The University of Wisconsin–Madison (also known as University of Wisconsin, Wisconsin, UW, or regionally as UW–Madison, or simply Madison) is a public research university in Madison, Wisconsin, United States. Founded when Wisconsin achieved statehood in 1848, UW–Madison is the official state university of Wisconsin, and the flagship campus of the University of Wisconsin System. It was the first public university established in Wisconsin and remains the oldest and largest public university in the state. It became a land-grant institution in 1866. The 933-acre (378 ha) main campus includes four National Historic Landmarks.

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University of Wisconsin-Madison
University of Wisconsin-Madison
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  • UW-Madison scientists, in partnership with scientists in South Africa, study some of the world’s most ancient but well-preserved rocks to help find clues about the origins of life on Earth. The rock yields evidence like the earliest signatures of oxygen on the planet, which allowed life to evolve from simple microbes sometimes known as pond scum to the complex life we know today.

University of Wisconsin-Madison
University of Wisconsin-Madison
YouTube Video
  • The very origins of life arose billions of years ago on Earth. Scientists at UW-Madison are studying how it began, from the first simple microbes that appeared early in Earth’s history, to the explosion of complex life just 600,000 years ago. Geology Professor Clark Johnson explains how scientists believe it may have all started.

University of Wisconsin-Madison
University of Wisconsin-Madison
YouTube Video
University of Wisconsin-Madison
University of Wisconsin-Madison
YouTube Video
  • The Cradle of Humankind in South Africa is one of the richest sites in the world for studying human origins. UW–Madison has a long history of anthropological research there, playing key roles in some of its most significant discoveries. Undergraduate students, too, play a critical part. Each summer they travel to South Africa for a field school at Swartkrans, a site in the Cradle of Humakind, wher...

University of Wisconsin-Madison
University of Wisconsin-Madison
YouTube Video
  • UW-Madison Anthropology Professor John Hawks takes us on a tour of the Homo naledi exhibit at Maropeng Museum in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site in South Africa in July 2017. Tourists can see a display showcasing some of the 1500+ bones and teeth unearthed by a team of anthropologists beginning in 2013. The fossils were originally discovered by adventurous spelunkers who navigated thro...

University of Wisconsin-Madison
University of Wisconsin-Madison
YouTube Video
University of Wisconsin-Madison
University of Wisconsin-Madison
YouTube Video
  • Scientists from the University of Wisconsin travel to a remote region of South Africa to work with the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT), an incredible tool used to examine astronomical objects like stars and galaxies. UW-Madison helped the South African government plan and build this 10-meter telescope and remains a key partner in operating and maintaining it. It is the largest of its kind...

University of Wisconsin-Madison
University of Wisconsin-Madison
YouTube Video
  • The 10-meter mirror array is the heart of SALT, the Southern African Large Telescope. It is made of 91 hexagonal-shaped pieces that are controlled individually to maximize the collection of light. The mirrors move to create an optimal shape which precisely gathers the faint fragments of light from space and concentrates it into the instruments on the telescope.

University of Wisconsin-Madison
University of Wisconsin-Madison
YouTube Video
  • Spectrographs are the workhorses of astronomy, taking the light telescopes gather and converting it into the data astronomers use. A team of UW–Madison scientists and engineers designed and built the visible-light spectrograph at the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) and are working on a new spectrograph that will allow SALT to process infrared light. It will expand what astronomers are capa...

University of Wisconsin-Madison
University of Wisconsin-Madison
YouTube Video
University of Wisconsin-Madison
University of Wisconsin-Madison
YouTube Video
  • Scientists around the world use the Southern African Large Telescope, (SALT) to gather information about objects in the universe. Some of these scientists also come to Madison to work alongside and train with our world-leading experts. UW–Madison is known for its expertise in building and designing astronomical instrumentation, like the spectrograph at SALT.

University of Wisconsin-Madison
University of Wisconsin-Madison
YouTube Video
  • On March 7, 2018, hundreds of students engage in "Battle for Bascom," an epic snowball fight held on Bascom Hill at the University of Wisconsin-Madison during winter. Multiple years in the running, the spirited annual battle pits members of the Lakeshore residence halls against those from the Southeast residence halls. The Lakeshore team once claimed victory. (Video by Jeff Miller / UW-Madison)