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Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

October 30, 2006 at 4:30 PM

UW Computer Science: The next generation

During the school’s annual Industrial Affiliates meeting with tech companies this morning, Hank Levy outlined research areas that the UW Computer Science & Engineering Department will be emphasizing. They include:

— Human-computer interaction

— Digital entertainment, including games and animation

— Computing and biology

— Neural engineering

— Computer security

— Machine learning/datamining

These are also areas where the school is likely to be recruiting new faculty.

The department’s education initiatives include:

— Possible creation of a five-year bachelor’s/master’s degree program.

— Creating new degree tracks such as machine learning.

— Increasing the number of undergraduate and graduate students.

— Offering a minor in computer science.

Today’s event was really about student research, which was demonstrated to companies that work with the UW and may support or license its technology.

I heard demonstrations in rooms crowded with representatives from Microsoft, Intel, Sun Microsystems, F5, Cray, Marchex and various venture-capital firms and other companies.

For instance, there were several Google people in Raphael Hoffmann’s presentation on a search engine for software code he’s developing that has usability improvements over Google’s new Code Search.

Later, Seth Cooper casually mentioned during his presentation that his team’s work on modeling large crowds has already been licensed for use in next-generation video games.

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