University of Washington computer science professor Oren Etzioni will lead a new institute on artificial intelligence founded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Etzioni designed the technologies behind startup companies Netbot and Farecast. He talks with Ross Reynolds about what he could do working for Allen that he couldn’t do at the University of Washington.
With last week's confirmation of the existence of a brand new element (ununpentium), we're thinking about the periodic table of the elements, which predicts the behavior of elements long before they're discovered. Many of us haven't thought about the periodic table since high school. But it's one of the most powerful visual graphics ever created.
Above: A lovely wall ceramic tile periodic table from the main facade of the Sciences Building in the University of Jaén (Spain). (Dr. Antonio Marchal) Everyone knows it when they see it. The classic "castle with turrets" periodic table is a beautiful and concise icon that contains a great deal of amazing information, if you only know how to read it.
We take for granted the fact that we can predict long-term weather forecasts. Now scientists at the University of Washington are working on ways to forecast the changing conditions of the ocean. They hope these forecasts can help them better understand how those conditions affect Northwest fisheries.
Samantha Siedlecki is a research scientist at the University of Washington Joint Institute of the Study of Atmosphere and Ocean; she helped develop the forecasting tools and explains the way they work.
Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 5:50 pm
It's been a busy summer on the high seas for researchers trying to figure out the inner workings of an ominous earthquake fault. The Cascadia Subduction Zone runs offshore from Vancouver Island to Northern California. When it rips, we could have a magnitude 9 catastrophe.
University of Washington geophysicist Paul Johnson led a nearly month-long research cruise to the likely epicenter for the Big One. His ship carried an unmanned minisub to probe the seafloor directly over the still somewhat mysterious Cascadia earthquake fault.
This young whooping crane is on its first fall migration, guided by an Operation Migration ultralight aircraft. Each whooper in this population wears an identification band, and many carry tracking devices that record their movements in detail.
Credit Heather Ray / Operation Migration USA Inc.
All the whooping cranes studied by the University of Maryland team received the same initial flight training as chicks, following an Operation Migration ultralight from Wisconsin to Florida in the fall. The Science study looked at data on their subsequent migrations — without the plane — beginning with the following spring.
Being a wildlife biologist in the 21st century increasingly means rescuing rare animals from extinction. Among the success stories is the whooping crane. Seventy years ago there were only about 16 birds left on the planet. Now there are about 600.
The world is a mysterious place. In labs and observatories around the world, people are trying to make sense of nature’s secrets. This hour on The Conversation we talk to scientists and science writers about the natural world around us and what scientists are doing to harness its power.
War is often remembered through history textbooks. Shortly before Veteran’s Day 2004, Weekday took a look at war through the eyes of soldiers and their families. Steve Scher talked with two Medal of Honor recipients: retired Air Force Col. Joe M. Jackson and retired Army Maj. Gen. Patrick H. Brady.
Many of us have experienced "the wave" at a baseball game, and most of us have marveled at fish swimming in schools or starlings whirling around in the evening sky. In 2009, Steve Scher talked with Julia Parish, associate director of the school of aquatic and fishery sciences at the University of Washington, about why animals move together.
In this past month, Washington state cut funding for the smoking cessation hotline. Humorist David Sedaris has a different approach to quit smoking. Instead of calling the hotline, Sedaris moved to Japan. His story "The Smoking Section" is just one of 17 essays in his book “When You Are Engulfed in Flames.” Steve Scher talked with David Sedaris back in 2008 about smoking and other tales.
Are you optimistic about the future of science? A recent Pew Survey found that 71 percent of Americans believe artificial arms and legs will perform better than natural ones by 2050, and 69 percent believe there will be a cure for most forms of cancer by then.
Will most Americans be springing for artificial limbs in 40 years? Maybe not. But we are certainly optimistic about the possibility of it all. Ross Reynolds talks with Tali Sharot, research fellow in the department of cognitive, perceptual and brain sciences at University College London and the author of “The Optimism Bias: A Tour of the Irrationally Positive Brain.”
Science News What does laboratory hamburger meat have in common with Mars Rover “Curiosity” and Jeff Bezos? They’re the focus of Alan Boyle’s science news update. He's the science editor for NBC News Digital. He'll tell us what you’ll be eating, reading and dreaming about in the years to come.
The Opt-Out Generation Wants Back In In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, many successful women left the workforce to stay home and raise children. The trend was documented in a 2003 New York Times Magazine cover story called “The Opt-Out Revolution.” Now many of these same women want back in. In this week’s follow-up issue, journalist Judith Warner explores why so many women who once opted-out are opting back in, and how their lives have changed. What about you? If you left the workforce to have children, what did you give up? If you’re just now rejoining the workforce, what challenges are you facing? Share your thoughts by emailing Weekday.
Protests In Egypt Supporters and opponents to former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi held rallies throughout Egypt on Friday. Tensions between the two sides have been escalating over the past month resulting in the death of over 100 people. We get an update on the situation in Egypt from Middle East correspondent for the Financial Times, Borzou Daragahi. We also talk with Maha Jashan, a local Egyptian-American, on how she’s been following the events in Egypt from Seattle.
"Why Is The Penis Shaped Like That? And Other Reflections On Being Human" Being human is very different than being a chimpanzee, or a bumble bee, or a rat. We think different, we act different, and we look different. Psychological scientist Jesse Bering explores what it means to be human by asking questions that are sometimes outside the realm of “polite conversation.”
New State Laws On The Books Starting today, it will be easier for the wrongly convicted to receive restitution for jail time served, people parking in electric vehicle charging stations will be fined if they aren’t plugged in, and bosses can no longer demand social media passwords from prospective employees. Everett Herald reporter and columnist Jerry Cornfield gives us an overview.
NASA is returning to the moon this summer, but not to plant a flag and hit a golf ball. The space agency is building lasers to send information. Why are lasers the new technology for space communication? Ross Reynolds hears from Don Cornwell, the mission manager for the Lunar Laser Communications Demonstration at NASA.
Planetary Resources, a company based in Bellevue, decided to bridge the gap between the planet and the cosmos with the world’s first crowd-funded, publicly-accessible telescope. Their Kickstarter campaign recently raised over $1.5 million from 17,614 people in just 33 days.
When science fiction author and casual prophet Isaac Asimov wrote about his visit to the World’s Fair in New York in 1964, he imagined what the world would be like in 50 years. Almost 50 years later he seems to have gotten a few things right: “Robots will neither be common nor very good in 2014, but they will be in existence. The IBM exhibit at the present fair has no robots but it is dedicated to computers, which are shown in all their amazing complexity, notably in the task of translating Russian into English.”