Mizzou Engineer solving complex problems during internship at Arm

June 30, 2021

Arun Zachariah at his internship with Arm.

A Mizzou Engineering student is conducting an internship this summer at Arm, a leading semiconductor and software design company. Specifically, Arun George Zachariah is designing frameworks to optimize the complex workloads involved in infrastructure research using multi-core Arm processors.

“I am able to do a deep dive into core systems at the architecture level,” he said. “That’s something I’ve never done — my research has been at the user space. It’s something I personally like because that’s where I believe the beauty of computer engineering lies. It’s pretty exciting.”

Zachariah is pursuing a PhD in computer science. His research intersects scalable systems design, data science and machine learning. He’s particularly interested in using his findings to further develop large-scale systems to enable rapid search and access to big data.

“Fast access to images and videos has a lot of real-world and multidisciplinary applications,” he said.

Zachariah is applying the work to pathology, allowing scientists to sort through and understand massive amounts of data from digital slides in a shorter amount of time.

“My internship has helped me go more in-depth into open-source tools and libraries and also helped me get into core systems design,” he said. “I intend to use the training and lessons I’ve learned to enable fast information retrieval. The experience and understanding of the finer aspects of systems would help me fine-tune and enhance my research.”

Mizzou, he said, prepared him for the Arm internship through coursework and collaborative research projects. In addition to working with pathology, he’s worked with genome sequence analysis, specifically studying COVID-19, and has helped predict energy consumption to try to help counter emissions and minimize carbon footprints.

“Mizzou has an environment that fosters collaborative research,” he said. “I’ve been involved with numerous interdisciplinary projects. I believe a university is more than just education, and my experience here has been very enriching.”

A passion for problem solving

Zachariah returned to academic after working as a technology analyst for more than five years. He also served as a consultant to Apple, during which time he became interested in research and discovered publications by Praveen Rao, an associate professor with joint appointments in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science and Health Management & Informatics.

Zachariah joined Rao’s lab, which at the time was located at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. When Rao took a position at Mizzou in 2020, Zachariah transferred with him.

Here, he’s also discovered a passion for teaching and training students. Now, Zachariah is hoping to enter academia as a tenured track assistant professor.

“I want to be involved with active research that helps the community”, he said. “The main goal is to understand the problems our community is facing and then attack them in a novel fashion to optimize research and make life easier.”