UW Today

The latest news from the UW


February 2, 2016

UW awarded private, public grants to develop earthquake early warning tool

The UW is among West Coast universities awarded new funding to further develop ShakeAlert, an earthquake early warning system for the region.

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Reflections on the habitability of — Planet Earth

We know the Earth is habitable because — well, here we are. But would it look like a good candidate for life from hundreds of light-years away?

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Risk of lead poisoning from urban gardening is low, new study finds

A University of Washington study looked at potential risks associated with growing vegetables in urban gardens and determined that the benefits of locally produced vegetables in cities outweigh any risks from gardening in contaminated soils.

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February 1, 2016

UW seismologist speaking at White House earthquake preparedness summit

UW seismologist John Vidale will participate in a White House summit focusing on national earthquake preparedness.

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UW hosts daylong public ‘teach-in’ on mass incarceration

The acclaimed 2012 book “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” is the foundation for a daylong “teach-in” at the University of Washington Feb. 9. The event is titled “Perpetual Displacement and Bondage: Understanding Historical and Contemporary Intersections of Mass Incarceration, Racism, and Health.” It’s free and open to the public,…

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‘Vertical dance’ on Meany Hall will celebrate UW World Series retrospective of choreographer Trisha Brown

A UW dance faculty member will walk down the side of Meany Hall on Friday, Feb. 5, performing a dance piece titled “Man Walking Down the Side of a Building” by famed choreographer Trisha Brown, a retrospective of whose work is being performed Feb. 4-6 on the Meany stage.

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January 29, 2016

Moon’s tidal forces affect amount of rainfall on Earth

Satellite data show that the moon’s gravity puts a slight damper on rainfall on Earth.

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January 28, 2016

Study shows U.S. has greater link between low birth weight and inequality

Health disparities are common in developed countries, including the U.S., but at what age those inequities take root and how they vary between countries is less clear. New research from the University of Washington compares the link between income, education and low birth weight in the United States with those in three comparable countries: the…

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Iowa caucuses: Expectations can trump votes, but will Trump meet expectations?

In the Iowa caucuses, expectations are nearly as important as votes and front-runners must watch their backs, say University of Washington professors who are closely watching this year’s presidential race. The 2016 Iowa caucuses will be held Monday, Feb. 1, pitting Democratic leader Hillary Clinton against Sen. Bernie Sanders and Gov. Martin O’Malley and Republican…

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January 27, 2016

Arts Roundup: Visual Art, So Percussion – and ‘The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee’

From art exhibitions to musical theater, dance and percussion – there is an arts event to catch your attention this week. Join John Knight for a lecture about contemporary art or head over to the Henry Art Gallery for an exhibition highlighting conceptions of self, beauty and individual freedom. If you are looking for a…

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January 26, 2016

Mathematical model explains huge recurring rainstorms in the tropical Indian and Pacific oceans

A new model explains the fundamental features of the Madden-Julian Oscillation, which some scientists predict will be the “next El Nino.”

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January 25, 2016

New handheld, pen-sized microscope could ID cancer cells in doctor’s offices and operating rooms

UW mechanical engineers are developing a handheld microscope to help doctors and dentists distinguish between healthy and cancerous cells in an office setting or operating room.

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January 22, 2016

UW’s Forefront backs effort to engage gun dealers and pharmacies on suicide prevention

Patty Yamashita was a vivacious, sweet, high-energy woman who balanced a career as an IT manager with a steadfast dedication to her family. She worked long hours but was always home to put dinner on the table and read a bedtime story for her children. “My mother was my hero,” said her son, David. “Usually…

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UW joins effort to rethink admissions criteria, developing new scholarship

The UW has signed on to a new report and initiative encouraging changes to the college admissions process to promote greater ethical and intellectual engagement on the part of prospective students.

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January 21, 2016

Diplomacy and danger in orbit: Saadia Pekkanen moves Jackson School toward role in discussions of space

Saadia Pekkanen, associate director of the Jackson School for International Studies, discusses the school’s growing role in the conversation about space and its ramifications for diplomacy and security.

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January 20, 2016

Arts Roundup: Musical Theater, Violist Melia Watras – and Steffani Jemison

UW’s Musical Theater program takes center stage with “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” School of Music’s Melia Watras performs a solo viola recital and the Dance Program showcases choreography by its talented faculty. Catch a free play reading through the School of Drama series Seattle Theatres Lost and Founded, and swing by the…

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Issuance of Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for Computer Science and Engineering II Project

Project Name: Computer Sciences and Engineering II Project Proponent: University of Washington Description: The project involves site selection and construction of a new 130,000 gross square foot above and below grade building to create expansion space for education and research for the computer science and engineering program. The structure will house new instructional space, undergraduate student spaces, research…

UW-designed climate change games honored this week in Washington, D.C.

Two University of Washington teams claimed top prizes in a national competition to design a game about climate adaptation.

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What’s the name of that tree? New interactive plant map for arboretum

First-time visitors and regulars to Washington Park Arboretum can now learn the names and origins of plants as well as save favorites while strolling through the grounds.

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Bluetooth and Wi-Fi sensing from mobile devices may help improve bus service

UW transportation engineers have developed an inexpensive system to sense Wi-Fi and Bluetooth signals from bus passengers’ mobile devices and collect data to build better transit systems.

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January 19, 2016

Jennifer Cohen named interim athletic director at the UW

Jennifer Cohen, senior associate athletic director at the University of Washington, has been named interim athletic director, UW President Ana Mari Cauce announced Tuesday. Cohen steps in for Scott Woodward, who announced earlier this month he would be taking a position at Texas A&M University. Cohen’s appointment is effective Feb. 1. “With her years of…

Helen Garrett named new registrar for the University of Washington

Helen Garrett has been selected as the University of Washington’s new university registrar and chief officer for enrollment information services. “Helen emerged as the top candidate from a very deep pool of applicants. Her substantial experience in enrollment management combined with her wealth of knowledge regarding data and student information services were exactly what the…

This smartphone technology 3-D maps your meal and counts its calories

A new laser mapping technology and smartphone app developed by University of Washington electrical engineers allows you to point your phone at a plate of food and get an estimate of the total calories and nutrition.

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January 15, 2016

Twenty-seven UW faculty listed among ‘world’s most influential scientific minds’ by Thomson Reuters

The University of Washington is home to 26 researchers included on Thomson Reuters’ list of “The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds” for 2015, which was released Jan. 14. The distinction, based on an analysis of over a decade of research paper citations among 21 general scientific fields, is meant to recognize scientists who are most cited by their peers.

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Public hearing notice: Jan. 26, 2016

Notice is hereby given that a public hearing will be held at Noon on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016, in Room 332 of the Husky Union Building (HUB), on the University of Washington Seattle campus.  Satellite locations will be available on the UW Bothell campus in Room UW2-307, and on the UW Tacoma campus in Room…

$2.2 million raised for UW Combined Fund Drive

The University of Washington Combined Fund Drive, the workplace giving campaign, raised a record $2,204,089 during the fall campaign. UW faculty, staff and retirees pledged to more than 1,800 nonprofits during the drive which ran Oct. 22 to Dec. 4, 2015. Each year, the UWCFD selects a featured charity, and the selection this year went to…

Salsa dance, commerce explored in Juliet McMains’ book ‘Spinning Mambo into Salsa’

Dance professor Juliet McMains discusses her book “Spinning Mambo into Salsa: Caribbean Dance in Global Commerce,” published by Oxford University Press.

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January 14, 2016

$682,000 Mellon grant to help academic publishers increase workforce diversity

The University of Washington Press, the MIT Press, Duke University Press, the University of Georgia Press, and the association of American University Presses (AAUP) join forces to create the University Press Diversity Fellowship Program.

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January 13, 2016

Arts Roundup: Dance Faculty Concert, the UW Big Band – and the Peking Acrobats

From acrobats to jazz, and from dance to thirteenth-century Japanese literature, there’s an arts event for everybody this week. Catch the UW Big Band’s January concert, visit the Penthouse Theater for a new play workshop from the School of Drama, or catch a lecture about legendary dance choreographer Trisha Brown at the Henry. Head over…

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Fewer than 1 in 25 Seattleites can really eat locally

A new University of Washington study finds that urban crops in Seattle could only feed between 1 and 4 percent of the city’s population, even if all viable backyard and public green spaces were converted to growing produce.

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Scientists solve long-standing ecological riddle

Researchers have found clear evidence that communities rich in species are substantially healthier and more productive than those depleted of species, once complicating factors are removed.

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January 12, 2016

UW computer scientists to make financial products better and more available for the poor

UW computer scientists, with a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, are launching a new research group to develop technological solutions that will make financial products more available to the lowest-income people around the world.

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January 11, 2016

Northwest winter weather: El Niño, coastal effects, no more ‘blob’

What some have called the “Godzilla El Niño” is now lumbering ashore, right on schedule. El Niño tends to influence North American weather after the first of January, and indeed, we’re seeing warm temperatures in Alaska and much-needed rain in California. University of Washington researchers are tracking what the season will deliver to the Pacific…

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New master of applied bioengineering to prepare students for translational research

In December, the University of Washington’s Department of Bioengineering began accepting applications for its newest graduate degree program, the Master of Applied Bioengineering. The one-year, full-time program begins in August, and will train students to apply engineering design and entrepreneurship skills to address unmet clinical needs and to transform biomedical research into technologies for improving health care. The degree will position graduates to respond to market-based demands of industry, medicine and translational research.

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West Coast study emphasizes challenges faced by marine organisms exposed to global change

Along the West Coast, ocean acidification and hypoxia combine with other factors, such as rising ocean temperatures, to create serious challenges for marine life, a new study finds.

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January 8, 2016

UW law school Dean Kellye Y. Testy to serve as national group president

Kellye Y. Testy, dean of the University of Washington’s law school, will give her inaugural address as president of the Association of American Law Schools tomorrow night in Washington, D.C. Testy previously served on the association‘s executive committee and was voted in as its president in October 2014. She takes over from 2015 president Blake Morant,…

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Quiet quasar has apparently eaten its fill

Astronomers with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) announced that a distant quasar ran out of gas. Their conclusions, reported Jan. 8 at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Kissimmee, Florida, clarify why quasar SDSS J1011+5442 changed so dramatically in the handful of years between observations.

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Stir no more: UW scientists show that draining speeds up bioassays

Three scientists at the University of Washington have proposed a way to speed up common bioassays used in research and diagnostics. Their solution, reminiscent of the magic behind washing machines, could reduce wait times to a fraction of what they once were. As they report in the journal Small, biological assays that once took hours could instead take minutes.

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January 6, 2016

UW faculty members join Inslee in gun violence announcement

Two University of Washington faculty members joined Washington Gov. Jay Inslee Wednesday as he announced a new initiative to reduce gun-related deaths by strengthening background checks and implementing a statewide suicide prevention plan. Jennifer Stuber, an associate professor at the UW School of Social Work, and Monica Vavilala, director of the Harborview Injury Prevention and…

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Arts Roundup: Orpheus Ensemble, pianist Garrick Ohlsson – and the UW Symphony

ArtsUW rings in the new year with art, opera and jazz. School of Music’s Stephen Stubbs leads UW students in scenes from early Baroque opera, world-renowned pianist Garrick Ohlsson takes the stage at Meany Hall, and the Henry Art Gallery invites families to take an ArtVenture. Plus, it’s a genre mash-up for the UW Symphony…

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