UW Today


April 13, 2015

Violent methane storms on Titan may solve dune direction mystery

A view of Titan. Saturn's largest moon, with its ringed host in the background. New research from the University of Washington may solve a riddle of the direction of sand dunes on the moon's surface.

Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, has a hazy atmosphere and surface rivers, mountains, lakes and sand dunes. But the dunes and prevailing surface winds don’t point in the same direction. New research from UW astronomer Benjamin Charnay may have solved this mystery.


April 3, 2015

University of Washington undergraduates assist search for El Salvador’s disappeared children

The country of El Salvador was torn apart by a brutal civil war from 1980 to 1992 that took the lives of 75,000 civilians, many the victims of massacres that wiped out entire villages. Throughout that war, thousands of children were forcibly disappeared from their homes and communities by agents of the Salvadoran state as…


April 2, 2015

Public talk April 9 looks back at astronomy department’s 50 years

The UW Astronomy Department celebrates its 50th anniversary this school year. Julie Lutz, research professor emeritus of astronomy, will review that history in a free public talk at 4 p.m. Thursday, April 9, in the Physics/Astronomy Auditorium. The astronomy department was formed in 1965 by George Wallerstein, Paul Hodge and Theodor Jacobson, for whom a…


‘Fu-Go’ explores World War II Japanese balloon attacks on US

"Fu-Go: The Curious History of Japan's Balloon Bomb Attack on America," by Ross Coen, was published by University of Nebraska Press.

Ross Coen, UW doctoral student in history, discusses his book “Fu-Go: The Curious History of Japan’s Balloon Bomb Attack on America.”


March 30, 2015

UW faculty team for five-year study of Seattle’s minimum wage increase

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What will be the effects of the city of Seattle’s minimum wage ordinance? Faculty from the UW’s schools of public affairs, public health and social work are teaming up for The Seattle Minimum Wage Study, a five-year research project to learn that and more.


March 25, 2015

Labor Archives of Washington kicks off minimum-wage history project April 11

The Labor Archives of Washington, part of UW Libraries Special Collections Department, is creating an online resource called the Minimum Wage History Project to document the 2013-2014 campaign that succeeded in mandating a $15 minimum hourly wage in the cities of Seattle and Sea-Tac. The effort kicks off with a public program, “Preserving Solidarity Forever:…


March 23, 2015

Author Charles Johnson discusses new work — and the return of Emery Jones

"The Hard problem," the second book by Charles Johnson and his daughter, Elisheba Johnson, is now available.

Charles Johnson, English professor emeritus discusses three new books out, including the second children’s book in the Adventures of Emery Jones series, “The Hard Problem,” illustrated by Johnson himself.


March 18, 2015

Remembering architect, author, critic Norman Johnston, 1918 – 2015

Norman J. Johnston will be remembered as a dedicated and community-minded architect, city planner, teacher and critic. He died Monday, March 16, 2015, in his Seattle home. He was 96. Memorial for Norman J. Johnston 2 p.m. Sunday, May 31, University of Washington Club. Johnston earned a bachelor’s degree in art from the University of…


March 16, 2015

New ‘mediArcade’ in Allen Library supports multimedia work, play

UW Libraries has opened up a new multimedia space on the third floor of Allen library for the use of students, faculty and staff. It’s called the mediArcade, and is open weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to those with a Husky card. With iMacs, large televisions and DVDs, video game consoles, several media editing…


March 13, 2015

iSchool’s Technology & Social Change Group to study online education in developing countries

Online education has great potential to improve lives, but few people in developing countries have access to such classes. The UW Information School’s Technology & Social Change Group will conduct research as part of a $1.55 million multiagency initiative to study and address this need. The project will include research on online course enrollment in…


March 11, 2015

‘Chaotic Earths’: Some habitable exoplanets could experience wildly unpredictable climates

ChaoticResonancePlanets04

New research by UW astronomer Rory Barnes and co-authors describes possible planetary systems where a gravitational nudge from one planet with just the right orbital configuration and tilt could have a mild to devastating effect on the orbit and climate of another, possibly habitable world.


Sephardic Studies document appears in PBS documentary ‘The Jewish Journey: America’

A document from the UW Sephardic Studies Program‘s Digital Library and Museum appears in a new PBS documentary called “The Jewish Journey: America.” The documentary will be broadcast at 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 16, on KBTC, Tacoma’s public broadcasting station, and is now available for viewing online as well. The hour-long film, directed by Emmy-winner…


March 6, 2015

Study: Lower property values match high body-weight index in King County

New research from the UW College of Built Environments on the “spatial clustering of obesity” in urban areas has helped clarify and build upon work a 2007 study began. The takeaway, in brief: In King County, Washington, at least, low property values match with high body-mass indexes, or BMIs in less diverse, lower-income South King…


February 27, 2015

UW alum David Horsey discusses Charlie Hebdo, editorial cartooning in volatile times

David Horsey -- Q and A with the editorial cartoonist

UW alumnus and two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist David Horsey discusses the Charlie Hebdo shootings and editorial cartooning in politically volatile times.


February 26, 2015

Donations in memory of journalism professor Fendall Yerxa, 1913-2014

Fendall Yerxa, a former faculty member in the Department of Communication, died in October 2014 at the age of 101. He is remembered as a patient teacher and an insightful and highly professional old-school journalist. He worked as Washington, D.C., bureau chief for The New York Times and managing editor of the International Herald Tribune….


February 20, 2015

Students join Robin McCabe for lively faculty recital March 2

In the first half of her March 2 faculty recital in Meany Hall titled “Around Robin,” Robin McCabe will play a well-loved piano suite by French impressionist composer Maurice Ravel. And then in the second half, things are going to get a little nutty. McCabe, UW professor of piano, said she’ll start with Ravel’s “Miroirs,”…


February 18, 2015

Fearless birds and shrinking salmon: Is urbanization pushing Earth’s evolution to a tipping point?

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We’ve long known that humans and our cities affect the ecosystem and even drive some evolutionary change. What’s new is that these evolutionary changes are happening more quickly than previously thought, and have potential impacts not in the distant future — but now.


February 17, 2015

Study: Manufacturing growth can benefit Bangladeshi women workers

Workers in an apparel company in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in December 2014.

The life of a Bangladeshi garment factory worker is not an easy one. But new research from the University of Washington indicates that access to such factory jobs can improve the lives of young Bangladeshi women — motivating them to stay in school and lowering their likelihood of early marriage and childbirth.


February 12, 2015

Two famous names added to College of Built Environments’ Roll of Honor

The UW College of Built Environments has added two names to the Roll of Honor located in the auditorium of Architecture Hall — Roland Terry and Grant Jones. A celebration for the two honorees will take place April 29. Terry was a Seattle architect committed to artistry appropriate to its regional setting who also played…


February 11, 2015

Statewide home prices leveling off, but affordability woes linger

A house for sale.

Home sale prices were down in the fourth quarter of 2014 compared to the third quarter but up compared with the previous year, and the rate of home sales also dropped, according to the UW’s Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies.


February 10, 2015

Valentine’s Day ‘edit-a-thon’ to address Wikipedia gender gap

There is a widely recognized gender gap in the English language Wikipedia. Two members of the campus community are teaming to offer a four-hour hands-on workshop and discussion to bring feminist dialogues and theory to the information website, the seventh most-viewed in the United States. The event, titled “I Love To You: Critical Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon,”…


February 9, 2015

USA Today names UW third-best nationally for English majors

Pardon, Princeton. Step aside, Harvard. Maybe next time, Yale and Columbia — this one’s going to the University of Washington Department of English. UW colleges and departments are often named among the best in the country for science, technology and research. But the latest ranking has more to do with semi-colons than computer algorithms: USA…


February 5, 2015

UW alum Laurie Olin to deliver Dean’s Distinguished Lecture for College of Built Environments Feb. 11

Laurie Olin, teacher, artist, innovator and one of landscape architecture’s most famous names, will return to his alma mater to deliver the College of Built Environments’ 2015 Dean’s Distinguished Lecture at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 11, in Architecture Hall. His talk will be titled “Global, Regional, Local; Working Toward a Meaningful Landscape.” Olin is known…


February 3, 2015

UW Information School has key role as Gates Foundation’s Global Libraries Initiative winds down

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has worked for years with the University of Washington Information School‘s Technology & Social Change Group on the foundation’s multi-year Global Libraries Initiative, dedicated to improving digital connectivity around the world. The Gates Foundation announced in May 2014 that the initiative is entering a three- to five-year winding-down phase…


February 2, 2015

Documents that Changed the World: ‘Rosie the Riveter’ poster, 1943

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The famous World War II-era poster of Rosie the Riveter is less a document that changed the world than the other way around — an image the world adopted and filled with meaning. But such turnabout is fair play in the ongoing Documents that Changed the World podcast series by UW Information School Professor Joe Janes.


January 30, 2015

Super Bowl means seafood bet for UW, University of Massachusetts

The 2015 Super Bowl just got serious, because now it involves a bet over delicious seafood between dining services at the University of Washington and the University of Massachusetts. UMass threw down the gauntlet, in the form of lobster, and the UW responded with crab. Here’s the bet: If the Seahawks win, UMass will provide…


January 28, 2015

UW Bothell lecturer Kristy Leissle in PBS ‘Nature’ episode Jan. 28

Kristy Leissle, a lecturer in the UW Bothell School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, will appear in an episode of the PBS television series “Nature” tonight, Jan. 28. The episode, titled “Penguin Post Office,” is about a unique British post office located in the heart of the Antarctic Peninsula at Port Lockroy, about 700 miles…


Some potentially habitable planets began as gaseous, Neptune-like worlds

Strong irradiation from the host star can cause planets known as mini-Neptunes in the habitable zone to shed their gaseous envelopes and become potentially habitable worlds.

Two phenomena known to inhibit the potential habitability of planets — tidal forces and vigorous stellar activity — might instead help chances for life on certain planets orbiting low-mass stars, University of Washington astronomers have found.


January 23, 2015

UW Center for Philosophy for Children to host High School Ethics Bowl Jan. 31

The University of Washington Center for Philosophy for Children will host the 2015 Washington State High School Ethics Bowl on campus Saturday, January 31. The event is modeled after the Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl and involves teams of high school students competing to analyze wide-ranging ethical dilemmas. Twenty-three high school bowls will take place around the…


John Wilkerson’s Legislative Explorer honored, paper published

The online Legislative Explorer, the big-data policy project by John Wilkerson and Nicholas Stramp of the UW political science department, has been named an award of excellence winner in interactive design by Communication Arts, an international trade journal of visual communications. Their website, www.legex.org, which tracks all Congressional legislation in the last 40 years, also…


January 21, 2015

Dance program kicks off 50th anniversary with Dance Faculty Concert Jan. 23-25

The University of Washington Dance Program begins its 50th anniversary with the 2015 Dance Faculty Concert which, advance notes say, “includes everything from flying bodies to soup cans that playfully and architecturally define space.” The concert will feature choreography by UW dance faculty members Rachael Lincoln and Wilson Mendieta, with guests Holley Farmer, an alumna…


January 15, 2015

‘Paris and Beyond’: Jackson School to discuss recent terrorism in Jan. 21 roundtable

The eyes of the world are on France in the wake of the deadly shootings at the office of satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo. The Jan. 7 act of terrorism has sparked questions about radical Islam, European unity and conflicts in the Middle East. The University of Washington’s Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies will…


January 14, 2015

UW’s Calo, Weld advocate research for ‘robust, beneficial’ artificial intelligence

Two UW faculty members — Ryan Calo, assistant professor of law, and Daniel Weld, professor of computer science and engineering — have joined hundreds of other researchers in an open letter calling for research to make artificial intelligence more robust and beneficial to humankind. Others signing the letter include physicist Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk…


January 13, 2015

Washington state Legislature to celebrate Daniel J. Evans Jan. 14

The Washington state Legislature will pause to honor Daniel J. Evans on Jan. 14, marking 50 years, plus a day, since he was sworn in for the first of three terms as Washington state governor, on Jan. 13, 1965. Evans also will address the Senate. Evans began his office-holding career as a member of the…


January 9, 2015

Gould Pavilion: New look, educational space, exhibition gallery

Gould Pavilion rendering

The UW College of Built Environments has rebooted the east end of its Gould Hall home, creating an expanded area for collaboration and a new gallery to exhibit work from national and international sources as well as the college’s student, faculty and alumni.


January 6, 2015

New David Shields book a collaboration, an argument — and a movie, too

David Shields, UW English professor

Two men, four days, one cabin and an epic discussion of life and art, while James Franco makes a movie of it all. That’s the setup for the latest book by UW English Professor David Shields, working this time with former student Caleb Powell.


December 23, 2014

Foreign power demands apology for insulting film — in 1930, that is

Cancel all screenings of that insulting movie you made, then burn all the prints, and formally apologize — and don’t do it again. Demands from North Korea, perhaps, about Sony Pictures’ controversial James Franco-Seth Rogen film “The Interview”? No, that’s off by about 85 years. It was the Chinese Nationalist government’s reaction to a film…


December 22, 2014

Silent slapstick: UW Libraries now has streaming video of silent films

For those who love the silent film antics of Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, Charlie Chaplin and others, UW Libraries has something new that’s as good as a Christmas present: the Silent Film Online database. It’s a streaming service administered by Alexander Street Press that includes more than 500 silent films, serials and shorts produced from…


December 19, 2014

UW architecture students to design, build public pavilion on Seattle’s waterfront

A drawing of the proposed Hotspot Pavilion on Seattle's waterfront, to be designed and built by UW architecture students. THe south end, to the right, will have a performance stage.

UW architecture students will design and build a new temporary event pavilion and Internet hub for the Seattle waterfront.


December 16, 2014

UW English Professor David Shields’ views debated in The New Yorker

David Shields, UW professor and New York Times best-selling author, was at the center of a Dec. 2 article by Adelle Waldman in The New Yorker titled “An Answer to the Novel’s Detractors.” Waldman places Shields among those detractors, but does not entirely disagree with him. “It’s no coincidence that many of the most exciting…



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