Backed by $12.5M in federal funding, Univ. of Washington leads new data science institute

Maryam Fazel, a University of Washington electrical and computer engineering professor, will lead the multidisciplinary Institute for Foundations of Data Science (IFDS). Fazel is pictured with colleagues in this 2015 photo. (UW Photo / Patrick Bennett)

With $12.5 million in federal funding, the University of Washington will lead a cohort of institutions tackling foundational challenges in the field of data science.

The UW is teaming up with interdisciplinary researchers from University Wisconsin-Madison, University California-Santa Cruz and University of Chicago to form the Institute for Foundations of Data Science (IFDS). The effort will be led by Maryam Fazel, a UW electrical and computer engineering professor.

The institute marks the culmination of three years of work supported by the National Science Foundation as part of its Transdisciplinary Research in Principles of Data Science, or TRIPODS, program. The effort is part of the NSF’s Harnessing the Data Revolution Big Idea project.

“As data

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It’s an old-growth forest. It’s also home to a Washington school’s first foray into outdoor learning amid COVID-19.

Think of what you see and hear in the woods. Bird song. Spiderwebs. Branches framing the sky.

This particular forest is in Port Townsend. It’s an old-growth plot called the Quimper Lost Wilderness. Many of the trees here are more than 170 years old. 

It’s also the site of a local private school’s new outdoor classroom. No desks, no smartboards. Instead, the school will bring in local botanists, poets and historians to teach students about the land’s first people and its role as a habitat for plants and animals. Says Emily Gohn, the school’s head: Class is in session, rain or shine. 

At a time when thousands of children and their teachers are reinventing school on screens, places like Swan School are experimenting with the polar opposite: bringing school to nature. Gohn and a handful of other Washington school leaders are trying their hand at outdoor schooling, a concept that

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Kerry Washington Talks Four Emmy Nominations, ‘The Prom’ and Why Olivia Pope Never Had Kids (Watch)

Kerry Washington could not help but remember filming “Scandal” while she was pregnant. “It’s impossible to not worry about the Black men in my life out in the world. My cousins, my dad, my husband. That is the reality of loving a Black person in America, is you open yourself up to the vulnerability of the danger that Black people face every day,” Washington says on Tuesday’s episode of the Variety and iHeart podcast “The Big Ticket.” “I think a lot about it because I remember begging Shonda [Rhimes] when I was pregnant, ‘couldn’t Olivia Pope be pregnant?’ Because I was like, ‘How are we going to hide this person inside me? I don’t even know how to do the Olivia Pope walk with a human being inside of me.’ And she was adamant that Olivia Pope was not going to have children.”” data-reactid=”19″As the Black Lives Matter

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Singaporean academic pleads guilty to being Chinese agent in Washington

consulate - Houston Chronicle
consulate – Houston Chronicle

A Singaporean man has admitted being an agent for Chinese intelligence, setting up a fake consulting firm in Washington as part of an elaborate plot to obtain information from US government and Pentagon officials.

Jun Wei Yeo, 39, also known as Dickson Yeo, pleaded guilty to a charge of acting within the United States as an illegal agent of a foreign power.

It was the latest development in an escalation of tensions between the US and China which saw tit-for-tat consulate closures this week.

The US shut China’s consulate in Houston, calling it a hub for spying. Beijing responded by ordering Washington to close its consulate in Chengdu.

According to the US justice department Yeo was recruited by China when he was a PhD student at the National University of Singapore, and went on to be an academic researcher at The George Washington University in the

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University Of Washington Moves More Fall Courses Online

SEATTLE, WA — The University of Washington is scaling back plans to hold small, in-person courses this fall quarter, citing an “alarming increase” in COVID-19 cases seen in Washington and much of the United States.

In late June, UW unveiled plans that would allow for courses with 50 or fewer students to be taught in large classrooms, while larger classes would be offered remotely. The university prioritized physical instruction for “hands-on” courses, which require time in studios, clinics or labs.

As the number of coronavirus cases and rates of transmission continue to grow in King County and elsewhere, school leadership is adjusting the fall outlook to include even less time spent on campus.

UW sent letters to students, staff and faculty Wednesday, informing them of the latest changes.

“Although conditions continue to be extremely fluid and unpredictable, we write today to provide you with the best information and guidance we

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Hospitals told to send coronavirus data to Washington, not CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will “no longer control” the coronavirus data collection system from hospitals across the nation, a spokesman for U.S. Health and Human Services confirmed Tuesday night.

The New York Times reported earlier Tuesday that the administration had ordered hospitals to bypass the CDC and send all COVID-19 patient information to a central database in Washington beginning Wednesday, raising concerns from health experts that it will be politicized or withheld from the public.

Michael Caputo, assistant secretary for public affairs for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said in a statement to NBC News that it would be a faster system.

He said that the CDC has about a one-week lag in reporting hospital data.

“The new faster and complete data system is what our nation needs to defeat the coronavirus and the CDC, an operating division of HHS, will certainly participate in

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