Professor Jerry Trahan, B.S. '83


Married with two children ages 11 and 14


Growing Bonsai - I have a few nice trees, but I also have a few scrubby looking ones that I try to keep in shape.
Reading - Mostly History
Kayaking - When I can

Biographical Sketch:

Jerry L. Trahan received his B.S. from Louisiana State University in 1983 and his M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1986 and 1988, respectively. Since 1988, he has been a faculty member in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Louisiana State University, where he is currently an Associate Professor. He has served as a reviewer for numerous journals, and as a program committee member of several workshops and conferences.

Current Research Interests:

Run-time re configuration Models of reconfigurable computing (such as reconfigurable mesh and reconfigurable optical pipelined networks)-always with the flavor of algorithms and theory of computation. Dr. Trahan is a founding member of the ECE Department Reconfigurable Computing Group. More information can be found at the web address

Description: Reconfigurable computing employs a device that can alter its function or structure to suit the needs of a computation. A dynamically reconfigurable architecture typically consists of a large number of computing elements connected by a reconfigurable communication medium. The ability to reconfigure permits an algorithm designer to tailor a computational platform to suit the current step of a computation, resulting in a faster solution on a less expensive platform. The interaction between computation and the communication medium permits novel techniques not possible on a fixed-connection network. Run-time reconfiguration (RTR) has applications in image processing, signal processing, encryption, networking, and other areas. An RTR computation partitions into phases such that the hardware, usually field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), changes structure from one phase to the next.

Research is currently supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation


Professor Vaidyanathan and I published a book on reconfigurable computing that came out last year.

Dynamic Reconfiguration: Architectures and Algorithms by Ramachandran Vaidyanathan and Jerry L. Trahan

Published by Kluwer Academic--January 2004

From the preface: "This book spans the large body of work on dynamically reconfigurable architectures and algorithms. It is not an exhaustive collection of results in this area; rather, it provides a comprehensive view of dynamic reconfiguration by emphasizing fundamental techniques, issues, and algorithms. The presentation includes a wide repertoire of topics, starting from a historical perspective on early reconfigurable models, examining more recent developments such as optical models and run-time reconfiguration (RTR), and finally touching on an approach to implementing a dynamically reconfigurable model.

"The book is addressed to researchers, graduate students, and system designers."

New Courses:

Last fall, I taught a senior-level course on (not surprisingly) reconfigurable computing. This past spring, I taught a graduate course (still not surprisingly) on run-time reconfiguration. The graduate course was a very interesting experience, different in style from past courses. We discussed a collection of research papers, and students presented papers in nearly half the class meetings. It was a good bunch of students, they were rich with ideas. The most intriguing thing to me about the class was the way students would pursue discussions much more vigorously when another student was presenting compared to when I was presenting. They would ask more questions, volunteer more answers, press topics further.


I have been the ABET coordinator for the department for the past six years or so. Duties include ensuring that our undergraduate curricula satisfy the ABET accreditation criteria, managing our program improvement process (which involves faculty, students, alumni, and employers), and preparing reports for ABET. It also involves a lot of persuading and pestering to encourage faculty participation in the process. Coupled with this, I have also chaired the department Curricula Committee over the past year. I have learned a great deal from this work; I am impressed with what ECE accomplishes, and I see ways we can grow and improve our students' educations.



Louisiana State University
ECE Alumni Office
102 South Campus Dr.
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
(225) 578-5242