Monday, October 12, 2009

IBM Journals to be included in IEEE Xplore

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and IBM, US, have announced a publishing agreement. Under the deal, all papers published in IBM journals will be available exclusively in the IEEE Xplore digital library ( from the first quarter of 2010 onwards. The aim is to disseminate key technical articles and papers in computer hardware, software and information systems to a wider audience of researchers and interested readers around the world.

The IBM Journal of Research and Development, which now includes the IBM Systems Journal, is claimed to be one of the top-cited journals in the field. The two, which have been published online since 1998, merged into one fee-based online publication in 2009. The production of future editions of the current publication, the IBM Journal of Research and Development, will be handled by IEEE. IBM will be responsible for the content acquisition and peer review, while IEEE assumes the article production, copy editing, data conversion, online hosting and maintenance.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Engineering Library Classes

The Engineering Library's Autumn Class Schedule is now available at

Learn how to choose the right databases for your research, search them effectively, and even do a patent search!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Future nears with bionic lens

View this video that features UW EE faculty members Babak Parviz and Brian Otis.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Knovel University Challenge

Students: Take the Knovel University Challenge and win great prizes!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Pedro Domingos and Daniel Lowd publish in Synthesis Digital Library of Engineering & Computer Science

Markov Logic: An Interface Layer for Artificial Intelligence

Synthesis Lectures on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Pedro Domingos
University of Washington
Daniel Lowd
University of Washington


Most subfields of computer science have an interface layer via which applications communicate with the infrastructure, and this is key to their success (e.g., the Internet in networking, the relational model in databases, etc.). So far this interface layer has been missing in AI. First-order logic and probabilistic graphical models each have some of the necessary features, but a viable interface layer requires combining both. Markov logic is a powerful new language that accomplishes this by attaching weights to first-order formulas and treating them as templates for features of Markov random fields. Most statistical models in wide use are special cases of Markov logic, and first-order logic is its infinite-weight limit. Artificial intelligence needs an interface layer, a language linking applications to their common infrastructure needs. AI applications involve high degrees of complexity and uncertainty. First-order logic handles complexity well and probabilistic graphical models do the same for uncertainty, but neither can cope effectively with both. Thus neither is sufficient for general AI. Markov logic is a powerful new language that seamlessly combines the two. Statements in Markov logic are simply weighted formulas in first-order logic, interpreted as templates for features of Markov random fields. Most statistical models in wide use are special cases of Markov logic, and first-order logic is its infinite-weight limit. Inference algorithms for Markov logic combine ideas from satisfiability, Markov chain Monte Carlo, belief propagation, and resolution. Learning algorithms make use of conditional likelihood, convex optimization, and inductive logic programming. Markov logic has been successfully applied to problems in information extraction and integration, natural language processing, robot mapping, social networks, computational biology, and others, and is the basis of the open-source Alchemy system.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Intro to Engineering Databases Class

Want to learn how to do research for your assignment efficiently and effectively? This one-hour session will go over the basic steps of doing a search for engineering research literature-- from choosing a database, constructing a search, and finding the articles or papers (online or in print). Bring a topic to research when you come.

What: Intro to Engineering Databases Class
When: May 11th, 2009. 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
Where: The Engineering Library (computer classroom on the 3rd floor)
Why: Search better, faster, stronger.

To register go here:

Thursday, April 23, 2009

ISI Web of Knowledge Enhanced

ISI Web of Knowledge (also referred to as Web of Science) is an extremely useful tool for researching. It's a citation database, which means you can use it to find out how many times an article or author has been cited and where.

One of the neat new things you can do with Web of Knowledge is create citation maps (currently in beta, but worth checking out). ISI has recently announced enhanced citation mapping capabilities that let you create a colorful visual representation of citing/cited relationships. Here's an example:

More ISI updates.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Serials and Electronic Resources Review 2009

FYI: The UW Libraries is currently engaged in a serials and electronic resources review. Why? Estimated cuts in our information resources budget range from approximately $1.9 million to $2.4 million, which means we must start identifying possible titles to cancel.

A combined list of proposed titles for cancellation from all funds (including Engineering) will be posted on the web by summer 2009. Using faculty input and our principals and goals as guides, we will make final decisions in the fall.

You can find more information on the the official Serials and Electronic Resources Review 2009 page, including Frequently Asked Questions and a letter from the Dean of Libraries, Betsy Wilson.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact us.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

How many engineers does it take to change a light bulb?

From the Rube Goldberg Contest at Purdue:

Inspired by cartoonist Rube Goldberg, college students nationwide compete to design a machine to complete a simple task using 20 or more steps.

The 2009 task was to replace an incandescent light bulb with a more energy-efficient, light-emitting design.

Check out our favorite entry, "Scene of the Crime," from the University of Illinois team. It won second place.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

International Nuclear Information System Database now available free

From the International Atomic Energy Agency website:

3 April, 2009 - We are pleased to announce that access to INIS [International Nuclear Information System] database has been now opened to all Internet users around the world. Free, open and unrestricted access is available from the INIS Homepage (, or directly from the following link:

This initiative provides easy access to reliable nuclear information on the peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology, including nonconventional literature, and makes nuclear knowledge readily available worldwide.

Established in 1970, INIS represents the world's largest database of scientific and technical literature on a wide range of subjects from nuclear engineering, safeguards and non-proliferation to applications in agriculture, health and industry.

Currently, the INIS Database contains over 3 million bibliographic records and almost 200,000 full-text nonconventional documents, consisting of scientific and technical reports and other non copyrighted information.

Yoky Matsuoka in the Seattle Times

In case you missed it, here's a link to a great article about UW Associate Professor of Computer Science & Engineering and MacArthur "genius" award-winner Yoky Matsuoka.

Article: The UW's Yoky Matsuoka is leading the quest for robotics that take orders from the brain

Monday, April 6, 2009

Speaking of WorldCat...

As of right now, WorldCat (the main tool used to search UW Libraries and beyond) appears to be down. Oh no! How can anyone look up books?

Fear not, book seekers. Though WorldCat is down, you can still search for books using the trusty UW-only catalog.

There are many differences between WorldCat and our old UW-only catalog, but the major one is obvious from the titles: WorldCat searches the entire world (or almost) whereas the UW-only catalog just searches the books and journals we have here at UW.

So, while we're waiting on WorldCat to come back up, keep on searching using the old catalog. (Good thing we kept it around!)

Save your WorldCat searches

Do you have a specific subject you love reading about, like hobbies, specific authors or formats? If you have to repeatedly craft a specific search around one of these areas to "see what's new," this new feature on will save you lots of time. Just go to, do a search and refine your query as usual. Once you have the results set you want, click the "Save this Search" box in the upper right of the results screen. Now you can track the latest materials available on this topic in our library, and more than 10,000 other WorldCat libraries around the world.

Friday, April 3, 2009

New Industry Database

Our friends at the Foster Business Library recently let us know about First Research, a new database featuring industry profiles. According to the First Research website, they cover over 700 industries and update every 90 days.

So if you are interested in researching an industry, First Research may be a good place to get started. If you'd like more information about industry research, check out the very long list of resources available via Foster's business research guides.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

ScienceDirect scheduled outage

FYI: ScienceDirect will be down due to scheduled maintenance on Saturday, April 4, 2009 @ 3:00 pm PST for approximately nine hours. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Open Science

Happy Spring Break, everyone!

Since you don't have any classes this week, you might have time to watch a video of the panel presentation: "Open Science: Good for Research, Good for Researchers?" that took place at Columbia University on February 19, 2009.

The speakers are:
  • Bora Zivkovic, Online Discussion Expert for the Public Library of Science (PLoS) and author of "A Blog Around the Clock." (The "useful knowledge" image above is from his talk.)
  • Jean-Claude Bradley, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Coordinator of E-Learning for the School of Arts and Sciences at Drexel University and a practitioner of Open Notebook Science.
  • Barry Canton, founder of Gingko BioWorks and the OpenWetWare wiki, an online community of life science researchers committed to open science that has over 5,300 users.
They discuss some interesting issues surrounding open science. What is it? How does it work? What are the benefits?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Barbara Liskov Wins 2008 Turing Award

From The Chronicle of Higher Education:

"Barbara Liskov, the first woman in the United States to earn a Ph.D. from a computer-science department and a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has been awarded the A.M. Turing Award for 2008."

From the ACM press release:

"The award cites Liskov for her foundational innovations to designing and building the pervasive computer system designs that power daily life. Her achievements in programming language design have made software more reliable and easier to maintain. They are now the basis of every important programming language since 1975, including Ada, C++, Java, and C#. The Turing Award, widely considered the "Nobel Prize in Computing," is named for the British mathematician Alan M. Turing. The award carries a $250,000 prize..."

Monday, March 16, 2009

HCDE moving to Sieg Hall on March 18th

Just an FYI: the department of Human-Centered Design and Engineering (HCDE), formerly Technical Communications, is moving its offices from Loew Hall to Sieg Hall on March 18, 2009.
The announcement can be found here:

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A major new sci-tech search portal

With you can search over 3.5 million documents, plus patents and government data from the following societies:

Acoustical Society of America, American Geophysical Union, American Institute of Physics, American Physical Society, American Society of Civil Engineers, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Audio Engineering Society, AVS, ECS, IEEE, Institute of Physics, IUCR Crystallography Journals Online, Optical Society of America, Professional Engineering Publishing, Royal Society, Society for Industrial & Applied Mathematics, SPIE, The Society for Information Display, DTIC Science & Technology, European Patents, Information Bridge, Japanese Patents, NSF Publications Database, US Patent & Trademark Office Database

This search engine is free and on the open Internet, like Google Scholar, but with less noise. It's not full-text, so in most cases you'll still have to depend on your dear old library to provide you with the content, but this looks like a great search engine to use when you're beginning your research.

According to Library Journal, its content "...includes such significant scientific papers as Isaac Newton's invention of the reflecting telescope and the first research paper published by Stephen Hawking." (Those links will open as PDFs.)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Articles delivered to your computer FOR FREE

UW Libraries is temporarily offering free desktop article delivery!

What is "desktop article delivery"?

It means libraries staff will pull and scan journal articles from print volumes held by the UW Libraries and deliver them electronically to your desktop free of charge.

This is a pilot project that will only be available from March 1st through June 30th. The purpose of the pilot is to gather data about the actual demand and costs for such a service. At the end of the academic year the results will be evaluated and we'll determine if a permanent pull and scan service is feasible.

So, if you're tired of dragging yourself to the brick and mortar library to pull and copy journal articles that aren't available electronically, this pilot is for you. Take advantage while it lasts.

For more info see:

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Special IEEE Xplore Workshop

Wendy McCarville from IEEE will be on campus next week and will be offering a special one-hour workshop on IEEE Xplore just for UW faculty, staff, and students. She will go over new features and enhancements to IEEE Xplore and show you tips on how to get the best search results in the database. She'll also be able to answer any questions you may have about IEEE Xplore.

Workshop details:

Thursday, March 12
10:30-11:30 am in the Engineering Library Instruction Center (3rd floor of the Engineering Library)

If you would like to attend, please send an email to lcwhang at u.wash or call 206-685-8370.

Wendy will also have some great IEEE items to give away!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Bioengineering + Art

From University Week:

"This picture, and other imaginative takes on UW bioengineering research, will be on display [February 27] through April 3 at the Harborview Medical Center cafeteria.

This is the first time the Harborview Art Program -- which regularly includes local artists, musicians and performers -- will feature scientific research.

The exhibit also serves as an artistic premiere of sorts for images from the laboratory of Albert Folch, a UW associate professor of bioengineering... "

Sounds pretty cool. Read the full article here.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

New Books at the Engineering Library

New York : Springer, c2008.
QA402.5 .P388 2008.

2. Ivancevic, Vladimir G.
Dordrecht, The Netherlands : Springer, c2007.
QA845 .I83 2007.

3. Kanaun, S. K.
Dordrecht : Springer, c2008-
QD461 .K27 2008.v.2.

4. Gen, Mitsuo, 1944-
London : Springer, c2008.
T56.24 .G47 2008.

5. Whitefield, Philip D.
Washington, D.C. : Transportation Research Board, 2008.
TD886.7 .S86 2008.

6. Abuhamdia, Tariq Maysarah.
TJ7 Th58603.

7. Covey, Jason P.
TJ7 Th58663.

8. Erdem, Emine Yegan.
TJ7 Th58687.

9. Garrison, Travis Arthur.
TJ7 Th58709.

10. Bergheau, Jean-Michel.
London : ISTE Ltd. ; Hoboken, N.J. : J. Wiley, c2008.
TJ260 .B45413 2008.

11. Watson, Richard.
Amsterdam ; Boston : Newnes/Elsevier, c2009.
TK6570.M6 W38 2009.

Hoboken, NJ : Wiley, c2009.
TK7871.99.M44 N362 2009.

London : Imperial College Press ; Hackensack, N.J. : distributed by World Scientific Publishing, c2008.
TK7875 .A38 2008.

14. Ludwig, Duane A.
Washington, D.C. : Transportation Research Board, 2007.
TL553.5 .L83 2007.v.1.

15. Sun, Conroy Ghin Chee.
TN7 Th58550.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Possible problem with PDFs from Knovel



As of 2/17/09, Knovel has "developed and implemented a patch. We have tested this solution extensively, verified it with individual customers and believe that it resolves the issue." So things should be back to normal, but if you have any problems, please contact us.


An alert for Knovel users:

[Knovel] recently discovered a conflict that occurs with the combination of Firefox 2 or 3 and the new Adobe Reader (version 9) web browser plug-in when downloading Knovel PDF’s. This conflict will interfere with users ability to view PDF documents. While we have determined that the problem does not occur with Internet Explorer 6 or 7, or with Adobe Reader 8, we have yet to identify a fix. We are treating this as an urgent matter and are working with Adobe to find a solution. We will provide updates as we learn more.
So, if you are unable to download a PDF using Firefox and the new Adobe Reader 9, you can try using Internet Explorer (or another alternate browser). Hopefully, this will be fixed soon.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

To print or not to print: This site will answer that question

As many of you probably noticed, printing and copying services were down throughout the UW campus yesterday for about three hours. These situations are unfortunate, but there is a way you can stay on top things. Dawg Prints Alerts lets you:
  • know about printing/copying problems as soon as they arise, and
  • know when the problems have been resolved.
You can periodically check the Dawg Prints Alerts site when you have important deadlines to meet that involve printing, or you can do like I do and subscribe to the Dawg Prints Alerts RSS feed so that new alerts will show up automatically in your blog reader.

Happy printing, everyone!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Engineering Library Classes: Sign Up Now!

Upcoming classes at the Engineering Library:

Introduction to Engineering Databases

This one-hour session will go over the basic steps of doing a search for engineering research literature-- from choosing a database, constructing a search, and finding the articles or papers (online or in print). Bring a topic to research.

* Tuesday, February 17, 3:30 - 4:30 pm
* Monday, February 23, 3:30 - 4:30 pm

Introduction to Patent Searching

An introduction to patent searching. Our patent expert will take you through the process step-by-step, showing how to search the USPTO's Patent Database using both print and electronic resources.

* Tuesday, February 10, 2:00pm-4:00pm


Find out about the Engineering Library's collections and services-- from course reserves to technical reports and standards, copiers, and study rooms. Especially useful if you're new to the UW campus or the College of Engineering.

Tours are available by appointment. Make an appointment by emailing or by calling 685-8372.


You may register for any of the above classes by sending an email to listing which class(es) you would like to attend with date(s) and time(s), or by calling Destinee Sutton at 685-8372.

Classes are open to all interested persons, but priority is given to UW students, faculty and staff.

All classes will be held in the Engineering Library Instruction Center (ELIC), located on the third floor of the Engineering Library in room 310.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Want a degree in engineering? Your options may expand.

Did you know that, as of right now, the University of Washington and Washington State University are the only public universities in Washington that are allowed by law to offer certain courses in engineering?

If you didn't know, don't bother memorizing this fact, for it looks like it may soon change.

According to an article in The Daily Evergreen, the Washington State legislature is considering a bill that would allow more universities to offer classes and degrees in engineering.

The Senate Bill Report says that supporters argue high demand for engineers necessitates this expansion.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

TC becomes HCDE

The College of Engineering's Technical Communication department has a new name! According to University Week, it is now officially the Department of Human-Centered Design and Engineering (HCDE).

Why the name change? "The field is changing," said professor and chair Jan Spyridakis. "Given where the computing world is going, our field is much broader than simply writing and editing. The new name reflects that broader focus."

To find out more about the change, read the entire article in University Week.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Tiny Motors, Tiny Robots

The BBC has an interesting article/video about the development of nano-motors to power tiny robots. The innovation, which has applications in surgical procedures, was reported in the February 2009 issue of the Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering. I believe the article is titled, "Piezoelectric ultrasonic resonant motor with stator diameter less than 250 ┬Ám: the Proteus motor," and is authored by James Friend and colleagues from the Micro/Nanophysics Laboratory at Monash University in Australia.

If you want to read the the original journal article, you're in luck! The University of Washington has a subscription to the electronic version, which means the Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering (from 1991 to the present) is available to UW students, faculty, and staff online.

According the the BBC article, the "researchers' prototype measures a quarter of a millimetre wide - not much more than a couple of hairs side-by-side, and 70% smaller than the previous record holder."

If you need help accessing this (or any) article, just ask us.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Use the library? Win an award!

All undergraduate students enrolled at the University of Washington are eligible to compete for the UW Library Research Award. If you're a UW undergrad who knows how to do great research, you could be a winner! (Or if you know such an undergrad, encourage them to apply!)

The awards committee gives out six to ten awards each year. The prize is $750 for Non-Seniors and $1000 for Seniors.

Applying is a three step process and the first deadline is May 18, 2009.

So what are you waiting for? I did a quick scan of the past winners and didn't see any engineering students. You could be the first!

Learn more about the Library Research Award at their FAQ site.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Safari Tech Books Online

Safari Tech Books Online offers full-text technical reference books on topics such as networking, Java, Linux/Unix, Perl, .NET, desktop productivity, web development and more from O'Reilly and other publishers of IT books.

The UW Engineering Library provides you access to Safari for books published in 2007, 2008, and 2009 (such as the brand new title Beautiful Architecture shown below).

So take advantage of this awesome resource. If you're working from off-campus and need help connecting, refer to this previous post for more info, or ask us here.

Monday, January 12, 2009


Each month, NewsFlash highlights College of Engineering researchers (and sometimes students) who have been featured in magazines, newspapers, and other media.

For example, University of Washington professor Babak Parviz's work on developing a bionic contact lens was recently highlighted in a article.

So subscribe to the NewsFlash RSS feed to keep up with the latest breaking news about your colleagues at the UW College of Engineering.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Technology Pioneers of 2009

Students in the College of Engineering like to stay on top of new technologies. If you're interested in the companies behind many of the innovations shaping our world, you might want to take a look at the 34 companies selected as the top Technology Pioneers for 2009 by the World Economic Forum.

The WEF recognizes companies in three areas: Biotechnology and Health, Energy and Environmental Technologies, and Information Technology. According to the nomination form: "The World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneers programme focuses on distinguishing those innovations that will have a dramatic and sustainable impact on business and/or society."

You can also check out YouTube videos about Technology Pioneers here.

Only 5% of teens think engineers are “nerdy”

The Lemelson-MIT Invention Index is an annual survey that measures American teens’ perceptions about invention and innovation. According to their recent press release, this year's survey revealed that:
  • 85% of teens expressed interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, with “curiosity about the way things work” as the driving factor for their interest.
  • 56% of those interested selected “protecting the environment” or “improving our society” as their inspiration.
  • 55% of teens believe scientists, engineers and mathematicians are best described as “intelligent." Only 5% of teens selected “nerdy” as the best description.
  • Nearly 2/3 of teens indicated that they may be discouraged from pursuing a career in science, technology, engineering or mathematics because they do not know anyone who works in these fields.
Check out the entire article here.

Spread the Word for Science!

Announced on the blog of the Government Information Divison of SLA: A cooperative network of organizations called The Coalition for Public Understanding of Science (COPUS) has launched a U.S.-oriented effort called Year of Science 2009 (YoS09).

Basically a public relations campaign for Science, COPUS aspires to "... engage the general public in dynamic ways that will make science more accessible, personally meaningful, and locally relevant."