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UW CSE Ph.D. alums Scott Hauck, Calton Pu are 2016 IEEE Fellows

scott2UW CSE Ph.D. alums Scott Hauck and Calton Pu have been named to the 2016 class of Fellows of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Scott – the Gaetano Borriello Professor for Educational Excellence in the University of Washington’s Department of Electrical Engineering, an Adjunct Professor in CSE, and a 1995 UW CSE Ph.D. alum – was recognized “for contributions to Field-Programmable Gate Array based systems.”

Calton – the John P. Imlay, Jr., Chair in Software in the Georgia Institute of Technology’s College of Computing, and a 1986 UW CSE Ph.D. alum – was recognized “for calton-photocontributions to system software specialization, information security, and services computing.”

Congratulations to Scott and Calton!

November 25, 2015

UW CSE’s Shyam Gollakota wins 2015 World Technology Award in Communications Technology


This year’s World Technology Summit & Awards Ceremony took place on November 19th-20th in New York City. Bringing together the most innovative people and organizations in science and technology from around the world, the Summit explored what is imminent, possible, and important in and around emerging technologies.

The culmination of the Summit was the 2015 World Technology Awards Gala. In the Communications Technology category, 39 nominees were culled to 6 finalists. And the winner, announced at the Gala, was UW CSE professor Shyam Gollakota.

This is the latest in a long string of honors for Shyam; others include an NSF CAREER Award, an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, selection as one of Forbes “30 under 30,” selection as one of MIT Technology Review’s “TR35” (35 top innovators under the age of 35), and the 2012 ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award.tr35.inv_.gollakotax392

Learn about Shyam’s amazing – and amazingly diverse – research here.

Congratulations Shyam!

November 21, 2015

UW/Seattle “Smart Cities” partnership highlighted in video

Untitled 2A new City of Seattle video highlights a “Smart Cities” urban data science partnership between the city and the University of Washington. UW CSE’s Anat Caspi, Bill Howe, and Ed Lazowska are featured in the video, as well as a host of researchers from the UW eScience Institute, which is spearheading the initiative on the UW end.

Watch the video here.

November 21, 2015

Join UW CSE faculty, students and Rosie the Robot in celebrating Computer Science Education Week!

Computing Open HouseEach year, UW CSE throws open the doors of the Paul G. Allen Center for Computer Science & Engineering to middle and high school students and their families as part of Computer Science Education Week. This year, students and parents are invited to join us on Saturday, December 5th from 1:00 to 5:00 pm at our computing open house, which features interactive demonstrations and hands-on activities that celebrate the wonderful world of computing.

Try your hand at games for learning and scientific discovery developed by UW CSE’s Center for Game Science; learn about encryption with members of the Security & Privacy Lab; meet Rosie the Robot; and much more!

Don’t miss the chance to interact with our faculty, students and industry partners, and to learn more about the exciting new technologies being developed here at UW CSE!

Learn more and RSVP here. And don’t forget to participate in the Hour of Code – learn more about that here.

November 20, 2015

UW CSE students compete in ACM’s International Collegiate Programming Contest

Orz programming team

Team Orz (from left): Jingchen Hu, WenBo Cui and Forrest Sun

Five teams of UW CSE students competed at the Pacific Northwest regional for the ACM’s annual International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) last weekend. Once again, our students made a strong showing, sweeping the top five spots at the Puget Sound competition site and holding their own against some formidable opponents from other top institutions in the broader regional contest. Twelve CSE undergraduates and three graduate students participated.

Puget Sound was one of six sites that determined which teams from the Northwest region – which includes Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, northern and central California, western Nevada and Hawaii – will move on to compete in the world finals next May.

The regional competition is fierce, including teams from UW CSE, Stanford, UC Berkeley and a number of other schools. Two teams of CSE undergradate students – Orz and Eternal Flame – placed in the top 10 overall, and all five teams placed in the top 20. (A total of seventy teams competed in UW CSE’s division.) Everyone made their coach, UW CSE Ph.D. student Daniel Epstein, proud:

Orz: WenBo Cui, Jingchen Hu, Forrest Sun (Puget Sound site champions, 7th in the region)

Eternal Flame: Victor Chen, Jasper Hungunin, Vladimir Korukov (10th in the region)

Voila: Hessam Bagherinezhad, Kiana Ehsani, Xin Yang (12th in the region)

Last1: Ziyu Wang, Qian Yan, Yuhao Zhu (13th in the region)

Java the Hutt: Zach Frohardt, Gunnar Onarheim, Calob Symonds (19th in the region, and honorable mention by UW CSE News for the best team name)

Way to go, everyone!

November 19, 2015

UW’s “Power Over WiFi” named a top innovation of 2015 by Popular Science

UW WiFi powered surveillance cameraResearchers from UW CSE and EE announced in June that they had developed Power Over WiFi, “PoWiFi” for short, to harvest energy from Wi-Fi routers to wirelessly power devices. The technology, which has appeared in MIT Technology Review, Wired, BBC News, and several other media outlets, was chosen this week as one of Popular Science’s “Best of What’s New 2015” – a list of the top 100 innovations that the magazine believes will shape the future and change the world.

From the UW media release:

“The technology made headlines earlier this year when researchers published an online paper showing how they harvested energy from Wi-Fi signals to power a simple temperature sensor, a low-resolution grayscale camera and a charger for a Jawbone activity tracking bracelet….

“Although initial experiments harvested relatively small amounts of power, the UW team believes there’s opportunity to make the PoWiFi system more efficient and robust.

“‘In the future, PoWiFi could leverage technology power scaling to further improve the efficiency of the system to enable operation at larger distances and power numerous more sensors and applications,’ said co-author Shyam Gollakota, assistant professor of computer science and engineering.”

In addition to Gollakota, the research team includes CSE and EE professor Josh Smith, EE graduate students Vamsi Talla, Bryce Kellogg, and Saman Naderiparizi, and former CSE postdoc Ben Ransford. They will present their final paper on PoWiFi at the ACM’s CoNEXT 2015 conference in Heidelberg, Germany this December.

Read the Popular Science article here, and the UW media release here. Check out our previous blog coverage of the project here and here.

Congratulations to the entire PoWiFi team!

November 18, 2015

UW CSE’s Alvin Cheung wins Sprowls Award from MIT

Alvin CheungUW CSE professor Alvin Cheung was honored by his alma mater this week with the George M. Sprowls Award, which recognizes the most outstanding Ph.D. theses in computer science submitted to MIT each year.

Cheung received the award for his dissertation titled “Rethinking the Application-Database Interface,” in which he puts forward a novel approach for optimizing the performance of applications that interact with database management systems (DBMSs). Cheung showed that real-world applications are sped up by multiple orders of magnitude when both the programming system and the DBMS are considered in tandem, using a combination of declarative database optimization and modern program analysis and synthesis techniques.

See the MIT announcement here. Or, hey, test your mettle by reading Alvin’s winning dissertation here.

Congratulations, Alvin!

November 17, 2015

Let’s lead the nation in Hour of Code participation!

ObamaCan Washington State lead the nation in Hour of Code participation in 2015?

A message to the state’s students, parents, teachers, and superintendents from the Governor’s STEM Education Innovation Alliance, on which UW CSE’s Ed Lazowska serves, reads:

I’m contacting you with an exciting opportunity for Washington’s students – to lead the nation in Hour of Code participation. Students are guaranteed to have FUN while learning the building blocks of computer science.

WHY: Every time we check a text on our smartphone, play Minecraft or swipe our credit card at a store, we’re engaging with a product of computer science. In Washington State we’re going to have almost 50,000 unfilled jobs that require science, technology, education, and math skills by 2017, yet less than 10% of our schools currently offer computer science classes.  In addition, computer science reinforces computational thinking, logical reasoning and creative problem solving – all 21st Century skillsets that set our kids up for opportunity and success.

HOW: We want to engage kids with computer science so they see themselves in these careers and learn exciting 21st Century skills. The Hour of Code makes that easy, engaging and fun.

HOW YOU CAN HELP: We’d like every student in Washington State to participate in the Hour of Code. Please help us reach that goal by encouraging your school, District, or community organization to spend one hour on the Hour of Code during Computer Science Education Week, December 7-13. Schools can register their participation here.

Join the hundreds of schools in Washington are already taking part! Join districts like Highline, Everett, Pasco, Bremerton, Spokane, South Kitsap and Pasco and many more that are promoting the Hour of Code across Washington state.

You don’t need any preparation or computer science experience to host an Hour of Code event. Students from kindergarten to high school learn from the Hour of Code. This year, the Hour of Code is partnering with Microsoft to feature a Minecraft lesson. The Hour of Code also features a fun lesson from Star Wars characters Princess Leia, Rey, R2D2, C3PO, and BB8.

Let’s make Washington State the leader in the Hour of Code in 2015. Get started here!

Let’s do it! And while you’re at it, kick off Computer Science Education Week at UW CSE’s Open House for K-12 students, 1:00-5:00 on Saturday December 5.

November 17, 2015

Happy 90th Birthday, Bill Gates Sr.!

Bill Gates Sr. tribute book coverUW CSE was honored to host a very special gathering this morning to celebrate the contributions of Bill Gates Sr. to our university, the community, the world, and countless lives on the occasion of his 90th birthday.

Bill is a UW double-alum (Bachelors and Law School), a giant in the legal profession and in the community, and long-time co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Throughout his life, Bill has been hands-on in his support for education, reproductive and child health, the arts, the United Way, and many other civic causes. He has been a longtime supporter of his alma mater, serving as a UW Regent from 1997 to 2012 and leading the UW’s Creating Futures campaign. In 2013, UW bestowed upon Bill its highest alumni honor, designating him Alumnus Summa Laude Dignatus.

To honor Bill’s amazing legacy, nearly 100 individuals who have been touched by Bill’s generosity of spirit assembled stories of lessons they had learned from him into a book: Thanks for Showing Up in My Life: Lessons We Learned from Bill Gates Sr. The project was spearheaded by Marty Smith (a long-time legal colleague of Bill’s, and former Chair of the Technology Alliance, a civic organization Bill founded in the mid-90’s), Susannah Malarkey (Executive Director of the Technology Alliance since its inception), Ed Lazowska (UW CSE professor and long-time Technology Alliance board member), and Dan Evans (former Governor and U.S. Senator, and a dear friend of Bill’s for more than 50 years). Contributors included UW President Ana Mari Cauce, PATH President & CEO Steve Davis, Starbucks Chairman & CEO Howard Schultz, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, and others from Bill’s past and present.

From the book’s foreword:

“As we go about our daily lives, our actions send out ripples – just like the ripples emanating from a single pebble dropped into a shallow pond. And like the ripples from that pebble, the ripples we send out interact with and affect those around us in ways we may never fully understand. If you could somehow capture just a portion of the ripples a single person has sent out over the course of that one lifetime, you would have a wonderful and amazing view into who that person is, how that life has been lived, and the impact that person has had on others.

“This book is an attempt to do just that for a very special person, Bill Gates Sr. Each of the storytellers has had the great fortune of being one of the many people impacted by the ‘ripples’ Bill Sr. has sent out over his 90 years of ‘showing up’ and living life to the fullest.”

Few people have created so many ripples and touched so many people’s lives through their leadership, philanthropy and just plain human decency as Bill Gates Sr. The University of Washington – not to mention the world! – is a better place thanks to him.

Happy birthday and thank you, Bill, from all of us here at UW CSE!

(In addition to the photos below, many more here and here.)

Ed Lazowska tribute to Bill Gates Sr.

UW CSE professor Ed Lazowska pays tribute to Bill as his longtime friend Llew Pritchard looks on

Dan Evans tribute to Bill Gates Sr.

Governor Dan Evans shares one of many stories on friendship and compassion from the “book of Bill”

Ana Mari Cauce

UW President Ana Mari Cauce offers a toast and leads the singing of “Happy Birthday”

Bill Gates Sr and Ruth Gerberding

Bill looks over the book with Ruth Gerberding, widow of former UW President Bill Gerberding



Bill Gates Sr., Marty Smith, Ed Lazowska

Bill with Marty Smith, his former colleague from Preston Gates & Ellis, and UW CSE’s Ed Lazowska

Bill Gates Sr.

Bill thanks everyone for joining in the celebration

November 16, 2015

Vote for UW CSE’s Nanocrafter to win a Vizzie!

Nanocrafter logoWe’re so good we’re competing against ourselves! Not only is Ph.D. student Ricardo Martin nominated in the Video category for time-lapse mining from internet photos, but Nanocrafter, the game developed by UW CSE’s Center for Game Science to advance synthetic biology research, is nominated in the Interactive category.

While theoretically only one can win the “People’s Choice” award, we are hoping there will be a tie and both UW CSE projects will be able to share bragging rights (in addition to winning their respective categories, of course). Vote for Nanocrafter here, and for Ricardo Martin here you can cast one vote in each category.

You know how the saying goes…vote early and vote often!

November 13, 2015

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