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UW’s Ed Lazowska: ‘Washington is the ass end of the donkey in just about every aspect of education’

The incredible talent that the University of Washington pumps out every year was on display during Tuesday’s Seattle Tech Meetup, as five startups with UW ties gave five-minute pitches to the crowd at the Paul G. Allen Center for Computer Science and Engineering. But unfortunately for the state, the UW is one of the few bright spots… Read More

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Washington bill could make CSE classes count for math, science credit

A new bill in the Washington State Legislature may allow computer science classes to count as a math or science requirement toward high school graduation. Currently, Washington high schoolers who take a computer science class don’t receive a math or science credit. HB 1472 would enable this and “provide initiatives to improve and expand access to computer science… Read More

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Code.org video featuring Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and other coding geeks goes viral

Code.org, the non-profit created by entrepreneurs Ali and Hadi Partovi, has struck a nerve with its video about the importance of computer science education. The video, which was released earlier this week, has already been viewed more than five million times. (across various platforms). Of course, it didn’t hurt that the video — directed by Lesley… Read More

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Ed Lazowska: The iPad wouldn’t be here without federal research dollars

University of Washington computer science professor Ed Lazowska is known for his strong opinions. And he got to share some of those Thursday, testifying before the House Science, Space and Technology Subcommittee on Research and Science Education. Lazowska’s main point: Federal research dollars play a critical role in helping to spark innovation. Lazowska was making… Read More

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Seattle snapshots: Northern Lights put on a great show

Monday night provided a rare opportunity for space-enthusiasts and photographers as the Northern Lights were visible around the northern part of the world. Several Seattleites snapped some amazing photos, like the one above from GeekWire reader Richard Burte at Snoqualmie. He also created a gallery from last night. Northern Lights, also known as Aurora Borealis, appear when… Read More

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Bill Nye back in spotlight, challenging skeptics of evolution

Television personality and engineer Bill Nye recently hinted that his popular “Science Guy” series might return with an online show. If this is any indication, there would certainly be an audience for it. A video featuring Nye challenging creationism has gone viral on YouTube. Posted last week by the online video series BigThink, the video… Read More

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Brighten clouds to help Earth? Scientists want to test theory

A group of scientists, including a University of Washington atmospheric physicist, wants to test the theory that pumping sea salt into the sky over the ocean would combat global warming by creating clouds that reflect more sunlight back into space. The experiment in “marine cloud brightening” is proposed by scientists including the UW’s Rob Wood in… Read More

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It’s a particle! Higgs news draws giddy crowd to bar

You could call it a magnetic attraction that drew about 175 people to a midnight party thrown by the University of Washington’s Physics Department, Pacific Science Center and KCTS television to celebrate the discovery of a new particle. “This is once in a generation,” said Stephanie Fitzwater, who helped organize the event about the Higgs… Read More

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Watch the big Higgs Boson news at a bar, with physicists

Maybe it’s not true that nothing good happens in a bar after midnight. Excitement is building in advance of a major news conference tonight where scientists involved with the Large Hadron Collider are expected to reveal the latest in their search for the elusive Higgs Boson particle. It’s considered the last great question in particle… Read More

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Stephen Hawking to speak at Seattle Science Festival

Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking has been added to the lineup of speakers for the Seattle Science Festival next month. The author of A Brief History of Time and former professor of mathematics at the University of Cambridge will join other notable speakers on June 16th as part of the Luminaries Series, a monthlong series of… Read More

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Mining a $20 trillion asteroid? New clues emerge about space robot startup

We’ve been digging up details this week about a Seattle-area startup that is developing robots to explore space, led by the former flight director for NASA’s Mars Rover missions, along with some of the biggest names in commercial spaceflight, and backed by investors and advisers including Google’s Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, along with filmmaker James Cameron. What… Read More

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Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen donates $300M to help solve the mysteries of the human brain

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is doubling down on his efforts to better understand the human brain, announcing plans today to donate $300 million to the Allen Insitute of Brain Science. That brings total fundraising in the 9-year-old non-profit scientific organization to $500 million, one of the largest philanthropic commitments ever to fund neuroscience. In a… Read More

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Check out these 14 ‘entrepreneur’ grants for STEM education

Washington STEM, a nonprofit that supports science, technology, engineering, and math education across the state, has awarded 14 grants to educators in Washington. The one-year investments are used to encourage teachers to pilot new ideas that could be used to bolster STEM education. “My female students use to think that building robots was just for boys,” said, Dave… Read More

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Paul Allen calls for ‘open science’ and wider sharing of data

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen makes the case for broader sharing of scientific data — an “open science” model – in a newly published opinion piece (subscription required) in the Wall Street Journal, drawing from the experiences of the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle. Allen explains that the institute initially considered charging for access to its online… Read More

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Bionic eye? Researchers see progress on contact lenses

University of Washington electrical engineering researchers say they have successfully tested a single-pixel, wirelessly powered display on a contact lens on live rabbits without side effects. The research, detailed today in a paper in the Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, is a key milestone in their long-term effort to let humans to see information displayed Terminator-style… Read More