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The next paradigm of computing: UW’s Shwetak Patel and Mayank Goel featured in UW Daily

Shwetak Patel

Shwetak Patel

UW Daily reporter Arunabh Satpathy writes:

“A house that knows when you’re inside. A cellphone that doubles as a spirometer. A sensor that gauges how much energy is being consumed and by what device. These are some of the applications of a developing field of computing called ‘ubiquitous computing,’ or ‘ubicomp.’

Shwetak Patel, professor in the Computer Science & Engineering and Electrical Engineering, defines ubicomp as ‘the next paradigm of computing.’

“‘Computing is going to be pushed into everywhere into the environment,’ Patel said.”

Mayank Goel

Mayank Goel

Shwetak goes on to explain how continuous interaction between humans and sensors has transformed the automobile. He also talks about the potential benefits of extending these interactions into the home where, for example, sensors could be used to monitor the health of a person inside.

The article also quotes UW CSE Ph.D. student Mayank Goel, whose research focuses on novel uses of mobile phone sensors. One of his projects is focused on using a smart phone’s accelerometer to stabilize the keyboard and reduce texting errors. Another project, SpiroSmart, turns a smart phone’s microphone into a spirometer for measuring lung function.

Read the entire article here.

Learn more about the UbiComp Lab here.

June 5, 2015

UW Innovation Research Award to CSE’s James Fogarty, Julie Kientz, Sean Munson, Shwetak Patel

UntitledThe UW Innovation Research Award supports unusually creative early and mid-career faculty in engineering, health, natural and social sciences.

The Provost has just announced an award to team of six investigators: Shwetak Patel and James Fogarty (Computer Science & Engineering); Julie Kientz and Sean Munson (Human-Centered Design & Engineering; both are also Adjunct faculty in CSE); Jasmine Zia (UW Medicine’s Division of Gastroenterology); and Roger Vilardaga (Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences). They are building tools used on a mobile device that allow patients to easily enter data about habits and behaviors related to a particular health problem. These data will help extend the reach of health care beyond the clinic, making it easier for physicians to make diagnoses and treatment plans.

Go team! Read more here.

February 10, 2015

Congratulations – yet again – to Shwetak Patel

shwetak_patel-117Shwetak Patel has been appointed as the Washington Research Foundation Entrepreneurship Endowed Professor of Computer Science & Engineering and Electrical Engineering.

Shwetak’s research interests are in the areas of Human-Computer Interaction, Ubiquitous Computing, Sensor-Enabled Embedded Systems, and User Interface Software and Technology. He is particularly interested in developing new sensing technologies with an emphasis on energy monitoring and health applications for the home.

He was a founder of Zensi, Inc., a residential energy monitoring company, which was acquired by Belkin, Inc. in 2010. He is also a co-founder of SNUPI Technologies, a low-power wireless sensor company. He is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship (2011), Microsoft Research Faculty Fellowship (2011), Sloan Research Fellowship (2012), TR-35 Award (2009), World Economic Forum Young Global Scientist Award (2013), and an NSF CAREER Award (2013). He was named Top Innovator of the Year by Seattle Business Magazine, and Newsmaker of the Year by Seattle Business Journal in 2011. Earlier work was also honored by the New York Times as a top technology of the year in 2005. He is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community, and was selected as a Seattle Shaper in 2012.

Congratulations, Shwetak. And many thanks to our friends at the Washington Research Foundation – WRF has supported UW CSE and UW as a whole in so many ways over so many years!

January 16, 2015

Crosscut on UW’s Shwetak Patel: “Seattle genius tackles energy, healthcare and the future of computing”

Shwetak PatelCrosscut writes

“For every variation in sound, pressure, temperature or electromagnetic wave, Shwetak Patel sees an opportunity. He is the master of white noise, the enemy of inefficiency. He made a name for himself with ElectriSense, a home energy monitor that reads noise to tell you how much electricity is used by each lightbulb and appliance in real time. But ElectriSense is only the beginning; there are no limits to what he and his lab might achieve.

“What drives Patel is not what can be achieved. It’s what should be achieved. And with a mind as sharp and creative as his, the ‘what ifs’ are endless: What if an app could distinguish between the sound of a regular cough and the cough of someone with Tuberculosis?

“What if you could use sonar to turn any surface (even mid-air) into a touchscreen for your device?

“What if doctors could replace a $10,000 machine with a prescription app (the first of its kind) to measure lung capacity and assess pulmonary issues at home?

“And what if a battery could charge itself by using slight variations in room temperature?

“These are just four of the more than 20 projects Patel’s lab, the University of Washington’s Ubiquitous Computation or UbiComp Lab, is currently working on.”

Great article! Read more here! Learn more about the Ubicomp Lab here.

November 18, 2014

UW’s Shwetak Patel in NAE “E4U” video contest

spThe Computing Community Consortium has entered a video featuring UW CSE+EE professor Shwetak Patel and his students in the National Academy of Engineering’s “Engineering For You” video contest – a contest designed to surface inspirational engineering-0riented videos as part of NAE’s 50th Anniversary celebration.

Watch the video here.

(Thanks to the Computing Community Consortium and to videographer Patrick Sammon!)

March 20, 2014

Shwetak Patel, Dave Eaton in Seattle Times on “Why Tesla?”


Dave Eaton and his Tesla Model S

UW CSE and EE professor Shwetak Patel and UW Dean of the Graduate School Dave Eaton are two of Washington State’s Tesla Model S owners.  They’re interviewed in today’s Seattle Times:

“‘We’re subsidizing the future car,’ said Shwetak Patel … He never thought he’s spend so much on a car, but that was never the only thing they were buying.”

Read more on the Seattle Times website here.  Pdf here.

January 26, 2014

New video features Shwetak Patel’s UbiComp Lab

CCC video of ubicomp labThe Computing Community Consortium (CCC) is releasing the third segment in its Computing Research in Action Series.   This segment features the Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp) research lab, led by Professor Shwetak Patel, at the University of Washington. The UbiComp lab, which consists of an interdisciplinary team of students, focuses on solving interesting and socially meaningful problems using a mix of hardware and software applications. The UbiComp lab focuses on four areas of ubiquitous computing:

  • Novel interaction techniques
  • Sustainability sensing
  • Low-power sensing
  • Health sensing

In addition to Shwetak, the video features graduate students Sidhant Gupta, Gabe Cohn, Lilian de Greef, and Mayank Goel.

Read more and watch the terrific video here. Direct link to video here.

January 14, 2014

Shwetak receives tenure!


Photo of Shwetak that appeared in The Economist


T-shirt closeup


Shwetak’s fan club


Turing Award winner Silvio Micali (MIT) delivers the CSE Distinguished Lecture in his Shwetak t-shirt

What better way to celebrate the formal receipt of tenure by UW CSE and EE professor Shwetak Patel than by surprising him with a simultaneous parody of his fashion sense and his MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Award?

(Thanks to Shwetak’s graduate students for organizing this nice prank!)


November 7, 2013

CSE’s Shwetak Patel at MOHAI’s Bezos Center for Innovation

ShwetakUW CSE and EE professor Shwetak Patel is one of a number of Seattle-area innovators featured in displays at the Bezos Center for Innovation at Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry.

In connection with the dedication event for the Bezos Center for Innovation several weeks ago, Shwetak participated in an “Hour of Power” during which he posed provocative questions to Seattleites of all ages.

The newly-relocated and expanded MOHAI is spectacular – you should visit if you haven’t.  And in its Bezos Center for Innovation, you’ll see numerous references to Shwetak, Daniela Witten, and other extraordinary UW faculty members.

October 24, 2013

CSE’s Shwetak Patel featured in new Bezos Center for Innovation at MOHAI

No_MOHAI_highlightFriday October 11 and Saturday October 12 mark the dedication of the Bezos Center for Innovation at Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI).

Through interactive exhibits, community and educational programs, and first-person insights from leading innovators, the Bezos Center for Innovation explores Seattle’s role as a nexus of big ideas and new directions.

The dedication features a “Power Hour” (how can you not like that?) with CSE’s Shwetak Patel. See an interview conducted in connection with the dedication here. Other interviews of leading Seattle innovators here.

October 10, 2013

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