UW News

July 17, 2019

Magdalena Balazinska named director of UW’s Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering

UW News

Magdalena Balazinska has been named the new director of the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering. The appointment is effective Jan. 1, 2020, and is subject to approval by the UW Board of Regents.


Magdalena BalazinskaMark Stone/University of Washington

“Professor Balazinska is a respected scholar and colleague who brings a breadth of leadership experience that will serve the school well as it continues to grow in size and stature,” said Greg Miller, interim dean of the College of Engineering. Hank Levy, who has led computer science and engineering through a period of tremendous growth over the past 13 years, will continue as director until Balazinska assumes her duties.

A professor of computer science & engineering, Balazinska’s research interests are in the field of database management systems. Her current research focuses on data management for data science, big data systems, cloud computing, and image and video analytics, including data management for augmented and virtual reality systems.

Balazinska established herself as an outstanding leader as director of UW’s eScience Institute and Associate Vice Provost for Data Science, where she developed broad cross-campus partnerships to advance data-intensive discovery across a variety of disciplines and spearheaded the establishment of educational programs for students in the burgeoning field of data science. She led the creation of the Data Science and Advanced Data Science Ph.D. options, and later co-led the creation of the Undergraduate Data Science option.

“I am thrilled and deeply honored to work with students, faculty, staff and community stakeholders to advance computer science education and innovation. The Paul G. Allen School is one of the world’s leading computer science programs and the Puget Sound region is one of the world’s great technology centers. Together, we have the opportunity to work on the most challenging problems of our time and develop groundbreaking new technology. I look forward to contributing to this goal as the new Allen School director,” Balazinska said.

Balazinska has been recognized with many professional honors, including: a Test of Time Award from the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on the Management of Data (ACM SIGMOD) for her contributions in distributed stream processing; the 10-Year Most Influential Paper Award from the Working Conference on Reverse Engineering (WCRE) for her work in automated software code refactoring; and the inaugural Women in Database Research Award from VLDB, the flagship conference for database research, based on her inspirational record of research in scalable distributed data systems. She is also the recipient of an NSF CAREER Award, a Microsoft Research New Faculty Fellowship, and multiple best paper awards.

She holds a doctorate in computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and joined the UW faculty in 2006.