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UW CSE’s Raj Rao in Smithsonian Magazine

42-19280428“The Indus civilization, which flourished throughout much of the third millennium B.C., was the most extensive society of its time … About 22 years ago, in Hyderabad, India, an eighth-grade student named Rajesh Rao turned the page of a history textbook and first learned about this fascinating civilization and its mysterious script. In the years that followed, Rao’s schooling and profession took him in a different direction – he wound up pursuing computer science, which he teaches today at the University of Washington in Seattle – but he monitored Indus scholarship carefully, keeping tabs on the dozens of failed attempts at making sense of the script. Even as he studied artificial intelligence and robotics, Rao amassed a small library of books and monographs on the Indus script, about 30 of them. On a nearby bookshelf, he also kept the cherished eighth-grade history textbook that introduced him to the Indus.”

Read the article here.

July 20, 2009