VLSI and Digital Systems
VLSI Group Qual Exam
• There is no change in the coursework requirements
• There is no change in the make-up of the individual QE Committees
• There is no change in the scheduling of the examination
- VLSI students, with their advisor’s approval, may request to take the Quals exam at any time.
However, they must have finished all Quals depth classes already.
- If the student has failed a previous attempt at a depth exam (new VLSI format or otherwise) they
must wait AT LEAST 4 months before retaking the exam, if allowed.
- The student and their advisor are responsible for forming a 3-member quals committee for this
student. These can include any EE VLSI/Embedded faculty that are members of the graduate
school. Faculty from other disciplines or departments may be allowed at the discretion of the
VLSI/Embedded group chair, though at least 2 faculty must be EE VLSI/Embedded faculty. A
student’s advisor can be a member of this committee.
- About three weeks prior to the QE, and after consultation with the Candidate and her/his research
advisor, the QE Committee will select a recent research journal paper. The candidate is expected
to prepare and present a 20-minute talk on it addressing typical questions such as what problem it
addresses, what are the prior-art solutions, what are its strengths and weaknesses, what future
work does it stimulate, etc. The QE Committee will also identify three cited references from the
paper for which the Candidate should also be knowledgeable and responsible. The presentation is
open. The 20-minute time limit will be strictly enforced.
- The Candidate will be responsible for the fundamentals and required course materials that
underpin the chosen paper.
- Following the presentation, there will be questions, comments, and suggestions from the
audience and QE Committee Members. This period is also open, but will last at most 10 minutes.
- The final 30-45 minutes will be closed. The QE Committee Members will ask additional
questions related to the presentation, the assigned papers, and the course materials that underpin
that chosen paper.