Charith Mendis

  • PhD Candidate
  • Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL)
  • Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) Department
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  •    Email : charithm '@' mit 'dot' edu
  •    Github : CharithYMendis
Profile Picture

I’ll be starting as an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) in Fall 2021!

I am a final year PhD candidate working at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) advised by Prof. Saman Amarasinghe. Earlier, I completed my masters at MIT and my bachelors at University of Moratuwa. I was awarded the William A. Martin Memorial Thesis Award for my masters thesis at MIT and the institute Gold Medal for my bachelors. During summer of 2015, I was a research intern at Microsoft Research, Redmond, where I worked with Dr. Madan Musuvathi and Dr. Todd Mytkowicz.

My broad research interests include compilers, program analysis and machine learning. I envision a future where most compiler optimizations will be auto-generated and learnt as opposed to manually written. Not only will they produce faster code, but also they will be easier to develop and maintain. To this end, I have used data-driven techniques to develop novel compiler cost models (Ithemal) and learn end-to-end compiler optimization policies (Vemal) that outperform hand-crafted tools. Please visit our Deep Compiler project page to find out more about how we are modernizing the way compilers are constructed.

I have also developed techniques to rejuvenate performance of already hand-optimized codes which are susceptible to bit-rot using both dynamic analysis (Helium) as well as static analysis (Revec) techniques.

My CV can be found here.


  • Jul 07, 2020 Our paper on learning CPU simulator parameters was accepted at MICRO 2020
  • May 01, 2020 Serving in the External Review Committee (ERC) of PACT 2020
  • Jan 16, 2020 More press coverage for deep compiler related projects [Slashdot, i-programmer, Register UK]
  • Jan 06, 2020 Ithemal featured in MIT news
  • Sep 03, 2019 Our paper on compiler auto-vectorization using imitation learning was accepted at NeurIPS 2019


Conference Publications

  • Optimizing CPU Simulator Parameters with Learned Differentiable Approximations
    Alex Renda, Yishen Chen, Charith Mendis, Michael Carbin
    MICRO 2020 (To Appear)
  • Compiler Auto-Vectorization with Imitation Learning
    Charith Mendis, Cambridge Yang, Yewen Pu, Saman Amarasinghe, Michael Carbin
    NeurIPS 2019
    [PDF] [Bibtex]
  • BHive: A Benchmark Suite and Measurement Framework for Validating x86-64 Basic Block Performance Models
    Yishen Chen, Ajay Brahmakshatriya, Charith Mendis, Alex Renda, Eric Atkinson, Ondrej Sykora, Saman Amarasinghe, Michael Carbin
    IISWC 2019
    [PDF] [Project Page] [Bibtex]
  • Ithemal: Accurate, Portable and Fast Basic Block Throughput Estimation using Deep Neural Networks
    Charith Mendis, Alex Renda, Saman Amarasinghe, Michael Carbin
    ICML 2019
    [PDF] [Project Page] [Bibtex]
    Best Paper Award (ML for Systems workshop @ISCA 2019)
    Press - MIT News, Slashdot, i-programmer, Register UK
  • Revec: Program Rejuvenation through Revectorization
    Charith Mendis*, Ajay Jain*, Paras Jain, Saman Amarasinghe
    CC 2019
    [PDF] [Project Page] [Bibtex]
  • goSLP: Globally Optimized Superword Level Parallelism Framework
    Charith Mendis, Saman Amarasinghe
    [PDF] [Project Page] [Bibtex]
  • Making Caches Work for Graph Analytics
    Yunming Zhang, Vladimir Kiriansky, Charith Mendis, Saman Amarasinghe, Matei Zaharia
    IEEE BigData 2017
    [PDF] [Bibtex]
    Best Student Paper Award
  • Parallelizing WFST Speech Decoders
    Charith Mendis, Jasha Droppo, Saeed Maleki, Madanlal Musuvathi, Todd Mytkowicz, Geoffrey Zweig
    ICASSP 2016
  • Helium: Lifting High-Performance Stencil Kernels from Stripped x86 Binaries to Halide DSL Code
    Charith Mendis, Jeffrey Bosboom, Kevin Wu, Shoaib Kamil, Jonathan Ragan-Kelley, Sylvain Paris, Qin Zhao, Saman Amarasinghe
    PLDI 2015
    [PDF] [Project Page] [Bibtex]
    Press - Fortune News, MIT News, Adobe blog, Yahoo Tech, Computer Business Review
(* - equal contribution)


  • Helium: Lifting High-Performance Stencil Kernels from Stripped x86 Binaries to Halide DSL Code
    Charith Mendis
    SM Thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    [PDF] [Bibtex]
    William A. Martin Memorial Thesis Prize

Selected Awards

  • Best Paper Award - ML for Systems workshop @ISCA 2019 (link)
  • Best Student Paper Award - IEEE BigData 2017
  • William A. Martin Memorial Thesis Prize for the best SM thesis in Computer Science at MIT (link)
  • MIT Energy Initiative Fellowship 2013-2014 (link)
  • Sri Lanka Telecom Gold Medal for the best student at University of Moratuwa majoring Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering