UW Today

News releases

October 25, 2016

Philosophy of immigration: Panel discussion Oct. 27 part of two-day UW conference

Photo by Katherine Turner.

A UW panel discussion Oct. 27 will look at immigration-related questions from philosophical, sociological and historical perspectives. It’s part of a two-day international conference on immigration.

UW maintains No. 11 position in US News Best Global Universities ranking; third among public institutions

Suzzallo globe

The University of Washington maintained its No. 11 spot in the 2017 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Global Universities rankings. The UW remains the third-ranked public university on the global list, behind University of California, Berkeley (fourth) and UCLA (10th). “This recognition reflects the work of our faculty and students in seeking…

University of Washington Population Health Initiative receives transformative gift from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

A sculpture of the University of Washington W logo

The University of Washington’s Population Health Initiative, which aims to bring together the research and resources of the UW and partners around the Puget Sound and beyond to improve the health and well-being of people around the world, has received a significant vote of support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the university announced…

October 24, 2016

Uber service faster in low income Seattle neighborhoods, initial study finds

A new UW study finds Uber wait times in Seattle are faster in lower income neighborhoods.

Your wait time for an Uber ride in Seattle is shorter if you are in a lower income neighborhood. Alternatively, wait times are longer for an Uber in wealthier neighborhoods, according to a new University of Washington study that measures one dimension of whether TNCs are providing equitable access.

Nanometer-scale image reveals new details about formation of a marine shell

circular core with spikes radiating out

Oceanographers used tools developed for semiconductor research to view the formation of a marine shell in the most detail yet, to understand how organisms turn seawater into solid mineral.

Turning your living room into a wireless charging station

graphic of wireless power delivery system

A flat-screen panel that resembles a TV on your living room wall could one day remotely charge any device within its line of sight, according to new research from UW and Duke University engineers.

October 21, 2016

University of Washington launches historic $5 billion philanthropic campaign


The University of Washington on Friday is launching the public phase of its most ambitious philanthropic campaign in history, with a goal of raising $5 billion by the year 2020.

October 16, 2016

Week of festivities celebrating launch of University of Washington campaign

an image of alaska airlines arena with purple lights

The impact of the University of Washington will be even more visible this week during the lead-up to a Friday night celebration marking the launch of the UW’s most ambitious philanthropic campaign.

October 14, 2016

A new way to ‘college’: University of Washington Continuum College


The University of Washington has renamed Educational Outreach to Continuum College, a new name for a new era of higher education.

October 12, 2016

Why do some STEM fields have fewer women than others? UW study may have the answer


Women’s relative lack of participation in science, technology, engineering and math is well documented, but why women are more represented in some STEM areas than others is less clear. A new University of Washington study is among the first to address that question by comparing gender disparities across STEM fields. Published Oct. 12 in the…

Cars vs. health: UW’s Moudon, Dannenberg contribute to Lancet series on urban planning, public health


Automobiles — and the planning and infrastructure to support them — are making our cities sick, says an international group of researchers now publishing a three-part series in the British medical journal The Lancet.

As online retailing booms, new Urban Freight Lab to work with industry, SDOT on delivery challenges

In dense commercial neighborhoods with limited parking, large truck drivers may resort to parking in the center lane while they make deliveries

As online retailing booms, the new UW Urban Freight Lab will partner with UPS, Costco, Nordstrom and SDOT to research solutions for businesses delivering goods in urban settings and cities trying to manage limited street space.

October 11, 2016

Morel mushrooms pop up, cluster together after wildfires

morel mushroom

A new study finds that morel mushrooms cluster in groups across burned areas in the forest after a wildfire. It’s one of the only scientific studies to actually quantify morels’ abundance after a fire.

October 6, 2016

CSE gets major boost with $10 million donation from Amazon

The new 130,000-square-foot UW CSE building will provide space for the University of Washington to double the number of computer science and engineering graduates annually.

Amazon is giving a major push to the campaign to build a second Computer Science & Engineering building on the University of Washington campus with a $10 million gift, the university announced Thursday. “Our state’s economy — and the world’s economy — depends on innovation and on innovators. UW graduates with skills in computer science…

October 5, 2016

Building ‘up not out’: Draft UW Campus Master Plan for 2018 now seeking public input


A new proposed draft Campus Master Plan for 2018 sees the University of Washington’s Seattle campus growing up rather than out — building a little higher, filling in with more density, not expanding its borders, helping to ease transportation flow and creating big new green spaces. 2018 draft Campus Master Plan — opportunities for public…

Atlantic Ocean’s slowdown tied to changes in the Southern Hemisphere

blue maps of oceans with colored arrows

Unlike in the movies, and in some theories of climate change, the recent slowdown of Atlantic Ocean circulation is not connected with the melting of the Arctic sea ice. Instead, it seems to be connected to shifts around the southern tip of Africa.

$4M grant funds new UW RAPID Facility to investigate natural disasters worldwide

LIDAR scan of earthquake damaged home

A new UW disaster investigation center funded by a $4 million National Science Foundation grant will collect and analyze critical data that’s often lost in the immediate aftermath of hurricanes and earthquakes but that can help create more resilient communities.

October 4, 2016

UW Professor Emeritus David J. Thouless wins Nobel Prize in physics for exploring exotic states of matter

An illustration of how “heavy water” within the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory detects neutrinos from the sun.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced Tuesday that David James Thouless, professor emeritus at the University of Washington, will share the 2016 Nobel Prize in physics with two of his colleagues. Thouless splits the prize with Professor F. Duncan M. Haldane of Princeton University and Professor J. Michael Kosterlitz of Brown University “for theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter,” according to the prize announcement from the Academy. Half the prize goes to Thouless while Haldane and Kosterlitz divide the remaining half. Thouless is the UW’s seventh Nobel laureate, and second in physics after Hans Dehmelt in 1989.

New LGBTQ Activism in Seattle History project debuts Oct. 10

At left is Jack Starr, a successful female impersonator whose stage name was Jackie Starr -- called "the most beautiful man in America" by gossip columnist Walter Winchell. At right is Billy DeVoe. It's 1950 and they are at the Garden of Allah, Seattle's first gay-owned and operated gay bar. This story is about a new digital collection -- the LGBTQ Activism in Seattle History Project that is part of the Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project

The UW’s Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project has an important new component — the LGBTQ Activism in Seattle History Project. There will be a public launch at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 10, in Room 340 of the HUB.

October 3, 2016

New protein bridges chemical divide for ‘seamless’ bioelectronics devices

A top view of GrBP5 nanowires on a 2-D surface of graphene.

In a paper published Sept. 22 in Scientific Reports, engineers at the University of Washington unveiled peptides that could help bridge the gap where artificial meets biological — harnessing biological rules to exchange information between the biochemistry of our bodies and the chemistry of our devices.

September 29, 2016

Ocean conditions contributed to unprecedented 2015 toxic algal bloom

map with animal icons

A study led by researchers at the University of Washington and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration connects the unprecedented West Coast toxic algal bloom of 2015 to the unusually warm ocean conditions — nicknamed “the blob” — in winter and spring of that year.

September 28, 2016

UW ranked among the top five most innovative universities in the world by Reuters

The University of Washington W

The University of Washington landed at No. 5 on The Reuters 100: The World’s Most Innovative Universities. Now in its second year, the list ranks the educational institutions doing the most to advance science, invent new technologies and help drive the global economy.

September 27, 2016

UW works to boost faculty diversity through recruitment and retention efforts

Over the last four years, the UW’s Office for Faculty Advancement has helped recruit close to 50 faculty members whose work contributes to campus diversity.

Like post-secondary schools across the country, the University of Washington has struggled to attract and retain a talented, diverse faculty. But efforts that have been quietly underway for a few years are starting to pay off, attracting top-level candidates to the UW even over schools that are able to offer bigger salaries and more perks….

Missing fish catch data? Not necessarily a problem, new study says


A new study by University of Washington scientists finds that in many cases, misreporting caught fish doesn’t always translate to overfishing. The study was published online this month in the journal Fish and Fisheries.

Secure passwords can be sent through your body, instead of air

photo of on body system

UW engineers have devised a way to send secure passwords through the human body, instead of over the air where they’re vulnerable to hacking.

September 23, 2016

UW lands at No. 25, fourth among U.S. public institutions, in Times Higher Education world ranking


The University of Washington landed at No. 25 on the Times Higher Education world rankings for 2017, released this week. The UW is fourth on the list among U.S. public universities, behind UC Berkeley, UCLA, and Michigan.

How natural selection acted on one penguin species over the past quarter century

Adult Magellanic penguin and two chicks begging.

University of Washington biologist Dee Boersma and her colleagues combed through 28 years’ worth of data on Magellanic penguins to search for signs that natural selection — one of the main drivers of evolution — may be acting on certain penguin traits. As they report in a paper published Sept. 21 in The Auk: Ornithological Advances, selection is indeed at work on the penguins at the Punta Tombo breeding site in Argentina.

September 21, 2016

UW team to study baby teeth in effort to identify autism risk factors

Close-up of child's teeth

University of Washington researchers are part of a national team that will study the baby teeth of children who have siblings with autism to determine if prenatal exposure to chemicals increases their risk of developing the disorder. The study will involve testing children’s teeth for levels of environmental chemicals that they might have been exposed…

September 19, 2016

Award for genetic tracking to rein in pangolin poaching

A pangolin in the grass.

A team of conservationists at the University of Washington is among the Grand Prize Winners of the Wildlife Crime Tech Challenge for a proposal to identify poaching hotspots for pangolins, one of the most trafficked group of mammals in the world.

Microbes help plants survive in severe drought

Poplars given microbes survived better in drought conditions

Plants can better tolerate drought and other stressors with the help of natural microbes, University of Washington research has found. Specifically, plants that are given a dose of microbes stay green longer and are able to withstand drought conditions by growing more leaves and roots and using less water.

September 15, 2016

Poverty decreases, income inequality stagnant in Washington state


The share of Washingtonians living in poverty dropped from 13.2 percent to 12.2 percent between 2014 and 2015, according to new data released Thursday. Washington was one of 23 states with statistically significant declines in their poverty rates during that period. The remaining 27 states and the District of Columbia saw no change in their…

Floating DNA reveals urban shorelines support more animal life

A view of downtown Seattle.

Researchers are now able to capture the cells of animals, sequence their DNA and identify which species were present at a point in time. A new University of Washington study is the first to use these genetic markers to understand the impact urbanization has on the environment — specifically, whether animal diversity flourishes or suffers.

September 14, 2016

UW Osher Lifelong Learning Institute receives $1 million gift

The University of Washington W

The Bernard Osher Foundation has announced a $1 million gift to the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Washington (OLLI-UW). The Institute offers a diverse array of non-credit courses and activities for people 50 and older, giving these adults access to continuing education at the UW. The Osher Foundation’s gift takes the form…

All polar bears across the Arctic face shorter sea ice season

polar bear on ice

A new University of Washington study finds a trend toward earlier Arctic sea ice melt in the spring and later ice growth in the fall across all 19 polar bear populations, which can negatively impact the feeding and breeding capabilities of the bears.

September 13, 2016

Westerly winds have blown across central Asia for at least 42 million years

Buddhist flags blowing in wind

The winds that gust across the Tibetan Plateau have done so for far longer than previously believed, showing they are resilient to the formation of mountains and changes in carbon dioxide and temperature.

September 8, 2016

How do shark teeth bite? Reciprocating saw, glue provide answers

A tiger shark.

A recent University of Washington study sought to understand why shark teeth are shaped differently and what biological advantages various shapes have by testing their performance under realistic conditions.

Life after Fitbit: Appealing to those who feel guilty vs. free

Is life better or worse after sticking your Fitbit in a drawer? UW researchers surveyed hundreds of people who had abandoned self-tracking tools and found emotions ranged from guilt to indifference to relief that the tracking experience was over.

Is life better or worse after sticking your Fitbit in a drawer? UW researchers surveyed hundreds of people who had abandoned self-tracking tools and found emotions ranged from guilt to indifference to relief that the tracking experience was over.

September 7, 2016

Feeling they are part of a group increased preschoolers’ interest, success in STEM

A multi-ethnic group of elementary age children are sitting at a table with their teacher and are making shapes and crafts.

Cultivating young children’s interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics has become a leading educational priority, as experts predict that many future jobs will require substantial math and technology skills. Early education in STEM topics, as they’re known, is critical for boosting later success in school and attracting students to occupations in those fields. But…

HemaApp screens for anemia, blood conditions without needle sticks

Photo of HemaApp illuminating a patient's finger

UW engineers have developed HemaApp, which uses a smartphone camera to estimate hemoglobin concentrations and screen for anemia without sticking patients with needles.

September 6, 2016

UW law professor named to United Nations working group on business and human rights

Anita Ramasastry

When law professor Anita Ramasastry began teaching at the University of Washington in 1996, she was working on an article about banks’ responsibilities around human rights, to the bemusement of her peers. The groundbreaking piece focused on the role of Swiss banks during World War II and the dormant accounts of Holocaust victims and their…

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