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2015 News Archive

December 22, 2015 | UW BioEngineering
Suzie Pun was recently named a 2015 National Academy of Inventors (NAI) Fellow the UW Bioengineering Robert F. Rushmer Professor of Bioengineering, Dr. Pun’s research focuses on developing bioinspired materials for medical applications. Recently, bioengineers in Dr. Pun’s research group, along with collaborators from UW Emergency Medicine and Chemical Engineering, developed PolySTAT, an injectable polymer that helps strengthen blood clots to stop uncontrolled bleeding.
December 15, 2015 | UW Today
To hold up its end of the landmark climate deal signed in Paris last week, the U.S. will need to make cars and trucks of the future far more fuel efficient — to the equivalent of 54 mpg by 2025. “It’s within the realm of what we’ve done before, just not recently. It’s asking for a return to the rate of innovation the industry was able to deliver in the 1970s and 1980s. But it’s not beyond that,” MacKenzie said lead author Don MacKenzie, UW assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering.
December 14, 2015 | UW Today
The new program is a collaboration between Human Centered Design & Engineering, Computer Science & Engineering, the eScience Institute, the iSchool, and additional UW science and math departments. The 45-credit program, launching in fall 2016, will be offered at the UW Seattle campus, with full- and part-time options available in the evening to suit the schedules of working professionals. Students will gain advanced technical expertise in managing, modeling and visualizing big data to meet the growing needs of industry, government, nonprofits and research institutions.
December 7, 2015 | UW Today
CSE researchers show it’s possible for machine learning algorithms to capture a "persona" and create a digital model of a well-photographed person.
December 1, 2015 | UW Today

A collaboration between UW computer scientists and developmental psychologists has shown that robots can "learn" much like kids — by amassing data through exploration, watching a human perform a task, and determining how best to carry out that task on its own. "You can look at this as a first step in building robots that can learn from humans in the same way that infants learn from humans," said senior author Rajesh Rao, a UW professor of computer science and engineering.

Rao's team used research on babies to develop machine learning algorithms that allow a robot to explore how its own actions result in different outcomes.

November 18, 2015 | UW Today

A team of UW computer science and electrical engineers have developed a novel technology that uses a Wi-Fi router — a source of ubiquitous but untapped energy in indoor environments — to power devices.

The Power Over Wi-Fi (PoWiFi) system is one of the most innovative and game-changing technologies of the year, according to Popular Science, which included it in the magazine’s annual “Best of What’s New 2015” awards announced Wednesday.

November 16, 2015 | UW Today

MSE assistant professor Peter Pauzauskie and his team are the first to solve a decades-old puzzle — figuring out how to make a laser refrigerate water and other liquids under real-world conditions.

Using an infrared laser to cool water by about 36 °F, they demonstrated a hydrothermal process to manufacture a well-known laser crystal for laser refrigeration applications in a faster, inexpensive, and scalable way. They also designed an instrument that uses a laser trap to "hold" a single nanocrystal and illuminate it. The instrument projects the particle’s "shadow" to allow observation of minute changes in its motion due to cooling.

November 9, 2015 | UW Today

The first dual degree program to be announced through GIX - Global Innovation Exchange is a new model of learning designed to fuel innovation and foster collaborations on a worldwide scale. The UW and Tsinghua University agreed to launch an integrated dual degree program through GIX that combines project-based learning in design thinking, technology development and entrepreneurship.

"Innovation requires you to understand users so you build the right thing, know enough about the technology to prototype it and demonstrate it, and know how to pitch it and convey its importance. This is going to be an intensive, integrated educational program in all these areas," said Shwetak Patel, chief technology officer for GIX and UW's Washington Research Foundation Entrepreneurship Endowed Professor in Computer Science & Engineering and Electrical Engineering.

The UW MSTI is currently under review by the UW Graduate School, which must approve all new degree programs.

November 3, 2015 | UW Today
Researchers at the UW’s Tech Policy Lab charge designers of future augmented reality systems with making them adaptable to change, resistant to hacking, and responsive to the needs of diverse users. Augmented reality promises systems that can aid people with mobility or other limitations. But augmented reality will also bring challenges for law, public policy, and privacy, especially pertaining to how information is collected and displayed. Issues regarding surveillance and privacy, free speech, safety, intellectual property and distraction — as well as potential discrimination — are bound to follow.
November 2, 2015
The National Science Foundation selected the UW, along with UC San Diego and Berkeley, to co-lead one of four Big Data Regional Innovation Hubs around the country. The ability to access, analyze and draw insights from massive amounts of data is already driving innovation in fields from medicine and manufacturing to the way cities are managed. To accelerate this emerging field, the NSF is establishing four “Big Data brain trusts” to catalyze new collaborations among university researchers, tech companies, national labs, local and state government and non-profits.
October 29, 2015 | UW Today
We have personal trainers and tailored suits. Why don't we have personalized medicine? That question - and the prospects for stem-cell-based treatments that reverse disease and repair damage rather than simply addressing symptoms - will be the focus of UW Bioengineering's 2015 Allan S. Hoffman Lecture on Nov. 5. Molly S. Shoichet, a University of Toronto chemical engineering and applied chemistry university professor who specializes in tissue engineering at the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, will deliver the lecture entitled "Engineering Personalized Medicine" at 4 p.m. at Kane Hall's Walker-Ames Room, with a reception to follow.
October 29, 2015 | EE News
Pacific Science Center Exhibit Features Research by EE Professor Howard Chizeck

A new Pacific Science Center exhibit features the work of EE Professor Howard Chizeck and students in the BioRobotics Lab. The exhibit, Memory: Past Meets Present, focuses on how the brain retains information on repetitive actions performed by the body. The exhibit runs through March 6, 2016.

One panel of the exhibit highlights the Deep Brain Stimulator (DBS) for essential tremor project, led by EE Ph.D. students Jeffrey Herron and Margaret Thompson, aims to build closed-loop DBS systems to improve treatment for people with neurological disorders such as essential tremor.

October 23, 2015 | UW Today
In a lecture titled, "The Science of Information: From Pushing Bits over the Air to Assembling the World's Largest Jigsaw Puzzle," Stanford University professor David Tse will focus on how information theory has enabled new technological innovations. The lecture is part of the 2015 Dean Lytle Endowed Lecture Series hosted by the UW’s Department of Electrical Engineering. "While the design of physical systems is based on the laws of physics, the design of communication systems is based on the laws of information theory," said Tse, a professor of electrical engineering. Tse will give a public talk on Monday, Nov. 2, at 3:30 p.m. in the Paul G. Allen Center for Computer Science and Engineering atrium, with a reception to follow. The lecture is free, but advance registration is requested by Friday, Oct. 30.
October 22, 2015 | UW Today
A new publicly available tool from UW engineering researchers can better predict which genetic mutations significantly change how genes splice and may warrant increased attention from disease researchers and drug developers. The model is the first to train a machine learning algorithm on vast amounts of genetic data created with synthetic biology techniques. "Some people have variations in a particular gene, but what you really want to know is whether those matter," said lead author Alexander Rosenberg, a UW electrical engineering doctoral student. "This model can help you narrow down the universe — hugely — of the mutations that might be most likely to cause disease."
October 21, 2015 | UW Heath Sciences NewsBeat
Collaborating UW researchers have successfully restored damaged heart muscle of monkeys using heart cells created from human embryonic stem cells. Founded in the research of Dr. Charles Murry, UW professor of bioengineering, pathology and medicine and supported by a $10 million investment from the Washington Research Foundation, the treatment has the potential to restore heart tissue in people who have suffered heart attacks.
October 15, 2015 | UW Computer Science & Engineering
CSE professor Yoshi Kohno and grad students from the Security and Privacy Research Lab were featured on PBS's NOVA. Starting at minute 29 with the now-famous car hacking research, the program also shows CSE grad students able to use a false wifi hotspot to discover another student's home security login, figure out where he lives, and "break in." Kohno's team, including former CSE PhD students Karl Koscher and Franzi Roesner, now a professor at UW CSE, are shown remotely taking over the brakes of a car in a dramatic illustration of how vulnerable embedded systems in automobiles are to attack. The cafe wifi hacking segment features EE PhD student Tope Oluwafemi and CSE bachelor’s student Tariq Yusuf (both now alumni) using just a laptop and their own wireless hotspot to hack into CSE PhD student Alex Takakuwa’s laptop.
October 15, 2015 | UW Today
An affordable camera technology being developed by the UW engineers and Microsoft Research uses both visible and invisible near-infrared light to "see" beneath surfaces and capture unseen details. Typically used in industrial applications and costing up to tens of thousands of dollars, the "hyperspectral" camera could enable consumers of the future to tell which piece of fruit is perfectly ripe or what's rotting in the fridge. "It's not there yet, but the way this hardware was built you can probably imagine putting it in a mobile phone," said Shwetak Patel, a UW professor of computer science & engineering and electrical engineering. Co-authors include Eric Whitmire, Alex Mariakakis and the late Gaetano Borriello of the UW’s Department of Computer Science & Engineering and T. Scott Saponas, Neel Joshi, Dan Morris, Brian Guenter and Marcel Gavriliu at Microsoft Research.
September 30, 2015 | UW Today
Engineering and UW Medicine researchers used 3-D printing to create a model that feels and acts like rib cartilage for realistic surgical practice. The innovation could open the door for aspiring surgeons to become proficient in the sought-after but challenging procedure.
September 29, 2015 | Water Environment Research Foundation
Dr. Mari Winkler, UW Civil & Environmental Engineering, was awarded the 2015 Paul L. Busch award by the Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF). With the $100,000 prize, Dr. Winker seeks to improve water reclamation. Dr. Winkler’s proposed research applies what has been learned from certain marine microorganisms to a new process in wastewater treatment. Her research can potentially lead to better effluent quality, reduced operational costs, space reduction, and lower greenhouse gas emissions in wastewater treatment plants compared to currently applied technologies.
September 29, 2015 | UW Today
Two studies from EE professor Denise Wilson show red wines containing arsenic levels that exceed the EPA's allowed limit, but health risks depend on other high-arsenic foods in our diets.
September 23, 2015
Looking forward to making Smart Cities a banner program for trans-Pacific collaboration, UW EE and Shanghai Jiao Tong University formed a partnership to improve quality of life through innovation. Smart city innovations use sensors, data analytics, and other technologies to elevate the safety, health, resilience, prosperity, and quality of life in urban areas, where an increasing number of people around the world live. Possible solutions could include sensors showing real-time air pollution data around schools, smart parking apps that cut down on circling and congestion, and GIS mapping technologies to manage water more efficiently.
September 21, 2015 | UW Today
UW CSE researchers collaborated on an artificial intelligence system that can solve SAT geometry questions as well as the average American 11th-grade student, a breakthrough in AI research. GeoS uses computer vision to interpret diagrams, natural language processing to read text, and a geometric solver to achieve 49 percent accuracy on official SAT test questions. If these results were extrapolated to the entire Math SAT test, the computer roughly achieved an SAT score of 500 (out of 800), the average test score for 2015.
September 17, 2015 | UW Today
Pedro Domingos, professor in CSE, is the author of “The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World.” In advance of his September 22 talk at Seattle’s Town Hall, he answered a few questions about the book. A popular science romp through one of today’s hottest scientific topics, the book is an essential primer on machine learning. It unveils the deep ideas behind the algorithms that increasingly pick our books, find our dates, filter email, manage investments and run our lives — and what informed consumers and citizens ought to know about them.
September 16, 2015 | UW Today
NSF funding will support nanofabrication and molecular analysis for UW researchers, one-person startups and multinational corporations that otherwise can’t affordably or reliably meet their fabrication needs at commercial foundries. The UW and Oregon State University won a $4.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to advance nanoscale science, engineering and technology research in the Pacific Northwest and support a new network of user sites across the country. The regional partnership was selected as one of 16 sites for a new National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI) program. That network is designed to give researchers from academia, small and large companies and other institutions open access to university facilities with leading-edge fabrication and characterization tools.
September 14, 2015 | UW Today
The UW and city of Seattle have joined a national network of university-city partnerships that will work on "smart city" solutions. The MetroLab Network, announced by the White House on Monday, consists of partnerships between research universities with expertise in engineering, robotics and computer science and cities looking to be test beds for 21st century solutions. The partnership aims to marry expertise and knowledge from UW researchers — from engineers inventing new sensors to sociologists studying determinants of poverty to data scientists parsing problems in new ways — and the experience and learned wisdom of employees tackling day-to-day challenges of running a city.
September 8, 2015 | UW Today
A new wearable technology developed at UW called MagnifiSense can sense what devices and vehicles the user interacts with throughout the day. Applications include tracking individuals' carbon footprints, enabling smart home applications, and assisting with elder care. Next steps are testing MagnifiSense on a wider variety of devices and miniaturizing the device.
September 8, 2015 | UW Today
A more efficient and sustainable energy system hinges on the ability to store energy for when it’s needed most. On September 11, researchers, students, government regulators, energy entrepreneurs, utilities, and industry experts will gather at UW to discuss this topic at Transforming the Future: A Symposium on the Science and Technology of Energy Storage in the Pacific Northwest. The symposium will address energy storage research needs, commercialization opportunities and challenges, and strategies to finance energy storage technology deployment. Symposium sponsors are the UW Clean Energy Institute, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Washington State University, and the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR).
August 31, 2015 | UW Today
Data scientists at the UW’s eScience Institute took a break from their typical work helping researchers and professors to incorporate cutting-edge technologies and data-based methods into their academic pursuits. Instead, they launched the Data Science for Social Good program which harnessed their expertise to address pressing urban issues closer to home. The program paired data scientists with students and local nonprofit and government partners. These interdisciplinary teams worked on projects to reduce family homelessness, improve paratransit bus service, foster community well-being and map better sidewalk routes for people with mobility challenges.
August 25, 2015 | UW College of Engineering
Per Reinhall sabbatical; John Kramlich to step in

From Dean Mike Bragg

This fall quarter, Per Reinhall, chair of mechanical engineering, will take a well-deserved sabbatical leave. Professor John Kramlich has agreed to serve as acting chair of ME during Per's leave. John's appointment begins on September 16, 2015 and Per will return as chair on December 16, 2015.

I am grateful that John is willing to assume this role in service to the department and college. ME is making great strides in their identified areas of research which include energy, health, mechatronics, and advanced materials and manufacturing. I look forward to working with John as he continues to advance the important work taking place in ME by their faculty, staff and students.

Please join me in welcoming Professor Kramlich on board in September as acting chair of ME.

August 24, 2015 | UW College of Engineering
If you know an engineer who deserves recognition, we want to hear from you! The Diamond Awards honor outstanding alumni and friends who have made significant contributions to the field of engineering. Take a little time to nominate an engineer to join the distinguished ranks of Diamond Award honorees in one of 6 categories this year.
August 17, 2015 | University of Washington

Shruti Misra, a senior in electrical engineering with a strong interest in sustainability, is committed to harnessing the sun’s energy — whether it’s through finding ways to control solar panels remotely or helping to oversee projects to get panels installed around campus.

This summer, she’s interning at Athena Energy, a startup that designs hybrid inverters for solar panels. Her role is to help make the panels "smart." Using her computer programming background, she’s finding ways for users to get data from the solar panels and control them via WiFi.

August 13, 2015 | UW Today
CSE machine learning researchers developed a radically new approach to data optimization. Their paper won the top prize at the world’s largest artificial intelligence conference. The new UW approach outperformed standard optimization techniques, in some instances by many orders of magnitude. “In some ways optimization is the most important problem you’ve never heard of because it turns up in all areas of science, engineering and business. But a lot of optimization problems are extremely difficult to solve because they have a huge number of variables that interact in intricate ways,” said senior author Pedro Domingos, UW professor of computer science and engineering.
August 12, 2015 | UW Today
The source of carbon dioxide emissions from streams and rivers has been unclear to scientists. David Butman, an assistant professor in CSE, has co-authored a study that shows the greenhouse gas appears in streams by way of two different sources — either as a direct pipeline for groundwater and carbon-rich soils, or from aquatic organisms releasing the gas through respiration and natural decay.
August 5, 2015 | UW College of Engineering
Four new initiatives focused on promising and growing areas of engineering research will receive around $50,000 in the first year.
August 5, 2015 | UW Today
To ensure places like UW's CoMotion MakerSpace are truly inclusive, ME's Kat Steele leads research on making communal DIY spaces accessible to people with disabilities.
August 4, 2015 | UW Today
A workshop gathered 100 grad students to identify challenges, ideas, or solutions that data science could advance in their science or engineering fields.
August 3, 2015 | UW Today
To serve growing demand for nanofabrication services, the Washington Nanofabrication Facility will double in size and get vital building upgrades.
August 3, 2015 | UW Today
New research shows a variety of pathways to crystal formation. Crystallization occurs across scientific disciplines; a shift in the picture of how it occurs has far-reaching consequences, says MSE's James De Yoreo.
July 22, 2015 | UW Today
A new study by UW and Columbia University researchers probed the computer security habits of 15 journalists across two continents and found a number of security weaknesses in their technological tools and ad-hoc workarounds. Use of online translation services or popular cloud-based data storage tools could expose confidential sources or other sensitive information. The authors, who include CSE assistant professor Franziska Roesner and students in the UW Master of Human Computer Interaction and Design program, identify a need for new tools designed with journalists in mind.
July 16, 2015 | UW Today
UW researchers who conducted the first academic review of nine mobile health applications on the market in March 2014 found none met all the criteria that would make them fully accessible to blind customers. Without proper coding, for example, an automated screen reader might read data in a glucose monitoring app as, "87 2:16 p.m. before breakfast fasting mgdl 5 13 15 glucose manual." Authors of the study include CSE doctoral student Lauren Milne, CSE professor Richard Ladner, and HCDE doctoral student Cynthia Bennett.
July 7, 2015 | College of Engineering
The CoMotion Innovation Fund awards grants to innovative projects with promising impact, bridging the gap between academic research grants and the ability to attract seed-stage investment. This year, seven out of the 11 innovation fund awards go to engineering-based projects!
June 30, 2015 | UW Today
A team of UW researchers has engineered yeast cells that can “talk” to one another using a plant hormone. Right now the cells are just saying “hi,” but the technique could lead to synthetic stem cells that grow into artificial organs or organisms that require different types of cells to work together. Authors of a new study include EE and BioE professor Eric Klavins, BioE PhD student Arjun Khakhar, and EE PhD student Nicholas J. Bolten.
July 8, 2015 | UW Today
Human Centered Design & Engineering professors Mark Haselkorn and Kate Starbird are gaining important insights into how information sharing can be tailored and supported to improve maritime security. Admiral Paul F. Zukunft, the U.S. Coast Guard’s commandant and top leader, is coming to UW to hear from these and other researchers with the UW’s Center for Collaborative Systems for Security, Safety and Regional Resilience (CoSSaR). See also: HCDE's Maritime Operational Information Sharing Analysis

container ship and Seattle waterfront (Greg Goebel, flickr)

July 8, 2015 | UW Today

New maritime security project draws Coast Guard’s top admiral to visit UW

Human Centered Design & Engineering professors Mark Haselkorn and Kate Starbird are gaining important insights into how information sharing can be tailored and supported to improve maritime security. Admiral Paul F. Zukunft, the U.S. Coast Guard’s commandant and top leader, is coming to UW to hear from these and other researchers with the UW’s Center for Collaborative Systems for Security, Safety and Regional Resilience (CoSSaR). See also: HCDE's Maritime Operational Information Sharing Analysis

baker’s yeast cells with red and green cells

June 30, 2015 | UW Today

UW team programs solitary yeast cells to say ‘hello’ to one another

A team of UW researchers has engineered yeast cells that can “talk” to one another using a plant hormone. Right now the cells are just saying “hi,” but the technique could lead to synthetic stem cells that grow into artificial organs or organisms that require different types of cells to work together. Authors of a new study include EE and BioE professor Eric Klavins, BioE PhD student Arjun Khakhar, and EE PhD student Nicholas J. Bolten.

Dennis Muilenburg

June 24, 2015 | The Seattle Times

Muilenburg started as Boeing intern; now he’s CEO

Dennis Muilenburg, a 30-year company man who started as an engineering intern and earned his master's degree in aeronautics and astronautics at the UW, takes over as CEO of The Boeing Company on July 1. Muilenburg has been Boeing’s president, chief operating officer and vice chairman since 2013. While he has worked primarily on the defense side of Boeing's business, one local leader is quoted as being pleased that Muilenburg comes from an engineering background.

conceptual design of building with GIX logo and students collaborating

June 18, 2015 | UW Today

GIX: UW and Tsinghua University create groundbreaking partnership with launch of the Global Innovation Exchange

In pursuit of solutions to some of the biggest global challenges, two of the world’s leading research universities, the University of Washington and Tsinghua University, are partnering to create the Global Innovation Exchange (GIX), an institute dedicated to educating the next generation of innovators. With $40 million in foundational support from Microsoft, GIX will bring together students, faculty, professionals and entrepreneurs from around the world to collaborate on real-world technology and design projects. Based in a new facility in the Seattle area, this is the first time a Chinese research university has established a physical presence in the United States. See also: The New York Times

A scanning electron microsocope (SEM) view of the Saharan silver ant’s head densely covered in hairs. (Norman Nan Shi and Nanfang Yu, Columbia Engineering)

June 18, 2015 | UW Today

Saharan silver ants use hair to survive Earth’s hottest temperatures

The Saharan silver ant can forage in temperatures of up to 158 degrees Fahrenheit. A new study co-authored by Gary Bernard, a UW affiliate professor of electrical engineering, reveals how the ant’s uniquely shaped silver hairs reflect sunlight and shed heat. The findings could lead to biologically inspired coatings for passive radiative cooling of objects such as buildings, vehicles or even clothing.

image of a satellite in space with Earth, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, flickr

June 17, 2015 | UW Today

UW workshop aims to marry NASA data with earthly needs

Harnessing the vast amounts of environmental data collected by satellites to improve the management of natural resources, agriculture, and disasters does not happen on its own. Scientists and researchers must collaborate to make that data serve real-world needs and constraints. This is the theme of a workshop in Tacoma on June 23 - 25 hosted by UW Civil & Environmental Engineering and entitled, "Globalizing Societal Application of Scientific Research and Observations from Remote Sensing: The Path Forward."
See also: workshop agenda

graphic linking W, Seattle shape, and globe icon

June 16, 2015 | Computer Science & Engineering

UW’s eScience Institute launches Data Science for Social Good summer program

UW’s eScience Institute, led by CSE faculty members Bill Howe and Ed Lazowska, has launched a new summer program called Data Science for Social Good. Focusing on the theme of urban science, the program enables teams of students, faculty and community stakeholders to tap into eScience members’ expertise and powerful data analysis and visualization tools to address issues affecting urban environments, including public health and safety, sustainability, transportation, education, and social justice.

Bioengineering professor Valerie Daggett works with a student in her lab.

June 12, 2015 | UW Today

UW LEADs nation in female engineering faculty

For years, the University of Washington has presented Leadership Excellence for Academic Diversity (LEAD) workshops to promote equitable and inclusive environments that work well for all faculty members. The results show in the numbers: among the nation’s top 50 engineering schools, the UW has the highest percentage of women in tenure-track engineering faculty positions. An online toolkit that other universities can use to design and host their own workshops is in the works.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella (right) with UW CSE/EE professor Shwetak Patel

June 12, 2015 | UW Today

Microsoft dedicates $10M gift to new UW Computer Science & Engineering building

Microsoft Corp. is awarding a $10 million gift to kick-start a campaign to build a second Computer Science & Engineering (CSE) building on the University of Washington campus. The new building would help the department respond to soaring student demand and double the number of graduates in computer science. The campaign goal is $110 million in private and public funds. See also: Microsoft News Center, Seattle Times, GeekWire, Xconomy

Professor Uri Shumlak and student Bonghan Kim work on a Z-pinch prototype.

June 2, 2015 | UW Today

UW researchers scaling up fusion hopes with DOE grant

For the first time, UW researchers will build a nuclear fusion device on campus. With a $5.3 million U.S. Department of Energy grant announced in May, they will partner with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to scale up their “Sheared Flow Stabilized Z-Pinch” device in the hopes of achieving a sustainable fusion reaction that might one day power homes or spaceships. UW professors Uri Shumlak (A&A) and Brian Nelson (EE) are collaborating on the project.

Map­ping in Nepal by Open­StreetMap com­mu­nityMap­box, flickr CC 2.0

June 1, 2015 | UW Today

UW students use open source mapping to aid relief efforts in Nepal

Using open data soft­ware Open­StreetMap, the students in assistant professor Jes­sica Kamin­sky's Civil Engi­neer­ing in Devel­op­ing Com­mu­ni­ties class joined an online com­mu­nity effort to turn satel­lite imagery of Nepal into maps to aid earth­quake relief effort. The dig­i­tized maps provide emer­gency respon­ders and relief coordinators responding to the 7.8 magnitude earthquake and powerful aftershocks in Nepal with crit­i­cal data to guide teams deployed on the ground.

EcoCAR3 car before redesign as a fuel-efficient, low-emission vehicle

May 26, 2015 | UW Today

UW EcoCAR 3 team to compete on home turf

Sylvie Troxel didn’t own a driver’s license when she joined the UW EcoCAR team four years ago. A lifelong bus rider, she knew virtually nothing about cars. Now a senior in ME who leads a team of 40 people and is consumed with zero-to-60 acceleration times, Troxel and teammates are among 16 student teams that will present their final designs to convert a Chevrolet Camaro into a fuel-efficient, low-emission vehicle over four years. The Year 1 competition takes place in downtown Seattle May 29 to June 4. See also: EcoCAR3 website

2nd Place Prize winner Empreva with keynote speaker Linda Derschang

May 21, 2015 | Foster Blog

$77,500 awarded to student-led startups in the UW Business Plan Competition

Over 300 judges, mentors, and student entrepreneurs gathered at the Bell Harbor Conference Center Thursday evening to award 14 prizes and over $77,000 of seed funding to teams in the 18th annual UW Business Plan Competition. The grand prize went to Vie Diagnostics, whose molecular diagnostic technology will allow patients to be tested and treated for STDs in a single clinical visit. Two PhD students in chemical engineering are on the team. See also: GeekWire, Business Plan Sweet 16 (includes team rosters)

CSE's Ed Lazowska, Crystal Eney, Allison Obourn, and Ruth Anderson with NCWIT trophy

May 21, 2015 | UW Today

UW wins national award for promoting women’s participation in undergraduate computing

The National Center for Women & Information Technology awarded its inaugural grand prize for excellence in recruiting, engaging and supporting women undergraduates in computer science to the University of Washington’s Department of Computer Science & Engineering (CSE). The prize comes with $100,000 and is sponsored by Google. See also: UW CSE News, New York Times, Seattle Times, Xconomy, GeekWire, KUOW radio program

team member from NOVA Technologies wearing oversize glasses

May 19, 2015 | UW Engineering

UW engineering students well-represented in the UW Business Plan Competition "sweet sixteen"

The UW Business Plan Competition final round is May 21. We have assembled a directory of the sixteen teams that will compete, team rosters, and the innovations they are promoting. Take a look and consider attending the final round—it's open to the public. (Article updated to indicate winning teams.)

image of playground as viewed through phone camera

May 18, 2015 | UW Today

Study: 44 percent of parents struggle to limit cell phone use at playgrounds

HCDE doctoral student Alexis Hiniker presented research on mobile phone use by caregivers at the Association for Computing Machinery’s CHI 2015 conference in Seoul, Korea. The study finds cell phone use at playgrounds is a powerful distraction when children try to get caregivers’ attention, is underestimated in that ability to distract, and is a significant source of parental guilt. See also: Hiniker's study

Ian W. Andrews, Gina L. Hansen, and Alice Bosma-Moody

May 11, 2015 | Undergraduate Academic Affairs

Meet the three UW students named 2015 Goldwater Scholars

Three UW undergraduates are among just 260 students nationwide to be named 2015 Goldwater Scholars. The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation scholarships are awarded to students who have “outstanding potential” and plan to pursue research careers in mathematics, natural sciences or engineering. UW winners are bioengineering majors Ian W. Andrews, Gina L. Hansen, and Alice Bosma-Moody. See also: UW Today


May 8, 2015 | UW Today

May 19 lecture: How "The Terminator" could change 3-D manufacturing

"Breakthroughs in Imprint Lithography and 3-D Additive Fabrication" is the upcoming UW Bioengineering Robert F. Rushmer Lecture. Speaker Joseph M. DeSimone is a prolific inventor, entrepreneur, and renowned scholar and has developed a technique that harnesses the properties of light and oxygen to rapidly "grow" a 3-D object from a pool of resin. Free and open to the public. See also: UW event calendar

close-up of surgical robot picking up small pieces

May 7, 2015 | UW Today

UW researchers hack surgical robot, reveal security flaws

A UW engineering team hacked a remotely controlled surgical robot — one used only for research purposes — to test how easily a malicious attack could happen. "We want to make the next generation of telerobots resilient to some of the threats we’ve detected without putting an operator or patient or any other person in the physical world in danger,” said lead author Tamara Bonaci, a UW doctoral candidate in electrical engineering. See also: UW BioRobotics Lab telerobotic security work and publications.

screen shot from Trace app

May 6, 2015 | UW Today

UW mapping app turns art into a sharable walking route

A new mobile app developed at the University of Washington turns a digital sketch that you draw on your smartphone screen into a walking route that you can send to a friend or loved one. The recipient receives step-by-step directions that eventually reveal the hidden shape on a map. The free app is called Trace and was designed by Human Centered Design and Engineering researchers. Project lead is Daniela Rosner, an HCDE assistant professor and co-director of the UW’s TAT Lab.

phone showing sleep pattern

April 27, 2015 | UW Today

New UW app can detect sleep apnea events via smartphone

A new smartphone app to detect sleep apnea could mean an enormous savings in time, money, and inconvenience for patients. ApneaApp uses inaudible sound waves emanating from the phone’s speakers to track breathing patterns. The current gold standard in apnea testing requires an overnight hospital stay, sleeping in a strange bed and a tangle of wires, and thousands of dollars. CSE's Shyam Gollakota, assistant professor and director of the UW Networks and Mobile Systems lab, and Rajalakshmi Nandakumar, PhD candidate, collaborated with Nathaniel Watson, M.D. to develop the app. See also: ApneaApp website.

Devin Pegues, left, and Casiano Atienza work on a math problem at a whiteboard at UW

April 22, 2015 | Seattle Times

UW’s STARS helps low-income students shine

Columnist Jerry Large talks to Eve Riskin, professor of electrical engineering, and Sonya Cunningham, who leads the STARS program, about the successes and fine-tuning in the second year of STARS. Cunningham makes sure students know how to negotiate college and fit in with the culture. Riskin, who is also associate dean of diversity and access for UW engineering, said 11 of the 30 STARS students made the dean’s list winter quarter.

Calorie Counter app screenshot

April 16, 2015 | UW Today

Research identifies barriers in tracking meals and what foodies want

Mobile-based food journals are supposed to make eating healthy easier. But a study by researchers at Georgia Tech and UW found some problem areas, including time-consuming meal logging tasks that can nudge users toward packaged foods. UW co-authors include CSE associate professor James Fogarty and the dub group's Felicia Cordeiro, Daniel Epstein, and Elizabeth Bales.

Medtronic illustration of body with brain stimulation device

April 14, 2015 | Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering

UW among select universities to use investigational Medtronic device, advance research into brain activity

Deep brain stimulation devices—essentially pacemakers for the brain—are approved for treating essential tremor, a neurological disorder. When the batteries wear out after three to five years, risky surgery is required to replace the device. Researchers from UW Electrical Engineering and other departments are teaming up with Medtronic on a new device that can provide stimulation only when needed, extending the battery life and increasing the time between surgeries.

excerpt of Google image search results for CEO

April 9, 2015 | UW Today

Who’s a CEO? Google image results can shift gender biases

Does the gender ratio in images that pop up when we type “author,” “receptionist” or “chef” affect how people perceive those occupations? A new UW study says yes, raising interesting questions about whether search image algorithms should be changed to help counter occupational stereotypes. See also: The Atlantic

WE ROBOT 21015 logo

April 3, 2015 | UW Today

R2-D2 to driverless cars: UW conference to explore gray areas in robotics law

Who is liable if a driverless car crashes into a person? What is needed to protect us from personal drones' prying eyes? We Robot 2015, a conference to be held April 10-11 at the UW School of Law, will explore these and other questions within the emerging gray areas in robotics law, policy and ethics. Howard Chizeck, a UW professor of electrical engineering and co-director of the UW BioRobotics Lab, is a conference co-organizer. Registration is required.

photo of medal received by UW Awards of Excellence honorees

April 2, 2015 | University of Washington

2015 Awards of Excellence recipients announced

Two engineering faculty will be among the honorees at this year’s Awards of Excellence. Daniel T. Schwartz, Director of the Clean Energy Institute and the Boeing-Sutter Professor of Chemical Engineering will receive the Marsha L. Landolt Distinguished Graduate Mentor Award. Edward D. Lazowska, Bill & Melinda Gates Chair in computer science & engineering will receive the David B. Thorud Leadership Award. Cheer on the winners at 3:30 p.m. June 11 in Meany Hall.

Volha Hrechka pitches PolyDrop at the 2013 challenge

March 27, 2015 | UW Today

Students to pitch clean-tech solutions April 2 at Environmental Innovation Challenge

Twenty-two interdisciplinary student teams—including 10 based in UW Engineering departments—will pitch and demonstrate their solutions April 2 at the Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge 2015. The competition challenges students to come up with “clean-tech innovations” that reduce waste, minimize energy consumption or contribute to a healthier planet. See also: engineering student teams

stylized image featuring Patrick Stayton

March 24, 2015 | CoMotion

UW introduces pre-packaged IP to optimize industry sponsored research

The University of Washington is launching a new “pre-packaged” intellectual property (IP) program for sponsored research to make it easier for businesses to partner with UW in transforming discoveries into innovative solutions.


March 23, 2015 | UW Today

UW scientists build a nanolaser using a single atomic sheet

UW engineers have built a new nanometer-sized laser — using the thinnest semiconductor available today — that is energy efficient and compatible with existing electronics. The UW nanolaser, developed in collaboration with Stanford University, uses a semiconductor only three atoms thick. See also: Nature

Joseph Wartman and David Montgomery

March 19, 2015 | UW Today

UW geologist, engineer reflect back one year later on nation’s deadliest landslide

As we approach the one-year anniversary of the landslide disaster in Oso, Washington, two UW professors reflect on the event and the intense research and policy efforts that followed. UW Today interviews Joseph Wartman, a UW associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, and David Montgomery, a UW professor of Earth and space sciences. See also: KUOW, New York Times op/ed

Manduca sexta moth, as seen flying through a virtual reality forest scene

March 18, 2015 | UW Today

New Air Force center at UW learns from animals for better flight

A new UW research center will study how insects and animals are able to perform complex, precision tasks such as flying in windy and crowded spaces and locating mates and prey. The center is funded by the Air Force and is housed in the UW Department of Biology in partnership with UW Engineering. Basic research will contribute to next-generation small, flying robots. Center home page: Air Force Center of Excellence on Nature-Inspired Flight Technologies and Ideas (NIFTI)

An artists concept of brain cell-to-cell signaling

March 13, 2015 | UW Today

Public symposium features UW experts on ‘Reverse-engineering the brain’

Some of UW’s leading experts on deconstructing the intricate processes of the human brain will participate in a free symposium and panel discussion on Thursday March 19 in the HUB Lyceum. The 2 p.m. symposium, 3:45 p.m. panel discussion and 4:30 p.m. reception are open to the public but require advance registration.

Volha Hrechka, member of the 2014 winning team Polydrop, describes their project to an EIC judge

March 12, 2015 | UW Engineering student news

Ten UW Engineering student teams competing in the 2015 Environmental Innovation Challenge

Out of 22 regional student teams selected to compete this year, 10 teams are based in UW engineering departments. In the EIC, interdisciplinary student teams define an environmental problem, design a solution, produce a prototype, and create a business summary that demonstrates market opportunity and the potential for impact. Engineering teams are working on project that provide an irresistible alternative to driving, turn cooking fires into personal power stations, and decrease energy consumption, improve home safety, and reduce waste. See also: Environmental Innovation Challenge website.

A 3-D rendering of fibrin forming a blood clot, with PolySTAT (in blue) binding strands together. Credit: William Walker/UW

March 10, 2015 | UW Today

An injectable UW polymer could keep soldiers, trauma patients from bleeding to death

The new polymer, described in a paper featured on the cover of the March 4 issue of Science Translational Medicine, could become a first line of defense in everything from battlefield injuries to rural car accidents to search and rescue missions deep in the mountains. It has been tested in rats, and researchers say it could reach human trials in five years. The polymer was developed in the Pun Lab, led by Suzie Pun, the UW’s Robert J. Rushmer Professor of Bioengineering. See also: KPLU radio story.

Pedro Arduino

March 4, 2015 | Office of the Dean

Pedro Arduino, professor of civil & environmental engineering, will be the UW College of Engineering's associate dean of infrastructure beginning March 9, 2015. He assumes the role as major engineering building projects are in the works and on the horizon. Read more in an announcement to colleagues from UW Engineering dean Michael Bragg.

a blue, 3-D printed prosthetic hand

February 27, 2015 | UW Today

‘Handathon’ challenges students to build better 3-D printed prosthetic hands

Seattle’s first-ever “Handathon” will bring together students, faculty and clinicians to the ME building in a hackathon-style, 24-hour event that challenges students to improve an existing 3-D printed prosthetic hand. See also Handathon on the Steele Lab website.

Emily Fox, Shyam Gollakota, and Thomas Rothvoss

February 23, 2015 | UW Today

Five UW early career researchers win Sloan Research Fellowships

Three CoE faculty are among the five UW recipients of 2015 Sloan Research Fellowships honoring early career scientists and scholars: Emily Fox, assistant professor of statistics with adjunct appointments in computer science and engineering and electrical engineering; Shyam Gollakota, assistant professor of computer science and engineering; and Thomas Rothvoss, assistant professor of computer science and engineering and of mathematics. Each award includes $50,000 from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

David Baker at the AAAS annual meeting

February 17, 2015 | College of Engineering

Novel proteins, emoticons, and big data pathways: CoE faculty present at AAAS 2015 Annual Meeting

Several UW College of Engineering faculty spoke at the 2015 Annual Meeting of American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), held February 12-16 in San Jose, CA. David Baker, a professor of biochemistry and adjunct professor in CSE and ChemE, gave a plenary lecture on protein design. HCDE's Cecilia Aragon presented on emotion in informal text communication. Aragon and CSE's Ed Lazowska and Bill Howe presented at a symposium entitled, "Advancing University Career Paths in Interdisciplinary Data-Intensive Science." Find links to UW Today stories, videos, and AAAS web pages.

image of a drone from KING 5 News video

February 16, 2015 | KING 5 News

UW researchers welcome proposed drone rules

Following the release of drone rules proposed by the FAA, KING 5 News visits the UW's Autonomous Flight Systems Laboratory for a reaction. See drones in action and hear from researchers on the potential applications of drone technology and why they welcome the rule-making process.

Two young women at a National Center for Women & Information Technology event

February 11, 2015 | UW Today

How to interest girls in computer science and engineering? Shift the stereotypes

A new UW study identifies stereotypes of computer scientists and engineers as a leading factor in the relatively low percentage of young women choosing to pursue those careers. Researchers conducted experiments to show how stereotypes can be reinforced by the media, learning environments, and narrow characterizations of computer science and engineering by people in those fields. The article cites programs at UW and Harvey Mudd as examples of how to overcome these obstacles and increase the percentage of women among computer science graduates. See also: Frontiers in Psychology

image collage of Innovation Award winners from CoE

February 11, 2015 | UW Today

14 UW researchers win 2015 Innovation Awards

Of the fourteen researchers chosen by UW to receive this year’s UW Innovation Awards, seven are faculty members in the College of Engineering. Four are part of a team building mobile tools for patients to enter data about their habits and behaviors. Three are on a team developing a web-based mentoring program to boost students' entrepreneurial-thinking and problem-solving skills. See also news items from: CSE | HCDE


February 10, 2015 | UW Today

3-D printing creates low-cost mechanical sensor

A recent collaboration between UW chemists and UW mechanical engineers Mark Ganter and Duane Storti, who have developed new 3-D printing materials and techniques, merges custom chemistry and 3-D printing. The researchers have created a bone-shaped plastic tab that turns purple under stretching, offering an easy way to record the force on an object. The sensor might be used to record force or strain on a building or other structure.

Brian Fabien and Eve Riskin

February 10, 2015 | College of Engineering

Grant expands STEM education program at Georgia Tech, other universities

A Georgia Tech STEM education program is expanding to UW and other universities thanks to a grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. The program unites large teams of undergraduates with graduate students and faculty to work together on long-term research projects. UW leads will be College of Engineering associate deans Brian Fabien and Eve Riskin.

CBS 60 Minutes' Leslie Stahl at the wheel of a hacked car

February 8, 2015 | CBS 60 Minutes

Cybersecurity and hackable cars

CBS 60 Minutes was on campus to film a segment of their program on cybersecurity. A demonstration of the ease with which new cars can be hacked was based on research conducted by a team of UW engineers — Yoshi Kohno, Alexei Czeskis, Karl Koscher, and Franzi Roesner — and colleagues at the University of California, San Diego. See also: UW CSE's inside story.

the Millennium Falcon underwater robot

February 5, 2015 | UW Today

New tool monitors effects of tidal, wave energy on marine habitat

To responsibly harvest wave and tidal energy, we need to understand how animals and fish will be affected by ocean energy equipment. Enter the Millennium Falcon, an underwater robot designed to deploy and retrieve an unprecedented array of sensory capabilities in a "plug-and-socket" instrumentation package. Brian Polagye, a UW assistant professor of mechanical engineering, is a project leader.
See also: YouTube

Wayne Quinton

February 4, 2015 | Seattle Times

Wayne Quinton, UW’s ‘father of bioengineering,’ dies at 94

Distinguished alumnus Wayne Everett Quinton (’58 BS Mechanical Engineering) passed away on January 22, 2015, at the age of 94. His many inventions, including the lightweight cardiac treadmill, improved the quality of life for millions of people worldwide. Recognized as the world's first bioengineer, Wayne Quinton was named early in his career as one of the 25 top young scientists in the nation by Life magazine and was later honored by UW with the title “Father of Biomedical Engineering." He was a 2009 College of Engineering Diamond Award honoree. See also: Diamond Award profile | Columns feature

model head on lab workbench

February 2, 2015 | University of Washington

Curbing Concussions

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says up to a whopping 3.8 million sports-related concussions occur annually in the U.S., and those numbers are conservative — as many as 50 percent of concussions go unreported. “Helmet technology hasn’t evolved much at all in 40 or 50 years,” says Jonathan Posner, McMinn Endowed Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, who works on the project alongside Professor and Department Chair of Mechanical Engineering Per Reinhall. “Engineering and medicine are working together to come up with a practical solution.”

Gaetano Borriello

February 2, 2015 | CSE News

Remembering Gaetano Borriello, dedicated CSE professor and mentor

Friend, colleague, and professor of computer science & engineering Gaetano Borriello passed away on February 1. Gaetano sought to provide an extraordinary educational experience for students in which they discover, pursue, and achieve their potential to make the world a better place. In his honor, UW CSE established the Gaetano Borriello Fellowship for Change to support students whose work is focused on technology can improve the lives of under-served populations.

Cecilia Giachelli

February 01, 2015 | Office of the Dean

Cecilia Giachelli appointed chair of Bioengineering

Cecilia Giachelli has been appointed chair of the Department of Bioengineering beginning February 1, 2015. She is a professor of bioengineering, leads the Giachelli Lab for Cellular Bioengineering, and has served as acting chair since fall 2013. Read more in an announcement to colleagues from UW Engineering dean Michael Bragg and UW Medicine CEO Paul Ramsey.

excerpt from Environmental Innovation Challenge and link to details

January 29, 2015 | Foster Blog

Alaska Airlines takes the EIC to New Heights

Alaska Airlines has committed to a 10-year sponsorship of the Environmental Innovation Challenge at the UW, demonstrating its dedication to innovation that addresses the world’s most pressing environmental problems. Alaska Airlines is reducing their contribution to the waste stream with in-flight recycling, drinks served in InCycle Cups (a spin-off from a UW Engineering lab), and 100% recycled paper products in the restrooms. The College of Engineering is also a sponsor of the annual Environmental Innovation Challenge.

quake warning video screen shot - concentric circles off the West Coast

January 27, 2015 | UW Today

UW researchers helping region get ready for the next Big One

On the 315th anniversary of a massive earthquake and tsunami generated off the Washington and Oregon coast, UW scientists are helping prepare the region for a repeat event that could come at any time. Civil engineers Joseph Wartman and Jeff Berman are part of the effort.

Boeing engineers Lance McCann and Jim Buttrick with a robotic device

January 19, 2015 | UW Today

Boeing, UW open research lab on Seattle campus

A new research center on campus is taking UW-Boeing collaboration to a new level. The Boeing Advanced Research Center, located in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, will let students and faculty members work collaboratively with Boeing engineers on aircraft and spacecraft assembly and manufacturing. See also: Seattle Times | King 5 | GeekWire | Puget Sound Business Journal

Left to right: Shyam Gollakota, Baosen Zhang, Derek Sutherland

January 07, 2015 | UW Today

3 UW engineers make Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in energy list

Three University of Washington engineers were selected by Forbes magazine as part of its top 30 people in the world under age 30 in energy: Shyam Gollakota (CSE assistant professor), Baosen Zhang (EE assistant professor), and Derek Sutherland (AA PhD candidate). See also: CoE feature

2014 News Archive »