UW Today


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.”


October 16, 2015

NASA Astrobiology Debates Western Championship to be live-streamed Oct. 18

If we discover life beyond Earth — even just microbes — should we protect it at all costs? This is the topic of the NASA Astrobiology Debates, where elite college teams from across the country grapple with ethical, political and scientific questions stemming from the topic chosen for the year. Specifically, this year’s debate topic…


October 13, 2015

UW philosophy department to hold six public discussions of migration crisis

What does it mean to have a right to asylum? Does religion matter in deciding to help refugees? What kind of public health is owed to migrants and refugees? What is “climate justice” and how is it relevant to refugees and immigration policy? According to a June 2015 report from the United Nations, worldwide displacement…


October 12, 2015

New UW School of Law group to study marijuana regulation for state of Washington

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A new group at the UW School of Law will spend the academic year studying existing and emerging markets for marijuana, to assist and inform the state as it prepares to blend current medical and recreational markets for cannabis.


October 9, 2015

Arctic, cybersecurity — even outer space — covered in Oct. 16 Jackson School conference

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Academics and policymakers will gather at the UW’s Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies Oct. 16 for a conference to address cybersecurity and geopolitical concerns from the Pacific Northwest to the Arctic and even outer space.


October 7, 2015

‘Human Right to Family Planning Conference’ Oct. 9-11 at School of Law

The UW School of Law will be the location for the three-day Human Right to Family Planning Conference, Oct. 9-11. Lawmakers, researchers, academics and health care professionals will gather for this first-of-its-kind event to explore the relationship between the right to health and family planning, including abortion, and improving access to that care, locally and…


October 6, 2015

Documents that Changed the World: Alfred Nobel’s will, 1895

Alfred Nobel (1801 - 1872).

Alfred Nobel is remembered for the annual prizes given in his name. But were it not for his confused but effective will, we might remember him as the inventor of dynamite, who grew rich inventing and developing lethal explosives.


October 5, 2015

Where to look for life? UW astronomers devise ‘habitability index’ to guide future search

The James Webb Space Telescope, a large infrared telescope with a 6.5-meter primary mirror, is scheduled to be launched on an Ariane 5 rocket from French Guiana in October of 2018 and will be the premier NASA observatory of the next decade, serving thousands of astronomers around the world.

Astronomers with the University of Washington’s Virtual Planetary Laboratory have created the “habitility index for transiting planets” to rank exoplanets to help prioritize which warrant close inspection in the search for life beyond Earth.


October 2, 2015

UW Dept. of Construction Management, Skanska launch new certificate program in ‘building information modeling’

The University of Washington’s Department of Construction Management and Skanska, one of the world’s leading construction and development firms, have partnered to offer a new certificate for Building Information Modeling. The new program was created to fill a current gap in the field of people trained to use data-rich virtual-reality modeling tools in building design….


September 28, 2015

Four UW-related books finalists for 2015 Washington Book Awards

Four University of Washington-related books are finalists for 2015 Washington Book Awards. The awards are chosen by the Washington Center for the Book, at the Seattle Public Library. “Mary Randlett Portraits,” a book of photos of Northwest artists, writers and arts advocates taken by a photographer nearly as well-known as her subjects, was published in…


Earth-like planets around small stars likely have protective magnetic fields, aiding chance for life

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Earth-like planets orbiting close to small stars probably have magnetic fields that protect them from stellar radiation and help maintain surface conditions that could be conducive to life, according to research by UW astronomers.


September 22, 2015

Jackson School gathers experts to discuss Syrian humanitarian crisis Oct. 6

Syria’s drawn-out civil war has displaced more than 10 million people since 2011 and the flood of refugees from the area has drawn the concerned attention of the world. The University of Washington Jackson School of International Studies will hold a free, public forum at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 6, in Room 101 of Thomson…


September 18, 2015

Former U.S. Senators Lott, Daschle to discuss plan for ‘civility and democracy’ at Sept. 24 Ruckelshaus Center event

In a sense, early returns from the 2016 election are already in: Civility is losing to vitriol in a landslide. But two former U.S. senators who each served as Senate majority leaders — Republican Trent Lott of Mississippi and Democrat Tom Daschle of South Dakota — have been promoting a plan to restore civility to…


‘Access to Information as a Human Right’ public conference Oct. 5

The University of Washington Center for Human Rights will hold a daylong conference Oct. 5 at the UW School of Law, underscoring a crucial international theme even with its title: “Access to Information as a Human Right.” The conference springs from the center’s partnerships with communities and organizations struggling for truth and accountability in postwar…


September 8, 2015

Gender, corporate culture at Boeing explored in new book ‘Capitalist Family Values’

"Capitalist Family Values: Gender, Work, and Corporate Culture at Boeing" by Polly Myer, lecturer in the UW history department. We offer a Q and A with Myers.

Polly Myers is a lecturer in the UW Department of History and author of the book “Capitalist Family Values: Gender, Work, and Corporate Culture at Boeing,” published by University of Nebraska Press.


September 3, 2015

Earth observations show how nitrogen may be detected on exoplanets, aiding search for life

The Earth as seen by the Polychromatic Imaging Camera aboard NASA's Deep Space Climate Observatory satellite, July 2015. Recent research by UW grad student Edward Schwieterman shows that observations of nitrogen in Earth's atmosphere from afar might help astronomers detect the "invisible" gas in the atmospheres of planets beyond our solar system.

Observations of nitrogen in Earth’s atmosphere by a NASA spacecraft 17 million miles away are giving astronomers fresh clues to how that gas might reveal itself on faraway planets, thus aiding in the search for life.


August 27, 2015

Evans School’s Justin Marlowe pens second installment of guide to public finance

Government finance is a bit like Italian opera, writes Justin Marlowe, professor in the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance: It’s beautiful and elaborate, sure — but it’s also in a foreign language full of “traditions, customs and unspoken rules most casual fans don’t understand.” And though local, county and state government officials don’t…


August 20, 2015

Crime writer Ann Rule to be remembered in public Kane Hall gathering Aug. 23

A public celebration of the life of writer Ann Rule will be held at 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 23, in Room 130 of Kane Hall on the University of Washington campus. The gathering, under the title “Ann Rule, Our Tribute to a Life Well Lived,” will feature friends and colleagues remembering the writer’s life and…



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