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

February 17, 2012 at 10:40 AM

Facebook “fellows” two UW students

What’s better than getting “friended” by Facebook, if you’re a computer science student?

Getting “fellowed” by the social networking giant.

Today Facebook named a dozen computer science students who will be receiving fellowships this year, including two from the University of Washington – Jeff Huang and Adrian Sampson.

It’s much more than a thumbs-up. Fellows receive full payment of their 2012-2013 tuition, a $30,000 stipend for study expenses, $5,000 to travel to conferences and $2,500 for a personal computer. Fellows are also invited to visit Facebook to meet with engineers working in their fields.

This year Facebook doubled the number of fellows in the program that it started in 2010 to build ties to the academic community. There were hundreds of applicants and 30 finalists for the 12 spots, the company said in its release.

huang.jpg

The UW’s Huang’s research is focused on search.

According to the release, Huang (left) “studying scalable, non-intrusive methods for collecting richer interaction data on web pages. Going beyond page views and clicks, he is using mouse cursor movements, scrolling, and tabbed browsing to support the design of better information systems. Through this, Jeff has analyzed user activity on search engines to model searcher behavior, aiming to help search engines better understand their users.”

Huang’s PhD reseach is aimed at showing “that search engines and interactive websites like Facebook can use user interaction data to provide the information their users want more effectively.”

sampson.jpg

Sampson’s focused on computer architecture and programming languages. Sampson (left) “works on making computers more energy efficient. Modern computers, from smart phones to servers, contend with power consumption limits like battery life, power and cooling bills, and chip power density constraints – all of which threaten to impede progress in the development of those computers’ capabilities,” the release said.

Sampson’s research “combines new processor designs with new energy-aware programming languages to help programmers write ‘greener’ software.”

Other recipients are studying at MIT, Harvard, Carnegie Mellon, Berkeley, Columbia and the University of Wisconsin. Four of the 12 are women.

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