UW CSE Ph.D. alum Brian Ferris and Ph.D. student Caitlin Bonnar take two of the region’s transit agencies to task in an op-ed in the Seattle Transit Blog for ongoing issues with the quality of the data they provide to OneBusAway, the Transit App, Google, and other transit information sources. (Brian wrote all the original code for OneBusAway, and Caitlin currently coordinates maintenance and development of the iPhone app.) Read it here, along with numerous comments from other riders.
Photo credit: Mary Lanvin, UW
Last summer, an interdisciplinary team of UW researchers became the first to demonstrate two human brains communicating directly without using language. Today, having completed a more comprehensive test of its brain-to-brain interface, the team published its results in the journal PLOS ONE. UW CSE professor Raj Rao is lead author of the study.
The researchers used a combination of non-invasive instruments and software to connect two human brains over the Internet in real time. Six participants were paired off, with one designated as sender and one as receiver, and placed in separate locations on campus. Each member of the pair was unable to communicate with the other except by the link between their brains as they cooperated remotely to execute a command in a computer game. The researchers transmitted signals from one person’s brain to the other, using them to control the hand motions of the recipient – successfully replicating the results of the initial demonstration.
In addition to measuring the accuracy of their communication, researchers were able to quantify the amount of information transmitted between participants. Thanks to a new $1 million grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation, the team will be able to take its work a step further: in the next round, the researchers will increase the complexity of information transmitted between brains.
Rao, undergraduate CSE researcher Joseph Wu, and CSE alumnus Matthew Bryan co-authored the study with Andrea Stocco and Chantel Prat of the UW Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences and Devapratim Sarma and Tiffany Youngquist of the UW Department of Bioengineering.
Read the UW press release and watch a video demonstration here. Read the study published in PLOS ONE here. NBC News report here.
Congratulations to UW CSE Ph.D. student Rajalakshmi Nandakumar, who just received the “Best Presentation” Award at SenSys 2014, the 12th ACM Conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems.
The paper, “Feasibility and Limits of Wi-Fi Imaging,” describes work done by Rajalakshmi and fellow UW CSE Ph.D. student Donny Huang as first-year students, working with UW CSE professor Shyam Gollakota.
USAID has announced four new grants to winners of the joint USAID-Humanity United Tech Challenge for Atrocity Prevention. The grants will help recipients partner with an operational NGO or an established human rights group to further develop and pilot their innovations to document atrocities and facilitate communication for those at risk.
The award to UW CSE focuses on the work of Ph.D. student Aditya Vashistha, supervised by professor Gaetano Borriello. The project – Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Junction – is a flexible voice-communication tool that allows users with limited connectivity or literacy to record and listen to posts, while the global community can access them online. Aditya will partner with two local organizations in sub-Saharan Africa to connect low-tech users and members of marginalized communities, such as refugees and asylum seekers.Read more here. Learn about IVR Junction here.
Ph.D. candidate Jacob Nelson and supervisory committee members Simon Kahan, Ed Lazowska, Luis Ceze, and Mark Oskin
Apparently Jacob didn’t get the memo regarding appropriate attire for a Ph.D. defense on Halloween.
The paper “Tactile Graphics with a Voice: Using QR Codes to Access Text in Tactile Graphics” has been named Best Student Paper at ASSETS 2014, the 16th International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility. The authors are UW CSE graduate students Catherine Baker and Lauren Milne, UW CSE staff member Jeffrey Scofield, UW HCDE graduate student Cynthia Bennett, and UW CSE faculty member Richard Ladner.
Tactile graphics are a major way for blind people to access figures and diagrams in books and documents. Tactile Graphics with a Voice (TGV) allows text within tactile graphics to be accessible by using a talking QR code reader app on a smartphone. The paper explores different picture taking guidance techniques for blind users: 1) no guidance, 2) verbal guidance, and 3) finger pointing guidance. A study with blind users indicates that there is no clear preference so that all techniques should be available as options in TGV.
This recognition continues UW CSE’s leadership in accessibility technology. UW CSE students and faculty received the Best Paper Award at ASSETS 2013 and ASSETS 2012; UW CSE Ph.D. student (now alum) Anna Cavender won the Best Student Paper Award at ASSETS 2006.
GeekWire reports on the Madrona Prize and the People’s Choice Award at Wednesday’s UW CSE Industry Affiliates Meeting and Open House:
“Computer science students at the University of Washington shared research projects — science fair-style — during an annual meeting of industry representatives on Wednesday.
“Nearly 100 research projects were on display as part of the Computer Science and Engineering Industry Affiliates Meeting …
“Each year, Madrona Venture Group awards prizes to presentations with commercial viability. ‘CSE has been this unbelievable source of innovation for the whole region,’ said Tim Porter, managing director of Madrona. ‘It’s so important for the overall ecosystem and we want to help support and recognize the great research here, specifically things we think have commercial applicability.'”
Read more here.
Each year at UW CSE’s Industry Affiliates Meeting, we award the People’s Choice Prize to the student project that our alumni and Industry Affiliates think is the coolest, without regard to what the experts may think!
This year’s winner: BiliCam: Using Mobile Phones to Monitor Newborn Jaundice – Lilian de Greef, Mayank Goel, Min Joon Seo, Eric C. Larson, James W. Stout MD MPH, James A. Taylor MD, Shwetak N. Patel.
Each year at the UW CSE Industry Affiliates Meeting, the Madrona Prize is awarded to the student projects deemed most likely for entrepreneurial success. This year’s winners:
Third Place: Total Moving Face Reconstruction – Supasorn Suwajanakorn, Ira Kemelmacher-Shlizerman, Steven M. Seitz.
Second Place: WiBreathe: Estimating Respiration Rate Using Wireless Signals in Natural Settings in the Home – Ruth V. Ravichandran, Elliot N. Saba, Ke-Yu Chen, Mayank Goel, Sidhant Gupta, Shwetak N. Patel.
First Place: Arrakis: The Operating System is the Control Plane – Simon Peter, Jialin Li, Irene Zhang, Dan R.K. Ports, Doug Woos, Arvind Krishnamurthy, Thomas Anderson, Timothy Roscoe.
Congratulations! And thanks to our friends at Madrona Venture Group!