Miriam Leeser

Professor,  Electrical and Computer Engineering


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  • 316 Dana Research Center
  • 617.373.3814

Research Focus

Accelerators for computer intensive applications from the edge to the cloud. Applications of FPGAs including wireless communications, machine learning and data privacy.


Miriam Leeser is a Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Northeastern where she is head of the Reconfigurable Computing Laboratory. She is a member of the Computer Engineering research group. Her research includes using heterogeneous architectures from the cloud to the edge with applications in data privacy and wireless communications. She is a senior member of the IEEE and of the ACM.



  • PhD, Computer Science, Cambridge University, 1988. Joined Northeastern in 1996.
  • BS Electrical Engineering Cornell University

Honors & Awards

  • Fulbright Scholar
  • National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award

Research Overview

Accelerators for computer intensive applications from the edge to the cloud. Applications of FPGAs including wireless communications, machine learning and data privacy.

Reconfigurable and GPU Computing Laboratory

In the Reconfigurable and GPU Computing Laboratory (RCL) we research how to use hardware accelerators such as Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) and Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) for a wide variety of applications. Our interest is in developing tools, libraries and interfaces that make accelerators easier to use. Our work helps speed up wireless networking, IoT, medical imaging, security and privacy applications, in many cases taking theoretical algorithm advances and making them practically viable for the first time.

Reconfigurable and GPU Computing Lab

Selected Research Projects

Department Research Areas

Selected Publications

  • Mohamed, M., Handagala, S., Xu, J., Leeser, M., & Onabajo, M. (2020). Strategies and Demonstration to Support Multiple Wireless Protocols with a Single RF Front-End. IEEE Wireless Communications, 27(3), 88-95. doi.org/10.1109/MWC.001.1900224
  • Blott, M., Halder, L., Leeser, M., & Doyle, L. (2019). QuTiBench: Benchmarking Neural Networks on Heterogeneous Hardware. ACM Journal on Emerging Technologies in Computing Systems (JETC), 15(4), 1-38. doi.org/10.1145/3358700
  • Huang, Kai, Mehmet Gungor, Xin Fang, Stratis Ioannidis, and Miriam Leeser. (2019). Garbled Circuits in the Cloud using FPGA Enabled Nodes. In 2019 IEEE High Performance Extreme Computing Conference (HPEC), 1-6. doi.org/10.1109/HPEC.2019.8916407
  • M. Blott, T.B. Preußer, N.J. Fraser, G. Gambardella, K. O’brien, Y. Umuroglu, M. Leeser, K. Vissers, FINN-R: An End-to-End Deep-Learning Framework for Fast Exploration of Quantized Neural Networks, ACM Transactions on Reconfigurable Technology and Systems, 11(3), 2018, 16
  • B. Drozdenko, M. Zimmermann, T. Dao, K. Chowdhury, M. Leeser, Hardware-Software Codesign of Wireless Transceivers on Zynq Heterogeneous Systems, IEEE Transactions on Emerging Topics in Computing, 6(4), 2017, 566-578
  • J. Bhimani, N. Mi, M. Leeser, Z. Yang, FiM: Performance Prediction for Parallel Computation in Iterative Data Processing Applications, In Cloud Computing (CLOUD), IEEE 10th International Conference, 2017, 359-366
  • M. Blott, T.B. Preußer, N. Fraser, G. Gambardella, K. O’Brien, Y. Umuroglu, M. Leeser, Scaling Neural Network Performance Through Customized Hardware Architectures on Reconfigurable Logic, In 2017 IEEE International Conference on Computer Design (ICCD), 2017, 419-422
  • X. Fang, S. Ioannidis, M. Leeser, Secure Function Evaluation Using An FPGA Overlay Architecture, In Proceedings of the 2017 ACM/SIGDA International Symposium on Field-Programmable Gate Arrays, 2017, 257-266
Miriam Leeser


Jul 01, 2021

Leeser Research Receives Best Paper Award at the HEART 2021

ECE alum Jieming Xu, PhD’20, and Professor Miriam Leeser received the best paper award at the International Symposium on Highly Efficient Accelerators and Reconfigurable Technologies (HEART 2021) for their paper Accelerating Matrix Processing for MIMO Systems.

Miriam Leeser


Jun 10, 2021

Using FPGAs for New and Efficient Computation

ECE Professor Miriam Leeser, in collaboration with Michael Zink from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, was awarded a $300K collaborative EAGER NSF grant for “CNS: PRATE: P4 Research enabled by Accelerators in national TestbEds”.


Aug 28, 2020

Best Paper Award at IEEE HPEC 2020

Computer engineering PhD student Mahsa Bayati (PhD’20), ECE Professor Miriam Leeser, Associate Professor Ningfang Mi were awarded the Outstanding Student Paper Award for their paper “Exploiting GPU Direct Access to Non-Volatile Memory to Accelerate Big Data Processing” at the 2020 IEEE High Performance Extreme Computing Conference (HPEC).

Miriam Leeser


May 20, 2020

Leeser wins Best Paper for ACM Transactions on Reconfigurable Technology and Systems

ECE Professor Miriam Leeser’s paper on “FINN-R: An End-to-End Deep-Learning Framework for Fast Exploration of Quantized Neural Networks” won Best Paper for the 2020 year in ACM Transactions on Reconfigurable Technology and Systems.

abstract cybersecurity graphic

Mar 12, 2020

Cybersecurity: Your Secrets Are Safe With Us

Northeastern researchers are at the forefront of cybersecurity research, protecting everything from the phone in your pocket to the city of the future.

someone holding a circuitboard


Dec 03, 2019

Desnoyers and Leeser Awarded $1.55M NSF Grant to Accelerate Innovations in Cloud Technologies

ECE Affiliated Faculty Peter Desnoyers (PI), Khoury College, and ECE Professor Miriam Leeser (co-PI) are the Northeastern University leads of $1.55M five-year NSF grant that is part a $5M total award in collaboration with the University of Massachusetts Amherst (lead) and Boston University.


Jun 05, 2019

Lin to Lead $1.2M Grant to Reduce DNN Computation and Storage Requirements

ECE Assistant Professor Xue (Shelley) Lin will lead a $1.2M NSF grant, in collaboration with ECE Professor Miriam Leeser and Massoud Pedram from the University of Southern California, on developing “A Unified Software/Hardware Framework of DNN Computation and Storage Reduction Using ADMM”.


Jun 04, 2019

Leeser to Give Keynote Speech at ISSC

ECE Professor Miriam Leeser will give a keynote speech on “Billions and billions – or what to do with all those transistors” at the Irish Signals and Systems Conference (ISSC).


Apr 29, 2019

Faculty and Staff Awards 2019

Congratulations to all the winners of the faculty and staff awards, and to everyone for their hard work and dedication during the 2018-2019 academic school year. See Photo Gallery Faculty Fellow Matthew Eckelman, CEE Yongmin Liu, MIE Outstanding Teacher of First Year Engineering Students Joseph Depasquale, Chemistry Brian O’Connell, FYE Sumi Seo, Mathematics Matthew Webber, […]


Oct 19, 2018

Professor Leeser to be Keynote Speaker at H2RC 2018

Professor Miriam Leeser will be the keynote speaker at the 2018 Heterogeneous High-performance Reconfigurable Computing Workshop being held in Dallas, Texas November 11. Abstract: Secure Function Evaluation (SFE) allows an interested party to evaluate a function over private data without learning anything about the inputs other than the outcome of this computation. This offers a […]

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