Skip to main content

From models to manufacturing, 2024 Sloan Research Fellows Simon Shaolei Du and Adriana Schulz push new paradigms in computing

Side-by-side portraits of Simon Du and Adriana Schulz Fascinated by the inner workings of machine learning models for data-driven decision-making, Allen School professor Simon Shaolei Du constructs their theoretical foundations to better understand what makes them tick and then designs algorithms that translate theory into practice. Du’s faculty colleague Adriana Schulz, meanwhile, has clocked how to make the act of making more accessible and sustainable through novel techniques in computer-aided design and manufacturing, drawing upon advances in machine learning, fabrication, programming languages and more. Those efforts received a boost from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation earlier this year, when Schulz and Du were recognized among the 2024 class of Sloan Research Fellows representing the next generation of scientific leaders. Read more →
April 8, 2024

Three is a magic number: Professor Su-In Lee earns trio of honors, including the “Korean Nobel Prize” in engineering, for advancing AI for biomedicine

Su-In Lee holding a pen and looking off to the side For as long as she can remember, Allen School professor Su-In Lee wanted to be a scientist and professor when she grew up. Her father would sit her down at their home in Korea with a pencil and paper to teach her math — lessons that instilled not just a love of the subject matter but also of teaching. Today, and Lee is putting those lessons to good use in training the next generation of scientists and engineers while advancing explainable AI for biomedical applications. She is also adding up the accolades: After the International Society for Computational Biology recognized Lee with its 2024 ISCB Innovator Award and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering inducted her into the AIMBE College of Fellows, yesterday the Ho-Am Foundation announced Lee as the 2024 Samsung Ho-Am Prize Laureate in Engineering. Read more →
April 3, 2024

“A true ML systems star in the making”: Allen School’s Zihao Ye earns 2024 NVIDIA Graduate Research Fellowship

Portrait of Zihao Ye With large language models dominating the discourse, artificial intelligence researchers find themselves increasingly in the limelight. But while LLMs continue to grow in size — and capture a growing share of the public’s imagination — their utility could be limited by their voracious appetite for compute resources and power. This is where researchers like Zihao Ye, a fourth-year Ph.D. student in the Allen School working at the intersection of AI and systems, have an opportunity to shine. NVIDIA recently selected Ye as one of 10 recipients of the company’s highly competitive Graduate Research Fellowship for his work on serving systems for foundation models and sparse computation to improve the efficiency and programmability of emerging architectures like LLMs. Read more →
February 28, 2024

More than skin deep: Allen School and Stanford researchers create framework for auditing AI image classifiers for detecting melanoma

A person's hand is visible holding a pair of tortoiseshell sunglasses against the sky so that the sun shines through one lens while illuminating ocean waves at the shore Melanoma is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in the United States. On the bright side, the five-year survival rate for people with this type of skin cancer is nearly 100% with early detection and treatment. And the prognosis could be even brighter with the emergence of medical-image classifiers powered by artificial intelligence. Researchers in the University of Washington's AIMS Lab led by Allen School professor Su-In Lee and their collaborators at Stanford University developed a technique that combines generative AI and human expertise to understand how such models arrive at their predictions — and where they miss the mark. The team published its findings in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering. Read more →
February 20, 2024

Allen School researchers earn FOCS Best Paper Award for (nearly) resolving the Subspace Flatness Conjecture for fast integer programming

A green tractor harvesting and baling hay in a field under a blue sky When it comes to the deployment of finite resources, industries are compelled to optimize everything from processes to personnel — and this often requires tradeoffs. But there are some tradeoffs you can’t make, like assigning a quarter of a tractor to a field or half a truck to a route. For problems where the optimal solution makes use of the whole, there is integer programming. And when dealing with a fixed number of variables, for practical reasons many domains rely on heuristics that perform well enough without the formal guarantees of an exact algorithmic solution. After more than 30 years of stalled progress in the field, Allen School Ph.D. student Victor Reis and professor Thomas Rothvoss have produced the first (log n)^{O(n)}-time algorithm for solving integer programming problems within a fixed set of variables. Read more →
January 30, 2024

“Making an impact on local communities is where it starts”: Taskar Center’s Anat Caspi receives Seattle Human Rights Educator Award

Portrait of Anat Caspi Shortly after Anat Caspi arrived at the University of Washington to lead the Taskar Center for Accessible Technology, she advised a group of students to first place in Seattle’s Hack the Commute competition with a trip planning tool dubbed AccessMap. In the years that followed, she continued to build capacity, both on campus and in the community, for advancing technology designed “for the fullness of human experience” — leading the development of data collection and mapping tools to support urban mobility, project-based courses and summer camps that empower students to apply artificial intelligence and data science to create more inclusive communities, a workshop and toolkit addressing ableism in AI, and more. The Seattle Human Rights Commission recently honored Caspi with its Human Rights Educator Award. Read more →
January 25, 2024

Not playing around: Allen School’s Leilani Battle receives VGTC Visualization Significant New Researcher Award for her work on interactive data systems

Leilani Battle, wearing a grey sweater and a blue shirt, smiles in front of a blurred background. Allen School professor and alum Leilani Battle (B.S., ‘11) originally wanted to be a game developer. As a kid growing up in Bremerton Washington, Battle saw a glimpse of her future every time she booted up her family’s Nintendo 64. Whether dodging shells and banana peels in Mario Kart or catching them all as a Pokemon trainer, she saw how imagination could manifest itself in new and inventive ways. At the University of Washington, Battle’s interests shifted; instead of immersing herself in games, she immersed herself in data — specifically, new and improved ways to explore the vast quantities available to scientists and analysts. She recently received the 2023 VGTC Visualization Significant New Researcher Award from the IEEE Visualization and Graphics Technical Community for her contributions. Read more →
December 11, 2023

‘The architects of our digital spaces’: How researchers in the Allen School’s Social Futures Lab are making social media better by design

Pile of colorful 3-D printed tiles with social media platform logos, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat Misinformation can spread like wildfire on social media, fueled in part by platforms’ tendency to prioritize engagement over accuracy. This puts the onus on individual users to determine the veracity of posts they see and share on their feed. Likewise, when it comes to violence, profanity and other potentially harmful content, users are often left to fend for themselves in the face of indifferent or inadequate moderation. The current state can make social media platforms a harrowing place — particularly for members of marginalized communities. Researchers in the University of Washington’s Social Futures Lab led by Allen School professor Amy X. Zhang hope to change that by designing social media tools that empower users while minimizing the burden of managing their online experiences. Read more →
November 30, 2023

‘There’s so much great research here’: The case for open language models and other food for thought from the Allen School’s 2023 Research Showcase

A crowd of people cluster around posters on easels on a building landing. The camera focuses on one person explaining a poster's contents to another person viewing it. The poster's content is not visible in the photo. New approaches to finetuning large language models that decrease computational burden while enhancing performance. A robotic arm that safely delivers a forkful of food to someone's mouth. A system that combines wireless earbuds and algorithms into a low-cost hearing screening tool. These are just a sample of the nearly 60 projects that were on display during the Allen School’s Research Showcase and Open House last week. The display capped off a day-long celebration of computing innovations that are advancing the field and benefiting society. Nearly 300 Industry Affiliate partners, alumni and friends participated in the event, which included sessions devoted to computer science ethics, intelligent transportation, computing for sustainability, computing for health, natural language processing and more. Read more →
November 21, 2023

I Am First-Gen: Allen School students reflect on their trials, triumphs and what it means to be the first

Slogan I AM FIRST GEN in white lettering bordered at top and bottom with gold lines against a purple background It can feel lonely being the first in your family to pursue a four-year degree. How do you apply? How will you pay for it? What major should you choose? How will you navigate your new surroundings, not to mention make new friends? If you run into difficulty, where do you turn for help? And what are “office hours,” anyway? To mark the National First-Generation College Celebration, which is held annually on November 8th, we asked a diverse group of Allen School students to share what it means to them to “be the first.” Read more →
November 8, 2023

Older Posts »