‘Mind-blowing’ gift to Univ. of Washington computer science honors Ed Lazowska’s ongoing legacy

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Computer scientist and professor Ed Lazoska has been at the University of Washington since 1977. University of Washington Photo / Dennis Wise

Ed Lazoska has played a key role in the development of the Seattle area’s technology industry, as a driving force behind the University of Washington’s computer science and engineering for more than four decades.

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Based on his work alone, his influence has already been guaranteed to extend beyond his tenure as longtime professor and past president of UW’s Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering. Went. But a group of technology leaders have been working quietly behind the scenes for more than a year to add to their legacy.

allen school revealed this week Microsoft’s Peter Lee and Google’s Jeff Dean (UW CSE alumnus) together with Microsoft President Brad Smith and Microsoft’s emeritus researcher Harry Shum jointly give $1 million to establish a thriving professorship named after Lazoska Huh.


He surprised Lazoska by telling her about the gift on her 70th birthday last year, which brought tears to her eyes.

The Allen School has already named the first Lazoska Professor: luis sezez, a computer scientist and entrepreneur who has been a faculty member since 2007.

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It’s just the beginning. Lee, Dean, Smith and Shum are encouraging others in the community to add to their gifts, many seeking to establish “Lazowska Professorships”. They Raising additional funds by the end of December, Coordinating with Allen School Director Magdalena Balazinska and the school’s advancement team.

“I don’t know anyone who has done more work than Ed Lazoska to create new technologies, provide economic opportunities for people, and improve national competitiveness,” Lee said via email this week. The government and industry have worked together.” “His contributions have made an impact on the field, on Microsoft, and on me personally.”

Lee explained, “Jeff and I worked together to do this in the hopes that it would help advance Ed’s work – he’s been such an influence on us personally. We celebrated his birthday with this legacy as his Used as an excuse to add names.

This could be the biggest thing ever at the UW CSE without Lazowska’s involvement.

“It’s mind-blowing — what it means to me, and what it will mean to the Allen School,” Lazoska said via email, with her trademark enthusiasm. He added, “I’ve been kept in complete darkness – at this point I don’t know who contributed or how much has been raised. I’ll find out in January!”

We had to ask: What about retirement? Lazoska had promised his wife, Lindsay Downs, that he would retire at age 70, which apparently did not happen. He is now “strongly committed” to retiring at 75. We will believe it when we see it.

Reading UW’s full backstory about the gift, And Learn more about Contribution.

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