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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.


September 30, 2015

Known fish species living in the Salish Sea increases in new report

An illustration of the longfin sculpin (Jordania zonope).

A new report published Tuesday documents all of the fishes that live in the Salish Sea. In total, 253 fish species have been recorded, and that’s about 14 percent more than in the last count.


September 28, 2015

Diverse group of universities form coalition to improve college admission process

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A diverse coalition of public and private colleges and universities including the University of Washington is coming together with the goal of improving the college admission application process for all students.  The Coalition is developing a free platform of online tools to streamline the experience of planning for and applying to college. The initial iteration…


UW to raise minimum wage for workers to $15 an hour

The University of Washington W

The University of Washington announced today that, consistent with its earlier commitment to Seattle’s minimum wage law, it intends to raise the minimum wage of its workers — including student workers in Seattle — to $15 an hour. Subject to the successful conclusion of on-going negotiations with its unions, the increase will take effect 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 23, 2015

Chinese president presents gift to Global Innovation Exchange

Microsoft President Brad Smith, Chinese President Xi Jinping, UW Interim President Ana Mari Cauce and Tsinghua President Qiu Yong at the presentation of a dawn redwood tree to the Global Innovation Exchange by President Xi.

Chinese President Xi Jinping presented the gift of a dawn redwood tree to the Global Innovation Exchange (GIX), a new partnership between the University of Washington and Tsinghua University, during a ceremony at Microsoft headquarters Wednesday.


Washington, Sichuan promise low-carbon cities in new agreement

From left: Wang Dongming, Ana Mari Cauce, Qiu Yong and Jay Inslee at the signing ceremony Sept. 22.

A memorandum of understanding, called the “2+2 MOU,” was signed Tuesday between the state of Washington and the Chinese province of Sichuan, as well as the University of Washington and Tsinghua University, to catalyze the science, technology and investment needed to grow innovations that will underpin adaptable and resilient urbanization.


September 17, 2015

A Q & A with Pedro Domingos: Author of ‘The Master Algorithm’

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UW CSE professor Pedro Domingos’ book “The Master Algorithm” is an essential primer on machine learning, and a popular science romp through one of today’s hottest scientific topics.. It unveils the deep ideas behind the algorithms that increasingly pick our books, find our dates, manage investments and run our lives — and what informed consumers ought to know about them.


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 24, 2015

UW remains No. 7 in Washington Monthly ranking; named ‘best bang for the buck’ among universities in the west

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For the second consecutive year, the University of Washington held the No. 7 spot in the nation in Washington Monthly’s annual College Guide, which rates universities on students’ social mobility, civic engagement and research. Washington Monthly also rates colleges that are doing the best job of helping lower-income students attain marketable degrees at affordable prices,…


August 18, 2015

Thanks and pass the candy: Feelings of gratitude increase the consumption of sweets

Gratitude is universally considered a social good, but gratitude can have a dark side. It can impel us to eat more sweets, according to new research by Ann Schlosser, professor of marketing at the UW Foster School of Business.


August 17, 2015

UW holds steady at No. 15 in world university ranking

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The University of Washington remained No. 15 on the 2015 Academic Ranking of World Universities, conducted by researchers at the Center for World-Class Universities of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, which was released Monday. The UW again ranked 13th among U.S. universities and fourth among public institutions worldwide. The ranking considers several indicators of academic or research…


Washington state housing market stays strong in second quarter of 2015

A house for sale.

Washington state’s housing market remained strong in the second quarter of 2015 with home sale prices, home sales and new building permits up compared to one year ago, according to the UW’s Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies.


August 13, 2015

Documents that Changed the World: Charles Richter’s seismic scale, 1935

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A scale of simple numbers — the Richter Scale — unnerves us when we think about earthquakes, as Pacific Northwest residents have been prone to do lately. But who was Richter, and how did it all come about? Joe Janes takes a look for an installment of his Documents that Changed the World podcast series.


August 5, 2015

How makerspaces can be accessible to people with disabilities

Photo of student in MakerSpace

UW researchers have released new guidelines to make MakerSpaces more accessible to people with disabilities, as more communal spaces with soldering irons, 3-D printers, sewing machines and other “making” tools pop up on campuses and neighborhoods nationwide.


August 3, 2015

UW to invest $37 million in nanofabrication lab critical to researchers, start-ups

Photo of UW students learning microfabrication techniques in the Washington Nanofabrication Facility.

The UW is investing up to $37 million in the Washington Nanofabrication Facility, which makes things for researchers and outside companies that aren’t practical, economical or possible to fabricate at commercial foundries: inconceivably tiny devices, chips made from unconventional materials that industrial factories won’t touch and devices that probe the boundaries of our universe.


July 31, 2015

Social media amplifies damage of product recalls to firms — rivals, too

Research from the UW's Foster School of Business shows product recalls can affect a company's competitors as well.

A product recall is never good news for a firm. Research from the Foster School of Business indicates a recall is not necessarily good news for competitors, either.


July 29, 2015

Healthier Puget Sound depends on healthy people, report finds

man jumping into the water in puget sound

The Puget Sound Partnership on Wednesday adopted new targets that seek to quantify aspects of the natural environment that boost our collective happiness and wellness. These people-focused benchmarks will help inform restoration plans and assess future progress in cleaning up Puget Sound.


Documents that Changed the World: Annals of the World, 1650

James Ussher

As shadows lengthened and day turned to night on Saturday, Oct. 22, in the year 4004 BCE, God created the universe. Or, perhaps not. Still, that’s the time and date for creation determined, after long and painstaking research, by Irish scholar and church leader James Ussher, author of the 17th century chronology, Annals of the World.


July 22, 2015

Distinguished faculty to be inducted into Washington State Academy of Sciences

Detail from the Turing exhibit at a science museum

In recognition of their outstanding records of scientific achievement, 12 University of Washington professors will be inducted this fall into the Washington State Academy of Sciences. The professors will be honored for their “willingness to work on behalf of the academy” to bring top-quality scientific methods to research issues pertaining to Washington state. The induction ceremony will be…


July 20, 2015

University of Washington named ‘Great College to Work For’

Drumheller Fountain and Gerberding Hall at UW.

The University of Washington has been recognized as a “Great College to Work For” by the Chronicle of Higher Education in its 2015 survey.


July 16, 2015

$2.3M energy conservation project in Physics/Astronomy Building complete

UW Associate Vice President of Facilities Services Charles Kennedy speaks in front of the Physics/Astronomy Building.

University of Washington Facilities Services, Puget Sound Energy, McKinstry and the Washington State Department of Commerce celebrated the completion of a $2.3 million energy conservation project Wednesday that will improve teaching and research laboratories within the iconic Physics/Astronomy Building. The capital retrofit project has drastically reduced ventilation system waste by installing high-tech controls, drives and…


New book by UW’s Philip Howard urges democratic values for coming Internet of Things

"Pax Technica: How the Internet of Things May Set Us Free or Lock Us Up," by University of Washington professor Philip Howard, was published this spring by Yale University Press.

UW professor Philip Howard discusses his new book, “Pax Technica: How the Internet of Things May Set us Free or Lock Us Up,” published this spring by Yale University Press.


July 15, 2015

Students, researchers at sea working on recently erupted deep-sea volcano

Students onboard the R/V Thompson collect velella velella (by-the-wind-sailors) off the starboard side during the first leg of the expedition.

A team of researchers, engineers and students is now at sea to check the equipment in a massive seafloor laboratory, where underwater stations off the Pacific Northwest coast collect data and provide a real-time, virtual eye on the deep sea for people on shore.


July 13, 2015

Robotics and the law: When software can harm you

An artist's concept of a NASA robotic refueling mission. Shown here, cameras light the way as a tool from a robotic refueling mission approaches a satellite to cut wire, one of the steps to remotely accessing a satellite's triple-sealed fuel valve.

Twenty years in, the law is finally starting to get used to the Internet. Now it is imperative, says Ryan Calo, assistant professor in the UW School of Law, that the law figure out how to deal effectively with the rise of robotics and artificial intelligence.


June 30, 2015

‘The Shape of the New’: Two UW profs, four ‘big ideas’ in new book

"The Shape of the New: Four Big Ideas and How they Made the Modern World," by UW Jackson School faculty Scott L. Montgomery and Daniel Chirot, was published in May be Princeton University Press.

The concepts of freedom, equality, evolution and democracy lie at the heart of “The Shape of the New: Four Big Ideas and How they Changed the World,” by Scott L. Montgomery and Daniel Chirot of the UW’s Jackson School of International Studies.


Statement from UW interim President Ana Mari Cauce on the two-year state budget approved by the Washington Legislature

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“On behalf of University of Washington students, faculty, staff and alumni, I want to express my thanks and appreciation to our elected officials for making investments in higher education a true budget priority during the 2015 legislative session…”


June 24, 2015

Group at UW shows how to account for nature’s benefits in decisions

Planting mangroves for coastal protection in Placencia, Belize.

The Natural Capital Project, with offices at UW, wants to integrate the socioeconomic, cultural and spiritual values of nature into all major decisions affecting the environment and human well-being.


June 23, 2015

Visualizing the cosmos: UW astronomer Andrew Connolly and the promise of big data

UW astronomy professor Andrew Connolly at TED2014 at the Vancouver, B.C., convention center.

A conversation with UW astronomer Andrew Connolly on the coming Large Synoptic Survey Telescope and the promise of big data to the study of the universe.


June 22, 2015

Spectrum of life: Nonphotosynthetic pigments could be biosignatures of life on other worlds

Laguna Colorada is a shallow salt lake in the southwest of Bolivia. One of several places on Earth whose colors are dominated by nonphotosynthetic pigments. Eddie Schwieterman of the University of Washington has research on how such nonphotosynthetic biosignatures might appear on exoplanets, or those outside our solar system.

To find life in the universe, it helps to know what it might look like. If there are organisms on other planets that do not rely wholly on photosynthesis — as some on Earth do not — how might those worlds appear from light-years away?


June 18, 2015

UW and Tsinghua University create groundbreaking partnership with launch of the Global Innovation Exchange

GIX Exterior Rendering

In pursuit of solutions to some of the biggest global challenges, two of the world’s leading research universities, the University of Washington and Tsinghua University, are partnering to create the Global Innovation Exchange (GIX), an institute dedicated to educating the next generation of innovators. With $40 million in foundational support from Microsoft, GIX will bring…


June 12, 2015

Microsoft dedicates $10M gift to new UW Computer Science & Engineering building

An early conceptual drawing of the new CSE building interior by LMN Architects. The final building design will incorporate an undergraduate commons (pictured) and instructional labs, seminar rooms, research labs, and collaborative spaces for students and faculty

Microsoft Corp. is awarding a $10 million gift to kick-start a campaign to build a second Computer Science & Engineering (CSE) building on the University of Washington campus as an “investment in students who will become the innovators and creators of tomorrow,”


June 11, 2015

2015 Awards of Excellence recognize campus, community contributions

UW Awards of Excellence recipients announced

The University of Washington recognized and honored faculty, staff, students and distinguished alumni for the amazing work they do for the UW, for our local communities, for the citizens of Washington, and for our world. The Awards of Excellence were presented at Meany Hall on June 11, 2015. The following is based on remarks made…


140th commencement for UW’s Seattle campus at Husky Stadium June 13

A scene from last year's commencement at the UW.

A record 5,600-plus graduates, along with more than 40,000 family members, friends, faculty and other observers, are expected to attend the 140th University of Washington commencement ceremonies June 13 at Husky Stadium.


Nearly half of African-American women know someone in prison

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African-American adults — particularly women — are much more likely to know or be related to someone behind bars than whites, according to the first national estimates of Americans’ ties to prisoners.


Greater suicide prevention efforts coming to rural Washington state

washington women's foundation logo

Washington state’s rural communities with the highest suicide rates soon will get more resources to help with prevention training and support. Washington Women’s Foundation is giving Forefront: Innovations in Suicide Prevention $100,000 for suicide prevention in six underserved rural communities.


June 10, 2015

Prolific and profound: UW professor named U.S. Poet Laureate

Juan Felipe Herrera

Juan Felipe Herrera, visiting professor of ethnic studies at the University of Washington, was named the 21st United States Poet Laureate on Wednesday. Herrera, who for the past two years has been the California Poet Laureate, is the first Latino honored since the U.S. Consultant in Poetry program began in 1937 (the title changed to…


June 9, 2015

Early intervention improves long-term outcomes for children with autism

A toddler takes part in early intervention activities at the UW Autism Center.

Early intervention for toddlers with autism spectrum disorder helps improve their intellectual ability and reduces autism symptoms years after originally getting treatment, a new study shows.


June 8, 2015

Atmospheric signs of volcanic activity could aid search for life

An eruption of the Calbuco Volcano in southern Chile. A team led by the UW's Amit Misra used data from volcanic eruptions on Earth to predict what an Earth-like exoplanet might look like during such eruptions.

Planets with volcanic activity are considered better candidates for life than worlds without such heated internal goings-on.
Now, graduate students at the UW have found a way to detect volcanic activity in the atmospheres of faraway planets when they transit, or pass in front of their host stars.



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