Alexander Dean

Associate Professor
Alexander Dean

Dr. Dean's research uses computer architecture, compiler technology, and real-time analysis and scheduling to simplify the design and implementation of embedded systems. Unlike most other embedded system research, this work targets applications without the budget for custom processors or ICs.

By using a compiler to interleave multiple program threads into one at the assembly instruction level, generic uniprocessors can provide significant concurrency. This simplifies hardware to software migration and enables embedded system designers to use standard (i.e. cheap) microprocessors to absorb the function of dedicated (i.e. expensive) peripheral components.

In addition to his academic education, Dr. Dean worked for several years at United Technologies Research Center, an industrial R&D lab in Connecticut. He analyzed, simulated and designed communication networks and system architectures for jet engines, elevators, cars and building climate control systems. He also designed, programmed and built prototypes for a few automotive applications. For most of his time as an undergraduate he worked as an electronic technician.

Dr. Dean is the recipient of an NSF CAREER award.


2000 - Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
1993 - M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
1991 - B.S in Electrical Engineering, University of Wisconsin at Madison, Madison, WI

Highlighted Awards

Awards & Honors

  • 2016 - Senior Member, Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (SMIEEE), USA
  • 2011 - NCSU Thank a Teacher Award
  • 2007 - Outstanding Teacher Award (Advanced Institute of Information Technology, Seoul, Korea)
  • 2002 - NSF Career Award



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