Governor appoints energy professor emeritus Robert Sawyer to chair Air Resources Board
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Thursday (Dec. 22) announced the appointment of Robert Sawyer, engineering professor emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, as chair of the state Air Resources Board (ARB).
Keck telescope captures faint new ring around Uranus
Uranus has at least 13 rings, two more than previously seen, according to a new report by astronomers observing the planet with the Hubble Space Telescope. UC Berkeley astronomer Imke de Pater quickly discovered that one of these is red enough to be observed by the ground-based Keck II Telescope in Hawaii.
UC Berkeley recommends appointment of new vice chancellor for post as the campus's chief administrative and financial officer
Chancellor Robert Birgeneau announced on Wednesday (Dec. 21) that he has recommended the appointment of Nathan Brostrom as vice chancellor-administration, the Berkeley campus's chief administrative and financial officer. Brostrom, whose appointment requires approval by the UC Board of Regents, would manage the campus's annual operating budget of more than $1.3 billion.
Transportation researchers get DaimlerChrysler hydrogen car for the holidays
DaimlerChrysler officially handed the keys to the F-Cell, the company's limited production hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, to UC Berkeley transportation researchers on Tuesday, Dec. 20, as part of a two-year field test. The project is connected to the U.S. Department of Energy's effort to assess the viability of hydrogen vehicle and infrastructure technology in real world settings.
Economist proposes Choose-Your-Charity policy to spur giving, bigger impacts
While charity officials in the United States forecast that 2005 will turn out to be banner year for giving, a University of California, Berkeley, professor says that it could be just the beginning of a major cash flow of charitable donations. In a recent issue of the journal, "The Economists' Voice," Aaron Edlin proposes shifting regulations for charitable giving to allow individuals to target donations as part of an "ultimate matching grant" program that he says would amass a treasure chest for charities.
William Oswald, pioneer in the use of algae to treat wastewater, dies at 86
William J. Oswald, professor emeritus of environmental engineering and public health at the University of California, Berkeley and an innovator in algae biotechnology and wastewater treatment, has died. He was 86.
Overfishing may drive endangered seabird to rely upon lower quality food, study says
The effects of overfishing may have driven marbled murrelets, an endangered seabird found along the Pacific coast, to increasingly rely upon less nutritious food sources, according to a new study by UC Berkeley biologists. The results suggest that feeding further down the food web may have played a role in low levels of reproduction observed in contemporary murrelet populations, and has likely contributed to the seabirds' listing as an endangered species, the researchers said.
Food additive inhibits longevity enzyme in yeast, increases cell toxicity, new study finds
Dihydrocoumarin (DHC), a common additive found in food and cosmetics, has been found to inhibit the activity of sirtuins, enzymes associated with lifespan control in yeast and other organisms, according to a new study led by UC Berkeley researchers. Human white blood cells exposed to DHC also experienced increased cell toxicity and apoptosis.
Google, Microsoft and Sun fund new UC Berkeley Internet research center
In a bold effort to revolutionize Internet service technology, researchers at UC Berkeley are teaming up with Google, Microsoft and Sun Microsystems to launch a new Internet research laboratory on the campus. The three companies will provide $7.5 million over five years to fund research at the Reliable, Adaptive and Distributed systems laboratory, or the RAD Lab.
Bacteria under Greenland ice may preview what scientists find under Mars' surface
The presence of methane in Mars' atmosphere has led some scientists to propose that methane-producing microbes live under the surface. If that's true, UC Berkeley's Buford Price knows just where to look.
MEMO TO THE MEDIA
UC Berkeley releases final fall 2005 enrollment data
Final enrollment figures for the fall 2005 semester show that approximately 23,000 undergraduate students and 10,000 graduate students are enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley, up slightly from a year ago at this time.
What, no iPods? Students share what's on their holiday wish lists
Inspired by last week's Berkeleyan poll of faculty and staff, we asked nine students what they'd like to unwrap this season.
UC Berkeley researchers probe details of how hepatitis C hijacks cells
Viruses such as influenza, HIV, hepatitis C and polio are able to hijack the machinery inside cells to make copies of themselves to spread an infection. Though the ribosome, the cell's protein making machine, is the main target, how they take it over has been unclear. Now, two UC Berkeley researchers have detailed how hepatitis C hijacks the ribosome, and they hope to get a clear enough picture to design a drug to stop it.
Hundreds of auroras detected on Mars
Mars has no global magnetic field like the Earth, so scientists did not expect to find auroras on the planet. After an ultraviolet flash was detected recently, however, UC Berkeley physicists pored over data from the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft in search of similar events. They found hundreds.
Pulling all-nighters, buying pizza, dressing up as Darwin . . .
It's all in a day's teaching for the campus's GSI "heroes" — the second of three groups commended for their commitment to Berkeley's undergrads by the students themselves in a recent survey.
Preserving California's history from fungi, fire, and bugs
Moisture damage to archival materials is one of several misfortunes that can befall the treasures stored in the state's wide-ranging museums and historical societies. The California State Library's chief preservation specialist, Barclay Ogden, helped start the California Preservation Program, which disseminates information on protecting collections and responding to emergencies.
The joy of receiving
According to an old saw, it is better to give than to receive. To explore the presumably less rewarding part of this equation, the Berkeleyan asked a number of people on campus what they wished to open come Christmas, Kwanzaa, or Chanukah. The sole dictate of the assignment was for the recipients to turn their attention to the world of goods and services, reserving wishes for world peace for another time.
Get up off your good intentions
Campus exercise programs help employees stand up for fitness.
UC staff renew the call for educational-fee discounts
University of California staff leaders are reviving the long-discussed proposal to offer educational-fee discounts to employees' spouses, domestic partners, and children, and they say it could be on the Board of Regents' agenda as early as January.
Waggener named associate vice chancellor for IT, campus CIO
Shelton Waggener, currently director of IST-Central Computing Services, has been appointed associate vice chancellor for information technology and campus chief information officer, replacing John (Jack) McCredie, who is retiring this month.
Shorter items of interest to the campus community.
Plants, too, have ways to manage freeloaders
Many, if not all, plants maintain relationships with bacteria, and like any hardworking homeowner, they have developed ways to get rid of freeloaders. Working with the yellow bush lupine at UC's Bodega Marine Reserve, UC Berkeley biologists have shown that lupines treat root-nodulating bacteria differently, depending on how effective they are at providing nitrogen to the plant.
Hungry Mind: From "weird little kid" in India to master storyteller — and winner of a publishing jackpot
UC Berkeley lecturer Vikram Chandra, a Fall 2005 addition to the English department, describes why he's still teaching despite a $1 million advance for his third book, how he fell in love with the Modernists through a Bombay lending library, and what software programming and genre novels have in common.
Petroleum chemist Heinz Heinemann dies at 92
Heinz Heinemann, a long-time lecturer in the College of Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, and a chemistry researcher at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), died Nov. 23 of pneumonia in Washington, D.C.
University leaders pledge to help women in academia
Chancellor Birgeneau, along with eight other leaders of top U.S. research universities, issued a joint statement today calling for an end to the barriers to women's full participation in academia. The statement says women's academic careers must be more compatible with family responsibilities if universities are to achieve gender equity.
Memorial service to honor Col. Charles Travers, UC Berkeley benefactor
A memorial service will be held Thursday (Dec. 8) at UC Berkeley for Col. Charles T. Travers, a longtime supporter of the campus and namesake of its political science department. Travers died Nov. 6 at his home in Greenbrae of natural causes. The 1932 UC Berkeley alumnus was 95 years old.
Peter E. Haas, Sr., a legendary supporter and cherished friend of the University, passes away
In a statement mourning the death of his friend Peter Haas, Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau eulogizes a gracious and forceful man who left a lasting mark on his beloved university. "We are diminished and profoundly saddened by his passing," said Birgeneau.
Two cutting-edge researchers join UC Berkeley's School of Information Management & Systems
Appointment of two renowned researchers to the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley's School of Information Management & Systems (SIMS) has been announced by SIMS Dean AnnaLee Saxenian. The new faculty members are Geoffrey Nunberg and Paul Duguid.
Regents approve 2006-07 budget as spotlight glares on executive pay
Fallout from the S.F. Chronicle's compensation series continues in wake of board's votes to raise student fees, reward top managers.
Research patently in the public interest
From diagnosing dengue fever to combating malaria, Berkeley's socially responsible licensing initiative serves the "moral imperative" to get promising new therapies into the arms of the developing world.
A death-penalty deluge?
Elisabeth Semel, director of the Death Penalty Clinic at Boalt, says the California electorate's "inevitable" appointment with the death penalty, and its attendant moral questions, has been long in the making.
When your client's a clapper rail
Associate Professor of Architecture Jill Stoner — an 'architect in reverse' — explores possibilities for farming the city and flooding the mall.
Talking teaching, pondering pedagogy
The Presidential Chair Fellows Program offers faculty members a two-semester series of monthly workshops and forums in which to discuss and improve their teaching.
Brad, O.K. Jake, sure. But Manga?? Berkeley's own Michael Manga, associate professor in earth and planetary sciences, makes the pages of People.
Harsha Ram wins MLA award for book on Russian poetry evolution
The Modern Language Association of America has announced it will award an honorable mention to Harsha Ram, a University of California, Berkeley, associate professor of Slavic languages and literatures, for his book about the evolution of modern Russian poetry.
Campus officials lift alcohol ban for most Greek organizations
A University of California, Berkeley, ban on alcohol at fraternity and sorority events has been lifted for the vast majority of Greek organizations on campus, paving the way for alcohol consumption at all of their approved social events as early as the weekend of Dec. 9.
Shorter items of interest to the campus community.
Additional state investment in higher ed will boost tax rolls, study shows
The state of California has much more at stake than the personal gains of individual students when it considers how much money to spend on getting more students in and through college.A new study released by University of California, Berkeley, researchers carefully documents how increased educational investments would provide the state of California with billions of dollars in tax receipts and help restore its position as one of the wealthiest states in the nation.
Alleged 40,000-year-old human footprints in Mexico much, much older than thought
When British and Australian researchers announced earlier this year that they'd found human footprints in 40,000-year-old rock near Puebla, Mexico, many anthropologists withheld judgment. And rightfully so. Using both argon/argon and paleomagnetic dating, UC Berkeley geologists have obtained a better date for the volcanic tuff: 1.3 million years. Either the footprints are extremely old, dating from a time before Homo sapiens arose, or they are not footprints at all.
UC Berkeley student wins prestigious Marshall Scholarship
Daniel Zoughbie, a senior who spent last summer setting up neighborhood clinics in the West Bank for diabetics, is a 2006 recipient of a Marshall Scholarship. Each year, the British government gives about 40 U.S. students these scholarships, which allow them to pursue advanced degrees at any academic institution in the United Kingdom.
Should you give Richard III your seat on the bus?
Since 1999, Randy Cohen has written the New York Times syndicated column "The Ethicist," which appears in 38 newspapers across the U.S. and Canada. Cohen will give a talk called "How to Be Good" on Saturday, Nov. 19, at 8 p.m. in Zellerbach Hall, and then field questions from the audience related to their own ethical dilemmas. The Berkeleyan spoke with him recently about his job as an arbiter of ethically correct behavior.
Outstanding staff — 70 in all — receive annual campus award
Seventy staff members — 31 as individuals, 39 as members of six teams — received this year's Chancellor's Outstanding Staff Award (COSA) at a Nov. 1 ceremony at International House.
Professor Emeritus Joseph Tussman, former chair of the philosophy department, a prominent educational reformer, and a key figure in the campus controversy over the 1950s loyalty oath, died Oct. 21 following several heart attacks. He was 90. A memorial in his honor will be held at 3:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 18, in the Maude Fife Room, 315 Wheeler.
Recent faculty and staff awards.
Shorter items of interest to the campus community.
Eugene Petersen, specialist in catalytic reactions, has died at 81
Eugene E. Petersen, who retired from the Department of Chemical Engineering in 1991, played a major role in putting industrial catalysis on a firm scientific footing.
Astrophysicists put kibosh on alternative theory of star formation
The two competing theories of star formation differ in how much gas they predict the cores of new stars suck in from the clump of gas in which they're embedded. Astrophysicists from UC Berkeley and LLNL now show that the "competitive accretion" theory, which says small seed stars grow up to 100 times bigger by gas accretion, is wrong. The cores of collapsing stars are as big as they'll ever get, they say.
Offshoring won't bring economic doom to United States, researchers say
Although many large U.S. forms are sending research and development activities to off-shore locations, a new study by two UC Berkeley researchers at the Haas School of Business says this doesn't spell economic doom and will likely translate into new jobs and economic growth in the United States, and in Silicon Valley in particular. The study also shows that smaller firms generally conduct their research in the United States and tend to produce more innovative technologies and ideas.
Small groups of superspreaders lead to most infections, new study says
A new study published in the journal Nature shows that a small subset of particularly infectious people can exert a powerful influence over how outbreaks progress. A UC Berkeley-led research team found that diseases such as SARS and measles are prone to "superspreading events" in which a few people, given the right conditions, can ignite explosive epidemics. However, the researchers say that such volatility also means that outbreaks are more likely to fizzle out relatively quickly.
Fall foliage tour: Autumn's fire lights up the Berkeley campus
When it comes to fall color, November is showtime on the Berkeley campus. The NewsCenter provides a guide to the showiest displays and takes you on a fall foliage photo tour of the campus where a forest of liquidambars, tupelo, Chinese pistaches, Lombardy poplars, and maples are a blaze of scarlet, ocher and gold.
Two scientists among "Scientific American 50;" six elected fellows of AAAS
Two UC Berkeley scientists will be among the "Scientific American 50" lauded in the December 2005 issue of the magazine, which will arrive at newstands Nov. 22. In addition, six campus scientists will be inducted as fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science at the organization's February meeting in St. Louis.
Joe Wilson, the man the White House loves to hate, on spies, Scooter, and citizenship
Depicting himself as merely a citizen doing his civic duty — his undeniable star power notwithstanding — retired U.S. diplomat Joseph Wilson told a campus crowd last Wednesday that he'd expected the White House to retaliate against him for publicly debunking its pre-war claims that Iraq had sought to buy uranium from Niger. The surprise, he said, was that top administration officials would reveal the identity of his deep-undercover wife, CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson.
Jean O. Lanjouw, associate professor of economics, dies at 43
Jean O. Lanjouw, UC Berkeley associate professor of economics whose work focused on addressing the plight of the poor in developing countries, died of cancer on Nov. 1. She was 43.
An evening with Robert J. Birgeneau
No one who has tuned in even intermittently to UC Berkeley frequencies over the past year should be surprised to hear Robert J. Birgeneau articulate the benefits of diversity or extol the campus's role as a preeminent public teaching and research institution. On Nov. 9, however, Berkeley's ninth chancellor sounded these themes in the strongest terms heard to date — referring to "educational apartheid in California" and calling for the reversal of Prop. 209 — in a format that revealed nuances of character and the roots of conviction.
Master plan for stadium calls for new student athlete high-performance center
UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau on Thursday unveiled highlights of a master plan to refurbish historic California Memorial Stadium that begins with constructing a new student athlete high-performance center and allows the football team to play all home games in the stadium during construction. The announcement of the stadium plan was coupled with the presentation of a conceptual design for a stunning new law and business building directly across the street from the stadium, along with open space improvements for the southeast corner of campus
Introducing Berkeley's 'Everyday Heroes'
According to 4,000 undergraduates, quite a few staff and instructors regularly go above and beyond their job descriptions to help students.
A custodian, an IT guy — and a slew of advisers — earn students' praise as allies . . . and friends
A number of staff members were among the 200 people on campus singled out by Berkeley students as "heroes" on the 2005 UC Undergraduate Experience Survey. While characterizing heroic acts in broad strokes offers some insight into what brought these staff members to the attention of their student nominators, the details of their stories really tell the tale.
For Cal's team doctor, the student-athlete is No. 1
Cal's head team physician, Cindy Chang, went to med school with the goal of becoming a family practitioner. But instead of a conventional practice, she wound up ministering to a single, ever-changing, uniquely injury- prone extended family - the more than 900 student-athletes who play for Cal's 27 varsity teams, not to mention their parents and coaches, some of whom complicate the business of doctoring in ways Marcus Welby could never have imagined.
ASUC Art Studio's 'Masters Series' to be led by noted artists
Under manager Erica Terman, who came to campus a year ago, the ASUC Art Studio has been exploring new ways to serve the campus, the public, and the larger arts community. This week the arts-education center unveils a new program, its Masters Series of weekend workshops taught by mid-career, nationally recognized Bay Area artists.
Berkeley's goodwill goalie
Key, a junior goalkeeper on the California women's soccer team, spent three weeks in Malawi this past summer to bring gifts from her Golden Bear team — and to deliver messages of hope. The Oakland native planned the trip after taking South African linguistics and Swahili from Sam Mchombo, an associate professor of linguistics who is a Malawi native.
It takes a campus…
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has recognized Berkeley's ongoing effort to conserve resources with a 2005 "Flex Your Power" award. Among the 35 businesses, local governments, and institutions so honored, Berkeley was chosen as one of three winners in the "best overall" category.
Chancellor Birgeneau makes first official visit to D.C.
Chancellor Robert Birgeneau was in Washington, D.C., recently for a series of meetings and events with members of Congress, Berkeley alumni, and current student interns in the Capitol. Birgeneau had been to Washington before, but this was his first official visit as chancellor.
Shorter items of interest to the campus community.
Abalones may owe their huge size to otters
California sea otters are maligned for their ruthless pursuit of large abalones prized by divers. But a new study suggests that otters are partly responsible for the size of these abalones, some a foot across.
New system for earthquake early warning
UC Berkeley seismologist Richard Allen has found that the frequency of P waves produced within the first four seconds of an earthquake provides enough information to estimate the ultimate magnitude of the earthquake. Using a system called ElarmS, he and colleagues are able to predict distant ground motion and send warnings to areas of potentially damaging shaking, providing seconds to tens of seconds of advance warning.
Cal Style 2005: Flip-flops, floods, and fur – fake, of course
The head of Berkeley's Fashion and Student Trends (FAST) club gives an inside peek on what's hot - and so, like, not - this season on campus. Hint: not all floods are unwelcome, and not all thongs make a right.
The 'soul-satisfying' work of repatriation
A federal law giving Native Americans the right to know about tribal treasures in museum collections has benefited the anthropologists at Berkeley's Hearst Museum -- they've learned more about their holdings through contact with the tribes.
Clark Kerr Medal for former UC President Peltason
Jack W. Peltason, 16th president of the University of California (1992-95), will be awarded the Clark Kerr Medal for Distinguished Leadership in Higher Education by the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate in a campus ceremony on Tuesday, Nov. 8.
Y-PLAN chugs along, linking students and their neighborhoods
Y-PLAN (Youth — Plan Learn Act Now) is both an interdisciplinary course taught since 1999 and a community-based research initiative, in which graduate students mentor 10th- and 11th-grade students on urban-revitalization projects. Last semester's project, a redesign of the historic West Oakland Central Railway Station, involved more than 35 students from McClymonds High School and proved the most successful ever.
Friends don't let friends miss the bus
The Bear Pass pilot program is set to expire on June 30, and the Parking and Transportation Department is pulling out all the stops to keep it running.
November is Open Enrollment month at Berkeley
UC Berkeley employees interested in adding or changing benefits coverage can do so during the monthlong Open Enrollment 2006, which began Nov. 1 and runs through midnight on Wednesday, Nov. 30. For those who make changes during the period, new coverage will be effective Jan. 1, 2006.
Shorter items of interest to the campus community.
New X-rays of cell's ribosome could lead to better antibiotics
The ribosome, a nano-machine that manufactures all of our cells' proteins, is also a target of many antibiotics. New, sharp X-ray images of the ribosome will help researchers understand how today's antibiotics interfere with the machine, and could lead to improved drugs that throw a wrench into it.
Point of View: Which recent event related to the White House is the most troubling?
The White House has come under fire for a lot of things lately: among them, the Bush Administration's response to Hurricane Katrina, the indictment of Scooter Libby, the milestone of 2,000 American deaths in Iraq, and the Supreme Court nomination of Harriet Miers. In this informal survey, we asked members of the Berkeley community which of these — if any — they thought was the most troubling, and why.
Investigators release preliminary findings of levee failures at Senate hearing
Many of the New Orleans levee and floodwall failures in the wake of Hurricane Katrina occurred at weak-link junctions where different levee or wall sections joined together, according to a preliminary report released Nov. 2 by independent investigators from UC Berkeley and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Researchers presented this and other findings at a hearing in Washington, D.C., before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
Updated UC Berkeley Web site provides helpful resources to reporters covering campus news
Members of the media seeking information about the University of California, Berkeley, and its Media Relations unit can now turn to an improved Web site launched today (Tuesday, Nov. 1).
Researchers showcase innovative transportation projects at international conference
From smart cars to rail-like bus systems, researchers at UC Berkeley will provide next week a glimpse of transit's future for participants at one of the world's largest gatherings of transportation experts. The 12th World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS), to be held Nov. 6-10 in San Francisco, will bring together international researchers, industry professionals and government officials to present and observe advanced transportation technologies and deployment activities.
New report examines effects nationwide of preschool on kids' development
A UC Berkeley/Stanford University report has found good news and bad news about how preschools nationwide influence children's development. Among the finding is that the social skills of white, middle-class children suffer after attending preschool more than six hours a day, compared to similar children who stay home with a parent.
Richard Holton, former Haas School dean and leader in numerous fields of business, dies at age 79
Richard H. Holton, professor emeritus and former dean at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, died Monday, Oct. 24, at the age of 79 after battling cancer and Parkinson's disease. Holton was a leader in the fields of marketing, international business and entrepreneurship and left a lasting imprint in these areas at the Haas School.
Picky female frogs drive evolution of new species in less than 8,000 years
New species seem to have popped up quickly in many places around the globe, yet random genetic drift would seem to take millions of years. Now UC Berkeley and Australian researchers have found a frog species that originated in only a few thousand years, driven by very picky females making just the right mate choice.
John V. Wehausen, leader in marine hydrodynamics, dies at 92
John V. Wehausen, UC Berkeley professor emeritus of engineering science and considered one of the world's leading researchers in marine hydrodynamics, died Oct. 6 at the Kaiser Oakland Medical Center. He was 92.
A man, a plan, a film series
From Nov. 3 through Dec. 1, the Pacific Film Archive will present "Selling Democracy: Films of the Marshall Plan, 1948-53." The four-program series, which has been touring the country, features a retrospective of 25 short films rarely seen in the United States — a sampling of the 260-plus films produced under the auspices of the Marshall Plan to win over Europe's citizens to the cause of economic recovery and the democratization of Germany.
The right picture: Finding it, organizing it, showing it, storing it . . .
The ARTstor Digital Library, which features an easy-to-use interface, enables faculty and graduate-student instructors to select from a wealth of digital images in creating slideshows and study websites for their courses.
Extension's fall program gives freshmen a head start
Poverty is this generation's civil-rights movement, says ex-Senator John Edwards
More than 1,500 or so students and others lined up from the Martin Luther King, Jr. Student Union all the way to Sather Gate for the chance to hear former senator and vice presidential candidate John Edwards talk about poverty. "Poverty is the great moral issue of our century," he said, challenging the students to do something about it.
Haas School awards Moskowitz Prize for socially responsible investment research
The Center for Responsible Business at the Haas School of Business, in cooperation with the Social Investment Forum, has awarded the 2005 Moskowitz Prize for Socially Responsible Investing to a Dutch research team that examined the relationship between a company's environmental and financial performance.
Shorter items of interest to the campus community.
Pyrethroid pesticides found at toxic levels in California urban streams
Now that organophosphate pesticides have been phased our for homeowner use in California, pyrethroid pesticide use is increasing in urban areas. A new study shows that these pesticides are already showing up in urban streams at levels toxic to organisms that live in the stream-bottom sediment. The likely cause is overuse of these pesticides on lawns and around buildings.
For the Western bluebird as for humans, accumulated wealth encourages family stability
Among Western bluebirds and other cooperatively breeding birds, when grown children hang around the nest instead of dispersing at maturity, family structures become more close-knit. But what keeps the kids hanging around? A new study shows, as with humans, it's the accumulated wealth. Once the money begins to run out, the kids split.
UC to hold forum on California's special election
Former California Gov. Gray Davis will join policy experts, journalists, pundits, and political staffers at an Oct. 28 conference, webcast live from the University of California Washington Center, on the national implications of key issues in California's Nov. 8 special election
Scholars and players in harmony
The Department of Music, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, began as a non-academic entity charged with overseeing the young campus's musical aggregations. Today's department is a thoroughly integrative academic milieu, wherein ethnomusicologists collaborate with carillonists, classicists with avant-gardists, composers with performers.
Big hurt in the Big Easy
A team of Berkeley engineers touched down in New Orleans on Oct. 2 — a month after Hurricane Katrina spun into the area — to investigate the levee failures that devastated the Ninth Ward and many other neighborhoods of the city.
Are we living within our means?
The campus's first comprehensive sustainability assessment reflects a growing 'green' consciousness — and provides Berkeley with a roadmap for future progress.
Faculty Athletic Fellows program goes beyond good sportsmanship
The Faculty Athletic Fellows program, launched last fall by the Athletic Study Center, is intended to help foster the success of student-athletes off the field.
Conference points to new era in science diversity
Berkeley's Biology Scholars Program (BSP) has been recognized as one of the most successful science-diversity programs in the country. To help others replicate that success on other California campuses, the program recently hosted the first of five conferences devoted to "The Science of Diversifying Science."
Amichai Kronfeld, a lecturer in philosophy and cognitive science and a long-time activist for a just and peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, died Sept. 1 of cancer.
Shorter items of interest to the campus community.
UC leaders urge greater state support for graduate programs
Citing the importance of graduate education and research for California's economy, University of California officials called on the state to increase funding for graduate programs at a legislative hearing held Tuesday (Oct. 18) in Sibley Auditorium.
Human rights researchers find widespread problems after 2004 tsunami
In what could forecast similar problems in New Orleans, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have found that throughout countries affected by the December 2004 tsunami survivors continue to suffer inequities in aid distribution and substandard shelter. These problems primarily stem from government incompetence or corruption, discrimination and a lack of public accountability, according to a report released today (Wednesday, Oct. 19) by the UC Berkeley Human Rights Center and the East-West Center, an internationally recognized research and education organization in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Tebtunis papyri returned to UC Berkeley's Bancroft Library decades after their discovery
Just a few weeks ago, three tins of ancient papyri belonging to the University of California, Berkeley, finally arrived home, shipped across the Atlantic more than a century after they were collected in Egypt.
Berkeley professors explore Hurricane Katrina impacts in public forum
The impacts of Hurricane Katrina, ranging from higher winter heating fuel bills to property damage and emergency response, were explored in a teach-in at UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business on Oct. 14.
New de Young museum features UC Berkeley contributions
When the new M.H. de Young Museum in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park opens Saturday (Oct. 15), it will feature contributions by the University of California, Berkeley - on the grounds outside and in a major exhibit inside.
Campus launches fire abatement projects in hills
Fall signals fire abatement season on campus property in the hills, where two projects are felling some 3,000 non-native trees, most of them fire-hazardous eucalyptus.The work is part of an annual, ongoing effort to create fuel breaks and to return areas to native trees and plants.
Improvements on the work/life horizon
Juggling the competing pressures of work and family is an ongoing challenge for parents as well as for adults who care for their own aging parents. Berkeley boasts a host of progressive work/family offerings, including a number of recent developments, but there is still work left to do.
The 'iron law of admissions' — and its consequences
Studying Harvard, Yale, and Princeton's admissions early-20th-century admissions policies, sociology professor Jerome Karabel discovered, sheds light on a wide range of other subjects - from power relations in American society to the re-definition of academic "merit" following the urban race riots of the 1960s.
Remembering Ken Saro-Wiwa
Owens Wiwa fled Nigeria in 1995, after his brother, the writer and human-rights activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, was hanged for murder. Now a physician based in Toronto, Wiwa was on campus last Thursday to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Saro-Wiwa's execution. Appearing on a panel at the Townsend Center with Berkeley geography professor Michael Watts, director of the Center for African Studies, and San Francisco attorney Cindy Cohn, he said the injustices in Ogoniland continue, and vowed to carry on his brother's legacy of nonviolent protest.
Campus librarians collect top honors
Later this month the Berkeley division of the Librarians Association of the University of California will honor two of its own, the recipients of the 2005 Distinguished Librarian Award: John Roberts of the Jean Gray Hargrove Music Library and Daniel Krummes of the Harmer E. Davis Transportation Library. Each represents what the association calls "the highest ideals of librarianship on the Berkeley campus."
LBNL lecture: 'The magic of magnetism'
Most people have intuitive associations with the word "magnetism" based on everyday life: refrigerator magnets, the compass, North and South Poles, or someone's "magnetic personality." Few people, however, realize how complicated the phenomenon really is, how much research still deals with the topic today, and how much it penetrates our modern industrialized world. On Thursday, Oct. 20, the director of the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL), Joachim Stöhr, will speak at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and provide a glimpse at the magic and science behind magnetism.
Shorter items of interest to the campus community.
Chancellor Birgeneau's message on South Asia earthquake
In the wake of a massive earthquake that devastated areas of Pakistan, India and Afghanistan, killing tens of thousands of people, Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau urges the campus community to rally together to assist those in need.
Paul R. Gray will step down as executive vice chancellor and provost in July 2006
Paul Gray, the campus's executive vice chancellor and provost, has decided to step down from his position on July 1, 2006, to return to teaching and research in the College of Engineering. Chancellor Robert Birgeneau made the announcement today, calling Gray, who since 2000 has served as the campus's second highest administrator and its chief academic officer, an "extremely effective and highly regarded provost who has been central to the development of our vision for Berkeley."
Point of view: Reactions to '100 Suns' exhibit on Memorial Glade
"100 Suns," a weeklong public "bookwork" commissioned by Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism, documents the era of visible nuclear testing — an era in which UC Berkeley played a pivotal role. Eight viewers of "100 Suns" share their reactions to the exhibit.
Jeff Hawkins, computing pioneer, endows new center to develop model of brain
Jeff Hawkins, inventor of the Palmpilot and a former UC Berkeley graduate student, has endowed a new research center at UC Berkeley to develop mathematical and computational models of how the brain works. The Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience, which will operate within the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, is being celebrated this Friday with a day-long symposium.
In the matter of Scripture v. scholarship
The public debate over the relationship between religion and science in the classroom figures prominently in a lawsuit against the University of California filed recently on behalf of applicants for admission from Christian high schools. The complaint claims that UC violated the First Amendment rights (specifically those guaranteeing freedom of speech and religion) of some Christian schools and that it practiced "viewpoint discrimination" against their students by finding that some of the schools' courses do not meet UC requirements for college preparation.
Unlocking Yosemite's mysteries
In Yosemite in Time, a forthcoming book of essays and photographs — some of which are currently on view at the Berkeley Art Museum — writer Rebecca Solnit and her two photographer collaborators aim to fracture the frames through which we're accustomed to seeing nature, to close the artificial distance between people and landscape. The result toys not just with time but with the nature of place, the pace of change, and the importance of culture in our points of view.
Special election 101: Enrollment is unlimited
Voters looking for convenient and reliable assistance preparing for California's upcoming special elections can turn to the campus Institute of Governmental Studies, where library staff have created another in their series of informative "Hot Topics" websites — this time on special elections in California, their history and process, and the Nov. 8 special election in particular.
When life gives you tomatoes — make salsa!
A collaboration between the UC Botanical Garden Education Program, the Lawrence Hall of Science, and 18 elementary schools in five East Bay school districts is moving learning beyond the confines of the classroom.
UC helps facilitate public access to digital texts
The University of California libraries have announced their participation in a partnership to build a freely accessible digital library with materials drawn from across the world. The UC libraries will contribute books and resources to build a collection of out-of-copyright American literature that will include works by many great American authors.
Recent faculty and staff awards.
Shorter items of interest to the campus community.
Split-second explosions, so-called short gamma-ray bursts, solidly linked to stellar collisions
Gamma-ray bursts, the brightest explosions in the universe, seem to break down into two groups: seconds-long bursts and split-second bursts, called short gamma-ray bursts. While the former seem to be caused by the collapse of a massive star, the short bursts were a mystery. Now, a burst captured by the HETE-2 satellite has led to an identification with the cataclysmic collison of two compact stars to form a black hole.
Google cofounder Sergey Brin comes to class at Berkeley
Sergey Brin, cofounder of Google, was a surprise guest speaker at Berkeley on Monday, addressing a SIMS class on "Search Engines: Technology, Society, and Business." Casual and relaxed, Brin talked about how Google came to be, answered students' questions, and showed that someone worth $11 billion (give or take a billion) still can be comfortable in an old pair of blue jeans
Two new physics Nobelists to talk at UC Berkeley Friday, Oct. 7
Two new winners of the 2005 Nobel Prize in physics Theodor Haensch and Roy Glauber will speak this Friday as part of "Amazing Light: Visions for Discovery," an international symposium being held on campus Oct. 6-8. Fourteen other Nobelists are scheduled to participate in this gathering of some of the greatest minds in physics and cosmology in celebration of UC Berkeley Nobelist Charles Townes' 90th birthday.
Researchers use laser amplifier to slow light at room temperature
UC Berkeley researchers have made a dramatic advance in their quest to slow light down for applications in speedier communication networks. They created a device that uses a laser amplifier to slow the speed of light more than one million-fold to 245 meters per second, or three-quarters the speed of sound in air. Moreover, the team did this at room temperature.
Engineers studying levee failures in New Orleans
UC Berkeley civil engineers have arrived in New Orleans as part of an independent team of researchers investigating levee failures in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The team is funded by the National Science Foundation.
Growing energy: Berkeley Lab's Steve Chu on what termite guts have to do with global warming
Steven Chu, director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory since 2004, is on a mission: challenging scientists to find environmentally friendly energy alternatives to fossil fuels. Here, Chu discusses the future of the world's fuel supply, what termite guts and manure piles can teach us, and why we shouldn't be writing off nuclear energy.
Study suggests benefits to extending child-only health insurance to parents
Extending health insurance for low-income children to their parents may help improve children's access to a regular source of care, according to a new UC Berkeley study. The findings in the journal Health Services Research come three years after California legislators approved the expansion of Healthy Families, the state's public health insurance program for those 18 and under, to parents of eligible children. The expansion was never implemented due to lack of funding.
Please don't nuke the chancellor
Efforts to create a research-safety culture on campus now include required annual safety training for all new grad students and staff employees whose research involves potential health or safety hazards. So far this semester, more than 400 researchers have attended the information-packed two-hour session provided by the Office of Environment, Health, and Safety (EH&S), covering lab-safety basics; safety-related procedures specific to the campus; and what to do in case of an earthquake, fire, or other emergency.
Talking straight while walking backward
Later this week a rare breed — folks who know by heart not only the number of bells in the tower's carillon but how many bones are in the Valley Life Sciences Building's T. rex — will gather at the foot of the Campanile to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the campus Visitor Center and the generations of student tour guides who have shared the campus, through their own eyes, with the public.
The maestro's greatest feat
As Cal Performances celebrates a full century of bringing world-class performing artists to Berkeley, its guiding spirit, Robert Cole, reflects on his 20 years at the helm.
Campus events to address depression
As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, UHS will present a number of events next week to reach members of the campus community in need of help and support.
Recent faculty and staff awards.
Shorter items of interest to the campus community.
Broken gas line prompts evacuation of Foothill, Stern residence halls
Foothill Student Housing and Stern Hall on the northeast side of campus were evacuated Monday afternoon (Sept. 26) following a gas leak caused by a delivery truck accident. No one was injured in the accident, and many students were already away from the residence halls at the time of the incident.
Protein "yoga" reveals secrets of complex enzyme folding
One way to figure out how proteins faithfully fold into complex, three-dimensional shapes is to carefully unfold them and then watch as they refold. This feat has now been achieved by UC Berkeley and QB3 researchers, who grabbed the ends of a small protein with optical tweezers and gently pulled and stretched: a process they refer to as "protein yoga."
Investment in energy R&D declines despite supply problems
With hurricanes interrupting the nation's energy supply, war amid the oil fields of the Middle East, and calls to drill in the nation's protected areas, it is ironic that investiments in energy research and development have steadily dropped in the last two decades, writes UC Berkeley's Dan Kammen. This decline is reflected in the federal budget and, to a greater extent, in investments by U.S. companies.
Point of view: What's the most important thing UC Berkeley could do differently?
Students share their suggestions for the university's areas of improvement.
Return to a lost world of 'upside-down mountains'
Energy and Resources Group professor Richard Norgaard's life's course was set in the "upside-down mountains" of Glen Canyon. Now, rather than fight to restore it, he teaches students to see the big picture.
Karen Kenney says goodbye to Cal
After more than 25 years on campus, Dean of Students Karen Kenney leaves Berkeley this week to become director of Girls Inc. of the Island City, in Alameda, where she lives and grew up. Berkeleyan writer Cathy Cockrell interviewed Kenney recently about her years at Berkeley.
Teaming up to tackle local problems
The sixth annual University/Community Partnerships recognition reception was held Wednesday, Sept. 14, at University House, to honor the achievements of individuals and groups from the Berkeley campus and the community whose joint efforts benefit local residents. Through creative collaborations, university and community members share information, research, and expertise as they work to address a variety of pressing problems.
Sir Peter Hall, UC Berkeley emeritus professor of city planning, wins 2005 Balzan Prize
Sir Peter Hall, professor emeritus of city and regional planning at the University of California, Berkeley, is one of six winners of the 2005 Balzan Prize, recognized for his contributions to the study of the social and cultural history of cities since the start of the 16th century.
Berkeley thinks new opera is da Bomb
As a "buzz" as animated as an electron field spins around John Adams' new opera, Doctor Atomic—set to have its world premiere by the San Francisco Opera company on Oct. 1—the UC Berkeley campus is joining a Bay Area-wide conversation on the nuclear age with a handful of fall courses and a series of campus happenings.
UC Berkeley, Stanford host lecture series commemorating '06 quake
Next April 18 is the 100th anniversary of the Great San Francisco Earthquake, a disaster as tragic as the recent devastation of New Orleans. To commemorate the event and discuss lessons learned from it, UC Berkeley and Stanford University are hosting a series of lectures, many of them repeated on each campus.
Researchers reveal twists and turns of Spiroplasma bacteria's movements
UC Berkeley researchers have discovered that the movements of Spiroplasma, tiny helical bacteria that infect plants and insects, resemble a kink moving down a spiral phone cord. The findings describe for the first time a new form of movement for bacteria, and could help researchers find ways to disrupt the pathogen's ability to infect other organisms.
Berkeley physician treats the wounds – medical and psychological – inflicted by hurricane
Heeding the call for physician volunteers, Dr. Ameena Ahmed provided medical care and counseling at places including the New Orleans Convention Center parking lot, a makeshift clinic in a motel breakfast room, and rural churches where every pew had become a bed. But it was the victims' precarious mental health that most troubled Ahmed and prompted her to action.
The poetic commuter
HR director and poet David Scronce—self-described as "analytic by training and synthetic by nature"—pens his verses in transit.
Shorter items of interest to the campus community.
UC Berkeley opens new youth violence research center
The Institute for the Study of Social Change at the University of California, Berkeley, has been awarded a $4.3 million grant to open a new center to study youth violence. The new center at UC Berkeley is one of eight approved by the CDC as part of its program to foster academic excellence in the area of youth violence prevention.
13- and 14-year-old siblings enter UC Berkeley as junior transfer students
Charles Pierce really likes playing video games. He practices piano and violin. He used to study aikido, but lately he's been more interested in taking up fencing. Lately, however, the 13-year-old has mostly been hitting the books. Charles is the youngest transfer student this fall at the University of California, Berkeley, where he's now in his junior year. His 14-year-old sister, Mayumi, also transferred in this fall as a junior.
Tales from the Astrodome: 'A little bit of everything'
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, UC Berkeley education professor Glynda Hull traveled to Houston to help evacuees as a Red Cross volunteer. She sent back a series of dispatches about her "amazing, humbling, stressful and life-changing" experiences at the Astrodome.
Fall events celebrate California natives, both people and plants
This fall, a series of events at the University of California, Berkeley, will celebrate California's native history in terms of its plants and its people. California Indian Day launches the series on Friday, Sept 23.
Bancroft Library adds rare Second Biblia Rabbinica, Hebrew Bible
The University of California, Berkeley, has obtained a rare Hebrew Bible that has served as the foundation for almost all Bibles published since its own printing in the early 1500s.
Three young faculty members named MacArthur "genius" fellows
Three young UC Berkeley faculty members - a geophysicist, a neuroscientist and a geneticist - are among 25 new MacArthur "genius" fellows announced this week by the MacArthur Foundation. Each will receive $500,000 over five years to use as they please.
Chancellor, ASUC president sign multicultural center agreement
Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau and new ASUC President Manuel Buenrostro signed a memorandum of understanding Sept. 16 outlining the operation of a new student multicultural center at UC Berkeley. Birgeneau praised the center as a "place where students will learn about each other."
The accidental activist: Born into 'the Family,' transfer student Daniel Roselle hopes to find a new community at UC Berkeley
How Daniel Roselle ended up starting his junior year here reveals the diverse and singular paths that many students take to UC Berkeley. In 1995, at age 20, he left his parents and younger siblings in the Los Angeles area with only a bus ticket, $50, and the address of a grandmother who he barely knew. His formal education had stopped with first grade, and his only work experience consisted of taking care of other children and selling religious pamphlets. But his biggest challenge was leaving not just his immediate family, but The Family International -- a religious group or a cult, depending on who you ask.
UC Botanical Garden offers "Waterwise" guide and plant sale
With winter rains around the corner, now may seem an unlikely time to ponder planting drought-tolerant plants, but experts at the University of California Botanical Garden say fall is the ideal season to get a head start on smart Bay Area gardening. Its publication, "Waterwise Gardening Tour," offers a colorful, carefully mapped out guide to 100 drought-resistant plants thriving among the 34-acre public garden's collection of more than 12,000 kinds of plants. It also offers practical tips on how to design a garden using these plants.
Update: Stolen laptop recovered
A stolen laptop computer that contained sensitive information on more than 98,000 University of California, Berkeley, graduate students and others was traced to South Carolina and has been recovered by campus police, UC Berkeley officials announced today (Wednesday, Sept 14).
Leon Litwack Rocks
Renowned historian and campus veteran Leon Litwack is about to make his live theatrical debut in the first show of the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies' 2005-06 season, the proletarian musical The Cradle Will Rock. Written in the mid-1930s by musician/composer Marc Blitzstein, it addresses (and was meant to aid and abet) the labor-movement struggles of its time while exploring themes still relevant today — war profiteering, attacks on labor, and religious demagoguery, to name a few.
Still revolting, after all these years
Merrill Markoe, who studied art at Berkeley and found fame as the creator of Stupid Pet Tricks, sports the smartest mouth in The Aristocrats, a documentary about the world's dirtiest joke. If you're a Markoe fan, though, hold out for the DVD.
Going solo, but not alone
When Kay Trimberger, a visiting scholar at the Institute for the Study of Social Change, realized in the early '90s that she would probably remain single for the rest of her days, she responded as any good sociologist would. She organized a study.
Opening the garden's gates
For close to two decades, leaders and supporters of the University of California Botanical Garden have been talking about, and at times earnestly planning for, a safe and welcoming entrance to the world-renowned living- plant museum. That era came to its official end on Sunday, when more than 150 garden enthusiasts poured through its new craftsman-designed wrought-iron gates, walking under its fresh redwood trellis and onto a landscaped plaza for a ceremony to mark the completion of a new entranceway.
Researchers recover typed text using audio recording of keystrokes
A new security threat revealed by computer scientists at UC Berkeley may be enough to drive some people away from their computer keyboards and back to pen and paper. The researchers show that a 10-minute audio recording of those keyboard clicks can betray the text you just entered, from passwords to secret love notes.
UC-community partnership programs honored
Chancellor Robert Birgeneau will honor five joint university-community education programs at a reception Wednesday (Sept. 14) as embodying the public service goals of the campus as they improve the lives of local residents.
California stem cell institute awards training grants, but money will have to wait
The state stem cell agency established in the wake of Proposition 71 has awarded its first grants: nearly $39 million for training students, post-docs and physicians. UC Berkeley received one of the 16 grants, and the only one to address the legal, ethical and social issues surrounding stem cell research and treatment.
Faculty members mobilize to aid relief effort; students and alumni offer assistance on campus
UC Berkeley faculty members are organizing their efforts to help rebuild New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, moving quickly to help the victims and emergency relief agencies and to provide insight and perspective on the disaster. In addition, student and alumni organizations have set up orientation and mentoring programs for displaced students, and campus fund-raising efforts continue to gear up, with the Katrina Emergency Fund raising more than $12,000 in just three days.
School of Information Management Systems offering an all-star speaker series on Internet search engines
This fall, the UC Berkeley School of Information Management and Systems (SIMS) is offering a new course that examines Internet search engines and that features lectures by an all-star cast of experts from academia and industry.
Arts and the A-bomb
The Atomic Age will undergo artistic scrutiny and rethinking through an upcoming series of events coordinated by the University of California, Berkeley's Consortium for the Arts.
Memory loss in older adults due to distractions, not inability to focus
For those 60 and over, memory lapses seem a given; an inevitable consequence of aging. A new study shows that there are indeed changes in the aging brain that affect short term memory. The problem, however, is not with focusing on relevant information, but with filtering out distractions.
Founder of UC Berkeley's linguistics department, American Indian language survey, dies
Murray Barnson Emeneau, emeritus professor of linguistics and Sanskrit at the University of California, Berkeley, an expert in "language areas" and the Dravidian languages of south and central India, and founder of the Survey of California and Other Indian Languages, died on Aug. 29 at the age of 101. He died in his sleep in his Berkeley home.
Campus launches Katrina Emergency Fund
Dozens of college students displaced by Hurricane Katrina and temporarily attending classes at UC Berkeley are struggling with the cost of starting over on a new campus. To provide these undergraduate and graduate students with emergency funds for everything from housing to books to clothing, the campus has set up the Katrina Emergency Fund. It will be administered by the Office of Student Life and is set up for online donations.
Campus memorial service to once again honor the past year's losses
In what has become an annual tradition, the Berkeley campus will gather on Thursday, Sept. 15, to remember those of its own who have died during the past year. More than 60 members of the community — among them faculty and emeriti, students, staff, and staff retirees — will be honored at the fourth annual campus memorial. The ceremony, which will include a reading of the names of the deceased, vocal and instrumental music, and dance, will be held from 12:10 to 12:50 p.m. at the flagpole west of California Hall, and is open to all to attend.
Constitution Day the Berkeley way
A host of happenings with a decidedly Berkeley bent are scheduled for the campus's initial commemoration of Constitution Day, mandated by a new federal law. Gay marriage, the PATRIOT Act, and the effectiveness of the 218-year-old U.S. Constitution will be the topics of conversation at events taking place at Berkeley to mark the Sept. 17 holiday.
Francis Violich, emeritus professor of city planning and landscape architecture, dies
Francis Violich, professor emeritus in city and regional planning and in landscape architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, and a founder of the Telesis Group, which lent a progressive status to city planning in the Bay Area, died Aug. 21 of natural causes at his home in Berkeley. He was 94.
Indian plays' return to UC Berkeley stage
Nearly a century has gone by since an Indian play was performed at the University of California, Berkeley. That was back in 1914, when an Orientalist interpretation of a 10-act Sanskrit play graced the Greek Theatre, complete with decorative circus elephants, oxen and camels.
Tasty chocolate program at UC Berkeley's Hearst Museum of Anthropology
Experts will explore cacao's origins in Mesoamerica, its medicinal qualities and its starring role in gourmet cuisine and contemporary society during a "Culture of Chocolate" forum at the University of California, Berkeley's Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology on Sunday, Oct. 9.
Berkeley opens classrooms, dorm rooms, and arms to welcome students displaced by hurricane
This afternoon, 36 New Orleans-area college students displaced by Hurricane Katrina and admitted to UC Berkeley as visitors got a crash course in all things Cal. The three-hour orientation that covered everything from housing opportunities to how to use their Cal ID card.
Bose-Einstein condensate runs circles around magnetic trap
Bose-Einstein condensation typically happens inside a magnetic trap, yielding a nebula of supercold gas. UC Berkeley physicists found that a gentle nudge was enough to launch a blob into a circular orbit - the first BEC storage ring.
Passive smoking as deadly as active smoking for Chinese women, researchers find
Exposure to secondhand smoke kills as many women in China as does smoking, according to new study findings by researchers at UC Berkeley.
Bay Area's black workers face crisis of low-wage jobs, says new UC Berkeley study
A University of California, Berkeley, study of San Francisco Bay Area black workers between 1970 and 2000 shows a significant percentage of black workers holding low-wage jobs, a situation that is increasingly acute for young black men.
Economic recovery marked by more jobs but falling wages, Labor Center study finds
In the face of job growth in California and the country, a new analysis by UC Berkeley's Center for Labor Research and Education nevertheless finds a slack labor market and wages taking a turn for the worse.
If Moscow's nuked, go to Plan B
A diverse group of thinkers gathered recently to consider the aftermath of a nuclear explosion in Moscow. What they said, weighty as it was, may not be as important to the campus as the way they worked together.
A showcase for Berkeley's best
Although a redesigned California Monthly won't appear until January, the magazine's new editor, Kerry Tremain, has already made his mark on the California Alumni Association's membership publication. The one-time executive editor of Mother Jones is infusing the Monthly with a sense of mission and purpose that closely tracks his own diverse interests. The Berkeleyan sat down with Tremain last week for a talk about the Monthly's future and the way his thinking about Berkeley — and the campus's potential contributions to public discourse on challenging issues — will shape that future.
Tenured sí, tethered no
Having prevailed in the tenure case heard 'round the world, Berkeley biologist Ignacio Chapela is not taking victory lying down. In fact, he expects to remain a thorn in the university's side well into the foreseeable future.
Campus chefs play 'Beat the Clock'
Cal Dining's four executive chefs gave a gold-medal-winning performance at this summer's American Culinary Federation's (ACF) competition in Amherst, Mass., with dishes they described as "very honest and straightforward, while also elegant."
Sneak preview of coming attractions this fall
The new semester at Berkeley is off to a flying start, with September and October jam-packed with events the campus community won't want to miss. NPR's Ira Glass, novelist Isabel Allende, the National Ballet of China, poet Al Young, and violinist Hilary Hahn will all visit Berkeley this fall.
Planet hunter Geoffrey Marcy shares $1 million Shaw Prize in astronomy
Geoffrey Marcy, whose planet-hunting team has discovered the majority of the 150+ known extrasolar planets, is being honored this week with the Shaw Prize in astronomy, dubbed the "Nobel Prize of the East." At a ceremony Sept. 2 in Hong Kong, he and Swiss planet hunter Michel Mayor will receive the $1 million prize and medals honoring their pioneering work that began nearly 20 years ago.
Hurricane Katrina experts available for interviews
The following University of California, Berkeley, experts are available for media interviews related to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Old Blues cheese it up for football ad campaign
The recipe for football marketing success for the 2005 Golden Bears mixes a pair of crusty but charming characters, a wagonload of Cal paraphernalia and more than a century of gridiron traditions
Minimum wage bill would boost wages of 2.35 million state workers, study says
Proposed legislation to raise California's minimum wage would boost the pay of 2.35 million workers in the state, with minimal costs to businesses and $2 billion in taxpayer savings, according to a new study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley's Institute of Industrial Relations.
Ruth Huenemann, public health nutrition and childhood obesity expert, dies at 95
Ruth Lois Huenemann, pioneer in the field of public health nutrition, professor emerita and founder of the public health nutrition program at UC Berkeley, died Friday, Aug. 19, at the Lake Park Retirement Residence in Oakland, at the age of 95. She was one of the first researchers to recognize the importance of systematically studying the longitudinal development of obesity in children.
Study shows humans have ability to track odors, much like bloodhounds
Will humans some day vie with dogs and pigs in the ability to track odors? UC Berkeley neuroscientist Noam Sobel and graduate student Jess Porter think we've got a shot at the prize. They have shown that humans have an untapped ability to localize odors in the same way we localize sounds, and they're putting this ability to the test.
UC Berkeley announces record fundraising year
UC Berkeley raised a record $318.3 million in private gifts in the fiscal year 2004-05.
Singing the praises of tomorrow's teachers
A new spin on the breadth requirement
Undergraduates in the College of Letters and Science have long been required to fulfill a breadth requirement, a condition many greet less than enthusiastically. But Discovery Courses, a new program within L&S, is designed to add bona-fide breadth to students' liberal-arts education.
How do you move a rare-books collection?
This summer, after more than a year of planning, Bancroft Library staff began moving the collections to temporary quarters while their building undergoes a general upgrade and seismic renovation, scheduled for completion in 2007. The move has been as extensively choreographed as a ballet.
Some of the greatest minds in physics and cosmology, including 18 Nobel laureates, will explore the great challenges of 21st-century science at "Amazing Light: Visions for Discovery," a three-day international symposium to be held at Berkeley from Thursday, Oct. 6, through Saturday, Oct. 8.
Course about autism and product design highlights fall offerings in Disability Studies
An experimental course in which students will design products for people with autism is being offered this fall at the University of California, Berkeley, and is one of several new classes in the interdisciplinary Disabilities Studies program that critically examine the experiences of disabled people.
California's poet laureate, Ferlinghetti and Mary Karr in Lunch Poems lineup
The popular Lunch Poems series kicks off on Sept. 1, with readings this year by California Poet Laureate Al Young, beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Saskia Hamilton, Mary Karr and others.
Students arriving at the University of California, Berkeley, for the fall 2005 semester will find new housing, one-of-a-kind classes, expanded student services and an effort aimed at making students better neighbors. UC Berkeley expects to have 33,050 students enrolled this fall, including 4,030 entering freshman, 1,981 new transfer students and 2,750 new graduate students.
New faculty-in-residence program launched
Associate Professor George Chang and his wife have moved into a University of California, Berkeley, residence hall as the pioneers of the new Faculty Residence program.
Neighbors, campus and students join to ease tensions
A new task force comprised of University of California, Berkeley, students, campus neighbors, and city and campus officials is taking steps to make the neighborhoods near campus a more welcoming and peaceful place for both permanent residents and students who live there.
"CAL Prep" opens to East Bay 6th, 7th graders
CAL Prep, a new charter school collaborative between the University of California, Berkeley, and Aspire Public Schools, opened its doors today for East Bay 6th and 7th graders.
Wisdom of the sages
Who better to give advice on capitalizing on the Berkeley experience than those who have just survived — and thrived — here? The NewsCenter asked graduates from the Class of 2005 to share their hard-earned wisdom with incoming students.
'A beacon for other businesses': Berkeley alum Daryl Ross takes budget organic mainstream
Daryl Ross owns five eateries on or around the Berkeley campus, all extremely popular for their combination of low-key ambience and carefully prepared, mostly organic food at budget prices. A philosophy major at Berkeley, he has adopted as his guiding ethos that "quality, organic, sustainable ingredients not only taste better, they're better for the world all around."
Work on new parking structure & rec field will close Underhill lot this month
Construction of a replacement parking structure and recreation field at Underhill, the large parking area between Units 1 and 2 south of campus, is scheduled to begin at the end of August. The Underhill parking lot will be closed starting August 29 for the duration of construction, scheduled to continue through Spring 2007.
Officials agree on plan that could lift alcohol ban
University of California, Berkeley, officials, working with student fraternity and sorority leaders, have reached agreement on a plan that could lead to a gradual lifting of the current ban on alcohol consumption in effect since spring, campus officials announced today (Tuesday, Aug. 23). A key component of the agreement is holding the Greek community more accountable for self-regulation.
Voice mail changes coming
Berkeley staff and faculty can dial into new messaging services this fall as the campus rolls out its Unified Communications initiative, including the ability to receive voice mail on computers and e-mail by phone. New passwords and greetings will be needed before the new system can be accessed.
The Class of 2009 moves in
All across the UC Berkeley campus, the scene was one of controlled chaos as the 4,000 or so incoming Cal freshmen set up their homes away from home for the next year. With a slide show of a few possessions that the Class of 2009 can't imagine living without.
Federal ethanol program tragically misguided, UC Berkeley's Tad Patzek argues at National Press Club forum
The use of ethanol as a gas additive is "one of the most misguided public policy decisions to be made in recent history," argued UC Berkeley professor of civil and environmental engineering Tad Patzek at an August 23 National Press Club forum.
Caltrans awards $2.25 million to UC Berkeley-based center to study seismic safety of transportation systems
In an effort to improve the seismic safety and reliability of California’s highway system, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has awarded $2.25 million to the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER), headquartered at UC Berkeley. The five-year grant from Caltrans will support multi-disciplinary studies that bring together geologists, seismologists and geotechnical and structural engineers from academia, private industry and government agencies.
"Big Bang Project" explores nuclear threat
The cover story for the latest issue of "California Monthly" details on a report on the unimaginable -- detonation by terrorists of a 10-kiloton nuclear explosion in Moscow and its devastating aftermath
Gov. Schwarzenegger gets taste of UC 'brain power' in visit to LBNL
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger traded in political science for a look at the future of physical science Aug. 19 at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where he toured the Advanced Light Source and praised the "brain power in our UC system."
CHP seeking witnesses to accident that killed 3 grad students
California Highway Patrol officials are seeking witnesses to the violent Interstate-80 pileup on July 16 that killed three promising UC Berkeley graduate students. Police say there is evidence that reckless driving by a group of other vehicles may have led to the fatal early-morning crash.
Professor emeritus Donald Shively, expert on Japanese life and cultures, dies
Donald Shively, considered a founding father in the post-World War II development of Japanese studies in the United States, died Saturday, Aug. 13, at age 84.
Researchers develop technique to use dirty silicon, could pave way for cheaper solar energy
A research team led by engineers at UC Berkeley has developed a new technique to handle metal defects in cheap, low-grade silicon, an advance that could dramatically reduce the cost of solar cells. Instead of removing the impurities -- a difficult and costly solution -- the researchers are leaving them in but manipulating them to reduce their detrimental impact on the solar cell efficiency.
UC Berkeley part of NSF-funded center to study e-voting
Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, will join colleagues at five institutions nationwide in a bold, new effort to improve the reliability and trustworthiness of electronic voting technology. The National Science Foundation today (Monday, Aug. 15) announced that it will provide $7.5 million over five years for the new endeavor called A Center for Correct, Usable, Reliable, Auditable, and Transparent Elections (ACCURATE). UC Berkeley is expected to receive approximately $1.3 million of the funds.
Harriet Nathan, campus editor and oral historian, dies at 85
Harriet Nathan, a university editor and oral historian for nearly 40 years, died July 25 at age 85. In her work at the Institute of Governmental Studies and the Regional Oral History Office, Nathan, a 1941 Berkeley graduate, both observed a long chunk of university history and contributed substantially to its recording.
UC Berkeley health economist starts term as senior adviser on presidential council
William H. Dow, associate professor of health economics in the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley, will begin a one-year stint in Washington, D.C., serving as a senior health economist advising members of President Bush's Council of Economic Advisors (CEA). During his term, which begins Monday, Aug. 15, he will be on leave from his position at UC Berkeley.
Berkeley staff craft alternate careers through hats, potions, and quilts
As much as they like their day jobs, these three UC Berkeley staff members also enjoy their nights and weekends spent sewing clochettes, stirring up batches of hemp seed oil, and making thousands upon thousands of tiny stitches. Carol Wood, Monica Hastings-Smith, and Jean Smith talk about their passion for their crafts.
Haas School alumnus gives $25 million for executive education building
An anonymous donor will provide $25 million toward a new executive education building for the University of California, Berkeley's Haas School of Business, marking the largest single gift in the school's 107-year history, Chancellor Robert Birgeneau announced today.
First triple asteroid system found
Using the Very Large Telescope in Chile, UC Berkeley and Paris Observatory astronomers have obtained images of the first triple asteroid system: two moonlets orbiting one of the largest of the main-belt asteroids, Sylvia. The discoverers have dubbed the moonlets Romulus and Remus, after the founders of Rome, the twin sons of the mythical Sylvia.
MEMO TO THE MEDIA
Researchers link Polynesians, California Indians
A UC Berkeley lecturer and a professor of anthropology at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo say linguistic and archaeological evidence points to Polynesians landing in Southern California between 400 and 800 A.D. and sharing their boat-building skills with Chumash and Gabrielino Indians in the region.
Business school to host leading research prize in socially responsible investing
The Haas School of Business announced today that the Moskowitz Prize, the only global award recognizing outstanding quantitative work on socially responsible investing, will come under the umbrell of the school's Center for Responsible Business.
Elephants in San Jose?
Oblivious to passersby, Mark Goodwin was on his knees in a muddy ditch near the San Jose airport, methodically removing clods of dirt to reveal the bones of one of the city's earliest residents, a mammoth. Goodwin, assistant director of the UC Museum of Paleontology at UC Berkeley, said the bones unearthed so far will help scientists learn more about the prehistoric denizens of the Bay Area.
New online course in alcohol awareness to be required of all new incoming students
UC Berkeley is requiring a new online course in alcohol awareness for its incoming students this fall. Its decision to include the AlcoholEdu for College program as part of its orientation is one of several campus efforts to address alcohol usage by students.
"Yosemite in Time" exhibit opens at Berkeley Art Museum
Two San Francisco photographers set out for Yosemite National Park with writer-historian Rebecca Solnit to retrace the steps of famed photographer Eadward Muybridge. Their work is on display at the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, alongside photos by Muybridge, Ansel Adams, Edward Weston and Carleton Watkins.
Scientists exploit HIV's noisy genetics to force virus into latency
In a new paper, UC Berkeley scientists report how the "noisy" genetic circuitry of HIV can potentially be used to establish latent infections in T cells and suggest a way to possibly use this noise to foil HIV.
Young neurobiologist receives $1 million research award from W. M. Keck Foundation
Lu Chen, a young faculty member conducting research on the synapses nerve cells use to talk to one another, has received a five-year grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation for up to $1 million.
Ye mentors and mentees: The deadline approaches
Applications are now available for the next cycle of the Staff Mentorship Program, which debuted in July 2004 for staff who are seeking professional development.
Scholars swim in choppy waters
In academia no less than Oceania, voyagers are sometimes called upon to sail against the prevailing winds. Polynesian seafarers, equipped with sophisticated boats and navigational skills, may have braved the trade winds in their quest to colonize the Pacific during the first millennium. Now a pair of scholars are making waves by flouting what they call "the prevailing theoretical orthodoxy of North American archaeology."
Kim Steinbacher's picture-perfect vacations
If photographer and Cal staffer Kim Steinbacher could be anywhere right now, she would be camped out in some scenic locale, waiting for the perfect light to fall on her surroundings.
Back to school for campus managers
Complex issues like family medical leave challenge even the most experienced human-resources professionals, and those who work with "people issues" are continually faced with new or changing laws and regulations. Combine that with the need to administer multiple policies and union contracts, the contradictions between state and federal requirements, and the heavy workloads that most managers juggle, and the potential for burnout is high.
General Catalog is a window on Berkeley
For students embarking on a Berkeley education, the new 2005-07 General Catalog is a 512-page perfect-bound academic candy store of classes to take, fields to sample, and bottom-line information on studying at Berkeley. For faculty and staff, it's the indispensable handbook for advising students and helping them make the most out of Berkeley.
Recent faculty and staff awards.
Shorter items of interest to the campus community.
Faster carbon dioxide emissions will overwhelm capacity of land and ocean to absorb carbon
If fossil fuel emissions continue their upward course, the land and oceans will eventually exceed their capacity to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, according to a new and improved computer climate model. The model, one in the first generation to include the Earth's carbon cycle, indicates that vegetation and the oceans can only absorb so much carbon dioxide before they top out and become less efficient at removing carbon from the atmosphere.
Campus, city expand joint literacy program
A summer literacy program taught by University of California, Berkeley, students has been so successful that it’s now a permanent program that includes nutrition and exercise components.
Human cerebellum, cortex age in different ways
The human brain changes with age, but a new study shows that different parts of the brain age in different ways. The thinking part, the cortex, wears out at a faster rate than the cerebellum, seat of many hard-wired responses such as breathing and heartbeat. The same study also shows significant differences between the human brain and that of our nearest relative, the chimpanzee.
Intel, Haas join forces to train entrepreneurship faculty around the globe
Intel and UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business are teaming up to boost entrepreneurial know-how in emerging technology hotbeds around the world with a new "training the trainer" program for entrepreneurship faculty.
Hubble pinpoints red supergiant that exploded
No one has been lucky enough to see a star explode, but occasionally it's possible to look back at archival photos of the sky to pinpoint a star that later went supernova. UC Berkeley's Alex Filippenko and Weidong Li were able to use the Hubble Space Telescope to do just that - only the sixth supernova progenitor ever identified.
It's standing room only this summer at Zellerbach Hall
Zellerbach Hall looks as ungainly as a mouth without its dentures this summer, as a massive seat replacement project readies the campus theater for its centennial season this fall.
Survey finds Latina women and children in agricultural area living in poor housing
A new study led by UC Berkeley, researchers finds that many Latina women and their children in one of California's largest agricultural communities reside in crowded, dilapidated housing infested with pests. The researchers said these findings are important because studies have linked poor housing conditions to a variety of health problems.
In aftermath of tsunami, UC Berkeley team visits Thailand to open dialogue on impacts of tourism
Seeking a silver lining in the destruction wrought by last December's tsunami, a team of UC Berkeley students and professors spent a month in Thailand this summer working with local counterparts to design a strategic plan for developing sustainable tourism in southern Thailand's Krabi province.
Ocean spray lubricates hurricane winds
According to UC Berkeley mathematicians and their Russian colleague, turbulence at the boundary between wind and ocean should keep hurricane winds to a gentle breeze. Mathematical models of this interface, however, show that large drops of water thrown up by waves suppress the turbulence, allowing winds to build to tremendous speeds. Perhaps, they speculate, a fast decaying detergent poured on roiling seas could tame a hurricane.
Seismologist and earthquake hazard expert Bruce Bolt dies at 75
Bruce A. Bolt, for decades one of the state's most visible experts on earthquakes and seismic hazards and professor emeritus of earth and planetary science at the University of California, Berkeley, died Thursday, July 21, of pancreatic cancer at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Oakland. He was 75.
Luis Monguió, emeritus professor and expert on Latin American poetry, dies at 97
Luis Monguió, emeritus professor and expert on Latin American poetry, dies at 97.
Robert Reich to join School of Public Policy
Former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich will join the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley's Goldman School of Public Policy permanently.
Breslauer named executive dean of Letters & Science
George W. Breslauer, a political scientist and a specialist on Russia at the University of California, Berkeley, has been appointed executive dean of the campus’s largest academic unit, the College of Letters & Science. He begins Aug. 1.
Three College of Chemistry graduate students die in tragic freeway accident
A tragic freeway accident early in the morning of Saturday, July 16, left three chemistry graduate students dead. The college will hold a private memorial service with the parents of two of the three students on Friday, July 22.
U.S. News & World Report ranks UC Berkeley's Ph.D programs in the top five in all 15 academic categories
The new 2006 edition of U.S. News & World Report's listing of top graduate schools shows that experts rank UC Berkeley's Ph.D programs in the top five in all 15 categories considered by the news magazine -- an accomplishment attained in that survey by no other university.
Steven Weber on U.S.-China relations: Forget globalization — it's time to put an end to this free-riding
Political science professor Steven Weber sheds light on the codependent, but dangerously asymmetrical relationship between the U.S. and China. Break the relationship, he writes, and the U.S. risks recession and stagflation, while the Chinese risk revolution.
Engineers create optoelectronic tweezers to round up cells, microparticles
A new device developed by UC Berkeley engineers will enable researchers to easily manipulate large numbers of single cells and particles at once. Dubbed the "optoelectronic tweezer" and described in the journal Nature, the device uses optical images projected onto a glass slide coated with photoconductive materials to round up wayward cells and particles.
UC Berkeley, Yahoo team up to research new Internet technologies
The Universary of California, Berkeley, is teaming up with Yahoo Research Labs to launch a new laboratory to explore innovations in areas such as Internet search technology, social media and mobile media.
Study shows promise of entry-level IT jobs for low-wage workers
Despite the ominous headlines about outsourcing, a UC Berkeley professor says some regions of the United States offer a solid future for information technology jobs, expecially for low-wage workers entering the field.
"Trudy the Titan" stinky plant to bloom at UC Botanical Garden
A voluptuous "corpse flower" is about to unfurl its rare and stinky flower soon at the University of California's Botanical Garden at Berkeley.
Environmental experts from around the world gather for summer workshop program
Thirty-nine environmental leaders and policy makers from around the world have gathered at UC Berkeley to refine their scientific, community relations and leadership skills. The participants are students of the Beahrs Environmental Leadership Program, which has just begun its fifth year and will run until Friday, July 15.
University Drive closed to vehicles at Memorial Glade July 18-Aug. 20
University Drive will be closed to vehicle traffic near Haviland Hall and "Heart Attack Hill" from July 18 until Aug. 20 because of construction to improve paths across Memorial Glade and install utilities.
Leo Breiman, professor emeritus of statistics, has died at 77
Leo Breiman, professor emeritus of statistics at UC Berkeley, and a man who loved to turn numbers into practical and useful applications, died Tuesday (July 5) at his Berkeley home after a long battle with cancer. He was 77.
The Hungry Mind: Berkeley bioethicist David Winickoff tackles the really big questions — just don't ask him what bioethics is
Biotechnology is the Wild West of the 21st century. There's money to be made in them thar cells, and there are precious few sheriffs policing this frontier. David Winickoff, an assistant professor of bioethics and society at UC Berkeley, explains how bioethicists are scholars, not lawmakers — and why we desperately need both.
Researchers to study exercise, bone health in young breast cancer survivors
With support from a new $2.1 million federal grant, UC researchers are teaming up with the NorthernCalifornia Cancer Center and the YMCA of San Francisco to study whether weight-bearing exercisescan help reduce bone loss among women who have gone through chemotherapy for breast cancer.
UC Berkeley fraternity involved in pellet gun hazing forced to close one year, seek new members
A University of California, Berkeley, fraternity chapter involved last spring in a hazing incident in which a student was shot dozens of times with a pellet gun, will be closed for a year and forced to start fresh with new membership, campus officials announced today (Tuesday, July 5).
New study finds how cells with damaged DNA alert the immune system
Damage to a cell's DNA sets off a chain reaction that leads to the increased expression of a marker recognized by the body's immune system. The new findings shed light on a long-standing question of how the natural killer (NK) cells – which are able to attack tumors – can differentiate cells that are cancerous from those that are healthy.
Birgeneau talks up physics – and opportunity – in return to classroom
World-class physicist and UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau returned to the classroom Thursday to talk with a group of disadvantaged high school students about states of matter, flat screen TVs and the secrets of sea monkeys, and to share his personal story of becoming the first in his working-class family to graduate from high school and college.
Student wins $200,000 Canadian scholarship
As a high school student studying abroad in Germany, Canadian Sonali Thakkar found herself with an unexpected front row seat to the nationwide controversy over how the country would memorialize the Holocaust. That debate inspired her to pursue an academic path that has led her to a $200,000 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarship – the largest scholarship in Canada for doctoral students in the social sciences and humanities.
Researchers create first nanofluidic transistor, the basis of future chemical processors
Transistors use a gate voltage to turn currents on and off. Now UC Berkeley and LBNL researchers have created a "nanofluidic" transistor that uses voltage to turn ion currents on and off. These nanodevices could be used for chemical computation, or perhaps more importantly, as the key element in a chemical processor that could sense proteins or sequence DNA.
Life detection instrument passes key test on road to Mars
Chosen to fly in 2011 as part of the European Space Agency's ExoMars mission, an instrument designed at UC Berkeley will look for an indisputable signature of life: the tendency of life-based amino acids to be either left- or right-handed. The instrument, the Mars Organic Analyzer, passed a key test this month in the most lifeless region of our planet, Chile's Atacama Desert.
Revueltosaurus skeleton unearthed at Petrified Forest upsets dinosaur tale
210 million years ago, when most of the continents were still a single landmass called Gondwanaland, the ancestors of the dinosaurs were thought to roam widely and mingle, predator versus prey. A fossil find at Petrified Forest National Park now throws that scenario into question. The find wipes out the entire record of one set of dinosaurs from the Late Triassic, raising the question: Where did these plant-eaters come from?
Students dig up a piece of campus past
Summer Session anthropology students got to learn the rigors of field work without leaving the Berkeley campus this month as they excavated the site of the University of California Conservatory, razed more than 80 years ago.
$40 million gift from Li Ka-Shing Fndn. boosts health science research
The campus's health sciences research got a big boost this week when the Hong Kong-based Li Ka Shing Foundation donated $40 million to support innovative research at UC Berkeley, including stem cell research. The funds will go toward the Li Ka-Shing Center for Biomedical and Health Sciences, which will replace Warren Hall.
Dust belt around nearby star clear sign of exoplanet
The young, bright southern star Fomalhaut is known to have an encircling debris disk, but does it have planets? Extremely sharp Hubble images now show that the center of the disk has been vacuumed of dust, indicating a probable planetary system. According to astronomer Paul Kalas, the inner edge of the remaining dust belt has been groomed by a planet much the way Neptune has shaped the inner edge of our Kuiper Belt.
UC Berkeley chemist Angelica Stacy receives national teaching award
UC Berkeley chemistry professor Angelica Stacy was honored June 21 by the National Science Foundation as a Distinguished Teaching Scholar for her research, teaching and mentoring skills. Stacy, who also serves as associate vice provost for faculty equity, is one of seven 2005 recipients of the award, worth up to $300,000 over four years.
'Explore as much as we can': Nobel Prize winner Charles Townes on evolution, intelligent design, and the meaning of life
Religion and science, faith and empirical experiment: these terms would seem to have as little in common as a Baptist preacher and a Berkeley physicist. In this interview, Charles Hard Townes, winner of a Nobel Prize in Physics and a UC Berkeley professor in the Graduate School, explains how they are united by similar goals: to make sense of the universe and our role in it.
Samer Madanat named director of UC Berkeley's Institute of Transportation Studies
Samer Madanat, professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, has been named director of UC Berkeley's Institute of Transportation Studies, a program that receives an average of some $25 million in research funding each year.
NewsCenter adds topical news feeds
To make it easier to stay on top of the news you want from UC Berkeley, the NewsCenter has launched a series of RSS news feeds customized by category. With these feeds, including a simple shortcut for MyYahoo! users, news on more than a dozen topics can be delivered automatically to your web browser or e-mail program.
Astronomers discover most Earth-like extrasolar planet yet
A small, dim red star a mere 15 light years away has been found to harbor a planet only seven times the size of Earth, which means it is probably a rocky world like the four inner planets of our own solar system. The new terrestrial planet is so close to its parent star that the temperature is far too hot for life, but UC Berkeley's Geoff Marcy says the discovery bodes well for efforts to detect Earth-mass planets around similar stars.
Materials science researcher receives early career award
Oscar Dubon Jr., a materials science researcher from UC Berkeley, will receive the nation's highest honor for scientists at the early stages of their careers in a ceremony in Washington, D.C., today (Monday, June 13). He will be among 58 other scientists and engineers around the country to receive the 2004 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), which recognizes the most promising young researchers in the nation.
Noted Berkeley political science professor named director of UC Washington Center
Bruce E. Cain, a UC Berkeley professor with almost 30 years of teaching experience and political expertise, has been named director of the UC Washington Center, which provides an experiential learning environment and coursework for students from all UC campuses.
New blood-based TB test matches up to old skin test in study among Indian health workers
UC Berkeley researchers have found that a new blood-based tuberculosis (TB) test is as useful as the traditional tuberculin skin test in a head-to-head matchup between the two methods of detecting latent infection. The results of the study, to be published in a special June 8 theme issue on TB in the Journal of the American Medical Association, mean that switching to the more expensive blood test may not be necessary for people in India.
Researchers call on governments to protect human rights in tsunami affected areas
An international team of researchers today (Monday, June 6) reported that five months after the December 2004 tsunami significant human rights problems persist in areas affected by the tidal wave.
In a divided nation within a divided world, never more has an anthropology degree been as valuable or as needed
Issuing a call to arms to anthropology graduates prefaced by a tribute to the late Alan Dundes, anthropology professor Nancy Scheper-Hughes delivered the following commencement address to the graduates of the UC Berkeley Department of Anthropology on May 20, 2005.
Graduates of the Class of September 11: You are fated to read, to question, and to doubt
Mark Danner, a professor in the Graduate School of Journalism, was the commencement speaker for the UC Berkeley Department of English. The following, based on Danner's May 15 commencement address, will be republished shortly in the New York Review of Books.
UC Berkeley Political Science Professor Judith Gruber dies
Judith Emily Gruber, a University of California, Berkeley, political science professor known for her research on bureaucracy and regional governance as well as her pioneering leadership on work-life policies on the Berkeley campus, died at her home in Berkeley on Wednesday (June 1) after a 20-month battle with brain cancer.She was 54.
For Jorge Liderman, a composer who has been a professor of music at Berkeley since 1989, composing is an act of devotion or prayer—a way of entering a deeper spiritual realm. Liderman's rhythmically driven work will be featured on the Sunday-evening program of this weekend’s second biennial Berkeley Edge Fest, produced by Cal Performances in association with the Department of Music and the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies (CNMAT).
‘Fail forward fast’ (and other wisdom from the podium)
Good graduation pictures, in capturing joy and a sense of accomplishment, resemble one another strongly. Good graduation speeches, if carefully written, strike their own singular chords. Here we present examples of both, from the commencement season just concluded.
Shorter items of interest to the campus community.
Recent faculty and staff awards.
Study by UC Berkeley, partners, forecasts continuing slide in job-based health coverage
A study released today by researchers with the University of California, Berkeley, and Working Partnerships USA, says that just a bare majority of adults likely will have job-based health insurance by 2010, with middle-income adults facing the sharpest coverage decline and lower-income adults being largely priced out of the market.
NASA telescope catches flashers and streakers in the ultraviolet sky
The GALEX satellite, launched in April of 2003, has revealed a variety of objects glowing in the ultraviolet, from stars that flare and flash to asteroids and space debris streaking through the sky. UC Berkeley astronomer Barry Welsh is studying the flashers to determine the rate of flaring in M dwarf flare stars.
Life is what happens when you take time off before graduate school — just ask Anat Shenker, Public Policy '05
Ask Berkeley graduating seniors what they're doing next, and the most common answer you'll hear is graduate school. Yet among Berkeley's graduate students are quite a few who took a detour along the way, and are glad they did. Shenker, 27,is one of them. And she's more than happy to explain how a Columbia University political science major ended up holding grant-writing workshops in Honduras for the Peace Corps, marrying a villager from the cloud forest, and thinking she had useful advice to offer Warren Beatty.
Astronomers hot on the trail of nature's exotic flashers
Unlike the gamma-ray bursts created by collapsing stars, the "short" gamma-ray bursts - brief flashes of light that last less than two seconds - are thought to come from the merger of two neutron stars. For the first time astronomers have precisely located a short gamma-ray burst, and it appears to come from an old elliptical galaxy that should be home to many neutron stars.
Solar fireworks signal new space weather mystery
Several satellites, including UC Berkeley's RHESSI, earlier this year captured the most intense burst of solar radiation in five decades. The Jan. 20 burst, which accompanied a large solar flare, has shaken space weather theory and highlights the need for new forecasting techniques.
Naked carbon/oxygen stars linked to gamma-ray bursts
New observations by the Keck and Subaru telescopes strongly support a collapsar model that explains how collapsing stars produce mysterious, energetic jets called gamma-ray bursts. The model predicts jets from the collapse of a naked carbon/oxygen star that flattens as the core collapses.
City of Berkeley and UC Berkeley announce landmark agreement on campus's growth plan
The University of California, Berkeley, and the City of Berkeley today (Wednesday, May 25) reached an agreement to settle a lawsuit over the campus’s 2020 Long Range Development Plan. The settlement is part of a landmark agreement that will provide for a joint planning process for revitalizing the city’s downtown area and promote transit alternatives.
New research provides evidence that Rh proteins act as CO2 gas channels
Despite the Rh protein's importance in blood transfusion and the problems it can cause between Rh negative mothers and their Rh positive fetuses, its biological role has remained largely unresolved since its discovery 65 years ago. Now, a new study led by biologists at UC Berkeley may help clarify the mystery by providing evidence that the Rh protein serves as a gas channel for carbon dioxide.
Dainty pink Mt. Diablo buckwheat rediscovered
One of Mount Diablo's few endemic flowers, a dainty pink buckwheat, was thought to be extinct because it hadn't been seen in nearly 70 years. Two weeks ago, however, UC Berkeley graduate student Michael Park discoverd a site with at least 20 of the rare plants, pleasing open-space supporters who had earlier purchased the land where it was found and donated it to Mount Diablo State Park.
Michael Rogers, UC Berkeley professor emeritus who helped with first Mongolian-to-English dictionary, dies
Michael Courtney Rogers, a University of California, Berkeley, professor emeritus of East Asian studies who was honored by the Korean government for his contributions to the study of Korean culture, died May 4 at his home in Grass Valley, Calif., following a long battle with the rare blood disease multiple myeloma.
IDEAL scholars praise program's support for learning, diversity
Three graduating seniors from UC Berkeley, who also are the first graduates of a unique diversity scholarship program on campus, gave moving tributes and heartfelt thanks last Friday to the people behind their college success.
Berkeley staffer brings admissions process to life (and to TV) on 'The Scholar'
Marquesa Lawrence, a UC Berkeley outreach officer, is appearing in a new ABC-TV reality show called "The Scholar," in which 10 outstanding high school students from across the country live together while competing to win a full scholarship, valued at $250,000, to the college of their choice. Lawrence is one of three judges on a "scholarship committee" that assesses the students' performance.
Landscape Heritage Plan wins Webby
The University of California, Berkeley's Landscape Heritage Plan has won a People's Voice "Webby" Award, honoring the best online sites.
Actor Warren Beatty gives public-policy graduates — and Gov. Schwarzenegger — some advice on power
Veteran actor and director Warren Beatty sweltered gamely through a Saturday morning graduation ceremony for UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy. Beatty, a longtime political activist, gave a keynote speech that was almost as blistering as the heat in its criticism of California Governor and fellow Hollywood actor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
For controversial biology researcher Ignacio Chapela, the long and winding road ends with tenure at Berkeley
Putting the final twist in Ignacio Chapela's tortuous road to tenure, a UC Berkeley faculty committee has reversed the university's earlier denial of his bid to become a permanent member of the Berkeley faculty.
Diversity scholars honored
Three graduating seniors at the University of California, Berkeley, who are the first graduates of the Initiative for Diversity in Education and Leadership (IDEAL) scholarship program will be honored by Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau and others tomorrow (Friday, May 20) at a special reception.
Scientists upgrade Dec. 26 Sumatran quake responsible for deadly tsunami
Geophysicists from UC Berkeley and the USGS modeled the deadly Sumatran quake using GPS data from around Southeast Asia and concluded that the quake was twice as strong as seismologists thought, but much slower. After a rapid and violent break, the rupture zone slipped slowly for up to three hours.
UC Berkeley engineering students to showcase Golden Gate Bridge suicide barrier designs
UC Berkeley engineering students will present models of Golden Gate Bridge suicide barriers on May 25 at a reception attended by brideg officials and friends and family of people who have leapt from the landmark span. The models were created as part of an undergraduate engineering course that emphasizes the incorporation of real-life constraints – including cost, environmental regulations and politics – into design proposals for engineering projects.
Environmentalists, policymakers, timber industry gather for two-day conference on CA forests
An upcoming conference sponsored by UC Berkeley and the Pacific Forest Trust will bring together traditional adversaries – environmentalists and timber industry representatives – as well as scientists, policymakers and others to seek solutions to the problem of California's disappearing forests.
Freshmen summer reading list released
Robinson Crusoe has something to say to incoming freshman at the University of California, Berkeley. So does Sir Ernest Shackleton and Charles Darwin. Their tales of adventure and wonder are among the dozen books selected this year as the unofficial summer reading list for incoming freshman.
UC Berkeley releases new report on freshman admissions
A new study that offers an in-depth quantitative analysis of the University of California, Berkeley, freshman admissions process, confirms that the process is working as intended with academic considerations carrying the most weight in virtually all admissions decisions.
Biodiversity project lets Richmond seventh graders explore UC Berkeley's nature reserves
UC Berkeley's Angelo Coast Range Reserve is a rugged research area on the South Fork of the Eel River that few non-scientists get to see. But 15 seventh graders from Adams Middle School in Richmond spent an activity-packed weekend there exploring the area's biodiversity and experiencing a remoteness far from their urban roots.
Stegosaur plates and spikes for looks only, researchers say
Every school kid marvels at the bizarre plates running down the backbone of the weird-looking Stegosaurus, but paleontologists still don't agree on what they're for. Four researchers now argue that if you cut into them it's obvious they're not useful for combat, defense or even regulating a dinosaur's internal temperature. They're probably just ornaments to allow one stegosaur to recognize another of its own species.
Dante scholar Ruggiero Stefanini dies at 72
Ruggiero Stefanini, an emeritus professor of Italian and Near Eastern studies at the University of California, Berkeley, who taught courses on Dante, classicial philology and the ancient Indo-European language of Hittite for more than 40 years, died May 6 at the age of 72.
Student teams head to Southeast Asia for tsunami rebuilding projects
UC Berkeley is funding several projects aimed at rebuilding Southeast Asian communities impacted by the devastating December 2004 tsunami. Student teams will head to Thailand and Sri Lanka this summer to help shape eco-tourism, establish reliable clean water systems and develop micro-businesses.
At Commencement 2005, the spirit is public
Under cloudless skies and a brilliant sun — a blue-and-gold setting for the ages — Berkeley's Class of '05 began its slow, ceremonial march to whatever comes next amid exhortations to care about the world and its people.
Point of View: What are some of your favorite memories from UC Berkeley?
The Class of 2005 has had a tumultuous four (or five) years, beginning their first month of school with the tragic events of September 11, 2001. And while these students will never forget these universal, formative moments, the memories they will take away from UC Berkeley also include more personal ones. Several graduates shared some of the latter for this Point of View.
Students, diplomacy and the Middle East: Far closer to graduation than to peace
Berkeley student Zachary Hendlin reports from the World Affairs Council Conference on the Middle East, a heady weekend of lectures, panels and simulations that aims to provoke thought, discussion, and perhaps even a little movement toward peace and understanding.
Two UC Berkeley faculty elected to American Philosophical Society
Two University of California, Berkeley, faculty members are among 42 new resident members and eight new foreign members recently elected to the American Philosophical Society. Their election brings the total number of current APS members at UC Berkeley to 35.
Anthropology major Kelly Fong reconstructs the Asian immigrant experience
University Medal finalist Kelly Fong, who majored in anthropology with an archaeology focus and minored in Asian American studies, has deep roots in Oakland: her great-great-grandparents emigrated to America in the 1850s. She has woven these academic areas together in a groundbreaking honors thesis on a subject close to both her family and her heart: the experience of the first Asian Americans in Oakland.
UC Berkeley imposes ban on alcohol at fraternity and sorority events
Growing concerns about alcohol-related incidents has led the University of California, Berkeley, to enact a ban on alcohol consumption at all events hosted by campus fraternities and sororities, officials announced today (Monday, May 9).
In defending the Earth, Denise Grab finds a way to combine her lifelong passions
Denise Grab, a finalist for the University Medal, started at UC Berkeley with a strong interest in water issues, that has since expanded to include environmental health and conservation biology issues. Her internships with environmental agencies and groups, combined with her experience with the student-run Mock Trial Team her freshman year, have led her to pursue a joint degree with Yale's School of Law and its School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.
Architects announced for Memorial Stadium renovation, new academic commons building
UC Berkeley announced today the selection of architects for the renovation and seismic improvement of Memorial Stadium and for the new academic commons building for the campus's law and business schools.
Cal alumni club flourishes in West African desert thanks to Peace Corps
The Islamic Republic of Mauritania is a country that even adventurous types consider the middle of nowhere. Yet that's where three Berkeley grads first met one another, their destinies joined by stints in the Peace Corps.
Proteomics probes acid mine drainage
In an abandoned mine in Northern California, hardy bacteria thrive in a film floating on 108-degree battery acid, generating heavy-metal contaminants that have made this one of the nation's largest Superfund sites. New techniques have now pulled out the proteomes of the major bacteria living in this biofilm community, allowing scientists to probe the interations among the microbes and find out how they produce acid mine drainage.
War Crimes Center issues report on Sierra Leone court
An international criminal tribunal in Sierra Leone, where trials are under way for atrocities committed there during the 1991-2000 civil war, is successfully engaging Sierra Leoneans in the process, but the court must make greater efforts to expedite the trials and make use of the court's novel Defense Office, according to a report issued Thursday (May 5) by the War Crimes Studies Center at the University of California, Berkeley.
Stick to what works, researchers tell preschool advocates and policy makers
A new University of California, Berkeley-Stanford University study says universal preschool advocates and policy makers should stick to what works. Researchers with the Policy Analysis for Californa Education say that means focusing spending on blue-collar families, not handing over preschools to public schools, not wasting money on unneeded teacher credentials, and steering clear of an English-only approach for young children.
UC Berkeley receives $16 million gift to support political science department and the Cal football program
University of California, Berkeley officials have announced that an alumnus and long-time supporter of the campus, Col. Charles T. Travers, has committed $12 million to endow the Department of Political Science and that the department has been named in honor of Travers and his late wife, Louise.
Berkeley Diversity Research Initiative starts to take shape
Invigorated by a recent pledge of material and moral support from Birgeneau, the leaders of the Berkeley Diversity Research Initiative propose that for UC to continue to serve a state whose most striking feature, at the beginning of the 21st century, is its multi-cultural character, it must serve the needs of a diverse population and foster understanding of issues and opportunities related to diversity and inclusion.
An ethical postmortem on the Schiavo case
Despite the considerable multidisciplinary expertise on display — ranging from medical bioethics and the law to Catholic theology — the talk at last week's Townsend Center discussion on "The Dying and Death of Terri Schiavo" at times turned deeply personal. Though unusual for a public gathering of Berkeley academics, the tone befit what a flyer called “the personal and family tragedy” that held the nation rapt for weeks.
He’s been here for the revolution in communication and access
On the eve of his retirement, CIO Jack McCredie reviews the state of information technology at Berkeley, noting both tremendous progress and missed opportunities.
The Library and LHS garner Educational Initiative Awards
Given annually by the Committee on Teaching, the Educational Initiative Award recognizes a department, unit, or group of faculty that has created an outstanding program that will serve as a model for others on campus. This year's recipients, the Library Prize for Undergraduate Research and the Lawrence Hall of Science's Communicating Science course, were honored in a ceremony last month.
Sustainability summit shines light on campus environmentalism
At the second annual UC Berkeley Sustainability Summit, held last Thursday, the campus honored the green-minded among us and awarded grants to six campus units through the Chancellor’s Green Campus Fund.
Recent faculty and staff awards.
Shorter items of interest to the campus community.
Discovery of American salamander in Korea tells 100 million-year-old tale
The most prevalent salamanders worldwide are the lungless or terrestrial salamanders, which are found only in the Americas with a lone outpost in Italy. Now an Illinois-born high school teacher has found one in Korea under the noses of herpetologists well versed in the aquatic salamanders of the peninsula.
Political theorist Benjamin Barber to speak at commencement
Political theorist Benjamin Barber, actor Warren Beatty, columnist Maureen Dowd, Nobel Prize winning physicist David Gross, and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom are among the speakers at this year's graduation ceremonies at the University of California, Berkeley.
University Medal finalist: Former DeCal director Nate Singer leaves Berkeley a richer place
Nathaniel Singer may not have been accepted to UC Berkeley on his first try, but his persistence paid off. This math major is leaving Berkeley with a 4.0 GPA and several prestigious scholarships But more remarkable than what Singer takes away with him is what he leaves behind: "Few, if any, students over the years have made more important contributions to education at Berkeley," wrote one of his professors.
Noted architect Vernon DeMars dies at age 97
Vernon DeMars, a professor emeritus of architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, and a co-designer of Wurster Hall, home of the College of Environmental Design, and of the award-winning student center on campus, has died at the age of 97.
New tool reveals secrets of migrating cells
Cells trek through many, if not all, tissues, but their migrations have until now been poorly understood. A new tool, two-photon laser-scanning microscopy, is changing all that.
Three UC Berkeley faculty named to National Academy of Sciences
The prestigious National Academy of Sciences announced its newest members on May 3, among them three UC Berkeley faculty members.
Psychologists reflect on their life's work with children, families and changes
Philip Cowan and Carolyn Pape Cowan , psychologists at the University of California, Berkeley, have carved out new territory in family systems research through their groundbreaking work on the changes couples go through when they have children. The Cowans, who are both retiring in June, will present a detailed discussion of their work on Wednesday, May 4, in a lecture at 2040 Valley Life Sciences Building at UC Berkeley that is also a celebration of the psychologists’ careers.
University Medal finalist: Getting to Berkeley wasn't smooth sailing for Tanguy Chau
When 17-year-old Tanguy Chau moved to California from Belgium to go to community college, he was fluent in French and Dutch — and just about every chemistry "dialect" — but not English. Less than four years later, he was graduating from UC Berkeley with his bachelor’s in chemical engineering, and the Departmental Citation; a GPA of 4.0; two more languages; and the distinction of being selected as one of five finalists for the University Medal.
Robert Colwell, professor emeritus of forestry and remote sensing pioneer, dies at 87
Robert N. Colwell, UC Berkeley professor emeritus of forestry, died on April 14 at the age of 87. Colwell developed a reputation as one of the world's most respected leaders in remote sensing, a field he stewarded from the interpretation of aerial photographs to the advanced acquisition and analysis of many types of geospatial data.
UC Berkeley researchers report little impact on Vietnam's economic resilience of massive bombing
With Vietnam the key target of intense serial bombing by the United States in the 1960s and ‘70s, two University of California, Berkeley, economists figured the country’s economy must still be suffering today. But after launching a study two years ago of how the country is faring, they found no difference in how heavily bombed areas' economic health and regions that were spared.
Six professors named to American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Six professors at the University of California, Berkeley, are among the 196 new fellows elected this week to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in recognition of their leadership in scholarship, business, the arts and public life.
When a couple become collaborators
As psychologists Philip and Carolyn Pape Cowan approach their 47th wedding anniversary and retirement from UC Berkeley, they look back at their three-decade collaborative endeavor to understand and help families making life transitions.
Campus moving forward with ‘southeast quadrant’ planning
As recently as last football season, the rehabilitation of Memorial Stadium was still barely a gleam in Coach Jeff Tedford’s eye. But with a game plan finally taking shape — preliminary though it may be — what once was bad news for the Bears is turning out to be encouraging news for the campus’s southeast quadrant.
Horacio Salinas performs ’60s music, Chilean-style
Chilean musician and composer Horacio Salinas is on campus this month teaching “La Nueva Canción and Popular Movements in Latin America,” a seminar offered through the Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS). In a recent interview with professor of geography and ethnic studies Beatriz Manz (excerpted here), he discusses the formation of Inti-Illimani, life in exile, his return to Chile, and future plans.
Sustainability Summit celebrates new environmental assessment
Those involved in efforts to “green” the Berkeley campus will hold the second annual UC Berkeley Sustainability Summit — to which all are invited — on Thursday, April 28, from 3 to 5 p.m. The event will celebrate the pending release of the Campus Sustainability Assessment, a recent survey of campus operations with an eye to their environmental impact.
Recent faculty and staff awards.
Shorter items of interest to the campus community.
UC Berkeley history major wins University Medal
History major Alejandra Dubcovsky won the 2005 University Medal, the highest honor for a graduating senior at the University of California, Berkeley. As the University Medalist, Dubcovsky will speak at Commencement Convocation at the Greek Theatre on May 11 and receive a $2,500 scholarship. The medal honors a graduating senior with outstanding accomplishments and a GPA of at least 3.96.
"The chickens will come home to roost": Former PUC president Loretta Lynch on the forgotten lessons of California's 2000 energy crisis
Southern California is bracing for a hot summer, and state regulatory agencies are warning there may not be enough power to go around. Sound familiar? It does to Loretta Lynch. The NewsCenter talks to Lynch, who was president of the California Public Utilities Commission from 2000 to 2002 and is currently an Executive in Residence at Berkeley's Center on Politics, about the effects of deregulation and what we should have learned from the last energy crisis.
Hospitals change service offerings to adapt to market pressures, new report finds
Short of an outright closure, many hospitals have adjusted their service offerings in response to economic pressures, finds a new UC Berkeley Petris Center report on such changes in California hospitals. And despite fears that cutting such services as obstetrics would harm patient health, the report's authors found no evidence of significant negative impacts for health care consumers.
UC Berkeley fraternity placed on interim suspension
University of California, Berkeley, officials announced today (Monday, April 25) that they have charged a campus fraternity with several student conduct violations and placed the chapter on interim suspension following an apparent hazing incident.
The Hungry Mind: Prof. Avideh Zakhor on being a science nerd in Iran, why Larry Summers made her mad, and what the heck a 4D model is
Starting as a 7-year-old fascinated by her father's button-making machinery, UC Berkeley professor of electrical engineering Avideh Zakhor has been eager to master the most complicated of problems. In this, the first in a new interview series, she explains how she managed to join the Berkeley faculty at the tender age of 24, why women have it tougher in the sciences, and why she decided to scan downtown Berkeley.
Point of View: What Berkeley students are listening to
These days, it's tough to find a student who, in between classes, doesn't have her ears plugged with either a cell phone headset or the ubiquitous white buds. The NewsCenter faces the music and asks those listening to iPods and other MP3 devices what's playing, who's in heavy rotation, and what they like about their music player.
Schools can improve nutritional value of food while increasing revenue, says report
When schools kick high-sugar sodas and high-fat chips off their campuses, food service department revenues tend to increase, according to a new UC Berkeley report. The findings, released Friday, April 22, by UC Berkeley's Center for Weight and Health, provide encouraging news to school officials concerned about the budgetary hit they might take if they eliminate junk food from school grounds.
UC Berkeley gospel choir celebrates 20 years
The campus's Young Inspirational Gospel Choir will celebrate its 20th anniversary with a special concert on April 23.
New superlens opens door to nanoscale optical imaging and high-density optoelectronic devices
Scientists at UC Berkeley are giving new relevance to the term "sharper image" by creating a superlens that can overcome a limitation in physics that has historically constrained the resolution of optical images. The new lens breaks the so-called diffraction limit in optics, opening the door to the development of biomedical imaging devices with dramatically enhanced resolution, higher density electronic circuitry and ever-faster fiber optic communications systems.
A citizen journalist in Iraq
In November 2003, Dahr Jamail — fed up with mainstream coverage of such major news events as the 9/11 attacks and the U.S. military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq — left a comfortable life in Alaska to become a war correspondent in Iraq.
Helping social activists dig in for the long haul
How do progressive social movements keep hope alive through difficult times? And how might spirituality, broadly defined, provide support over the long haul to those with an active commitment to social change? The Cal Corps Public Service Center’s director, Megan Voorhees, along with seven collaborators from around the country, hope to further public dialogue on such questions in their new book, Spirit in Action.
Recenty faculty and staff awards.
Shorter items of interest to the campus community.
Pope's impact in Germany
UC Berkeley's Distinguished Teaching Award
Chapela files suit against UC over denial of tenure
In the latest round of activity relating to his ongoing tenure case, Ignacio Chapela, assistant professor of environmental science, policy and management, has filed a lawsuit against the UC Regents.
Two UC Berkeley professors win Guggenheims
University of California, Berkeley, professors Katherine Sherwood and Niek Veldhuis are recipients of Guggenheim Fellowships for 2005.
Both obesity and underweight linked to excess deaths, new study finds
A new analysis of nationwide mortality data finds that people who are obese or underweight have ahigher number of excess deaths than those who are of normal weight. The new findings update earlierCDC estimates of excess deaths linked to obesity, as well as highlight the link between mortalityand being underweight.
Cal Day visitors share the day's highlights
Thousands of visitors in shorts strolled about the campus Saturday for Cal Day, enjoying the sunshine and sampling the day's nonstop activities, which included Campanile tours, lectures on the avian flu, choral performances, ballroom dancing, and hands-on bug collecting. A few stopped to share what they liked best about the annual open house.
UC students in Rome watch papal history unfold on their doorstep
When 23 UC Berkeley students arrived at the UC Study Center in Rome last January, they never imagined they'd have a front-row seat for one of the biggest news stories of the year. But in the weeks following the death of Pope John Paul II, "Rome truly had the world's attention, and there I was — in the middle of it all," one student marveled about their brush with history.
Galaxy observations show no change in fundamental physical constant
A fundamental constant of nature, called the fine structure constant, is a critical part of all equations describing light and its interaction with matter. Yet some theories predict it should slowly change over the history of the universe. Despite these predictions and claims by some astronomers, a group observing distant galaxies has found no change in the constant, at least in the last 7 billion years.
Robert Birgeneau inaugurated as UC Berkeley's ninth chancellor
During his official swearing-in Friday as UC Berkeley's ninth chancellor, Robert Birgeneau dedicated himself and the entire campus community to providing leadership and creating an inclusive environment. Birgeneau's speech was the highlight of an elaborate, tradition-rich inaugural ceremony that was kicked off by a formal procession into Zellerbach Hall by more than 500 people, including faculty members in colorful academic regalia.
New UC Berkeley book a first on California Indian cuisine
In "Food in California Indian Culture," Ira Jacknis of UC Berkeley's Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology sets the Native American gastronomic table of 100 to 200 years ago.
UC Berkeley-USC project to study "digital kids"
A professor at the University of California, Berkeley's School of Information Management & Systems is spearheading a team just awarded $3.3 million to study "digital kids."
‘Define the important issues, now and for the future’
Robert J. Birgeneau has been Berkeley chancellor for a little more than six months. As with any new chancellor, it’s taken people here some time to get a feel for the person and his view of things — and Birgeneau has devoted a fair amount of time to moving about the campus, taking its measure as it takes his own. The Berkeleyan sat down with him not long ago to range across a variety of topics, resulting in an interview both long and broad: a warm-up exercise for those curious about what makes Berkeley’s new chief executive tick.
One-day AFSCME strike called for Thursday
As the campus gears up for its biggest party in recent memory — a three-day gala capped by Chancellor Robert Birgeneau’s formal inauguration on Friday and Cal Day on Saturday — two unions representing thousands of Berkeley service and clerical workers are urging members to stay off their jobs on Thursday, April 14.
Wayward planet knocks extrasolar planets for a loop
Not all solar systems stack their planets in neat circular orbits -- most of the extrasolar planets found to date have eccentric, egg-shaped orbits that would create a wildly fluctuating climate unsuitable to life. A UC Berkeley researcher has now shown that one such system could only have formed if a wayward planet caromed through the system and knocked the planets out of circular orbits.
'Today we celebrate…'
Excerpts from the inaugural remarks of previous chancellors reveal a common concern with striking the right balance of humility and forward-looking ambition ... always couched in terms of obligation to the state, society, and the student body.
New drop/add deadline goes into effect for fall semester
Beginning in fall 2005, the deadline by which students must drop or add classes moves to the end of the fifth week of the semester. Currently, the drop/add deadline is the end of the eighth week of instruction.
You can't win 'em all, but softball Bears come close
In Diane Ninemire's 23 years with the Cal softball program — 18 of them as head coach — she has elevated the program to the highest level and become the "winningest" coach, male or female, in the history of Cal athletics.
Getting a grip on Cal Day: Everything from A to U
Cal Day promises something for all 35,000 expected visitors, including a rapelling clinic, fossil and bug exhibits, performances by the campus symphony orchestra, faculty lectures, an assortment of sporting events, and even robotics demonstrations.
Two new student residence halls dedicated
Campus leaders, students, faculty, staff, and friends of the university gathered on Wednesday, March 30, in the newly landscaped courtyard of the Unit 2 Residence Halls for a simple ceremony commemorating the completion of two new student residences, Yoritada Wada and Katherine A. Towle halls.
Shorter items of interest to the campus community.
Robert J. Birgeneau to be inaugurated as UC Berkeley chancellor this week
Amid colorful processions, performances, and engaging discussions about new frontiers of education and knowledge, Robert J. Birgeneau will be inaugurated this week as the ninth chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley. The main event, the inaugural ceremony, will take place at 2 p.m. Friday (April, 15) in Zellerbach Hall and include an address by Birgeneau about his goals as chancellor.
Psyched about your summer plans? Tell us about it — as a Student Journal correspondent
The NewsCenter is currently looking for four enthusiastic Student Journal writers. If you're excited about what you're doing this summer — whether because it's in a remote country, for a good cause, involves an esoteric subject, or sounds just plain fun — and you want to share it with thousands of interested readers, we'd like to hear from you.
English professor Julian C. Boyd dies at 73
Julian C. Boyd, a University of California, Berkeley, professor emeritus of English and a 1993 winner of UC Berkeley's Distinguished Teaching Award, died of cancer on Tuesday, April 5, at his Berkeley home. He was 73.
Campus art installations feature "flying books," foam balls
J. Ignacio Diaz de Rabago is working with students to install some eye-catcthing art on the University of California, Berkeley, campus.
UC Berkeley to lead $19 million NSF center on cybersecurity research
The NSF announced Monday, April 11, that UC Berkeley, will lead an ambitious multi-institution center to protect the nation's computer infrastructure from cyberattacks and improve its reliability. Collaborators from eight universities around the country will form the new Team for Research in Ubiquitous Secure Technology (TRUST), which is expected to receive nearly $19 million over five years.
Chinese in California exhibit opens
A new exhibit at The Bancroft Library illustrates the Chinese experience starting in 1850 when many left their homeland in hopes of sharing the Gold Rush riches of "Gam Saan," or "Gold Mountain," as they called California.
Memorial service for Alan Dundes
A memorial service for the late Alan Dundes, a renowned University of California, Berkeley, professor of anthropology and folklore, will be held Friday, April 22, at the International House in Berkeley.
Student wins $30,000 Truman Scholarship
UC Berkeley ethnic studies major April Joy Damian won a $30,000 Truman Scholarship, the first UC Berkeley student to win the prestigious award since 2002.
A really big weekend
The Berkeley campus plans to take multi-tasking to new heights next week, when, on top of throwing an annual open house for 30,000-plus guests, it will celebrate both the founding of the University of California 137 years ago and the inauguration of Robert J. Birgeneau as its ninth chancellor.
Master teacher, master mentor
Kevis Goodman, the sole recipient of the campus's 2005 Distinguished Teaching Award, has found that she doesn’t need a ‘big persona’ to help students learn.
Shorter items of interest to the campus community.
Like little homes away from home
Before they are inhabited, offices and cubicles are like a blank page, holding only potential. That’s the view shared by these Berkeley faculty and staff, who by dint of decor, collections, or righteous remodeling have imbued their spaces with a little something special enough to catch the eye of friends and passersby.
Science luminaries gather for symposium
Noted neurologist Oliver Sacks, three Nobel Prize winners, and a cadre of other brilliant scientific minds are gathering on Saturday, April 9, at the University of California, Berkeley, for a symposium in honor of Emeritus Professor of Neurobiology Gunther Stent.
UC Berkeley dean and classics scholar to take Hampshire College post
Ralph J. Hexter, a scholar of classical and medieval literature and executive dean of the University of California, Berkeley's College of Letters & Science, will become president of Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass. effective Aug. 1.
Shankar Sastry named new director of UC Berkeley-based CITRIS
S. Shankar Sastry, one of UC Berkeley's most distinguished professors, has been named the new director of the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS). The appointment, which is effective immediately, was announced today (Tuesday, April 5) by UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau.
Chancellor issues message on personal data security
University of California, Berkeley, Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau vowed in an open letter to the campus community to ensure that the university does all it can to safeguard personal data stored on campus computers.
Cal Day offers something for all visitors
More than 35,000 people are expected on Saturday, April 16, for Cal Day at the University of California, Berkeley. The annual open house is known for its non-stop activities, including tours, lectures, music and sports performances, and hands-on exhibits.
ASUC student government elections begin April 5
Voting for the Associated Students of the University of California elections begins Tuesday, April 5, and continues through April 7. As these pictures show, this year's candidates are going to lofty and prop-portunistic lengths to lodge their names in the public consciousness.
More exhaust inhaled by kids inside school buses than by others in the area, says study
Children on school buses breathe in as much or more exhaust emitted from those buses as does therest of the city's population, according to a new analysis by UC Berkeley and UCLA researchers. Thefindings highlight the problem of exhaust from vehicles leaking into the cabin, particularly amongolder buses.
Debate team wins national championships
A University of California, Berkeley, debate team took home top honors in two national championships in recent weeks, becoming only the second team in the history of college debating to be a finalist in both competitions.
Alan Dundes, UC Berkeley professor and world expert in folklore studies, dies
Alan Dundes, a popular and award-winning University of California, Berkeley, professor of anthropology and folklore who earned an international reputation for his Freudian deconstruction of everything from fairy tales to football to the Book of Genesis, died Wednesday (March 30). He was 70.
American Cultures looks ahead
Sixteen years after the Academic Senate approved the American Cultures (AC) requirement, AC courses are sill addressing the diversity-related issues that remain front and center on this campus.
‘The Importance of Remembering’
Beginning with the stone circles, pyramids, arches, imperial mausoleums, and obelisks of ancient times, the design and construction industries have always done a brisk business in structures memorializing great men and women, great wars, and great acts of bravery and infamy. In April, the College of Environmental Design plans to highlight designers’ role in helping humanity honor its past, with an evening event on “The Importance of Remembering” and a three-week exhibition of design proposals from the National AIDS Memorial Design Competition.
Exploration, research, activism, and other women’s work
The Bancroft Library has mined its extensive collections on the history of California and the American West to prepare its new exhibit, “Our Collective Voice: The Extraordinary Work of Women in California.” The exhibit, which also salutes the Bancroft’s centennial, opens April 4 in the Doe Library’s Bernice Layne Brown Gallery and runs through June 3.
On Cal Day, enjoy these close encounters of a different kind
On Cal Day, thousands of visitors to UC Berkeley will have the chance to survey every facet of campus life, and to take part in a world-premiere exhibit that promises “a hands-on exploration for habitable planets — and life itself.”
Shorter items of interest to the campus community.
Ward Churchill’s Berkeley address
Ward Churchill, the University of Colorado Indian-studies professor whose splenetic take on the 9/11 attacks has provoked belated storms of outrage from academia and The O’Reilly Factor alike, arrived on campus Monday amid all the commotion of a falling snowflake.
Study of energy and health in Africa focuses spotlight on charcoal and forest management
As Britain and other countries promise to focus more attention on Africa, UC Berkeley and Harvard researchers have identified one area where investment could yield big health and environmental savings. By helping Africa establish a more efficient way to produce charcoal, the developing world can help promote a cleaner burning fuel, save tropical forests and lower greenhouse gas production.
Alan Dundes, revered professor of folklore and anthropology, dead at age 70
Alan Dundes, a popular and award-winning University of California, Berkeley, professor of anthropology and folklore who earned an international reputation for his psychoanalytic deconstruction of everything from fairytales to the Brothers Grimm to the Book of Genesis, died Wednesday (March 30).
Shorter, savvier undergraduate survey offers many (and Mini) prizes
Starting today, students can fill out the University of California Undergraduate Experience Survey (UCUES) online, and possibly win cash, an iPod Mini, or an iPod Shuffle in the process. This year's survey was devised with the help of four students, who also came up with its new slogan: "Half the time, triple the prizes!"
Commentary by Chancellor Birgeneau: Anti-bias law has backfired at Berkeley
Instead of ensuring nondiscrimination, Proposition 209 has created an environment that many students of color view as discriminatory, writes Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau in this editorial first published in the LA Times. Minority representation has dropped appallingly, and where there should be camaraderie across cultural lines, instead there is alienation, mistrust and division.
'The system is broken': Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau discusses Proposition 209 and its consequences at UC Berkeley
Since starting his tenure as chancellor, Robert J. Birgeneau says he has been surprised by how the drop in numbers of underrepresented minority students has affected the campus climate. He talks to Marie Felde of the campus Public Affairs office about this and other Prop. 209-related issues in a Q&A for the NewsCenter.
International student teams head to final round in Global Social Venture Competition
Nine teams of MBA students planning social enterprises ranging from applying nanotechnology to solar power systems in developing countries to training low-income urban youth to conduct market research on their peers will compete for recognition and $45,000 in prizes in the final round of the 2005 Global Social Venture Competition at the University of California, Berkeley, April 14-15.
California women's "Collective Voice" exhibit
An exhibit opening April 4 at the University of California, Berkeley, will feature two centuries' worth of contributions by California women who have made their marks on the state.
Legal experts available for Grokster U.S. Supreme Court case
UC Berkeley legal experts available to comment on key copyright and innovation case before U.S. Supreme Court.
UC Berkeley police investigating theft of laptop containing grad student ID data
UC Berkeley police are investigating the theft of a campus laptop computer that contained files with the names and Social Security numbers of more than 98,000 individuals, mostly graduate students or applicants to the campus’s graduate school programs. Campus officials are working to notify the affected students.
Octopuses occasionally stroll around on two arms, UC Berkeley biologists report
Two species of tropical octopus have learned a neat trick to avoid predators — they lift up six of their arms and walk backward on the other two. UC Berkeley biologists have captured the unusual locomotion on film, and will publish the first report of bipedal behavior in octopuses in this week's edition of the journal Science
Lawrence Talbot, professor emeritus of mechanical engineering, dies at age 79
Lawrence Talbot, a University of California, Berkeley, emeritus professor of mechanical engineering known for his work in fluid mechanics, has died at age 79.
Wolves alleviate impact of climate change on food supply, finds new study
Gray wolves at Yellowstone National Park play a critical role in easing the effects of climate change, according to a new study by UC Berkeley researchers. They found that in the absence of wolves, shorter, milder winters lead to lower elk mortality, which is bad news for the scavengers that rely upon the elk for food. When wolves are around, however, they mitigate this food shortage by providing a steady supply of carrion that they share with others in the food chain.
Controversial reporter Judith Miller plans to defend journalism's role in a democracy — all the way to prison
Judith Miller has been vilified by her peers and the public for her pre-war reporting on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. But their attacks are nothing compared to the assault on Miller by the federal government. "I could be going to jail for a story I didn't write, for reasons I don't know, for something that may not actually even be a crime," she told fellow investigative journalist Lowell Bergman in a March 17 event for the Journalism School.
Bancroft Library reduces hours in preparation for move, retrofit
The Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley, will be open afternoons only starting Monday, March 21, as staff members prepare to move to temporary quarters during seismic improvements and a major renovation.
Celebrations, ceremonies, symposia shaping up for Birgeneau inauguration
Three days of academic events and celebrations will surround the April 15 ceremony inaugurating Robert J. Birgeneau as UC Berkeley’s ninth chancellor and celebrating the 137th anniversary of the founding of the University of California.
War and peace, bells and whistles at Dwinelle
In his Nimitz lecture (and Powerpoint presentation) last week, Thomas Barnett, former U.S. Naval War College professor and in-demand author of The Pentagon’s New Map: War and Peace in the 21st Century, argued that our best weapon against terrorism is increased globalization.
Campus issues final ‘Principles of Community’
Seven declarative statements intended to serve as “an affirmation of the intrinsic and unique value of each member of the UC Berkeley community” have been issued in their final form by Chancellor Birgeneau and the Campus Community Initiative (CCI). The “Principles of Community” have been in development—with guidance from faculty, staff, students, and alumni—for more than two years, as one of the startup projects undertaken by the CCI following its creation by former Chancellor Robert Berdahl in 2001.
Xlab invites staff to join pool of experimental subjects — for cash
Since it opened for business last year, the Experimental Social Science Laboratory (better known as Xlab), part of the Institute of Business and Economic Research (IBER), has been coordinating computer-based psychological research for several schools and departments. With the blessing of the campus Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects, Xlab’s administrators are now actively recruiting Berkeley staffers to serve as subjects in a variety of experiments — in exchange for financial consideration.
Botanical Garden orchid display steals the show in S.F.
“Reflections” was the open-ended theme for the juried exhibits at this year’s San Francisco Orchid Society’s 2005 show at Fort Mason, but Jerry Parsons, a museum scientist at the UC Botanical Garden (UCBG), decided to eschew mirrors and water for a less-literal interpretation of the concept.
Folklorist Dundes edits mini-library
At $850 it’s no stocking-stuffer, but that’s not his intention. The idea, says Alan Dundes, professor of folklore and anthropology, is for these readings to inform students worldwide about the discipline.
‘Transforming the teaching and learning environment’
Incorporating technology into a course doesn’t require a wholesale overhaul. That’s just one of the messages the organizers of the second e-Berkeley Symposium hope to impart to faculty who attend the April 12 conference.
Shorter items of interest to the campus community.
Regents hear update on UC financial aid
Acknowledging the challenges of paying for college, UC Provost M.R.C. Greenwood told the Board of Regents at UCLA on March 16 that the University of California's financial aid policies nevertheless are working to help keep the university affordable to students and parents of all financial backgrounds.
Point of View: What are you doing for Spring Break?
Although the long, rainy winter appears to be drawing to a close in the Bay Area, most Berkeley students are heading south to sunnier climes for the spring holiday March 21-25. The NewsCenter talked to 11 students ... and Oski.
Researchers developing MicroJet for ouchless injections
Taking a child to the doctor's office to get immunization shots can be a pain on many levels. But bioengineers at UC Berkeley are hoping to ease that experience by creating a needleless injector, the MicroJet, that uses electronics instead of a needle to deliver drugs through a patient's skin.
Seventh annual UC Berkeley Business Plan Competition
As this year’s 23 business teams gear up for the semifinals of the 7th annual University of California, Berkeley's Business Plan Competition, they can turn for inspiration to previous contestants whose businesses are making profits and contributing jobs to the California economy.This year, 66 teams submitted executive summaries, and 23 were selected for the April 1 semifinal round. Their plans represent industries ranging from computer software and hardware to green energy, consumer products, medical devices, biotech products and others.
Fasting every other day, while cutting few calories, may reduce cancer risk
Studies over the past 70 years have established that substantial calorie reduction not only can reduce the rate of cell proliferation, a measure of cancer risk, it can extend the maximum life span of rats, flies and other organisms. New research at UC Berkeley now finds that reducing calories by as little as 5 percent, but only eating on intermittent days of the week, may have similar effects.
Cal Day coming on April 16
The University of California, Berkeley, invites you to Cal Day on Saturday, April 16, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.. This annual open house is for the general public, including prospective students and their families.
Conference considers solutions to urban landscape problems
Professionals, students and scholars will gather at the University of California, Berkeley, March 11-12 to explore how to best deal with increasingly complex urban issues as reclaimed land, wasted space and the effects of economic pressures on the ecological structure of metropolitan areas.
Married with children? You may not be a woman in academia
Graduate Dean Mary Ann Mason's most recent study, conducted with Graduate Division research analyst Marc Goulden, looks at gender equity in academia in terms of faculty members' family patterns and finds that for women on the tenure track , the choice is too often between family satisfaction and career success .
Scions of the times collide at Wheeler
Bashing Bush, corporate cronyism, and the national media, RFK, Jr. makes the case for environmental protection in his March 3 appearance at Wheeler Auditorium.
Eminent cell biologist and avid rock climber Morgan Harris has died at 88
Eminent biologist and rugged outdoorsman Morgan Harris, professor emeritus of zoology and former chairman of the zoology department at the University of California, Berkeley, died Feb. 14 of pneumonia at Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center. Harris, a resident of Kensington, Calif., was 88.
Two profs take senior posts at LBNL
Two Berkeley faculty members have joined Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's new senior management team, as part of the University of California's proposal to continue its management of LBNL under a new Department of Energy contract.
Down on the Farm
For 20 freshmen who gathered at 7 a.m. on a gray, late-February Saturday, Lynn Huntsinger's daylong course, "Follow Your Food" was an opportunity "to not only explore where food comes from but also examine how it's connected to our community and environmental well-being."
Fabilli-Hoffer judge names three first-place winners
Two campus employees and an undergraduate English major are each $1,000 richer this week, thanks to their eloquent ruminations on the topic “But What I’d Really Like to Do Is….” in this year’s Lili Fabilli and Eric Hoffer Essay Contest .
Berkeley Writers at Work to feature historian Slezkine
Historian Yuri Slezkine will be featured in the Berkeley Writers at Work series on Wednesday, March 16, from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Morrison Library, 101 Doe Library. Slezkine will read from his works, be interviewed about his writing process, and answer questions from the audience.
Shorter items of interest to the campus community.
UC Berkeley Nobelist Charles Townes to receive $1.5 million Templeton Prize for linking religion and science
Nobel Laureate Charles H. Townes has been awarded the 2005 Templeton Prize, which honors and encourages those who advance knowledge in spiritual matters. At $1.5 million, it is the largest monetary prize given to an individual.
New L&S online magazine launched
New research in the arts and humanities takes center stage in a new online magazine launched this month at the University of California, Berkeley. "Illuminations" will feature two articles a month on research by faculty and students in the College of Letters & Science.
Scientists discover that three overlapping signals in embryo help get the backbone right
Humans and all other vertebrates first look recognizable in the womb when the embryo developes a backbone, a structure that eventually morphs into the brain, spinal cord and muscles. UC Berkeley scientists have discovered that this step requires three redundant signals to make it happen properly, reflecting the critical nature of this step in the development of all vertebrates.
David Byrne really does love PowerPoint, Berkeley presentation shows
In one of the most unusual PowerPoint presentations ever given in Dwinelle Hall, ex-Talking Head David Byrne poked fun at the popular Microsoft software's bullet-point tyranny and Autocontent Wizard inanity. But he also defended its appeal not only as a business tool, but also as a medium for art and theater.
Koret Foundation gift to The Bancroft
The Centennial Campaign for the renovation and seismic retrofit of The Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley, has received a $1 million gift from the Koret Foundation Funds, library officials announced today (Tuesday, March 8).
Haas School and Optometry business plan
Optometry students at the University of California, Berkeley, are getting a leg up in basic business skills from Haas School of Business faculty as part of a special program to prepare future optometrists to manage a private practice.
Mixed emotions: The multiracial student experience at UC Berkeley
Nearly a quarter of UC Berkeley students identify themselves as "multi-racial or multi-ethnic," reflecting a national trend that is transforming the traditional quest for personal identity into a political movement. Four "mixed" Berkeley students share their experiences with the question "What are you?", which forces them to fend off racial stereotypes as they try to answer the same, more fundamental, question as their monoracial classmates: "Who am I?"
New class on stem cell language, politics
The University of California, Berkeley, is offering a first-of-its-kind class this semester on the language and politics of stem cell research and cloning - scientific topics dominating the headlines today as the state of California implements new stem cell research legislation.
The struggle for Berkeley's 'soul as an institution'
At Thursday's campus forum, Chancellor Robert Birgeneau acknowledged the centrality of diversity and inclusion to the university's mission, while Boalt Hall Dean Christopher Edley laid out his broad plan for research into diversity-related issues.
Oliver Stone comes to UC Berkeley for filmmaking dialogue
Academy Award-winning director and filmmaker Oliver Stone will discuss his recent epic movie, "Alexander," in relation to the scholarly pursuit of classics as part of "The College Presents," a free, public series of events hosted by the University of California, Berkeley's College of Letters & Science. Stone will join Ralph Hexter, UC Berkeley dean of arts and humanities and professor of classics and comparative literature, at 7:30 p.m., March 14, in the campus's Wheeler Auditorium.
Researchers find three major beetle groups coming up one testicle short
A systematic survey of carabid beetles has revealed that a surprisingly large number of them are missing one of their testes. The findings are striking because the complete absence of an organ, or absence asymmetry, is rare in nature.
North Bay study shows growing income gap, more working poor
University of California, Berkeley, researchers who examined the North Bay economy of the 1990s have found a widening income gap between middle- and low-income working families and the wealthy, and a growing number of working poor, especially among Latinos.
Giving her best — and then some
While a campus forum on diversity underscores Berkeley's stepped-up efforts to address issues of inclusion, Nzingha Dugas, the newly appointed African American Student Development (AASD) coordinator, confronts the problem on the ground every single day.
Regents vote to increase role of staff in UC governance
The UC Board of Regents voted at its January meeting to include a staff member or non-Senate academic employee from the UC campuses on each of two regental committees for the next two years. The decision was hailed as a step forward by the statewide Council of UC Staff Assemblies (CUCSA), which for more than a decade has advocated a staff voice at the regents' table.
In the eye of the beholder
Berkeley Art Museum and the Townsend Center take a closer look at art and visual impairment in 'Blind at the Museum' exhibit and conference.
Environmental justice, the hard way
Eschewing the lecture hall, Dara O'Rourke's environmental justice students learn about equity — and humility — from the grassroots up.
Goldman Environmental Prize winner to speak on environmental justice
On Friday, March 11, the Boalt Hall Environmental Law Society will host a day-long symposium on environmental-justice issues. Law School Dean Christopher Edley, Jr. will give opening remarks, to be followed by panel discussions throughout the day on the history of the environmental-justice movement, environmental-justice law and policy, community organizing, and environmental pollution and public health.
Regents' Lecturership brings array of luminaries to campus
The list of past Regents' Lecturers at Berkeley includes a Who's Who of luminaries — from musician Wynton Marsalis to Nobel-Prize-winning physicist Leo Esaki and aerospace executive George Mueller (sometimes called the "father of the Space Shuttle"), to name a few. Those set to visit campus this semester are no less distinguished.
Shorter items of interest to the campus community.
Male wild turkeys benefit by helping brothers mate
In the wild turkey mating game, males often pair up to attract females, even though one member of the pair never gets to breed. What's in it for the non-breeding male? A new UC Berkeley study shows conclusively that the males in a pair are brothers or half-brothers, and that the subordinate male has a much better chance of passing on his genes by helping his brother mate than by engaging in solo courtship himself.
"Ilovebees" exhibit explores gaming
A new exhibit at the University of California, Berkeley's Worth Ryder Gallery will serve up clues about how 10 million gamesters around the world got hooked on a mystery game called "Ilovebees" that sent them sleuthing through real and virtual worlds.The March 8-18 exhibit will provide an inside look at the stingingly successful game via displays of source codes, hidden code phrases in images, a two-hour sound library, player blogs, design elements and honey samples.
EPA fines UC Berkeley for lax oversight of refrigerants
The EPA has fined UC Berkeley $65,000 for air quality violations it found in 2002 related to the handling of refrigerants, which are regulated under Title VI of the Clean Air Act. The EPA alleged inadequate record keeping and appliance servicing in regard to refrigerants. While UC Berkeley officials acknowledged the poor record keeping and quickly instituted a better system for keeping records, they believe that refrigerants were, in fact, handled properly.
Memorial service this Friday for Martin Landau
The University of California, Berkeley, will hold a memorial service this Friday (March 4) for Martin Landau, a political science professor and expert on applying the concepts of redundancy from the design of information systems to the study of public organizations.
CalMail's heightened security rules take effect Tuesday
Campus e-mail users could find themselves returned to sender as of Tuesday, March 1, if they haven't configured their e-mail program to communicate securely with CalMail.
High-temperature chemist Leo Brewer has died at 85
Leo Brewer, a member of the University of California, Berkeley, chemistry faculty for nearly 60 years, died of natural causes on Feb. 22 in Lafayette, Calif.
The waves receded weeks ago, but Berkeley students still feel pull of tsunami tragedy
Two months after the Indian Ocean tsunami swept more than 280,000 people to their deaths, America's attention has shifted to other matters. But for UC Berkeley students with ties to the tsunami, getting back to normal is proving difficult. Khanthong "K.T." Nuanual, from Thailand; tsunami survivor Lea Kreidie; and Sri Lankan student Tanya Egodage are coping in different ways.
Three bacterial genomes found lurking inside recently sequenced fruit fly genomes
Considering the flurry of sequencing that has produced hundreds of new genomes in the last five years, it's not surprising that a few organisms snuck in under the radar. In three recently sequenced fruit fly genomes, scientists have found the genes of three new species of bacteria. They're all members of a family, Wolbachia, known to live symbiotically inside the reproductive cells of insects.
UC Berkeley teams up for school with early college emphasis
The University of California, Berkeley and Aspire Public Schools won approval from the Oakland Unified School District to open a secondary school to help more students prepare for and succeed in college.
Campus officials respond to city lawsuit over LRDP
In response to a city of Berkeley lawsuit challenging the Environmental Impact Report for UC Berkeley’s 2020 Long Range Development Plan, campus officials released a statement Wednesday saying the reports are "strong documents that meet all requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act."
Pondering 'ubiquitous SQUID'
John Clarke, professor of physics and faculty senior scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, will deliver a Faculty Research Lecture on Tuesday, March 8.
Fact-finding panel issues report on UC/CUE dispute
A fact-finding panel charged with making non-binding recommendations on issues in dispute between the University of California and the Coalition of University Employees (CUE) has recommended that clerical workers receive equity adjustments for 2003-04 and rebuked CUE for leaking draft report.
Diagnosing the Green Giant
Last week's Mulford Hall debate on the environmental movement's health raised the Pythonesque question, Is the creature resting? stunned? Or has it joined the Choir Invisible?
ETS staffer Ezra Daly found an alternative to buying instruments. He makes – and sells – them his own way.
UC Berkeley's Sagehen Creek Field Station is home to two new Cal bears
Two yearling black bears are snoozing peacefully in their new den beneath 10 inches of fresh snow after being relocated Feb. 18 to UC Berkeley's Sagehen Creek Field Station in the Sierra Nevada.
Shorter items of interest to the campus community.
UC Berkeley law professor releases new report on hidden slavery in California
Laurel Fletcher, a University of California, Berkeley, law professor and researcher with the campus’s Human Rights Center, has released the center’s new report on forced labor in California. The report looks at the nature and scope of the problem in California, finding that such cases take place across the state, though 80 percent of the incidents occur in the just three metropolitan areas, the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, and San Diego metro areas.
UC researchers create model of brain's electrical storm during a seizure
UC researchers have created a mathematical model describing the electrical storm raging during a brain seizure. The new model, which was compared to data from a real seizure, may eventually help neurologists better understand and treat epilepsy. Their results are scheduled to be published in the March 22 print issue of the Journal of the Royal Society of London Interface.
RHESSI satellite captures giant gamma-ray flare
The Earth and solar system were blitzed last Dec. 27 by a giant gamma-ray flare brighter than any previously observed. It was so bright that it affected the Earth's atmosphere more than most solar flares, and was even detected by one satellite after bouncing off the moon. The NASA/UC Berkeley satellite RHESSI was perfectly situated to record its brightness and position, and to solve the long-standing mystery of soft gamma repeaters.
Richard Bridgman, dies at age 77
Richard M. Bridgman, an emeritus professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley, for 25 years and an accomplished author, died of cancer at his Oakland hills home on Jan. 17. He was 77.
Astronomers start assembling neutrino telescope in South Pole ice
Just last month, astronomers finished the first part of a huge project to construct a 1 1/2-mile deep telescope in the Antarctic ice to look at cosmic neutrinos from cataclysmic events outside our galaxy. The project, called IceCube, involved several UC Berkeley physicists, who are using the opportunity to track dust and volcanic ash in layers of ice going back 80,000 years.
Four-legged law comes to Berkeley
Bruce Wagman, one of the country's foremost courtroom advocates for the furry and feathered, teaches a course on animal law at Boalt Hall.
"I'll take 'UC Berkeley Jeopardy contestants' for $400, Alex."
Rhetoric and celtic studies professor Daniel Melia is one of 135 previous Jeopardywinners invited to compete in what the show's producers have dubbed the Ultimate Tournament of Champions — and on February 18, through the miracle of videotape, he returns to the studio to face the competition.
Daylong diversity forum will be held March 3
With the goal of developing and prioritizing a diversity-focused research agenda for the Berkeley campus, faculty, emeriti, staff, students, and alumni are invited to participate in a campuswide diversity forum on Thursday, March 3, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Pauley Ballroom of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Student Union.
Cal Performances puts coming attractions online
Before going to hear the Takács Quartet perform Beethoven's String Quartet No. 2 in G Major Op. 18, imagine logging on to learn about the composition from Joseph Kerman, professor emeritus of music. That experience and a growing number of other behind-the-scenes video program notes are now available through Cal Performances' website.
Double take on same-sex marriage
One year after the dramatic and brief flurry of same-sex weddings at San Francisco City Hall, and in the wake of the 2004 presidential election, several leading activists and legal experts will take a “time-out” on Thursday, Feb. 24, to discuss the status of the lesbian/gay civil-rights movement and strategies for the future.
SPH to host 9th annual 'Heroes' event
A political visionary and a defender of choice are among this year's honorees by the School of Public Health, which will hold its annual Public Health Heroes award ceremony on Friday, March 18, at the Exploratorium in San Francisco.
Recent faculty and staff awards.
Shorter items of interest to the campus community.
Chemical engineer John Prausnitz awarded National Medal of Science
The nation's highest scientific honor, the National Medal of Science, was awarded this week to eight eminent U.S. scientists, including UC Berkeley's John Prausnitz, an applied physical chemist in the Department of Chemical Engineering.
MEMO: UC Day in Sacramento
University of California, Berkeley, alumni and students will join their counterparts from other UC campuses tomorrow (Tuesday, Feb. 15) in Sacramento for UC Day. At the annual event, representatives from the UC's campuses meet privately with legislators to discuss the university's role in the state, and its budget and legislative priorities for the coming year.
Five UC Berkeley professors elected to prestigious National Academy of Engineering
Five UC Berkeley faculty members have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), one of the highest professional honors for an American engineer. This brings to 92 the total number of UC Berkeley faculty members in the society. Among academic institutions, UC Berkeley has one of the highest representations in the academy, including alumni.
Campus establishes new Buddhist Studies Center
UC Berkeley''s new Buddhist Studies Center seeks not only to share research with scholars around the world but to broaden the public's understanding of Buddhism as it has been practiced in Asia.
Journalist Mark Danner lifts the curtain on the Iraq election
On Wednesday night (Feb. 10), Mark Danner gave a gritty, behind-the-scenes view of how reporting works — or doesn't — in Iraq. "The overwhelming security concern is absolutely vital to understanding what we are getting out of Baghdad and to understanding what happened on election day," he told a standing-room-only crowd at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism, where he is a professor.
Vest to present Kerr Lectures
Charles M. Vest, former president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will present the Clark Kerr Lectures on the role of higher education in society, the Center for Studies in Higher Education at the University of California, Berkeley, announced today.
Keeping an eye on Cal – from space
Many Cal alums like to check up on the old alma mater every now and again, but chemical engineering grad Leroy Chiao gets to do so from a unique vantage point — the International Space Station.
The meaning of ‘justice’
Berkeleyan writer Cathy Cockrell spoke recently with the Human Rights Center's Eric Stover and Harvey Weinstein about social reconstruction after a genocide and their recent book, My Neighbor, My Enemy: Justice and Community in the Aftermath of Mass Atrocity.
Transforming the ‘poison of time’
Sheba Chhachhi brings her art, and activism, from India to the Townsend Center.
The changing nature of Places
Since its debut in 1983, the CED journal Places has taken a cross-disciplinary approach to environmental design and endeavored "to make people think about place, not projects."
Clausen Center teams up to raise funds to rebuild Sri Lanka
The Clausen Center for International Business and Policy at the University of California, Berkeley's Haas School of Business has teamed up with an online events organizer on a novel approach to help raise funds to aid a Sri Lankan organization working to rebuild the tsunami-ravaged country.
Former MIT head Vest to deliver Kerr Lectures
The Center for Studies in Higher Education (CSHE) has announced that Charles M. Vest, former president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will present the Clark Kerr Lectures on the role of higher education in society.
2005 UC summer programs for children
Annual roundup of summer camps for kids.
Gliding ants use unique strategy to avoid falling to forest floor
The tropical tree tops are full of ants that forage out to the tips of twigs, occasionally getting knocked off by wind or birds. Scientists at UC Berkeley and the University of Texas Medical Branch have found that many ants have developed the ability to glide back to the trunk of the tree from which they fell. These are the first insects found to glide, and represent a unique strategy for avoiding the hazards of the forest floor.
"Two Artists of the Courtroom" on exhibit
That's Squeaky Fromme, hurling a partially bitten apple at the prosecutor in her trial for trying to murder President Ford. Over there is Patricia Hearst on the witness stand, a rifle in her arms. There's Angela Davis, staring from an FBI "Most Wanted" poster, and the original manuscript of "The White Album," a book by Joan Didion that linked the end of California's "Age of Aquarius" to bloody murders by the Manson family.
Tristan Spinski wins 2005 Dorothea Lange Fellowship
Tristan Spinski has received the University of California, Berkeley's Dorothea Lange Fellowship for his series of black-and-white photographs of Nevada rodeos.
Popular supplement melatonin found to have broader effects in brain than once thought
A study by Hiroshima University and UC Berkeley researchers shows that the hormone melatonin, which regulates the sleep-wake cycle, has a previously unknown effect on birds -- it shrinks their gonads. What might this supplement, popularly used to stave off jetlag, do in humans?
"Power and influence": Panel debates U.S. foreign policy for a global future
The United States may be the world's 800-pound gorilla when it comes to military might and command of resources, but its influence is on the wane, sapped principally by international perceptions that it no longer wields its power legitimately. That was the conclusion of a panel of foreign-policy experts led by Steven Weber, director of UC Berkeley's Institute of International Studies, that gathered to discuss foreign policy in the global era, in honor of the institute's 50th anniversary.
UC Berkeley students hold tsunami relief efforts
More than 35 student groups at the University of California, Berkeley, are joining forces to raise money for tsunami relief. Proceeds from "A Hope for Recovery," a series of events to be held on campus next week (Feb. 6-12), will be given to UNICEF.
History of Memorial Stadium
California Memorial Stadium, dedicated to the state's veterans of World War I, was built in less than a year in the early 1920s. Its $1 million cost was financed entirely by private donations.
Point of View: Have the elections in Iraq changed your opinions about the Iraq war?
National elections, the first competitive ones in Iraq in decades, were held on Sunday, January 30, and pictures of jubilant Iraqi voters were on every front page and evening news broadcast. We asked a sampling of Berkeley students whether their feelings about America's role in the war had shifted at all in response to the news, and if so, how.
Chancellor announces Memorial Stadium renovation, new academic commons building
Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau today announced that Memorial Stadium would be renovated and seismically strengthened, and that an academic commons building would be built to serve the law and business schools. The project, to be on the southeast corner of campus, is designed to integrate athletic and academic aspects of campus life.
Top campus scientists framed by inspired librarian
Beth Weil, head of the Marian Koshland Bioscience and Natural Resources Library, began publicly displaying journal covers that showcased the work of Berkeley resarchers in the late 1990s. Now, more than 150 campus research covers are on view in a temporary exhibit outside the entrance to the library (in 2101 Valley Life Sciences), and filling four walls of the reading rooms inside the library.
For the love of Irish music
Claudia Waters, a lecturer and staff member, connects to her roots through reels, jigs, and traditional tunes.
Lens-less photos and worms of clay
A campus fixture since its launch by student artists in 1961, the ASUC Art Studio offers a robust schedule of classes taught by professional artists — including photography, ceramics, drawing and painting, video production, and knitting — and (for a modest membership fee) a collegial setting, seven days a week, for making art.
Housing Facilities staff celebrate high marks from students
Ninety-five percent of the staff members in the Housing Facilities unit of Residential and Student Service Programs — 171 employees — enjoyed a recognition lunch and prizes recently as recipients of Oski Awards.
Join the celebration of natural selection
A song from the heart
For the third year running, UC Choral Ensembles will offer singing “Valentine Grams,” the group’s solution to the perennial lover’s quandary, “What should I get my sweetheart on Valentine’s Day?”
New study finds kelp can reduce level of hormone related to breast cancer risk
A type of vegetation that can often be found washed ashore on beaches may soon emerge as a new player in the field of cancer-fighting foods. A new study led by researchers at UC Berkeley has found that a diet containing kelp seaweed lowered levels of the potent sex hormone estradiol in rats, and raised hopes that it might decrease the risk of estrogen-dependent diseases such as breast cancer in humans.
Transgenic plants remove more selenium from contaminated soil than wild-type plants, new field tests show
In the first field trial of plants genetically tweaked to absorb more contaminants, researchers from UC Berkeley and the USDA found that the transgenic plants handily beat out their wild-type counterparts. The results raised hopes that the plants might become a viable alternative for cleaning up polluted soil.
UC Berkeley, leads nation in prepping students for doctorates
University of California, Berkeley, is the top-ranked university in preparing students who go on to earn their doctorates in the United States, according to a recent survey.
RX for Social Security: Berkeley experts diagnose the problem, suggest remedies
The nation's Social Security program is at the center of national debate, thrust into the spotlight by President Bush's announcement that reforming the system is a primary goal of his second term. UC Berkeley professors from various fields provide insight and expertise on many areas of this sweeping debate, from the true magnitude of the problem to the likely impact of proposed changes.
Jack McCredie, UC Berkeley’s chief information officer, to retire
John W. ("Jack") McCredie, associate vice chancellor for information technology and the campus’s chief information officer, has announced that he will retire from UC Berkeley this summer after almost 13 years.
Superfluid helium-4 whistles just the right tune
It's not every day that an experiment whistles at you. Two UC Berkeley physicists got just that treatment as they cooled helium-4 down to two degrees above absolute zero and tried pushing the superfluid through a sieve of tiny holes. The quantum vibrations from the many holes reached an audible crescendo.
Research under fire: In the war on terror, academic freedom could wind up as collateral damage
Academic officials warn that post-9-11 federal rules intended to keep sensitive information out of the hands of America's enemies have become a double-edged sword that has resulted in a needless clampdown on academic freedom — including moves to bar non-citizens, and even foreign-born U.S. citizens, from participating in an ever-expanding list of science and engineering research projects.
It don’t mean a thing …
. . . if students only want course credit. But Ted Moore, director of UC Jazz Ensembles, gives aspiring jazz players something more: a chance to grow.
Wherever you go, there they are
The Center for Buddhist Studies and Institute of East Asian Studies have organized a two-day conference called “Speaking for the Buddha?: Buddhism and the Media.” On Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 8 and 9, Buddhist scholars from around the country — as well as journalists, filmmakers, writers, and other professionals from the television, movie, and publishing industries — will look at how the religion is represented in various popular media.
Helping partners cope with a loved one’s cancer
The psychology department’s Psychology Clinic is currently offering a counseling service for couples in cases where one partner has been diagnosed with breast or prostate cancer.
Columbia’s Bollinger to receive Clark Kerr Award
Lee C. Bollinger, president of Columbia University, has been named the recipient of this year’s Clark Kerr Award for Distinguished Leadership in Higher Education. Bollinger will receive the award at a ceremony in Berkeley on March 28.
Shorter items of interest to the campus community.
Recent faculty and staff awards.
Memo: UC Berkeley freshmen survey released
A comprehensive survey of freshmen at the University of California, Berkeley, reveals a student body a bit more liberal and less religious than freshmen nationwide - but not by much.
Array of spring classes at UC Berkeley
An eclectic array of new classes offered this spring semester at the University of California, Berkeley, includes the chance to study India's prolific film industry, explore Bay Area food production, learn about wealth and poverty from a former U.S. labor secretary, study the symbolism of coffee and cigarettes, and pursue the social history of chairs.
Scientists discover missing link between whales and their closest cousin, the hippo
For those not yet convinced that hippos and whales are first cousins, a UC Berkeley researcher has the definitive proof. Post-doc Jean-Renaud Boisserie argues that a now extinct group of pig-like mammals, the anthacotheres, are the missing fossil link between these disparate beasts.
Berkeley freshmen are more liberal and less religious than their national counterparts — but survey finds their views are closer than labels suggest
The Fall 2004 Survey of Berkeley Freshmen reveals that 51.2% of respondents think of themselves as liberal, 36.8% deem their political views "middle of the road," and 12% are conservative. That's quite a bit more liberal than the average group of U.S. freshmen -- and only slightly less liberal than Berkeley was in 1974.
Berkeley's coming attractions: Dates to save in Spring 2005
Now that the holidays are past, departmental calendars are starting to fill up again. A sneak peek at Spring 2005's coming attractions reveals that although this semester may boast fewer household names, it promises to be every bit as entertaining and educational as last fall. Whether you're a student, professor, staffmember, or Bay Area resident, Berkeley's got something for you to do.
MetaChip provides quick, efficient toxicity screening of potential drugs
The liver plays a key role in a drug's interaction with the body. Frequently the liver must activate a drug for it to be effective, but it can also convert an effective drug into a chemical that damages healthy cells. A new biotech "chip" designed by chemical engineering professor Douglas Clark and his RPI colleague Jonathan Dordick can rapidly screen new drug candidates to identify those activated by the liver and weed out those made toxic.
UC Regents approve UC Berkeley land use plan
A comprehensive land use plan that will allow UC Berkeley to provide facilities that will accommodate crucial research and teaching needs was approved Jan. 20 by the UC Board of Regents.
Sinking coastline may precede large subduction zone quakes
Earthquakes like the recent destructive temblor in Asia seem to strike without warning, but there may be subtle effects that precede such quakes, according to UC Berkeley scientists and their colleagues in Alaska and Canada. They have found evidence along the Pacific Northwest coast that as the subducting ocean floor sticks to the overlying continent and the strain builds, it slightly deforms the land, causing sinking of coastal areas a few years before the zone ruptures.
A progressive community demands progressive, responsible planning
University officials firmly believe that the revised Long Range Development Plan, the document meant to guide the campus’s growth for the next 15 years, commits the university to maintain the collaborative relationship it has had with the city since their humble 19th-century beginnings. If relations have occasionally been thorny, they say, that’s to be expected in any marriage.
IST is on the move
The offices of Information Systems and Technology (IST) have moved to a new location.
Researchers release first report to compare mental health indicators in California counties
In the first attempt to compare measures of mental health and general well-being among California's general population on a county-level basis, UC Berkeley health policy researchers found significant differences. In a new report by UC Berkeley's Petris Center, a number of counties, including Sacramento and San Diego, scored higher than expected -- with fewer reports of mental health problems -- based upon their population's socioeconomic and demographic characteristics. At the same time, Alameda and San Francisco counties were among those that scored lower than expected.
Martin Landau, expert on organization theory and Hong Kong Project founder, dies at 83
University of California, Berkeley, professor of political science Martin Landau died of cancer on Dec. 27, 2004 at the age of 83. He was known for applying the concept of redundancy from the design of information systems to the study of public organizations and showing that duplication -- rather than streamlining -- of important functions increased reliability.
Regents' committee endorses Berkeley campus development plan
UC Berkeley's Long Range Development Plan was endorsed unanimously Tuesday by the UC Regents Committee on Grounds and Buildings at its meeting at UC San Francisco. The full Board of Regents is expected to follow suit, approving the LRDP and certifying its environmental impact report, when it meets on Thursday, Jan. 20.
New multicultural center opens at UC Berkeley
A new student multicultural center opened today at the University of California, Berkeley. The large, open space, filled with new couches and chairs, is located in Heller Lounge on the ground floor of the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union.
Keck telescope captures Titan but misses Huygens
Despite their hopes and prayers, ground-based astronomers failed to see any sign of the Huygens probe's plunge into Titan's atmosphere today, but a team that included UC Berkeley astronomer Imke de Pater did obtain some near-infrared images of Saturn's largest moon at the moment of impact.
Berkeley's financial aid future grows stormier as Pell Grants dip, Cal Grants remain steady
It's bad news/good news time for the UC Berkeley Office of Financial Aid. Recent changes in the federal Pell Grant program will cost the Berkeley campus $250,000, but at least the state-funded Cal Grant program has been increased to match the 8 percent student fee increases. The real issue, as Berkeley's Director of Financial Aid Cheryl Resh points out, is that individual award amounts are not keeping up with the rising costs in higher education. Unless things change by the end of the decade, students will be burdened with untenable debt after graduation.
Coach Tedford expounds on 'Our Domicile'
"Pep Talk," an amusing a 30-second TV spot celebrating Berkeley's blend of athletic prowess and academic excellence, debuted during last month's Holiday Bowl football game. It also marks the debut of a new marketing partnership designed to strengthen Cal's connection with alumni and the public at large.
Campus revises Student Code of Conduct
UC Berkeley has introduced a revised Student Code of Conduct that seeks to better reflect campus values of civility, academic pursuit and mutual respect. The new code reduces the role of outside advocates or attorneys during student disciplinary hearings and makes changes to the hearing process to promote the open exchange of information and lessen the likelihood of delays.
History of disability inclusion at UC Berkeley
A year-by-year look at UC Berkeley's long and distinguished history of actions to assure equal opportunities for people with disabilities.
Shining a light on imperfect (but highly enjoyable) films
Film critic David Thomson speaks with the Berkeleyan’s Wendy Edelstein about the film series he has curated for the Pacific Film Archive, the evolution of film, and the future of the movie-going experience.
For a little more than a year now, local literary and social history has been on permanent display on Addison Street between Shattuck and Milvia in downtown Berkeley, where poetic works by more than 100 versifiers are figuratively set in stone for pedestrians to tread upon, read, and contemplate. This Sunday, Jan. 16, from 4:30 to 6 p.m., the renowned Berkeley Poetry Walk celebrates another milestone: publication of a companion book featuring the poems, poets, and translators now immortalized on the sidewalk.
Out of L.A., into the classroom
The privately financed Singer scholarship program is aimed at giving economically disadvantaged black students from L.A. a chance to succeed at Berkeley — and at re-injecting some color into the complexion of the nation’s premier public-university campus.
A tale of two cities, one campus, a handful of hardy native fish, and a struggling urban creek
The adjancent municipalities of Albany and Berkeley are working in tandem with UC Berkeley on an ambitious plan to restore a half-mile stretch of Codornices Creek.
Shorter items of interest to the campus community.
Dorothy Denney, longtime librarian at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Donner Laboratory Library, died on Dec. 16 after a long battle with cancer. She was 81.
Mobility around UC Berkeley for disabled students to improve as result of cooperative effort
Physical barriers at UC Berkeley that may have hampered access for students with mobility or vision disabilities will be upgraded beginning later this spring after a proposed settlement of a class action lawsuit is finalized.
Two UC Berkeley physicists honored at national physics teachers meeting
Physicists Eugene Commins and Carlos Bustamante were honored by the American Association of Physics Teachers for their outstanding efforts to educate both students and the public.
New residence halls, new students arrive for spring semester
Two new high-rise residence halls and a belated welcome to some incoming freshmen mark the beginning of spring semester 2005 at the University of California, Berkeley.
Commentary: Catastrophe, like lightning, illuminates the world unexpectedly, and for a time, drives international events
As the world organizes to respond to the devastation caused by the South Asia tsunami, we must not become paralyzed by a debate over whether to deal with chronic poverty or whether to act on the acute immediate needs created by the calamity, writes Boalt Law School professor David Caron.
Psychoanalyst and Clinical Professor Elizabeth "Lisby" Mayer dies Jan. 1 at age 57
Associate Clinical Professor Elizabeth Lloyd Mayer, a clinician-scholar whose work ranged from groundbreaking theories on female development to her "coincidence theory" that explained seemingly unrelated events, died on New Year's Day. She was 57.
Commentary: We are all torturers now
America is entering a new period in its history, writes UC Berkeley journalism professor Mark Danner in a New York Times op-ed, when government scandal leads not to investigation and punishment, but to indifference.
Commentary by John Yoo: Behind the 'torture memos'
In a commentary written as the Senate confirmation hearings for Alberto Gonzales as attorney general near, Boalt Law School professor John Yoo defends wartime policy memos pertaining to the Geneva conventions and another defining torture.
UC Berkeley senior Lea Kreidie tells how she survived the tsunami
UC Berkeley student Lea Kreidie rode out the tsunami while scuba diving off Thailand's Phi Phi island, about 45 minutes by boat from Phuket. She provided a first-person account of her experience via e-mail.
Donald Pederson, pioneer in integrated circuit design, dies at 79
Donald O. Pederson, professor emeritus of electrical engineering and computer sciences at the University of California, Berkeley, whose vision laid the groundwork for advances in the design of the complex integrated circuits that drive modern electronic devices, has died. He was 79.
Economics Nobel Prize winner Gerard Debreu dies
Nobel Prize winner Gerard Debreu, emeritus professor of economics and mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley, died Dec. 31 in Paris of natural causes. He was 83.
Obesity conference focuses on partnerships to improve health of California's children
Whether it's the lack of safe playgrounds in an urban community or the abundance of sodas and high-calorie snacks available on school campuses, the growing girth of children in America has extended beyond a public health problem. Forming partnerships and moving forward with workable solutions is the focus of the 2005 California Childhood Obesity Conference, scheduled for Jan. 9-12 in San Diego.
Campus pitching in to aid South Asia tsunami victims
The tsunami that devastated several Indian Ocean nations in late December is also causing ripple effects at UC Berkeley, where the South Asian community has deep roots. Although the Berkeley campus was closed for winter break from Dec. 23 until Jan. 3, the university's Center for South Asia Studies distributed a list of relief agencies seeking donations within days of the tragedy.
Fewer children in working families are uninsured, but many still falling through the cracks, finds new study
A new study by UC Berkeley researchers finds that a significant number of children in working poor families remain uninsured despite recent strides to improve health care coverage for children in California. The working poor are those whose incomes are too high to qualify for Medi-Cal, yet too low to afford their own health insurance. The study found that children in working poor families were far more likely to be uninsured and less likely to have a usual source of health care than were children from other families.
UC Berkeley completes revised land use plan, offers document for public and UC Regents review
University of California, Berkeley, officials released today (Monday, Jan. 3) the final version of the 2020 Long Range Development Plan (LRDP), moving the campus a major step forward to implementing a new campus land use plan for the next 15 years.