Thursday, June 7, 2012

AfterCollege Electrical Engineering Student Scholarship, in partnership with the NSA is offering a $500 scholarship for current electrical engineering students.  If you could use a little extra money for school this year, we encourage you to apply before the June 30th deadline!

Please note:   In order to apply you must first sign in or create a free AfterCollege account

Complete the short application here:   Electrical Engineering Student Scholarship

The winner of the Electrical Engineering Student Scholarship will be contacted during the first week of July. Eligible students must be currently enrolled in an electrical engineering bachelor's, master's, or doctorate program.

Please visit the scholarship page above for details.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Student Mentors Needed

Interested in being a Mentor for underclassmen? We are seeking 40 committed students!!!
The Mentor Power for Success Program is a dynamic autumn quarter partnership between first-year students (proteges) and continuing UW students (mentors), to help proteges make a successful transition to university life. Mentor students use their knowledge of UW resources and services to guide proteges as they navigate the breathe of what the university has to offer.  (Learn more here:
Help provide incoming OMA&D EOP students a successful transition to the University of Washington! Get involved and help incoming students explore campus wide resources and opportunities!
We are currently seeking Mentors! If you are:
  • A continuing UW student of sophomore, junior, or senior status
  • A caring and experienced UW student
  • Familiar with UW academic services, campus resources, and/or college life
  • Interested in being a support system for Freshmen and Transfer students as they transition to the UW
Apply to be a Mentor!
Applications are now open - apply today to become a mentor!

Entry-Level Engineering Opportunities with the Federal Communications Commission

Entry-level Engineers in the FCC's Enforcement Bureau become credentialed field agents and have tangible opportunities for professional growth, developing highly marketable investigative skills along the way.

For a complete job description, please review the vacancy announcements DEU-EB-2012-0003,  DEU-EB-2012-0005 or  DEU-EB-2012-0006 available at

Application deadline is June 15, 2012.

CEE 409/509 Engineering Rome - coming in 2013!

Engineering Rome is a UW Exploration Seminar that covers Roman and Italian engineering over a range of 3,000 years from Ancient Rome to the present day. It consists of one 5-credit course, CEE 409/509 Engineering Rome, that takes place in two sessions. First, a once-per-week orientation session meets in Spring 2013 to provide background information, and program orientation. Second, an in-depth session meets in Rome, Italy at the UW Rome Center for three weeks during the 2013 Summer-Fall quarter break (28 August to 18 September 2013). To obtain credit for the course students are required to be registered for and attend both sessions.

Program Content
This program relies on its proximity to over 3,000 years of cutting-edge engineering in the heart of Rome. It provides engineering students or those interested in engineering a unique international and historical perspective on the engineering practice and its contributions to society. Rome is one of the richest sites in the world for exploring engineering through the ages from ancient Roman aqueducts, to Baroque basilicas, to modern subways, to sustainable life in a massive modern city. Students, will interact with local experts on Roman cities, archeology, construction, infrastructure and sustainability. Students will develop skills that allow them to analyze and evaluate civil infrastructure of all ages. Skills will be put to practice with classroom engineering analysis, expert lectures, and site visits guided by Roman experts in the engineering aspects of these sites (both modern and ancient).

Who Can Take the Class
Anyone enrolled at the University of Washington. The class is open to all undergraduate and graduate students. You do not need to be a Civil and Environmental Engineering major, or even an Engineering major. You just need an interest in the subject. Keep in mind that we will be doing engineering analysis in the class so that type of activity should be something you are okay with doing and able to do. If you have had math education up to, but not including, calculus you should be just fine.

More information

Information sessions: There will be several in-person information sessions on the UW campus in Fall 2012 and Winter 2013. Stay tuned for the dates.
Course website: (it is a UW Catalyst Common View page)
Facebook: (LIKE this to keep up to date on happenings)
E-mail: ask Professor Steve Muench at:

If you are interested, do this now:

1.       Go to the course website and read the details for the course.
2.       LIKE Engineering Rome on Facebook - this keeps you in contact with any breaking news regarding the program. It also lets me know who is interested in the course.
3.       E-mail me (Steve Muench) if you have any questions at all.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Research Experiences for Undergraduates

Wanted: Undergrads
Funding for four undergrad summer projects (listed below)
Contact: Professor Aram Harrow

1. Compressed sensing of tensors
2. Web infrastructures for open science
3. Quantum gate compiling
4. Hard instances of group and graph isomorphism

Here is a little more information about each project.
1. Compressed sensing of tensors

Tensors are generalizations of matrices that can be thought of as arrays with more than two indices. Unfortunately, they lack many of the mathematical properties of matrices, such as eigenvalues and eigenvectors, that make them amenable to fast algorithms, such as Gaussian elimination. Nevertheless, they appear in many practical problems of data analysis, as well as open problems in complexity
theory. Thus, finding fast algorithms to perform calculations on
tensors is a major open problem in algorithmic research.

This project will focus on one specific problem, which is recovering a tensor from a small number of measurements (also known as compressed sensing). Previously, compressed sensing has been widely used for vector and matrix data. For example, it was a key component of the recent winning solution to the Netflix prize. However, performing compressed sensing of tensors presents a number of new challenges.
This research project involves developing and implementing algorithms for compressed sensing of tensors, and then testing them on both synthetic and real data.
The project has both programming and math components. The programming will involve large-scale matrix calculations, but the mathematical side will probably be more challenging. The math required will be linear algebra. Having taken a course in convex optimization would be a plus, but is not necessary.

2. Web infrastructures for open science

Even though the internet was originally designed to revolutionize scientific communication, scientific publishing remains dominated by the centuries-old journal model. We are looking for a web developer to help disrupt this model by creating and maintaining web tools to facilitate new forms of scientific communication. Specifically, we want to develop a website that would add various social features to (which is the dominant preprint server used in physics, math, computer science and other fields). Some examples of what this site would allow are:
1. Public discussion of papers on, ranging from facebook-style "likes" to stackexchange-style comment threads.
2. Hosting "overlay journals," which would perform the traditional peer review of existing journals, but would leave the papers hosted on In this way, they could function without requiring copyright transfer or any subscription charges.
3. Hosting "journal clubs" and other discussion fora that are centered around existing research groups, or topical areas.
These are not meant to be exhaustive, and we are open to discussing new ideas in this space as well.

This project will involve deploying a live website that will be used by an active community of scientists.

Minimum Requirements:
Web development experience is required, preferably for sites with an active user base. Ability to work independently. Courses in HCI or web programming are a plus, but are not required.

3. Quantum gate compiling

The goal of quantum computing is to exploit quantum physics to create new types of computers that are qualitatively different from any previous model of computation. As with conventional computers, quantum computers will require a method of 'compiling' high-level commands into elementary logic gates. However, these gates are no longer operations such as NAND and OR, but instead are described by matrices. The compiling problem is to find a short string of the known gates that can be multiplied together to approximate a target gate.

The goal of this project is to implement and to attempt to improve various compiling proposals due to Kitaev, Shen and Vyalyi (KSV).
Implementation will involve learning the math behind the KSV compiling techniques and coding them in a language such as C, python or matlab.
The next goal of the project is to extend the KSV compiler to account for realistic features of (proposed) quantum architectures, such as the requirement that gates act on qubits (quantum bits) that are spatially adjacent. Another more speculative goal is to improve the performance of the compiler in the setting of gates that act on many qubits.

Minimum Requirements:
Programming ability and mathematical maturity are required. The main area of mathematics involved will be linear algebra, although only basic linear algebra concepts will be used (albeit in a sophisticated way).

4. Hard instances of group and graph isomorphism

Given two graphs G and H, is it possible to relabel the vertices in G so that it equals H? Similarly, given two groups, when are they equivalent up to a relabeling of their elements? These problems are known as *isomorphism problems* and their computational complexity is an open problem, as they are neither known to be in P, nor to be NP-complete. On the one hand, no polynomial-time algorithms are known for them, despite decades of study. On the other hand, there is evidence that they are not NP-complete, and group isomorphism can be solved in nearly polynomial time, while no examples of graph isomorphism are known that can defeat all known algorithms. (On the other hand, these existing graph-isomorphism algorithms have not been proven to work in all cases.)

The goal of this project is to search for hard instances of the group isomorphism problem by exhaustively checking all groups up to a certain order. Next, by translating group isomorphism problems into graph isomorphism problems, this project would seek to construct hard instances of graph isomorphism. The project will therefore involve programming and also some group theory. Depending on how the code performs on a single core, it may be necessary to parallelize the code or port it to run on a cluster. The results should be publishable if the project is successful.

Additional technical details are available at

Minimum requirements:
Programming knowledge and mathematical maturity. You must be willing to learn basic group theory, but do NOT need to already have taken a class in it.

Want to fly on NASA's Vomit Comet?

Dear Engineering Undergraduates,

My name is Cameron Turner, and I am a Senior in the ME department. For my capstone project I am working with the UW Microgravity Team, completing a experiment as part of NASA's Reduced Gravity Student Flight Opportunities Program. We are a team of 9 engineering undergraduates working under the guidance of Professor Riley from the ME department. In 2 weeks our team will travel to Houston to run our experiment aboard the Vomit Comet in microgravity conditions.

This is a year-long interdisciplinary project, and a good mix of about 10 motivated ME, AA, and EE student are wanted for next year's team. Although engineers from other departments are also welcome. A project proposal will be sent to NASA, and if chosen 5-6 team members will get to fly. If you are interested in getting involved with the microgravity team next year, would like to hear more about our experiment, or want to discuss ideas for next year's experiment, please send us an email at to set up a time to meet either today or tomorrow.

Thank you,

UW Microgravity Team

Professional Development Series for Alumni

Calling all graduating seniors and alumni!

Please join the UW Alumni Association and the UW Career Center for a series of professional development events this summer! Whether you're just starting out or looking to make a career change, there is something for you. Attend one program - or all - and take a step towards finding a career you'll love.

Dependable Strengths Workshop for Alumni
Friday, June 22 & Monday, June 25

Career Launch Workshop
Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Career Panel & Networking Reception for Alumni
Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Registration is required for each event - details on pricing, availability, event descriptions and more can be found at .

Space is limited, so register early!  We hope to see you this Summer.

Questions? Contact

Elderly couple need urgent tech help with laptop-p.c. and later on/end of summer, desktop-p.c.

[We live near Children's-Hospital around Burke-Gilman park, about a mile from UW campus]

(1) software:
eliminating unwanted "infestations"
which came right-through best norton/symantek anti-virus/malware:
"inbox" and "power speed pc" and some microsoft all-of-a-sudden overly-cautions ubiquitous bothersome security popup

[later on in summer or even early fall]:
helping set up one or two desktop-p.c.s and
(will require large-capacity flash/thumb-drive!!!?)
Transferring laptop-p.c.'s desktop and favorites and any/all other files to desktop-p.c.(s) and to backup external hard-drive(either merging them or as separate directories/folders/files/documents)

continuing ongoing software help may/will probably be needed should these old problems(s) recur
or new problem(s) arise in the future.

Would prefer/please rsvp by a phone-call to Ted: (206) 659-0235

but if you must e-mail us...

To insure receipt, please rsvp to all e-mail addresses below:;;;;;;