UW News

The latest news from the UW


March 31, 2020

Republican governors delayed key COVID-19 social distancing measures

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.

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UW researchers need your (digital) coughs

UW researchers are developing an app that will allow health organizations to monitor coughs from self-quarantined COVID-19 patients from home.

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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.

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Faculty/staff honors: Outstanding educator in landscape architecture, Royal Society of Edinburgh corresponding fellowship — and the Green Rat Clingfish takes a bow

Recent honors to University of Washington faculty and staff have come from the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture, the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the World Register of Marine Species.

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March 27, 2020

Laptops for takeout or delivery: Student technology program readies for spring quarter

With the university’s spring quarter beginning Monday, UW staff and student workers in the Student Technology Loan Program spent the week-long spring break gathering, checking and cleaning some 300 laptops and tablets for distribution – and, for the first time, shipping many of those devices to the homes of UW students across the country.

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March 26, 2020

UW researcher identifies workers most harmed by economic disruption due to COVID-19

Only about 25% of the U.S. workforce — some 35.6 million people — are in jobs that can easily be done at home, a University of Washington researcher has determined, as these are the positions in which using a computer is important but interacting with the public is not. These jobs are typically in highly-paid…

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March 24, 2020

UW researchers to study resilience, well-being among King County residents during pandemic

University of Washington researchers have launched the King County COVID-19 Community Study — or KC3S — to gather data through April 19 on how individuals and communities throughout King County are coping with the measures put in place to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

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Ships’ emissions create measurable regional change in clouds

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.

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March 23, 2020

Anatomy of a frogfish: New book explores world of fishes with arms and legs

What fish can walk, scoot, clamber over rocks, change color and even fight to the death? That would be the frogfish. UW Notebook talks with Ted Pietsch, UW professor of emeritus of aquatic and fishery sciences, about his latest book, “Frogfishes: Biodiversity, Zoogeography, and Behavioral Ecology”

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UW custodial staff in the midst of massive ‘deep clean’ of campus

When the UW moved to online instruction March 9, UW Facilities Services developed a three-week disinfection plan. Custodial staff are now working through more than 500 classrooms, lecture halls, libraries, auditoriums and shared spaces, with similar efforts under way in Bothell and Tacoma.

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Soundbites: Law professor Hugh Spitzer on regulating human movement

UW law professor Hugh Spitzer speaks to the power of state and local governments as officials consider measures to restrict movement to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

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March 19, 2020

‘Sushi parasites’ have increased 283-fold in past 40 years

A new study led by the University of Washington finds dramatic increases in the abundance of a worm that can be transmitted to humans who eat raw or undercooked seafood. Its 283-fold increase in abundance since the 1970s could have implications for the health of humans and marine mammals, which both can inadvertently eat the worm.

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March 18, 2020

How people investigate — or don’t — fake news on Twitter and Facebook

UW researchers watched 25 participants scroll through their Facebook or Twitter feeds while, unbeknownst to them, a Google Chrome extension randomly added debunked content on top of some of the real posts.

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‘Fatal attraction’: Small carnivores drawn to kill sites, then ambushed by larger kin

University of Washington researchers have discovered that large predators play a key yet unexpected role in keeping smaller predators and deer in check. Their “fatal attraction” theory finds that smaller predators are drawn to the kill sites of large predators by the promise of leftover scraps, but the scavengers may be killed themselves if their larger kin return for seconds.

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March 17, 2020

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

The University of Washington’s graduate and professional degree programs were widely recognized as among the best in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 Best Graduate School rankings released March 17.

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‘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…

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Survey: What blocks your bus?

UW researchers are inviting the public to share their experiences on their regular commutes in a survey.

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March 16, 2020

Faculty/staff honors: Lithuanian state decoration; National Heart, Lung, Blood Institute award; Google research awards

Recent honors to UW faculty and staff have come from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the Republic of Lithuania and Google.

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March 15, 2020

Why COVID-19 strategies built around the concept of ‘herd immunity’ are problematic

The idea of building herd immunity – increasing the number of infected to such a degree that naturally occurring immunity would outstrip the coronavirus, while isolating the elderly and others at greatest risk of the disease – has been tossed around in the United States, the United Kingdom and elsewhere.  This week, however, U.K. officials…

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March 12, 2020

UW graduate student tests positive for COVID-19

The UW Advisory Committee on Communicable Diseases (ACCD) announced Thursday that a UW Seattle campus graduate student has tested positive for COVID-19. The student is recovering at home, out of state, and we wish them well. 

Staying connected — at a distance

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

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Ocean acidification impacts oysters’ memory of environmental stress

Researchers from the University of Washington School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences have discovered that ocean acidification impacts the ability of some oysters to pass down “memories” of environmental trauma to their offspring.

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March 11, 2020

Soundbites: UW experts respond to Gov. Inslee’s limits on crowd sizes

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee issued on Wednesday, March 11, an emergency proclamation that limits large events to minimize risks to public health during the COVID-19 outbreak. Here are how two UW experts responded to questions about the order.

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An architecture class goes online

Rick Mohler, associate professor of architecture, meets with his Research Design Studio students online. Normally a hands-on class with poster-size drawings and tabletop scale models, Mohler’s design studio has shifted to the small screen.

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March 10, 2020

‘Age of A.I.’ documentary on YouTube features UW experts

A documentary series produced and released this winter by YouTube features UW computer scientist Pedro Domingos and members of the UW-based Pacific Northwest Seismic Network.

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UW faculty join radio debate on climate change solutions

KUOW’s That’s Debatable on Wednesday will feature two University of Washington faculty members: Dan Schwartz, professor of chemical engineering and director of the Clean Energy Institute, and Kate Simonen, upcoming chair of the Department of Architecture and director of the Carbon Leadership Forum.

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March 9, 2020

Soundbites & B-roll: Instructor Rick Mohler’s architecture class goes online

Rick Mohler, associate professor of architecture in the College of Built Environments, is now teaching his classes using Zoom. His architecture classes usually meet in person, but were conducted entirely online Monday.

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Soundbites & B-roll: Marissa Baker on workplace disease exposure

A University of Washington researcher calculates that 14.4 million workers face exposure to infection once a week and 26.7 million at least once a month in the workplace, pointing to an important population needing protection.

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

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…

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Book notes: UW architectural historian Tyler Sprague explores the work of Kingdome designer Jack Christiansen

A talk with UW architecture professor Tyler Sprague about his book “Sculpture on a Grand Scale: Jack Christiansen’s Thin Shell Modernism.” Plus books from Rick Bonus and Yong-Chool Ha.

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

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.

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March 6, 2020

Video: President Cauce on the decision to end in-person classes for the quarter

University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce sat down with Vice President of Student Life Denzil Suite for a candid conversation about how COVID-19 is affecting campus operations, why classes will no longer meet in person for the rest of the quarter and whether a student-led petition had an impact on the decision.

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Press conference: University of Washington’s response to COVID-19

The University of Washington held a press conference at 12:30 p.m. Friday, March 6, 2020 to address the decision to move classes online in an effort to limit the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak, and address the UW staff member who received a presumptive positive test result.

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UW staff member has presumptive positive test for COVID-19

The UW Advisory Committee on Communicable Diseases (ACCD) announced Friday that a University of Washington staff member who works in the Roosevelt Commons East building has received a presumptive positive test for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. The employee is in self-isolation at home. Out of an abundance of caution, the building, which is located west of the UW’s Seattle campus in the 4300 block of 11th Ave. NE, has been closed for appropriate cleaning until further notice.

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UW classes will no longer meet in person through end of quarter

The University of Washington announced today that starting Monday, March 9, classes will no longer meet in person. For the remainder of the quarter, instructors have been asked to conduct classes and/or exams remotely, as possible, until the quarter concludes on March 20. Final exams will not be conducted in person, but may be conducted online when feasible, and at the instructor’s discretion. 

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Millions of US workers at risk of infections on the job, UW researchers calculate, emphasizing need to protect against COVID-19

A University of Washington researcher calculates that 14.4 million workers face exposure to infection once a week and 26.7 million at least once a month in the workplace, pointing to an important population needing protection as the novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19, continues to break out across the U.S. Marissa Baker, an assistant professor in the…

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

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…

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March 5, 2020

The food you need: UW expert on preparing for an extended home stay

Nutritional science expert Anne-Marie Gloster, a lecturer in the UW School of Public Health’s Nutritional Sciences Program and expert in emergency food planning, has put together this list of things to think about and foods to have on hand if you should be called on to stay at home for an extended period. “Shopping intentionally…

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Visitors should avoid coming to UW campus to see cherry blossoms amid COVID-19 outbreak

The University is asking people to avoid coming to campus this year to comply with Gov. Inslee’s March 11 proclamation that prohibits large gatherings of more than 250 people as our region combats the spread of COVID-19.

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President Cauce, Dr. Geoff Gottlieb discuss UW COVID-19 response at ASUW senate meeting

University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce, joined by Dr. Geoff Gottlieb, head of the UW’s Advisory Committee on Communicable Diseases, met with the members of the ASUW Student Senate on March 3 to share the most current information and take questions about the University’s response and preparations for the novel coronavirus.

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