UW Today

The latest news from the UW

June 13, 2016

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.


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.


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.


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.


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…


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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…


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…


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…


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…


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),…


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…


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.


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,…


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…


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.


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.


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.


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…


May 24, 2016

Jennifer Cohen appointed athletic director at the UW

UW President Ana Mari Cauce announced Tuesday that after a four-month national search, Jennifer Cohen, senior associate athletic director at the University of Washington, who has been serving as the interim athletic director since January, has been named the UW’s new athletic director, effective June 1. “I am very pleased to announce Jen’s appointment,” said…

UW experts develop first method for including migration uncertainty in population projections

Statisticians at the University of Washington have developed the first model for projecting population that factors in the vagaries of migration, a slippery issue that has bedeviled demographers for decades. Their work, published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, also provides population projections for all countries worldwide — and…


Chickens on campus and a mood shift at EPA: Relevant projects are nature of environmental studies capstone

A cohort of UW Environmental Studies majors will present projects and research findings at at symposium from 1:30-5:30 p.m. May 25 at Alder Hall and Wallace Hall.


May 23, 2016

Study shows disparities in treatment for children with traumatic brain injuries

Children who suffer traumatic brain injuries can face a difficult road to recovery, requiring services such as physical therapy and mental health treatment for months or years to get their young lives back on track. When those children come from low-income households with limited English proficiency, there can be significant barriers in getting them the…


May 20, 2016

Lingcod meet rockfish: Catching one improves chances for the other

In a new study, scientists found that selectively fishing for lingcod in protected areas actually avoided hampering the recovery of other fish, including rockfish species listed as overfished.


Jerry Baldasty named provost at UW, following 14 months as interim provost

University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce today named Jerry Baldasty provost and executive vice president, following a 14-month term as interim provost. The appointment is to a three-year term, effective June 1, 2016, subject to approval by the Board of Regents. “Jerry’s excellence as a scholar and teacher, as well as a seasoned administrative…


Bacteria in branches naturally fertilize trees

A University of Washington team has demonstrated that poplar trees growing in rocky, inhospitable terrain harbor bacteria within them that could provide valuable nutrients to help the plant grow.


May 19, 2016

Burke Museum breaks ground on new building for Washington state museum

More than 500 people gathered May 18 on the University of Washington campus to celebrate the start of construction on the New Burke Museum. The Burke is Washington’s oldest museum and since 1899 has been the State Museum of Natural History and Culture; soon it will be Washington’s newest museum. Opening in 2019, the New…


Rickey L. Hall named vice president for the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity and chief diversity officer at the UW

University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce and Interim Provost Jerry Baldasty announced today the selection of Rickey L. Hall as the new vice president for the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity and Chief Diversity Officer, effective Aug. 1, 2016.

Historical role of translation studied in new book ‘Translation’s Forgotten History’

“Translation’s Forgotten History: Russian Literature, Japanese Mediation, and the Formation of Modern Korean Literature” by Heekyoung Cho, UW assistant professor of Asian languages and literature, explores the role of translation in the making of modern literature, and how its understanding changes when viewed through the lens of translation.


Appeal of ‘genetic puzzles’ leads to National Medal of Science for UW’s Mary-Claire King

In a White House ceremony May 19, President Barack Obama presented the National Medal of Science to Mary-Claire King, University of Washington professor of genome sciences and medicine. The award, the nation’s highest recognition for scientific achievement, honors King’s more than 40 years dedicated to research in evolution and the genetics of human disease, as well as to teaching and outreach endeavors that have supported human rights efforts on six continents and reunited families.


UW to host first of four White House public workshops on artificial intelligence

From self-driving vehicles to social robots, artificial intelligence is evolving at a rapid pace, creating vast opportunities as well as complex challenges. Recognizing that, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy is co-hosting four public workshops on artificial intelligence — the first of them May 24 at the University of Washington. Subsequent events…


Poet Alice Fulton to give 53rd annual Roethke Reading May 27

Poet and author Alice Fulton will give the 53rd annual Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Reading at 8 p.m. Friday, May 27, in Room 130 of Kane Hall, also known as the Roethke Auditorium. The event is free and the public is invited.


Using static electricity, insect-sized flying robots can land and stick to surfaces

A new study co-authored by a University of Washington mechanical engineer demonstrates how flying insect-sized robots can land and stick to surfaces, which conserves energy and extends flight times.


Will more snow over Antarctica offset rising seas? Don’t count on it

Heavier snowfall over Antarctica was supposed to be one of the few brakes on sea-level rise in a warming world. But that prediction is not reliable, says a new study of Antarctic snowfall over the past 31,000 years.


May 18, 2016

Arts Roundup: Graduation Exhibitions, Gluck’s ‘Orphée’ …And Hilarity Ensues…

This week in the arts, the School of Music takes center stage with performances by the UW Gospel Choir and Modern Music Ensemble, and a production of Gluck’s Baroque opera, Orphée. The Dance Program presents its annual MFA Dance Concert, and the School of Drama opens its latest production at the Penthouse Theater. The School…

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