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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From where I sit...

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.

These are just a few of the many ways that our faculty and students are having impact on important global challenges. And it demonstrates the extent to which interdisciplinary research has become the key to scientific innovation and discovery. Computer science is broadly changing the world, and we want to be part of that change. The best way to do that is to engage with fields outside of CSE that can be advanced by the computing technologies we develop. For this reason, over the last decade we have hired faculty in diverse areas such as synthetic biology, computational biology, neurobotics, novel sensors, and biomechanical control, in addition to hires in core areas. In the future, I expect us to move even further into fields where we can both contribute to computer science and help to address the major challenges that society faces.

Every year the UW College of Engineering honors five of its alumni who have made significant contributions to the field of engineering with its Diamond Awards. I'm very happy to announce that this year the College has chosen two CSE alumni to receive Diamond Awards. Anne Condon, who received her Ph.D. from CSE in 1987, was selected for Distinguished Achievement in Academia; Anne is currently Head of the Department of Computer Science at University of British Columbia. And Greg Badros, who received his Ph.D. from CSE in 1998, will receive the Early Career Award; Greg is an engineering director at Facebook where he leads several key technical areas, including search and data infrastructure. Congratulations to Anne and Greg!

Wishing all of you a happy and healthy new year!

Hank Levy signature
Henry M. Levy
Chairman and Wissner-Slivka Chair
2011 UW CSE PhD Graduates
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