Summer 2008 DMP Project at Brown

First Week Here!

So, I have arrived in Providence, RI. A new town, a new job, a new place, new people. New everything. Lots of things to get accustomed to. Moving in was quite easy. I love how in Providence, everything is in walking distance. It is a 10 minute walk from my apartment to the lab, to the grocery store, to the park, to the mall... to practically anywhere! I've always wanted to live somewhere that I don't have to use my car so much (even though I brought it for weekend trips, etc).

The research has started off a little slow, mainly because Professor Dworak has two conferences that overlap with the first week and a half of my stay here. As a result, I started off being introduced to two of the graduate students: Yiwen and Elif. They have been working on the project for several years. They showed me around the lab before Prof. Dworak arrived. Once she did arrive there was much administrative stuff that had to be done before any actual progress in the project could be accomplished.

When Prof. Dworak did arrive, she sat me, and two other undergraduate students (including Monica, another DMP student) to learn about the research. The lab focuses on testing of digital circuits. She presented us with a list of possible projects that we could do for the summer. The ones that interested me the most were 'Using Fault Criticality to Optimize test sets for low defect level % and low failure rates' and a new project of 'Determining structural coverage of functional test sets'. Hopefully I will work on those after I have done some smaller tasks that get me to learn more about the programs and techniques used.

Before embarking on those projects we need to get to know the programs that the lab uses to conduct fault simulations on circuits. The first one we approached in 'FastScan'. It runs tests on given circuits and shows what percentage of faults are detected in them, etc. That took a while to get working, and even longer to understand. This was especially hard since we had nobody to ask questions of. Next week will be better when all of the graduate students, as well as Professor Dworak will be available.

I feel like I have accomplished very little this week, partially because of the length of administrative tasks, partially because of the absence of my mentor, and partially because... I am just very lost as to what is going on, but I am starting to understand what the lab does. I am hoping next week will bring much more direction and understanding.