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Professor embarks on 100th field course in Indonesia

A chance meeting with a fellow scientist 27 years ago forever changed Randy Kyes’ life — catapulting him from North Carolina to Indonesia and beyond. As the founding director of the University of Washington’s Center for Global Field Study and head of the Division of Global Programs at the Washington National Primate Research Center, Kyes has spent almost three decades leading field courses on environmental and global health in a dozen countries.

Often accompanied by students from the UW and around the United States, Kyes spends about seven months of the year traveling to remote sites in places such as Indonesia and Nepal, leading study abroad programs and  conducting field courses and K-12 outreach efforts for local people.

In late July, Kyes — who is also a research professor in psychology and an adjunct research professor in global health and anthropology — will lead his 100th field course, in Thailand. He sat down with UW Today recently to talk about his work.


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How the ‘Seattle Tech Universe’ map ended up at the World Economic Forum

The Seattle region’s technology landscape was in the spotlight over the weekend in Davos, Switzerland, where top corporate executives and global leaders were gathered for the World Economic Forum.

Brad Smith, the Microsoft president and chief legal officer, showed the Seattle Tech Universe map during an event Friday night in Davos to help make his point about the ways universities and industry can collaborate to foster innovation.

Unveiled in December by Madrona Venture Group and the Washington Technology Industry Association, the Seattle Tech Universe is a visual guide to Seattle’s complex technology ecosystem — showing the impact of University of Washington spinoffs and employees who leave tech giants like Microsoft and Amazon to launch their own startups. Many Seattle startups also share parentage, with founders coming from a combination of Microsoft, Amazon, and the UW.

Read more from Geekwire…

Tracing China’s past with geologic and oral history

A paper published this week in Science finds evidence to support stories that a huge flood took place in China about 4,000 years ago, during the reign of Emperor Yu. The study, led by Chinese researcher Qinglong Wu, finds evidence for a massive landslide dam break that could have redirected the course of the Yellow River, giving rise to the legendary flood that Emperor Yu is credited with controlling.

An accompanying commentary by David Montgomery, a UW professor of Earth and space sciences, discusses how this finding supports the historical basis for traditional tales about China’s Great Flood. It even explains some details of the classic folk story.

Read more from UW Today…

Alum leads smartwatch revolution from Beijing

As Chief Technology Officer of Mobvoi, UW Electrical Engineering (EE) alumnus, Mike Lei, leads a company focused on intuitive design, infallible functionality and brilliant human-machine interaction. The startup, which is shaking up the tech community, has already received multi-million dollar investments from search giant, Google.

Within ten minutes of opening their Kickstarter campaign for their newest invention – The Ticwatch 2, Mobvoi had already surpassed their $50,000 funding goal. Currently, The Ticwatch 2 had raised over $550,000, more than 11 times their original goal.

Although it appears born out of the talented stock of tech products in Silicon Valley, Ticwatch is different. The genesis of Ticwatch occurred nearly 6,000 miles from Silicon Valley in Beijing, China.

Read more from UW Electrical Engineering…

Global learning on campus

40 UW students engaged in a case simulation this summer, working to defuse the developing crisis in the South China Sea.

Thanks to a partnership between the Jackson School of International Studies Master of Arts in Applied International Studies (MAAIS) and the U.S. Army War College, students from the Jackson School, Foster School of Business, School of Law, Evans School of Public Policy & Governance, and other departments tackled a major global challenge – right from campus.

Read more from the Jackson School of International Studies…

Standing together for justice

In light of recent devastating acts of violence in the U.S. and around the world, UW President Ana Mari Cauce and UW Provost Jerry Baldasty write, “The essence of our mission as a public university is to educate, shape and prepare generations of students not simply to exist in our world, but to create change for the betterment of all. The burden of addressing racism and inequity in this country, as well as violence around the globe, falls to all of us.”

With CoMotion Labs, the UW seeds innovation and start-ups

The University of Washington is expanding its portfolio of startup incubation spaces and inviting in companies even if they don’t yet have an explicit connection to the university. The new strategy is part of a broader rethinking of how the UW, consistently ranked in the upper echelons of research universities around the world, attempts to transfer the innovations happening inside its walls—be they in electrical engineering or social work—to the community.

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