UW Today


April 16, 2015

Interim President Ana Mari Cauce opens a dialogue about race and equity on campus

UW Interim President Ana Mari Cauce will give remarks and lead a conversation about equity, racism and difference Thursday afternoon on campus at the Intellectual House. Updated 4/14: Transcript of Cauce’s remarks The roundtable event, which starts at 2 p.m., will encourage students to participate in a discussion about these issues. Space is limited and…


April 15, 2015

3-D printed blossoms a growing tool for ecology

A hawk moth probes a flower with its proboscis.

3-D printing has been used to make everything from cars to medical implants. Now, University of Washington ecologists are using the technology to make artificial flowers, which they say could revolutionize our understanding of plant-pollinator interactions.


April 7, 2015

Common birds bring economic vitality to cities, new study finds

House finch

A new study finds the economic value of enjoying urban birds to be $120 million each year for Seattle residents and $70 million for people living in Berlin. Residents in both cities spend more than the average U.S. adult on bird-supporting activities, which then benefit the local economies as residents invest in bird food and conservation.


April 6, 2015

Fishing amplifies forage fish collapses

Pacific herring

A new study implicates fishing in the collapse of forage fish stocks and recommends risk-based management tools that would track a fishery’s numbers and suspend fishing when necessary.


March 30, 2015

Lecture April 2 looks at how to fill nature void for kids, adults

We are attached to our devices nearly 24/7. As our number of activities and time spent outdoors shrinks, it’s perhaps no coincidence that the larger society faces higher occurrences of depression, child and adult obesity and attention deficit disorder. Getting more people outside and engaged with nature is the topic of this year’s School of…


March 18, 2015

New Air Force center at UW learns from animals for better flight

Yonatan Munk, a postdoctoral researcher in biology, studies how moths fly.

A new center at the University of Washington funded by the U.S. Air Force will focus on how elements in nature can help solve challenging engineering and technological problems related to building small, remotely operated aircraft.


March 17, 2015

AG Ferguson appoints senior attorney to top UW Division post

Attorney General Bob Ferguson has appointed Senior Counsel Karin Nyrop as the new chief of his office’s University of Washington Division. The division provides legal services to the university, including UW Bothell, UW Tacoma and the UW Medical Center. “The University of Washington will be well served by Karin’s impressive combination of legal expertise, leadership…


March 13, 2015

2015 UW cherry tree watch: Full bloom by March 14

Blossom update: 100 percent in bloom as of March 14. Follow @uwcherryblossom for more info. The cherry trees in the Quad at the UW reached full bloom March 14. Exact timing always depends on the weather — if we have sunny, warm days, the trees reach full bloom faster, but colder weather stretches out the timing. Still, full bloom…


February 27, 2015

‘Handathon’ challenges students to build better 3-D printed prosthetic hands

Seattle’s first-ever “Handathon” will bring together students, faculty and clinicians in a hackathon-style, 24-hour event that challenges two dozen graduate and undergraduate students to design creative improvements to an existing 3-D printed prosthetic hand. Research teams from the University of Washington, UW Bothell and Seattle Pacific University have been designing and printing prosthetic hands, and…


February 26, 2015

Embrace unknowns, opt for flexibility in environmental policies

image of a mountain landscape

Two University of Washington professors argue in a Science perspectives article that ecosystem managers must learn to make decisions based on an uncertain future.


Student video contest: Climate change impacts in 3 minutes

What does climate change mean to you, in three minutes or less? That’s what the UW’s School of Environmental and Forest Sciences is asking all high school and undergraduate students in the state of Washington in a video competition that will award up to $5,000 to the top entries in each age category. The UW…


February 13, 2015

AAAS symposium looks at how to bring big-data skills to academia

word cloud

A session Feb. 15 at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting will explore how big data scientists can find careers at universities and within academic settings.


AAAS talk: Some bilinguals use emoticons more when chatting in non-native language

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A research team has found that one group of bilingual speakers used emoticons more often when typing in their second language in casual, online communication than they did when typing in their native tongue.


February 11, 2015

14 UW researchers win 2015 Innovation Awards

The University of Washington has chosen 14 researchers across campus to receive this year’s UW Innovation Awards. The awards are given to encourage early and mid-career scientists to pursue projects that may not yet qualify for outside funding, but show future promise and will engage students in innovative, creative work. “These are some of the…


February 9, 2015

Six Green Seed Fund winners selected for 2015

The Green Seed Fund, a grant fund for sustainability research projects at the UW, will award money to six projects that contribute to the university’s sustainability goals, are well-planned and achievable and will help the UW reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. The six winning projects for 2015 will share about $250,000 in grant money and…


February 5, 2015

New tool monitors effects of tidal, wave energy on marine habitat

From left to right: UW researchers Ben Rush, Nick Michel-Hart, James Joslin and Paul Gibbs prepare to test the monitoring device underwater in a tank on campus.

A robot developed at the University of Washington will deploy instruments to gather information in unprecedented detail about how marine life interacts with underwater equipment used to harvest wave and tidal energy.


January 30, 2015

Town hall on campus Feb. 2 to discuss role of software in academia

The University of Washington’s eScience Institute and GitHub, a code-sharing and publishing service, are hosting a town hall discussion on campus 6-9 p.m. Monday, Feb. 2, to talk about the role of software in academic research today. Six panelists will give short presentations, followed by a discussion moderated by Arfon Smith with GitHub. Dan Halperin,…


January 19, 2015

Boeing, UW open research lab on Seattle campus

Gov. Jay Inslee learns about riveting from Boeing engineer Riley Hanson Smith, left, and Sai Krovvidi, a UW doctoral student in mechanical engineering, at the opening of the Boeing Advanced Research Center on campus.

The Boeing Advanced Research Center, located in the Department of Mechanical Engineering on the UW campus, will let students and faculty members work collaboratively with Boeing engineers on aircraft and spacecraft assembly and manufacturing. Four initial projects are underway at the UW, led by Boeing-employed affiliate instructors and UW engineering professors.


January 15, 2015

Tiny plant fossils a window into Earth’s landscape millions of years ago

Patagonia-TILE

An international team led by the University of Washington has discovered a way to determine the tree cover and density of trees, shrubs and bushes in locations over time based on clues in the cells of plant fossils preserved in rocks and soil.


January 13, 2015

How large are the ocean’s biggest whales, squids and turtles?

How long are the tentacles of the largest jellyfish and how big are the ocean’s famed whales? It turns out it’s difficult to get exact measurements of many of the world’s largest marine megafauna, for the reasons one might expect: many of these animals are few in number, tricky to find and logistically hard to…


January 7, 2015

3 UW engineers make Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in energy list

Three University of Washington engineers were selected by Forbes magazine as part of its top 30 people in the world under age 30 in energy. This year’s list largely focuses on people who have produced inventions and founded companies with the goal of saving or conserving energy, instead of creating it. Shyam Gollakota, an assistant professor…


January 6, 2015

Mark Pagano selected as chancellor of UW Tacoma

Mark Pagano

University of Washington President Michael K. Young and Provost Ana Mari Cauce announced today the selection of Mark Pagano, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at Montana State University Billings, as the next chancellor of the University of Washington Tacoma, effective March 16. The appointment is subject to approval by the UW Board of…


December 12, 2014

Online tool lets Washington residents calculate carbon tax impacts

University of Washington computer scientists have partnered with members of the Carbon Washington grassroots campaign to create an online tool that lets residents calculate how a state carbon tax swap proposed by the organization would impact them financially. The calculator offers information users can’t find elsewhere and is meant to be a neutral, unbiased tool….


December 3, 2014

Competitive award to fund new approaches to artificial intelligence work

Four University of Washington researchers have received the Allen Distinguished Investigator award for their work in artificial intelligence research. The awards, totaling about $2.7 million to the UW from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, will fund early stage research in several areas of artificial intelligence. The recipients from the UW are Jeffrey Heer, an…


December 1, 2014

‘What is HCDE?’ New comics class aims to answer the question

Undergraduate students Xiangyi (Anne) Zheng, left, and Daniel Aldridge give feedback on each other's comics at a recent class.

A new class at the University of Washington is using comics to explain what, exactly, the field of human-centered design is all about.


November 21, 2014

3 UW professors to speak in local TEDxRainier event

Three University of Washington professors will join a congressman, a mountain climber, inventors, architects, advocates, an astronaut and even a barista at this year’s TEDxRainier event, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 22, at Marion Oliver McCaw Hall at Seattle Center. The independently run, one-day event is in its fifth year in Seattle, modeled…


November 20, 2014

UW undergrad’s early life challenges become a hectic schedule of opportunity

David Coven in the lab.

From starting his own company – and recruiting 11 friends to join him – and running a successful nonprofit to doing research in the lab and taking a full course load, engineering undergraduate student David Coven is an expert schedule juggler.


November 17, 2014

‘Building the Bionic Man’ lecture on campus this week

The latest in the Seattle Arts & Lectures SAL U series will look at technologies that could help repair a person’s cognitive or sensory-motor functions. “Brain-Computer Interfaces: Building the Bionic Man” is at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 19, in Kane Hall room 110. The speaker is Rajesh Rao, a UW professor of computer science and…


November 12, 2014

Moving cameras talk to each other to identify, track pedestrians

Tracking camera example

University of Washington electrical engineers have developed a way to automatically track people across moving and still cameras by using an algorithm that trains the networked cameras to learn one another’s differences.


November 5, 2014

UW study shows direct brain interface between humans

An example of how the brain to brain interface demonstration would look.

University of Washington researchers have successfully replicated a direct brain-to-brain connection between pairs of people as part of a scientific study following the team’s initial demonstration a year ago.


October 24, 2014

Fusion researchers take a different approach to a heated conversation

When Thomas Jarboe and Derek Sutherland took their concept for an economically feasible fusion reactor into the public sphere two weeks ago, they expected some negative loud mouths and naysayers. After all, this is fusion physics, a field that seems so inaccessible to most people that it carries a certain mystique and inspires an almost…


Large X-ray scanner to produce 3-D images for labs across campus

A photo of an example of a scanner.

A state-of-the-art imaging machine is coming to the University of Washington for use by researchers in a variety of disciplines.


October 22, 2014

Solar energy research gets boost from federal grant

Energy researchers at the UW will expand their work in making high-efficiency, printable solar cells and solar inks with the help of a competitive grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. Researchers say these printable solar cells could be twice as efficient as today’s standard solar technologies. This, in turn, could drive down the cost…


October 16, 2014

Inventor of MIMO wireless technology to speak at UW

If you use high speed Wi-Fi and 4G or LTE on your smartphone, you’ve got Arogyaswami Paulraj to thank. His wireless communications technology – MIMO, or multiple input, multiple output – is the core driver that increases performance in the latest wireless systems. Paulraj will talk about developing this technology and what may be coming…


October 13, 2014

Neural engineering hackathon: 36 hours, 15 students, five working prototypes

The workload and time crunch were comparable to pulling two all-nighters, but you wouldn’t guess that from the energy in the room. Fifteen students, all wearing matching grey t-shirts, buzzed around the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering Monday morning (Oct. 13), clearly excited to show off their designs. They had just finished a 36-hour weekend…


October 10, 2014

Students win award to make riding the bus more accessible for blind people

A group of University of Washington engineering students are winners of the 2014 Ford College Community Challenge, a competition that awards $25,000 per team to student-led groups at 10 universities to fund projects that help build sustainable communities. The UW team’s project is StopInfo, which integrates with the OneBusAway app and provides specific information on location,…


Engineering lecture series focuses on technologies for the heart

2014 flyer image

The University of Washington’s College of Engineering 2014 fall lecture series will feature faculty researchers in engineering and medicine who are improving cardiac medical care with new technologies.


October 8, 2014

UW fusion reactor concept could be cheaper than coal

A prototype of the UW's current fusion experiment.

University of Washington engineers have designed a concept for a fusion reactor that, when scaled up to the size of a large electrical power plant, would rival costs for a new coal-fired plant with similar electrical output.


October 2, 2014

UW’s Jeffrey Heer wins award to support data visualization research

A data visualization example

Jeffrey Heer, a University of Washington associate professor of computer science and engineering, has received an award from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to develop new theories, tools and techniques for data visualization that help scientists see and understand big data.


September 30, 2014

UW students to build hybrid-electric muscle car in EcoCAR 3 contest

A Chevy Camaro

The UW is one of 16 schools invited to participate in the U.S. Department of Energy and General Motors Co. EcoCAR 3 competition that spans four years with stand-alone contests each spring. Their challenge in this next competition is to convert a Chevrolet Camaro into a hybrid-electric car.



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