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UW Partners With 'MIT Of China' On Technology Degree

Dan Schlatter
UW President Ana Mari Cauce shakes hands with Tsinghua University Chairperson Chen Xu after signing an agreement Nov. 9 creating a dual degree program within the Global Innovation Exchange (GIX).

Technology experts are predicting that by the year 2020, tens of billions of devices will be connected to the Internet—not just smartphones, but sensors and chips that will communicate with other machines to do things like drive cars.

The University of Washington hopes to prepare students for those changes with a new master’s degree program announced Monday.

It is an integrated dual-degree program in technology innovation. The UW is partnering with Tsinghua University, sometimes called “the MIT of China.” The interdisciplinary degree puts students and faculty on the ground in both Washington and Beijing.

UW’s Andy Hoover says the idea is for students to design a technology and then see how it does in a global market.

“You’ll need to make a bit of a business plan pitch, you’ll need to have a prototype, where you’ll have to write some software, do a little bit of hardware prototyping, do a little bit of design work, with drawings and so on. So we want people to be functional in all those areas,” he said.

Hoover says Microsoft is also a partner. The first class begins in China next September.