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IEEE and UW CSE organize symposium to honor the humanitarian contributions of Gaetano Borriello

Gaetano BorrielloUW CSE is co-presenting a very special event, the Gaetano Borriello Feet on the Ground Humanitarian Symposium, in memory of our friend and colleague who passed away earlier this year. The symposium, which will take place on Saturday, October 10 from 1:30 to 6:20 pm at the DoubleTree by Hilton Seattle Airport, is being organized as a special session of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC15).

The event will feature talks by researchers and humanitarian leaders who are applying technology solutions to real-world problems. Gaetano was a fellow of the IEEE and a recognized leader in developing technologies that improve the quality of life for people around the globe. Among his many contributions was the Open Data Kit (ODK), a suite of open-source mobile data collection tools that are used to advance public health, human rights, political participation and environmental stewardship. One of the highlights of the symposium program will be a panel of UW CSE researchers, including Ph.D. student Waylon Brunette and alumni Nicki Dell and Carl Hartung, who worked with Gaetano on the development of ODK.

Other highlights include technical talks by individuals who are using ODK and other technologies to address humanitarian challenges and improve conditions in low-resource settings. Speakers include John Bennett, Associate Vice Chancellor for Innovation Initiatives at the University of Colorado Denver and past president of Engineers Without Borders; Kiersten Israel-Ballard, Technical Officer for Maternal and Child Health & Nutrition at Seattle-based global health organization PATH; Lilian Pintea, Vice President of Conservation Science for the Jane Goodall Institute; David Thau, Manager of Developer Relations at Google Earth; Heather Underwood, Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado Denver and Associate Director of Inworks; Lorenzo Violante Ruiz, Learning & Innovation Coordinator at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies; and Roy Want, Research Scientist at Google.

U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell and Jim Jefferies, President of IEEE USA, will join the symposium to make a special announcement, and Eric Brewer, professor of computer science at University of California, Berkeley, will deliver a keynote address on computer science and global development. UW CSE professor Ed Lazowska will open proceedings with a tribute to Gaetano’s life and work. UW CSE professor Richard Anderson and Sheree Wen, chair of IEEE Seattle, are co-chairing the event.

Attendance at the symposium is free, but advance RSVP is required. Learn more about the Borriello Symposium here, and be sure to reserve your place at this celebration of Gaetano’s legacy.