DA TechNews.

Conferences and Conference Programs

Sponsoring conferences, symposia, and workshops in electronic design automation (EDA) is a primary activity for SIGDA, and one with a long history. SIGDA sponsors 6 major conferences and symposia, and many smaller symposia and workshops. In addition, SIGDA organizes the University Booth and the Ph.D. Forum at DAC.

Conferences, Symposia, and Workshops

Under the direction of James Cohoon and Patrick Madden, SIGDA sponsors, co-sponsors, or is "in cooperation with" almost every major conference, symposium, and workshop in electronic design automation, averaging 1.5 such events per month. During FY'03, these events included (chronologically):

  • International Symposium on Low Power Electronics and Design (ISLPED'02)

  • Symposium on Integrated Circuits and Systems Design (SBCCI'02)

  • International Symposium on System Synthesis (ISSS'02)

  • International Conference on Computer Aided Design (ICCAD'02)

  • International Workshop on Timing Issues in the Specification and Synthesis of Digital Systems (TAU'02)

  • International Conference on VLSI Design (VLSI Design'03)

  • Asia and South Pacific Design Automation Conference (ASP-DAC'03)

  • International Symposium on Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA'03)

  • Design, Automation, and Test in Europe (DATE'03)

  • International Symposium on Quality Electronic Design (ISQED'03)

  • International Workshop on System Level Interconnect Prediction (SLIP'03)

  • International Symposium on Physical Design (ISPD'03)

  • Great Lakes Symposium on VLSI (GLSVLSI'03)

  • International Workshop on Logic and Synthesis (IWLS'03)

  • Design Automation Conference (DAC'03)

  • SIGPLAN Symposium on Languages, Compilers, and Tools for Embedded Systems (LCTES'03)

  • International Conference on Application of Concurrency to System Design (ACSD'03)

  • Formal Methods and Programming Models for Codesign (MEMOCODE'03)

University Booth

Under the guidance of James Plusquellic, the University Booth at DAC provided an opportunity for faculty and students to demonstrate university electronic design automation tools, design projects, and instructional materials. Held in a prime location on the Exhibit Floor at DAC, the University Booth provided a great place for DAC attendees to meet and interact with university researchers. The University Booth was sponsored by SIGDA, EDAC, and DAC (which in turn is sponsored by SIGDA, IEEE/CAS, and EDAC), and was organized and run by SIGDA volunteers.

Student Design Contest

Championed by Steve Levitan, the Student Design Contest at DAC promotes excellence in the design of electronic systems by providing a competition between graduate students in design automation. Judging criteria included originality, soundness of engineering, measured performance, and the written submission. Winning entries were highlighted at DAC's Opening Session and at the DAC/SIGDA University Booth. The Student Design Contest was sponsored by DAC (which in turn is sponsored by SIGDA, IEEE/CAS, and EDAC), the International Solid State Circuit Conference (ISSCC), and various silicon design companies, and was organized and run by SIGDA and ISSCC volunteers.

Ph.D. Forum

For the sixth year, the Ph.D. Forum was held at DAC, a program organized by Soha Hassoun. The Ph.D. Forum is a poster session for Ph.D. students to present and discuss their dissertation research with people in the design automation community. It was a wonderful opportunity for Ph.D. students to get feedback on their work, and for industrial participants to preview academic work-in-progress. The Ph.D. Forum was sponsored by SIGDA, and was organized by SIGDA volunteers.

Monthly Conference Planner

Now in its second year, the SIGDA Monthly Conference Planner was developed by John Karro. Based on a similar planner published by the IEEE/CS TTTC, the Monthly Planner is a small (5"x8") 40-page brochure to help the design automation community plan their activities with respect to submitting papers to, and attending, design automation conferences. Calendars for each month list the submission deadlines during that month, as well as more detailed information for conferences held that month (location, Chair, web page, etc.). New versions of the planner were handed out at SIGDA's three major conferences (ICCAD, DATE, and DAC), and were mailed to SIGDA members after each of those conferences. Of course, the Monthly Planner also happens to include information on SIGDA and SIGDA's programs!

Electronic Publishing

SIGDA has pioneered electronic publishing of electronic design automation (EDA) literature, beginning with the DA Library in 1989, which captured 25 years of EDA literature onto an archival series of CDROMs. In the early 1990s, SIGDA published the first EDA conference proceedings on CDROMs, and now produces CDROM proceedings for most of the major EDA conferences and symposia each year. SIGDA also produces an annual CDROM Compendium of those proceedings, and more recently, Multimedia Monographs based on talks at DAC and ICCAD. Two new initiatives this year were SIGDA's E-Newsletter and DA TechNews. Finally, SIGDA provides strong support for the ACM journal TODAES (Transactions on Design Automation of Electronic Systems).

CDROM Compendium

Under the guidance of Bryan Preas, SIGDA continued to produce a CDROM compendium of SIGDA-sponsored conferences as a benefit for SIGDA members. This past fiscal year, SIGDA also partnered with IEEE/CAS to jointly produce two DVDs: one DVD capturing 20 years of proceedings of the International Conference on CAD, and another DVD capturing 40 years of proceedings of the Design Automation Conference. A longer-range project, currently underway, is to produce a Super-Compendium of 10 years of proceedings of all our conferences on DVD, possibly with live internal links. SIGDA is particularly excited about these projects, not only due to their value to the community, but also as a great example of inter-society cooperation.

Multi-Media Monograph Series

Under the guidance of Massoud Pedram, SIGDA continued to produce our CDROM Multi-Media Monograph Series. The most recent CDROMs contain videos of panels and sessions at the 2002 International Conference on CAD.

ACM Transactions on Design Automation of Electronic Systems (TODAES)

Under the leadership of Editor-in-Chief Mary Jane Irwin, the journal ACM Transactions on the Design Automation of Electronic Systems (TODAES) continued to provide comprehensive coverage of innovative research and work in the creation and evaluation of VLSI electronic systems. The journal was distributed in hard-copy, electronic, and CD-ROM formats.

Web Server

Started by Steve Levitan and now run by Patrick Madden, SIGDA's web server ( has long been a primary source of up-to-date and archival information about the activities of both SIGDA and the electronic design automation community as a whole. The server contains links to a significant amount of design automation information including calendars, design automation websites, newsgroups, and to people with "who's who" pages. The server is currently being reorganized to add new capabilities oriented toward electronic publication of EDA news and events.


After existing for years in hardcopy format, the SIGDA Newsletter went electronic this fiscal year, under the direction of a new editor, Diana Marculescu, and several associate editors. The new E-Newsletter is emailed to SIGDA members twice each month, and contains information on upcoming conferences and funding opportunities - a great resource for both the electronic design automation professional as well as researchers and academics. Information on Asian activities is also included, coordinated through Hiroto Yasuura.

DA TechNews

A second new foray into electronic publishing this fiscal year was the DA TechNews, under the direction of Diana Marculescu and Associate Editor Larry Pileggi. Modeled on ACM's TechNews, the DA TechNews is emailed to SIGDA members twice each month, and contains a summary of the latest electronic design automaton news.

Support for Students and New Professors

SIGDA provides a surprisingly broad array of support for students and new professors, some as SIGDA-only initiatives, and some as joint initiatives with the Design Automation Conference, our flagship conference. Such support can follow a student from the undergraduate program through many aspects of graduate school to a career as a new professor.

Student Support

The Design Automaton Conference (sponsored by SIGDA, IEEE/CAS, and EDAC) fosters interest in the electronic design automation though various scholarships and support programs. The P.O. Pistilli Scholarship for Advancement in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering supports undergraduate students from under-represented groups. The DAC Young Student Support Program matches new graduate students in design automation with mentors from other schools. The DAC Graduate Scholarships provide 3-5 graduate students with one-year support, primarily from universities trying to establish a design automation program. SIGDA's participation in these programs was overseen by Robert Walker.

Design Automation Summer School

The first Design Automation Summer School (DASS), organized by Soha Hassoun, was held in Cape Cod, MA in May 2001. The DASS offered graduate students seeking a Ph.D. in design automation the opportunity to participate in a one-week intensive course focusing on ten different design automation research areas. Well-established researchers defined each topic, described recent research advances, and outlined upcoming challenges. Follow-up discussions and technical activities further increased the interaction among the lecturers and students. Although no new summer schools were held during FY'03, another DASS is likely to be held in the summer of 2004.


Under the direction of Rich Auletta, SIGDA's travel grant program continued to provide SIGDA members (in particular, students and new faculty) with support to attend SIGDA-sponsored conferences, symposia, and workshops. Travel grants to attend the Design Automation Conference were handled directly by the conferences, while requests to attend other conferences were handled by SIGDA volunteers.


SIGDA presented several awards this past year. At ICCAD in November 2002, the ACM/IEEE William J. McCalla ICCAD Best Paper Award was given to Andrea Pacelli, Prabhakar Kudva, William Dougherty, and Andrew Sullivan at the ICCAD Opening Session. At DAC in June 2003, a SIGDA Distinguished Service Award was presented to James Plusquellic at the DAC Opening Session for his service to SIGDA in organizing the DAC/SIGDA University Booth at DAC, and a Technical Leadership Award was presented at the Ph.D. Forum / SIGDA Member Meeting to Diana Marculescu for her service to SIGDA and DAC in organizing that Forum for the past two years. Due to some unforeseen difficulties, the ACM Outstanding Ph.D. Dissertation Award in EDA and the SIGDA Outstanding New Faculty Award were not presented this year, but are planned to be resumed in FY'03. SIGDA's awards program was overseen by Steve Levitan.

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