most significant bits
newsletter of uw computer science & engineering
volume 22, number 2, autumn 2012
university of washington
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Industry Affiliates Startup Fair Chair’s message New CSE Faculty New hires in UW CSE Taskar joins UW CSE World Lab 6th Summer Academy for Deaf News Datagrams CSE ugrad alum survey Distinguished Lectures
msb22.2 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: Ed Lazowska, Hank Levy, James Landay, S. Morris Rose
Photo credits: Bruce Hemingway, Timothy Yu

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CSE's Summer Academy for Advancing Deaf & Hard of Hearing in Computing completes sixth year

Summer academy participants
Summer Academy 2012 participants,
sitting on the steps in Red Square

The Summer Academy for Advancing Deaf & Hard of Hearing in Computing recently completed its sixth year of a 9-week academic program in computing for deaf and hard of hearing high school juniors and seniors and college freshmen and sophomores. Students completed a computer programming course for college credit, and a certificated class in animation, where students learned basic concepts of animation, including lighting, movement, shading, and storyboarding using Maya software. This year thirteen students from around the country completed the rigorous program. Working in three groups, they created short animated films, which provided students valuable lessons in leadership and working together as team members.

During the Summer Academy, computing professionals who are deaf or hard of hearing were brought in from all over the country to meet with students and talk about their educational and work experience, how they addressed accessibility issues, and the projects on which they were currently working. These presentations were followed by one-on-one mentoring sessions. Guest speakers included employees from Amazon, Cray Supercomputing, IBM, Microsoft, and, among others.

Students communicate in ASL in the CSE Atrium.
Photo credit: Timothy Yu

At least once a week, CSE graduate students gave presentations on their research in a variety of computing fields, covering such topics as mining from big data, programs that provide selffeedback in a variety of processes, privacy issues in designing social networking systems, and power saving strategies for enabling video conversations on cell phones. Additionally, grad students who were conducting research in the field of accessible technology presented on topics including MobileAccessibility, using smart phones to solve accessibility problems; ASL-STEM Forum, an online dictionary of American Sign Language terms in computing; and MobileASL, a project that is working to make video conversations in ASL possible on cell phone networks. These presentations provided academy students with a peek into how university research programs are conducted by grad students.

Jason Behmer at EMC Isilon
CSE grad Jason Behmer hosts the Summer
Academy at EMC Isilon Division. To the left of
Jason are two avenues of accessibility
available to the students, captioning and
an American Sign Language interpreter.
Photo credit: Timothy Yu

An important aspect of the Summer Academy is the ability to take students on field trips to the many software and hardware companies that are headquartered or have a significant presence in Seattle. Some of these visits included the opportunity to meet employees who are deaf and hard of hearing at Google and Microsoft. Other companies visited included Adobe, Isilon, and Valve.

The Summer Academy is funded by the National Science Foundation, the Johnson Scholarship Foundation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

For more information on the academy, and links to the animation films created by Summer Academy students, visit:

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