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Technology for all: Kelly Mack earns ARCS Dorothy L. Simpson Leadership Award for championing accessibility through research and service-leadership

Portrait of Kelly Mack in lilac, aqua, and black floral short sleeve dress, amethyst pendant necklace, and pearl stud earrings standing in front of an ivy covered brick building. Allen School Ph.D. student Kelly Mack is a problem solver who aims to ensure that other researchers take accessibility and disability into account — both in their research methods and during their design process. She has carried this accessibility mindset into her work with industry, where she helped establish the first disability-focused employee resource group as an intern at Snap Inc., and into her leadership of a chapter of Girls Who Code, where for the past five years she… Read more →
November 22, 2022

Reaching to the moon, getting VOCAL, and other highlights from the Allen School’s 2022 Research Showcase

A group of researchers prepares a demo on robot-assisted feeding. Two researchers are seated behind a table, one holding a smartphone up to the other to speak into; the third researcher is standing on the other side of the table holding a smartphone and looking toward a robotic arm. A monitor screen is visible showing images of a plate of food with a fork from above and the side. Two other people near a research poster are visible in the background.
Award winners and runners up celebrate onstage with members of Madrona Venture Group during the Allen School’s annual Research Showcase
After a pandemic-enforced hiatus, last week the Allen School welcomed industry partners, alumni and friends to its 2022 Research Showcase this week to celebrate the groundbreaking work of its students and faculty. The typically annual event, which is hosted by the Industry Affiliates Program, welcomes industry partners and alumni to engage with the school’s research and learn more about… Read more →
November 21, 2022

‘I love the elegance of math’: Simon Du named Samsung AI Researcher of the Year for exploring deep questions surrounding deep learning

Simon Du, wearing a blue shirt, stands in front of a blurred forest background or some green trees and smiles. When Allen School professor Simon Shaolei Du opened his inbox on a cloudy Friday morning in October, he wasn’t expecting anything out of the ordinary, let alone a trip around the world.  The website had slated the announcement for late September. When the date came and went, Du put the thought from his mind. Yet there it was. A click, a glow, then a smile.  “It was very short notice, actually,” he said, grinning again.  Next, plane tickets and slide… Read more →
November 9, 2022

What it’s like to be the first: Allen School community members share their stories to mark the National First-Generation College Celebration

National First Generation College Celebration on November 8 For first-generation college students, navigating the complexities of higher education can be intimidating. Often there isn’t a blueprint from which to work. Yet for the more than 30% of undergraduates across the University of Washington who are first-generation students, it’s far from a solo journey.  In honor of the National First-Generation College Celebration taking place today, the Allen School is highlighting members of its community who are among the first in their families to pursue a college degree. Here… Read more →
November 8, 2022

Allen School researchers team up with clinicians and global health experts to repurpose inexpensive earphones to screen babies for hearing loss

ALT TEXT: A young boy wearing a grey and black zip-up jacket with green and orange trim and jeans sits in an ivory-colored plastic chair as a researcher seated adjacent to him in a dark grey office chair holds a probe to his ear. The probe is attached to a smartphone sitting on the researcher's lap. The researcher is wearing glasses, with a mask around his chin, a plaid button down shirt and dark cotton trousers. The child is looking down at the smartphone screen. There is a desk with papers and a pen and a backpack behind the child.
Allen School Ph.D. student Justin Chan, right, tests a child’s hearing in Kenya. Dr. Nada Ali/University of Washington
If you’re a frequent flyer, you may have amassed a motley collection of complimentary airline earbuds over the course of your travels — if you didn’t toss them in the trash immediately after clearing customs, that is. Soon, those throwaway pieces of plastic and wire could potentially transform the lives of children around the world. A team that includes Allen School professor… Read more →
October 31, 2022

A picture of health: Google Fellowship recipient Xin Liu combines machine learning and mobile sensing through an equity lens to support remote health assessment

Portrait of Xin Liu in dark blue button-up shirt and glasses standing outdoors with fall foliage and buildings blurred in the background. When COVID consigned doctor-patient interactions from the clinic to a computer screen, Allen School Ph.D. candidate Xin Liu already had his finger on the pulse of that paradigm shift. Since his arrival at the University of Washington in 2018, Liu has worked with professor Shwetak Patel in the UbiComp Lab to combine mobile sensing and machine learning to real-world problems in health care, with a focus on developing non-contact, camera-based physiological screening and monitoring solutions that are accessible by all… Read more →
October 24, 2022

Lost in translation no more: IBM Fellowship winner Akari Asai asks — and answers — big questions in NLP to expand information access to all

Portrait of Akari Asai wearing grey floral lace top with black trim and dangling earrings against a grey background Growing up in Japan, Akari Asai never imagined that she would one day pursue a Ph.D. at the Allen School focused on developing the next generation of natural language processing tools. Asai hadn’t taken a single computing class before her arrival at the University of Tokyo, where she enrolled in economics and business courses; her first foray into computer science would come thousands of miles from home, while studying abroad at the University of California, Berkeley. The experience would alter… Read more →
October 20, 2022

Jeffrey Heer wins Test of Time Award at IEEE VIS for helping the visualization community better understand challenges facing data analysts

Jeff Heer Allen School professor Jeffrey Heer received a Test of Time Award at the 2022 IEEE Visualization & Visual Analytics Conference this week, marking the third consecutive year that his work has been recognized with the honor.  Heer, the co-director of the Interactive Data Lab, co-authored the winning paper, “Enterprise Data Analysis and Visualization: An Interview Study,” which provided key insights into understanding how data analysts operate and the challenges they encounter in their workflows. The paper was… Read more →
October 18, 2022

Making “magical concepts” real: Allen School professor Rachel Lin named one of Science News’ 10 Scientists to Watch

Portrait of Rachel Lin leaning against a metal railing in building atrium with concrete, wood and glass in the background Science News has named professor Huijia (Rachel) Lin, a founding member of the Allen School’s Cryptography group, as one of its SN 10: Scientists to Watch. Each year, Science News recognizes 10 scientists who are making a mark in their respective fields while working to solve some of the world’s biggest problems. Lin earned her place on the 2022 list for achieving a breakthrough on what has been alternately referred to as the “holy grail” or “crown Read more →
October 17, 2022

“The sky’s the limit”: Allen School launches new FOCI Center at the UW to shape the future of cloud computing

Seattle skyline viewed from a three-lane highway framed by street lamps, with vivid blue sky and fluffy clouds The Allen School has established a new center at the University of Washington that aims to catalyze the next generation of cloud computing technology. The Center for the Future of Cloud Infrastructure, or FOCI, will cultivate stronger partnerships between academia and industry to enable cloud-based systems to reach new heights when it comes to security, reliability, performance, and sustainability. “The first generation of the cloud disrupted conventional computing but focused on similar engineering abstractions, which is typical of many… Read more →
October 14, 2022

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