Alexander Dean

Associate Professor
 Engineering Building II (EB2) 2004C
 Campus Box 7911


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.


  • Ph.D. 2000
    Electrical and Computer Engineering
    Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh
  • Master's 1993
    Electrical and Computer Engineering
    Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh
  • Bachelor's 1991
    Electrical Engineering
    University of Wisconsin at Madison, WI

Research Focus

  • Computer Architecture and Systems
  • Embedded Computer Systems

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

Recent News

From left, Monique Reid, Keith Mellendorf, Chloe Sanchez-Prado and Alexander Allen
Engineering undergrads take first place in 2021 ACC InVenture Prize competition

Posted on April 22, 2021 | Filed Under: Undergraduate Students

Congrats to the UV Scope team of NC State engineering undergraduates who are developing a hand-held UV spectrometer won first place in the ACC InVenture Prize Competition.

Nagle and Misra named Distinguised Professors

Posted on March 18, 2016 | Filed Under: News

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Troy Nagle and Dr. Veena Misra have been named Distinguished Professors of Electrical and Computer Engineering. This is the culmination of a process that included recommendations by a committee of peers, …

National Medal of Technology Recipient Donates Papers to NCSU Libraries

Posted on September 9, 2015 | Filed Under: News

Dr. Jayant Baliga, an internationally recognized leader in electrical and computer engineering, has donated his papers to the North Carolina State University Libraries. Lauded by Scientific American as one of the heroes of the semiconductor …

Recent Media Mentions

Imagination, Microchip, Digilent team up on university MCU course

April 20, 2016

The Connected MCU Lab takes a hands-on approach, leveraging a Wi-Fi enabled development board, tools, software, and cloud services ? everything needed to design IoT solutions. The Connected MCU Lab curriculum, authored by NC State’s Alexander Dean, includes presentation slides for each module, student guide, exercises, tests, solutions, and an Instructor?s Guide. Alexander Dean, engineering, featured.

Software Regulates Voltage in Everyday APUs

September 16, 2015

NC State researchers have created software that manages all voltage regulation in an embedded system solely on the applications processor unit (APU), without resorting to expensive smart switch-mode power supplies (SMPSes) with their own microcontroller or application processors with higher-speeds than necessary just to ensure proper performance. Alexander Dean and Subhashish Bhattacharya, electrical & computer engineering, featured.


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