Researcher with scientific equipment

Research Projects and Initiatives


Research in the College spans a wide range of topics, with many interdisciplinary areas — including population health and race and equity — connecting to broader UW initiatives. Across all four divisions, researchers, scholars, artists and teachers push the boundaries of discovery and expression.

Our faculty are leaders in some of the most ambitious research projects of our time, including the Rubin Observatory, the most comprehensive optical astronomy survey ever undertaken. Faculty across the College also work toward social change, focusing on equity, public policy, human rights, environmental justice, international relations, ethics in technology, and other timely and pressing issues.

With the UW’s prominence in data science, researchers in statistics, sociology, applied mathematics, and many other Arts & Sciences departments and units integrate data science into their work, focusing on the potential of data to help us better understand society and the world.  Arts & Sciences faculty also provide expertise in the field of artificial intelligence and its implications for society.

Research Initiatives Across Arts & Sciences

Through interdisciplinary research initiatives, faculty and students are pursuing ambitious projects in all four Arts & Sciences divisions.  Here are a few examples.

Student and faculty using 3D printer


The Arts and Creativity Initiative aims to bring together students, artists, scholars and audiences in state-of-the-art facilities to catalyze creative discovery.

Ancient text


At the intersection of technology and scholarship, the Digital Humanities initiative increases the accessibility of knowledge and builds community.


Natural Sciences

Researchers at the DIRAC Institute are using data intensive, computationally-driven science to explore fundamental questions about the origins and evolution of our universe

Performer in costume

Social Sciences

The Center for Communication, Difference and Equity seeks to change the structures of power around us through research, classes, networking and mentorship

A discarded Covid mask by a chain link fence

Estimating the global impact of COVID

To estimate the number of excess deaths due to the COVID pandemic, the World Health Organization brought together an international research team led by Jon Wakefield, UW professor of statistics and biostatistics. The team’s estimate of nearly 15 million excess deaths by the end of 2021 was almost triple the number of COVID deaths reported by countries individually.

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Nikki Yeboah in Cal Anderson Park

Understanding a protest through theater

Nikki Yeboah, assistant professor of drama, wrote the play “11th and Pine” to capture the complexities of Seattle’s 2020 Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP). Yeboah and a research team of UW graduate and undergraduate students reviewed media coverage of the protests and conducted in-depth interviews with dozens of CHOP participants in preparation for writing the play.

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Sign for Northwest Detention Center

Exposing human rights violations

Ongoing research by faculty and students at the UW Center for the Human Rights (UWCHR) has confirmed disturbing human rights violations at the Northwest Detention Center, a privately run facility operated on behalf of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). UWCHR, housed in the Jackson School of International Studies, has published a series of reports outlining its findings.

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