Tony Nowatzki

Graduate Student
Computer Science Department
University of Wisconsin–Madison
1210 W. Dayton St.
Madison, WI 53706-1685

Office: 6394 Computer Sciences and Statistics
Phone: 612-269-6036
E-Mail:

Academic Background

I am currently a graduate student at UW Madison, working with Professor Karu Sankaralingam in the Vertical Research Group. My broad research interests are in hardware/software co-design, and architectural modeling and applications of mathematical optimization. My thesis work tries to illuminate some of the trade-offs of programmability and generality in this current era of hardware specialization, and tries to find some ways to get the benefits of both. I go into more detail on my current work on my Research page.

Announcement: I will be joining UCLA as an assistant professor in January 2017. Please stay tuned for updates. (My new webpage is here)

Before I came to UW Madison, I was doing my undergrad its rival: the University of Minnesota. I earned Computer Science and Computer Engineering degrees, and also worked at the Laboratory for Computational Science and Engineering (LCSE), who are basically a bunch of physics geniuses working on fluid dynamics simulations. I worked on the software which controlled the volume rendering servers, the user facing code for exploring the 3D simulation data, as well as the movie-generation software, which interpolates user-generated 3D paths in the data. You can see the fruits of my labor here -- many of these (tp1, c52, c31, ps2, ms1, xs4) were datasets that I generated the coloring and movie paths for. My "artistry" was also featured in Discover.

Personal Background

I first of all love music, and am especially fond of classical/romantic piano; Chopin and Beethoven are at the top of my charts. I also play Cello and Piano, and attempt to do a little bit of composing and recording -- though I'll refrain from uploading any embarrassing soundbites for now . : )

Though I think I never would have made a great musician, in another life I probably could have been a great philosopher of mind. I think there's likely two questions which science will never answer conclusively: "why is there something rather than nothing?" and "where does subjective experience (consciousness) come from?". I'm also totally fascinated by the challenges and dilemmas in morality and ethics. A few of my favorite modern thinkers in this space are Michael Sandel, Steven Pinker, Sam Harris and Dan Ariely -- and the Very Bad Wizards podcast is amazing.

Its also fair to say that Madison has had a profound influence on my taste for high quality beer. I used to be a homebrewer, and enjoyed it a lot. Unfortunately, as my graduate career's productivity has increased, my rate of beers/week has gone down too much for home-brewing to continue to make sense. I also learned to windsurf while at Madison (more than I can say for sailing, and not for lack of trying), which was so much fun and I recommend it to anyone.