Michael Lyons

Computer Science PhD Student
Harvard University

My Blog Publications & Presentations Teaching Contact Info Biography

I'm a seventh year, post-qualifiers graduate student studying Computer Science under my advisor David Brooks. I enjoy designing energy efficient hardware and software for embedded systems.

My research currently focuses on RoboBees, a five year, $10M NSF funded project to build autonomous hives of robotic bees. I am designing the system-on-chip (SoC) CPU, which relies heavily on hardware acceleration to perform common bee workloads at low power budgets.

I also work on portable devices such as mobile phones and Wireless Sensor Network nodes. I hope that my work will reduce the amount of energy consumed by electronics and help portable devices do bigger and better things without needing to be charged so often.

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

My CV is available here.

My Blog

You can find my blog here. I like to talk about what I've been working on lately. Sometimes it has cool demos related to RoboBees.

Publications & Presentations

Michael Lyons, Gu-Yeon Wei, and David Brooks. "Shrink-Fit: A Framework for Flexible Accelerator Sizing" IEEE Computer Architecture Letters, July-Dec 2012 Issue [PDF]

Michael Lyons, Mark Hempstead, Gu-Yeon Wei, and David Brooks. "The Accelerator Store: A Shared Memory Framework For Accelerator-Based Systems," ACM Transactions on Architecture and Code Optimization (TACO) special issue on High-Performance and Embedded Architectures and Compilers, Volume 8 Issue 4, January 2012 [PDF]

Michael Lyons, Mark Hempstead, Gu-Yeon Wei, and David Brooks. "Toward An Accelerator-Based Architecture," Invited presentation at the 7th International Conference on High-Performance and Embedded Architectures and Compilers (HiPEAC), January 23-25, 2012.

Michael Lyons, Mark Hempstead, Gu-Yeon Wei, and David Brooks. "The Accelerator Store Framework for High-Performance, Low-Power Accelerator-based Systems," IEEE Computer Architecture Letters, July-Dec 2010 Issue. [PDF]

Michael Lyons, Gu-Yeon Wei, and David Brooks. "Making Every Switch Count: Specialization to Overcome the Power-Wall," New Directions in Computer Architecture (NDCA) workshop at the International Symposium on Microarchitecture (MICRO-42), December 13, 2009. [Video]

Michael Lyons and David Brooks. "The Design of a Bloom Filter Hardware Accelerator for Ultra Low Power Systems," International Symposium on Low-Power Electronics and Design (ISLPED), August 2009. [PDF]

Mark Hempstead, Michael Lyons, David Brooks, and Gu-Yeon Wei. "Survey of Hardware Systems for Wireless Sensor Networks," Journal of Low Power Electronics, Volume 4, Number 1, April 2008.

Michael Lyons and David Brooks. "Application-Specific Hardware Design for Wireless Sensor Network Energy and Delay Reduction," Workshop on Optimizations for DSP and Embedded Systems (ODES), April 2008. [PDF]

Steven Chang, Adam Kirsch, and Michael Lyons. "Energy and Storage Reduction in Data Intensive Wireless Sensor Network Applications," Harvard Computer Science Technical Reports, 2007. [PDF]


Yakun Sophia Shao, Judson Porter, Michael Lyons, Gu-Yeon Wei, David Brooks. "Power, Performance and Portability: System Design Considerations for Micro Air Vehicle Applications," Advanced Computer Architecture and Compilation for Embedded Systems, July 2010.

Michael Lyons, Adam Kirsch, and David Brooks. "Reducing Energy and Delay for Large-Scale Monitoring in Sensor Networks," Poster, Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems (ASPLOS), March 2008.


I was a teaching fellow (TA) for ES271r: RoboBees Brain Design during the fall 2009 semester.

I was a teaching fellow (TA) for CS141: Computing Hardware during the fall 2007 and fall 2008 semesters.

I was a teaching fellow (TA) for CS 61: Systems Programming and Machine Organization during the spring 2008 semester.

Contact Info

mjlyons at eecs dot harvard dot edu

School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Maxwell Dworkin Room 307
33 Oxford St.
Cambridge, MA 02138


Before graduate school, I worked at Microsoft's Entertainment & Devices Division in Seattle for about two years. Specifically, I was a Software Design Engineer in Test for Windows Mobile and wrote software tools to test mobile phone applications.

I spent my undergraduate years in Philadelphia, studying Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Pennsylvania. I also worked as an intern at Olympus Optical in Tokyo and spent a semester abroad at the University of Science and Technology in Hong Kong.