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News & events

[em]Washington Engineer[/em] - July 2016

In the July 2016 issue:

  • Dean's Message - Academic-industry partnerships offer students unparalleled practical experience
  • Research - Record-breaking DNA storage; Five-fingered robot hand; Time out for 2-minute warnings?
  • Campus News - $10M EPA grant for air pollution research; UW + Boeing = BARC; CSNE team wins bioelectronics innovation prize
  • Events - Save the dates for the annual Engineering Lecture Series
  • In the Media - Status of AI decision-making; Importance of diagrams to science; Benchmark testing facial recognition algorithms

Dean's Message

The dean touches on academic-industry partnerships that have broken world records, offer students unparalleled practical experience and work to create products that will improve quality of life for millions. Read message »

Michael Bragg


still image of OK GO video

UW, Microsoft researchers break record for DNA data storage
University of Washington and Microsoft researchers have broken the world record for the amount of digital data successfully stored — and retrieved — in DNA molecules. The team of computer scientists and electrical engineers encoded and decoded a video from the band OK Go, War and Peace and other works of art on strands of DNA.

US News and World Report | Mashable | The Verge | Newsweek | Slate | Seattle Times

robot hand grasping a tube of coffee beans This five-fingered robot hand learns to get a grip on its own
Robots today can perform space missions, solve a Rubik’s cube, sort hospital medication and even make pancakes. But most can’t manage the simple act of grasping a pencil and spinning it around to get a solid grip. Now, UW researchers have built a robot hand that can not only perform dexterous manipulation but also learn from its own experience.
Gizmodo | Engadget | FOX News | WIRED UK | Reuters

child using a tablet

Two-minute warnings make kids' 'screen time' tantrums worse
Giving young children a two-minute warning that “screen time” is about to end makes transitions away from tablets, phones, televisions and other technological devices more painful, a new study from UW human-centered design and engineering researchers has found.
The New York Times | TIME | UK Daily Mail | The Telegraph | KPLU

Campus News

a hazy city skyline

UW-led team wins $10M EPA grant for air pollution research
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded a research team co-led by a UW civil and environmental engineer a $10 million, five year grant to create the Center for Air, Climate and Energy Solutions. Air pollution modeling expert Julian Marshall will co-lead the research center in collaboration with more than 25 researchers from Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Minnesota and several other universities.

Jim Buttrick (center) with students in the BARC lab.

A riveting combination: UW and Boeing advance research together through BARC
The brainchild of a UW mechanical engineering alumnus-turned-Boeing engineer and two faculty members, the Boeing Advanced Research Center presents a unique path for university-industry collaboration and student skill building.

prototype implanted device designed at UW, code-named Lollipop, receives up to 300mW wirelessly, performs neural recording, bi-directional communication, and performs optical stimulation. University of Washington

CSNE researchers win $1M bioelectronics innovation prize
An international team led by researchers at the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering (CSNE) based at the UW is one of three finalists in the GlaxoSmithKline Bioelectronics Innovation Challenge — a race to produce an implantable wireless device that can assess, stimulate and block the activity of nerves that control organs.
Puget Sound Business Journal


Save the dates! the Engineering Lecture Series presents:
City Smarts: Engineering Resilient Communities

Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Engineering Solutions for a Seismically Resilient Seattle

Jeffrey Berman, Thomas & Marilyn Nielsen Associate Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering

Wednesday, November 2, 2016
Delivering Sustainability: Transporting Goods in Urban Spaces

Anne Goodchild, Allan & Inger Osberg Associate Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering

Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Understanding Our Chemical Fingerprints: Safer Water for Our Cities

Edward Kolodziej, Associate Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering

All lectures are held at 7:30 p.m. in Kane Hall. Supported in part by the University of Washington Alumni Association.

In the Media

Oren Etzioni, CEO of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, left, speaks with attendees at the White House workshop on artificial intelligence - Technology Review

Artificial intelligence is far from matching humans, panel says
The New York Times | May 25, 2016
At a University of Washington event sponsored by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, legal specialists and technologists explored questions about autonomous systems that would increasingly make decisions without human input in areas like warfare, transportation and health.
WIRED | MIT Technology Review | Seattle Times | GeekWire | Puget Sound Business Journal

illustration of scientists with a lightbulb to indicate a bright idea. Credit Dave Simonds Graphic Details
The Economist | June 18, 2016
A scientific study of the importance of diagrams to science emerges from UW data science researchers.

a collage of faces. University of Washington photo

One Million Faces Challenge Even the Best Facial Recognition Algorithms
IEEE Spectrum | July 1, 2016
The first benchmark test based on one million faces — developed by UW computer vision researchers — has shown how facial recognition algorithms from Google and other research groups around the world can still fall short in accurately identifying and verifying faces.
The Atlantic | Tech Crunch | UK Daily Mail