Origins News Feature 800X524

Exploring our Origins

The quest to understand our beginnings — of our universe, of life on Earth, of our species — inspires people all over the world. At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, researchers have forged partnerships with colleagues in South Africa and are uncovering answers and opening new scientific frontiers.

The stories of their work are presented in "Origins," a three-part multimedia narrative exploring the beginnings of the universe, life on earth and humankind.

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In On Wisconsin Magazine: Empowering mothers

A new book by Afro-American studies alumna Sagashus Levingston (MA’096) gives voice to mothers from all walks of life. 

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“Crazy Rich Asians” movie offers pressure and possibility, says UW expert

It’s not every day that Hollywood makes a movie featuring a predominately Asian cast. In fact, it’s been 25 years since “The Joy Luck Club” did. “Crazy Rich Asians” is ending that drought Aug. 15. Based on the best-selling novel by Kevin Kwan, it tells the story of a dashing college professor who takes his girlfriend (also a professor) home to meet his mega-wealthy family in Singapore.

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In On Wisconsin Magazine: Communication Arts alum Jerry Zucker

Love it or leave it, Airplane! is often cited as the funniest movie of all time, and surely, communication arts alum Jerry Zucker (BS’72) can be held responsible. For Zucker, the journey from Madison to Hollywood started on graduation day. 

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Could computers help close partisan divides?

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison are using computers in new ways to develop a comprehensive picture of how people communicate about politics, and how those conversations can be shaped by media, social networks and personal interactions.

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A video game can change the brain, may improve empathy in middle schoolers

This fantastical scenario is the premise of a video game developed for middle schoolers by University of Wisconsin–Madison researchers to study whether video games can boost kids’ empathy, and to understand how learning such skills can change neural connections in the brain.

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Elementary and middle-school-aged girls show off their AI skills

The room is full of fourth-to-sixth-grade girls talking, laughing and programming on laptops. The big day is just around the corner, and they are putting the finishing touches on the projects they have worked on for nearly eight weeks this summer.

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New Korean Language Flagship Program to launch

The second of its kind in the nation — which will give UW-Madison students a new way to pursue intensive study of Korean language and culture — adds to the university’s reputation as a foreign-language leader. 

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Patrick Iber in The Chronicle of Higher Education: History in an Age of Fake News

We work and live in a time when historical knowledge has become intensely politicized. That knowledge is political is hardly new, but the rise of Donald Trump has heightened the polarization.

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In On Wisconsin Magazine: Passing the puck in Pyongyang

When English alum Alex Frecon (BA’09) left his home in Minnesota to play hockey against the North Korean men’s national team in Pyongyang in March 2017, he didn’t tell his parents — or anyone else except for two close friends. “I didn’t want to hear everyone’s opinion,” Frecon says. “I wanted to do it for myself.”

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