UW Today

May 8, 2013

News digest: Recyclemania results, professor speaks on career journey, Honor: Rodney Ho

Graph showing recycling rates of UW and five other schoolsUW outcompetes PAC-12 schools
In the grand champion category comparing paper, glass and can recycling with the amount of garbage thrown away, the UW outcompeted all the PAC-12 schools entered in this year’s Recyclmania, an eight-week contest when universities and colleges are ranked on how much recycling, food waste and trash they collect.

Among all the 270 colleges and universities competing in the grand champion category, UW ranked 83. In the category for food services organics, which considers the weight of food waste composted per person on campus, UW was 38th. Considering the total weight of paper and mixed containers recycled on campus, the UW was 35th. And considering the weight of paper and mixed containers recycle per person on campus, UW was 183rd.

In addition to the national competition, UW Housing and Food Services sponsored a competition between UW residence halls. During the two month period, McMahon had the highest waste diversion of all residence halls (highest recycling and compost combined, lowest garbage). Poplar came in second for the highest diversion rate even though it has no dining facility.  McMahon also had the highest compost rate of all the residence halls, followed by Terry/Lander. Hansee had the highest recycling rate of all residence halls.

MIT engineering professor to speak on research, career journey
Many seasoned academics can point to circuitous paths and serendipitous events that led to a successful, perhaps unexpected career in research. One professor’s take on this journey is the topic of this year’s annual Dean Lytle Electrical Engineering Endowed Lecture Series.

Alan S. Willsky, professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will speak twice for the UW community. His first talk at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 14, in the Electrical Engineering Building (room 105) will be a more technical lecture titled “Learning and Inference for Graphical and Hierarchical Models: A Personal Journey.”

Then on Wednesday, May 15, Willsky will address a general audience with his lecture “Building a Career on the Kindness of Others” at 3:30 p.m. in the Paul G. Allen Center‘s Microsoft Atrium.

Both talks are free and open to the public.

Willsky’s work on large-scale data fusion has been applied in areas such as object recognition, oil exploration, remote sensing in the ocean and groundwater hydrology.

The Dean Lytle lecture series is the electrical engineering department’s largest annual event, usually featuring speakers in the field of communications and signal processing. Lytle came to the UW in 1958 and served for 40 years as a professor of electrical engineering.

Head shot of Rodney HoPharmaceutical science association recognizes Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho, professor of pharmacy, will receive the Research Achievement Award in Biotechnology from the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists at its annual May meeting. The award, among the highest the association confers, recognizes the quality of his work and its impact. Ho studies the relationship between drug localization in tissues and cells and the links to disease progression. His nanotechnology and device innovations have helped make anti-infective agents, such as anti-HIV drugs, pain medications and cancer drugs, more potent with fewer side effects.