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Computer Sciences

Summer 2014

Machine in the classroom

New tech tools engage young scientists

In a familiar classroom scene, lab partners take turns squinting into a microscope. They spy a wriggling paramecium, if the organism doesn’t swim away from the field of view. These days they also peer into an iPad to watch videos and access digital textbooks. Engineer and entrepreneur Jeff Stewart sees a happy marriage between these old and new technologies in science classrooms.

Stewart and his colleagues at Exo Labs have enhanced that connection with an accessory that connects any microscope to an iPad, where students and teachers can take pictures and videos, measure objects, and quickly share … » More …

Gleason statue
Spring 2014

Predictive software helps communication

ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a terminal disease that attacks motor neurons, causing patients to lose muscle function. Patients gradually lose their ability to move or speak. Since patients can still move their eyes, advances in eye-tracking technology allow them to operate computer programs, including text to speech software. This eye-tracking technology is the person’s last link to communication—the key to a social or productive life.

However, existing software and hardware is expensive and not accessible to most people with the disease. Led by Professor Dave Bakken ’85, a group of computer science students is working to develop a less … » More …

Summer 2003

Thriving in Rural America: Ochs uses computer technology to stay on family farm

Wanted: Person with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts to help design and create software programs; location: Dusty, Washington, population 10.

These are just the kind of person whom Jon Ochs, president, CEO, and founder of Eureka Software, Inc., may soon be looking to hire for the multimedia communications company he runs from his family farm in very rural Eastern Washington.

“We actually have four employees that are here all the time, so it is no longer a mom and pop business,” he says, sitting on the porch patio among his wife’s flowers and scratching the head of his large and rather relaxed dog, Amber. … » More …

Spring 2009

Come MapWith.Us

Orest Pilskalns had electronic mapping on his mind long before coming to Washington State University, but it wasn’t until he was teaching a senior-level software engineering class the spring of 2006 that he knew he could realize his vision.

The assistant professor knew his students at WSU Vancouver had the skills and interest to tap into publicly-available map technology and adapt it for a wide variety of public uses.

“This is where you take the knowledge you’ve gained in other classes and apply it to a real-world problem,” says Pilskalns, who earned his doctorate in computer science at WSU in 2004. “We had a … » More …