If you think all the major University of Washington discoveries and research projects are being done across the lake, you are mistaken. The students and professors at UW Bothell constantly make headlines locally and around the world. Here are some of the university’s more recent triumphs.
A ‘Pattern’ of Excellence
The next time you are laying tile in your bathroom or kitchen, consider this fun factoid: When placing those tiles on a flat plane monohedrally (with one type of tile), there are only 15 possible types of convex pentagons. How do we know this? Undergraduate researcher David Von Derau and other UW Bothell mathematicians discovered this when they identified the 15th and final pattern in 2015. Recently, that same pentagon popped up in the Netherlands on the exterior design of a primary school building.
No Bears Allowed
The creek that runs through the Paradise Valley Conservation area near Maltby is aptly named Bear Creek because it is the home of many such hairy quadrupeds. There are so many bears, in fact, that the folks at local nonprofit educational farm Farmer Frog are anxious about their apple orchard. To combat this conundrum, Farmer Frog turned to the engineering department at UW Bothell. The resulting 5-foot-tall, 300-foot-long “smart” touch fence — which uses a camera with facial recognition software to turn on a flood light to drive bears away — was the capstone project for mechanical engineering students Brian Farkas, Darwin Faylona, Nazary Vasilchenko, and Guangxiao Zhang.
Floating Bridge Noise Study
Anyone who lives near a highway or heavily traveled road understands the impact of noise pollution. But what does rush hour over the State Route 520 floating bridge sound like to the marine life below it? Shima Abadi, an assistant professor in the School of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics at UW Bothell, wants to find out. An underwater acoustics researcher, Abadi assembled a team of students to develop a prototype hydrophone and transmitter — wrapped in a pool noodle for extra buoyancy — in order to record noise from the Interstate 90 and State Route 520 floating bridges and analyze the data. Eventually, the team hopes to install a permanent solar-powered buoy to replace its prototype.