most significant bits
newsletter of uw computer science & engineering
volume 24, number 1, spring 2014

university of washington
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contents
Big Data, Enormous Oppportunity Oceanography Astronomy Alumni awards Alum achievement Diamond winner Fitzpatrick Chair’s message Alumni entrepreneur profiles WibiData Usermind Two rising stars join CSE faculty Faculty awards and honors Student awards and honors News and events Bay Area alum meetup CSE annual luncheon Ben Taskar Datagrams
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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: Sandra Kaplan, Ed Lazowska, Hank Levy, Sandy Marvinney, S. Morris Rose
Photo credits: Bruce Hemingway, Rod Prieto, Kay Beck-Benton

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Big Data, Enormous Opportunity

UW core team
UW core team

On November 12, 2013 as the featured talk at a White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) event, a five-year, $37.8 million award from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation was made to the University of Washington, the University of California at Berkeley, and New York University. The award aims to dramatically accelerate the growth of data-intensive discovery in a broad range of scientific fields.

The University of Washington has already assumed a leadership role in addressing such problems and directing Big Data discussions. Its eScience Institute — created in 2008 as the brainchild of visionaries Ed Lazowska, Tom Daniel (Professor of Biology), Werner Stuetzle (Professor of Statistics and Divisional Dean, Arts & Sciences) and others — has collaborated with the UW’s Center for Statistics and the Social Sciences (CSSS), now more than a decade old, to become a national leader in advancing the techniques and technologies of data-intensive discovery.
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Alumni awardees
Jeff Dean, Gail Murphy, Brad Fitzpatrick

Alumni awards

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Chair’s message

Hank Levy

We approach graduation 2014 with extreme excitement about the department, the field, and our future. The entire campus has become aware of the importance of computing to every field — from social science to physical science to medicine and law. Interest in our classes across UW has grown and continues to grow at a dizzying rate. The latest “intended major” statistics from the incoming freshmen class at the University of Washington shows continued exponential growth among high school seniors planning on majoring in computer science.
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Alum entrepreneurial profiles

Christophe Bisciglia
Christophe Bisciglia

A visionary CSE alumnus has navigated successful entrepreneurial launch into the tech universe, not just once, but twice in the last six years. The latest venture for Christophe Bisciglia ('03) is WibiData, a San Francisco-based startup founded in 2010 to build real-time big data applications for customers across a variety of sectors from retail to the finance industry.


usermind
Przemek Pardyak

UW CSE alum Przemek Pardyak bluntly notes there are 500 ways for startup companies to fail. Yet, he co-founded and sold two successful startups and is now one year into his third company, usermind, which launched in spring 2013.

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Faculty awards and honors

Gaetano Borriello
Gaetano Borriello
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Student medals and honors

Shiri Azenkot
Shiri Azenkot
  • CSE undergraduate Martina Unutzer, who did research with CSE professor Magda Balazinska, received an Honorable Mention in the 2014 Computing Research Association Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award competition.
  • Graduating UW CSE PhD student, Shiri Azenkot, who is completing her studies with CSE professor Richard Ladner and iSchool professor (and CSE adjunct professor) Jake Wobbrock, received the 2014 University of Washington Graduate School Medal. She was also recognized by the College of Engineering’s 2014 Community of Innovators Awards as the Student Innovator for Research.
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Two rising stars join UW CSE faculty

Yejin Choi
Yejin Choi
Franzi Roesner
Franzi Roesner

UW CSE is thrilled to announce its first two faculty hires of the 2014: Yejin Choi, currently assistant professor at SUNY Stony Brook and a rising star in natural language processing, will join UW CSE this fall. Franzi Roesner, a researcher in security and privacy with a strong focus on design, will also join UW CSE as a faculty member this fall.

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News and events

Georg Seelig in the lab
Georg in the lab
  • The UW CSE Bay Area alum meetup will once again be held at Pixar on July 10th.
  • The CSE 2014 Scholarship/Fellowship Recognition luncheon was held on April 30th. Always a lovely event, graduate student speaker Laurel Orr and undergraduate student speaker Karolina Pyszkiewicz represented their peers.
  • Our department, the entire university, and many in our field nationally were shocked and saddened by the loss of Ben Taskar, Boeing Professor of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington, who passed away on the early morning of November 18, 2013 of sudden and severe heart failure.
  • Faculty, student, and alum achievements, and events are highlighted in the Datagrams section

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