Welcome To

The Burrow

An Introduction...

Well, I finally did it. I started a blog. I'm hoping that doing this blog will enable me to post more up-to-date information on my hacks and my life. I update this web page like once every two years if I'm lucky. Plus, this new blog thing from Wordpress looks sweet! Check out my blog, give me feedback, let me know more about what you'd like to read and/or see!

Irassyaimase! I, like other Web users, am working to fulfill the old man's prophecy by providing this home page. The Internet conquers space; it folds and flattens our four dimensional world of three spacial and one temporal coordinate into a two dimensional world of but one node and one temporal coordinate.

And who sez that computers are impersonal? Individuals identify themselves with their home page; every home page is colored by the author. The internet is filled with the synergy of human intellect; it is almost a conscious entity in its own right. Its two-dimensional body is intangible to us, but the internet is our evolutionary successor. I hope to influence this child, if ever so minutely, by configuring these bits into something which will communicate a likeness of myself.

About Me...

A chipMy name is Andrew Shane Huang; my Chinese name is Huang(2) Xin(1) Guo(2) (and if you mix my name and my father's, it's a prophecy). I am 183 cm (6 ft) tall, 83.9 kg (185 lb). I'm Asian, but that's a bit general (after all, over 20% of the world is Asian). I was born in 1975 (year of the rabbit), and I call Kalamazoo, MI my home.

I just finished my PhD dissertation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. I was working in Tom Knight's Project Aries research group. My interests include all aspects of moving information between processors--physics of communication, high speed signalling, reliability, fault tolerance, protocols, data placement, coherence (or lack thereof), and APIs. The project has been undergoing a lot of change lately, so the web page is somewhat out of date, but that's a natural consequence of how fast technology moves these days. Here is a presentation on my work-in-progress (postscript only, try ghostscript to view) with respect to abstract machines and streams, and a short white-paper about some of my ideas on spatially aware decentralized computing. My finished thesis can also be found here.

One of the technologies used in our project is PIM (processor-in-memory) technology. The idea is that by integrating processors into memory at the chip level, one can achieve several orders of magnitude more bandwidth--in fact, bandwidth that scales with memory size--and an order of magnitude decrease in latency. This places the idea of getting rid of data caches within the realm of consideration, an important step in large multi-processor systems where cache coherence requirements become a limiting factor. To test out some ideas involving PIM technology in the near term, I have built a simulation platform that centers around a card that plugs into a PC-100 compliant DIMM slot in a PC. The card consists of a fast, 288-bit wide bank of SSRAM connected to a large Xilinx Virtex-E device, and another Virtex-E device to handle the PC-100 interface. Of course, the final system does not call for standard PC parts anywhere, but there are certain barriers to making chips that fosters a compromise =)

I also did my undergraduate studies at MIT as well. As an undergraduate, I lived at Zeta Beta Tau fraternity. I was Vice President of the fraternity, and I look forward to being an active alumnus. In between and all through my undergraduate and graduate studies, I've tried to keep in touch with industry through various internships and employment opportunities. I have worked for some companies you've heard of (Intel, Qualcomm, SGI) and many you haven't (E-Ink, Microdisplay, Mobilian, Solana Technology Development (now Verance)).

I'm trying to document all the projects I've done over the years...I've just started, so the following list will grow as I continue to distract myself from thesis work:

Another big project which I have done is my master's thesis. It was a joint QUALCOMM Incorporated-MIT effort building a reconfigurable hardware processor which I named  Tao. QUALCOMM is in San Diego. They hold the patent for CDMA and other spread spectrum communications stuph. They also sell Eudora, and their stock does well.

6.004 nerd kit

I used to be a recitation instructor for MIT's 6.004 class. I had the privelege of creating a new generation of lab kits for the class. The new lab kits are complete. Students now get a set of computational blocks (CBs) which have their function set by software (ie, gates, adders, registers, muxes...you name it). They wire the blocks together using single wires that carry multiple bits (up to 32 at a time) of information to ultimately create a full 32-bit RISC microprocessor. The kit also features boundary-scan capabilities so students can verify their wiring, an on-board embedded controller to aid debugging, buttons with programmable behavior, and an LCD screen.

For those of you who took 6.004 in the spring of 1997, I have some pictures from the annual 6.004 design contest.

I won't bore you with my academic pursuits, but I will bore you with some of the activities I enjoy. A few things which light up my life include great parents, great friends, playing the violin (I've been bowing 'em strings for over fourteen years now), playing the guitar, spinning electronica, and playing with electronic stuff...I like to hack around.

Check out the ZBT picturebook; lots of photos of life in my fraternity! Also, check out my scrapbook. The graphics collection is mostly some pictures I thought were cool over the years so I scanned them in. The scrapbook has a lot of photos of my good friends or places I've been. I also have pictures from my graduation in '96 when I got my SB and MEng degrees.

A picture of my room

Being a canonical gnurd, I enjoy telling computers to do things in several languages as well as building random hardware hacks. On the left is a picture of my dorm room as it was in the fall of '98. My operating system of choice is NeXTStep. However, practical concerns, such as available software base, have caused me to operate primarily in Linux, which is still a pretty darn kewl OS. As I mentioned above, I type a dvorak keyboard to try and combat a slowly progressing case of RSI. I think it has helped quite a bit with my typing. I'm very happy with the layout and I find it has the extra feature of providing an extra layer on security on my console logins. (^_^)

I've finally been on the web long enough (it's been a few years now) so I finally have a few bookmarks of kewl stuff I've found or frequently visisted sites, mostly of interest to EE types.

If you would like a resume, please send me email (bunnie@nospam.mit.edu (delete the nospam. to make the address work)) and I will send you a link to a copy in Adobe PDF.

Open your eyes, see all the love in me; I got enough forever.
Don't be afraid, take all you need from me, and we'll be strong together.
-- Brisk and Trixxy, "Eye Opener"

6.004 fall '98 recitation notes

Well, sad for me, I had to take down a lot of the photos that used to be here. I'm single again...this is probably the only appropriate one left in the collection...


I went to Annapolis, MD, in July with a team from MIT to compete in the 1st Interational Autonomous Underwater Vehicle competition. Our entry was ORCA, a fully autonomous submarine sporting a pentium-class on-board computer running linux, a homebrew INS, downward and forward looking sonar, a doppler velocity log, and a 3-axis magnetometer, among other fun stuff. I helped design the sensors, write low-level driver code, and assisted mission planning, among other miscellaneous tasks.

ZBT xenatera partners
bunnie@nospam.mit.edu (delete the nospam. to make the address work)

Last modified Sun Feb 28 22:49:54 1999

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Copyright (c) 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 Andrew Huang
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