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“Go ahead and take that adventurous route”: Allen School professor Yejin Choi named 2022 MacArthur Fellow

Yejin Choi in a black leather jacket over a black shirt
Yejin Choi (John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation)
Yejin Choi, a professor in the Allen School’s Natural Language Processing group, was selected as a 2022 MacArthur Fellow by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to advance her work “using natural language processing to develop artificial intelligence systems that can understand language and make inferences about the world.” The MacArthur Fellowship — also known as the “genius grant” — celebrates and invests in talented and creative individuals… Read more →
October 12, 2022

We’re baaack…Students and companies descend upon the Allen School’s in-person career fairs

Student backpacks of various colors and styles piled on tables against a wall of glass windows and on the floor. A person wearing glasses and a shirt printed with the Allen School name and a stick-on name tag is crouched in the lower left corner of the photo, inserting papers into a blue plastic folder
A sea of student backpacks stashed outside the October 4 career fair
After several years of Covid-induced online career fairs, the Allen School returned to an in-person format this fall! On October 4 and 6, more than 50 companies — members of the Allen School’s Industry Affiliates program — came to campus to recruit students for full-time, part-time, and internship positions. On each day, the first half of the session was devoted to Allen School students; UW students in related… Read more →
October 10, 2022

A feature and a bug: Vikram Iyer earns SIGMOBILE Doctoral Dissertation Award for engineering systems inspired by nature

Vikram Iyer wearing glasses holding tweezers in his right hand, crouched When bees leave the hive, they can spend all day flying and foraging on a single “charge” owing to their ability to convert fats and carbohydrates that store significantly more energy than batteries. When other insects traverse the landscape, the structure of their retinas combined with the motion of their heads enable them to efficiently take in and process visual information. And when dandelions shed their seeds, structural variations ensure that they are dispersed through the air over short and… Read more →
September 7, 2022

People power: Maya Cakmak earns Anita Borg Early Career Award for advancing innovation and broadening participation in human-centered robotics

Maya Cakmak stands smiling wearing a dark-colored short-sleeved shirt and small pendant necklace with hair pulled back, next to a silver-toned wall plaque etched with an image of Anita Borg smiling and resting her chin on overlapping hands and readable text: "Anita Borg (1949 - 2003) Anita Borg combined technical expertise and fearless vision to inspire, motivate, and move women to embrace technology" accompanied by three paragraphs of smaller text with biographical information. For Allen School professor Maya Cakmak, the future of robotics hinges on the human element. Since the early days of her research career, Cakmak has been leveraging advances in human-computer interaction and accessibility to shift robotics research from primarily technology-centric approaches toward a more user-centric approach. She is also known for putting people first through her support for programs and policies aimed at increasing participation in computing by women and people with disabilities. For her efforts, the Computing Research Association’s Committee on Widening Participation in Computing Research (CRA-WP) recently recognized Cakmak... Read more →
September 1, 2022

Allen School researchers bring first underwater messaging app to smartphones

Two people in t-shirts and swimming trunks underwater in a tank holding smartphones in flexible waterproof cases. One of the smartphone screens is visible, displaying the AquaApp interface with text and graphics depicting various diving hand signals. For millions of people who participate in activities such as snorkeling and scuba diving each year, hand signals are the only option for communicating safety and directional information underwater. While recreational divers may employ around 20 signals, professional divers’ vocabulary can exceed 200 signals on topics ranging from oxygen level, to the proximity of aquatic species, to the performance of cooperative tasks. The visual nature of these hand signals limits their effectiveness at distance and in low visibility. Two-way text… Read more →
August 29, 2022

Analysis of #BlackLivesMatter social media content points to the power of positivity in online activism and large-scale social movements

Protest participants marching toward camera with arms in the air, featuring a black sign with chalk drawing of raised fist and text "Say Their Names" and "#BlackLivesMatter" that one marcher is holding above their head. Only the forehead, hands and wrists of the sign holder is visible.
Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash
In the spring of 2020, people took to the streets — and to the tweets — in protest after a white police officer murdered George Floyd, a Black man, in Minneapolis by kneeling on his neck and back for over nine minutes. Black Lives Matter, a movement spawned seven years earlier following the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed Black teenager, in Florida and the killer’s subsequent acquittal, emerged as the online and… Read more →
August 24, 2022

Designing beyond the default: Allen School researchers receive NSF award to address privacy and security needs of marginalized and vulnerable populations

Closeup of person's fingers grasping mobile phone with camera facing outward in eerie red and blue light, person's face and hair are blurred behind the phone against a dark background
Victor Larracuente on Unsplash
For people around the world, technology eases the friction of everyday life: bills paid with a few clicks online, plans made and sometimes broken with the tap of a few keys, professional and social relationships initiated and sustained from anywhere at the touch of a button. But not everyone experiences technology in a positive way, because technology — including built-in safeguards for protecting privacy and security — isn’t designed with everyone in mind. In some cases,… Read more →
August 1, 2022

UW Engineering Dean’s Medalist and Allen School alum Isaiah Lemmon has a passion for programming and clean energy

Portrait of Isaiah Lemmon wearing a shirt, tie and glasses in front of a brightly lit window
Isaiah Lemmon (center) accepting his Dean’s Medal certificate from Dean Nancy Allbritton (left) and chemical engineering professor Jim Pfaendtner (right). Greg DeBow
After graduating from the University of Washington in December with degrees in computer science and chemical engineering, Allen School alum Isaiah Lemmon (B.S., ‘21) took on a software engineering role at Amazon Web Services. There, he intends to put his education to work advancing energy efficient solutions for the datacenter, inspired in part by his experience as an… Read more →
July 1, 2022

“We relentlessly strive to meet the bar set by his work”: Dan Suciu honored by ACM SIGMOD and PODS for advancing new paradigms in data management

Portrait of Dan Suciu
Photo by Moe Kayali
The Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on the Management of Data honored Allen School professor Dan Suciu with its 2022 Edgar F. Codd Innovations Award in recognition of his “lasting contributions to the foundations of novel data management trends.” The award recognizes a member of the ACM SIGMOD community who has made enduring and highly significant contributions to the development, understanding or use of databases and database systems over the course of their career.… Read more →
June 29, 2022

“Be brave, be kind, and do great things”: Allen School celebrates the graduates of 2020, 2021 and 2022

Wide shot of basketball arena full of people, with graduates in regalia seated in rows of chairs on the floor of the arena After two successive years of asynchronous, online tributes to graduates, the Allen School finally welcomed members of the classes of 2020, 2021 and 2022 to an in-person graduation celebration to mark the culmination of their academic journeys at the University of Washington. An estimated 3,000 faculty, staff, family and friends converged on Hec Edmundson Pavilion at the Alaska Airlines Arena on June 10th to honor the graduates’ achievements and recognize the impact that an Allen School education can have... Read more →
June 24, 2022

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