University of Washington
Computer Science & Engineering

Leadership Seminar Series

CSE 390L, Winter Quarter 2012


Tuesdays, 1:30-2:20, CSE 305 (refreshments and further discussion, 2:20-2:45)
Instructors: Ed Lazowska / Hank Levy
A one-credit (CR/NC) seminar series


The UW CSE Leadership Seminar Series, CSE 390L, is a one-credit (CR/NC) seminar series, primarily targeted at upper-division CSE undergraduates, that brings CSE alumni and friends to campus to describe how to be effective in a startup, small company, large company, or less common environment. Our guests will discuss topics such as:

  • How do you position yourself to work on interesting projects?
  • In a large company, what strategies can make you influential, vs. a cog in a wheel?
  • What is life like in a startup?
  • If your goal is to start and grow your own company, where do you begin?
  • What are the pros and cons of less common career options, such as teaching high school computer science?
These should be great, informative, interactive sessions. This seminar was very well received during the first offering, in 2011.

Course requirements

Regular attendance, active participation. Please read up on the individual and his/her employer(s) in advance of each course session.

Course email archive

To send mail, use cse390l_wi12 at u dot washington dot edu

The lineup

Check out last year's offering here.

Tuesdays, 1:30, CSE 305
Date Room Guest(s) Experience
January 3 CSE 305 Panel of young alums:
    Happy Dong, 2011 UW CSE B.S.
    Lisa Fiedler, 2010 U.W. CSE B.S.
    Dan Gerdesmeier, 2011 UW CSE B.S.
    Alyssa Harding, 2009 UW CSE B.S., 2010 M.S.
    Dan Otero, 2009 UW CSE B.S., 2010 M.S.
These alums are still individual contributors - entry-level engineers - at:
    Groundspeak - -
January 10 CSE 305 Sam Kim, 2004 UW CSE B.S.
Slides here
UCLA M.S. -> Datachannel software engineer -> Microsoft SDET -> SDE
January 17 CSE 305 Bill Baxter, UW CSE friend Intergraph manager of compiler development -> DECwest Engineering principal engineer -> BSQUARE co-founder, chairman, and CEO -> Snaptune co-founder -> Cozi Group Inc. CTO/VP of Engineering -> BuddyTV CTO/EVP of Products
January 24 CSE 305 Paul Mikesell, 1996 UW CSE B.S.
Slides here
RealNetworks developer and development manager -> Isilon co-founder and director of engineering -> Clustrix co-founder and vice president of strategy and technology
January 31 CSE 305 Charlie Reis, 2009 UW CSE Ph.D.
Ed away; Hank Levy will handle class
Slides here
February 7 CSE 305 Aber Whitcomb, 2000 UW ACMS B.S.
Slides here
MySpace co-founder and CTO -> MindJolt CTO, i/o Ventures co-founder
TED talk
February 14 CSE 305 Parvez Anandam, 2007 UW CSE M.S.
Slides here
B.S., M.S., Ph.D. in Physics -> SafeWeb (Bay Area startup acquired by Norton/Symantec) -> Aventail (now SonicWALL) and UW CSE M.S. -> Microsoft -> HomePipe Networks CTO & Co-Founder (re-named Tappin after recent acquisition by GlobalSCAPE)
February 21 CSE 305 Col. Eileen Bjorkman, 1979 UW CSE B.S.
Slides and videos here
Technical Adviser, Air Force Flight Test Center, Edwards Air Force Base, CA
February 28 CSE 305 Philip Lee, 2005 UW CSE B.S.
Ed away; Hank Levy will handle class
Slides here
Microsoft -> BuzzLabs co-founder (acquired by CityGrid Media) -> CityGrid Media senior director
March 6 CSE 305 John Davis, 1997 UW CSE B.S.
Stanford Ph.D. -> Microsoft Research