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Allen School team earns NSDI Test of Time Award for research into how third-party trackers “badger” people online

Tadayoshi Kohno and Franziska Roesner smiling and standing side by side against a wall painted with visible brush strokes in shades of blue, both wearing lanyards with NSDI name tags around their necks. Kohno is wearing a grey zip-up sweatshirt over a purple t-shirt, and Roesner is wearing a blue floral-patterned blouse. There was a time when cookies were exclusively considered something to be savored — back when chips referred to chocolate rather than silicon. Once “cookies” became synonymous with online tracking, privacy researchers weren’t so sweet on the concept. That includes Allen School professors Franziska Roesner and Tadayoshi Kohno, who investigated the online tracking ecosystem for their 2012 paper “Detecting and Defending Against Third-Party Tracking on the Web.” Roesner, Kohno and co-author David Wetherall received a Test of Time Award at NSDI 2023 for their influential work. Read more →
May 4, 2023

Professors Su-In Lee and Sara Mostafavi awarded CZI Data Insights grants to advance explainable AI for biomedical research

Portraits of Su-In Lee and Sara Mostafavi side by side, divided by a diagonal purple line. Lee is seated in front of a whiteboard wearing glasses and a black suit and looking off to the left of frame (her right), holding a pen behind an open laptop. Mostafavi is posed in a grey cardigan open over a white button-down shirt and glasses, looking at the camera in a building atrium with an elevator bank visible behind her. Single-cell genomics is revolutionizing biomedical research by enabling high-volume analysis of gene expression at the cellular level to understand the origins of disease and identify targets for potential treatment. To accelerate this progress, researchers are increasingly turning their attention to artificial intelligence (AI) tools to analyze these connections at scale. But the size and complexity of the resulting datasets, combined with noise and systematic biases in experimentation, make it difficult to build meaningful AI models from which to derive new biological insights. Professors Su-In Lee and Sara Mostafavi are working on solutions to the problem Read more →
April 25, 2023

Inspired by the “pure magic” of AI, Allen School undergraduate Matt Deitke begins his next act

Matt Deitke, wearing glasses and a black sweater over a white shirt, smiles in front of a blurred background of a window showing a lake. The 1939 movie “The Wizard of Oz” opens in black and white. After a tornado sweeps up her Kansas home and drops it with a thud, Dorothy, the story’s protagonist, opens the front door and is greeted by a world of color. “Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore,” she says. Allen School senior Matt Deitke is not from Kansas, nor has he been to the Land of Oz. Yet he experienced a similar revelation, minus the intervention from Hollywood or Mother Nature. When Deitke was in high school, he spent long hours using Adobe Photoshop to manually — and tediously — colorize images for school projects. That changed when he encountered a different kind of technical wizardry, one that opened up a new world of color. Read more →
April 24, 2023

Alumni Nicola Dell and Dhruv Jain among four UW-affiliated researchers honored by SIGCHI for innovation supporting underserved or vulnerable populations

Portrait of Dell (left) wearing a green silk blouse and silver necklace and portrait of Jain (right) wearing dark framed acrylic glasses, white t-shirt, charcoal v-neck sweater and charcoal wool blazer.
Nicola Dell (Photo by Jeff Weiner)
SIGCHI, the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction, has honored four researchers with ties to the University of Washington with 2023 SIGCHI Awards. Allen School alum Nicola (Nicki) Dell (Ph.D., ‘15), a leader in applying technologies to safeguard victims of technology-enabled intimate partner violence (IPV), received a Societal Impact Award, while Dhruv (DJ) Jain (Ph.D., ‘22), received an Outstanding Dissertation Award for his work on technologies to enhance… Read more →
April 20, 2023

Allen School undergraduates Jan Buzek and Nuria Alina Chandra named 2023 Goldwater Scholars

Jan Buzek, wearing sunglasses and a blue shirt, smiles in front of a background of a lake and green trees. A silver pole is also behind him. A gold line running diagonally separates Buzek's photo with Nuria Alina Chandra's. Chandra, wearing a mustard-colored scarf and black jacket, smiles in front of a blurred background of a city. The buildings behind her are yellow with red roofs and have many windows.
Jan Buzek (left) and Nuria Alina Chandra were named 2023 Goldwater Scholars.
Allen School undergraduates Jan Buzek and Nuria Alina Chandra are among five University of Washington students to be named 2023 Goldwater Scholars by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation. The Goldwater Scholars program recognizes and supports outstanding students who intend to pursue careers in mathematics, engineering and the natural sciences.  Buzek is a junior studying computer science and mathematics who counts Allen School… Read more →
April 12, 2023

Allen School undergraduate team wins Tech For Change Civic Tech Hackathon with project to boost participation in local elections

Masia Wisdom, wearing a black shirt and tan pants, stands next to Vrishab Sathish Kumar, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and grey pants. To Sathish Kumar’s right stands Samuel Levy, wearing a black coat and blue jeans, Ian Mahoney, wearing a blue jacket and blue jeans, and Aditi Joshi, wearing a red sweater and grey pants. The students are smiling for a photo in front of a glass windowed wall overlooking a river.
The team competed at the Tech For Change Civic Tech Hackathon hosted by Boston University, winning the election turnout track. Photo by Impact++
In February, University of Washington student group Impact++ won one of the tracks at the Tech For Change Civic Tech (TFC) Hackathon held at Boston University. The hackathon tasked student teams with building creative solutions in the interest of changing public policy. This year’s competition included three tracks: education, election turnout and government policy rooted in social… Read more →
April 5, 2023

Researchers unveil BioTranslator, a machine learning model that bridges biological data and text to accelerate biomedical discovery

Dense swirls and plumes of brightly colored cellular material in blue, green, purple, orange and red form an irregular mass in the center of the frame. Overlaid on the red portion is a section of a chain of hexagonal shapes in red and blue representing an enzyme, highlighted in white with red circles radiating out from the center. The cellular material is pictured against a grey background patterned with tiny floating matter. Biomedical research has yielded troves of data on protein function, cell types, gene expression and drug formulas that hold tremendous promise for assisting scientists in responding to novel diseases as well as fighting old foes such as Alzheimer’s, cancer and Parkinson’s. Historically, their ability to explore these massive datasets has been hampered by an outmoded model that relied on painstakingly annotated data, unique to each dataset, that precludes more open-ended exploration. But that may be about to change. Read more →
April 3, 2023

From Seattle to São Paulo: Mapping the world, and improving accessibility, one sidewalk at a time

Aerial view of a city showing a network of multi-lane streets, sidewalks and crosswalks flanked by a row of tall buildings of metal, glass and concrete with smooth facades. In the middle of the main boulevard, divided by a pedestrian courtyard with red, dedicated bike lanes along one edge and featuring a copse of leafy trees in the center, two oval-shaped cut-outs reveal additional streets traversing the same section of city a level below. People are walking around the courtyard and along the sidewalks. At one end of the courtyard is a small cafe or kiosk with a bright red roof next to a trio of red and white umbrella-covered tables. Three lanes of car traffic are visible across a triangular-shaped intersection above the courtyard. To say Anat Caspi’s mission is pedestrian in nature would be accurate to some degree. And yet, when looked at more closely, one realizes it’s anything but. In 2015, the Allen School scientist was thinking about how to build a trip planner that everyone could use, similar to Google Maps but different in striking ways. Current tools didn’t account for various types of pedestrians and the terrain they confronted on a daily basis. What if there were barriers blocking the sidewalk? A steep incline listing to and fro? Stairs but no ramp? Read more →
March 30, 2023

UW researchers show how to tap into the sensing capabilities of any smartphone to screen for prediabetes

A person holds a black smartphone with the rear of the phone facing the camera in their left hand, and a narrow rectangular glucose test strip with various tiny circuitry attached in the other hand. Only the person's hands and wrists are visible in the frame. The shot is professionally lit against a dark grey, almost black, background. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, one out of every three adults in the United States have prediabetes, a condition marked by elevated blood sugar levels that could lead to the development of type 2 diabetes. The good news is that, if detected early, prediabetes can be reversed through lifestyle changes such as improved diet and exercise. The bad news? Eight out of 10 Americans with prediabetes don’t know that they have it... Read more →
March 30, 2023

Rozenberg Tulip Award winner Georg Seelig finds fertile ground in DNA computing

Georg Seelig, wearing a white shirt, stands in front of a brick background for a portrait.
Photo credit: Ryan Hoover
A little more than two decades ago, University of Washington professor Georg Seelig began planting the seeds of a career in theoretical physics, seeking elegant solutions to the mysteries of the natural world. Last month, Seelig, a faculty member in the Allen School and Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, was hailed as the “DNA Computer Scientist of the Year” by the International Society for Nanoscale Science, Computation and Engineering (ISNSCE), who named him the winner Read more →
March 21, 2023

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