UW News

Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering


February 7, 2024

UW-developed smart earrings can monitor a person’s temperature

The temperature sensing earring is shown attached to a person’s ear. The portion touching the earlobe has a gemstone on it. Dangling a few centimeters below it is a small circular circuit board.

University of Washington researchers introduced the Thermal Earring, a wireless wearable that continuously monitors a user’s earlobe temperature. Potential applications include tracking signs of ovulation, stress, eating and exercise. The smart earring prototype is about the size and weight of a small paperclip and has a 28-day battery life.


September 13, 2023

Battery-free robots use origami to change shape in mid-air

A hand holding tweezers that are holding a yellow square with circuits on it

UW researchers developed small robotic devices that can change how they move through the air by “snapping” into a folded position during their descent.


July 27, 2023

Q&A: UW researcher discusses just how much energy ChatGPT uses

A hand holding a phone that has ChatGPT on the screen

Training a large language model, such as ChatGPT, uses on average roughly equivalent to the yearly electricity consumption of over 1,000 U.S. households, according to Sajjad Moazeni, UW assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, who studies networking for AI and machine learning supercomputing.


June 21, 2023

An app can transform smartphones into thermometers that accurately detect fevers

A researcher holds a phone to a patient's forehead.

A team led by researchers at the University of Washington has created an app called FeverPhone, which transforms smartphones into thermometers without adding new hardware.


April 6, 2023

National and local leaders convene at UW for discussion of CHIPS and Science Act, investing in scientific discovery

We see the back of the director of the National Science Foundation as he shakes hand with one student in a group of students in a lab.

Leaders from Washington higher education institutions met with national policymakers April 4 to discuss opportunities provided by the CHIPS and Science Act. U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene and National Science Foundation Director Sethuraman Panchanathan visited the University of Washington campus to talk about the legislation, which provides more than $100 billion to fund scientific research and…


February 8, 2023

Q&A: UW researcher discusses future of quantum research

Kai-Mei Fu headshot

Scientists at the University of Washington are pursuing multiple quantum research projects spanning from creating materials with never-before-seen physical properties to studying the “quantum bits” — or qubits (pronounced “kyu-bits”) — that make quantum computing possible. UW News sat down with Professor Kai-Mei Fu, one of the leaders in quantum research on campus, to talk about the potential of quantum R&D, and why it’s so important.


September 19, 2022

A smartphone’s camera and flash could help people measure blood oxygen levels at home

A hand holding a cellphone with one finger over the flash and the camera. The flash is shining through the finger and glowing red.

In a proof-of-principle study, University of Washington and University of California San Diego researchers have shown that smartphones are capable of detecting blood oxygen saturation levels down to 70%. This is the lowest value that pulse oximeters should be able to measure, as recommended by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.


July 14, 2022

UW professor’s new book and course on sexual harassment in engineering seek to disrupt culture of silence

Denise Wilson, a University of Washington professor of electrical and computer engineering, is working to end the prevalence of sexual harassment in engineering. She and her colleague Jennifer VanAntwerp of Calvin University are co-authors of “Sex, Gender, and Engineering: Harassment at Work and in School,” published in April by Cambridge Scholars Publishing.


June 17, 2022

Q&A: New children’s book shows how natural world inspired inventor to create medieval robots

Book cover showing a medieval robot

“Robots and Other Amazing Gadgets Invented 800 Years Ago,” a children’s book by the UW’s Faisal Hossain and Qishi Zhou, shares the inventions of Ismail Al-Jazari, a 12th-century polymath considered by many to be the “father of robotics.”


March 8, 2022

O-pH, a new UW dental tool prototype, can spot the acidic conditions that lead to cavities

Patient in dental exam

You and your dentist have a lot of tools and techniques for stopping cavities, but detecting the specific chemical conditions that can lead to cavities and then preventing them from ever getting started is much harder. Now, in a new study, University of Washington researchers have shown that a dental tool they created can measure…


February 9, 2022

UW and Amazon announce creation of the Science Hub

aerieal shot of UW

The University of Washington and Amazon today announced the Science Hub, an effort that deepens the relationship between the two organizations and will advance innovation in core robotics, artificial intelligence technologies and their applications.


October 20, 2021

UW students designed a rover to inspect culvert conditions to help fish

A rover entering a pipe

UW students created a rover that can inspect sewer pipes or culverts for any damage that could prevent fish from using them during migration.


September 28, 2021

New NSF-funded institute to harness AI for accelerated discoveries in physics, astronomy and neuroscience

A venn diagram

On Sept. 28, the National Science Foundation announced $15 million, five-year grant to integrate AI tools into the scientific research and discovery process. The award will fund the Accelerated AI Algorithms for Data-Driven Discovery Institute — or A3D3 Institute — a partnership of nine universities, led by the University of Washington.


September 9, 2021

NSF to fund revolutionary center for optoelectronic, quantum technologies

Aerial shot of the University of Washington campus in Seattle

The National Science Foundation has announced it will fund a new endeavor to bring atomic-level precision to the devices and technologies that underpin much of modern life, and will transform fields like information technology in the decades to come. The five-year, $25 million Science and Technology Center grant will found the Center for Integration of Modern Optoelectronic Materials on Demand — or IMOD — a collaboration of scientists and engineers at 11 universities led by the University of Washington.


July 13, 2021

From ‘distress’ to ‘unscathed’ — mental health of UW students during spring 2020

A table in the living room with a cup of tea, a laptop and a stack of books on top. Behind the table is a couch and a bike

To understand how the UW’s transition to online-only classes affected college students’ mental health in the spring of 2020, UW researchers surveyed 147 UW undergraduates over the 2020 spring quarter.


July 8, 2021

Mari Ostendorf named UW Vice Provost for Research

Mari Ostendorf, UW professor of electrical and computer engineering, has been named a corresponding fellow by the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Scotland's National Academy.

University of Washington Provost Mark Richards today announced the appointment of Mari Ostendorf as Vice Provost for Research, set to begin Sept. 1. Ostendorf has been serving as Associate Vice Provost for Research in the Office of Research since 2017.


April 1, 2021

New system that uses smartphone or computer cameras to measure pulse, respiration rate could help future personalized telehealth appointments

A person holding a phone in front of their face

A UW-led team has developed a method that uses the camera on a person’s smartphone or computer to take their pulse and breathing rate from a real-time video of their face.


March 24, 2021

Faculty/staff honors: Energy-efficient computing, Cottrell Scholar, Google Inclusion Awards

An Intel Corporation award for work to make computers more energy-efficient, a Research Corporation for Science award for chemistry research and education, and two Google inclusion awards to create technology for underrepresented populations.


February 4, 2021

‘Audeo’ teaches artificial intelligence to play the piano

A hand pressing a piano key

A UW team created Audeo, a system that can generate music using only visual cues of someone playing the piano.


January 12, 2021

New treatment allows some people with spinal cord injury to regain hand and arm function

A hand picking up a tiny bead

Using physical therapy combined with a noninvasive method of stimulating nerve cells in the spinal cord, University of Washington researchers helped six Seattle area participants regain some hand and arm mobility.


November 17, 2020

UW part of $5.8M contract to study wireless charging on moon

an image of the moon

A team of organizations — led by the space technology company Astrobotic and including the University of Washington and the UW spinout WiBotic — has received a $5.8 million contract to develop a line of lightweight, ultrafast wireless chargers that could help both humans and robots live and work on the moon.


September 1, 2020

UW launches Institute for Foundations of Data Science

people at white board

The University of Washington will lead a team of institutions in establishing an interdisciplinary research institute that brings together mathematicians, statisticians, computer scientists and engineers to develop the theoretical foundations of a fast-growing field: data science.


August 31, 2020

UW receives NSF funds for investment in an interdisciplinary quantum future

A person standing smiling at the camera

The National Science Foundation has awarded $3 million to establish a NSF Research Traineeship at the University of Washington for graduate students in quantum information science and technology. The new traineeship — known as Accelerating Quantum-Enabled Technologies, or AQET — will make the UW one of just “a handful” of universities with a formal, interdisciplinary QIST curriculum.


August 20, 2020

Faculty/staff honors: Public service award, endowed professorship, cybersecurity grant — and a UW professor among Talented 12

Jessica Ray, UW assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, has been named a member of the 2020 Talented 12 list of young chemists working to solve world problems by the weekly newsmagazine Chemical & Engineering News, or C&EN.

Recent honors and grants to University of Washington faculty and staff have come from the American Chemical Society, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the National Science Board and the family of engineers Ganesh and Hema Moorthy.


August 7, 2020

Faculty/staff honors: Grants for STEM equity, HIV prevention; innovation award — and a White House honor for engineering mentoring

Eve Riskin, professor and associate dean in the UW College of Engineering, has been named a recipient of a 2019 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring.

Recent honors and grants to University of Washington individuals and units have come from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, the Marconi Society — and the White House.


July 15, 2020

A GoPro for beetles: Researchers create a robotic camera backpack for insects

A beetle with a camera system on its back moves through a patch of moss

Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a tiny wireless steerable camera that can ride aboard an insect or an insect-sized robot.


May 6, 2020

Should you help a sick person? UW psychology, computer science faculty study ‘moral dilemmas’ of COVID-19

Elderly man opening front door to find a bag of food on his doorstep

A new international study led by the University of Washington aims to gauge the perception of ethical situations as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves around the world.


April 16, 2020

‘Hands-on’ classes online? How some instructors are adapting to a new teaching environment

A postal service box with lab materials inside

When the UW announced it was moving its spring quarter 2020 classes entirely online to combat the novel coronavirus, instructors across campus faced a new, uncharted challenge.


March 30, 2020

Faculty/staff honors: Outstanding educator in landscape architecture, Royal Society of Edinburgh corresponding fellowship — and the Green Rat Clingfish takes a bow

A Green Rat Clingfish, Barryichthys algicola, from St. Helens, Tasmania.

Recent honors to University of Washington faculty and staff have come from the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture, the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the World Register of Marine Species.


February 18, 2020

Campus podcasts: UW Tacoma, architecture, science papers explained

Logo for Paw'd Defiance, a podcast being produced by UW Tacoma

It’s the year 2020, and where two or more are gathered, it seems, there is a podcast. Given the level of creativity among University of Washington faculty and staff, it’s no surprise that many high-quality podcasts are now being produced on campus. Here’s a look at three podcasts being created by UW departments or people,…


February 3, 2020

The one ring — to track your finger’s location

A close up of the ring with the wristband in the background

UW researchers have created AuraRing, a ring and wristband combination that can detect the precise location of someone’s index finger and continuously track hand movements.


December 16, 2019

Faculty/staff honors: Distinguished teaching honor, new editor for environmental health journal, overseeing education in Uganda, Allen School honors

statue of George Washington on UW campus

Recent honors to UW faculty and staff include the new editorship of a major journal, a post with the Republic of Uganda and honors from the American College of Physicians, the Association for Computing Machinery and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.


December 9, 2019

Brian Johnson receives $4.9 million from U.S. Department of Energy to support solar energy systems

Brian Johnson, assistant professor in the UW Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, has received a $4.9 million grant across three years from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Brian Johnson, assistant professor in the UW Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, has received a $4.9 million grant across three years from the U.S. Department of Energy.


November 4, 2019

Single discrimination events alter college students’ daily behavior

Five hands making fists in a circle. All arms have black Fitbit trackers on them.

UW researchers aimed to understand both the prevalence of discrimination events and how these events affect college students in their daily lives. Over the course of two academic quarters, the team compared students’ self-reports of unfair treatment to passively tracked changes in daily activities, such as hours slept, steps taken or time spent on the phone.


October 4, 2019

New metasurface design can control optical fields in three dimensions

An image showing how the optical element focuses light to a specific point in 3D space above the element's surface.

A team led by scientists at the University of Washington has designed and tested a 3D-printed metamaterial that can manipulate light with nanoscale precision. As they report in a paper published Oct. 4 in the journal Science Advances, their designed optical element focuses light to discrete points in a 3D helical pattern.


August 9, 2019

Artificial intelligence could yield more accurate breast cancer diagnoses

Researchers at UW and UCLA have developed an artificial intelligence system that could help pathologists read biopsies more accurately, and lead to better detection and diagnosis of breast cancer.


July 16, 2019

8 UW professors elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences in 2019

Suzzallo Library at night

Eight scientists and engineers from the University of Washington have been elected this year to the Washington State Academy of Sciences.


April 3, 2019

UW virtuoso of mobile sensing technology receives ACM Prize in Computing

portrait

A University of Washington professor, Shwetak Patel, is the recipient of the 2018 ACM Prize in Computing for contributions to creative and practical sensing systems for sustainability and health, the Association for Computing Machinery or ACM announced today.


March 21, 2019

UW, Microsoft, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory establish new Northwest Quantum Nexus for a quantum revolution in science, technology

Portraits of two people

The University of Washington, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Microsoft Quantum announced this week that they have joined forces in a new coalition, the Northwest Quantum Nexus, to bring about a revolution in quantum research and technology.


January 16, 2019

Three awards from US Department of Energy to fuel UW solar cell research

Three teams led by University of Washington researchers — Scott Dunham, Hugh Hillhouse and Devin MacKenzie — have received competitive awards totaling more than $2.3 million from the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office for projects that will advance research and development in photovoltaic materials, which are an essential component of solar cells and impact the amount of sunlight that is converted into electricity.



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