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UW CSE’s Gaetano Borriello, students featured in Columns

researchThe June issue of Columns – the University of Washington Alumni Magazine – features work by CSE professor Gaetano Borriello and students including Rohit Chaudhri, Brian DeRenzi, and Saloni Parikh, in the article “Mobile Medicine”:

“For infants in sub-Saharan Africa who are born pre-term, with low birth weight or with HIV, access to human breast milk can mean the difference between life and death. Human milk banks have been established to solve this problem, but they tend to be expensive, requiring electricity, computer access and clean water. These are often scarce commodities in this part of the world.

“Faculty and students at the UW are rapidly innovating to solve problems like this. The prevailing attitude among these motivated faculty and students: a good idea is a good idea regardless of the source and collaboration – especially novel collaboration – produces better solutions than a scientist working in isolation.

“A collaboration between UW Computer Science & Engineering (CSE) and PATH, a Seattle-area non-governmental organization, has led to a simple, ingenious solution to the breastfeeding dilemma.”

The article closes with this inspiring message:

“Borriello, who has taught at the UW for 25 years, says that students are quite different now. Like Parikh, DeRenzi and Chaudhri, they want to use technology to work on things that really matter. ‘During the dotcom boom, people were in it for the money. They wanted the degree to get into that world and cash in,’ says Borriello. He says there undoubtedly will be more projects emerging from the UW that help research efforts and provide answers that contribute to improved global health.”

Read more in Columns here. Learn more about Open Data Kit, a tool that provides the data collection foundation for this work, here. Read a related recent article – about the collaboration between UW CSE and the global health care provider AMPATH – here.

Gaetano was also recognized in the June issue of Columns as the recipient of the 2014 Marsha L. Landolt Distinguished Graduate Mentor Award. UW CSE department chair Hank Levy is quoted:

“Gaetano once told me that he treats every student as a peer. He sees graduate students as our future colleagues, and therefore he treats them with the respect and collegiality that a colleague would deserve. This is true at every level – graduate student, undergraduate, or high-school student – all are potential future colleagues and deserve the same respect.”

Read about Gaetano and UW’s other 2014 faculty award winners here.