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News & Events

[em] Washington Engineer[/em] - January 2018

In the January 2018 issue

  • Dean's Message
  • Research - 3-D printed objects connect to WiFi without electronics; Tool quantifies power imbalance between female and male characters in scripts; #MemoriesInDNA Project wants to store your photos in DNA
  • Campus News - NanoES opens; UW celebrated major fundraising and construction milestones for CSE building; UW augmented and virtual reality research center launches
  • Events - 2017 College of Engineering Lecture Series
  • In the Media - Rethinking Electric Power; Data Reawakening; UW students teach Alexa to have a little chat with us

Dean's Message

Michael Bragg

The dean touches on new investments in nanoengineering, computer science and engineering, and augmented and virtual reality research.
Read message »


picture of 3d printed device for monitoring laundry detergent
In first, 3-D printed objects connect to WiFi without electronics
UW engineers have developed the first 3-D printed plastic objects that can connect to other devices via WiFi without using batteries or embedded electronics, including a laundry bottle that can detect when soap is running low and automatically order more.
Huffington Post | Popular Mechanics | Fast Company | Quartz | Digital Trends | IFL Science
graph of power imbalance results from Black Swan
New tool quantifies power imbalance between female and male characters in Hollywood movie scripts
A team of UW natural language processing researchers used machine-learning-based tools to analyze the language in nearly 800 movie scripts, quantifying how much power and agency those scripts give to individual characters. They found subtle but widespread gender bias in the way male and female characters are portrayed.
KUOW | UK Daily Mail | Economic Times
Collage of family photos
#MemoriesInDNA Project wants to store your photos in DNA for the benefit of science – and future generations
UW Molecular Information Systems Lab researchers are looking to collect 10,000 original photographs from around the world to preserve indefinitely in DNA, a new storage medium for digital data. With a new $6.3 million grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the team will use the dataset to process visual information and search images directly in DNA molecules.
Wired | Futurity

Campus News

picture of people cutting ribbon for NanoES
UW opens Institute for Nano-engineered Systems in new $88M facility
The University of Washington has launched a new institute aimed at accelerating research at the nanoscale: the Institute for Nano-engineered Systems, or NanoES. Housed in a new, $88 million facility on the UW’s Seattle campus, the institute will pursue advancements in a variety of disciplines — including energy, materials science, computation and medicine. Yet these advancements will be at a technological scale a thousand times smaller than the width of a human hair.
rendering of gates building
University of Washington celebrates fundraising and construction milestones for second computer science building
The University of Washington celebrated major fundraising and construction milestones for the Bill & Melinda Gates Center for Computer Science & Engineering, which will allow the UW to double its annual computer science and engineering degree production. It announced a $15 million gift from Bill and Melinda Gates that brings fundraising for the $110 million building to a close.
Seattle Times | GeekWire | Xconomy | Daily Journal of Commerce
Computer screen showing interaction with virtual chess, player with headset on in background
UW Reality Lab launches with $6M from tech companies to advance augmented and virtual reality research
The University of Washington is launching a new augmented and virtual reality research center — funded with $6 million from Facebook, Google, and Huawei — to accelerate innovation in the field and educate the next generation of researchers and practitioners.
Xconomy | GeekWire | Seattle Times


picture of Lillian Ratliff, Luis Ceze, and Kate Starbird
2017 College of Engineering Lecture Series
Fake News, Smart Cities and Data in DNA
Watch online presentations from the college’s fall lecture series about how understanding how to best use data — and developing technologies with the capacity to store it — will transform the ways in which we process information, communicate and navigate.

In the Media

image of Seattle bus fleet
Rethinking Electric Power, Prompted by Politics and Disaster
The New York Times | Dec. 11, 2017
Lilo Danielle Pozzo, who teaches chemical engineering at the University of Washington, grew up in Puerto Rico. The impulse to help rebuild this neglected corner of the nation after Hurricane Maria has rippled through many corners of America. But in the world of electricity research, which has staked out a place of geeky global dominance here on the West Coast, an equally powerful idea about the island has resonated: It is a chance to work on a blank canvas.
picture of students around computer
Data Reawakening
Science Friday | Dec. 15, 2017
As archivists struggle to store the mountain of data on the Internet, researchers are trying to use atoms, diamonds and DNA to let data live on forever.
picture of student team with award check
UW students teach Alexa to have a little chat with us
Seattle Times | Nov. 28, 2017
A UW student team has won Amazon’s inaugural Alexa Prize, an international competition to develop the best socialbot — an algorithm that uses artificial intelligence to find interesting content for you and your Echo to talk about.
KUOW | KOMO Radio | GeekWire