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Computer Sciences

bunch of hexagons with images of divers on them
Spring 2022

Robot swarms, soft bots, and other robotic ideas

We’ve come a long way from clunky, claw-handed Robot from Lost in Space.

Robots have had industrial and entertainment uses for a number of years, but researchers at Washington State University are rethinking robots’ design, tasks, and collaboration with humans. From the tiniest self-powered robot to soft robots, fruit-picking bots, and swarms of small robots like bees that can search collapsed buildings, the very idea of what is a “robot” is changing.

The creation of the National Robotics Initiative in 2011 also pushed the field toward more collaborative robots (or co-robots), which are designed to work cooperatively with humans. The robots are no longer … » More …

Computer hacker in a dimly lit room
Spring 2022

Cybercrime and how to protect yourself online

While cybercrime is constantly evolving, the good news is there are a few simple security measures anyone can take to increase their online security, whether they have a doctorate in computer science or a hard time printing attachments from their Hotmail account.

First and foremost, experts agree using strong, unique passwords is the easiest way for an internet user to protect their personal and financial information online. A strong password is typically at least 15 characters long and includes letters, numbers, and special characters.

Another pro-tip is never to reuse passwords. This is because one of the easiest ways hackers gain access to a user’s … » More …

Spring 2019

Medical Big Data

Big data is a powerful new tool in the medical bag, and one that can put patients in charge of their own health. Medical students at Washington State University are learning about the potential use of the tool on medical teams, while a new data analytics program at WSU teaches future data analysts. » More ...
Summer 2018

Nella Ludlow comes home

Nella Ludlow knew who she really was from an early age. “As I got older, I thought, I just can’t do this anymore,” she says. So she came out as a transgender woman.

After earning a degree in math and physical sciences at Washington State University, the 1982 graduate joined the Air Force. There she trained as a fighter pilot, worked in military intelligence, and earned a doctorate in artificial intelligence from the University of Edinburgh, and did post-doctoral studies at Cambridge University.

She retired at the end of the Cold War and entered the business world at the height of the dot com … » More …

A WSU student takes a virtual trip to the 2018 Winter Olympics. Photo Robert Hubner
Summer 2018

Virtually yours

How do you walk through a building in Atlanta when you’re in a classroom in Pullman?

If you can’t be there physically, virtual reality can deliver a new level of engagement, whether it’s watching Shaun White’s snowboard whoosh inches from your head, or working collaboratively on construction projects with students from Georgia.

Virtual reality is also a rapidly growing business. There were an estimated seven million VR headsets in 2016, which is expected to balloon to 47 million by 2020.

That acceleration has pushed companies like Intel to ramp up their VR offerings, including the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. The VR technology … » More …

rollable electronics
Summer 2017

Organic electronics on a roll

In the near future, your local hardware store could include a “green electronics” counter where friendly clerks unspool sheets of plastic film and print devices while you wait.

Need a few more solar panels? No problem.

How about a flexible LED lighting strip? This roll over here.

Computer? Loudspeaker? Or maybe transparent, energy-producing panels for your greenhouse? On sale today!

Though the scene is hypothetical, the emerging technology for organic, thin-film polymer plastics is up and running in laboratories around the world, including those of the Collins Research Group at Washington State University.

Led by assistant professor of physics Brian Collins, the enthusiastic … » More …