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Google commits major research support to UW CSE

Today Google announced a new program of “Focused Research Awards” in four key areas of computer science.

Among the awards was a $1.5 million commitment to UW CSE professor Gaetano Borriello for his work  involving the use of mobile phones as data collection devices for public health and environment monitoring.

In a separate initiative, Google has committed $1 million to support computer vision and computer graphics research in the UW CSE Graphics and Imaging Laboratory, led by Professors Steve Seitz, Brian Curless, and Zoran Popovic.

Borriello spent a sabbatical year at Google’s Seattle office with three of his graduate students developing Open Data Kit (ODK), an open-source modular data collection toolkit targeting the advanced features of Android phones. ODK has already been deployed on four continents and is proving to be a versatile tool for community health workers and forest services.  Jane Goodall is an ODK advocate — see “Speaking for the Forests” here.

UW CSE’s Graphics and Imaging Laboratory focuses on very large scale 3D modeling and rendering from photos, interactive simulations and games, and realistic computer animation.

Many top technology companies provide research support to UW CSE.  In the past three years, for example, Microsoft has provided more than $5 million in research support to the University of Washington, the majority to CSE.  Intel Labs Seattle is another extremely strong research partner.  These partnerships are essential to our success as a top program in the field.

See a New York Times blog post on the Google Focused Research Awards initiative here.  See an Xconomy post here.  See a Seattle Times article here.  See a TechFlash post here.