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The Computer Systems Design Laboratory (CSDL) will improve the design of computing systems, ranging from small, embedded elements to large, distributed computing environments. Research addresses all aspects of a system’s life cycle, including specification and synthesis. This includes attention to system verification, design, and implementation of development and implementation platforms for real-time and embedded computing.


  • KU named an NSA/DHS Center for Excellence in Information Assurance Education [1]




  • Garrin Kimmell - Post Doctoral Researcher
  • Ed Komp - Staff Researcher



Research Groups

Research Projects

Reading Groups

  • Lambda - Things (tangentially) related to programming languages, semantics, and formal methods


CSDL faculty offer a number of courses available to all students in the department. Following is a list of courses and their associated websites. Please consult the official KU timetable to determine what courses are offered in any given semester.


This material is being considered for removal or revision

Research Areas

At the specification level, CSDL researchers are developing new system-level design languages. Rosetta, a next generation design language, will allow designers to work with languages specific to their area and integrate them with other specifications to describe complete systems. It is difficult for developers to work with numerous languages, since certain terms can mean different things in different languages. For example, to a digital designer, a bit may be something very different from a bit in telecommunications. Rosetta allows for these languages to mesh together and achieve the overall goal of a project, whether it is creating a cell phone or a computer program.

CSDL research is also investigating new architectures for ad hoc sensor webs, requiring less power while producing better intelligence than current architectures. Sensors with communication capabilities pass data among themselves to better detect and track objects. They could help detect and track terrorists, military movements, shipments of suspect materials, and other information critical to the nation’s defense.

CSDL operating systems researchers have been developing extensions to Linux for fielding real-time systems. KU Real Time (KURT) Linux has successfully addressed the need for real-time operating systems support. Using KURT, system developers can provide systems assured to meet difficult real-time scheduling requirements.

Finally, researchers are developing system software, Hybridthreads, for new hybrid chips that contain both a general-purpose central processing unit and field programmable gate array (CPU/FPGA). These new hybrids are integral to the creation of commercial, easily obtainable hardware platforms for future real-time, embedded control (RTEC) systems. This will result in faster times to market, reduction of overall costs, and the chips’ accessibility to programmers.