UW Today

The latest news from the UW


May 9, 2016

This five-fingered robot hand learns to get a grip on its own

A University of Washington team of computer science and engineering researchers has built a robot hand that can not only perform dexterous manipulation – one of the most difficult problems in robotics – but also learn from its own experience.

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Early Earth’s air weighed less than half of today’s atmosphere

The idea that the young Earth had a thicker atmosphere turns out to be wrong. New research from the University of Washington uses bubbles trapped in 2.7 billion-year-old rocks to show that air at that time exerted at most half the pressure of today’s atmosphere. The results, published online May 9 in Nature Geoscience, reverse…

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May 6, 2016

Academics, artists collaborate on UW book arts exhibit ‘Just One Look’

Thirty-two colorful and creative artist books on display as part of the exhibit “Just One Look,” in University of Washington Libraries’ Special Collections department, in Allen Library. The exhibit co-curated by UW alumna Lauren Dudley with Sandra Kroupa, UW book arts and rare book curator.

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May 5, 2016

Two-minute warnings make kids’ ‘screen time’ tantrums worse

Giving young children a two-minute warning that “screen time” is about to end makes transitions away from tablets, phones, televisions and other technological devices more painful, a new University of Washington study has found.

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May 4, 2016

Arts Roundup: School of Music Scholarship Recital, ArtVentures – and Native Art Market

This week in the arts, see the world-renowned Martha Graham Dance Company perform at Meany Hall and witness the talent of the next generation at the 2016 School of Music Scholarship Recital. Explore production design at a UW Drama exhibition, take an ArtVenture at the Henry Art Gallery and shop for Native American art at…

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Urban planning symposium May 5 addresses ‘The Future City’

What possible future scenarios lie ahead for urban design, and how will big data and new technologies affect science and decision-making? The UW Graduate School’s Interdisciplinary PhD Program in Urban Design and Planning will tackle such questions in a daylong symposium May 5.

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May 3, 2016

Dennis L. Hartmann elected to National Academy of Sciences

Dennis Hartmann, a UW professor of atmospheric sciences, was elected as a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

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May 2, 2016

UW-led team wins $10M EPA grant for air pollution research

To help address the nation’s pressing need for better air quality, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded a research team co-led by a University of Washington civil engineer a $10 million Air, Climate and Energy (ACE) grant.

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New health sensing tool measures lung function over a phone call, from anywhere in the world

University of Washington researchers have developed SpiroCall, a new health sensing tool that can accurately measure lung function from anywhere in the world over a simple phone call.

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April 29, 2016

UW professor helps TV star Lea Michele discover her Sephardic heritage

The upcoming season finale of TLC’s popular program “Who Do You Think You Are,” airing May 1, will feature UW professor Devin Naar helping television star Lea Michele learn about her Sephardic Jewish ancestry.

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New UW program aims to create ‘brotherhood’ for male students of color

For some young men of color, college might seem a world away. To an African-American boy growing up in poverty, a Latino son of migrant farmworkers or a young Native American man living on a remote reservation, the path to post-secondary education can be hard to visualize. And once on campus, the reality can be…

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Architecture professor Jeffrey Ochsner featured in young filmmaker’s Gum Wall documentary screening May 1

When 8-year-old filmmaker Celia Jensen and her dad decided to make a film about Seattle’s Gum Wall, Jeffrey Ochsner, professor of architecture and associate dean for academic affairs in the UW College of Built Environments, was happy to help.

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April 28, 2016

Wolf hunting near Denali, Yellowstone cuts wolf sightings in half

Visitors to national parks are half as likely to see wolves in their natural habitat when wolf hunting is permitted just outside park boundaries, according to a new study.

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Sir? Caballero? Anthony Geist awarded knighthood by Spain

Anthony Geist, professor of Spanish and Portuguese Studies, has been awarded one of Spain’s highest civil honors — a knighthood.

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April 27, 2016

Arts Roundup: 3D4M Graduation Exhibition, Daedalus Quartet – and the Martha Graham Dance Company

UW World Series presents its final two performances of the school year: Daedalus Quartet and the Martha Graham Dance Company. Graduating students from the School of Art + Art History + Design’s 3D4M program showcase their works at the Jacob Lawrence Gallery, and the UW Dance Program and the Henry Art Gallery collaborate in a…

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‘Walk-DMC’ aims to improve surgery outcomes for children with cerebral palsy

A UW mechanical engineer has developed a new assessment of motor control in children with cerebral palsy called Walk-DMC, which could help predict which patients are — or are not — likely to benefit from invasive surgical interventions.

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April 25, 2016

Music improves baby brain responses to music and speech

Rock your baby in sync with music and you may wonder how the experience affects her and her developing brain. A new study by scientists at the University of Washington’s Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS) shows that a series of play sessions with music improved 9-month-old babies’ brain processing of both music and…

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April 21, 2016

UW’s Jerry Franklin honored for lifetime of forest research, policy

Jerry Franklin, a professor of environmental and forest sciences, was honored by the Pinchot Institute for Conservation for his lifelong work in forest ecology, conservation and policy.

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April 20, 2016

Cash in the trash: Interactive composting, recycling station shows savings in real time

An interactive recycling and composting station installed this spring at PACCAR Hall is showing the University of Washington community exactly how much money can be saved by composting and recycling correctly. And it seems to be doing its job well.

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4 UW professors elected as fellows in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Four University of Washington professors join 172 other academics as newly elected fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the group announced Wednesday.

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Arts Roundup: The Music of Harry Partch, Force Continuum – and Arty Party

This week in the arts, UW Drama opens their production of Force Continuum, and the School of Music presents two visiting artists: mezzo-soprano Michaela Martens and chamber ensemble Decoda. You can also hear the groundbreaking music of Harry Partch or attend the Henry Art Gallery’s annual Arty Party. Directions for a Cloud-Crowd 7 p.m., April…

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UW experts call Paris climate agreement ‘bold,’ ‘encouraging’

As the U.S., China and other countries sign the Paris Agreement to reduce emissions and limit climate change, UW experts talk about the possibilities and risks in what could be a turning point for global economies.

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April 19, 2016

‘Shakespeare, Music, and Memory’ April 29 is colloquium, concert

A daylong colloquium, “Shakespeare, Music and Memory” will bring scholars and musicians to the University of Washington campus April 29 for lectures ending with a concert of Shakespeare-themed songs by the School of Music’s Collegium Musicum ensemble. The free events were organized by JoAnn Taricani, associate professor and chair of the School of Music‘s Division…

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States with punitive justice systems have higher rates of foster care, study finds

The number of children in foster care across the country is driven not solely by child abuse and neglect, but by states’ varying politics and approaches to social problems, a new University of Washington study finds. States with more punitive criminal justice systems tend to remove children from their homes far more frequently than those…

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April 18, 2016

Board of Regents approves first University of Washington master’s program through Global Innovation Exchange

The University of Washington Board of Regents has approved the Master of Science in Technology Innovation degree, a 60-credit interdisciplinary program developed by the Global Innovation Exchange.

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Early analysis of Seattle’s $15 wage law: Effect on prices minimal one year after implementation

Most Seattle employers in a UW-led study said in 2015 they expected to raise prices on goods and services to compensate for the city’s new $15 per hour minimum wage law — but a year after implementation such increases are not in evidence.

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First Salish Sea-wide shoreline armoring study shows cumulative effects on ecosystem

A new University of Washington study shows that impacts associated with shoreline armoring can scale up to have cumulative, large-scale effects on the characteristics of Salish Sea shorelines and the diversity of life they support.

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UW to study link between recession-related stress and health in older Americans

The Great Recession devastated millions of Americans financially — but what impacts did that economic stress have on their physical and mental well-being? Gillian Marshall, an assistant professor of social work at the University of Washington Tacoma, wants to answer that question. Marshall was awarded a five-year, $654,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health…

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April 14, 2016

Author, reporter Lynda V. Mapes discusses year with 100-year-old ‘Witness Tree’ in April 21 talk

Local author and Seattle Times reporter Lynda V. Mapes is the featured speaker in this year’s School of Environmental and Forest Sciences annual Sustaining Our World Lecture, 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday, April 21.

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Scientists crack secrets of the monarch butterfly’s internal compass

Each fall, monarch butterflies across Canada and the United States turn their orange, black and white-mottled wings toward the Rio Grande and migrate over 2,000 miles to the relative warmth of central Mexico. This journey, repeated instinctively by generations of monarchs, continues even as monarch numbers have plummeted due to loss of their sole larval food…

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April 13, 2016

Arts Roundup: Violinist Gil Shaham, Pianist Murray Perahia – and the Kollar American Art Lecture

Visit Meany Hall this week for the chance to hear two world-renowned classical musicians – violinist Gil Shaham and pianist Murray Perahia – each perform solo recitals. Join the UW Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band for an exploration of music by French composers, or catch lectures by artist Buster Simpson and art historian Susan P….

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Sally Jewell, U.S. Secretary of the Interior, to be UW’s 2016 commencement speaker

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, a 1978 graduate of the UW and a former member of the UW Board of Regents, will be the featured speaker at the University of Washington’s Commencement exercises Saturday, June 11.

UW study aimed at users of both marijuana and tobacco

If you’re looking to give up marijuana and possibly cigarettes as well, a group of researchers at the University of Washington would like to hear from you. The Innovative Programs Research Group, an organization in the UW School of Social Work, is recruiting people 18 and older for a free marijuana and tobacco treatment trial….

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April 12, 2016

UW undergrads to present at national science festivals in D.C.

Two national celebrations of science are happening this week in D.C., and University of Washington undergraduates will be in the spotlight at both events. Clara Orndorff, a pre-engineering undergraduate in the UW Honors Program, will travel with two fellow underwater roboticists to compete in Wednesday’s White House Science Fair. She will be among more than 100…

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UW undergraduate team wins $10,000 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize for gloves that translate sign language

Two University of Washington undergraduates have won a $10,000 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize for their “SignAloud” invention — gloves that can translate American Sign Language into text or speech.

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April 10, 2016

Shakespeare at 400: Drama’s Andrew Tsao on teaching The Bard to new generations

Introducing new generations of students to Shakespeare might be less daunting if begun with study of a single, intriguing line, said Andrew Tsao, UW associate professor of drama, at recent workshop for educators on the First Folio at the Seattle Public Library. The First Folio is the common name for a 1623 volume formally titled…

April 8, 2016

UW law students lay groundwork for new state privacy office

University of Washington law students played a key role in a law passed last week that aims to better protect privacy and monitor data collection by agencies in the state. House Bill 2875, signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee April 1, establishes the state Office of Privacy and Data Protection. The office will examine…

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UW-led research team wins $7.5M MURI grant to defend against advanced cyberattacks

A University of Washington-led research team has won a $7.5 million, five-year Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) grant from the Department of Defense to better model and mount defenses against stealthy, continuous computer hacking attacks known as “advanced persistent threats.”

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April 7, 2016

UW team stores digital images in DNA — and retrieves them perfectly

University of Washington and Microsoft researchers have developed one of the first complete systems to store digital data in DNA — allowing one to store data that today would fill a Walmart supercenter in a space the size of a sugar cube.

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April 6, 2016

3 University of Washington professors recognized by Guggenheim Foundation

Three University of Washington professors are among the 178 scholars, artists, and scientists from the U.S. and Canada recognized this year by the Guggenheim Foundation.

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