I am an assistant professor of Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering at Duke University. I received my doctoral degree at Columbia University where I was advised by Professor Martha Kim. Prior to joining Duke, I was a postdoctoral researcher at UC Berkeley under the sponsorship and advisement of Professor Krste Asanović and the mentorship of Professor David Patterson. In my former life, I was an architect at Intel and then a research scientist at Intel Labs.


I enjoy solving difficult problems surrounding computations with the goal to process large volumes of data efficiently. My research interests include computer architecture and microarchitecture, hardware-software co-designs, accelerators, and emerging application domains ― especially those in big data analytics such as genomics, graphs, and databases. One of my research goals is to greatly simplify the design, deployment, and usage of custom hardware and to leverage this research in hardware acceleration to advance state-of-the-art research in the healthcare domain as well as other natural sciences.

Recent News

"Effectuating Hardware-Accelerated Systems with Domain-Specific Primitives" is selected for the NSF Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) Award!

The CAREER Program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation's most prestigious awards in support of early-career faculty.

Dec 2020
APEX Lab welcomes its third graduate researcher Yujie Zhang! Yujie is a first year ECE PhD student at Duke.

Yujie has a B.S. from Nanjing University. Her research interests are in computational genomics, HW/SW co-design, hardware specialization, and processing-in-memory.

Dec 2020
Selected for the Google "Rising" Systems Faculty Award!

Google SysInfra recognizes and supports the next stage of rising scholars' careers in research, teaching, and mentoring. Collectively, the 7 awardees represent 14+ universities in their advanced studies and faculty positions. Thank you Google!!

Oct 2020
APEX Lab welcomes its second graduate researcher Entropy Xu! Entropy is a first year CS PhD student at Duke.

Entropy has a B.S. from UC Irvine. His research interests are in microarchitecture, hardware agile development, stochastic computing, and accelerator architecture.

Sep 2020
CS/ECE Undergraduate Course:
Computer Architecture

Checkout the Fall 2020 CS/ECE 250 Course Website!

Aug 2020
Our paper at ISCA 2020 showcases a project that accelerates the genomic secondary analysis pipeline (part of GATK4) using a framework called Genesis.

Genesis is a framework for accelerating genomic data manipulation operations. Genesis has a SQL-esque frontend and a hardware library of composable components.

Jun 2020
Selected for the Systems for ML Facebook Research AwardProject: "Accelerating and Deploying Natural Language Processing Systems in Data Centers"

Along with Isaac Robson, a master's student at UNC, we will explore how accelerated NLP systems can help with drug discovery and more.

Feb 2020
APEX Lab welcomes its first graduate researcher Phyllis Ang!
Phyllis is a first year CS PhD student at Duke.

Phyllis is from Houston, TX and she has a B.S. from UT Austin. Her research interests are in computer architecture, AI, and systems.

Nov 2019
Chisel Bootcamp Sponsored by APEX Lab @ Duke:
Open to Students and Industry Hardware Architects

Check out the Chisel Bootcamp hosted at Duke on Friday, September 6!

Register for the event here! Space is limited.

Sep 2019
New CS/ECE Graduate Course:
Computer Architecture and Hardware Acceleration

Check out the Fall 2019 CS/ECE 590 course website!

Fall 2019
Started a New Lab:
APEX Lab @ Duke (Application-driven Programmable Efficient Accelerated Systems Lab)
Summer 2019
Awarded Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professorship

The CBL Program @ The Henry Luce Foundation

Summer 2019


lisa at cs dot duke dot edu

LSRC Building • 308 Research Drive • Durham • NC • 27708

© 2019 by Lisa Wu Wills