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December 10, 2012
Special Edition

Computer Science Education Week

In celebration of Computer Science Education Week 2012 (See: www.csedweek.org), the CS Bits & Bytes team has created a video titled, "Why Computing" that features a few prominent computer scientists that discuss their career choice of computer science, their research, and its impact on society.

Watch the video at: http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_videos.jsp?org=NSF&cntn_id=126243&media_id=73478.

Below are the biographies of each person highlighted in the video.

Professor Shwetak Patel

Shwetak Patel is an Assistant Professor in the departments of Computer Science and Engineering and Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington, where he directs his research group, the Ubicomp Lab.  He is a MacArthur "genius" fellow. Professor Patel is particularly interested in developing new sensing technologies with a particular emphasis on energy monitoring and health applications. His past work was also honored by The New York Times as a top technology of the year in 2005.  The best advice he received was to not worry if someone had already done something, do it better! He likes to travel, snowboard, work on cars, and build and race remote control cars and planes.

For more information about Dr. Patel and his research, see his lab website at: http://ubicomplab.cs.washington.edu/wiki/Main_Page.

To watch Dr. Patel’s interview at NSF, see: http://www.livescience.com/16983-researcher-monitors-appliances-energy-wirelessly.html.


Dr. David Ferrucci

David Ferrucci is a Research Staff Member and leader of the Semantic Analysis and Integration Department at IBM’s T.J. Watson’s Research Center. He led the DeepQA project that developed the computer system capable of competing with champion players at the game of Jeopardy! His team of 25 researchers also focuses on developing technologies for discovering knowledge in natural language and leveraging those technologies in a variety of intelligent search, data analytics, and knowledge management solutions. Dr. Ferrucci and his team plan to apply DeepQA technologies to areas like medicine, government, and law to drive advances in computer supported intelligence and decision-making. He enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters.

To learn more about Dr. Ferrucci and his research, see his group's website at: http://www-03.ibm.com/innovation/us/watson/research-team/index.html.

For more of Dr. Ferrucci’s interview at NSF, see: http://www.livescience.com/21394-jeopardy-winner-watsons-creator-on-life-as-a-scientist.html.


Dr. Francine Berman

Francine Berman is Professor of Computer Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and previously served as Director of the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC), where she led a staff of 250+ interdisciplinary scientists, engineers, and technologists. Dr. Berman has served on a broad spectrum of national and international leadership groups and committees, including the National Science Foundation's Computer and Information Science and Engineering Advisory Committee. For her accomplishments, leadership, and vision, Dr. Berman was recognized by the Library of Congress as a “Digital Preservation Pioneer” and by BusinessWeek and Newsweek as one of the top women in technology. 

For more information about Dr. Berman and her research, see her website (http://www.cs.rpi.edu/~bermaf/) and Digital Preservation Pioneer profile (http://www.digitalpreservation.gov/series/pioneers/berman.html).


Dr. Rosalind Picard

Rosalind Picard is founder and director of the Affective Computing Research Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Laboratory that researches human-computer interaction and affective computing. She is also co-founder and chief scientist of Affectiva, Inc., making technology to help measure and communicate emotion. Professor Picard is highly accomplished with many awards and research publications on topics such as autism communication, human-computer interaction, and machine learning.  She lives in Newton, Massachusetts with her husband and three energetic sons.

For more about Dr. Picard and her work, see the Affective Computing website at: http://affect.media.mit.edu.


Dr. Teresa Abi-Nader  Dahlberg

Teresa Dahlberg is Professor of Computer Science and Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs and Administration for the College of Computing and Informatics at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Professor Dahlberg has over 25 years of experience in computer science and engineering - as an academic researcher, educator and administrator; research center director; industry developer; and intellectual property consultant. She is the founding director of the Diversity in Information Technology Institute, a research center that has created a set of pipeline programs for student recruitment, education and broadening participation from K-12 through graduate school. She is also co-founder and director of the STARS Alliance, a national community of practice for student-led regional engagement.

For more information about Dr. Dahlberg and her work, see her website at:

Learn more about recruiting, bridging, and retention of computing from the STARS Alliance at: http://www.starsalliance.org/.


Dr. Juan Gilbert

Juan Gilbert is Chair of Human-Centered Computing in the School of Computing at Clemson University. His research in electronic voting has resulted in a widely accessible voting system interface, which was just selected as a Winner of the Federal Communications Commission Chairman's 2012 Awards for Advancement in Accessibility. Professor Gilbert was also recently acknowledged as a Master of Innovation by Black Enterprise Magazine. In 2006, he was honored with a mural painting in New York City. He says his students have affected his research more than any one single person.

Learn more about Dr. Gilbert and his research at:  http://www.clemson.edu/ces/computing/news-archives/gilbert.html.

For more of Dr. Gilbert’s interview, watch:http://www.livescience.com/18791-people-interact-technology-nsf-sl.html.