UW Today

The latest news from the UW


November 2, 2015

Modern world learns from ancient civilizations in Scott Montgomery’s history of science

Scott L. Montgomery, a lecturer in the Jackson School of International Studies, uses a range of case studies and the notion of “scientific culture” to trace the evolution of technical thought through eight major civilizations from ancient Egypt to Medieval and Renaissance Europe in his latest book, “A History of Science in World Cultures.” “A…

Children’s self-esteem already established by age 5, new study finds

By age 5 children have a sense of self-esteem comparable in strength to that of adults, according to a new study by University of Washington researchers.

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UW to co-lead West Coast ‘Big Data brain trust’ for NSF

The National Science Foundation has selected the University of Washington, along with the University of California, San Diego and the University of California, Berkeley, to co-lead one of four Big Data Regional Innovation Hubs around the country.

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October 30, 2015

Emergency drills at new Husky Stadium Sound Transit station

Sound Transit will host a series of emergency drills with Seattle first responders Monday through Thursday at the new University of Washington and Capitol Hill light rail stations. These drills are part of the commissioning process for the new University Link light rail line from downtown Seattle to UW that opens early next year. The drills…

October 29, 2015

Alexia Whitaker joins UW as affirmative action officer

Alexia Whitaker, who had previously served as a program manager in the Office of Affirmative Action at Arkansas State University, has joined the University of Washington as its affirmative action officer.

Nov. 5 bioengineering lecture focuses on ‘Engineering Personalized Medicine’

We have personal trainers and tailored suits. Why don’t we have personalized medicine? That question — and the prospects for stem-cell-based treatments that reverse disease and repair damage rather than simply addressing symptoms — will be the focus of the University of Washington’s Department of Bioengineering’s 2015 Allan S. Hoffman Lecture on Nov. 5. Molly…

Now you see it: cloaking technology arrives sooner than UW mathematician expected

In science, decades can pass between a proposed theory and its real-world application. That is precisely what University of Washington mathematics professor Gunther Uhlmann was expecting when he and three colleagues proposed a means to develop an electromagnetic wormhole in a 2007 paper in Physical Review Letters. Their theoretical wormhole — an invisible tube for…

UW President Cauce receives Greater Seattle Business Association social justice award

Even before she became the University of Washington’s 33rd president earlier this month, Ana Mari Cauce was a leader who broke down barriers and inspired students and other community members. That’s why Cauce was selected to receive the Greater Seattle Business Association’s 2015 Special Recognition: Voice for Social Justice Award, said Louise Chernin, the association’s…

First Environmental Law Symposium takes on ocean acidification

The UW School of Law will bring together many of the world’s leading experts on ocean acidification in its first-annual Environmental Law Symposium Nov. 6. The day-long event will be held in the William H. Gates Hall on the UW campus and will include panels detailing the latest findings from scientists, current ocean acidification lawsuits…

UW scientists are the first to simulate 3-D exotic clouds on an exoplanet

A nearby exoplanet has an atmosphere that might be similar to Earth’s before life evolved. In an attempt to simulate the structure of this exoplanet’s atmosphere, UW researchers became the first to simulate three-dimensional exotic clouds on another world.

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October 28, 2015

Arts Roundup: Pae White, the Danish String Quartet – and spooky Halloween music

The School of Music sets the mood for Halloween with a concert of spooky organ music. UW World Series presents The Danish String Quartet, and the Henry Art Gallery opens a new exhibition by noted American artist Pae White. Don’t forget to catch the School of Drama’s first production of the year, “The Cradle Will…

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Alaskan trout choose early retirement over risky ocean-going career

A new study in Ecology shows that Alaskan Dolly Varden trout, once they reach about 12 inches in length, can retire permanently from going to sea. They rely on digestive organs that can massively expand and contract and a unique relationship with sockeye salmon.

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UW team to lead research efforts on initiative for incarcerated parents

The University of Washington will play a key role in a new initiative aimed at helping inmates with children transition back into society, be successful parents and partners and remain out of prison. Partners for Our Children, a UW School of Social Work center that works to improve the lives of vulnerable children and families…

October 27, 2015

UW initiative aims to tackle city, region’s most pressing urban issues

When Thaisa Way put a call out last spring to see if University of Washington faculty members working on urban issues wanted to join forces, she wasn’t sure what the response would be. “There were a lot of people who said, ‘You’re not going to get anyone to show up,’” said Way, a UW associate…

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October 26, 2015

UW affiliate prof writes biography about discoverer of continental drift

Mott Greene, an emeritus professor at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma and an affiliate professor in the UW’s Department of Earth & Space Sciences, has published a biography of Alfred Wegener, the man who laid the foundations for plate tectonics. “Alfred Wegener: Science, Exploration, and the Theory of Continental Drift” was published this…

Nominations open: Distinguished Staff Award and Thorud Leadership Award

Celebrate the remarkable accomplishments of a colleague or team with a nomination for the Distinguished Staff Award, the University of Washington’s highest staff honor, and celebrate outstanding leadership with a nomination for the David B. Thorud Award. Recipients of the Distinguished Staff Award are those who achieve excellence and exude a passionate commitment to the…

October 23, 2015

From cell phones to DNA: Electrical engineering lectures explore information theory

The Science of Information: From Pushing Bits over the Air to Assembling the World’s Largest Jigsaw Puzzle Monday, Nov. 2, 3:30 p.m. Paul G. Allen Center Atrium Information theory is the science behind the engineering of all modern-day communication systems and also has surprising applications far beyond communication. Stanford University professor David Tse will focus…

October 22, 2015

UW Tacoma historian Michael Honey’s film about Rev. James Lawson to screen locally

UW historian Michael Honey and filmmaker Errol Webber have produced a documentary about the life of Methodist minister and civil rights activist Rev. James Lawson that will be screened in Tacoma on Oct. 28, Seattle on Oct. 29

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New UW model helps zero in on harmful genetic mutations

By more accurately predicting how variations in DNA sequences affect gene splicing, a new UW model and publicly available Web tool can help narrow down which genetic mutations cause disease and which have little effect on a person’s health.

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October 21, 2015

Arts Roundup: French opera, percussion – and ‘The Cradle Will Rock’

The School of Drama kicks off its 75th anniversary season with the infamous musical “The Cradle Will Rock.” Catch performances of Gabriel Fauré’s opera “Pénélope,” the Mallethead series, and Ensemble Dal Niente, all presented by the School of Music. In the visual arts, the Henry Art Gallery throws its Fall Open House and a new…

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Gear, not geoducks, impacts ecosystem if farming increases

The equipment used to farm geoducks, including PVC pipes and nets, might have a greater impact on the Puget Sound food web than the addition of the clams themselves. That’s one of the findings of the first major scientific study to examine the broad, long-term ecosystem effects of geoduck aquaculture in Puget Sound.

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School of Law’s Roy Prosterman delighted by humanitarian award for agency he started half a century ago

Roy Prosterman, professor emeritus of the University of Washington School of Law, says he knew Landesa, the international land reform agency he founded a half century ago, had been considered before for the prestigious Hilton Humanitarian Prize, with its $2 million cash award. “But I didn’t know that lightning was going to strike in 2015,”…

UW autism expert helped shape new ‘Sesame Street’ initiative

During its almost half-century on television, “Sesame Street” has tackled thorny issues ranging from divorce to death, food insecurity and parental incarceration. The show is now turning its attention to autism, and a University of Washington expert played a pivotal role in the effort. Wendy Stone, director of the UW’s Research in Early Autism Detection and Intervention…

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October 20, 2015

UW Combined Fund Drive kicks off with Charity Fair & Silent Auction

The UW Combined Fund Drive begins its fall campaign with a Charity Fair & Silent Auction on Thursday, Oct. 22, in the HUB ballroom from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Representatives from more than 80 nonprofits will be on hand ready to describe their community work. The UWCFD, UW’s workplace giving campaign, raised more than $2…

UW study: Will Puget Sound’s population spike under climate change?

A UW graduate student’s research paper is the first serious study of whether climate change is likely to cause human migration to the Puget Sound region.

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October 19, 2015

‘Pivotal Tuesdays’: New book by historian Margaret O’Mara studies four key elections of 20th century

Margaret O’Mara, UW associate professor of history, discusses her new book, “Pivotal Tuesdays: Four Elections that Shaped the Twentieth Century.”

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In astronomy-themed concert, Benaroya Hall launches audience to the cosmos

A Nov. 7 concert in Seattle’s Benaroya Hall promises to offer the audience a decidedly stellar musical experience. The event, “Origins: Life and the Universe,” will pair live performances of new compositions with video and slideshow scenes depicting cosmic events like the Big Bang, as well as scenes from distant worlds and Earth’s own life-filled…

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October 16, 2015

Chemistry’s Brandi Cossairt named a 2015 Packard Fellow

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation has named the University of Washington’s Brandi Cossairt, an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry, as one of 18 Packard Fellows for 2015.

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NASA Astrobiology Debates Western Championship to be live-streamed Oct. 18

If we discover life beyond Earth — even just microbes — should we protect it at all costs? This is the topic of the NASA Astrobiology Debates, where elite college teams from across the country grapple with ethical, political and scientific questions stemming from the topic chosen for the year. Specifically, this year’s debate topic…

Engineering career center opens to connect students, employers

The Career Center @ Engineering — a new career center focused on the needs of University of Washington engineering students and employers looking to hire them — has opened its doors in the basement of Loew Hall. The new center offers a full range of career services for engineering students: honing resume-writing and interviewing skills…

October 15, 2015

Oceanography consortium donates XPrize winnings to UW sensor lab

A team of industrial, academic and nonprofit institutions that was among the top finishers of the recent ocean acidification XPrize is donating its winnings to a University of Washington lab that helps track ocean conditions worldwide. Scientists from the UW’s Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean checked the accuracy of chemical…

Affordable camera reveals hidden details invisible to the naked eye

Peering into a grocery store bin, it’s hard to tell if a peach or tomato or avocado is starting to go bad underneath its skin. A new affordable hyperspectral camera technology developed by UW and Microsoft Research uses both visible and invisible near-infrared light to “see” beneath surfaces and capture hidden details.

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October 14, 2015

Arts Roundup: Pianist Jonathan Biss, Internet Meditation – and Chamber Dance Company

This week is packed with events and exhibits across campus. Get your modern dance fix with Chamber Dance Company in Meany Hall. Face your fear of snakes at the Burke and take an art break with internet meditation at the Henry Art Gallery. For classical music lovers, there’s a World Series performance by pianist Jonathan…

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UW polar scientist part of new book, museum exhibit on Northwest Passage

A University of Washington expert on sea ice is part of a new book and museum exhibit focused on an idea that has captured many imaginations: a Northwest Passage that would allow ship traffic between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The book, “Arctic Ambitions: Captain Cook and the Northwest Passage” was published in March by…

Venture capital investors with competing interests can inhibit innovation

For entrepreneurs, connections are as good as gold. Especially connections with the right investors. But connections with the wrong investors can inhibit a firm’s ability to innovate, according to new research from the Foster School of Business.

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New study uses high-speed search methods to better estimate climate threats to biodiversity

In a study published this week in the journal PLOS ONE, researchers have used new high-performance computing methods and comprehensive data on the distribution of thousands of species to map the threat that climate change poses to birds, mammals and amphibians across the Western Hemisphere. They found that although Arctic areas have experienced the most rapid warming to date, climate-related threats to the Amazon basin’s biodiversity will eclipse those in other regions by the year 2100.

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New fact-check on fisheries reporting takes to Web, social media

An international team of experts in fisheries management, spearheaded by UW professor Ray Hilborn, is trying to lead the conversation about sustainable fisheries using a less traditional approach — reaching the general public directly through a new website and social media outreach. The initiative is called the Collaborative for Food from Our Oceans Data, or…

Bubble plumes off Washington, Oregon suggest warmer ocean may be releasing frozen methane

The location of bubble plumes off the Pacific Northwest coast supports the idea that gradual ocean warming at about a third of a mile depth may be releasing frozen methane in the seafloor, causing it to bubble up as a gas.

October 13, 2015

UW Regents name Ana Mari Cauce president

The University of Washington Board of Regents selected Interim President Ana Mari Cauce to be the 33rd president of the University at a special meeting of the board Tuesday. She is the first woman to be named to the position and the first Latina. The selection will become effective upon successful completion of contract terms.

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UW philosophy department to hold six public discussions of migration crisis

What does it mean to have a right to asylum? Does religion matter in deciding to help refugees? What kind of public health is owed to migrants and refugees? What is “climate justice” and how is it relevant to refugees and immigration policy? According to a June 2015 report from the United Nations, worldwide displacement…

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