UW News

College of Arts & Sciences


September 19, 2018

DNA testing of illegal ivory seized by law enforcement links multiple ivory shipments to same dealers

African elephants examining a bone from another elephant

The international trade in elephant ivory has been illegal since 1989, yet African elephant numbers continue to decline. In 2016, the International Union for Conservation of Nature cited ivory poaching as a primary reason for a staggering loss of about 111,000 elephants between 2005 and 2015 — leaving their total numbers at an estimated 415,000….


September 12, 2018

Three UW teams receive TRIPODS+X grants for research in data science

Drumheller Fountain on a Sunny Day

The National Science Foundation announced on Sept. 11 that it is awarding grants totaling $8.5 million to 19 collaborative projects at 23 universities for the study of complex and entrenched problems in data science. Three of these projects will be based at the University of Washington and led by researchers in the College of Engineering and the College of Arts & Sciences.


September 7, 2018

New Life Sciences Building is a nexus for modern-age teaching and research at the University of Washington

building

The University of Washington today opened the doors to a new Life Sciences Building that will transform learning, teaching and research for generations.

The $171 million Life Sciences complex includes seven floors and 207,000 square feet that encourages and makes possible team-oriented science. Designed by Perkins+Will and built by Skanska, the building encompasses a 187,000-square-foot research and teaching facility and a 20,000-square-foot research greenhouse with UW plant collections.


September 4, 2018

NSF to fund new $25M software institute to enable discoveries in high-energy physics

A simulation of a particle physics experiment.

On Sept. 4 the National Science Foundation announced the creation of the Institute for Research and Innovation in Software for High Energy Physics, or IRIS-HEP. The institute is a coalition of 17 research institutions, including the University of Washington, and will receive $25 million from the NSF over five years.


August 9, 2018

For UW physicists, the 2-D form of tungsten ditelluride is full of surprises

Two monolayers interacting

In a paper published online July 23 in the journal Nature, a UW-led research team reports that the 2-D form of tungsten ditelluride can undergo “ferroelectric switching.” Materials with ferroelectric properties can have applications in memory storage, capacitors, RFID card technologies and even medical sensors — and tungsten ditelluride is the first exfoliated 2-D material known to undergo ferroelectric switching.


August 3, 2018

UW, PNNL to host energy research center focusing on bio-inspired design and assembly

Photo by Katherine Turner.

The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded an expected $10.75 million, four-year grant to the University of Washington, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and other partner institutions for a new interdisciplinary research center to define the enigmatic rules that govern how molecular-scale building blocks assemble into ordered structures and give rise to complex hierarchical materials.


July 25, 2018

And then there was (more) light: Researchers boost performance quality of perovskites

an image of an experimental disk

In a paper published online this spring in the journal Nature Photonics, scientists at the University of Washington report that a prototype semiconductor thin-film has performed even better than today’s best solar cell materials at emitting light.


July 18, 2018

Atlantic Ocean circulation is not collapsing – but as it shifts gears, global warming will reaccelerate

Depiction of Atlantic circulation with red arrows pointing north and blue arrows pointing south.

New research suggests the Atlantic Ocean is transitioning back to its slower phase, which means average global air temperatures will go back to rising more quickly.


June 27, 2018

To tell the sex of a Galápagos penguin, measure its beak, researchers say

A Galapagos penguin.

In a paper published April 5 in the journal Endangered Species Research, scientists at the University of Washington announced that, for a Galápagos penguin, beak size is nearly a perfect indicator of whether a bird is male or female.


June 15, 2018

Study: Undergrad research experiences make a noticeable difference

Photo by Katherine Turner. The Block W statue at the North entrance to the UW Seattle campus.

A new analysis suggests the value of structured research programs for undergraduates extends to society as a whole by encouraging participants to seek advanced degrees in scientific and technological fields.


May 23, 2018

Arts Roundup: An Evening of Shakespeare, Design Show, and more

Design Show

This week in the arts, attend a hilarious and surprising play, celebrate the start of summer with an evening of Shakespeare, visit the Burke for free at First Thursday, and go to a graduation design show. Goldie, Max and Milk May 22 – June 3 | Glen Hughes Penthouse Theater Max, a single lesbian, just…


May 16, 2018

Arts Roundup: Percussion Ensemble, UW Sings, and more

Percussion Ensemble

This week in the arts, attend a hilarious and surprising play, join in on the Percussion Studio’s and Choir’s end of year performances, and attend a Seattle-based ensemble’s innovative chamber music concert. Goldie, Max and Milk May 22 – May 27 | Glen Hughes Penthouse Theater Max, a single lesbian, just gave birth. She’s unemployed,…


May 15, 2018

Chemist Karen Goldberg elected to the National Academy of Sciences

Photo by Katherine Turner.

Karen Goldberg, an affiliate professor of chemistry at the University of Washington, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences.


May 9, 2018

Arts Roundup: A Conversation with artist Shirin Neshat, Gospel Choir, Photomedia Exhibit Reception, and more

A Conversation with Shirin Neshat

This week in the arts, six MFA candidates in dance invite you to see the premiere of their work, attend a conversation with contemporary Iranian visual artist Shirin Neshat, listen to a 100-voice gospel choir, and more. MFA Dance Concert May 16 – 20 | Meany Studio Theater Six MFA candidates in dance invite you…


May 7, 2018

Stomata — the plant pores that give us life — arise thanks to a gene called MUTE, scientists report

A microscopy image of the surface of a plant.

New research in plants shows that a gene called MUTE is required for the formation of stomata — the tiny pores that are critical for gas exchange, including releasing the oxygen gas that we breathe.


May 3, 2018

Atomically thin magnetic device could lead to new memory technologies

A depiction of the crystal structure of chromium triiodide (CrI3), with chromium atoms shown in purple and iodine atoms in yellow. The black arrows represent the electron "spins," which are analogous to tiny bar magnets.

In a study published online May 3 in the journal Science, a University of Washington-led team announced that it has discovered a method to encode information using magnets that are just a few layers of atoms in thickness. This breakthrough may revolutionize both cloud computing technologies and consumer electronics by enabling data storage at a greater density and improved energy efficiency.


May 1, 2018

Arts Roundup: Artist Talk with Sharon Lockhart, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, MFA Dance Concert, and more

Complexions Contemporary Ballet

This week in the arts, experience a rock-opera-style ballet that pays homage to David Bowie’s iconic and chameleonic spirit, attend a lecture with American artist Sharon Lockhart, see the premiere of six conceptually diverse dance pieces, and more. Harry Partch Festival 7:30 p.m., May 11 – 13 | Meany Theater Twentieth century American composer Harry…


April 25, 2018

Arts Roundup: Stroum Lectures with Gary Shteyngart, Harry Partch Festival, and more

Stroum Lectures with Gary Shteyngart

This week in the arts, visit a graduation exhibit featuring the works of Interdisciplinary Visual Arts students, see Tony Kushner’s epic tale of AIDS in the 1980s, attend a lecture by award-winning author and frequent New Yorker contributor Gary Shteyngart, learn about themes related to Seattle Art Museum’s exhibition ‘Figuring History’ with Catharina Manchanda, and…


April 18, 2018

Arts Roundup: Barry Liberman and Friends Master Class, Scholarship Chamber Group: Discovery Trio, Ethnomusicology Visiting Artist: Spanish Flamenco Artist Ricardo Garcia, and more

Barry Liberman and Friends Master Class: Jordan Anderson

This week in the arts, attend a master class taught by Seattle Symphony artist, see Tony Kushner’s epic tale of AIDS in the 1980s, explore music throughout the past four centuries, hear 13-year-old violinist perform in UW Keyboard Program’s quarterly series, and listen to a special blend of Flamenco music with a guest artist.


April 9, 2018

After 30 years of R&D, breakthrough announced in dark matter detection technology, definitive search to begin for axion particles

Two men standing in a particle physics laboratory

This week, the Axion Dark Matter Experiment (ADMX) announced that it has achieved the necessary sensitivity to “hear” the telltale signs of dark matter axions. This technological breakthrough is the result of more than 30 years of research and development, with the latest piece of the puzzle coming in the form of a quantum-enabled device that allows ADMX to listen for axions more closely than any experiment ever built.


April 3, 2018

Four UW students honored by Goldwater Foundation

School shot

Three University of Washington undergraduates are among 211 students nationwide named as 2018 Goldwater Scholars. One UW student received honorable mention.


March 29, 2018

Stellar break-up likely behind ‘runaway’ star’s fast pace, researcher says

An image of a galaxy taken from Earth.

During a recent survey of supermassive stars, an international team of astronomers discovered a star that is in quite a hurry. As they report in a new paper, the team tracked one yellow supergiant star cruising along at about 300,000 miles per hour, a velocity that would get you from the Earth to the Moon in about 48 minutes.


March 28, 2018

Decade of fossil collecting in Africa gives new perspective on Triassic period, emergence of dinosaurs

an artist rendering of teleocrater, an early dinosaur relative

A University of Washington-led project spanning countries, years and institutions has attempted to reconstruct what the southern end of the world looked like during the Triassic period, 252 to 199 million years ago.


March 26, 2018

Underground neutrino experiment sets the stage for deep discovery about matter

Copper housing for a stack of germanium detectors.

In a study published March 26 in Physical Review Letters, collaborators of the MAJORANA DEMONSTRATOR have shown they can shield a sensitive, scalable 44-kilogram germanium detector array from background radioactivity. This accomplishment is critical to developing a much larger future experiment to study the nature of neutrinos.


March 19, 2018

University of Washington graduate and professional disciplines rank highly in US News’ Best Graduate School lists

library at night

Nearly 50 different graduate and professional programs and specialties at the University of Washington are among the top 10 in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 Best Graduate School rankings released March 20.


March 15, 2018

Democratizing science: Researchers make neuroscience experiments easier to share, reproduce

Depiction of the left hemisphere of the human brain

Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a set of tools to make MRI studies of our central nervous system easier to share.


February 20, 2018

Using a laser to wirelessly charge a smartphone safely across a room

Five people posing

Engineers at the University of Washington have for the first time developed a method to safely charge a smartphone wirelessly using a laser.


February 12, 2018

Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

A portion of the team’s experimental setup for capturing an image using a metalens. The researchers capture an image of flowers through a metalens (mounted on a microscope slide) and visualize it through a microscope.

In a paper published Feb. 9 in Science Advances, scientists at the University of Washington announced that they have successfully combined two different imaging methods — a type of lens designed for nanoscale interaction with lightwaves, along with robust computational processing — to create full-color images.


February 7, 2018

Arts Roundup: Dance Majors Concert, Modern Music Ensemble, Intersections Pre-Concert Lecture, and more

Dance Majors Concert

This week in the arts, experience modern dance from a fresh and youthful perspective, hear UW’s modern music ensemble and top auditioned choirs, listen to a pre-show lecture by UW Germanics professor, see British pianist Imogen Cooper perform her classical repertoire, and aboard the S.S. American with the Musical Theater program’s performance of “Anything Goes!”


Fruit bat’s echolocation may work like sophisticated surveillance sonar

blue bat head shape

High-speed recordings of Egyptian fruit bats in flight show that instead of using a primitive form of echolocation, these animals actually use a technique recently developed by humans for surveillance and navigation.


January 31, 2018

University of Washington, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory team up to make the materials of tomorrow

pnnl-UW-mashup

The Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the University of Washington announced the creation of the Northwest Institute for Materials Physics, Chemistry and Technology — or NW IMPACT — a joint research endeavor to power discoveries and advancements in materials that transform energy, telecommunications, medicine, information technology and other fields.


January 25, 2018

If you swat mosquitoes, they may learn to avoid your scent

A tethered, flying Aedes aegypti mosquito.

In a published Jan. 25 in Current Biology, University of Washington researchers report that mosquitoes can learn to associate a particular odor with an unpleasant mechanical shock akin to being swatted. As a result, they’ll avoid that scent the next time.


January 22, 2018

Lab-made hormone may reveal secret lives of plants

Chemical structure of a plant hormone

By developing a synthetic version of the plant hormone auxin and an engineered receptor to recognize it, University of Washington biology professor Keiko Torii and her colleagues are poised to uncover plants’ inner workings, raising the possibility of a new way to ripen fruits such as strawberries and tomatoes.


January 19, 2018

University Faculty Lecture to highlight screening newborns for genetic diseases

Michael_Gelb

For this year’s University Faculty Lecture, University of Washington chemistry professor Michael Gelb will discuss the science behind screening newborns for treatable — but rare — genetic diseases.


January 10, 2018

Arts Roundup: Trojan Women: A Love Story, Faculty Dance Concert, Ethnomusicology Visiting Artist Concert: Sepideh Raissadat, and performances by Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company

Trojan Women: A Love Story

This week in the arts, experience a modern portrayal of a classic Greek Tragedy, see the annual Faculty Dance Concert featuring new collaborations with students and guest artists, hear an internationally renowned classical vocalist showcase her work with UW students, and watch dancers tell a story of resilience in the first performance of an exciting trilogy.


January 3, 2018

Arts Roundup: Performances by violinist Itzhak Perlman, Takács Quartet with special guest Erika Eckert, a riveting play — Trojan Women: A Love Story and more

Photo of Itzhak Perlman

This week in the arts, listen to a duo performance of piano professors, hear the internationally acclaimed Takács String Quartet, promising young pianist Scott Cuellar, immerse yourself in the post-apocalyptic world of Trojan Women: A Love Story, and attend a performance by Grammy and Emmy Award Winning violinist Itzhak Perlman.


December 5, 2017

Living cell membranes can self-sort their components by ‘demixing’

A vacuole in a yeast cell.

Scientists at the University of Washington show for the first time that the complex distribution of molecules within a membrane of a living yeast cell arises through demixing.


December 3, 2017

Kim Nasmyth — a UW postdoctoral alumnus — wins Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences for discoveries in cell biology, genetics

Kim Nasmyth

Kim Nasmyth, a professor of biochemistry at the University of Oxford and former postdoctoral researcher at the University of Washington, is one of five recipients of the 2018 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences. Nasmyth and other prize recipients were honored by the Breakthrough Prize Foundation at a ceremony December 3 at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California.


November 30, 2017

Giant black hole pair photobombs Andromeda Galaxy

blackhole_binary-TILE

A cosmic photobomb found as a background object in images of the nearby Andromeda galaxy has revealed what could be the most tightly coupled pair of supermassive black holes ever seen.


November 16, 2017

UW receives top honors from CleanTech Alliance for research and support in energy innovation, industry partnerships

People posing at an award ceremony

The CleanTech Alliance has presented the University of Washington with the organization’s 2017 CleanTech Achievement Award. The honor recognizes the UW’s dedication to research and development of transformative clean energy technologies, facilities, pipelines for startups and industry partnerships. The award was announced on Nov. 8 at the annual meeting and 10th anniversary of the CleanTech…



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