UCLA Leads the Way in Modern Data Storage Systems with a New Center

Oct 7, 2013

By UCLA Samueli Newsroom

In September the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science launched a new center to push the frontiers in emerging data storage systems and to create highly-trained workforce of graduate students and post-doctoral researchers. The Center for Development of Emerging Data Storage Systems (CoDESS), started by electrical engineering professors Lara Dolecek and Rick Wesel, strategically places UCLA at the helm of modern data storage technologies, offers new pathways for innovations in research, and strengthens partnerships with industry.

“I applaud CoDESS team for their initiative and forward-thinking in creating the center on modern data storage technologies,” said Frank Chang, chair of Electrical Engineering Department and holder of the Wintek Endowed Chair in Electrical Engineering. “Our department will greatly benefit from CoDESS presence in this important area of research and engineering.”

The center currently involves more than two dozen researchers, including four UCLA electrical engineering faculty members: Lara Dolecek, assistant professor; Rick Wesel, professor as well as the associate dean of Academic and Student Affairs; Dariush Divsalar, adjunct professor and a principal scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory; and Dejan Markovic, associate professor. The center also includes  more than 15 graduate students, post-doctoral scholars, and several industrial and academic visitors.

The center’s current research thrusts span information and coding theory for ultra-reliable storage systems; enabling technologies for future recording paradigms and storage devices; data reduction algorithms and communication methods for cloud storage; and resource-efficient signal processing techniques and architecture optimization.


The inaugural day-long CoDESS kickoff meeting was held on Sept 19th, 2013 at UCLA with great success. The event included several presentations by faculty and graduate students on their most recent research.

“The on-going data revolution has placed unprecedented demand on data storage systems to be ultra reliable, affordable, and energy-efficient,” said Dolecek, CoDESS  co-director. “These challenges have created an exciting opportunity to innovate at various system levels. With our recent state-of-the art results, broad experience and expertise in modern code design, CoDESS is ideally positioned to lead the way in modern data storage technologies.”

Experts from several leading data storage companies were in attendance for the kickoff meeting. Colleagues from industry were particularly impressed with the depth, quality, and range of research executed at UCLA.

“I really liked the deep involvement of the professors in the ongoing projects,” said Mustafa Kaynak, a senior staff engineer with Micron.

“UCLA has a very strong team… I most appreciated how the UCLA team has focused on practice-oriented mathematical solutions,” said Ivana Djurdjevic, principal engineer at LSI.

“Our new center is focused on using communication theory and information theory to provide solutions to the real problems in emerging storage systems,” said Wesel, CoDESS co-director. “It is a very exciting validation of our recent research to see this level of industry interest in our results.”

The new center further leverages ongoing storage-oriented activities at UCLA. Dolecek is the organizer and the editor-in-chief for a special issue on data storage for JSAC (Journal on Selected Areas of Communication) the leading IEEE journal focusing on cutting-edge communications and networking technologies. She is also the chair of Data Storage Symposia and data storage technical program chair for numerous premier IEEE conferences. Dolecek has given several tutorials on coding theory and practice for data storage applications in prominent academic and industrial venues. Her book on recent advances in channel coding with applications to emerging data storage and memories is expected to be published in 2014.

For more information on CoDESS, please visit their website at: www.uclacodess.org.

Main Image: Professor Dolecek gives a presentation. Inset Image: A PhD student lecturing at the CoDESS meeting.

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