“Shwetak Patel heard the words ‘Are you alone?’ from the other end of the phone line and suddenly knew what was happening. He was about to become half a million dollars richer. A director from the MacArthur Foundation heard a thump, and Patel explained how he was on the floor, shocked that he had just received the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship, commonly referred to as the MacArthur Genius Award. ‘It was the typical disbelief — my students are playing the best prank ever type of stuff,’ said Patel, UW assistant professor in the departments of Computer Science & Engineering and Electrical Engineering.”
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