UW News

The latest news from the UW


December 4, 2019

Outlook for the polar regions in a 2 degrees warmer world

With 2019 on pace as one of the warmest years on record, a new international study reveals how rapidly the Arctic is warming and examines global consequences of continued polar warming.

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Warmer temperatures will increase arsenic levels in rice, study shows

UW researchers have found that warmer temperatures, at levels expected under most climate change projections, can lead to higher concentrations of arsenic in rice grains.

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

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.”

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Better wildfire and smoke predictions with new vegetation database

Researchers from the University of Washington and Michigan Technological University have created the first comprehensive database of all the wildfire fuels that have been measured across North America. Ultimately, it can help scientists make more informed decisions about fire and smoke situations.

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December 3, 2019

Communities around Sea-Tac Airport exposed to a unique mix of air pollution associated with aircraft

Communities underneath and downwind of jets landing at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport are exposed to a type of ultrafine particle pollution that is distinctly associated with aircraft, according to a new University of Washington study, the first to identify the unique signature of aircraft emissions in the state of Washington. The finding comes from the two-year…

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

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…

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For some corals, meals can come with a side of microplastics

A new experiment by the University of Washington has found that some corals are more likely to eat microplastics when they are consuming other food, yet microplastics alone are undesirable.

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December 2, 2019

Grants awarded: Speeding the engineering life cycle with data science; developing literacy interventions for students with intellectual disabilities; preventing depression among young women

UW faculty members Roxanne Hudson and Magdalena Balazinska have received grants for research to be conducted over the next few years.

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Faculty/staff honors: Housing association nod, honorary doctorate, distinguished fellow, best conference paper

Recent honors to UW faculty and staff members include an honorary doctorate from the University of Bucharest, membership in an inaugural class of distinguished fellows in pharmacology, and a leadership position in a national student housing association.

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Carpentry Compiler helps woodworkers design objects that they can actually make

UW researchers have created Carpentry Compiler, a digital tool that allows users to design woodworking projects. Once a project is designed, the tool creates optimized fabrication instructions based on the materials and equipment a user has available.

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November 27, 2019

A method with roots in AI uncovers how humans make choices in groups and social media

Using a mathematical framework with roots in artificial intelligence and robotics, UW researchers were able to uncover the process of how a person makes choices in groups. And, they also found they were able to predict a person’s choice more often than more traditional descriptive methods.

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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,…

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UW researchers Alex Luedtke, Tyler McCormick receive ‘new innovator’ grants through NIH High-risk, High-Rewards program

Two UW professors — Alex Luedtke and Tyler McCormick — are among 60 researchers the National Institutes of Health has named recipients of its 2019 Director’s New Innovator Awards.

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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.”

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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.

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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…

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UW astronomy professor Paula Szkody elected to American Astronomical Society leadership

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.

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Grants awarded: Studying ‘culturally sustaining pedagogies,’ dual-credit coursework; teaching global perspective in architecture

University of Washington faculty members have been awarded grants for research to be conducted over the next few years. Django Paris, an associate professor in the College of Education, has been awarded a $1 million grant from the Spencer Foundation. With the four-year grant, Paris will work with H. Samy Alim, a professor at the…

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New ‘UW Notebook’ section will tell stories of UW faculty and staff

Welcome to UW Notebook, a new section of the UW News site dedicated to telling stories of good work done by faculty and staff members at the University of Washington.

November 21, 2019

More Washington residents part of University of Washington’s fall 2019 entering class

The new class of undergraduates at the University of Washington this fall contains the largest number of Washington state residents in the UW’s history, according to the finalized fall 2019 census of enrolled students released by all three campuses.

November 20, 2019

Emissions from electricity generation lead to disproportionate number of premature deaths for some racial groups

UW researchers have found that air pollution from electricity generation emissions in 2014 led to about 16,000 premature deaths in the continental U.S. In many states, the majority of the health impacts came from emissions originating in other states.

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November 19, 2019

UW drives $15.7 billion of state’s economy; sustains more than 100,000 jobs

Across its three campuses, the University of Washington generated a total impact on the state’s economy of more than $15.7 billion in FY 2018, according to an economic contribution analysis released today. The study further concludes that the economic activity of the UW system supported or sustained 100,520 jobs throughout the state.

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November 18, 2019

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

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.

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November 15, 2019

UW aerospace engineer part of $1.7M grant to study corals

An interdisciplinary team of researchers from multiple institutions — including the University of Washington — has received a two-year $1.7 million National Science Foundation grant to study coral growth.

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November 13, 2019

Founder of World Justice Project, former top Microsoft lawyer Bill Neukom to chair advisory board for UW Population Health Initiative

Known for his decades-long leadership of Microsoft’s law and corporate affairs team and then at the American Bar Association, his success as CEO of the San Francisco Giants and founder/CEO of the World Justice Project, Bill Neukom will now chair the external advisory board for the University of Washington Population Health Initiative. The university initiative is a…

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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…

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

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.

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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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Team uses golden ‘lollipop’ to observe elusive interference effect at the nanoscale

A team led by scientists from the University of Washington and the University of Notre Dame used recent advances in electron microscopy to observe Fano interferences — a form of quantum-mechanical interference by electrons — directly in a pair of metallic nanoparticles.

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November 6, 2019

Mailed self-sampling kits helped more women get screened for cervical cancer

Signaling a potential major change in cervical cancer screening options for American women, a new study found that mailed self-sampling kits that test for HPV — the virus that can cause cervical cancer — helped significantly more women get screened for the cancer. The study involving nearly 20,000 women was conducted by researchers from the…

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November 5, 2019

Fall storms, coastal erosion focus of northern Alaska research cruise

A University of Washington team is leaving to study how fall storms, dwindling sea ice and vulnerable coastlines might combine in a changing Arctic.

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Soundbites & b-roll: HuskySat-1

‘HuskySat-1’ is among seven student-built satellites from around the country that launched Saturday morning, Nov. 2, from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on the Virginia coast.

November 4, 2019

Swordfish as oceanographers? Satellite tags allow research of ocean’s ‘twilight zone’ off Florida

UW marine scientists are using high-tech tags to record the movements of swordfish — big, deep-water, migratory, open-ocean fish that are poorly studied — and get a window into the ocean depths they inhabit.

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Single discrimination events alter college students’ daily behavior

UW researchers aimed to understand both the prevalence of discrimination events and how these events affect college students in their daily lives. Over the course of two academic quarters, the team compared students’ self-reports of unfair treatment to passively tracked changes in daily activities, such as hours slept, steps taken or time spent on the phone.

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Light-based ‘tractor beam’ assembles materials at the nanoscale

Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a method that could make reproducible manufacturing at the nanoscale possible. The team adapted a light-based technology employed widely in biology — known as optical traps or optical tweezers — to operate in a water-free liquid environment of carbon-rich organic solvents, thereby enabling new potential applications.

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November 1, 2019

ArtsUW Roundup: attend the Danish String Quartet concert, observe a Monologue Audition workshop, and more

This week in the arts, celebrate Beethoven’s 250th anniversary with Jonathan Biss, attend the Burke museum for free, catch A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and more. Jonathan Biss – Celebrating Beethoven Pt 1 November 5, 7:30 pm | Meany Center In celebration of the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, Meany Center presents a selection of his piano sonatas…

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October 31, 2019

Washington’s first student-built satellite preparing for launch

After years of preparation, a tiny satellite built by UW students is scheduled to launch early Saturday, Nov. 2, from a NASA flight facility in Virginia. The launch will be broadcast live on NASA TV.

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New technique lets researchers map strain in next-gen solar cells

Researchers from the University of Washington and the FOM Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics in the Netherlands have developed a way to map strain in lead halide perovskite solar cells. Their approach shows that misorientation between microscopic perovskite crystals is the primary contributor to the buildup of strain within the solar cell, which creates small-scale defects in the grain structure, interrupts the transport of electrons within the solar cell, and ultimately leads to heat loss through a process known as non-radiative recombination.

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October 29, 2019

UW book notes: Political scientist Megan Ming Francis to edit new series on race, ethnicity, politics

University of Washington political scientist Megan Ming Francis says there is a dearth of academic book series being published on topics of race, ethnicity and politics. Now, she will start to change that. An associate professor of political science, Francis will be the editor of a new series of books from Cambridge University Press called…

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Popular third-party genetic genealogy site is vulnerable to compromised data, impersonations

UW researchers have found that the third-party genealogy site GEDmatch is vulnerable to multiple kinds of security risks.

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