Mohamed Abdelfattah

Assistant Professor

You clicked on my photo! That means you found a page where I keep random things about myself that do not necessarily fit anywhere else on this webpage. If you were looking for my formal bio, please click here.

Random factoids:

  • My brother is an incredibly talented professor in the neuroscience department at Brown University.
  • I played waterpolo when I was a teenager and won multiple national championships in Egypt.
  • I love cycling and hate cars - cities that do not have good cycling infrastructure are just built incorrectly.


The rest of this page has snippets of information about my life before joining Cornell.

Photos of Awards:

Starting from the left, the best paper awards at FPL'13 and FPGA'15, and at FPL'15 where my paper was selected as one of the most significant 25 papers in the first 25 years of the conference. Vaughn Betz, my PhD supervisor, is the much taller person receiving the awards with me -- an amazing mentor and one of the most influential FPGA researchers ever.

Recorded talks from when I was a junior PhD student:

The UofT FPGA seminar is a right of passage for any FPGA researcher at UofT. I had fun delivering the two talks below and attending countless others.

Where I lived:

I’ve spent half of my life moving between countries. I was born in Egypt in 1988, on the 8th of August (yes, I have the best birth date ever: 8/8/88), and I spent my formative years there until I finished most of my undergrad degree. I had a very happy childhood and teenage years in Egypt – to me, it’s one of the best places in the world.

We went to the beach every summer.

In the begining of 2009, I left Egypt and headed for Germany where I worked on my BSc thesis then did my MSc degree at the University of Stuttgart. This was the first time I lived alone and I owe much of my personal growth and independence to the time I spent in Germany.

Left: A first attempt at cooking with my friend. Right: At the clean room in the University of Stuttgart.

In 2011, exactly 3 days after submitting my MSc thesis, I took a flight to Canada where I spent the following 7 years. I lived in Toronto, and I consider it to be my second home. In Toronto, I completed my PhD with Vaughn Betz, got married to the wonderful and talented Lina El-Shamy, started my first industrial job at Altera-now-Intel and had my first child Omar.

Starting from the left. Hosting Prof. Adel Sedra [link] who is one of my role models. Kevin Murray taught me everything I know about camping/canoeing in Canada. Being a dad and waiting for a bus in downtown Toronto.

Next, I took my family and went to Cambridge in the UK to work at an exciting research lab that was just starting. I joined Nic Lane and Andrew Blake, and helped build the Samsung AI Center in Cambridge. I spent 3 years there leading the AutoML research team. In 2020, my second child Layal was born.

This photo summarizes Cambridge for me: bicycles, nature and good weather.

Towards the end of 2021, I will move to New York City to start as an Assistant Professor at Cornell Tech and ECE Cornell. Being a professor is the best job in the world. I belive that my diversity of experiences as a student, engineer, researcher, husband and father have well-prepared me for this amazing position.