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Information School


August 13, 2018

Information School’s Hans Scholl on promises, cautions of ‘digital government’

Hans Jochen Scholl

Hans Scholl, professor in the UW Information School, discusses the challenges and opportunities of digital government. The website Apolitical has named him among the “Top 100 Most Influential People in digital government.”


August 6, 2018

Alexa, be my friend: Children talk to technology, but how does it respond?

voice interface duck

When young children talk to voice-activated technologies, the devices don’t always respond in a helpful way. A new University of Washington study suggests that these interfaces could be designed to be more responsive – repeating or prompting the user, for example – and be more useful to more people.


May 21, 2018

Designed for evil: How to make bad technologies better

Through Alexis Hiniker’s Designing for Evil course, which is unique to the UW, students have identified “emerging evil” technologies and redesigned them so that they are more likely to enhance — not detract from — users’ lives.


May 15, 2018

STEM for All Video Showcase features six UW projects

stem for all logo

  Family-focused science lessons, robotics for young children and touch-based programming for the visually impaired are among the University of Washington research videos featured in the STEM for All Video Showcase, funded by the National Science Foundation. The weeklong online event, in its fourth year, highlights more than 200 projects from universities around the country…


May 1, 2018

Apps for children should emphasize parent and child choice, researchers say

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Parents don’t need to fear their children playing with iPads and other devices, researchers say. Mindful play with an adult, combined with thoughtful design features, can prove beneficial to young developing minds. New research shows that thoughtfully designed content that intentionally supports parent-child interactions facilitated the same kind of play and development as analog toys.


March 19, 2018

University of Washington graduate and professional disciplines rank highly in US News’ Best Graduate School lists

library at night

Nearly 50 different graduate and professional programs and specialties at the University of Washington are among the top 10 in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 Best Graduate School rankings released March 20.


August 24, 2017

A dean looks back: Harry Bruce reflects on UW ‘iSchool’ past, future

UW Information School Dean Harry Bruce

Information School Dean Harry Bruce talks about his job and life as he prepares to step down.


August 23, 2017

Greetings from Earth: Documents that Changed the World podcast revisits Voyager’s ‘Golden Record,’ 1977

The Voyager spacecraft showcasing where the Golden Record is mounted.

  Forty years ago this month, Planet Earth said hello to the cosmos with the launch of the two Voyager probes that used gravity to swing from world to world on a grand tour of the solar system. Each bore a two-sided, 12-inch, gold-plated copper “Golden Record” of sights and sounds from Earth and its…


June 29, 2017

Anind K. Dey named dean of the UW’s Information School

Anind K. Dey

Anind K. Dey has been named dean of the Information School at the University of Washington, President Ana Mari Cauce and Provost Jerry Baldasty announced this week. Dey comes to the UW from Carnegie Mellon University School of Computer Science, where he is the Charles M. Geschke professor and director of the Human-Computer Interaction Institute….


June 8, 2017

Wide-Open accelerates release of scientific data by automatically identifying overdue datasets

graph showing papers released after WideOpen

WideOpen is a new open-source tool developed at the UW to help advance open science by automatically detecting datasets that are overdue for publication. Already, more than 400 datasets have been made public as a result.


June 5, 2017

‘Documents that Changed the Way We Live’: Podcast by UW’s Joe Janes now a book

"Documents that Changed the Way we Live" by UW Information School associate professor Joe Janes, was published this month by Rowman & Littlefield.

A popular podcast by Joe Janes of the UW Information School is now a book. “Documents that Changed the Way We Live” is being published this month by Rowman & Littlefield.


May 2, 2017

Documents that Changed the World: Delayed stock market ticker tape, October 1929

A cleaner sweeps the floor after the Wall Street crash of 1929.

Timing is everything, they say. In the latest episode of his Documents that Changed the World podcast series, Joe Janes of the UW Information School explores how an overload of critical information helped trigger the stock market crash of 1929, and thus the Great Depression. “This is a story about fortunes lost, lives ruined, a…


Period tracking apps failing users in basic ways, study finds

Screenshots of pink, flowery apps

A new study finds that smartphone apps to track menstrual cycles often disappoint users with a lack of accuracy, assumptions about sexual identity or partners, and an emphasis on pink and flowery form over function and customization.


March 28, 2017

After much media attention, UW Information School’s ‘Calling BS’ class begins

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The very name of the class, when proposed, seemed to fire imaginations nationwide and beyond. Now with the beginning of spring quarter, the UW Information School’s new course “Calling Bullshit in the Age of Big Data” is getting started.


Parents who play ‘Pokémon GO’ with kids: ‘It wasn’t really about the Pokémon’

Parents who played Pokemon GO with their children reported increased exercise, outdoor experiences and family bonding.

In the first study to survey and interview parents who play Pokémon GO with their children, families report a number of side benefits, including increased exercise, more time spent outdoors and opportunities for family bonding.


February 6, 2017

‘Overwhelming’ response, global press attention for new UW Information School course, ‘Calling BS’

It’s almost unheard-of for a university class to spark global press attention — and offers of book deals — before instruction even begins. But such is the case with the UW Information School’s new course, “Calling Bullshit in the Age of Big Data.”


December 21, 2016

Documents that Changed the World: Sir Ronald Fisher defines ‘statistical significance,’ 1925

Editions of Sir Ronald Fisher's 1925 work "Statistical Methods for Research Workers." Story is about an episode of Joe Janes' podcast "Documents that Changed the World"

Joe Janes’ latest Documents that Changed the World podcast is about Sir Ronald Fisher, the man who set the mark of “statistical significance” for ages afterward at 5 percent, no more no less.


May 26, 2016

Documents that Changed the World: Noah Webster’s dictionary, 1828

Noah Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language, published in 1828, title page shown here. Webster's work is the subject of an installment of Joe Janes' Documents that Changed the World podcast series.

Joe Janes of the Information School turns the attention of his Documents that Changed the World podcst to Noah Webster and his famous, 70,000-word “American Dictionary of the English language” published in 1828.


March 24, 2016

Study: Most tweets following fall Paris attacks defended Islam, Muslims

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The fall 2015 Paris terrorist attacks sparked heated social media debates about Islam. A researcher now with the UW Information School, with collaborators, analyzed millions of tweets after those attacks and found most tweets actually expressed support for Islam and Muslims.


March 14, 2016

Documents that Changed the World: ‘Hanging chads’ and butterfly ballots — Florida, 2000

A "butterfly" ballot from Florida for the 2000 presidential election.

With the Florida presidential primary a day away, Joe Janes is recalling the time of butterfly ballots and “hanging chads” — the presidential election of 2000 — in the latest installment of his podcast series, Documents that Changed the World. In the podcasts, Janes, a professor in the UW Information School, explores the origin and…


March 3, 2016

Record percentage of women students in Informatics Program helps iSchool narrow the gender gap

Christina Xiao, left, and Amber Amin graduated in June 2015 with degrees in informatics from the UW Information School. This year's cohort in Informatics is the largest yet, a record 40 percent of them women.

The UW Information School’s 2015-16 undergraduate cohort in informatics is not only the school’s largest yet with 210 students, it also includes more women students than ever before — about 40 percent.


February 25, 2016

Documents that Changed the World: The Declaration of Independence’s deleted passage on slavery, 1776

The latest installment of Information School professor Joe Janes' podcast series Documents that Changed the World discusses the 168 powerful words condemning slavery that were removed from the Declaration of Independence.

The latest installment of Information School professor Joe Janes’ podcast series Documents that Changed the World discusses 168 powerful words condemning slavery that were excised from the Declaration of Independence at the last minute.


February 18, 2016

David Levy addresses digital overload in ‘Mindful Tech’

"Mindful Tech: How to Bring Balance to Our Digital Lives" was published by Yale University Press.

David Levy of the UW Information School discusses his new book, “Mindful Tech: How to Bring Balance to our Digital Lives,” published in January by Yale University Press.


February 4, 2016

‘Pushback’ against constant connectivity also reflected in images, study follow-up finds

In a follow-up to a 2014 study, Ricardo Gomez of the University of Washington Information School and co-authors have found that people's desire to retreat from a life of constant connectivity is expressed on the web in images as well and powerfully as in text.

People expressing the wish to resist constant online connectivity — dubbed “pushback” by University of Washington Information School researchers — is manifested as powerfully in images as in text, further study has found.


January 5, 2016

Study: College graduates often challenged with life skills, motivation for ongoing learning

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Today’s college graduates tend to be highly trained and employable but often lack a key skill needed for post-college life: how to identify and ask their own questions, according to a new study.


December 23, 2015

Documents that Changed the World: The Fannie Farmer Cookbook, 1896

The Boston Cooking-School Cookbook, 1896.

A glance at a kitchen bookshelf gave UW Information School professor Joe Janes the idea for the latest installment of his Documents that Changed the World podcast — about the famous Boston Cooking-School Cookbook, more popularly known as the Fannie Farmer Cookbook.


November 30, 2015

UW researchers estimate poverty and wealth from cell phone metadata

The northern and western provinces are divided into cells (the smallest administrative unit of the country), and the cell is shaded according to the average (predicted) wealth of all mobile subscribers in that cell. The southern province is overlaid with a Voronoi diagram that uses geographic identifiers in the call data to divide the region into several hundred thousand small partitions, which each may be as small as a household or a microvillage.

In developing or war-ravaged countries where government censuses are few and far between, gathering data for public services or policymaking can be difficult, dangerous or near-impossible. Big data is, after all, mainly a First World opportunity. But cell towers are easier to install than telephone land lines, even in such challenged areas, and mobile or…


November 25, 2015

Documents that Changed the World: FDR’s Thanksgiving Proclamation, 1939

FDR_Carves-Thanksgiving-Turkey-1933_620x370

The U.S. Senate voted to set Thanksgiving as the fourth Thursday in November on Dec. 9, 1941, two days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. You’d think they would have had more important things to talk about. Not Nov. 26, as George Washington had it or the last Thursday in the month as Lincoln…


November 9, 2015

Documents that Changed the World: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, 1982

Visitors touch names and leave gifts at the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C., in 2006.

The Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C., is many things to many people. To Joe Janes of the Information School, the son of a World War II veteran and creator of the Documents that Changed the World podcast series, the memorial, the discussions it sparked and the hearts it helps heal — “the totality of the wall” he says – together comprise an important document.


October 6, 2015

Documents that Changed the World: Alfred Nobel’s will, 1895

Alfred Nobel (1801 - 1872).

Alfred Nobel is remembered for the annual prizes given in his name. But were it not for his confused but effective will, we might remember him as the inventor of dynamite, who grew rich inventing and developing lethal explosives.


August 13, 2015

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

330px-CharlesRichter

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.


July 29, 2015

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 16, 2015

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.


May 5, 2015

Documents that Changed the World: The Exaltation of Inanna, 2300 BCE

The disk of Enheduanna shows the high priestess making an offering to her god.

In the latest installment of his Documents that Changed the World podcast series, Joe Janes looks back more than 4,000 years at the Exaltation of Inanna, and what might be the first-ever claim of authorship.


February 2, 2015

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

RosietheRiveter

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.


October 14, 2014

Documents that Changed the World: Joseph McCarthy’s ‘list,’ 1950

Wisconsin Sen. Joseph McCarthy, right, holds forth at the Senate Subcommittee on Investigations' McCarthy-Army hearings on June 9, 1954. At left is Joseph Welch, chief senate counsel representing the United States Army.

Sometimes a document can be devastating — can ruin lives and change history — even if it doesn’t really exist.


September 9, 2014

Documents that Changed the World: The Star Spangled Banner turns 200

The flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write what would become "The Star Spangled Banner," shown on display at the Smithsonian's National Museum of History and Technology, around 1964. Many pieces were cut off the flag and given away as souvenirs early during its history. A linen backing, attached in 1914, shows the original extent of the flag.

Information School Professor Joe Janes takes a look at “The Star Spangled Banner” for his Documents that Changed the World series.


July 8, 2014

Documents that Changed the World: Rules of Association Football (soccer), 1863

Old-Carthusians-v-Preston-006

Joe Janes explores the rules of “an ancient and sometimes dangerous game, now generally regarded as the most popular sport in the world.”


June 10, 2014

Students mine history for their own Documents that Changed the World installment

Joseph Janes, associate professor in the Information School, is starting a new podcast series called Documents That Changed the World.

Undergraduates working with University of Washington Information School Professor Joe Janes looked to American and European history for their own installments of Janes’ podcast series, Documents that Changed the World.


May 8, 2014

Documents that Changed the World: Airline ‘black box’ flight data recorder, 1958

David Warren, with his prototype of a flight data recorder.

Recent headlines sadly explain why Joe Janes chose the latest installment in his Documents that Changed the World podcast series — he’s writing about airline flight data recorders, or “black boxes.”



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