UW News

College of Engineering


April 9, 2024

UW joins $110M cross-Pacific effort to advance artificial intelligence

officials pose for a group shot

The University of Washington and the University of Tsukuba have entered an innovation partnership with NVIDIA and Amazon aimed at furthering research, entrepreneurship, workforce development and social implementation in the field of artificial intelligence. This U.S.-Japan academic partnership is part of a broad, $110 million effort to build upon the strong ties between the U.S. and Japan and to continue to lead innovation and technological breakthroughs in artificial intelligence.


March 28, 2024

Q&A: How to train AI when you don’t have enough data

A drawing of dots connected to lines

As researchers explore potential applications for AI, they have found scenarios where AI could be really useful but there’s not enough data to accurately train the algorithms. Jenq-Neng Hwang, University of Washington professor of electrical and computer and engineering, specializes in these issues.


March 14, 2024

UW researchers taught kids to code with cultural research and embroidery machines

University of Washington researchers taught a group of high schoolers to code by combining cultural research into various embroidery traditions with “computational embroidery.” The method teaches kids to encode embroidery patterns on a computer through a coding language called Turtlestitch.


February 29, 2024

Q&A: How a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease could also work for Type 2 diabetes

Alzheimer’s disease and Type 2 diabetes are part of a family of amyloid diseases that are characterized by having proteins that cluster together. UW researchers have demonstrated more similarities between the two diseases.


February 7, 2024

Q&A: Helping robots identify objects in cluttered spaces

A shelf in a lab. The shelf contains the following items: a pitcher on its side, a bowl in front of a bottle of Soft Scrub, a mug on a plate and a spoon balanced on the plate. Everything except the plate has a green box around it. The plate has a red box around it.

Robots in warehouses and even around our houses struggle to identify and pick up objects if they are too close together, or if a space is cluttered. This is because robots lack what psychologists call “object unity,” or our ability to identify things even when we can’t see all of them. Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a way to teach robots this skill.


UW-developed smart earrings can monitor a person’s temperature

The temperature sensing earring is shown attached to a person’s ear. The portion touching the earlobe has a gemstone on it. Dangling a few centimeters below it is a small circular circuit board.

University of Washington researchers introduced the Thermal Earring, a wireless wearable that continuously monitors a user’s earlobe temperature. Potential applications include tracking signs of ovulation, stress, eating and exercise. The smart earring prototype is about the size and weight of a small paperclip and has a 28-day battery life.


February 6, 2024

Nancy Allbritton elected to National Academy of Engineering

Nancy Allbritton, the dean of the University of Washington College of Engineering and a UW professor of bioengineering, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering.


January 30, 2024

Using computers to design proteins allows researchers to make tunable hydrogels that can form both inside and outside of cells

New research led by the UW demonstrates a new class of hydrogels that can form not just outside cells, but also inside of them. These hydrogels exhibited similar mechanical properties both inside and outside of cells, providing researchers with a new tool to group proteins together inside of cells.


January 9, 2024

Q&A: UW researchers answer common questions about language models like ChatGPT

A cellphone running ChatGPT sits on a textbook that's slightly out of focus.

A team University of Washington researchers have published a guide explaining language models, the technology that underlies chatbots.


December 27, 2023

Cells, microscopes and scientists: Chemical engineering professor’s coloring book makes science accessible

The cover of a ColorMePHD coloring book

ColorMePhD is a free, all-ages coloring book series created by Julie Rorrer, assistant professor of chemical engineering at the University of Washington. The books bring current doctorate-level research in science and engineering to a general audience.


December 19, 2023

How will climate change affect how predators hunt prey? Two UW professors teamed up to find out

A hand wearing a glove next to a paw print in the snow

Two UW professors teamed up to study how climate change will affect predator-prey interactions in snowy landscapes. Together with a group of researchers, the two measured snow properties that led to a “danger zone,” where prey would sink but predators would not.


December 14, 2023

Seattle metro residents near Amazon delivery stations face more pollution but order fewer packages

An Amazon cargo van parked in front of two houses in Seattle.

UW researchers found that people who live within 2 miles of an Amazon last-mile delivery station are exposed to more delivery-related air pollution despite ordering fewer packages.


November 30, 2023

More than 40 UW experts on Highly Cited Researchers 2023 List

campus view in fall

The University of Washington is proud to announce that more than 40 faculty and researchers who completed their work while at UW have been named on the annual Highly Cited Researchers 2023 list from Clarivate.


November 29, 2023

AI image generator Stable Diffusion perpetuates racial and gendered stereotypes, study finds

Four images created by AI image generator Stable Diffusion with the prompt "person from Oceania" show four light-skinned people.

University of Washington researchers found that when prompted to make pictures of “a person,” the AI image generator over-represented light-skinned men, failed to equitably represent Indigenous peoples and sexualized images of certain women of color.


October 17, 2023

Q&A: Researchers aim to improve accessibility with augmented reality

A drawing of a phone labeling accessibility problems in a kitchen.

This month, University of Washington researchers will introduce multiple projects that deploy augmented reality — through headsets and phone apps — with the aim of making the world more accessible for people with disabilities.


September 27, 2023

MilliMobile is a tiny, self-driving robot powered only by light and radio waves

Two fingers are about to pick up a tiny robot

The robot, equipped with a solar panel–like energy harvester and four wheels, is about the size of a penny, weighs as much as a raisin and can move about the length of a bus in an hour on a cloudy day.


September 21, 2023

UW team’s shape-changing smart speaker lets users mute different areas of a room

The seven robotic microphones sit in their charging station

A team led by researchers at the University of Washington has developed system of robotic self-deploying microphones, which lets users control sound in a room, muting certain areas and creating “active zones” in others.


September 14, 2023

Faculty/staff honors: Two professors on TIME100 AI list, UW President Ana Mari Cauce honored for contributions to León, and more

Recent recognition for the University of Washington includes Emily M. Bender and Yejin Choi on the TIME100 AI list, President Ana Mari Cauce receiving a Decrees Award and Jeff Hou’s election to the American Society of Landscape Architects’ Council of Fellows.


September 13, 2023

Battery-free robots use origami to change shape in mid-air

A hand holding tweezers that are holding a yellow square with circuits on it

UW researchers developed small robotic devices that can change how they move through the air by “snapping” into a folded position during their descent.


September 12, 2023

Fall snow levels can predict a season’s total snowpack in some western states

The sun shines through trees in a forest and there is a light dusting of snow on the ground

Research led by the UW found that, in some western states, the amount of snow already on the ground by the end of December is a good predictor of how much total snow that area will get.


August 14, 2023

UW bioengineering researchers help create a roadmap to diversify faculty hiring

A biochemistry lab bench with pipettes and bottles of liquid. A microcentrifuge and a Bunsen burner sit to the right

A team of biomedical researchers has developed a new method for hiring engineering professors. The primary goal is to actively recruit a more diverse group of applicants and improve the rate that doctoral students from historically excluded groups go on to become faculty members.


July 27, 2023

Q&A: UW researcher discusses just how much energy ChatGPT uses

A hand holding a phone that has ChatGPT on the screen

Training a large language model, such as ChatGPT, uses on average roughly equivalent to the yearly electricity consumption of over 1,000 U.S. households, according to Sajjad Moazeni, UW assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, who studies networking for AI and machine learning supercomputing.


July 24, 2023

With a new app, smart devices can have GPS underwater

A scuba diver swims in dark water.

A team at the University of Washington has developed the first underwater 3D-positioning app for smart devices. When at least three divers are within about 98 feet of each other, the app tracks each user’s location relative to the leader.


July 19, 2023

Researchers put a new twist on graphite

A team led by researchers at the University of Washington reports that it is possible to imbue graphite — the bulk, 3D material found in No. 2 pencils – with physical properties similar to graphite’s 2D counterpart, graphene. Not only was this breakthrough unexpected, the team also believes its approach could be used to test whether similar types of bulk materials can also take on 2D-like properties. If so, 2D sheets won’t be the only source for scientists to fuel technological revolutions. Bulk, 3D materials could be just as useful.


July 18, 2023

Eight UW professors elected to Washington State Academy of Sciences

The Academy said members are elected “in recognition of their outstanding record of scientific and technical achievement, and their willingness to work on behalf of the Academy to bring the best available science to bear on issues within the state of Washington.” 


July 10, 2023

New biodegradable plastics are compostable in your backyard

A person is holding up a cube and looking at it

A team led by researchers at the University of Washington has developed new bioplastics that degrade on the same timescale as a banana peel in a backyard compost bin.


June 27, 2023

Researchers make a quantum computing leap with a magnetic twist

This artistic depiction shows electron fractionalization — in which strongly interacting charges can “fractionalize” into three parts — in the fractional quantum anomalous Hall phase.

A team led by scientists and engineers at the University of Washington has announced a significant advancement in developing fault-tolerant qubits for quantum computing. In a pair of papers published June 14 in Nature and June 22 in Science, they report that, in experiments with flakes of semiconductor materials — each only a single layer of atoms thick — they detected signatures of “fractional quantum anomalous Hall” (FQAH) states. The team’s discoveries mark a first and promising step in constructing a type of fault-tolerant qubit because FQAH states can host anyons — strange “quasiparticles” that have only a fraction of an electron’s charge. Some types of anyons can be used to make what are called “topologically protected” qubits, which are stable against any small, local disturbances.


June 21, 2023

An app can transform smartphones into thermometers that accurately detect fevers

A researcher holds a phone to a patient's forehead.

A team led by researchers at the University of Washington has created an app called FeverPhone, which transforms smartphones into thermometers without adding new hardware.


June 5, 2023

Faculty/staff honors: Psychology professor elected to esteemed educational science association, Dean of Social Work receives lifetime achievement award and more

Recent recognition of the University of Washington includes the election of Andrew Meltzoff to the National Academy of Education, a lifetime achievement award for Dean of the School of Social Work Edwina Uehara and Ed Kolodziej selected as a Frontiers Planet Prize finalist.


May 23, 2023

Q&A: Have a favorite food memory? How technology can help take you back

A hand holding a spring roll open in the palm. Inside the spring roll are noodles and finely chopped vegetables. Behind the hand is a plate containing more vegetables.

Danli Luo, a UW doctoral student of human centered design and engineering, developed a toolkit of sensors and controllers that helped her re-create three dishes from growing up in China: rice wine, tofu and spring roll wrappers.


April 24, 2023

University of Washington is a core member of newly announced New York Climate Exchange

illustration of building on Governors Island with Manhattan in the distance

UW will be a core member of a consortium led by Stony Brook University that will build and operate The New York Climate Exchange – a carbon-neutral international hub focused on climate action and adaptation


April 19, 2023

Q&A: Two ways UW researchers are studying marine microplastics

microplastics seen in a water tank

Two University of Washington researchers are using very different methods to investigate the issue of marine microplastics. For Earth Day, UW News asked them to discuss their research.


February 17, 2023

Video: Lummi Nation School students visit UW to talk to International Space Station astronaut

Astronaut Josh Cassada holding a microphone and floating in the International Space Station.

Students from the Lummi Nation School visited the University of Washington in earlh February for a real-time Q&A with astronaut Josh Cassada aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Cassada helped do space research on a plant science experiment the students sent to the ISS.


February 15, 2023

UW computer scientist and mathematician named Sloan Fellows

two head shots, a woman and a man

Two University of Washington faculty members have been awarded early-career fellowships from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The new Sloan Fellows, announced Feb. 15, are Leilani Battle, an assistant professor in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering, and Jonathan J. Zhu, an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics.


February 9, 2023

UW experts discuss the earthquake in Turkey and Syria

Three University of Washington experts have provided quotes in response to the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria on Monday morning.


February 8, 2023

Q&A: UW researcher discusses future of quantum research

Kai-Mei Fu headshot

Scientists at the University of Washington are pursuing multiple quantum research projects spanning from creating materials with never-before-seen physical properties to studying the “quantum bits” — or qubits (pronounced “kyu-bits”) — that make quantum computing possible. UW News sat down with Professor Kai-Mei Fu, one of the leaders in quantum research on campus, to talk about the potential of quantum R&D, and why it’s so important.


January 23, 2023

Q&A: How AI can help people be more empathetic about mental health

A team led by researchers at the University of Washington studied how artificial intelligence could help people on the platform TalkLife, where people give each other mental health support. The researchers developed an AI system that suggested changes to participants’ responses to make them more empathetic. The best responses resulted from a collaboration between AI and people.


December 5, 2022

New blood test can detect ‘toxic’ protein years before Alzheimer’s symptoms emerge, study shows

stylized image of the human brain

Researchers at the University of Washington have detected “toxic” small aggregates of a particular protein in the blood of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, as well as in individuals who showed no signs of cognitive impairment at the time the blood sample was taken, but who developed it at a later date. This blood test picks up oligomers — or small, misfolded aggregates — of the amyloid beta protein, which scientists believe triggers the development of Alzheimer’s.


November 16, 2022

Q&A: UW researchers find privacy risks with 3D tours on real estate websites

A screenshot of a virtual tour of a house. The scene is in a living room and there is a bar over the picture that says "click to explore this 3D space"

University of Washington researchers examined 44 3D tours in 44 states across the U.S. to look for potential security issues when personal details were included in the tour.


October 31, 2022

How low-cost earbuds can make newborn hearing screening accessible

A person holds a child, who is looking at the camera. Another person's arm holds a probe to the child's ear. The probe is connected to a smartphone, which the third person is holding.

A team led by researchers at the University of Washington has created a new hearing screening system that uses a smartphone and earbuds.



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