UW Today


March 9, 2016

Quintard Taylor’s BlackPast.org history site gets redesign, first executive director

Chieko Phillips

BlackPast.org, the online reference guide to African-American history started by University of Washington history professor Quintard Taylor, is getting an executive director — Chieko Phillips — and a website redesign.


March 8, 2016

Evans School, Ruckelshaus Center featured when public policy administrators gather in Seattle March 17-22

Photo by Katherine Turner.

The evolving nature of the public sector will be the topic when professionals and scholars from the UW’s Evans School for Public Policy & Governance and around the world gather in Seattle March 17-22 for the 77th annual conference of the American Society for Public Administration.


March 3, 2016

Record percentage of women students in Informatics Program helps iSchool narrow the gender gap

Christina Xiao, left, and Amber Amin graduated in June 2015 with degrees in informatics from the UW Information School. This year's cohort in Informatics is the largest yet, a record 40 percent of them women.

The UW Information School’s 2015-16 undergraduate cohort in informatics is not only the school’s largest yet with 210 students, it also includes more women students than ever before — about 40 percent.


$750,000 Mellon Foundation grant will fund research, collaboration in arts

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The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded the University of Washington a three-year, $750,000 grant to support guest artists in developing new works, and to better integrate arts disciplines into the broader university curriculum.

The grant will support a Creative Fellowships Initiative, under which guest performing artist fellows will be recruited from around the world for one- to three-year residencies in dance, music and theater.


February 29, 2016

Life or illusion? Avoiding ‘false positives’ in the search for living worlds

New research from the University of Washington-based Virtual Planetary Laboratory will help astronomers better identify and rule out "false positives" in the ongoing search for life. Shown is a NASA illustration of Kepler 62E about 1,200 light-years away in the constellation Lyra.

New research from the UW-based Virtual Planetary Laboratory will help astronomers better identify — and thus rule out — “false positives” in the search for life beyond Earth.


Statewide home sales, affordability up in fourth quarter of 2015

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Home sale prices were up fractionally in the fourth quarter of 2015 compared to the third quarter but up 9.7 percent compared with the previous year, according to the UW’s Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies.


February 25, 2016

Documents that Changed the World: The Declaration of Independence’s deleted passage on slavery, 1776

The latest installment of Information School professor Joe Janes' podcast series Documents that Changed the World discusses the 168 powerful words condemning slavery that were removed from the Declaration of Independence.

The latest installment of Information School professor Joe Janes’ podcast series Documents that Changed the World discusses 168 powerful words condemning slavery that were excised from the Declaration of Independence at the last minute.


February 19, 2016

Safari tourism: Costs, benefits studied in Benjamin Gardner’s book ‘Selling the Serengeti’

"Selling the Serengeti: The Cultural Politics of Safari Tourism" by Benjamin Gardner was published in February by University of Georgia Press.

Benjamin Gardner, associate professor in UW Bothell’s School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences and chair of the Jackson School of International Studies’ African Studies Program, discusses his new book “Selling the Serengeti: The Cultural Politics of Safari Tourism.”


February 18, 2016

David Levy addresses digital overload in ‘Mindful Tech’

"Mindful Tech: How to Bring Balance to Our Digital Lives" was published by Yale University Press.

David Levy of the UW Information School discusses his new book, “Mindful Tech: How to Bring Balance to our Digital Lives,” published in January by Yale University Press.


February 8, 2016

Intellectual House, Odegaard Library welcome new works of public art

"Welcoming Figures" at wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ - Intellectual House was designed by Ruth and Andy Peterson of the by Skykomish Tribe and carved by Andrea Wilbur-Sigo of the Squaxin Island and Skykomish tribes. Sigo is at center, her daughter Florence Sigo is at left, her husband Steve Sigo at right and son Robert Sigo in front.

The University of Washington campus already is home to a lot of great public art. Now there are two additions to the campus collection — one at the Odegaard Undergraduate Library and the other at wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ – Intellectual House.


February 5, 2016

Wall-walking dancer Rachael Lincoln: ‘It’s a duet’

Rachael Lincoln, UW dance lecturer and member of the BANDALOOP dance company, performs "Man Walking Down the Side of a Building," by choreographer Trisha Brown on the west side of Meany Hall for the Performing Arts on Friday, Feb. 5. She was assisted from above by a colleague with BANDALOOP.

At 10:30 a.m. Friday, Rachael Lincoln leaned slowly out into space, hands at her sides — and then walked down the side of Meany Hall for the Performing Arts.


February 4, 2016

‘Pushback’ against constant connectivity also reflected in images, study follow-up finds

In a follow-up to a 2014 study, Ricardo Gomez of the University of Washington Information School and co-authors have found that people's desire to retreat from a life of constant connectivity is expressed on the web in images as well and powerfully as in text.

People expressing the wish to resist constant online connectivity — dubbed “pushback” by University of Washington Information School researchers — is manifested as powerfully in images as in text, further study has found.


February 2, 2016

Reflections on the habitability of — Planet Earth

Astronomers at the UW-based Virtual Planetary Laboratory have created an index to rank the habitability of exoplanets, or those outside the solar system.

We know the Earth is habitable because — well, here we are. But would it look like a good candidate for life from hundreds of light-years away?


February 1, 2016

‘Vertical dance’ on Meany Hall will celebrate UW World Series retrospective of choreographer Trisha Brown

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A UW dance faculty member will walk down the side of Meany Hall on Friday, Feb. 5, performing a dance piece titled “Man Walking Down the Side of a Building” by famed choreographer Trisha Brown, a retrospective of whose work is being performed Feb. 4-6 on the Meany stage.


January 28, 2016

Iowa caucuses: Expectations can trump votes, but will Trump meet expectations?

CNN News announces Mike Huckabee the winner of the 2008 Republican Iowa caucus. But winning Iowa does not always lead to the nomination, which that year went to Sen. John McCain.

In the Iowa caucuses, expectations are nearly as important as votes and front-runners must watch their backs, say University of Washington professors who are closely watching this year’s presidential race. The 2016 Iowa caucuses will be held Monday, Feb. 1, pitting Democratic leader Hillary Clinton against Sen. Bernie Sanders and Gov. Martin O’Malley and Republican…


January 21, 2016

Diplomacy and danger in orbit: Saadia Pekkanen moves Jackson School toward role in discussions of space

Saadia Pekannen, associate director of the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies.

Saadia Pekkanen, associate director of the Jackson School for International Studies, discusses the school’s growing role in the conversation about space and its ramifications for diplomacy and security.


January 15, 2016

Salsa dance, commerce explored in Juliet McMains’ book ‘Spinning Mambo into Salsa’

UW dance professor Juliet McMains' book "Spinning Mambo Into Salsa: Caribbean Dance in Global Commerce," was published in 2015 by Oxford University Press.

Dance professor Juliet McMains discusses her book “Spinning Mambo into Salsa: Caribbean Dance in Global Commerce,” published by Oxford University Press.


January 6, 2016

Politics, pioneers and ‘pandemonium’: 2016 History Lecture Series digs into Seattle history

The 2016 History Lecture Series, "Excavating Seattle's Histories: People, Politics, Place" will be held Wednesday evenings from Jan. 13 to Feb. 3, with an additional panel discussion, "The Future of Seattle" on Feb. 10.

Seattle’s past — from its earliest years to the turn of the 21st century — will be the topic of the Winter 2016 History Lecture Series, “Excavating Seattle’s Histories: People, Politics, Place,” running Wednesdays from Jan. 13 to Feb 3, with an additional panel discussion on Feb. 10.


January 5, 2016

Study: College graduates often challenged with life skills, motivation for ongoing learning

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Today’s college graduates tend to be highly trained and employable but often lack a key skill needed for post-college life: how to identify and ask their own questions, according to a new study.


December 30, 2015

UW astronomer Eric Agol honored by Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Eric Agol, a University of Washington professor of astronomy, will receive the 2016 Lecar Prize from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. The award, now in its third year, recognizes exceptional contributions to the study of exoplanets — those beyond our solar system — and theoretical astrophysics. It is named for Myron S. “Mike” Lecar, who…


December 23, 2015

Documents that Changed the World: The Fannie Farmer Cookbook, 1896

The Boston Cooking-School Cookbook, 1896.

A glance at a kitchen bookshelf gave UW Information School professor Joe Janes the idea for the latest installment of his Documents that Changed the World podcast — about the famous Boston Cooking-School Cookbook, more popularly known as the Fannie Farmer Cookbook.


December 15, 2015

Study: Reason, not disruption, rules when growing a social movement

When campaigning for social change, disruptive protests may win a few battles but education is more likely to win the war, according to research by Abhinav Gupta, an assistant professor of strategic management at the University of Washington Foster School of Business. Gupta and co-authors studied “Rein in Russell,” a 2009 campaign by United Students…


December 14, 2015

History meets geography: James Gregory’s collaborative digital project tracks key 20th century social movements

James Gregory

UW historian James Gregory’s new collaborative digital project, “Mapping American Social Movements through the 20th Century” uses data visualization and interactive maps to depict the progress of various social movements — with more to come.


December 9, 2015

Design meets health: UW College of Built Environments, School of Public Health chosen for national architect association’s design and research consortium

The University of Washington College of Built Environments and School of Public Health have been selected as part of a national initiative seeking to translate research on how design impacts public health into architectural practice. The two UW schools have been selected to join the American Institute of Architects’ multi-school Design & Health Research Consortium….


December 8, 2015

Culture wars, Christianity at heart of UW political scientist Mark Smith’s book ‘Secular Faith’

Mark A. Smith's "Secular Faith: How Culture Has Trumped Religion in American Politics" was published in September by University of Chicago Press.

Mark A. Smith is a University of Washington professor of political science and adjunct professor of comparative religion. He is the author of “Secular Faith: How Culture Has Trumped Religion in American Politics,” published in September by University of Chicago Press. He answered a few questions about his book for UW Today. What’s the concept…


December 4, 2015

UW Sephardic Studies Program holds third annual Ladino Day festivities Dec. 6

The University of Washington Sephardic Studies Program will host its third annual International Ladino Day, celebrating Sephardic language and culture, in a free event at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6, in Room 130 of Kane Hall. The event will be followed by a kosher reception. This year’s featured speakers are members of Los Ladineros, a…


December 2, 2015

Book by UW’s Jackson School faculty among New York Times 100 most notable of 2015

The New York Times has named a recent book by two faculty members in the UW’s Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies to its list of 100 Most Notable Books of 2015. “The Shape of the New: Four Big Ideas and How They Built the Modern World,” by Scott L. Montgomery and Daniel Chirot…


November 30, 2015

UW researchers estimate poverty and wealth from cell phone metadata

The northern and western provinces are divided into cells (the smallest administrative unit of the country), and the cell is shaded according to the average (predicted) wealth of all mobile subscribers in that cell. The southern province is overlaid with a Voronoi diagram that uses geographic identifiers in the call data to divide the region into several hundred thousand small partitions, which each may be as small as a household or a microvillage.

In developing or war-ravaged countries where government censuses are few and far between, gathering data for public services or policymaking can be difficult, dangerous or near-impossible. Big data is, after all, mainly a First World opportunity. But cell towers are easier to install than telephone land lines, even in such challenged areas, and mobile or…


November 25, 2015

UW law student researches industry gender inequity, calls for reforms

Women routinely outperform men in university classrooms across the United States and are invited more often than men to join student honors societies — yet women continue to be paid far less than similarly qualified male colleagues. Adding to that inequity, women also fare poorly when suing to recover damages for workplace sex and gender…


Documents that Changed the World: FDR’s Thanksgiving Proclamation, 1939

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The U.S. Senate voted to set Thanksgiving as the fourth Thursday in November on Dec. 9, 1941, two days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. You’d think they would have had more important things to talk about. Not Nov. 26, as George Washington had it or the last Thursday in the month as Lincoln…


November 17, 2015

Charles Johnson’s story ‘The Weave’ chosen for 2016 Pushcart anthology

Ieesha, the young African-American woman at the center of Charles Johnson’s short story “The Weave,” takes an unusual action in response to her abrupt, sneeze-caused dismissal from Sassy Hair Salon and Beauty Supplies in Seattle’s Central District — where hair is straightened as well as styled and cut. “The Weave” has been selected for the…


November 12, 2015

David Shields addresses New York Times coverage in new book ‘War is Beautiful’

War photography in The New York Times entranced David Shields for years as a daily reader, but that attraction in time evolved into “a mixture of rapture, bafflement and repulsion,” he writes in the introduction to his latest book, “War is Beautiful: The New York Times Pictorial Guide to the Glamour of Armed Conflict.” “Over…


‘Pale orange dot’: Early Earth’s haze may give clue to habitability elsewhere in space

An image of Saturn's haze-shrouded moon Titan taken by the Cassini spacecraft. The UW-based Virtual Planetary Laboratory studied records of the haze on early Earth to see how such atmospheric conditions might affect an exoplanet, or one beyond our solar system. They found that such a haze might show the world is habitable, or that life itself is present.

An atmospheric haze around a faraway planet — like the one which probably shrouded and cooled the young Earth — could show that the world is potentially habitable, or even be a sign of life itself.


November 10, 2015

UW School of Music talents, influence featured in book ‘Classical Seattle’

"Classical Seattle: Maestros, Impresarios, Virtuosi, and Other Music Makers," by Melinda Bargreen, published by University of Washington Press.

Melinda Bargreen is a Seattle-based freelance arts writer who spent 31 years as classical music critic for The Seattle Times. She is the author of “Classical Seattle: Maestros, Impresarios, Virtuosi, and Other Music Makers,” published this fall by University of Washington Press. Bargreen is a University of Washington alumna, with a bachelor of arts in…


November 9, 2015

Documents that Changed the World: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, 1982

Visitors touch names and leave gifts at the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C., in 2006.

The Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C., is many things to many people. To Joe Janes of the Information School, the son of a World War II veteran and creator of the Documents that Changed the World podcast series, the memorial, the discussions it sparked and the hearts it helps heal — “the totality of the wall” he says – together comprise an important document.


November 3, 2015

Life, enhanced: UW professors study legal, social complexities of an augmented reality future

A mockup of an augmented reality mobile phone using a curved LED screen that renders augmented reality data for the wearer/user from cameras mounted on one or both sides.

A report from the interdisciplinary UW Tech Policy Lab on the challenges of augmented reality suggests such systems should be adaptable to change, resistant to hacking and responsive to the needs of diverse users.


November 2, 2015

Modern world learns from ancient civilizations in Scott Montgomery’s history of science

Scott L. Montgomery, a lecturer in the Jackson School of International Studies, uses a range of case studies and the notion of “scientific culture” to trace the evolution of technical thought through eight major civilizations from ancient Egypt to Medieval and Renaissance Europe in his latest book, “A History of Science in World Cultures.” “A…


October 22, 2015

UW Tacoma historian Michael Honey’s film about Rev. James Lawson to screen locally

Rev. James Lawson

UW historian Michael Honey and filmmaker Errol Webber have produced a documentary about the life of Methodist minister and civil rights activist Rev. James Lawson that will be screened in Tacoma on Oct. 28, Seattle on Oct. 29


October 21, 2015

School of Law’s Roy Prosterman delighted by humanitarian award for agency he started half a century ago

Roy Prosterman, professor emeritus of the University of Washington School of Law, says he knew Landesa, the international land reform agency he founded a half century ago, had been considered before for the prestigious Hilton Humanitarian Prize, with its $2 million cash award. “But I didn’t know that lightning was going to strike in 2015,”…


October 19, 2015

‘Pivotal Tuesdays’: New book by historian Margaret O’Mara studies four key elections of 20th century

"Pivotal Tuesdays: Four Elections that Shaped the Twentieth Century" by University of Washington professor Margaret O'Mara, was published by University of Pennsylvania Press.

Margaret O’Mara, UW associate professor of history, discusses her new book, “Pivotal Tuesdays: Four Elections that Shaped the Twentieth Century.”



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