UW News

Technology


June 1, 2022

VoxLens: Adding one line of code can make some interactive visualizations accessible to screen-reader users

A laptop with a screen reader attached sitting on a table

VoxLens users can gain a high-level summary of the information described in a graph, listen to a graph translated into sound or use voice-activated commands to ask specific questions about the data, such as the mean or the minimum value.


May 23, 2022

‘I don’t even remember what I read’: People enter a ‘dissociative state’ when using social media

People on public transit. Everyone is looking at their phones.

Researchers at the University of Washington wondered if people enter a state of dissociation when surfing social media, and if that explains why users might feel out of control after spending so much time on their favorite app.


April 28, 2022

Professor Margaret O’Mara on contextualizing Elon Musk’s Twitter purchase and the future of online speech

Twitter logo of a blue bird

University of Washington history professor Margaret O’Mara says Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter has renewed debate about freedom of online speech, online content moderation and the power of billionaires to shape public conversation.


April 6, 2022

UW-housed RAPID Facility receives $6M renewal grant

Researchers looks at boat drone in water

The first-of-its-kind center has received a $6 million renewal grant from the National Science Foundation.


March 16, 2022

Tiny battery-free devices float in the wind like dandelion seeds

Inspired by how dandelions use the wind to distribute their seeds, a University of Washington team has developed a tiny sensor-carrying device that can be blown by the wind as it tumbles toward the ground.


March 14, 2022

Q&A: Preserving context and user intent in the future of web search

Computer open to Google home screen

In a new perspective paper, University of Washington professors Emily M. Bender and Chirag Shah respond to proposals that reimagine web search as an application for large language model-driven conversation agents.


February 16, 2022

Google’s ‘CEO’ image search gender bias hasn’t really been fixed

UW researchers showed that image search results for four major search engines from around the world, including Google, still reflect gender bias.


December 9, 2021

3D imaging method may help doctors better determine prostate cancer aggressiveness

picture of research leads with microscope

A team led by the UW has developed a new, non-destructive method that images entire 3D biopsies instead of a slice for determining prostate cancer aggressiveness. The 3D images provided more information than a 2D image — specifically, details about the tree-like structure of the glands throughout the tissue.


November 17, 2021

A chatbot can help doctors better understand incoming emergency department patients’ social needs

A row of green chairs in a waiting room

A team led by the UW developed a chatbot that could ask emergency department visitors about social needs, including housing, food, access to medical care and physical safety.


November 8, 2021

Political ads during the 2020 presidential election cycle collected personal information and spread misleading information

bar chart showing an increase in number of political ads in Atlanta as the date approaches for the Georgia run-off election in 2021

University of Washington researchers looked at almost 56,000 political ads from almost 750 news sites between September 2020 and January 2021.


October 20, 2021

UW students designed a rover to inspect culvert conditions to help fish

A rover entering a pipe

UW students created a rover that can inspect sewer pipes or culverts for any damage that could prevent fish from using them during migration.


September 22, 2021

UW and UC San Diego researchers honored for their work discovering that someone could hack a car

A team from the University of Washington and University of California San Diego has received the Golden Goose Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


July 29, 2021

UW to lead new NSF institute for using artificial intelligence to understand dynamic systems

Purple and white lines that are tracing the shape of the UW W.

The UW will lead a new artificial intelligence research institute that will focus on fundamental AI and machine learning theory, algorithms and applications for real-time learning and control of complex dynamic systems, which describe chaotic situations where conditions are constantly shifting and hard to predict.


July 22, 2021

Gaming graphics card allows faster, more precise control of fusion energy experiments

A prototype of the UW's current fusion experiment.

UW researchers have developed a method that uses a gaming graphics card to control plasma formation in their prototype fusion reactor.


July 9, 2021

Faculty/staff honors: Early career honor in communication, distinguished service award in theoretical computing

The International Communication Association has given Kristina Scharp, UW assistant professor in the Department of Communication, its 2021 ICA Early Career Scholar Award.

Recent honors and achievements by UW faculty include an early career award for study of family communication and a distinguished service award for decades in support of theoretical computing.


June 1, 2021

Faculty/staff honors: Allen School’s Shyam Gollakota, Anna Karlin honored by Association for Computing Machinery

Associate professor Shyam Gollakota has received the association's 2020 Grace Murray Hopper Award, given annually to the most outstanding young computer professional of the year by the Association for Computing Machinery

Two professors with the UW Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering — Shyam Gollakota and Anna Karlin — have received 2020 honors from the Association for Computing Machinery.


April 21, 2021

A growing problem of ‘deepfake geography’: How AI falsifies satellite images

satellite photo of Tacoma using geospatial data from Beijing, with shadows cast from most buildings

Using satellite photos of three cities and drawing upon methods used to manipulate video and audio files, a team of researchers led by the University of Washington set out to identify new ways of detecting fake satellite photos and warn of the dangers of falsified geospatial data.


April 19, 2021

Arguing on the internet: UW researchers studying how to make online arguments productive

A person looking shocked at what they are seeing on their phone

UW researchers worked with almost 260 people to understand online disagreements and to develop potential design interventions that could make these discussions more productive and centered around relationship-building.


April 1, 2021

New system that uses smartphone or computer cameras to measure pulse, respiration rate could help future personalized telehealth appointments

A person holding a phone in front of their face

A UW-led team has developed a method that uses the camera on a person’s smartphone or computer to take their pulse and breathing rate from a real-time video of their face.


March 16, 2021

‘Telling Stories’: Imagined tales of artificial intelligence presented by the UW Tech Policy Lab

Photo of authore -- Authors of "Telling Stories: On Culturally Responsive Artificial Intelligence" are Dennys Antonialli, InternetLab, Brazil; Chinmayi Arun, National Law University, Delhi, India; Joanna Bryson, University of Bath, England; Darren Byler, UW; Ryan Calo, UW; Jeff Cao, Tencent Research Institute, China; Jack Clark, OpenAI, United States, Batya Friedman, UW; Sue Glueck, Microsoft; Sabine Hauert, University of Bristol, England; Alejandro Hevia, University of Chile; Ian Kerr, University of Ottawa, Canada; Tadayoshi Kohno, UW; Lisa Nathan, University of British Columbia, Canada; Joseph Nkurunziza, Never Again Rwanda, Rwanda; Nnenna Nwakanma, World Wide Web Foundation, Côte d’Ivoire; Amir Rashidi, Center for Human Rights in Iran; Rohan Samarajiva, LIRNEasia, Sri Lanka; Jeroen van den Hoven, Delft University of Technology, Netherlands.

Tales of artificial intelligence and its effects on future life are gathered in “Telling Stories: On Culturally Responsive Artificial Intelligence,” presented by the UW Tech Policy Lab.


March 9, 2021

Alexa, do I have an irregular heart rhythm? First AI system for contactless monitoring of heart rhythm using smart speakers

A small white box on a table and a person sitting in front of it (their back is to the camera)

UW researchers have developed a new skill for a smart speaker that for the first time monitors both regular and irregular heartbeats without physical contact.


March 4, 2021

Can’t solve a riddle? The answer might lie in knowing what doesn’t work

Scrabble tiles forming a word with one tile missing

With the help of about 200 human puzzle-takers, a computer model and functional MRI images, University of Washington researchers have learned more about the processes of reasoning and decision making, pinpointing the brain pathway that springs into action when problem-solving goes south.


February 19, 2021

‘Small moon’ shapes allow DNA devices to attach in precise orientations

A black image with a white circle in the center. The circle has a hole that is slightly off center.

A team of engineers, including one at the University of Washington, has developed a technique that allows for the precise placement of molecules formed from folded DNA in not only a specific location but also in a specific orientation


February 8, 2021

UW physicist pens math-free tour of quantum mechanics and technology

Morales has authored a seven-part series for Ars Technica on quantum mechanics for a general audience. One article in the series is rolling out each week from Jan. 10 to Feb. 21. Morales sat down with UW News to talk about the series, quantum mechanics and what he hopes the public can learn about this seemingly odd and possibly intimidating realm of science.


February 4, 2021

‘Audeo’ teaches artificial intelligence to play the piano

A hand pressing a piano key

A UW team created Audeo, a system that can generate music using only visual cues of someone playing the piano.


January 27, 2021

$11.45 million federal grant will develop transit, mobility tech for underserved groups

As part of the Transportation Data Equity Initiative, the UW is developing technology that will allow underserved groups to use tools similar to Google Directions and OneBusyAway to get from place to place.


January 12, 2021

New treatment allows some people with spinal cord injury to regain hand and arm function

A hand picking up a tiny bead

Using physical therapy combined with a noninvasive method of stimulating nerve cells in the spinal cord, University of Washington researchers helped six Seattle area participants regain some hand and arm mobility.


December 7, 2020

The Smellicopter is an obstacle-avoiding drone that uses a live moth antenna to seek out smells

A hawkmoth in the lower right hand corner of the photo with an out of focus drone behind it

A team led by the UW has developed Smellicopter: an autonomous drone that uses a live antenna from a moth to navigate toward smells. Smellicopter can also sense and avoid obstacles as it travels through the air.


October 29, 2020

UW Space Policy and Research Center brings researchers, policymakers together for online symposium Nov. 6

A preview of the Nov. 6 SPARC Symposium, which will feature a conversation with Andy Weir, author of “The Martian.”


October 28, 2020

SoundWatch: New smartwatch app alerts d/Deaf and hard-of-hearing users to birdsong, sirens and other desired sounds

A wrist with a smartwatch on it. The smartwatch has an alert that says "Car honk, 98%, Loud, 101 dB" It also has options to snooze the alert for 10 minutes or open in an app on the user's phone.

UW researchers have developed SoundWatch, a smartwatch app for deaf, Deaf and hard-of-hearing people who want to be aware of nearby sounds.


October 12, 2020

Engineering lecture focuses on contact tracing: Monitoring COVID-19 infections while respecting privacy

A photo of the front of the Gates Center

This fall the UW’s annual engineering lecture will feature Stefano Tessaro, an associate professor in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering.


October 8, 2020

Airdropping sensors from moths: Researchers use flying insects to drop sensors from air, land them safely on the ground

UW researchers have created a sensor system that can ride aboard a small drone or an insect, such as a moth, until it gets to its destination.


September 30, 2020

UW researchers driving around Seattle to track COVID-19 response over time

A panoramic view of a street corner. Cars and a pedestrian are labeled

UW researchers developed a project that scans the streets every few weeks to document how Seattle has reacted to the pandemic and what recovery looks like.


September 28, 2020

Q&A: UW researchers clicked ads on 200 news sites to track misinformation

A study by UW researchers found that both mainstream and misinformation news sites displayed similar levels of problematic ads. UW News had a conversation with the team about this research, where ads on news sites come from, and how things might change leading up to the election.


September 3, 2020

First responders get training on how to decontaminate masks

N95 masks under a green light

A University of Washington-led team has developed a box that can decontaminate N95 respirator masks using ultraviolet light.


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.


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.


June 10, 2020

Passing crucial, challenging introductory chemistry course gives biggest boost to underrepresented students

A person at a chalkboard delivering a chemistry lecture

Researchers examined 15 years of records of student performance, education and demographics for chemistry courses at the University of Washington. They found that underrepresented students received lower grades in the general chemistry series compared to their peers and, if the grade was sufficiently low, were less likely to continue in the series and more likely to leave STEM. But if underrepresented students completed the first general chemistry course with at least the minimum grade needed to continue in the series, they were more likely than their peers to continue the general chemistry series and complete this major step toward a STEM degree.


April 22, 2020

A contact-tracing app that helps public health agencies and doesn’t compromise your privacy

A person on a train looking at their phone. Other people are on their phones behind that person.

Researchers from the University of Washington and UW Medicine, along with volunteers from Microsoft, have developed a new contact-tracing app called CovidSafe.


April 16, 2020

‘Hands-on’ classes online? How some instructors are adapting to a new teaching environment

A postal service box with lab materials inside

When the UW announced it was moving its spring quarter 2020 classes entirely online to combat the novel coronavirus, instructors across campus faced a new, uncharted challenge.



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