PhD Grad Mohammadkazem Taram Wins 2023 ACM SIGMICRO Dissertation Award

Nov 15, 2023
PhD graduate wins the inaugural ACM SIGMICRO Dissertation (Photo credit: Purdue University photo/Brian Powell)Award

Current Purdue University Assistant Professor Mohammadkazem (Kazem) Taram received the inaugural Dissertation Award at the 56th IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Microarchitecture.

Taram is a 2022 PhD graduate who was advised by UC San Diego Department of Computer Science and Engineering Professor Dean Tullsen.

The title of Taram's dissertation is "Defusing the tension between security and performance with secure microarchitectures." It deepens understanding of how microarchitectural optimizations can leak information and proposes secure yet high-performance architectures that preserve those optimizations, easing the inherent security-performance tension.

The ACM SIGMICRO Outstanding Dissertation Award recognizes excellent thesis research by doctoral candidates in the field of computer microarchitecture. Dissertations are reviewed for technical depth and significance of the research contribution, potential impact, and quality of presentation.

Taram has contributed to impactful research with Tullsen and collaborators including “Half&Half: Demystifying Intel’s Directional Branch Predictors for Fast, Secure Partitioned Execution,” “I See Dead µops: Leaking Secrets via Intel/AMD Micro-Op Caches,” and the ASPLOS award-winning paper “Going Beyond the Limits of SFI: Flexible Hardware-Assisted In-Process Isolation with HFI.”