UW faculty member awarded 'genius grant'

Sep 20, 2011

A University of Washington faculty member has been awarded one of 22 "genius grants" from the Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

KOMO-TV reports Shwetak Patel, a faculty member in the school's computer science and engineering department, will be awarded a $500,000 grant.

The foundation's 2011 winners are being announced Tuesday.

Winners are picked based on exceptional creativity, promise for important future advances based on a track record of significant accomplishment, and potential for the fellowship to facilitate subsequent creative work.

According to UW, Shwetak is the co-founder of Zensi, Inc., a developer of technology that senses and monitors energy use.

Recipients of the grant can spend the money however they like.

Including this year's recipients the MacArthur Foundation has awarded 850 genius grants since 1981.