most significant bits
newsletter of uw computer science & engineering
volume 19, number 2, winter 2010
university of washington
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 home CSE Home     Winter 2010 MSB    MSB Archive    Contact Info 
Distinguished Lecturer Series   Simonyi in Space   Myhrvold in the Kitchen   More Familiar Terrain Chair's message New Faculty Additions   Su-In Lee   Anup Rao   Luke Zettlemoyer News   Girl Geek Dinner   Datagrams   CSE Alum in NYTimes Kindle DX Pilot Program Awards   TR35 Winners   CRA Undergrads
msb19.2 PDF

About MSB

MSB is a twice yearly publication of UW CSE supported by the Industrial Affiliates Program.

Editor: Kay Beck-Benton
Contributors: Ed Lazowska, Hank Levy, Sandy Marvinney
Photo credits: Bruce Hemingway, Rod Prieto

We Want to Hear from You!

Do you have news you’d like to share with the CSE community? Comments or suggestions for future issues of MSB? Let us know! Email the editors at and be sure to visit us online at:


Seattle Girl Geek Dinner

Seattle Girl Geek Dinner attendees
enjoy the technical presentations
in the Atrium

CSE hosted the fifth Seattle Girl Geek Dinner in the Microsoft Atrium on December 3. More than 100 women from the local technology community attended and enjoyed some time to network and grab a quick bite of food. CSE’s Magda Balazinska and Yoky Matsuoka provided the technical content.

To see information about some of the fabulous women of UW CSE, please see:

Information about Seattle Girl Geek Dinners may be viewed at:


Ratul Mahajan wins SIGCOMM Rising Star Award
Ratul Mahajan

Ratul Mahajan, a 2005 UW CSE Ph.D. alumnus now working at Microsoft Research, received the 2009 SIGCOMM Rising Star Award. Each year, ACM SIGCOMM presents the Rising Star Award, recognizing a young researcher — an individual no older than 35 — who has made outstanding research contributions to the field of communication networks during this early career stage. Depth, impact, and novelty of the researcher’s contributions are key criteria upon which the Rising Star Award Committee evaluates the nominees, as well as strong research contributions made independently from the nominee’s Ph.D. advisor.

Gaetano Borriello, Chandu Thekkath named ACM Fellows
New ACM Fellows Borriello and Thekkath

Professor Gaetano Borriello is the latest UW CSE faculty member to be named a Fellow of the ACM. (He is the 14th UW CSE faculty member to receive this honor.) UW CSE Ph.D. alumnus Chandu Thekkath, a principal researcher at Microsoft Research, also was named an ACM Fellow this year. ACM is the major professional society in computer science. Roughly 1% of ACM’s members are elevated to the rank of Fellow.

Dan Halperin, Kathleen Tuite Awarded Intel Fellowships

UW CSE graduate students Dan Halperin and Kathleen Tuite are among 26 exemplary Ph.D. students from across the nation who have been named recipients of Intel Ph.D. Fellowships. The Intel Ph.D. Fellowship program focuses on research in Intel’s principal technical areas: Hardware Systems Technology and Design, Software Technology and Design, and Semiconductor Technology and Manufacturing. Dan, who is advised by Tom Anderson and David Wetherall, was awarded his fellowship for research “enabling the realistic design of next generation wireless systems.” Kathleen, who is advised by Zoran Popovic, was awarded her fellowship for “active world reconstruction through a real-world multiplayer game.”

Noah Snavely wins University of Washington Graduate School “6th Chapter” Dissertation Award

2008 UW CSE Ph.D. alumnus Noah Snavely, now on the computer science faculty at Cornell University, has received the UW Graduate School “6th Chapter” Dissertation Award. Named by former dean of the Graduate School Suzanne Ortega, the 6th Chapter Award refers to the five-chapter length of most dissertations. In a hypothetical sixth chapter, Ortega reasoned, candidates would propose practical applications resulting from their research, translating their insights into real-world policies or programs. Noah’s Ph.D. work, co-supervised by Steve Seitz and Rick Szeliski (affiliate CSE professor at Microsoft Research), concerned recovering 3D structure from large community photo collections. Microsoft’s widely-praised Photosynth application represents technology transfer from Noah’s work.

Jonathan Carlson wins 2009 University of Washington Distinguished Dissertation Award

Recent UW CSE Ph.D. alumnus Jonathan Carlson received the 2009 UW Graduate School Distinguished Dissertation Award. Carlson’s thesis work on “Phylogenetic Dependency Networks: Inferring Patterns of Adaptation in HIV,” co-supervised by Larry Ruzzo (CSE) and David Heckerman (Microsoft Research), seeks to enable improved HIV vaccines by identifying HIV adaptations that the virus employs against the immune system. Carlson now works with Heckerman in the Microsoft Research eScience Group in Los Angeles.

Kira Lehtomaki

CSE Alum Kira Lehtomaki in New York Times

Kira Lehtomaki, a UW CSE alum who works at Walt Disney Animation Studios, was featured in a New York Times article on non-traditional careers for computer scientists.

You can learn about all sorts of interesting things such as this by subscribing to the RSS feed of UW CSE News. See:

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