The FERMAT lab is one of the eight labs under the Center for Embedded Systems for Critical Applications (CESCA). FERMAT lab was founded in the fall of 2002 by Dr. Sandeep Shukla to initiate research activities in applying formal models, methods, and model based reasoning , analysis and synthesis techniques to the area of embedded system design — both hardware, software and co-design. The research areas of focus have changed over time with the evolving interest and the academic and industrial demands. In the beginning, the main interest of FERMAT lab was in System level Design languages, and methodologies, Formal Verification, Defect-Tolerant Computing for Nano systems, Low power design of systems and networked embedded system design. Currently, there are three major areas of research in this lab: correct by construction synthesis of embedded software from formal specifications, formal approaches to globally asynchronous and locally synchronous design, and communication networking for Smart Grid — the interdependence between the communication and power systems infrastructure.
So far FERMAT lab has graduated 6 PhDs, and 9 M.S thesis students, one German bachelors’s thesis student. FERMAT has also employed almost 20 undergraudate researchers over the course of the last 9 years, 1 postdoctoral researchers, and multiple short and long term research visitors. Currently six PhD students and one M.S student are pursuing their graduate research at the lab under the supervision of Dr. Shukla. There are 3 postdoctoral researchers in the lab, and 3 undergraduate researchers.
FERMAT labs’s research is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), Semiconductor Research Consortium (SRC), US. Air Force Labs, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense at the moment. In the past we have had also funding from Intel, Bluespec Inc, Cebatech Inc, and other sources. FERMAT lab has long standing joint projects with IRISA/INRIA in France and the Technical University of Kaiserslautern in Germany.
The mission of this lab is to apply formal methods to various problems of embedded system design, analysis, validation and synthesis — and currently in its 9th year FERMAT has been proud to be serving the academic and the industrial community. The lab has published over 150 research articles in peer reviewed conference proceedings, journals, and edited books. 8 books have been published, and a number of open source software have been made available to the community.
FERMAT alumni have been placed at Intel, NVidia, GE, Fidessa, Cisco, UC Berkeley, University of Waterloo etc.