most significant bits
newsletter of uw computer science & engineering
volume 22, number 1, spring 2012
university of washington
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DawgBytes: A Taste of CSE Chair’s message New CSE Faculty Carlos Guestrin & Emily Fox Jeff Heer & Daniela Rosner Awards ’12 Alumni Achievement award ’12 Diamond Awards Cooper wins ACM dissertation award Borg scholars ’12 UW Presidential medalist ’12 UW Freshman medalist Goldwater Scholar News CSE cyber defense team repeats Tom Lehmann: top crew athlete Datagrams Events UW CSE returns to the Bay Area Inspirational Teachers
msb22.1 PDF

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Supporting UW CSE is a left-brain decision. Your gift provides the department with resources for scholarships, fellowships, research support, and funds to building the CSE community we hope you value. Small gifts might not seem significant by themselves, but when pooled together they make great things possible. As you think about giving, please consider making a gift to CSE. Go to our website ( and select “Support CSE.” You will find a variety of funds that can benefit from your support.

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, Hélène Martin.
Photo credits: Bruce Hemingway, Hélène Martin.

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DawgBytes: A Taste of CSE

140 high school students hear Yoshi Kohno discuss security at the December 2011 programming contest
140 high school students hear Yoshi Kohno discuss
security at the December 2011 programming contest
Photo courtesy of Hélène Martin

Students from kindergarten to high school appreciate the life-changing potential of technologies such as social networking, automatic translation or robotic prostheses. Despite this, few have the opportunity to explore how and by whom these technologies are created. At UW CSE, we strive to expose more young students to computing in an effort to attract diverse and better-prepared undergraduates to our program.

UW CSE has long been a leader in outreach to K-12 students and teachers. This year, we dedicated time and energy to formalize and expand our existing programs, now under the name of DawgBytes. Our continued success in outreach depends on participation from faculty, current students and alums. To learn more and get involved, please see:

Supporting local teachers

Dedicated and well-prepared teachers have a tremendous impact on the interests of large groups of students. Through multiple channels, we have focused on building strong relationships with local teachers of computer science and other related disciplines.

Local computer science teachers gather at UW CSE monthly for meetings of the Puget Sound Computer Science Teachers' Association. Discussions at these sessions center on pedagogical strategies and upcoming events, such as programming contests. Several of these teachers offer our CSE 142 and 143 courses through the UW in the High School program. Roosevelt High School CS teacher Andy Davidson recently remarked: "I'd just like to acknowledge the incredible contribution that CSE has made to teaching CS in the Seattle Public School district."

CS4HS, our annual summer workshop for math and science teachers, now serves more than 70 teachers. Participants learn about applications of CSE and leave with several curriculum modules they can implement in their classrooms.

We continue our tradition of recognizing high school and community college teachers who inspired UW CSE students. At the annual CSE Inspirational Teachers' dinner, teachers learn about CSE and reconnect with former students who are now in the department.

Encouraging future computer scientists and engineers

In March 2012, we held a ceremony for the winners of the Washington State NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing. The 20 young women recognized have demonstrated remarkable accomplishments in computing and the event strengthened their resolve to pursue technical degrees. Following the event, one winner remarked that "women have more opportunities than [she] thought in computing."

UW graduate and undergraduate students participating in the K-12 Computing Education seminar will log more than 150 hours of volunteer time this quarter. Their projects have ranged from developing programming curriculum for middle schoolers to helping students struggling with AP Computer Science.

The Saturday Computing Experience introduces deaf and hard-of-hearing students to computers and programming. Students meet weekly for about two months and complete projects together. At the end of the program, the students will showcase their projects.

For the first time this summer, we will offer week-long camps for middle and high school students in conjunction with Women in Science and Engineering and the Society of Women Engineers.

Want to get involved with DawgBytes? Contact us at

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