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Ed Lazowska Receives 2012 Vollum Award


Ed Lazowska is the 2012 recipient of Reed College's Vollum Award for Distinguished Accomplishment in Science and Technology. Lazowska is the Bill & Melinda Gates Chair in Computer Science in the Department of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington.

Lazowska received his BA from Brown University in 1972 and his PhD from the University of Toronto in 1977, the same year he joined the University of Washington faculty. His research and teaching concern the design, implementation, and analysis of high performance computing and communication systems. More recently, he has expanded his research to include data-intensive science. Lazowska has also been active in public policy issues, ranging from science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education promotion to federal policies concerning research and innovation.

Lazowska co-chairs the Computing Community Consortium, whose goal is to better align computing research with pressing national and global challenges. He has served on the technical advisory board for Microsoft Research since its inception, and serves as a technical adviser to a number of high-tech companies and venture capital firms. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. He recently co-chaired the Working Group of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology charged with reviewing the Federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program, and previously co-chaired the President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee.

Lazowska has advised 22 PhD students and 23 masters’ students, and has received the University of Washington Computer Science & Engineering Undergraduate Teaching Award.

Lazowska will accept the Vollum Award at Reed College’s convocation ceremony on Wednesday, August 22. The qualities that distinguish awardees are hallmarks of Howard Vollum’s career — perseverance, a creative imagination, the ability to work with people and a fresh approach to problem solving. For his senior thesis project, Vollum built an oscilloscope; he later went on to co-found Tektronix, which revolutionized oscilloscope design and became a world leader in test, measurement, and monitoring technology. Throughout his life Vollum provided major philanthropic support to Reed after graduating in 1936 with a degree in physics.