UW Today

The latest news from the UW


June 24, 2016

UW’s Clean Energy Institute to participate in national smart manufacturing initiative

The University of Washington’s Clean Energy Institute will partner with regional industry and academic institutions as part of the new Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute, according to an announcement June 20 by the White House.

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June 23, 2016

UW is top producer of earth and environment research

The University of Washington published the most earth and environmental science research last year, outpacing all other universities worldwide, according to a new report from Nature Index.

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Law student David Camps is the first Cuban to attend UW in half a century

In the fall of 2014, Cuban tour guide David Camps led a group from the University of Washington on a serendipitous bus tour around his native country. The group seemed to ask a lot of questions, but Camps — a former attorney and top diplomat turned tour guide — thought little of it; clients were often curious about…

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How well do facial recognition algorithms cope with a million strangers?

University of Washington computer scientists have launched the “MegaFace Challenge,” the world’s first competition aimed at evaluating and improving the performance of face recognition algorithms at the million person scale.

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June 22, 2016

Ocean forecast offers seasonal outlook for Pacific Northwest waters

A new study evaluates the performance of a seasonal forecast, developed by researchers at the UW and NOAA, that predicts conditions over the coming months in the Pacific Northwest marine environment.

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Harry Bridges Labor Center report explores effects of job outsourcing at Portland International Airport

The outsourcing of workers at Portland International Airport has increased in recent years while those workers serve ever-more passengers and their wages remain low, according to a recent report from the UW’s Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies.

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June 21, 2016

UW-led team awarded $1M bioelectronics innovation prize

An international team led by researchers at the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering (CSNE) based at the University of Washington is one of three finalists in a race to produce an implantable wireless device that can assess, stimulate and block the activity of nerves that control organs.

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Q&A: Essayist Elissa Washuta on being the Fremont Bridge’s first writer-in-residence, another recent award and her upcoming book

The year’s not quite yet half over, but it’s already been an auspicious one for Elissa Washuta. The University of Washington graduate and author of two books, “Starvation Mode” and “My Body is a Book of Rules,” is one of two recipients of the Artist Trust 2016 Arts Innovator Awards, which come with $25,000 in…

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June 16, 2016

Former UW administrator Jack Keating dies

John P. (Jack) Keating, former University of Washington psychology professor, dean of the UW branch campuses and vice provost at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, died May 10 in Palm Springs, California. He is being remembered by colleagues as a dedicated and engaging teacher, strong researcher and inspired administrator. A San Francisco native and former…

UW’s large research vessel, R/V Thomas G. Thompson, gets a midlife overhaul

The R/V Thomas G. Thompson, the 274-foot-long research vessel operated by the University of Washington, has spent 25 years carrying researchers, students and teachers out to sea. The ship has collected material from the bottom of the deepest ocean trenches and braved storms near Antarctica. This week, the ship will begin a yearlong stay in…

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June 15, 2016

Evans School’s Justin Marlowe addresses public-private partnerships in third financial guide

Public-private partnerships can be important financing tools, but public officials overseeing them must understand the risks well, says the Evans School’s Justin Marlowe, author of a multivolume Guide to Financial Literacy.

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Adam Summers advises Pixar on fish movements in new ‘Finding Dory’ film

University of Washington fish biomechanist Adam Summers advised Pixar on animal movement for the animation company’s second movie about life under the sea.

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Falling fish catches could mean malnutrition in the developing world

The world won’t be able to fish its way to feeding 10 billion people by midcentury, but a shift in management practices could save hundreds of millions of fish-dependent poor from malnutrition, according to a new analysis by researchers at Harvard, the University of Washington and other universities.

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‘Bright spots’ shine light on the future of coral reefs

Researchers have discovered a handful of “bright spots” among the world’s embattled coral reefs, offering the promise of a radical new approach to conservation.

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June 13, 2016

Arc volcano releases mix of material from Earth’s mantle and crust

Rock from a common type of volcano shows surprising evidence of the descending tectonic plate. Analyses show that magnesium atoms are somehow drawn out of the crust, deep below the surface.

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Eastern U.S. needs ‘connectivity’ to help species escape climate change

A new study has found that only 2 percent of the eastern U.S. provides the kind of climate connectivity required by species that will likely need to migrate, compared to 51 percent of the western U.S.

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Success in second language learning linked to genetic and brain measures

A new study by researchers at the University of Washington shows that the final grades that college students received in a second-language class were predicted by a combination of genetic and brain factors.

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June 10, 2016

Jackson School Space Security Initiative capstone event gathers students, area stakeholders

What are the policies of global rising powers regarding the use of orbital and outer space, and what are the implications of those policies for international cooperation? A capstone event for junior fellows of the Jackson School’s Space Security Initiative explored such questions in a recently with space industry, media and government representatives also on hand.

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June 9, 2016

2016 Awards of Excellence recognize campus, community contributions

The University of Washington recognized and honored faculty, staff, students and alumni for their passion and dedication to the UW, the local community, the state and the world. The 46th-annual Awards of Excellence ceremony took place at Meany Hall on Thursday, June 9, 2016.

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Jerry Franklin named 2016’s ‘Eminent Ecologist’ by leading ecological group

The Ecological Society of America has named University of Washington professor Jerry Franklin its “Eminent Ecologist” of 2016. The award, considered the organization’s most prestigious accolade, honors a senior ecologist who has made significant, long-standing contributions to the field of ecology.

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June 8, 2016

Arts Roundup: ArtVenture, Wild Nearby – and Design Graduation Exhibition

Spring quarter is drawing to a close, but there are still plenty of arts events on campus. Swing by the Henry Art Gallery to see giant wood sculptures by Paul McCarthy and artwork by the 2016 graduating class of MFA and MDes students — or bring the whole family for an ArtVenture. Explore the beauty…

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US Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell to speak at UW’s 141st Commencement Saturday

More than 5,600 graduates, along with 40,000-plus family members, friends, faculty and other observers, are expected to attend the 141st University of Washington commencement ceremonies June 11 at Husky Stadium. UW President Ana Mari Cauce will preside as more than 12,500 degrees are conferred, including more than 7,700 bachelor’s degrees, more than 3,500 master’s degrees, more than 500…

Harry Partch instruments, now at UW, featured on new Paul Simon album

Singer-songwriter Paul Simon recorded with instruments created by composer and inventor for a song on his well-received album, “Stranger to Stranger.” The instruments are now in residence at the UW.

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June 6, 2016

See, hear and study the deep sea: Ocean Observatories Initiative data now live

Data is now streaming from the deep sea, thanks to an observatory installed in this region by the University of Washington as part of a larger National Science Foundation initiative to usher in a new age of oceanographic research.

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June 3, 2016

Q&A: Peter Kahn on nature interaction, wildness in cities

University of Washington professor Peter Kahn recently co-authored an opinion piece in the journal Science about the importance of interacting with nature in urban areas. UW Today asked Kahn a few more questions about the broader implications of his work.

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Finding connections to nature in cities is key to healthy urban living

The authors of a Science perspective piece discuss the growing tension between an arguably necessary role urban areas play in society and the numbing, even debilitating, aspects of cities that disconnect humans from the natural world.

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June 2, 2016

Art, design — and a ‘coffin-cradle’ for storytelling: Graduate student work intrigues at annual Henry Art Gallery show

A look at the annual exhibit of thesis work by students graduating from the UW School of Art + Art History + Design’s Master of Fine Arts and Master of Design programs, on display at the Henry Art Gallery.

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June 1, 2016

UW researchers attend sea ice conference — above the Arctic Circle

University of Washington polar scientists are on Alaska’s North Slope this week for the 2016 Barrow Sea Ice Camp. Supported by the National Science Foundation, the event brings together U.S.-based sea ice observers, satellite experts and modelers at various career stages to collect data and discuss issues related to measuring and modeling sea ice. The…

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Arts Roundup: IMPFest, Counterculture Comics – and Skies Over Seattle

UW Drama wraps up the 2015-2016 season with “Skies Over Seattle,” and UW Symphony gives its last performance of the year. Hear the music of Indonesia at Meany Theater, or explore jazz and improvised music at IMPFest. Visit the Henry Art Gallery for a workshop about counterculture comics. Ade Suparman & Sundanese Music of Indonesia…

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UW to host June 14 conference on marijuana policy

City and state officials, entrepreneurs, attorneys and others will come together June 14 for a daylong conference at the University of Washington on the future of marijuana policy in the state. The event, co-hosted by the Cannabis Law and Policy Project and UW Professional & Continuing Education, will be held at the UW School of…

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May 31, 2016

Gov. Inslee appoints UW undergrad Austin Wright-Pettibone as new student regent

Gov. Jay Inslee named Austin Wright-Pettibone as the next student member of the University of Washington Board of Regents for the 2016-17 school year. Wright-Pettibone, a Kirkland native, is an undergraduate studying chemical engineering and becomes the first undergraduate since 2008 to be selected as the UW’s student regent. He graduated from Inglemoor High School in…

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Q&A: CLPP’s Sam Méndez on Washington’s pot industry, why outdoor grows make sense and how marijuana is becoming like wine

The Cannabis Law and Policy Project, based in the University of Washington School of Law, was formed by professor Sean O’Connor in fall 2014 to be a center for researching regulatory issues around the state’s new legal cannabis industry. The group recently published its first report for the Washington state Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB),…

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Tiny probe could produce big improvements in batteries and fuel cells

A team led by University of Washington engineers has developed a new tool that could aid in the quest for better batteries and fuel cells. Although battery technology has come a long way since Alessandro Volta first stacked metal discs in a “voltaic pile” to generate electricity, major improvements are still needed to meet the…

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May 30, 2016

Deep, old water explains why Antarctic Ocean hasn’t warmed

The waters surrounding Antarctica may be one of the last places on Earth to experience human-driven climate change, because of its unique ocean currents.

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May 27, 2016

UW researchers illuminate ways to heal defects in solar cells

Electrical energy fuels our modern lives, from the computer screen that keeps us up after sunset to the coffee maker that greets us at sunrise. But the electricity underlying our 21st century world, by and large, is generated at a cost — through the unsustainable expenditure of fossil fuels. For decades this demand for cheap,…

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May 26, 2016

‘In Utero’ documentary featuring UW maternal-health expert screens May 31

When Amelia Gavin got an email two years ago asking if she’d be willing to be interviewed for a new documentary, she was skeptical — but immediately recognized the name the producer mentioned. “It was Gyllenhaal. I thought, well, could it be?” recalled Gavin, a UW associate professor of social work. Indeed it was. “In…

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

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.

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Ray Hilborn receives international fisheries science prize

Ray Hilborn, a UW professor of aquatic and fishery sciences, this week will receive the 2016 International Fisheries Science Prize at the World Fisheries Congress in Busan, South Korea.

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May 25, 2016

UW, NOAA deploy ocean robot to monitor harmful algal blooms off Washington coast

Oceanographers from the UW and NOAA deployed a new tool that will automatically test for harmful algal blooms and help warn of when they could hit local beaches.

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Arts Roundup: Mallethead Series, UW Sings – and MFA + MDes Exhibition Opening Party

Celebrate the work of graduating MFA and MDes students from the School of Art + Art History + Design at their annual Thesis Exhibition party. Catch performances by a host of music ensembles, including Studio Jazz Ensemble, Modern Band, University Singers, UW Women’s Choir and Men’s Glee Club. See the final Mallethead Series performance of…

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