UW News

College of Arts & Sciences


March 31, 2020

Republican governors delayed key COVID-19 social distancing measures

Digital sign says Save Lives Now Stay Home COVID-19

New research by the University of Washington examines factors that contributed to decision-making by governors in all 50 states to combat the novel coronavirus.


March 30, 2020

Three UW students selected as 2020 Goldwater Scholars

Three undergraduate students at the University of Washington are among 396 around the country who have been named Goldwater Scholars for 2020.


March 24, 2020

Ships’ emissions create measurable regional change in clouds

aerial image of ships' tracks

Years of cloud data over a shipping route between Europe and South Africa shows that pollution from ships has significantly increased the reflectivity of the clouds. More generally, the results suggest that industrial pollution’s effect on clouds has masked about a third of the warming due to fossil fuel burning since the late 1800s.


March 17, 2020

‘It’s a good test’: UW faculty, students adjust to an online end to the quarter, prepare for spring

This wasn’t how LaShawnDa Pittman expected to give her final exam review: At her kitchen table, laptop open, coffee cup at the ready, her 12-year-old Chihuahua named Espresso by her side. But as the first week of the University of Washington’s shift to online classes drew to a close, Pittman, an assistant professor of American…


March 12, 2020

Staying connected — at a distance

It’s important to maintain human connection, even during a time of social distancing, UW psychology researchers say.


March 9, 2020

Underrepresented college students benefit more from ‘active learning’ techniques in STEM courses

A college classroom with students seated in a lecture hall.

Students from different backgrounds in the United States enter college with equal interest in STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and mathematics. But that equal interest does not result in equal outcomes. Six years after starting an undergraduate STEM degree, roughly twice as many white students finished it compared to African American students. A new…


Climate change at Mount Rainier expected to increase ‘mismatch’ between visitors and iconic wildflowers

A meadow filled with wildflowers in full bloom on the slopes of Mount Rainier.

The wildflowers of Mount Rainier’s subalpine meadows, which bloom once the winter snowpack melts, are a major draw for the more than 1 million visitors to this national park in Washington state each spring and summer. But by the end of this century, scientists expect that snow will melt months earlier due to climate change. New research led by the University of Washington shows that, under those conditions, many visitors would miss the flowers altogether.


March 6, 2020

Dimming Betelgeuse likely isn’t cold, just dusty, new study shows

An image of the star Betelgeuse in December 2019.

Late last year, news broke that the star Betelgeuse was fading significantly, ultimately dropping to around 40% of its usual brightness. The activity fueled popular speculation that the red supergiant would soon explode as a massive supernova. But astronomers have more benign theories to explain the star’s dimming behavior. And scientists at the University of…


March 4, 2020

ArtsUW Roundup: Guest Artist trio Meridian performs and hosts a master class, Scandinavian 30 lecture asks us to contemplate Tom of Finland, and more

Updated March 6, 2020: Many of the events in this roundup have been postponed or cancelled. Information for a specific event will be at the link provided for that event. This week in the arts, School of Art faculty Whitney Lynn gives a lecture at the Art Building, UW Symphony and combined choirs perform at…


March 2, 2020

New honors for scientists studying ‘ecosystem sentinels’

P. Dee Boersma, a UW professor of biology and director of the Center for Ecosystem Sentinels, is a finalist for the 2020 Indianapolis Prize for conservation, to be awarded later this year by the Indianapolis Zoological Society. Sue Moore, a scientist with the center and a UW affiliate professor of biology and of aquatic and fishery sciences, has won the 2020 IASC Medal, also known as the Arctic Medal, from the International Arctic Science Committee.


February 28, 2020

ArtsUW Roundup: Ted Poor debut album release show, The Women of Lockerbie opens, and more

This week in the arts, Art History professor Foong Ping discusses the reconceptualizing of the Seattle Asian Art Museum, four Native American Huskies share what “home” means to them, the exhibition As, Not For: Dethroning Our Absolutes opens at the Jacob Lawrence Gallery, and more! To learn about more events taking place, visit ArtsUW. Concert – Hélène Grimaud…


February 26, 2020

Wildness in urban parks important for human well-being

beach in seattle

A new University of Washington study has found that not all forms of nature are created equal when considering benefits to people’s well-being. Experiencing wildness, specifically, is particularly important for physical and mental health.


February 20, 2020

ArtsUW Roundup: 3D4M Open House, Niyaz The Fourth Light Project, Katz Distinguished Lecture with Anna Tsing, and more

This week there are many opportunities to get involved with the arts including the opening of CabLab’s Frozen: A Play, a free whirling meditation workshop, Critical Issues lecture series, recitals with School of Music faculty, and more! To learn about more events taking place, visit ArtsUW. 3D4M Open House February 25, 6:00 PM | Ceramic And Metal…


February 18, 2020

ArtsUW Roundup: Brazil’s Grupo Corpo, Scheidel Lecture with Regina G. Lawrence — and more

This week in the arts, attend Critical Issues lecture series with Sadie Barnette, Grupo Corpo performs at the Meany Center, and more! To learn about more events taking place, visit ArtsUW. 2020 UW Department of Communication Scheidel Lecture February 19, Reception: 3:45 pm, Lecture: 5 pm | Walker Ames Room, Kane 225 Join the Department of…


Simple, fuel-efficient rocket engine could enable cheaper, lighter spacecraft

A rocket takes off

UW researchers have developed a mathematical model that describes how rotating detonation engines work.


February 14, 2020

Earth’s cousins: Upcoming missions to look for ‘biosignatures’ in the atmospheres of nearby worlds

Artist's depiction of the TRAPPIST-1 star and its seven worlds.

Victoria Meadows, professor of astronomy at the University of Washington and director of the UW’s Virtual Planetary Laboratory, talks about how upcoming missions like the James Webb Space Telescope will be able to characterize the atmospheres of potentially Earth-like exoplanets and may even detect signs of life. Meadows is delivering a talk on this subject on Feb. 15, 2020 at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in Seattle.


February 13, 2020

Immune cells consult with neighbors to make decisions

An illustration showing immune system cells migrating to a wound site.

Scientists and physicians have long known that immune cells migrate to the site of an infection, which individuals experience as inflammation — swelling, redness and pain. Now, researchers at the University of Washington and Northwestern University have uncovered evidence that this gathering is not just a consequence of immune activation. Immune cells count their neighbors before deciding whether or not the immune system should kick into high gear.


February 7, 2020

Interactive map shows worldwide spread of coronavirus

heatmap of China showing worldwide spread of coronavirus

University of Washington geographer Bo Zhao has created an interactive map, updated every few hours, of coronavirus cases around the world.


February 6, 2020

ArtsUW Roundup: a Valentine’s Day concert with Mark and Maggie O’Connor, Money can’t buy you HYGGE Presented by Kristian Næsby, and more

This week in the arts, attend a student jazz ensemble concert, hear from Department of Communications faculty about creative ways to tackle challenges within your community, join Rahel Aima for another Critical Issues lecture, and more! To learn about more events taking place, visit ArtsUW. Lecture-Recital: Bach Cello Suites: Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir February 11,  1:30 pm |…


February 4, 2020

First-of-its-kind hydrogel platform enables on-demand production of medicines and chemicals

a water-based gel that is used in molecular biology research

A team of chemical engineers has developed a new way to produce medicines and chemicals and preserve them using portable “biofactories” embedded in water-based gels known as hydrogels. The approach could help people in remote villages or on military missions, where the absence of pharmacies, doctor’s offices or even basic refrigeration makes it hard to…


January 31, 2020

ArtsUW Roundup: the Orlando Consort performs at Meany Hall, The Best of Everything kicks-off, and more

This week in the arts, attend Jacob Lawrence Legacy Resident Marisa Williamson’s artist talk, join the Henry Art Gallery for a trumpet and American Sign Language performance, listen as David Alexander Rahbee leads the UW Symphony, and more! To learn about more events taking place, visit ArtsUW. Open Rehearsal with the UW Symphony February 3,  3:30 pm –…


January 24, 2020

ArtsUW Roundup: Preserving Elephants in the Age of Extinction, Brian Brooks Moving Company, The Best of Everything, and more

This week in the arts, experience a free concert at Benaroya Hall commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz, attend a lecture about the story of Shawn Wong’s rediscovery of “No-No Boy,” and more! To learn about more events taking place, visit ArtsUW. Music of Remembrance: Art from Ashes – Free Concert Commemorating the 75th…


January 21, 2020

Mosquitoes are drawn to flowers as much as people — and now scientists know why

Despite their reputation as blood-suckers, mosquitoes actually spend most of their time drinking nectar from flowers. Scientists have identified the chemical cues in flowers that stimulate mosquitoes’ sense of smell and draw them in. Their findings show how cues from flowers can stimulate the mosquito brain as much as a warm-blooded host — information that could help develop less toxic repellents and better traps.


January 9, 2020

By the numbers: UW in the media in 2019

collage of portraits

In 2019, the University of Washington was mentioned in 4,143 news articles around the world. Among those, UW experts were quoted 2,290 times: 1,185 in national or international outlets and 1,105 in regional and local outlets.


December 19, 2019

Mindful travel, Silicon Valley’s evolution, Schumann on viola, Seattle history — UW-authored books, music for the Husky on your list

A list of several UW-authored books and cds that might make good holiday gifts.

  A teacher discusses respectful world travel, a historian explores Silicon Valley’s evolution, a professor and violist plays the music of Robert Schumann and a late English faculty member’s meditation on Seattle returns … Here’s a quick look at some gift-worthy books and music created by UW faculty in the last year — and a…


December 12, 2019

ArtsUW Roundup: wrap up the year at the Burke Museum and Henry Art Gallery and see what’s coming up in 2020

To end the year on a high note, take advantage of visiting the museums on campus (free admission, as always, for UW employees and students)! Burke Museum Daily 10 am – 5 pm | Closed on December 25 and January 1 Experience natural and cultural collections at the Burke Museum. The Burke brings research and…


December 9, 2019

Jackson School researcher explores nexus of politics, religion in new podcast, ‘ReligioPolitics’

Randy Thompson, postdoctoral researcher with the Jackson School, is producing the new ReligioPolitics podcast

Randy Thompson, a postdoctoral researcher with the UW Jackson School of International Studies will explore the nexus of religion and politics in a new podcast, “ReligioPolitics.”


December 6, 2019

ArtsUW Roundup: Jomama Jones performance, Scandinavian 30, and more

This week in the arts, enjoy Beethoven Trio Cycle with School of Music faculty, use the arts to spark dialogue about memory loss, support Indigenous Artists at the Burke, and more! Beethoven Trio Cycle Concert December 9, 7:30 pm | Meany Center Faculty colleagues Craig Sheppard, piano; Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir, cello; and Rachel Lee Priday, violin, present…


Astronomy fellowship demonstrates effective measures to dismantle bias, increase diversity in STEM

a person smiling and looking at the camera

Joyce Yen — director of the University of Washington’s ADVANCE Center for Institutional Change, an NSF-funded body to promote female STEM faculty on campus — recently worked with the Heising-Simons Foundation to dismantle bias and promote diversity in a prominent grant that the Foundation awards to postdoctoral researchers in planetary science. In this Q&A, Yen shares the many, sometimes counterintuitive ways bias can work against goals toward greater diversity, equity and inclusion in STEM fields.


December 4, 2019

Joy Williamson-Lott honored for book on civil rights, higher education in South during Jim Crow era

Joy Williamson-Lott, uw grad school dean and professor of education receives honor for her 2018 book Jim Crow Campus: Higher Education and the Struggle for a New Southern Social Order

Joy Williamson-Lott, dean of the UW Graduate School and a professor of education, has been honored for her 2018 book “Jim Crow Campus: Higher Education and the Struggle for a New Southern Social Order.”


December 3, 2019

International studies professor Donald Hellmann to receive Japan government’s Order of the Rising Sun — highest honor for scholars

Donald Hellmann, longtime professor in the Jackson School, is being awarded the Order of the Rising Sun by the government of Japan

Donald Hellmann, UW professor emeritus in the Jackson School of International studies and of political science, has been awarded the Order of the Rising Sun from the Government of Japan, in recognition of his contributions in promoting academic exchanges and mutual understanding between Japan and the United States. Hellmann, 86, teaches courses on Japanese government…


November 26, 2019

Author, professor Charles Johnson featured on American Philosophy Association posters on diversity

UW English professor emeritus Charles Johnson is one of five people whose likeness is featured on posters promoting diversity and inclusion sent by the American Philosophical Association to every college undergraduate philosophy program in the United States and Canada. And he is in excellent company: The other four people featured, each in a separate poster,…


Six UW faculty members named AAAS fellows

The American Association for the Advancement of Science has named six faculty members from the University of Washington as AAAS Fellows, according to a Nov. 26 announcement. They are part of a cohort of 443 new fellows for 2019, all chosen by their peers for “scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.”


Dads in prison can bring poverty, instability for families on the outside

A new University of Washington study finds that families with a father in prison tend to live in neighborhoods with higher poverty.


November 25, 2019

ArtsUW Roundup: Professor Chadwick Allen presents Earthworks Rising, annual School of Music CarolFest, and more

This week in the arts, Three Sisters closes, Professor Shannon Dudley bridges campus and community, Burke Open Doors allows chatting with researchers, and more! Exhibition: In Plain Sight November 23 – April 26, 2020 | Henry Art Gallery This group exhibition engages artists whose work addresses narratives, communities, and histories that are typically hidden or invisible…


UW astronomy professor Paula Szkody elected to American Astronomical Society leadership

Paula Szkody has begun a term as president-elect of the AAS, and will serve as the society's president in 2020-2022.

Balancing the needs of open science with national security and journal sustainability, and respecting the beliefs of native populations near observatories are among current issues for the American Astronomical Society, said Paula Szkody, University of Washington professor of astronomy. She has begun a term as president-elect of the AAS, and will serve as the society’s president in 2020-2022.


November 18, 2019

Among transgender children, gender identity as strong as in cisgender children, study shows

Photo of two children, in silhouette, on a beach

New findings from the largest study of socially-transitioned transgender children in the world, conducted by researchers at the University of Washington, show that gender identity and gender-typed preferences manifest similarly in both cis- and transgender children, even those who recently transitioned.


November 12, 2019

ArtsUW Roundup: Public opening of ‘In Plain Sight,’ view ALTAR: Ritual, Prayer, Offering — and more

This week in the arts, join poet Cedar Sigo at the Burke, learn about the translation of comics, attend a performance by Gabriel Kahane and School of Music faculty, and more! Closing Reception for ALTAR: Ritual, Prayer, Offering November 22, 6:30 – 8:30 pm | Jacob Lawrence Gallery Altars are often erected to pay homage…


New Weill Neurohub will unite UCSF, UC Berkeley, UW in race to find new treatments for brain diseases

An image of neurons under a microscope

With a $106 million gift from the Weill Family Foundation, UC Berkeley, UC San Francisco and the University of Washington have launched the Weill Neurohub, an innovative research network that will forge and nurture new collaborations between neuroscientists and researchers working in an array of other disciplines — including engineering, computer science, physics, chemistry and mathematics — to speed the development of new therapies for diseases and disorders that affect the brain and nervous system.


November 7, 2019

ArtsUW Roundup: Olmstead in Seattle, the Music of Somalia’s Disco Era, Artist Talk with Kameelah Janan Rasheed, and more

This week in the arts, see a mind-blowing troupe of wildly creative and physically daring dancers at Meany Center, learn about Somali funk, disco, soul and reggae of the 1970s and 80s, and more! Olmstead in Seattle November 12, 7 pm | Center for Urban Horticulture Seattle has one of the most extensively developed Olmsted…



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