UW News

College of Arts & Sciences


March 21, 2019

UW, Microsoft, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory establish new Northwest Quantum Nexus for a quantum revolution in science, technology

Portraits of two people

The University of Washington, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Microsoft Quantum announced this week that they have joined forces in a new coalition, the Northwest Quantum Nexus, to bring about a revolution in quantum research and technology.


March 12, 2019

Eight postdoctoral researchers at the University of Washington receive awards from the Washington Research Foundation

Photo by Katherine Turner.

Eight researchers at the University of Washington have been named 2019 Washington Research Foundation Postdoctoral Fellows.


ARTSUW Roundup: The Bomba Experience, Seattle Symphony with UW Music Faculty, and more

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This week in the arts, see In the Heart of America, experience recent augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) projects from UW students, attend a free concert with the Seattle Symphony and UW School of Music faculty, and more! In the Heart of America March 6 – 17 | Floyd and Delores Jones Playhouse In the…


March 7, 2019

UW anthropologist connects communities to archive of Khmer Rouge-era Cambodia

This is one of dozens of photographs of Cambodian citizens, taken by journalist and UW alum Elizabeth Becker on her tour of the country in 1978. Photo of young girl in a factory

A new project by Jenna Grant, UW assistant professor of anthropology, uses an archive of photos and documents from the Khmer Rouge era — the donation of a journalist and UW alum — to help facilitate storytelling among Cambodians and Cambodian-Americans.


March 5, 2019

FASER detector at the Large Hadron Collider to seek clues about hidden matter in the universe

A computer image of a device that will detect particles in the Large Hadron Collider.

On March 5, the CERN research board approved a new experiment at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva to search for evidence of fundamental dark matter particles. UW scientists are part of this endeavor, the Forward Search Experiment — or FASER — which seeks to answer one of the outstanding questions in particle physics: What is dark matter made of?


Reading summer camp? Study to examine how soon-to-be kindergartners are wired for literacy

A study this summer will examine how the word-recognition portion of the brain develops in preschoolers. Photo of young child sorting cards with simple words on them.

The University of Washington is launching a reading instruction study this summer, a two-week “camp” targeting children entering kindergarten in the fall that aims to teach early literacy skills and measure brain activity before and after instruction.


March 4, 2019

ARTSUW Roundup: Opening of “In the Heart of America,” Dance Majors Concert, Emerson String Quartet, and more!

Dance Majors' Concert

This week in the arts, attend a performance with Emerson String Quartet, partake in the Strange Coupling silent and live auction, see the film screening of “The Gold Fish Casino,” and more! In the Heart of America March 6 – 17 (previews March 2 & 5) | Floyd and Delores Jones Playhouse In the shadow…


February 25, 2019

ARTSUW Roundup: (Im)migration: Music of Displaced People, Critical Issues Lecture with Lizzi Bougatsos, and more!

music-of-displaced-peoples

This week in the arts, attend a talk with an artist whose work stands at the crossroad of art and science, listen to music of today, see the preview of “In the Heart of American,” and more! SOLD OUT: A Conversation with Zadie Smith, Moderated by Valerie Curtis-Newton February 27, 7:30 pm | Benaroya Hall…


It’s all in the twist: Physicists stack 2D materials at angles to trap particles on the nanoscale, creating a unique platform to study quantum optical physics

A depiction of single-layer semiconductors.

In a paper published Feb. 25 in the journal Nature, a University of Washington-led team of physicists report that it has developed a new system to trap individual excitons — bound pairs of electrons and their associated positive charges. Their system could form the basis of a novel experimental platform for monitoring excitons with precision and potentially developing new quantum technologies.


February 20, 2019

ArtsUW Roundup: Programs with Los Angeles-based artist Carolina Caycedo, Mark Morris Dance Group — and more

Carolina Caycedo

This week in the arts, see one of “[The] most successful and influential choreographer alive and indisputably the most musical (The New York Times)” on stage, have an inside look of the Ceramic and Metal Arts Building at the 3D4M Open House, and more! Gurvich Visiting Artist: Carolina Caycedo Los Angeles-based artist Carolina Caycedo will…


Playground study shows how recess can include all children

autism playground photo 1

Recess, for most children, is synonymous with freedom. A break from class that has nothing to do with learning and everything to do with play. For children with autism, the playground can be an isolating experience. The spontaneous soccer games, roving packs of friends and virtual buffet of activities can be chaotic, frustrating and confusing….


February 13, 2019

Parents don’t pick favorites, at least if you’re a Magellanic penguin

A penguin feeding one of its chicks.

Researchers at the University of Washington wanted to know how Magellanic penguin parents in South America balance the dietary demands of multiple chicks. As they report in a paper published Jan. 23 in the journal Animal Behaviour, when a Magellanic penguin parent returns to its nest with fish, the parent tries to feed each of its two chicks equal portions of food, regardless of the youngsters’ differences in age or size.


February 7, 2019

All the data in the sky, alerted via UW eyes

An image of a galaxy.

The Zwicky Transient Facility, based at the Palomar Observatory, has identified over a thousand new objects and phenomena in the night sky, including more than 1,100 new supernovae and 50 near-Earth asteroids. University of Washington scientists are part of the ZTF team and led the development of the collaboration’s alert system, which informs science teams of possible new objects or changes to known objects in the sky.


January 31, 2019

Iguana-sized dinosaur cousin discovered in Antarctica, shows how life at the South Pole bounced back after mass extinction

An illustration of a forest in Antarctica 250 million years ago, showing reptiles that lived there.

Scientists have just discovered a dinosaur relative that lived in Antarctica 250 million years ago. The iguana-sized reptile’s genus name, Antarctanax, means “Antarctic king.”


January 16, 2019

ArtsUW Roundup: Guest Artist Recital, Preview and Opening of Rutherford and Son, and more

Rutherford and Son

This week in the arts, partake in an exhibition opening with Danny Giles, the 2019 Jacob Lawrence Legacy Resident, attend the preview of a School of Drama production, and more! Guest Artist Recital Tony Cho, Piano and David Bowlin, Violin January 17, 7:30 PM| Brechmin Auditorium Oberlin Conservatory colleagues Tony Cho, piano, and David Bowlin, violin,…


January 15, 2019

Researchers can predict childhood social transitions

A University of Washington-led study finds that children who socially transition to the gender "opposite" their sex at birth also demonstrate strong "cross-gender" identities before the transition. Photo of two children in silhouette.

A new University of Washington study suggests that the children most apt to socially transition to the gender “opposite” their sex at birth are those who already demonstrate the strongest “cross-gender” identities, and that the transitions don’t appear to alter a child’s gender identity or preferences.


January 10, 2019

Astronomers find signatures of a ‘messy’ star that made its companion go supernova

An image of a galaxy in outer space, with a bright supernova visible at its outer edge.

On Jan. 10 at the 2019 American Astronomical Society meeting in Seattle, an international team of astronomers announced that they have identified the type of companion star that made its partner in a binary system, a carbon-oxygen white dwarf star, explode. Through repeated observations of SN 2015cp, a supernova 545 million light years away, the team detected hydrogen-rich debris that the companion star had shed prior to the explosion.


January 8, 2019

Triangulum Galaxy shows stunning face in detailed Hubble portrait

An image of a nearby galaxy called M33.

As part of a University of Washington-led project, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has produced a stunningly detailed portrait of the Triangulum Galaxy, displaying a full spiral face aglow with the light of nearly 25 million individually resolved stars.


January 2, 2019

The number of single male Magellanic penguins is rising at this breeding colony. Here’s why.

A curious Magellanic penguin looking into the camera lens

Female Magellanic penguins are more likely to die at sea as juveniles, which has caused a skewed sex ratio of nearly three adult males to every female, as well as population decline of more than 40 percent since 1987 at one of their largest breeding colonies — Punta Tombo in Argentina.


How economic theory and the Netflix Prize could make research funding more efficient

campus-TILE

In a paper published Jan. 2 in PLOS Biology, two scientists at the University of Washington and North Carolina State University use the economic theory of contests to illustrate how the competitive grant-application system has made the pursuit of research funding inefficient and unsustainable — and that alternative methods, such as a partial lottery to award grants, could relieve pressure on professors and free up time for research.


December 24, 2018

New global migration estimates show rates proportionally steady since 1990, high rate of return migration

People waiting at an airport

Two University of Washington scientists have unveiled a new statistical method for estimating migration flows between countries. They show that rates of migration are higher than previously thought, but also relatively stable, fluctuating between 1.1 and 1.3 percent of global population from 1990 to 2015. In addition, since 1990 approximately 45 percent of migrants have returned to their home countries, a much higher estimate than other methods.


December 17, 2018

How a workshop about getting along became a story stoking division

A University of Washington class meets outside of Mary Gates Hall on a sunny day. Photo of students in a circle under a tree.

A small study about a workshop to bring together students of different political persuasions found that workshop participants were able to better understand their fellow students as individuals, but their attitudes about opposing beliefs, in general, did not change.


December 12, 2018

Arts Roundup: Visit the Henry Art Gallery, see Clotilde Jiménez’s exhibition, and attend the last event of the year at the Burke

last night at the burke

End 2018 artfully by visiting the Henry Art Gallery, seeing Clotilde Jiménez’s “Apple of My Eye” before it closes, and ringing in the new year and at the same time – saying goodbye – to the old Burke Museum! Visit the Henry Art Gallery The Henry is internationally recognized for bold and challenging exhibitions, for pushing…


Teens get more sleep, show improved grades and attendance with later school start time, researchers find

Photo by Katherine Turner.

In 2016, Seattle Public Schools pushed back the start times for the district’s 18 high schools by 55 minutes, from 7:50 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. And as hoped, teenagers used the extra time to sleep in.


December 11, 2018

What social stress in monkeys can tell us about human health

A University of Washington-led study found that social status in rhesus macaques affected how the animals responded to stress. Photo of monkey looking at camera.

A new University of Washington-led study examines one key stress-inducing circumstance — the effects of social hierarchy — and how cells respond to the hormones that are released in response to that stress.


December 6, 2018

Two-dimensional materials skip the energy barrier by growing one row at a time

Picture of how small protein molecules interact with one another.

A new collaborative study led by a research team at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Washington could provide engineers new design rules for creating microelectronics, membranes and tissues, and open up better production methods for new materials.


December 3, 2018

ARTSUW Roundup: Arts and Engagement in Early Postwar Japan, UW Symphony with Robin McCabe, and More

turtle-island

This week in the arts, learn about the history of art and its politics in Japan post-1945, see the final performances of Fefu and Her Friends, take a workshop at the Henry Art Gallery, and more! Art and Engagement in Early Postwar Japan December 7, 3:30 PM| Thomson Hall Justin Jesty, associate professor at the…


November 29, 2018

Why culture is key to improving the ‘interpretive power’ of psychology

University of Washington

Three researchers from the University of Washington Department of Psychology say existing practices overlook the importance of culture, and suggest how individuals and institutions can be more inclusive.


November 19, 2018

The ‘Swiss Army knife of prehistoric tools’ found in Asia, independent of ancient African or European influence

These artifacts found in China are among the nearly four dozen that reflect the Levallois technique of toolmaking. In a paper published Nov. 19 in Nature, researchers date these artifacts to between 80,000 and 170,000 years ago. Photo of various stones, shaped by knapping.

A study by an international team of researchers, including from the University of Washington, determines that carved stone tools, also known as Levallois cores, were used in Asia 80,000 to 170,000 years ago. With the find — and absent human fossils linking the tools to migrating populations — researchers believe people in Asia developed the technology independently, evidence of similar sets of skills evolving throughout different parts of the ancient world.


November 14, 2018

ArtsUW Roundup: A Library of Black Lies, Power and Pleasure in Indian Painting, and more!

Power and Pleasure in Indian Painting

This week in the arts, shop for hand-printed gifts, attend a sonic-theatrical performance, dive into lectures about Indian Painting in Mewar and Marwar, and more! Print Sale November 14 to 15, 8:00 AM–7:00 PM | Art Building Hand-printed artwork, cards, soft goods, and more! UW student members of the UW Printmaking Association and UW printmaking alums…


November 13, 2018

Scientists engineer a functional optical lens out of 2D materials

An image of four lenses under a microscope.

In a paper published Oct. 8 in the journal Nano Letters, a team from the University of Washington and the National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan announced that it has constructed functional metalenses that are one-tenth to one-half the thickness of the wavelengths of light that they focus. Their metalenses, which were constructed out of layered 2D materials, were as thin as 190 nanometers — less than 1/100,000ths of an inch thick.


November 7, 2018

ArtsUW Roundup: Caravaggio Lecture, Campagnie Käfig, Print Sale, and More!

Brooklyn_Rider_Meany

This week in the arts, attend “Unbelievable: Reflections on Caravaggio’s Religious Art” lecture, go to a Print Sale, see Brooklyn Rider perform, and more! Faculty Lecture: Estelle Lingo on Caravaggio November 8, 5:30–6:30 PM | Art Building Estelle Lingo, Associate Professor of Art History and Donald E. Peterson Professor in the Arts,  will give the…


After a bad winter in the ocean, female Magellanic penguins suffer most, study shows

A view of South America from space.

Researchers from the University of Washington have shown how Magellanic penguins fare during the winter months when they spend months at sea feeding. They have discovered that oceanographic features are more likely to negatively impact the body conditions of Magellanic penguin females, but not males, when the penguins return to their nesting grounds in spring.


November 5, 2018

Violence in childhood leads to accelerated aging, study finds

A study led by the University of Washington finds that children who are exposed to violence tend to age faster. Photo of teenager's feet.

A new study of nearly 250 children and teens led by the University of Washington found that participants who had suffered abuse were developing faster than those who had not.


October 30, 2018

Study reconstructs Neandertal ribcage, offers new clues to ancient human anatomy

Neandertal skull

An international team of researchers, including from the University of Washington, has completed a 3D virtual reconstruction of a Neandertal thorax a model that indicates an upright individual with greater lung capacity and a straighter spine than today’s modern human.


October 24, 2018

UW physicist Jiun-Haw Chu named Packard Fellow for research on quantum materials

A person standing in a lab.

Jiun-Haw Chu, a University of Washington assistant professor of physics and faculty member at the UW’s Clean Energy Institute, has been named a 2018 fellow by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation for his research on quantum materials — substances that exhibit novel combinations of quantum-mechanical properties that could one day transform information technology.


New center to recognize American Indian and Indigenous Studies

Bronze W autumn

As the discipline of American Indian Studies approaches its 50th year at the University of Washington, a new research center is in the works: the Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies, which is supported by multiple colleges and schools.


October 19, 2018

PTSD symptoms improve when patient chooses form of treatment, study shows

A study of PTSD patients led by the University of Washington finds that people who chose their form of treatment were more apt to stick to their program and eventually become diagnosis-free. Photo of woman looking out a window.

A study led by the University of Washington is the first large-scale trial of hundreds of PTSD patients, including veterans and survivors of sexual assault, to measure whether patient preference in the course of treatment impacts the effectiveness of both cognitive behavioral therapy and use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, a type of antidepressant often prescribed for PTSD.


October 16, 2018

ArtsUW Roundup | Peacock in the Desert Lecture, Earshot Jazz Festival Concerts, and more!

ted poor high res

This week in the arts, UW faculty take us into the community, from the Seattle Art Museum to the Royal Room. There will be music, art history lectures, drama, and more! SAM Talks: Peacock in the Desert Discussion October 18, 7:00 pm | Seattle Art Museum, 1300 First Avenue, Seattle Dr. Karni Singh Jasol, Director…


October 9, 2018

ArtsUW Roundup: Last chance to see 10 Études for Summer, Chamber Dance Company concert, music and fin-de-siecle Vienna, and more

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This week in the arts, attend the 2018 Chamber Dance Concert, see the works by ten second year MFA students, attend Cello faculty artist-in-residence Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir’s recital, and more. Chamber Dance Company October 11 to 14 | Katharyn Alvord Gerlich Theater For its 28th season, the Chamber Dance Company received a National Endowment for the Arts:…



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