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Sift Science lifts the veil

siftscience_logoFounded by CSE alums Brandon Ballinger and Jason Tan, Sift Science has been bubbling along for many months and revealed itself to the public on March 19th. The company also announced $4 million in Series A Funding.

Sift Science started as part of the Y Combinator’s 2011 summer batch.  It fights fraud with large-scale machine learning that automatically discovers new fraud patterns.  The service is primarily targeting online marketplaces, payment networks, and e-commerce sites, where fraud is most prevalent. Businesses can integrate Sift Science’s technology by copying and pasting a small snippet of JavaScript code to their sites. The startup has over 1 million different fraud patterns in its database, but continually adds to that as its algorithm crunches more data and learns more patterns.  Sites like Airbnb, Uber, and Listia already rely on Sift Science.

Learn more about Sift Science here. Coverage of Sift Science’s announcement: Wired, AllThingsD, Gigaom, TechCrunch, Venture Beat, The Next Web. And a particularly good one in The Wall Street Journal:  “Sift Science Funded to ‘Fight Evil on the Internet’

March 19, 2013

UW CSE’s Control-Alt-Hack reviewed in Boing Boing

boxcontents (2)Control-Alt-Hack is a tabletop card game about white-hat hacking, based on game mechanics by gaming powerhouse Steve Jackson Games.  According to Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing, the game is “a delightful strategy card game about white-hat hacking.”

Read the full review here.  Control-Alt-Hack site here.  Learn more about the Security and Privacy Lab here.

March 18, 2013

TechCrunch on Clerky: “YC-backed Clerky Helps Startups Save Time”

clerky-1Clerky, a Y Combinator-backed startup co-founded by UW CSE alum Darby Wong and Stanford alum Chris Field, is a web application that makes it easy for startups to get legal transactions done.

“When we cover a startup’s launch, we often focus on the market opportunity, funding and investors and how the company’s product is solving a particular problem. We rarely mention the initial set of challenges every entrepreneur must face when they actually turn an idea into a startup — incorporation, stock issuance documents and more. Most of the time, startups have to incur legal costs to do this. However, Clerky, a Y Combinator-backed startup launching today, is hoping to offer entrepreneurs a quality, cost-effective, automated way to handle incorporation documents and more.”

Read the full TechCrunch article here.

March 11, 2013

CSE’s Yoshi Kohno profiled in Columns

ColumnsTadayoshi2013 1CSE professor Yoshi Kohno is profiled in the March issue of Columns, UW’s alumni magazine.

“Kohno’s experiments are the stuff of science fiction movies: using a kid’s Erector Set to spy on its owner, tracking a runner using his mileage monitor or even hackers taking over a car while it’s driving and forcing it to brake to a stop. The only difference between Hollywood make-believe and reality is that this white hat hacker doesn’t need special effects to make them reality.”

Read the full article here.  Learn more about UW CSE’s Security and Privacy Research Lab here.  Read the complete March issue of Columns here.

March 7, 2013

UW CSE’s Zoran Popović on NPR

screen shot of FolditNPR’s Joe Palca today highlighted how computer gamers are helping to push the frontier of brain research. One of those interviewed was UW CSE’s Zoran Popović.   Popović talked about Foldit, a game designed to tackle the problem of protein folding.

“People can get pretty addicted to computer games. By some estimates, residents of planet Earth spend 3 billion hours per week playing them. Now some scientists are hoping to make use of all that human capital and harness it for a good cause.

“Foldit has been a big success. Popovic says there are a half-million people registered to play the game, and that has made other scientists and inventors take seriously the idea of using games to solve scientific questions.”

Read full article here. Learn more about Foldit here.  Learn about the Center for Game Science here.

March 6, 2013

Three short research videos: Refraction, Foldit, and OpenDataKit

rfoTake a minute to check out these three new research project videos from UW CSE.  Topics covered are:

  • Refraction – discovering optimal pathways for learning early mathematics: Refraction is a research project of UW CSE’s Center for Game Science — focused on games for learning and for science.  It won the Grand Prize in the Disney Learning Challenge at SIGGRAPH 2010.
  • Foldit – a problem-solving scientific discovery game:  Foldit, a hugely successful protein folding video game created by UW CSE’s Center for Game Science, recently won the 2012 Katerva Behavioral Change Award.
  • OpenDataKit – making a difference with computer science:  UW CSE’s OpenDataKit (ODK) is a collection of free and open source tools, in use around the world, that make data collection easier and more flexible.

Watch the videos here.  Learn more about these and other UW CSE research activities here.

February 20, 2013

UW CSE’s animation shorts at upcoming screenings

Still from Catch and Release“Catch and Release,” UW CSE’s 2011 animation capstone film, has been selected for screening at th DC Shorts Film Festivals, the largest short film event on the East Coast.  Catch and Release will be screened in the Family Friendly Showcase on September 8th and again on September 15th.  More information may be viewed here.

“Catch and Release” and “Nebbish,” the 2010 animation capstone film, will be screened at Bumbershoot’s 1 Reel Film Festival curated by SIFF (September 1-3, 2012). Schedule information for Bumbershoot here.  “Catch and Release” is in Films4Family at 12 noon on Saturday, September 1.  “Nebbish” is in Flashes of Funny at 2 pm on Saturday, September 1.

Congratulations to Barbara Mones and the entire “Catch and Release” and “Nebbish” crews!

See all of UW CSE’s animation productions here.

July 19, 2012

CSE’s Eric Lei is UW Freshman Medalist

Each year, the University of Washington recognizes the top student (of roughly 7,500) in the previous year’s Freshman, Sophomore, and Junior classes as class Medalists.

This year’s UW Freshman Medalist is CSE’s Eric Lei.  Eric entered the UW after 10th grade through the Robinson Center’s UW Academy.

CSE has an extraordinary record of UW Medalists:  Eric is the fifteenth CSE student to be recognized as a University of Washington medalist since 2000.

Congratulations, Eric!

Announcement from the office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs here.

April 26, 2012

UW 360 (UWTV) features Shwetak Patel

The December 2011 edition of UW 360 – a UW TV magazine-style show profiling the fascinating people, programs and community connections that define the University of Washington – features UW CSE’s Shwetak Patel.  The segment shows how he combines computer science and engineering to solve health and energy problems.

“‘You can’t really come up with new solutions unless you try to attack the problem from a different angle.'”

Watch the video here.  Learn more about his research here.

December 13, 2011

CNN interviews Adrien Treuille on video gaming and science

Why are video games the key to modern science?  “Video gamers spend tons of time — for many it’s 10,000 hours by age 21 — battling mythic monsters, shooting aliens and rescuing princesses from digital castles.”

To harness these efforts, CMU faculty member (and UW CSE PhD alum) Adrien Treuille created two online games — Foldit and EteRNA — “that put video gamers to work solving epic scientific puzzles.”  And the results have been staggering.  For example, as reported in the journal Nature earlier this month, Foldit players helped solve a puzzle about proteins that could further research into HIV/AIDS.

“Treuille has high hopes for gaming’s potential to unlock good in humanity — and impact the real world.  ‘People can solve much more complex problems online at the edge of human knowledge, and I think we’ve just scratched the surface.'”

Read the full CNN article here.

October 24, 2011

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