Dr Oliver Sinnen


Oliver Sinnen is a senior lecturer in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at University of Auckland, New Zealand, where he leads the Parallel and Reconfigurable Computing (PARC).

Oliver Sinnen graduated in Electrical and Computer Engineering at RWTH Aachen University, Germany. Subsequently, he moved to Portugal, where he received his PhD from Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), University of Lisbon, Portugal in 2003. He was visiting instructor/professor for several months at École Normale Supérieure (ENS), Lyon, France in 2008, 2012 and 2015.

Research | Current

Oliver's work in the Parallel and Reconfigurable Computing (PARC) lab focuses on three research lines: task scheduling for parallel systems, software engineering for parallel computing and reconfigurable computing with FPGAs.

In task scheduling he has worked on scheduling models, in particular on models that precisely consider communication, and on optimal scheduling approaches. He is the sole author of the monograph "Task Scheduling for Parallel Systems", Wiley 2007. Oliver was the PI of a Marsden fund on Optimal Task Scheduling on Parallel Systems.

His work on software engineering for parallel computing has produced various language extensions, tools and libraries for parallel programming with Java: Pyjama (OpenMP for Java), Parallel Task, Parallel Iterator, available as Open Source.

In reconfigurable computing, Oliver has worked on domain specific high level synthesis and the use of high level languages, in particular OpenCL for FGPAs. He is part of the mega-science project the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) for which he develops low-power, high-performance solutions of radio astronomy algorithms on FPGAs. In particular he is working on Pulsar Search  in the Central Signal Processor (CSP) package.  He is a founding member of the  NZ SKA Alliance.

Research areas

  • Parallel computing
  • Task scheduling
  • Object oriented parallelisation
  • Reconfigurable computing with FPGAs
  • Algorithm design and complexity theory
  • Graph theory

On Google Scholar

Teaching | Current

Postgraduate supervision

Prospective students:

I am happy to supervise new research students (PhD/ME) on topics related to my research (please see above and also see the PARC lab pages). Proposed projects (domains) can be found (search for supervisor Dr Oliver Sinnen) at the uni's FindaThesis.



PhD (main supervisor)

  1. Tyrone Sherwin, SKA Project Scholar, "Automatic hardware/software partitioning of high level code for processor/accelerator systems"
  2. Haomiao Wang, SKA Project Scholar, "Reconfigurable Hardware based High Performance Computing"
  3. Mostafa Mehrabi, "Cloud Computing with Parallel Tasks"
  4. Michael Orr, UoA Doctoral Scholar, "Optimal Task Scheduling for Parallel Systems"

PhD (co-supervision)

  1. Xing Fan, "Object-oriented shared-memory programming with OpenMP"


Post Docs (main supervisor):

  1. Nasser Giacaman, "Platform for object oriented parallelisation"

PhD students (main supervisor):

  1. Sam Collinson, UoA Doctoral Scholar, "Fast Digital Rendering"
  2. Sarad Venugopalan, Marsden Fund Doctoral Scholar, "Optimal Task Scheduling on Parallel Systems"
  3. Ting Yu, TEC Enterprise Scholar, "High Performance Computing with Reconfigurable Hardware in openCMISS"
  4. Ravi Chandra, UoA Doctoral Scholar, "Java to Hardware Compilation"
  5. Nasser Giacaman, UoA Doctoral Scholar, "Parallelisation of Desktop Environments"

Master students (main supervisor):

  1. Huijun (Tony) Wang, "An Experience comparison of single and multile phase algorithms for multiprocsessor task scheduling"
  2. Hans Raj Bhardwaj, "Parallelisation techniques under Android"
  3. Weng Hao Tong, "Advancing Parallel Task, Parallel Iterator and Pyjama on Android"
  4. Chong Ke, "Making scheduling aware of identical data"
  5. Xiaoxing Hu, "Benchmarking and Cache-awareness in Java"
  6. Jonathan Chow, "Parallel Programming Patterns using Parallel Task on Android"
  7. Lama Akeila, "Object-Oriented Parallelisation"
  8. Alistair Palmer, "Scheduling Algorithm Based on New Clustering Approach"
  9. Ahmed Zaki Semar Shahul, "Optimal Scheduling Algorithms"

Master students (co-supervisor):

  1. Kingsley (Chen) Wang, "Performance implications of thread count in a multiple-application environment"
  2. Vikas, "Parallelisation under Android"

Areas of expertise

General areas:

  • Computer Systems Engineering
  • Software Engineering
  • Computer Science

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Editor of Parallel Computing (ParCo) journal (Elsevier)

Reviewer for more than 20 journals, including

  • IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems
  • Journal of Parallel and Distributed Computing (Elsevier)
  • Parallel Computing (Elsevier)
  • IEEE Transactions on Computers
  • IEEE Transactions on Very Large Scale Integration Systems
  • Applied Mathematics and Computation (Elsevier)
  • Journal of Computer and System Sciences (Elsevier)
  • Concurrency and Computation: Practice and Experience (Elsevier)
  • ACM Transactions on Embedded Computing Systems
  • Discrete Applied Mathematics (Elsevier)

Served as a member on more than 50 conference Programme Committees, including:

  • IEEE Int. Parallel & Distributed Processing Symposium (IPDPS)
  • IEEE International Conference on High Performance Computing (HiPC)
  • Int. Conference on Field-Programmable Technology (FPT)
  • IEEE International Conference on Parallel Processing (ICPP)

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Mehrabi, M., Giacaman, N., & Sinnen, O. (2017). Annotation-based parallelization of Java code. Proceedings - 2017 IEEE 31st International Parallel and Distributed Processing Symposium Workshops, IPDPSW 2017. 10.1109/IPDPSW.2017.23
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Nasser Giacaman, Mostafa Mehrabi
  • Collinson, S., & Sinnen, O. (2017). Caching architecture for flexible FPGA ray tracing platform. Journal of Parallel and Distributed Computing, 104, 61-72. 10.1016/j.jpdc.2017.01.001
  • Wang, H., Gante, J., Zhang, M., Falcao, G., Sousa, L., & Sinnen, O. (2017). High-Level Designs of Complex FIR Filters on FPGAs for the SKA. Proceedings - 18th IEEE International Conference on High Performance Computing and Communications, 14th IEEE International Conference on Smart City and 2nd IEEE International Conference on Data Science and Systems, HPCC/SmartCity/DSS 2016. 10.1109/HPCC-SmartCity-DSS.2016.0115
  • Fan, X., Sinnen, O., & Giacaman, N. (2017). Asynchronous OpenMP tasking with easy thread context switching and pool control. Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics). 10.1007/978-3-319-65578-9_15
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Nasser Giacaman
  • Zaliwski, A., Lankes, S., & Sinnen, O. (2016). Evaluating DVFS Scheduling Algorithms on Real Hardware. Proceedings of the International Conference on Parallel Processing Workshops, 273-280. Philadelphia, USA. 10.1109/ICPPW.2016.48
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/31484
  • Yu, T., Bradley, C., & Sinnen, O. (2016). ODoST: Automatic Hardware Acceleration for Biomedical Model Integration. ACM TRANSACTIONS ON RECONFIGURABLE TECHNOLOGY AND SYSTEMS, 9 (4)10.1145/2870639
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/30670
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Christopher Bradley
  • Varoy, E., Aziz, M., Burrows, J., Sinnen, O., & Giacaman, N. (23/5/2016). Explaining parallel computing to your grandmother: drive-by learning for developing soft skills by communicating with a general audience. Poster presented at EduPar-16 (in conjunction with IPDPS 2016), Chicago, USA. Related URL.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Nasser Giacaman
  • Venugopalan, S., & Sinnen, O. (2016). Memory limited algorithms for optimal task scheduling on parallel systems. Journal of Parallel and Distributed Computing, 92, 35-49. 10.1016/j.jpdc.2016.03.003

Contact details

Primary location

BUILDING 903 - Bldg 903
New Zealand

Web links