most significant bits
newsletter of uw computer science & engineering
volume 21, number 2, autumn 2011
university of washington
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Shwetak Patel wins MacArthur Chair's message CSE leads new Intel center Alum profile: Wen-Hann Wang News Aram Harrow joins CSE CSE’s newest ACM Fellows iGEM 2011 world champs! Datagrams Awards Refraction wins NHK prize CRA recognizes CSE ugrads 2012 Diamond Award winners Events Susan Eggers retires! Jean-Loup Baer turns 75 2011 Industrial Affiliates meeting CSE @ 2011 Hopper Conference
msb21.2 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: Dieter Fox, Sally James, Ed Lazowska, Hank Levy, Sandy Marvinney, Shwetak Patel. Photo credits: Bruce Hemingway, Lindsay Michimoto, UW News Team.

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Shwetak Patel Receives MacArthur “Genius” Award

Shwetak Patel, 2011 winner of MacArthur Award
Shwetak Patel Receives MacArthur “Genius” Award

Shwetak Patel, assistant professor in Computer Science & Engineering and Electrical Engineering, has been named a 2011 MacArthur Fellow. Often colloquially referred to as the “Genius Award,” this $500,000 prize was awarded to Shwetak for developing low-cost, easy-to-deploy sensor systems that leverage existing infrastructures to enable users to track household energy and resource consumption. Shwetak was the youngest of the 22 individuals across the nation honored with the prestigious award this year.

Chair's message

Hank Levy
Hank Levy

The last few months have been especially exciting for us in CSE. In particular, in September we learned that Shwetak Patel, who has a joint position in CSE and EE, was awarded a prestigious MacArthur Foundation Fellowship for his research in easy-to-deploy energy sensors and human-computer interaction technology. We are featuring Shwetak and his work on the front page of this issue of MSB. At about the same time, the news broke that a group of online players of Foldit, a protein folding game developed by Zoran Popović and his research group in collaboration with UW biochemist David Baker, had solved a decade-old mystery in the structure of a key enzyme related to HIV/AIDS in monkeys. This scientific advance may lead to the design of better anti-viral drugs.

CSE leads new Intel center


The Intel Science and Technology Center for Pervasive Computing (ISTC-PC) launched in the fall 2011. Led by CSE professor Dieter Fox and Intel principal engineer (and CSE PhD alum) Anthony LaMarca, UW serves as the hub, coordinating research among five other top-tier universities involved in the collaboration.

The center's mission is to develop fundamental technologies needed for pervasive computing systems that are trustworthy, richly aware of their users and their activities, and continuously learn and adapt. The ISTC-PC brings together leading researchers whose focus is on pervasive computing, wireless communication and sensing, artificial intelligence and machine learning, computer vision, and human computer interaction, fifteen faculty participants in total. Nine are from UW, two from Georgia Tech, and one each from Cornell, the University of Rochester, Stanford, and UCLA. From the UW, participating faculty are Jeff Bilmes, James Fogarty, Dieter Fox, Yoshi Kohno, Richard Ladner, Shwetak Patel, Josh Smith, David Wetherall, and Luke Zettlemoyer. In addition to faculty, the ISTC-PC will fund roughly 30 grad students and post docs and provide research experiences for undergrads.

Wen-Hann Wang

Alum profile: Wen-Hann Wang

CSE’s collaboration with Intel shoots to new heights with the Intel Science and Technology Center for Pervasive Computing. An enthusiastic booster for the center is CSE alumnus Wen-Hann Wang (PhD ’89), a vice president of Intel Labs and director of circuits and systems research, based in Hillsboro, Oregon.


UW iGEM team
UW 2011 winning iGEM team members

Faculty, student, staff, and alum achievements highlighted:



Erik Andersen accepting NHK Japan Prize
Andersen accepting NHK Japan prize



CSE at the 2011 GHCWC
CSE at the Grace Hopper Celebration

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