July 2, 2007
ECE remembers alumna Margarida Jacome, who passed away on May 25 after battling cancer for several months. Margarida was an ECE Professor and Temple Foundation Fellow at The University of Texas (UT) at Austin. She earned her Ph.D. in ECE at Carnegie Mellon University in 1993 and received B.S. and M.S. degrees from the Technical University of Lisbon in Portugal. Her research focused on embedded computing, hardware/software co-design, and high-level synthesis.
To commemorate Margarida Jacome's passion for her research and her students, the ECE Departments at both Carnegie Mellon and UT Austin have established a joint graduate student fellowship in her name.
"Margarida was one of the most energetic, positive energy persons who I have ever met. She was the ideal academic colleague, and simply the best friend one could have," said Larry Pileggi, Tanoto Professor of ECE at Carnegie Mellon.
"She was a very vibrant person who you just liked instantly," remembered Pileggi. She remained devoted to her students throughout her illness: "After Margarida learned that she had terminal cancer, her primary concern was to work with her graduate students who were closest to graduation to finish their theses."
Pileggi met Jacome after he graduated from Carnegie Mellon with his Ph.D., the year before she started at the university, under the guidance of then Department Head (and later Dean of the College of Engineering) Stephen Director as her research advisor. As students, Pileggi and Jacome shared similar research interests and both were affiliated with the Center for Electronic Design Automation (CEDA) at Carnegie Mellon, which preceded the Center for Silicon System Implementation (CSSI), which Pileggi now directs.
When Jacome graduated from Carnegie Mellon, Pileggi was a faculty member at UT Austin. He was very impressed by her work and recruited her for a software engineering position. As part of the UT Austin faculty, Jacome received the National Science Foundation CAREER Award. She was an associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems (IEEE TCAD) and guest edited a special issue of the ACM Transactions on Embedded Computing Systems (TECS) on power aware embedded computing.
Recently, Jacome was a member of the executive committee of the IEEE/ACM International Conference on Computer-Aided Design (ICCAD), serving as the nano-initiative chair last year. Additionally, Jacome worked on the technical program committees of many other conferences and won several best paper awards. Her paper "Exploring Performance Tradeoffs for Clustered VLIW ASIPs" was included in the book "The Best of ICCAD - 20 Years of Excellence in Computer Aided Design."
"We are all deeply shocked at her passing on but we are left with fond memories of her presence, character, hard work, and technical prowess - she was loved by everyone who came across her," wrote Anthony Ambler, Chairman of the ECE Department at UT Austin, in a news release.
Contributions to the fellowship in Jacome's memory may be made out to "The University of Texas," marked "For Margarida," and mailed to: >Anthony P. Ambler
>Chairman, Dept. of Electrical & Computer Engineering
>The University of Texas at Austin
>1 University Station C0803
>ENS Room 236
>Austin, TX 78712-0240