most significant bits
newsletter of uw computer science & engineering
volume 21, number 1, spring 2011
university of washington
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CSE Security & Privacy Research Chair's message Reges wins UW teaching award News Warren Jessop retires Datagrams Awards Alumni Achievement Awards Hank Levy elected to NAE Anokwa wins UW grad medal Two win Borg Scholarships Mark Bun wins Goldwater Dodge to competitive workshops CHI Best Paper to HS student Capstone courses Digital design capstone Audio capstone
msb21.1 PDF

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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, Alexei Czeskis, Hannah Hickey
Photo credits: Bruce Hemingway, Mary Levin, S. Morris Rose

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Warren Jessop Retires!

Warren Jessop
Warren Jessop — at the start, at the finish

It's official! April 29th marked Warren Jessop's last day in CSE. Not many of us were around when Warren joined CSE as a grad student in the early '80s. Starting in 1982, he worked for the VLSI Consortium (including working with a replica of the VAX-11/780 museum piece in the Atrium) and later joined the CS Lab staff to provide broader departmental support for Sun workstations. In 1999, he assumed the management of the Lab's Support Group, which at the time he termed "grabbing the third rail of the lab." Warren created a high-functioning operation, which keeps the trains running on time and the services humming. Our thanks to Warren for 3+ decades of dedication and contributions to CSE!


Dieter Fox elected AAAI Fellow
Dieter Fox
Dieter Fox

CSE's Dieter Fox has been elected a Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence for his substantial contributions to this specialty and the transfer of artificial intelligence to the fields of robotics and ubiquitous computing. Dieter is the fourth CSE faculty member to receive this honor; he joins CSE professors Pedro Domingos, Oren Etzioni, and Dan Weld, and former CSE professor Henry Kautz (now at the University of Rochester).

ODK in use on the international space station
Open Data Kit

Open Data Kit (ODK), now in use on six continents, has learned just how far its reach extends. In early May, the UW Change group received an email from Carbon For Water, explaining that the organization is using 4,000 ODK-enabled phones to collect data that is being is used to support Vestergaard Frandsen's campaign to distribute LifeStraw Family water treatment units to 4 million people in Western Kenya. Evan Thomas of Manna Energy wrote: "ODK has enabled us to easily train 4,000 community health workers in how to use the smartphone application, and we are now getting records in at a rate of about 50 per minute [about 40,000/day]. We expect a total of over one million records by June 1, 2011. This project has broad reach. We even have an astronaut on the International Space Station who is monitoring the project via the ODK database." As of May 16, Carbon For Water has accumulated ~370,000 forms. More information about ODK may be viewed here:

Richard Ladner honored with UW Undergraduate Research Mentor Award
Richard Ladner
Richard Ladner

CSE's Richard Ladner is one of five UW faculty members honored with an Undergraduate Research Mentor Award. Every year, students who present their work at UW's Undergraduate Research Symposium are invited to nominate their mentor for special recognition. A committee then selects a few awardees from those nominated to honor at the annual symposium, traditionally held in late spring. More information about the Undergraduate Research Symposium may be viewed here:

Shwetak Patel receives 2011 UW COE Community of Innovators, Junior Faculty Innovator Award
Shwetak Patel
Shwetak Patel

Shwetak Patel, a faculty member in CSE and EE, received a 2011 College of Engineering "Community of Innovators" Award for his research, student mentorship, and teaching. Each year, these awards recognize college faculty, students, and staff who have gone "above and beyond." Shwetak shares the Junior Faculty Innovator Award with EE's Brian Otis.

James Landay elected to CHI Academy
James Landay
James Landay

The CHI Academy is an honorary group of individuals who have made extensive contributions to the study of Human Computer Interaction and who have led the shaping of the field. CSE's James Landay was elected this year for his research over the past two decades, which has included contributions in the areas of automated usability evaluation, demonstrational interfaces, ubiquitous computing, user interface design tools, and web design. As his citation notes: "But James' most lasting legacy will be his outstanding ability to create communities of HCI researchers (Berkeley, Intel Research Seattle) with international prominence and lasting impact."

Anup Rao and Georg Seelig win Sloan Fellowships
Anup Rao
Anup Rao

CSE's Anup Rao and Georg Seelig have been selected to receive 2011 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowships, among the most selective awards for young scientists. Rao and Seelig are the 16th and 17th UW CSE faculty members to be honored with Sloan Research Fellowships.

Georg Seelig
Georg Seelig

Rao, an expert in the theory of computation, joined CSE in 2010. His interests include finding mathematical explanations for why some computational problems are fundamentally harder than others, and discovering the limitations of efficient computational processes. Seelig, a synthetic biologist, joined CSE and EE in 2009. He is interested in understanding how biological organisms process information using complex biochemical networks, and how such networks can be engineered to program cellular behavior. Engineered circuits and circuit elements are being applied to problems in disease diagnostics and therapy.

James Fogarty wins 2011 NSF CAREER Award
James Fogarty
James Fogarty

CSE's James Fogarty has won a coveted NSF CAREER award. He explores human-computer interaction, user interface software and technology, and the obstacles to widespread adoption of ubiquitous sensing and intelligent computing technologies. James is the 29th CSE faculty member to receive a CAREER award.

Oren Etzioni, Yoky Matsuoka named Entrepreneurial Fellows
Yoky Matsuoka and Oren Etzioni
Yoky Matsuoka and Oren Etzioni

CSE's Oren Etzioni and Yoky Matsuoka were honored as inaugural UW Entrepreneurial Faculty Fellows. The honorees have achieved success in translating their research into products and therapies or started ground-breaking programs for translation or collaboration with industry. Fellows will mentor colleagues with entrepreneurial aspirations, advise the UW Center for Commercialization on its programs, and provide input on UW policies and programs related to entrepreneurship.

2011 Discovery Days
2011 Discover Days

Nearly 4,000 K-12 students visited the UW for Engineering Discovery Days, held April 22-23. In the photo at right, attendees check out the Interactive 3D Visualization of Maps with Kinect Depth Cameras in the Microsoft Atrium.

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