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Shwetak N. Patel

  • Associate Professor

Appointments

Washington Research Foundation Entrepreneurship Endowed Professor, Computer Science & Engineering and Electrical Engineering
CTO, Global Innovation Exchange (GIX)

Biography

Shwetak N. Patel is the Washington Research Foundation Entrepreneurship Endowed Professor in Computer Science & Engineering and Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington, where he directs his research group, the Ubicomp Lab. His research interests are in the areas of human-computer interaction, ubiquitous computing, sensor-enabled embedded systems and user interface software and technology. His work includes developing new sensing systems, energy and water sensing, mobile health, and developing new interaction technologies. Patel was a founder of Zensi, Inc., a residential energy monitoring company, which was acquired by Belkin, Inc in 2010. He is also a co-founder of a low-power wireless sensor platform company called SNUPI Technologies and a consumer home sensing product called WallyHome. WallyHome was acquired by Sears in 2015. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2008 and BS in Computer Science in 2003. Patel is a recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship (2011), Microsoft Research Faculty Fellowship (2011), Sloan Fellowship (2012), MIT TR-35 Award (2009), World Economic Forum Young Global Scientist Award (2013), NSF Career Award (2013) and the Presidential PECASE Award (2016). He was named top innovator of the year by Seattle Business Magazine and was named Newsmaker of the year by Seattle Business Journal in 2011. His past work was also honored by the New York Times as a top technology of the year in 2005.

Research Interests

Embedded systems, sensors, human-computer interaction, health, sustainability, user interface technologies, signal processing and machine learning.

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                    [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_11453" align="alignleft" width="371"] UW President Ana Mari Cauce speaks at the GIX launch.[/caption]

The Global Innovation Exchange (GIX) is the first of its kind, marking the first time a Chinese research university has built a physical presence in the United States.

The University of Washington and Tsinghua University joined forces to establish the graduate institute in Bellevue, Washington. The space, which was funded through a $40 million donation from Microsoft, prototypes new technologies as one of the largest and most advanced maker spaces in the region.

GIX was founded as a catalyst for new innovation. The well-stocked maker space provides new students with the tools needed to conduct high-impact research. The vision of GIX is to support students as they tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems – from health to the environment.

“We intend to teach students enough in each area – design thinking, technology development and entrepreneurship – to build their confidence in pursuing their own innovations in high-impact fields such as health and sustainability, and improving standards of living both locally and globally,” UW Washington Research Foundation Entrepreneurship Endowed Professor in Computer Science & Engineering and Electrical Engineering and GIX CTO Shwetak Patel said on the institute’s website.

After only two years, the institute’s vision came into being; a physical space was located and assembled, and a program was identified and developed. The quick turnaround reflects a passion for innovation from university educators. Professors of UW Electrical Engineering and Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering Joshua Smith and Matt Reynolds were members of the original curriculum committee for GIX. They have continued these efforts on the Interdisciplinary Faculty Group (IFG), which governs the academic degree program at GIX.

[caption id="attachment_11452" align="alignright" width="393"] The GIX building was named the Steve Balmer Building after Steve Balmer, the former CEO of Microsoft.[/caption]

When selecting students for the new program, Co-CEO at the institute and UW Vice-President for Innovation Strategy Vikram Jandhyala wanted to ensure the students at GIX had an entrepreneurial spirit.

“It was very hands-on,” Jandhyala said in a recent article. “We wanted to make sure they were self-starters in terms of being entrepreneurs, and they could do things not just measured by GPA or scores from their undergraduate years.”

In addition to Tsinghua, eight other universities and five other companies from around the world are partnering on GIX.

“Literally, we are bringing the world together,” said one of the key architects of the GIX vision and Microsoft President Brad Smith in a recent article.

This fall, GIX will open its doors to 43 students from China and the United States. In ten years, it is estimated that GIX will educate about 3,000 students. At this point, the 43 students are all a part of the master’s degree program. However, the institute’s leadership envision that GIX will grow to support a wide-range of programs, including refresher courses, virtual reality and remote learning.

"I'm very proud that EE and CSE faculty have been a part of the core group in the establishment of GIX," UW Electrical Engineering Professor and Chair Radha Poovendran said.

[caption id="attachment_11454" align="alignleft" width="200"] Microsoft President Brad Smith[/caption]

A grand opening for the institute was held on September 14. Leaders from both China and the Pacific Northwest attended. UW President Ana Mari Cauce, Governor Jay Inslee, and previous Washington State Governor Chris Gregoire were in attendance. Additionally, top executives from Microsoft, including Smith, CEO Satya Nadella and former CEO Steve Ballmer, and many Chinese officials, including the consul general from San Francisco and Tsinghua’s President Qiu Yong, attended the event.
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                    [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_11384" align="alignleft" width="360"] From left: Gregory Abowd, Julie Kientz, Shwetak Patel, and Award Chair Judy Kay.[/caption]

UW professors have been awarded the 10-Year Impact Award at Ubicomp 2017 for their paper "At the Flick of a Switch: Detecting and Classifying Unique Electrical Events on the Residential Power Line."

UW faculty include Electrical Engineering and Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering Professors Shwetak Patel and Matt Reynolds and Human Centered Design & Engineering Professor Julie Kentz. Additional authors include Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) Professor Gregory Bowd and research scientist Thomas Robertson.

The 10-Year Impact Award recognizes research that has made a lasting impact in the field. In 2007, the authors' published work received the Best Paper Award and Best Presentation Award at Ubicomp.

The paper illustrates a novel approach for detecting energy activity within the home using a single plug-in sensor. The authors apply machine learning techniques to enable the system to accurately differentiate between different electrical events, such as turning on a specific light switch or operating certain appliances.

[caption id="attachment_2292" align="alignright" width="179"] Professor Matt Reynolds[/caption]

This work has been instrumental in the development of a new field of research in high-frequency energy disaggregation and infrastructure mediated sensing. It has also led to the creation of Zensi, a startup spun out of Georgia Tech and UW that was acquired by Belkin in 2010. Home energy monitoring and automation have become an industry focus based on the techniques first described in this paper.

When the paper was written, Patel and Kientz were Ph.D. students, and Reynolds was a senior research scientist at Georgia Tech. Ten years later, their work has not only influenced their current research, but it offers a touchstone for other researchers around the world.
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                    [post_content] => Associate Professor Shwetak Patel and a team from UbiComp Lab are developing PupilScreen, a smartphone app to screen for concussion.
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UW EE Professors Les Atlas, Karl Böhringer, Howard Chizeck, Blake Hannaford, Eric Klavins, Arka Majumdar, Shwetak Patel and Joshua Smith were awarded the 2017 Amazon Catalyst Fellowship.  In a partnership with the University of Washington, Amazon Catalyst supports bold solutions to world problems. The program provides funding, mentorship and community to the innovative projects.

Congratulations to all newly-minted Amazon Catalyst Fellows!

The Projects:

simsong.org
PI: Les Atlas

Active self-cleaning technology for solar panels
PI: Karl Böhringer

Haptic Passwords
PI: Howard Chizeck

IRA, the robot surgical assistant
PI: Blake Hannaford

UW BIOFAB: A cloud laboratory for genetic engineering
PI: Eric Klavins

Smart Eyewear
PI: Arka Majumdar

OsteoApp
PI: Shwetak Patel

Enabling district shared parking via energy harvesting wireless sensing technology
PI: Joshua Smith
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                    [post_content] => Washington Research Foundation Entrepreneurship Endowed Professor in Computer Science Engineering & Electrical Engineering Shwetak Patel was spotlighted in the first episode of GeekWire's Health Tech Podcast. Through his startup Senosis Health, Patel is transforming smartphones into medical devices.

GeekWire's podcast focuses on the stories of digital health innovation and the fantastic minds that make it happen. For Patel, his re-purposing of smartphones to mimic medical devices not only illustrates innovative vision; it also promotes societally-focused design.

Current medical equipment that measures disease function is costly and is not always easily accessible, especially for resource-poor nations. As smartphones become increasingly more ubiquitous, the functionality of a smartphone as a medical device becomes beneficial.

“Our idea has been: How do we repurpose the sensors that are already on a mobile phone to do similar things that you would find in a clinician’s office or at a hospital? And so, we’re looking at how to use microphones, the camera, the flash, the accelerometer, the gyro in new ways that people never used them before,” Patel said in the GeekWire article.

Patel has innovated these standard smartphone applications to build an arsenal of health monitoring apps, including Bilicam, which detects newborn jaundice, SpiroCall, which measures lung function and HemaApp, which records blood hemoglobin levels. These devices support monitoring for a range of diseases and conditions, such as cystic fibrosis, asthma and anemia.

Listen to more of the interview below:

https://soundcloud.com/geekwirehealthtech/diagnosed-by-smartphone

----

Information for this news was adapted from a recent article in GeekWire.

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Cauce speaks at the GIX launch.[/caption] The Global Innovation Exchange (GIX) is the first of its kind, marking the first time a Chinese research university has built a physical presence in the United States. The University of Washington and Tsinghua University joined forces to establish the graduate institute in Bellevue, Washington. The space, which was funded through a $40 million donation from Microsoft, prototypes new technologies as one of the largest and most advanced maker spaces in the region. GIX was founded as a catalyst for new innovation. The well-stocked maker space provides new students with the tools needed to conduct high-impact research. The vision of GIX is to support students as they tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems – from health to the environment. “We intend to teach students enough in each area – design thinking, technology development and entrepreneurship – to build their confidence in pursuing their own innovations in high-impact fields such as health and sustainability, and improving standards of living both locally and globally,” UW Washington Research Foundation Entrepreneurship Endowed Professor in Computer Science & Engineering and Electrical Engineering and GIX CTO Shwetak Patel said on the institute’s website. After only two years, the institute’s vision came into being; a physical space was located and assembled, and a program was identified and developed. The quick turnaround reflects a passion for innovation from university educators. Professors of UW Electrical Engineering and Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering Joshua Smith and Matt Reynolds were members of the original curriculum committee for GIX. They have continued these efforts on the Interdisciplinary Faculty Group (IFG), which governs the academic degree program at GIX. [caption id="attachment_11452" align="alignright" width="393"] The GIX building was named the Steve Balmer Building after Steve Balmer, the former CEO of Microsoft.[/caption] When selecting students for the new program, Co-CEO at the institute and UW Vice-President for Innovation Strategy Vikram Jandhyala wanted to ensure the students at GIX had an entrepreneurial spirit. “It was very hands-on,” Jandhyala said in a recent article. “We wanted to make sure they were self-starters in terms of being entrepreneurs, and they could do things not just measured by GPA or scores from their undergraduate years.” In addition to Tsinghua, eight other universities and five other companies from around the world are partnering on GIX. “Literally, we are bringing the world together,” said one of the key architects of the GIX vision and Microsoft President Brad Smith in a recent article. This fall, GIX will open its doors to 43 students from China and the United States. In ten years, it is estimated that GIX will educate about 3,000 students. At this point, the 43 students are all a part of the master’s degree program. However, the institute’s leadership envision that GIX will grow to support a wide-range of programs, including refresher courses, virtual reality and remote learning. "I'm very proud that EE and CSE faculty have been a part of the core group in the establishment of GIX," UW Electrical Engineering Professor and Chair Radha Poovendran said. [caption id="attachment_11454" align="alignleft" width="200"] Microsoft President Brad Smith[/caption] A grand opening for the institute was held on September 14. Leaders from both China and the Pacific Northwest attended. UW President Ana Mari Cauce, Governor Jay Inslee, and previous Washington State Governor Chris Gregoire were in attendance. Additionally, top executives from Microsoft, including Smith, CEO Satya Nadella and former CEO Steve Ballmer, and many Chinese officials, including the consul general from San Francisco and Tsinghua’s President Qiu Yong, attended the event. [post_title] => UW and China’s Tsinghua University launch groundbreaking Global Innovation Exchange [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => uw-and-chinas-tsinghua-university-launch-groundbreaking-global-innovation-exchange [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-09-22 11:54:34 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-09-22 18:54:34 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.ee.washington.edu/?post_type=spotlight&p=11449 [menu_order] => 10 [post_type] => spotlight [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 11378 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-09-18 11:42:41 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-09-18 18:42:41 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_11384" align="alignleft" width="360"] From left: Gregory Abowd, Julie Kientz, Shwetak Patel, and Award Chair Judy Kay.[/caption] UW professors have been awarded the 10-Year Impact Award at Ubicomp 2017 for their paper "At the Flick of a Switch: Detecting and Classifying Unique Electrical Events on the Residential Power Line." UW faculty include Electrical Engineering and Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering Professors Shwetak Patel and Matt Reynolds and Human Centered Design & Engineering Professor Julie Kentz. Additional authors include Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) Professor Gregory Bowd and research scientist Thomas Robertson. The 10-Year Impact Award recognizes research that has made a lasting impact in the field. In 2007, the authors' published work received the Best Paper Award and Best Presentation Award at Ubicomp. The paper illustrates a novel approach for detecting energy activity within the home using a single plug-in sensor. The authors apply machine learning techniques to enable the system to accurately differentiate between different electrical events, such as turning on a specific light switch or operating certain appliances. [caption id="attachment_2292" align="alignright" width="179"] Professor Matt Reynolds[/caption] This work has been instrumental in the development of a new field of research in high-frequency energy disaggregation and infrastructure mediated sensing. It has also led to the creation of Zensi, a startup spun out of Georgia Tech and UW that was acquired by Belkin in 2010. Home energy monitoring and automation have become an industry focus based on the techniques first described in this paper. When the paper was written, Patel and Kientz were Ph.D. students, and Reynolds was a senior research scientist at Georgia Tech. Ten years later, their work has not only influenced their current research, but it offers a touchstone for other researchers around the world. [post_title] => Faculty receive Ubicomp's 10-Year Impact Award [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => faculty-receive-ubicomps-10-year-impact-award [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-09-18 11:42:41 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-09-18 18:42:41 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.ee.washington.edu/?post_type=spotlight&p=11378 [menu_order] => 11 [post_type] => spotlight [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 11285 [post_author] => 13 [post_date] => 2017-09-06 09:43:48 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-09-06 16:43:48 [post_content] => Associate Professor Shwetak Patel and a team from UbiComp Lab are developing PupilScreen, a smartphone app to screen for concussion. [post_title] => UW researchers developing a smartphone app to screen for concussion and brain injury [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => smartphone-app-screens-for-concussion [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-09-07 10:00:10 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-09-07 17:00:10 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.ee.washington.edu/?post_type=spotlight&p=11285 [menu_order] => 17 [post_type] => spotlight [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 11259 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-08-28 13:42:45 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-08-28 20:42:45 [post_content] => [post_title] => UW researchers develop new app to screen for pancreatic cancer [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => uw-researchers-develop-new-app-to-screen-for-pancreatic-cancer [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-08-28 13:42:45 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-08-28 20:42:45 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.ee.washington.edu/?post_type=spotlight&p=11259 [menu_order] => 19 [post_type] => spotlight [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 11006 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-07-19 16:14:01 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-07-19 23:14:01 [post_content] => UW EE Professors Les Atlas, Karl Böhringer, Howard Chizeck, Blake Hannaford, Eric Klavins, Arka Majumdar, Shwetak Patel and Joshua Smith were awarded the 2017 Amazon Catalyst Fellowship.  In a partnership with the University of Washington, Amazon Catalyst supports bold solutions to world problems. The program provides funding, mentorship and community to the innovative projects. Congratulations to all newly-minted Amazon Catalyst Fellows! The Projects: simsong.org PI: Les Atlas Active self-cleaning technology for solar panels PI: Karl Böhringer Haptic Passwords PI: Howard Chizeck IRA, the robot surgical assistant PI: Blake Hannaford UW BIOFAB: A cloud laboratory for genetic engineering PI: Eric Klavins Smart Eyewear PI: Arka Majumdar OsteoApp PI: Shwetak Patel Enabling district shared parking via energy harvesting wireless sensing technology PI: Joshua Smith [post_title] => 8 faculty named 2017 Amazon Catalyst Fellows [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => 8-faculty-named-2017-amazon-catalyst-fellows [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-07-21 13:33:19 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-07-21 20:33:19 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.ee.washington.edu/?post_type=spotlight&p=11006 [menu_order] => 32 [post_type] => spotlight [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 10718 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-06-06 15:37:16 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-06-06 22:37:16 [post_content] => Washington Research Foundation Entrepreneurship Endowed Professor in Computer Science Engineering & Electrical Engineering Shwetak Patel was spotlighted in the first episode of GeekWire's Health Tech Podcast. Through his startup Senosis Health, Patel is transforming smartphones into medical devices. GeekWire's podcast focuses on the stories of digital health innovation and the fantastic minds that make it happen. For Patel, his re-purposing of smartphones to mimic medical devices not only illustrates innovative vision; it also promotes societally-focused design. Current medical equipment that measures disease function is costly and is not always easily accessible, especially for resource-poor nations. As smartphones become increasingly more ubiquitous, the functionality of a smartphone as a medical device becomes beneficial. “Our idea has been: How do we repurpose the sensors that are already on a mobile phone to do similar things that you would find in a clinician’s office or at a hospital? And so, we’re looking at how to use microphones, the camera, the flash, the accelerometer, the gyro in new ways that people never used them before,” Patel said in the GeekWire article. Patel has innovated these standard smartphone applications to build an arsenal of health monitoring apps, including Bilicam, which detects newborn jaundice, SpiroCall, which measures lung function and HemaApp, which records blood hemoglobin levels. These devices support monitoring for a range of diseases and conditions, such as cystic fibrosis, asthma and anemia. Listen to more of the interview below: https://soundcloud.com/geekwirehealthtech/diagnosed-by-smartphone

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Information for this news was adapted from a recent article in GeekWire.

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The University of Washington and Tsinghua University joined forces to establish the graduate institute in Bellevue, Washington. The space, which was funded through a $40 million donation from Microsoft, prototypes new technologies as one of the largest and most advanced maker spaces in the region. GIX was founded as a catalyst for new innovation. The well-stocked maker space provides new students with the tools needed to conduct high-impact research. The vision of GIX is to support students as they tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems – from health to the environment. “We intend to teach students enough in each area – design thinking, technology development and entrepreneurship – to build their confidence in pursuing their own innovations in high-impact fields such as health and sustainability, and improving standards of living both locally and globally,” UW Washington Research Foundation Entrepreneurship Endowed Professor in Computer Science & Engineering and Electrical Engineering and GIX CTO Shwetak Patel said on the institute’s website. After only two years, the institute’s vision came into being; a physical space was located and assembled, and a program was identified and developed. The quick turnaround reflects a passion for innovation from university educators. Professors of UW Electrical Engineering and Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering Joshua Smith and Matt Reynolds were members of the original curriculum committee for GIX. They have continued these efforts on the Interdisciplinary Faculty Group (IFG), which governs the academic degree program at GIX. [caption id="attachment_11452" align="alignright" width="393"] The GIX building was named the Steve Balmer Building after Steve Balmer, the former CEO of Microsoft.[/caption] When selecting students for the new program, Co-CEO at the institute and UW Vice-President for Innovation Strategy Vikram Jandhyala wanted to ensure the students at GIX had an entrepreneurial spirit. “It was very hands-on,” Jandhyala said in a recent article. “We wanted to make sure they were self-starters in terms of being entrepreneurs, and they could do things not just measured by GPA or scores from their undergraduate years.” In addition to Tsinghua, eight other universities and five other companies from around the world are partnering on GIX. “Literally, we are bringing the world together,” said one of the key architects of the GIX vision and Microsoft President Brad Smith in a recent article. This fall, GIX will open its doors to 43 students from China and the United States. In ten years, it is estimated that GIX will educate about 3,000 students. At this point, the 43 students are all a part of the master’s degree program. However, the institute’s leadership envision that GIX will grow to support a wide-range of programs, including refresher courses, virtual reality and remote learning. "I'm very proud that EE and CSE faculty have been a part of the core group in the establishment of GIX," UW Electrical Engineering Professor and Chair Radha Poovendran said. [caption id="attachment_11454" align="alignleft" width="200"] Microsoft President Brad Smith[/caption] A grand opening for the institute was held on September 14. Leaders from both China and the Pacific Northwest attended. UW President Ana Mari Cauce, Governor Jay Inslee, and previous Washington State Governor Chris Gregoire were in attendance. Additionally, top executives from Microsoft, including Smith, CEO Satya Nadella and former CEO Steve Ballmer, and many Chinese officials, including the consul general from San Francisco and Tsinghua’s President Qiu Yong, attended the event. 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Innovation/Entrepreneurship

Education

  • Ph.D., Computer Science, 2008
    Georgia Institute of Technology
  • BS, Computer Science, 2003
    Georgia Institute of Technology