UW News

News releases


September 27, 2020

UW’s 37th annual New Student Convocation goes online

University of Washington faculty member Ian Schnee, associate teaching professor in the Department of Philosophy, was the featured speaker at the UW’s 37th annual New Student Convocation. The virtual ceremony was held Sept. 27 and was livestreamed to audiences around the world. A recording is available here.


September 24, 2020

Colleges with primarily in-person instruction leading to thousands of COVID-19 cases per day in US

As universities and colleges struggle to find the right combination of in-person and online classes combined with protective measures to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, a new study by researchers from four institutions has reached a troubling conclusion. Reopening university and college campuses with primarily in-person instruction is associated with a significant…


Age restrictions for handguns make little difference in homicides as US deals with ‘de facto availability’ of firearms

In the United States, individual state laws barring 18- to 20-year-olds from buying or possessing a handgun make little difference in the rate of homicides involving a gun by people in that age group, a new University of Washington study has found. “The central issue is that there’s a very high degree of informal access…


September 23, 2020

Some polar bears in far north are getting short-term benefit from thinning ice

polar bear with ice and water in background

The small subpopulation of polar bears in Kane Basin were doing better, on average, in recent years than in the 1990s. The bears are experiencing short-term benefits from thinning and shrinking multiyear sea ice that allows more sunlight to reach the ocean surface, which makes the system more ecologically productive.


September 22, 2020

Muslims, atheists more likely to face religious discrimination in US

hands holding a candle

A new study led by the University of Washington found that Muslims and atheists in the United States are more likely than those of Christian faiths to experience religious discrimination. Researchers focused on public schools and tested how principals responded to an individual’s expression of religious belief.


September 17, 2020

Watching over whales: Online tool detects whales and ships in California’s Santa Barbara Channel in near real-time

An image of a blue whale tail surfacing near a large cargo ship.

Whale Safe — an online tool launched Sept. 17 by scientists at the University of California, Santa Barbara, the University of Washington and other partner institutions — allows users to detect and better protect these endangered animals in the Santa Barbara Channel. It is a mapping and analysis tool to help prevent ships from running into whales.


September 16, 2020

Most landslides in western Oregon triggered by heavy rainfall, not big earthquakes

bare slope and mountains in distance

Researchers at the University of Washington, Portland State University and the University of Oregon have shown that deep-seated landslides in the central Oregon Coast Range are triggered mostly by rainfall, not by large offshore earthquakes. The open-access paper was published Sept. 16 in Science Advances. “Geomorphologists have long understood the importance of rainfall in triggering…


Marine animals live where ocean is most ‘breathable,’ but ranges could shrink with climate change

New research shows that a wide variety of marine animals — from vertebrates to crustaceans to mollusks — already inhabit the maximum range of breathable ocean that their physiology will allow. The findings provide a warning about climate change: Since warmer waters will harbor less oxygen, some stretches of ocean that are breathable today for a given species may not be in the future.


September 15, 2020

The University of Washington mourns the loss of Bill Gates Sr.

Though Bill Gates, Sr., may have graduated from the University of Washington nearly 70 years ago, in many ways he never really left.

Gates was a standout Husky — as a Regent for 15 years, leader of ground breaking philanthropic campaigns and a recipient of numerous accolades, including the Alumnus Summa Laude Dignatus Award in 2013. He loved Husky football and cheered on from Husky Stadium, Row K, Seat 32.

Gates died Monday. He was 94.


September 14, 2020

UW announces COVID-19 testing program for students, faculty and staff across all three campuses

A sculpture of the University of Washington W logo

The University of Washington on Monday announced a comprehensive COVID-19 fall quarter testing program in advance of some students, faculty and staff returning to the Seattle, Bothell and Tacoma campuses later this month.


September 10, 2020

Four UW professors win 2021 Breakthrough Prize — so-called ‘Oscars of Science’

headshots

Four University of Washington professors were among the winners of the 2021 Breakthrough Prize, which recognizes groundbreaking achievements in the life sciences, fundamental physics and mathematics.

David Baker, a professor in the UW School of Medicine’s department of biochemistry, won the prize for life sciences, while a team of UW physics professors, including Eric Adelberger, Jens Gundlach and Blayne Heckel, earned the prize for fundamental physics.


September 8, 2020

How birth control, girls’ education can slow population growth

baby crib

Education and family planning have long been tied to lower fertility trends. But new research from the University of Washington analyzes those factors to determine, what accelerates a decline in otherwise high-fertility countries.


ArtSci Roundup: Re/frame at the Henry, Coexisting with COVID-19, and more

During this time of uncertainty and isolation, find solace in digital opportunities to connect, share, and engage. Each week, we will share upcoming events that bring the UW, and the greater community, together online.  Many of these online opportunities are streamed through Zoom. All UW faculty, staff, and students have access to Zoom Pro via UW-IT.  Re/frame:…


September 4, 2020

Mask mandates delayed by nearly a month in Republican-led states, UW study finds

Person wearing a face mask with New York City skyline in the background

Political science researchers at the University of Washington examined the factors associated with statewide mask mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic. When controlling for other factors, states with Republican governors delayed imposing broad indoor mask requirements by nearly a month.


September 3, 2020

Fighting fire with fire in the Methow Valley

Agencies that are well practiced in putting out wildfires are now learning a new skill: how to set the spark and fan the flames. That’s the case for the state Department of Natural Resources, which is starting to use prescribed burning as part of its strategy for fighting wildfires.


September 1, 2020

UW launches Institute for Foundations of Data Science

people at white board

The University of Washington will lead a team of institutions in establishing an interdisciplinary research institute that brings together mathematicians, statisticians, computer scientists and engineers to develop the theoretical foundations of a fast-growing field: data science.


August 28, 2020

UW breaks ground on the future of health sciences education and improving our health

The future of our health and the health of the communities we live in relies, in many ways, on students in the health sciences. The education and experiences that future doctors, dentists, pharmacists, nurses, social workers and public health experts receive will to a large degree shape how those professionals work and work together when…


August 27, 2020

Weathering the tough times: Fossil evidence of ‘hibernation-like’ state in 250-million-year-old Antarctic animal

An artist's rendition of an ancient vertebrate called Lystrosaurus

University of Washington scientists report evidence of a hibernation-like state in Lystrosaurus, an animal that lived in Antarctica during the Early Triassic, some 250 million years ago. The fossils are the oldest evidence of a hibernation-like state in a vertebrate, and indicate that torpor — a general term for hibernation and similar states in which animals temporarily lower their metabolic rate to get through a tough season — arose in vertebrates even before mammals and dinosaurs evolved.


August 26, 2020

Faculty from Allen School, Evans School tapped for NSF institutes on artificial intelligence

The National Science Foundation has announced five new institutes devoted to AI research and based at universities around the country. Six University of Washington faculty will be affiliated with the institutes.


Mount Everest summit success rates double, death rate stays the same over last 30 years

mount everest

A new study led by researchers at the University of Washington and the University of California, Davis, finds that the success rate of summiting Mount Everest has doubled in the last three decades, even though the number of climbers has greatly increased, crowding the narrow route through the dangerous “death zone” near the summit. However, the death rate for climbers has hovered unchanged at around 1% since 1990.


August 25, 2020

Terms in Seattle-area rental ads reinforce neighborhood segregation, study says

words in the sky of a seattle neighborhood

A new University of Washington study of Seattle-area rental ads shows how certain words and phrases are common to different neighborhoods, helping to reinforce residential segregation.


August 21, 2020

Failure to ‘flatten the curve’ may kill more people than we thought

New research by the University of Minnesota and the University of Washington finds that every six additional ICU beds or seven additional non-ICU beds filled by COVID-19 patients leads to one additional COVID-19 death over the following week. “A spike in hospitalization naturally leads to more deaths, but these deaths may not only come from…


August 20, 2020

February lockdown in China caused a drop in some types of air pollution, but not others

colored maps of China

Atmospheric nitrogen dioxide, which comes from transportation, was half of what would be expected over China in February 2020. Other emissions and cloud properties, however, showed no significant changes.


August 18, 2020

Data omission in key EPA insecticide study shows need for review of industry analysis

For nearly 50 years, a statistical omission tantamount to data falsification sat undiscovered in a critical study at the heart of regulating one of the most controversial and widely used pesticides in America. Chlorpyrifos, an insecticide created in the late 1960s by the Dow Chemical Co., has been linked to serious health problems, especially in children….


August 13, 2020

Systemic racism has consequences for all life in cities

aerial view of two neighborhoods with different tree cover

Social inequalities, specifically racism and classism, are impacting the biodiversity, evolutionary shifts and ecological health of plants and animals in our cities. That’s the main finding of a review paper published Aug. 13 in Science led by the University of Washington, with co-authors at the University of California, Berkeley, and University of Michigan.


August 4, 2020

Generous gift bolsters effort to diversify the education workforce

The University of Washington today announced a $6 million anonymous gift earmarked to bolster diversity in the education workforce, a key driver in ultimate K-12 student success, especially for students of color.


August 3, 2020

New studies show how to save parasites and why it’s important

close up of a parasite

An international group of scientists has laid out an ambitious global conservation plan for parasites. A related paper led by the University of Washington found that responses of parasites to environmental change are likely to be complex, and that a changing world probably will see both outbreaks of some parasites and a total loss of other parasite species.


July 30, 2020

Video: Meet the real-life kraken: the octopus

Seattle’s new hockey team is named for a legendary creature of the sea, and that’s a perfect fit, according to octopus researchers at the University of Washington.


UW expert: Kraken are undefeatable; few who see the beast live to tell the tale

Lauren Poyer is an assistant teaching professor in Scandinavian studies. She teaches courses in Scandinavian mythology and Vikings in contemporary culture, among other topics, and she is well steeped in all kinds of Nordic and Icelandic lore.


Video: Face coverings an important tool to fight COVID-19

Face coverings will continue to be an important and effective tool in combating the spread of COVID-19.


Deep-sea anglerfishes have evolved a new type of immune system

a female anglerfish with a male attached

Deep-sea anglerfishes employ an incredible reproductive strategy. Tiny dwarfed males become permanently attached to relatively gigantic females, fuse their tissues and then establish a common blood circulation. Now scientists have figured out why female anglerfishes so readily accept their male mates. Their findings are published July 30 in Science.


National Academies publishes guide to help public officials make sense of COVID-19 data

University of Washington professor Adrian Raftery is lead author on a National Academies guide to help officials interpret and understand different COVID-19 statistics and data sources as they make decisions about opening and closing schools, businesses and community facilities.


July 28, 2020

ArtSci Roundup: “The Last Stargazers” Book Launch, VoiceThreads, and More

During this time of uncertainty and isolation, find solace in digital opportunities to connect, share, and engage. Each week, we will share upcoming events that bring the UW, and the greater community, together online.  Many of these online opportunities are streamed through Zoom. All UW faculty, staff, and students have access to Zoom Pro via UW-IT.  Astronomer…


July 27, 2020

Pristine air over Southern Ocean suggests early industrial era’s clouds not so different from today’s

southern ocean clouds seen from an aircraft

A new study led by the University of Washington and the University of Leeds uses satellite data over the Southern Hemisphere to understand the makeup of global clouds since the Industrial Revolution. This research tackles one of the largest uncertainties in today’s climate models — the long-term effect of tiny atmospheric particles on climate change.


July 20, 2020

ArtSci Roundup: Virtual Author Event, Drop-In Meditation Session, and More

During this time of uncertainty and isolation, find solace in digital opportunities to connect, share, and engage. Each week, we will share upcoming events that bring the UW, and the greater community, together online.  Many of these online opportunities are streamed through Zoom. All UW faculty, staff, and students have access to Zoom Pro via UW-IT.  Virtual…


Legal marijuana may be slowing reductions in teen marijuana use, study says

up-close view of marijuana plant

A longitudinal study of more than 230 teens and young adults in Washington state finds that teens may be more likely to use marijuana following legalization – with the proliferation of stores and increasing adult use of the drug — than they otherwise would have been.


July 15, 2020

A GoPro for beetles: Researchers create a robotic camera backpack for insects

A beetle with a camera system on its back moves through a patch of moss

Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a tiny wireless steerable camera that can ride aboard an insect or an insect-sized robot.


July 13, 2020

ArtSci Roundup: Burke Museum Online Mini-Exhibits, “Literature, Language, and Culture” Dialogue Series, and more

During this time of uncertainty and isolation, find solace in digital opportunities to connect, share, and engage. Each week, we will share upcoming events that bring the UW, and the greater community, together online.  Many of these online opportunities are streamed through Zoom. All UW faculty, staff, and students have access to Zoom Pro via UW-IT.  Burke…


July 9, 2020

Former NCAA head football coach Chris Petersen named Fritzky Chair in Leadership at UW’s Foster School of Business

headshot

Chris Petersen, former head football coach at the University of Washington and Boise State University, has been appointed as the Edward V. Fritzky Endowed Chair in Leadership at the UW Foster School of Business for the 2020-2021 school year, officials announced today. Established in 2002, this prestigious faculty position is designed to bring distinguished leaders to campus to share their expertise with faculty and students.


July 8, 2020

UW School of Oceanography holds No. 1 global ranking; more than two dozen areas in top 50

Nine University of Washington subjects ranked in the top 10 and the UW School of Oceanography held its position as No. 1 in the world on the Global Ranking of Academic Subjects list for 2020. The ranking, released June 29,  was conducted by researchers at the Center for World-Class Universities at Shanghai Jiao Tong University.



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