Highly-motivated PhD students are sought to start in Spring 2018 in the areas of large-scale parallel systems, and parallel and distributed systems. Funding for students is expected to be in the form of research and/or teaching assistantships.

Dr. Dong Li is an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of California, Merced since 2015. He is the director of Parallel Architecture, System, and Algorithm Lab (PASA). Previously (2011-2014), he was a research scientist at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Before that, he earned his PhD in computer science from Virginia Tech. Dong received a CAREER Award from U.S. National Science Foundation in 2016, a Berkeley Lab University Faculty Fellowship in 2016, and an ORNL/CSMD Distinguished Contributor Award in 2013. His paper in SC'14 was nominated as the best student paper. He is also the lead PI for NVIDIA CUDA Research Center at UC Merced.

Dong's research focuses on high performance computing (HPC), and maintains a strong relevance to computer systems. The core theme of his research is to study how to enable scalable and efficient execution of enterprise and scientific applications on increasingly complex large-scale parallel systems. His work creates innovation in runtime, architecture, performance modeling, and programming models; His work often coordinates software and hardware to solve challenges on fault tolerance and execution efficiency of large-scale parallel systems. He also investigates the impact of novel architectures (e.g., non-volatile memory and accelerator with massive parallelism) on the designs of applications and runtime. Dong's approach to research has always been application-driven. He believes measuring and understanding characteristics of realistic large-scale parallel applications is critical to identify problems, provoke thought and prevent fundamental design flaws.

In collaboration with industry, DOE laboratories, and universities, Dong has been involved in various DOE, DOD and NSF projects related to HPC. His work was published in a number of premier HPC conferences. He is a program committee member in a number of international conferences and workshops.


Selected Recent Publications (a complete list of the publication can be found from here)

  • [SC'17] Kai Wu, Yingchao Huang, and Dong Li. "Unimem: Runtime Data Management on Non-Volatile Memory-based Heterogeneous Main Memory". In 29th ACM/IEEE International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis, 2017
  • [HPDC'16] Panruo Wu, Dong Li, Zizhong Chen, Jeffrey S. Vetter, and Sparsh Mittal. "Algorithm-Directed Data Placement in Explicitly Managed Non-Volatile Memory", In 25th ACM International Symposium on High Performance Parallel and Distributed Computing, 2016
  • [ICS’15] Bo Wu, Guoyang Chen, Dong Li, Xipeng Shen, and Jeffrey S. Vetter. “Enabling and Exploiting Flexible Task Assignment on GPU through SM-Centric Program Transformations”, In 29th ACM International Conference on Supercomputing, 2015
  • [SC'14] Li Yu, Dong Li, Sparsh Mittal, and Jeffrey S. Vetter. “Quantitatively Modeling Application Resiliency with the Data Vulnerability Factor”. In 26th ACM/IEEE International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis, 2014 (nominated for the best student paper)
  • [MICRO'14] Guoyang Chen, Bo Wu, Dong Li, and Xipeng Shen. “PORPLE: An Extensible Optimizer for Portable Data Placement”, In 47th Annual IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Microarchitecture, 2014


Recent News

  • [6/2017] Two papers are accepted in IEEE Cluster'17. One of the two is about non-volatile memory crash consistency from the algorithm perspective (interesting!), and the other is about GPU performance modeling on heterogeneous memory system. 
  • [6/2017] Our paper, Unimem: Runtime Data Management on Non-Volatile Memory-based Heterogeneous Main Memory, is accepted in SC'17.
  • [6/2017] Our paper, Performance Evaluation and Modeling of HPC I/O on Non-Volatile Memory, is accepted in NAS'17.
  • [6/2017] NSF funds our project on processing-in-memory.
  • [2/2017] Two students in PASA lab get internships during the summer. They are PhD student Luanzheng Guo (Lawrence Livermore National Lab), and Kai Wu (Los Alamos National Lab). Congratulations, students!
  • [11/2016] Our poster is nominated as the best poster (2.9% of all poster submissions) in SC'16.
  • [6/2016] We are selected as an NVIDIA Research Center with Dong as the lead PI.
  • [6/2016] NSF funds our project on heterogeneous memory.
  • [5/2016] Undergraduate student, Hanlin He, won School of Engineering Outstanding Student Award in the class of 2016. Congratulations, Hanlin!
  • [5/2016] Three students in PASA lab get internships during the summer! They are PhD student Luanzheng Guo (Lawrence Livermore National Lab), and undergraduate students Hanlin He and Kian Bradley (Lawrence Berkeley National Lab). Congratulations, students!  
  • [3/2016] A paper (Algorithm-directed Data Placement in Explicitly Managed Non-Volatile Memory) is accepted by HPDC'16.
  • [1/2016] Dong received an NSF CAREER Award.


Selected Services

  • PC member: SC'18, ASPLOS'18 (shadow PC), HPDC'18 (travel chair), Cluster'18 (poster chair), IPDPS'17, NAS (2016-2017), SC'15, CCGrid (2012-2017), Cluster (2015-2017), ISC (2013-2016), etc.
  • External reviewers: PPoPP'14, SC'13, Euro-par'12, HPDC'11, etc.
  • Editorial position: co-editor, special Issue of the Journal of High Performance Computing Applications for the fourth International Workshop on Accelerators and Hybrid Exascale Systems
  • PC (co-) chair: PASA (2012, 2013, and 2016), HP-PAC (2013 and 2014)
  • Steering committee: PASA (2014 and 2015)
  • Technical reviewers for major journals: IEEE Transaction on Parallel and Distributed Systems (TPDC), IEEE Transaction on Reliability (TR), IEEE Transaction on Computers (TC), Journal of Parallel and Distributed Computing (JPDC), Journal of Supercomputing, International Journal of High Performance Computing, etc.


Current Students

  • Luanzheng Guo (PhD student, since 2015 Fall)
  • Kai Wu (PhD student, since 2016 Summer)
  • Hanlin He (PhD student, since 2016 Fall)
  • Jiawen Liu (PhD student, since 2017 Fall)
  • Letian Kang (PhD student, since 2017 Fall)
  • Wenqian Dong (PhD student, since 2017 Fall)
  • Jie Ren (PhD student, since 2017 Fall)
  • Yaorong Fan (Master student, since 2016 Fall)
  • Armando Montanez (REU student, 2017 summer)
  • Logan Smith (REU student, 2017 Summer)



  • Wei Liu (Master student, graduated in 2017. First employment: )
  • Himanshu Pillai (Master student, graduated in 2016. First employment: Barcelona Supercomputer Center)
  • Jing Liang (Undergraduate student, graduated in 2017. First employment: )
  • Nigel Tan (Undergraduate student, graduated in 2017. Join Rice as a PhD student)
  • Hanlin He (Undergraduate student, graduated in 2016  as the UC Merced outstanding student. Join PASA as a PhD student)
  • Zachary Canann (Undergraduate student, graduated in 2016  as the UC Merced outstanding student. First employment: PayPal)
  • Kevin Song (Undergraduate student, graduated in 2015  as the UC Merced outstanding student. Join UT Austin as a PhD student)


 Research Sponsors: Our research is generously supported by:

  • National Science Foundation
  • Lawrence Livermore National Lab
  • Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
  • NVIDIA (Equipment donation)
  • Intel (Equipment donation)
  • Xilinx (Equipment donation)
  • University of California, Merced