Photo of Stephens, Brent

Brent Stephens

Assistant Professor

Department of Computer Science


Building & Room:

1330 SEO

Office Phone Voice:

(312) 996-2666


I am an assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Broadly speaking, I am interested in most aspects of data center networking. I am especially interested in the intersection of network systems, operating systems, and computer architecture.

In addition to my interests in computer science, I enjoy participating in many hobbies, including music, kaizo Mario, biking, boarding, and brewing. I enjoy many types of biking, from commuting on a road bike to riding dirt jumps on a BMX.

Research Interests:

I am looking for motivated and passionate students. If you are interested in working with me, please feel free to reach out and start a conversation with me. My interests in computer science are broad, and I am willing to entertain any compelling projects. However, I am currently particularly interested in the following research areas:

  • Designing new switch programs that fundamentally rethink flow control, e.g., how switch should drop packets, and how switches should avoid dropping packets.
  • New architectures for reconfigurable match table (RMT) switches and NICs.
  • Explicitly co-scheduling network and CPU resources so as to maximize high-level application and infrastructure objectives.
  • Integrating programmable NICs and switches into the OS and network core by developing new protocols and offloads that treat the servers and network in a cluster as a single heterogeneous processor.
  • New abstractions and frameworks for developing microservices and function chains. By changing how applications are programmed, new paradigms can enable the design of clean-slate application communication primitives that are both simple and efficient and simultaneously able to benefit from advanced hardware offloads like RDMA and in-network stream processing.

Selected Publications

 Brent Stephens, Aditya Akella, Michael M. Swift. Loom: Flexible and Efficient NIC Packet Scheduling. NSDI, 2019.

 Brent Stephens, Aditya Akella, Michael M. Swift. Your Programmable NIC Should be a Programmable Switch. HotNets, 2018.PDF

 Yanfang Le, Brent Stephens, Arjun Singhvi, Aditya Akella, Michael M. Swift. RoGUE: RDMA over Generic Unconverged Ethernet. SoCC, 2018.PDF

 Keqiang He, Weite Qin, Qiwei Zhang, Wenfei Wu, Junjie Yang, Tian Pan, Chengchen Hu, Jiao Zhang, Brent Stephens, Aditya Akella, Ying Zhang. Low Latency Software Rate Limiters for Cloud Networks. APNET, 2017.PDF

 Brent Stephens, Arjun Singhvi, Aditya Akella, Michael Swift. Titan: Fair Packet Scheduling for Commodity Multiqueue NICs. Usenix ATC, 2017.PDF Tech Report

 Brent Stephens, Alan L. Cox. Deadlock-Free Local Fast Failover for Arbitrary Data Center Networks. Infocom, 2016.PDF

 Brent Stephens, Alan L. Cox, Scott Rixner. Scalable Multi-Failure Fast Failover via Forwarding Table Compression. SOSR, 2016.PDF

 Brent Stephens. Handling Congestion and Routing Failures in Data Center Networking. PhD Thesis, 2015.PDF

 Jeff Rasley, Brent Stephens, Colin Dixon, Eric Rozner, Wes Felter, Kanak Agarwal, John Carter, Rodrigo Fonseca. Planck: Millisecond-scale Monitoring and Control for Commodity Networks. SIGCOMM, 2014.PDF

 Brent Stephens, Ankit Singla, Colin Dixon, Wes Felter, John Carter, Alan L. Cox.Practical DCB for Improved Data Center Networks. Infocom, 2014.PDF


Postdoctoral Researcher, 2015-2018


PhD, Computer Science, 2015

Rice University

MS, Computer Science, 2012

Rice University

BS, Electrical Engineering, 2009

Rice University