UW Today

The latest news from the UW


April 18, 2016

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.

Arts Roundup: Anoushka Shankar, Creole Carnival – and the New Burke Community Open House

UW World Series takes center stage this week with three events: dance-theater ensemble Jane Comfort & Company, world-renowned sitar player Anoushka Shankar, and GlobalFEST: Creole Carnival. Learn about the Burke Museum’s renovation plans at a community open house, see an exhibition by School of Art + Art History + Design graduating honors students, or take…

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UW-led field project watching clouds from a remote island off Antarctica

From a tiny island halfway between New Zealand and Antarctica, scientists hope to learn more about the physics of clouds above the stormy, inhospitable Southern Ocean.

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Marine preserve to help penguins in a ‘predictably unpredictable’ place

New regulations by the government of Ecuador to protect the waters around the Galapagos Islands as a marine preserve, including main feeding areas for Galapagos penguins.

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April 5, 2016

UW joins public-private partnership for flexible electronics

The University of Washington has joined NextFlex, a consortium of 30 academic institutions and industrial partners to develop the next generation of flexible electronic devices. As a founding member of this alliance, the UW will seek local and regional partners in the electronics and manufacturing industries to develop and produce flexible electronics for applications from…

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April 4, 2016

Scientists recommend immediate plan to combat changes to West Coast seawater chemistry

Global carbon dioxide emissions are triggering troubling changes to ocean chemistry along the West Coast that require immediate, decisive actions to combat through a coordinated regional approach, a panel of scientific experts has unanimously concluded.

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The Twittersphere does listen to the voice of reason — sometimes

In the maelstrom of information, opinion and conjecture that is Twitter, the voice of truth and reason does occasionally prevail, according to a new study from UW researchers. Tweets from “official accounts” — the government agencies, emergency responders, media or companies at the center of a fast-moving story — can slow the spread of rumors on Twitter and correct misinformation that’s taken on a life of its own.

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Bilingual baby brains show increased activity in executive function regions

Many brain studies show that bilingual adults have more activity in areas associated with executive function, a set of mental abilities that includes problem-solving, shifting attention and other desirable cognitive traits. Now new findings reveal that this bilingualism-related difference in brain activity is evident as early as 11 months of age, just as babies are…

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April 1, 2016

UW ranked among top 25 ‘Best Value Colleges’ by Forbes

The University of Washington is ranked No. 23 in the nation for best value by Forbes, according to a list released this week. The rankings are based on several factors including quality (based on the 2015 Forbes Top Colleges ranking), drop-out risk, average time to graduate, tuition and post-graduation salaries and skills. The magazine said the top colleges are “mostly…

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Interdisciplinary conference April 8 to study sights, sounds of ‘difference’

What do scholars and academics mean when they talk about “difference”? The University of Washington Simpson Center for the Humanities and Center for Communication, Difference & Equity will hold an interdisciplinary daylong conference April 8 to study such questions, focusing in particular on how difference looks and sounds.

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To be sustainable, conservation needs to consider the human factor

The authors of a new paper in Science propose a set of social indicators that can be used to gauge how ecosystem management affects four essential factors in human lives: well-being, values, the ability to act purposefully and inequality. Considering such indicators, they note, serves not only to describe what exists but to define what is important in setting sustainability goals.

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Global ocean fish populations could increase while providing more food, income

Most of the world’s wild fisheries could be at healthy levels in just 10 years, and global fish populations could greatly increase by 2050 with better fishing approaches, according to a new study co-authored by University of Washington researchers.

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March 31, 2016

UW, gun-rights groups come together in new law to prevent suicide

After her husband ended his life with a bullet in 2011, Jennifer Stuber went to the two Washington stores where he had bought guns to talk with the owners about suicide prevention. That bold move by Stuber, an associate professor at the University of Washington School of Social Work, eventually led to the passage of…

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March 30, 2016

Arts Roundup: People Sitting in Darkness, Production Design – and Digital Music in 3-D

The School of Drama kicks off spring quarter with a public play reading and exhibition of MFA production design work. Experience digital music in 3D with DXARTS, explore the passage of time at the Henry Art Gallery or contemplate notions of female attractiveness with a UW World Series dance-theater performance at Meany Hall. People Sitting…

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Tracking ‘marine heatwaves’ since 1950 – and how the ‘blob’ stacks up

A tally of Northern Hemisphere marine heatwaves since 1950 shows that prolonged warm periods have recurred regularly in the past, but are being pushed into new territory by climate change.

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March 29, 2016

UW to create new real estate minor with gift from Windermere Real Estate founder John Jacobi

The University of Washington will create an undergraduate minor in real estate studies thanks to a $5.4 million gift from retired Windermere Real Estate founder John Jacobi and his wife, Rosalind. The Jacobis’ gift will also support two new endowed faculty chairs at the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies in the UW’s College of Built Environments.

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March 25, 2016

Geology and art connect at UW light rail station

Alison Duvall talks about the geology of the UW light rail station in a narration to accompany the station’s art installation, which was created by UW alumnus Leo Saul Berk.

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Arboretum trail project underway will expand public access

Construction started this month on the Washington Park Arboretum’s new Arboretum Loop Trail, one of the largest improvement projects to date in the Seattle public garden.

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March 24, 2016

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

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.

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March 23, 2016

President’s statement on recent student death

The following is a statement from University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce on the recent death of student Katy Straalsund.

March 22, 2016

Rebecca Thorpe’s book ‘American Warfare State’ honored

UW political scientist Rebecca Thorpe’s book “The American Warfare State: The Domestic Politics of Military Spending,” has been honored by the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation — the second award the well-received book has earned.

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March 21, 2016

Better safe than sorry: Babies make quick judgments about adults’ anger

Adults often form fast opinions about each other’s personalities, especially when it comes to negative traits. If we see someone argue with another driver over a parking space, for instance, we may assume that person tends to be confrontational. Two new research studies with hundreds of 15-month-old infants demonstrate that babies form similar generalizations about…

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March 17, 2016

Galapagos lakes reveal tropical Pacific climate since Biblical times

University of Washington oceanographers track 2,000 years of El Niño history, showing that it can shift in strength for centuries at a time.

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March 16, 2016

Arts Roundup: Pianist Jeremy Denk, Grupo Corpo – and White Snow Wood Sculptures

UW World Series presents three events at Meany Hall this week: the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, pianist Jeremy Denk and Brazilian dance company Grupo Corpo. Visit the Henry Art Gallery to see its newest exhibition, “Paul McCarthy: White Snow Wood Sculptures,” or catch one of the last performances of the School of Drama’s…

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New technique tracks ‘heartbeat’ of hundreds of wetlands

UW researchers have developed a new method to track how wetlands in Eastern Washington behave seasonally, which will also help monitor how they change as the climate warms.

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March 15, 2016

Medicine, nursing programs top national rankings; dozens more UW programs highly rated

For the 22nd time in the past 23 years, the University of Washington ranked as the No. 1 primary care medical school in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2017 Best Graduate School rankings released Tuesday. The rural medicine and family medicine programs have also led the nation since those rankings began in 1992. In a…

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Smartwatches can now track your finger in mid-air using sonar

A new sonar technology developed by University of Washington computer scientists and electrical engineers allows you to interact with mobile devices and smartwatch screens by writing or gesturing on any nearby surface — a tabletop, a sheet of paper or even in mid-air.

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