Three UC Berkeley faculty named AAAS fellows
Three UC Berkeley faculty members have been named 2010 Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world's largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science.
Wildlife biologists put dogs' scat-sniffing talents to good use
UC Berkeley biologists have harnessed dogs' natural talent for sniffing out the scat of other animals for a good cause. With the help of Working Dogs for Conservation, a Montana-based nonprofit organization, researchers are fine-tuning the use of dogs as a non-invasive tool for wildlife studies and management.
Andrew Szeri named Operational Excellence program head at UC Berkeley
Andrew Szeri, professor of Mechanical Engineering and dean of the
Graduate Division, has been named the faculty program head for Operational
Excellence at UC Berkeley. He replaces Al Pisano, who recently resigned
due to personal reasons.
Geoffrey Keppel, scholar of human memory, dies at 75
Geoffrey Keppel, a professor emeritus of psychology at UC Berkeley whose research expanded our understanding of what causes humans to forget, died on Dec. 31, 2010, after a long struggle with chronic lymphatic leukemia. He was 75.
Possible missing link between young and old galaxies
UC Berkeley astronomers may have found the missing link between young, gas-filled, star-forming galaxies and older, gas-depleted galaxies typically characterized as “red and dead.” Leo Blitz and Katherine Alatalo report that a long-known “early-type” galaxy, NGC 1266, is expelling molecular gas, mostly hydrogen, from its core. The unusual galaxy may help explain how gas-filled galaxies rid themselves of their molecular gas.
Chancellor issues statement on Arizona shootings
Chancellor Robert Birgeneau expressed shock at the political shootings in Arizona this past weekend, and condemned the use of political hate speech.
New life for lifelong learning at Berkeley
It took two tries for Berkeley's lifelong learning center to achieve liftoff. Now, in its second incarnation, OLLI@Berkeley has become a vital resource for nearly 1,000 enthusiastic students over the age of 50 - and a bridge between the campus and the greater Bay Area community.
Advance makes MRI scans more than seven times faster
UC Berkeley physicist David Feinberg, in collaboration with physicians at the University of Minnesota, has combined two new techniques to speed MRI scans of the brain by more than a factor of 10. The faster functional MRI scans will boost the national effort to map the brain's wiring, called the Human Connectome Project.
Scientist's new book will make you an instant physicist (maybe)
UC Berkeley physicist Richard Muller, author of "Physics for Future Presidents," has published a new book - "The Instant Physicist" - with brief physics anecdotes and clever cartoons.
Engineers take plasmon lasers out of deep freeze
UC Berkeley researchers have developed a new technique that allows plasmon lasers to operate at room temperature, overcoming a major barrier to practical utilization of the technology. Previous plasmon laser devices required temperatures as low as minus 450 degrees Fahrenheit to function properly.
2010 Livable Buildings Awards salute UCSF, Kavli projects
The top 2010 Livable Buildings Award from the University of California, Berkeley's Center for the Built Environment (CBE) goes to UC San Francisco for its transformation of the shell of a former manufacturing plant near UCSF's new Mission Bay research campus into environmentally and user friendly offices.
WikiLeaks philosophy under a scholarly microscope
While reporters, pundits and politicians write and rail about the latest WikiLeaks revelations of secret documents and the activities of its founder, Julian Assange, an online scholarly assessment of the WikiLeaks philosophy developed from Assange's 2006 essays has turned a spotlight on a University of California, Berkeley, graduate student in African literature.
'Capturing the campus' or 'Campus captured'
Call it a visual form of academic introspection. This semester, a new Freshman Seminar, "Photographing History in the Making," used the campus itself as a source for, and subject of, scholarly inquiry.
December graduates to attend Convocation this Sunday
More than 2,800 students at the University of California, Berkeley, are graduating this fall, and at least 400 of them will walk across the stage in caps and gowns at the Walter A. Haas Jr., Pavilion this Sunday, Dec. 19, at the 2010 December Graduates Convocation.
First measurement of magnetic field in Earth's core
Measurements of the magnetic field at the earth's surface can tell only so much about the dynamo producing the field in the planet's core. UC Berkeley geophysicist Bruce Buffett has now used precise astronomical position data to calculate tidal damping in the core and determine for the first time the magnetic field in the center of the planet. The measurement, 25 Gauss, is in the middle of what various scientists have predicted.
Emotional intelligence peaks as we enter our 60s, research suggests
Older people have a hard time keeping a lid on their feelings, especially when viewing heartbreaking or disgusting scenes in movies and reality shows, psychologists have found. But they’re better than their younger counterparts at seeing the positive side of a stressful situation and empathizing with the less fortunate, according to research from UC Berkeley.
Chancellor's Community Partnership Fund streamlines application process
The Chancellor's Community Partnership Fund has launched a streamlined application process for the 2011-2012 grant cycle. This year, the fund has approximately $225,000 to distribute to innovative campus-community partnerships that yield real-world results in the areas of arts and culture, community safety, economic development, environmental stewardship and education.
Project will monitor tremor activity beneath San Andreas Fault
The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has donated $1.2 million to the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory to install a small network of earthquake sensors around the San Andreas Fault at Cholame to monitor faint tremors that have been discovered in the area.
Our brains are wired so we can better hear ourselves speak, new study shows
Like the mute button on the TV remote control, our brains filter out unwanted noise so we can focus on what we’re listening to. But when it comes to following our own speech, a new brain study from UC Berkeley shows that instead of one homogenous mute button, we have a network of volume settings that can selectively silence and amplify the sounds we make and hear.
Probing the haphazard rise of harsh supermaximum prisons
Across the nation, 25,000 high-risk prisoners are currently housed in "supermaximum" units designed for extreme sensory and social deprivation. Berkeley grad student Keramet Reiter — researching the rise of this harsh form of confinement — has pored through archives and listened to former prisoners' powerful accounts of near-total isolation and its psychological effects.
RRR week begins on campus
Reading/Review/Recitation week begins today, Dec. 6. The week replaces
traditional "dead days" or "dead week” as a formalized
time for students to prepare for exams, to work on final papers and projects,
and to participate in optional review sessions and meetings with instructors.
Students stage mock-trial to engage in international law, human rights
Students in the political science course "Accountability for
International Human Rights Violations" reenact high-profile, international
trials and act as prosecutors, defense and judges. In their most recent
trial, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld faced charges of extradition
to France to be tried there for violating international torture laws.
Anthropologist awarded grant to study politics of religious freedom
The Henry R. Luce Initiative on Religion and International Affairs has awarded Saba Mahmood, an associate professor of anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, a three-year, $496,000 grant to study how law and politics are transforming religious freedom.Mahmood's “Politics of Religious Freedom” project will bring together key human rights and civil society organizations, along with jurists, policymakers and academics who have helped reshape the debate on religious freedom in the United States, the Middle East, South Asia and the European Union.
UC Berkeley releases fall 2010 final enrollment data
Overall enrollment at the University of California, Berkeley, remains at approximately 35,800 undergraduate and graduate students, according to final fall 2010 enrollment data that campus officials released today (Thursday, Dec. 2).
Minimum wage hikes don’t eliminate jobs, study finds
Increasing the minimum wage does not lead to the short- or long-term loss of low paying jobs, according to a new study co-authored by UC Berkeley economics professor Michael Reich and published in the November issue of the journal The Review of Economics and Statistics.
Richard N. Goldman, philanthropist, adviser and friend of the university, passes away
UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau issued a statement today on the passing of Richard N. Goldman, who died Sunday, Nov. 28, at the age of 90. Birgeneau called Goldman "a visionary philanthropist, remarkable business leader and public citizen, and devoted friend and alumnus."
The true language of love? It’s math, says Berkeley professor Edward Frenkel, whose steamy new film touches a nerve
Determined to reveal math's inherent beauty to the world, Berkeley math professor Edward Frenkel has made a short film, "Rites of Love and Math," which is both an homage to the film "Yukoku" by Japanese writer Yukio Mishima and an allegory about mathematics. Even before its North American premiere tomorrow night in Berkeley, though, the film is causing controversy.
Investments in rural energy efficiency, renewable energy reduce poverty, greenhouse gas emissions
A clean-energy initiative in rural Nicaragua shows that developing nations can take cost-effective steps to reduce carbon emissions while helping the rural poor to reduce their energy expenses, according to researchers at UC Berkeley.
Jet lagged and forgetful? It's no coincidence
Holiday travel can leave people cranky and tired, in part because of jet lag, the result of your body's internal clock being out of synch with your current time zone. For chronic travelers, it's more than a passing annoyance, however. A new study shows that chronic jet lag can cause long-term brain changes that lead to memory and learning problems for at least a month after return to a normal schedule.
Jupiter gets its stripe back
Astronomers using three telescopes atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii have recorded the return of a unique belt on Jupiter that periodically fades from dark brown to white. Its most recent fade-out started earlier this year, but November observations with the Keck, Gemini and Infrared Telescope Facility show the brown returning. It appears that reflected sunlight off high elevation clouds of ammonia ice have been blocking our view of the darker clouds below.
Janet Broughton named vice provost
Janet Broughton, a professor of philosophy and Berkeley's dean of arts and humanities, has been appointed vice provost for academic affairs and faculty welfare.
At the heart of campus, BicyCal opens its new 'hub'
The student cooperative BicyCal showcased its new, centrally located, if humble, "hub" on Friday. The grand opening took place in a long-shuttered stairway connecting upper and lower Sproul Plaza, cleverly repurposed as a "peer-to-peer" bike-maintenance education center. The group aims to grow the campus's cycling culture, and sees the new center as a keystone to that effort.
Teaching kids gratitude instead of entitlement
Drawing from research and personal experience, Christine Carter — a sociologist, happiness expert, and director of UC Berkeley's Greater Good Parents program — shares insights on how practicing gratitude, not just at Thanksgiving but year-round, can make for happier families.
Will Ireland go bankrupt? Economic historian sheds light on latest eurozone crisis
UC Berkeley economic historian Barry Eichengreen, an expert on the international monetary and financial system, discussed the Irish economic crisis at a campus seminar Nov. 17. He said Ireland needs to restructure much of the bank debt that its government has effectively taken onto its balance sheet — debt that could reach a staggering 130 percent of GDP in the coming year.
New Southside joint safety patrol already a success
After only a few months of operation, a pilot program on the city's south side that set up a joint safety patrol by the University of California, Berkeley, Police Department (UCPD) and the Berkeley Police Department (BPD) is showing successful results.
White House awards Alexandre Bayen with early career award
Associate professor Alexandre Bayen was awarded the prestigious 2010 Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). His research focuses on designing and implementing algorithms for use in mobile Internet applications.
Antihydrogen trapped for first time
The particle accelerators at CERN in Geneva produce scads of antiprotons, which five years ago were combined at high speed with positrons to create for the first time antimatter atoms: antihydrogen. Those atoms annihilated with normal matter within microseconds, but an international team involving UC Berkeley and LBNL physicists has succeeded in slowing such atoms down and trapping them for a tenth of a second. This will allow experiments on a type of matter that hasn't been available since shortly after the Big Bang 14 billion years ago.
Pioneering UC Berkeley Wellness Letter celebrates its silver anniversary
For more than a generation, people looking for plain-spoken, science-based guidance on healthy living have turned to a short-on-frills, long-on-substance, monthly known as the University of California, Berkeley Wellness Letter. On Friday, Nov. 12 the principals behind the pioneering newsletter paused to mark its 25th anniversary.
Dire messages about global warming can backfire, new study shows
Dire or emotionally charged warnings about the consequences of global warming can backfire if presented too negatively, making people less amenable to reducing their carbon footprint, according to new research from UC Berkeley.
IRLE's conference on "New Deal/No Deal?"
In the midst of forecasts of continuing economic woes and congressional gridlock, experts gathered recently at UC Berkeley to assess what worked and what didn’t during the Great Depression-inspired New Deal, the Obama administration’s still emerging efforts to ease the Great Recession, and prospects for relief, reform and recovery.Much of the conference, “New Deal/No Deal? The Age of Obama and the Lessons of the 1930s,” is now available online at http://irle.berkeley.edu/conference/2010/.
'Real food' collective opens for business next to campus
A year and a half after keeping Panda Express off campus, the Berkeley Student Food Collective delivered on its alternative and opened a food market that brims with fresh produce, staples for home cooking and quick lunch fare — all sustainably produced.
Twain autobiography – the way he wanted it – hits stores today
The first volume of the autobiography of Mark Twain lands on bookstore shelves today (Monday, Nov. 15), 100 years after his death, courtesy of editors at the Mark Twain Papers and Project at the University of California, Berkeley's Bancroft Library.
Fab Four headline at North Gate
"Mad Day Out," an exhibit of 25 never-before-exhibited photographs of the Beatles taken at random London locations one day in July 1968 will open officially this Friday, Nov. 12, at the University of California, Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism.The Fab Four photos taken by former music photographer-turned-cinematographer Stephen Goldblatt ("Batman Forever, "Prince of Tides," and other films) is the latest coup by the journalism school’s Center for Photography, which has organized the exhibit at its gallery at North Gate Hall.
$1 million grant to steer undergraduates into research
The Amgen Foundation has renewed a four-year, $1 million grant to UC Berkeley that to date has introduced 94 undergraduate students from a range of colleges and universities to laboratory research and steered more than three-quarters of them into graduate level research.
The Science of Happiness
Happiness and positive emotions are the focus of wide-ranging scholarship at the University of California, Berkeley, where researchers are investigating the science of happiness and compassion.
Jillian Banfield to receive Franklin Medal, L'Oreal-UNESCO award
Jillian Banfield, a biogeochemist and geomicrobiologist, will receive two prestigious awards – the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Earth and Environmental Science and the L-Oréal-UNESCO "For Women in Science" award – for her groundbreaking work on how microbes alter rocks and interact with the natural world.
Novel metamaterial vastly improves quality of ultrasound imaging
New "metamaterials" can overcome some of the limitations of microscopes and imagers, including ultrasound imagers. Researchers in the Nano-scale Science & Engineering Center have come up with a metamaterial to improve the picture quality of ultrasound by a factor of 50.
UC Berkeley students help improve Wikipedia’s credibility
This semester, Wikipedia began collaborating with 10 public universities, including UC Berkeley, in a 17-month pilot program called the WikiProject Public Policy Initiative. The program aims to improve the quality and curriculum of Wikipedia pages about public policy issues by having students and professors create and update content as part of their course work. Brian Carver was one of the professors asked to participate in the program through his course "Intellectual Property Law for the Information Industries," who are facilitating a DeCal course.
Charles Desoer, professor emeritus of electrical engineering and computer sciences, dies at 84
Charles A. Desoer, a professor emeritus of electrical engineering and computer sciences at the UC Berkeley, died Monday at age 84.
Neutron stars may be too weak to power some gamma-ray bursts
Long-duration gamma-ray bursts flash across the universe to signal the collapse of a massive star, but this collapsar model predicts either a neutron star or a black hole is left behind. New calculations of the energy released by gamma-ray bursts find it too large to be powered by a neutron star, even highly magnetized, spinning magnetars. Thus, UC Berkeley astronomers conclude, the likely power source is a black hole.
Phantom images stored in flexible network throughout brain
The ability to store phantom images in our brain in order to make visual comparisons is impaired by damage to the prefrontal cortex, but intact regions of the prefrontal cortex pick up the slack in less than a second. Damage to the basal ganglia, however, causes more widespread impairment of visual working memory. New studies by UC Berkeley neuroscientists show how the prefrontal cortex flexibly picks up new functions while retaining old.
Susanna Barrows, scholar of modern French history, dies at 65
Susanna I. Barrows, a professor emerita of history at the University of California, Berkeley, and an authority on modern French history, died at her home in Berkeley on Wednesday, Oct. 27, after a suspected heart attack. She was 65.
Grant launches Berkeley Economic History Lab
The University of California, Berkeley’s Department of Economics is the recipient of a $1.25 million grant from the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) to develop a Berkeley Economic History Laboratory to train more historically literate economists who can contribute to policy debates and help avoid devastating economic crises.
Congresswoman Doris Matsui visits campus and its Matsui programs
On Oct. 29, Congresswoman Doris Matsui came to the campus for a first-hand look at the programs at Berkeley's Robert T. Matsui Center on Politics and Public Service, and to visit The Bancroft Library, which houses the collection of papers donated by her late husband, Congressman Robert Matsui of Sacramento.
Elizabeth Warren envisions launch of tough '21st-century' watchdog agency
Consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren, speaking Thursday evening at the Mario Savio Memorial Lecture, diverged from her "standard" speech — on the worsening financial straits of the U.S. middle class — to talk about what it means "to build a new agency in a new world where information travels at the speed of light." Warren said new technology can help make the agency responsive to consumers and less vulnerable to "capture" by the financial-services industry.
Neural circuit ensures zebrafish will not bite off more than it can chew
UC Berkeley neuroscientists have found that when zebrafish larvae see large objects, like leaves or other zebrafish, a large number of inhibitory nerve cells fire in the brain to tamp down a prey response. But when the larvae see small, prey-size objects, fewer inhibitory nerve cells fire and the fish quickly responds. This simple neural circuit helps explain the visual filters that enable prey capture.
Town halls give staff, faculty a closer look at 'future of UC retirement benefits'
Proposed changes to UC pension plan get a hearing at two campus forums
hosted by Chancellor Birgeneau.
Study says solar systems like ours may be common
A survey of 166 nearby stars like our sun reveals increasing numbers of smaller planets down to the smallest detectable planets - about three times more massive than the earth. If this trend continues, UC Berkeley astronomers estimate, one of every four sun-like stars may have an earth-like planet.
Out of THEMIS, ARTEMIS: Earth's loss is moon's gain
Two of the five probes in the THEMIS mission have been redirected toward new orbits around the moon, extending UC Berkeley's study of the earth and moon's interaction with the solar wind. The new mission, dubbed ARTEMIS, began science operations Oct. 21 when the second of the two probes entered a parking orbit on the Earth-facing side of the moon.
Expert offerings celebrate the terror in scary movies
Trying to pick feature films for your own Halloween fright fest this weekend? A few UC Berkeley film authorities provide their picks of scary movie favorites to help you with the decision.
Researchers advocate teacher training, mentoring to boost preschool results
The report, Lifting Pre-K Quality: Caring and Effective Teachers," says governors and federal leaders should rely less on regulations and more on improving teacher quality to combat the often disappointing benefits of preschool.
Legalize marijuana? Pro, con, or undecided, Berkeley students sound off on Prop. 19
On Nov. 2, state voters will decide on a controversial and quintessentially California ballot measure, Proposition 19, the "Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010." Where do students at Berkeley, with its reputation for liberalism (accurate or not) come down on the issue? Eleven campus undergraduates think out loud about the pros and cons of Prop. 19.
Berkeley adds Math for America to help solve STEM education equation
Six outstanding math and science teachers from public schools in the Bay Area have just begun five-year fellowships on campus through the new Math for America Berkeley program. It's a new approach for Berkeley's mission to help fill a critical need for the nation: better math and science education.
Researchers examine California public, private workers’ pay, total compensation
California taxpayers are not overpaying or overcompensating their state and local workers compared to private sector employers, according to a policy brief released today (Monday, Oct. 18) by the Center on Wages and Employment Dynamics at UC Berkeley’s Institute for Research on Labor and Employment.Wages earned by California’s public employees are about 7 percent lower, on average, than those received by comparable private sector workers, according to the report. However, the researchers concluded that when taking into account the more generous benefits of government employees, there is no significant difference in the level of total compensation between the two sectors.
Flight delays cost $32.9 billion, passengers foot half the bill
Delays from domestic flights put a $32.9 million dent into the U.S. economy, and half that cost is borne by airline passengers, according to a new report led by UC Berkeley researchers. The final report was delivered Oct. 18 to the Federal Aviation Administration, which commissioned the study.
Scientists find signals that make cell nucleus blow up like a balloon
The size of a cell's nucleus varies from one species to another, in different cell types, and even with disease: many cancer cells develop larger nuclei as they become more malignant. Working with the African clawed frog, Rebecca Heald and Daniel Levy have discovered two proteins that control the size of the nucleus.
Campus hosts election events
In the brief time remaining before the Nov. 2 general election, the University of California, Berkeley, will host a series of informational events about the Golden State's congressional races, the emergence and impact of the Tea Party, and last-minute polling results in California.
"Mad Men" explored in new UC Berkeley course
This semester, a DeCal class discusses themes in the wildly popular series "Mad Men."
From 'corner stores' to an online data marketplace
Berkeley's data analysts and administrators have long kept their own sets of data, which makes finding the information to answer institutional questions challenging even in best-case situatons. With direction from Berkeley's leaders, a campuswide data initiative takes a multi-pronged approach to address the problem.
Campus to celebrate grand opening of Blum Hall today at 2 p.m.
Richard C. Blum Hall, a new headquarters at UC Berkeley for creating innovative solutions to global poverty, will open its doors to the public today (Friday, Oct. 8). Former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz will deliver the keynote address at the dedication ceremony, which starts at 2 p.m.
UC Berkeley administration responds to 'Day of Action' protesters
Responding to a list of demands from protesters, campus administrators issued a statement saying they "acknowledge the concerns that you have expressed to preserve public education in California and make the opportunity of education fairly available to every qualified student."
'Day of Action' protesters take over Doe Library reading room
At a mid-day rally on Sproul Plaza during Thursday's 'Day of Action,' student and faculty speakers addressed a crowd of about 800 protesting cuts to public education. Many of the protesters then moved to Doe Library, where they took over its main reading room.
NASA mission asks why Mars has no atmosphere
NASA has approved a mission to Mars called MAVEN that will collect data to understand why and how Mars lost its atmosphere. Half the instruments will be built at UC Berkeley's Space Sciences Laboratory under the direction of physicist Robert Lin.
Three J-school documentaries to premiere at Mill Valley Film Fest
Short documentaries by three 2010 graduates of Berkeley's journalism school have won coveted spots in the Mill Valley Film Festival, which starts Thursday. The 26-minute films depict toxic waste dumping in Africa, the living limbo of the Nukak Maku people forced out of the Amazon jungle, and the dilemma faced by elderly people deciding whether to drive. They premiere on Sunday on the same bill, "Truth Be Told."
Air pollution alters immune function, worsens asthma symptoms
Exposure to dirty air is linked to decreased function of a gene that appears to increase the severity of asthma in children, according to a joint study by researchers at Stanford University and UC Berkeley. While air pollution is known to be a source of immediate inflammation, this new study provides one of the first pieces of direct evidence that explains how some ambient air pollutants could have long-term effects.
Oral history weaves story of the Oakland Army Base and its profound region-wide impact
The Regional Oral History Project at the Bancroft Library has interviewed nearly 50 people associated with the now-defunct Oakland Army Base — either in military or civilian capacities — over nearly six decades. The oral histories, and an associated book, limn the key role the base played in U.S. military conflicts as well as the economy and culture of the San Francisco Bay Area.
Cal Dining joins the cupcake craze
New line of "Cub Cakes" from the Honey Bear Bakery will be sold Monday through Thursday beginning today, October 4, at various Cal Dining locations.
X-rays linked to increased childhood leukemia risk
Diagnostic X-rays may increase the risk of developing childhood leukemia, according to a new study by UC Berkeley researchers. Specifically, the researchers found that children with acute lymphoid leukemia (ALL) had almost twice the chance of having been exposed to three or more X-rays compared with children who did not have leukemia.
The Berkeley family — those Berkeleys — come to town
An Australian family of five, descendants of the Irish philosopher who gave Berkeley its name, spent a half-day touring campus on Thursday. They're the only family members known to have paid a visit. And they stay true to the name's original pronunciation, "Bar-klee."
Three UC Berkeley researchers receive NIH "innovator" awards
Three UC Berkeley faculty members - Diana Bautista, Amy Herr and Donald Rio - have been singled out as innovators by the National Institutes of Health and will receive special grants designed to fund "transformative research" that could lead to major advances in medical science.
Women who get dental care have lower risk of heart disease, says study
A new study led by a UC Berkeley health researcher suggests that women who get dental care reduce their risk of heart attacks, stroke and other cardiovascular problems by at least one-third. The findings add to a growing body of research linking gum disease with risk factors for heart disease and stroke.
On a sad day for Golden Bears, 4 teams are cut, while rugby survives as 'varsity club' squad
Chancellor Birgeneau and Athletic Director Barbour announce changes to Cal Athletics - including a reduction in the number of intercollegiate teams from 29 to 24 - in an effort to put the program on a financially sustainable footing.
Chancellor announces new plan for Cal Athletics' future
Cost reductions will reduce the number of varsity sports from 29 to 24 as part of a comprehensive plan to create an economically sustainable program.
National Research Council ranks UC Berkeley's Ph.D. programs among nation's best
The first detailed survey since 1995 of doctoral programs at the nation's research universities shows that UC Berkeley continues to have the largest number of highly ranked graduate programs in the country. The rankings, by the National Research Council, confirm "that UC Berkeley is the nation’s preeminent public university for doctoral studies in a huge number and wide variety of disciplines," said graduate dean Andrew Szeri.
Two young faculty members named MacArthur "genius" fellows
Two UC Berkeley faculty members, economist Emmanuel Saez and computer scientist Dawn Song, have been named MacArthur "genius" Fellows. They are among 23 recipients to receive the prestigious award – $500,000 in unrestricted funds over the next five years – announced Sept. 28 by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
Lost your stuff? Don't lose your head, just click here
The campus police department's newly renovated lost-and-found website — and Facebook — are helping reconnect misplaced sunglasses, wallets, cellphones and other valuables and their owners. In 2009, more than 1,600 items landed in the lost and found at 1 Sproul Hall.
Right or left? Brain stimulation can change the hand you favor
Each time we perform a simple task, like pushing an elevator button or reaching for a cup of coffee, the brain races to decide whether the left or right hand will do the job. But the left hand is more likely to win if a certain region of the brain receives magnetic stimulation, according to new research from UC Berkeley.
Fungal spores travel farther by surfing their own wind
Many fungi, including the destructive Sclerotinia, spew thousands of spores at once to give the spores an extra boost into their host plants. UC Berkeley, Harvard and Cornell researchers now show how this works. The near-simultaneous ejection of spores reduces drag to nearly zero and creates a wind that carries some of the spores 20 times farther than a single spore could travel solo.
Campus celebrates its postdocs, and postdocs honor a mentor
More than 200 UC Berkeley postdocs and their supporters gathered Thursday to celebrate these scholars' important contributions to the campus. Postdocs offered their own expression of appreciation — honoring Professor Rebecca Heald as the first recipient of the Faculty Award for Excellence in Postdoctoral Mentoring.
Anthropologist Burton Benedict dies at age 87
Burton Benedict, a professor emeritus of social anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, and former director of the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology, died of heart failure on Sunday (Sept. 19) at his Berkeley home. He was 87.
High pressure experiments reproduce mineral structures 1,800 miles deep
UC Berkeley and Yale University scientists have recreated the tremendous pressures and high temperatures deep in the Earth to resolve a long-standing puzzle: why some seismic waves travel faster than others through the boundary between the solid mantle and fluid outer core.
Masculinity at the intersection of College Avenue and Never Land
In The Lost Boys of Zeta Psi, anthropology professor Laurie Wilkie digs beyond Animal House stereotypes to unpack the everyday life of Berkeley fraternity circa 1900. Two campus excavations provided the foundation for the historic archaeologist's study.
For neurons to work as a team, it helps to have a beat
When it comes to conducting complex tasks, it turns out that the brain needs rhythm, according to UC Berkeley researchers. Neuroscientists have found that cortical rhythms, or oscillations, can effectively rally groups of neurons in widely dispersed regions of the brain to engage in coordinated activity, much like a conductor will summon up various sections of an orchestra in a symphony.
Mathematicians awarded prizes for work on fluid mechanics, interface dynamics
Alexandre Chorin and James Sethian, two UC Berkeley and LBNL mathematicians, will receive awards from the world's largest applied mathematics society for their career and pioneer contributions to the field.
Father absence linked to earlier puberty among certain girls
Girls in homes without a biological father are more likely to hit puberty at an earlier age, according to a new study led by researchers at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health. The findings held only for girls in higher income households, and even after the girls’ weight was taken into account.
Berkeley Law professor Molly Van Houweling on the fast track
With a combination of fitness, skill and determination, UC Berkeley Law Professor Molly Van Houweling has emerged as one of California's best women bicycle racers.
Alzheimer's drug boosts perceptual learning in healthy adults
Research on a drug commonly prescribed to Alzheimer's disease patients is helping neuroscientists at the University of California, Berkeley, better understand perceptual learning in healthy adults.
Tiny foraminifera shells can help assess recovery after oil spill
Pinhead-size marine organisms called foraminifera have been used to monitor pollutants in marshes and oceans, and could help to assess recovery in the Gulf of Mexico following the three-month long Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Expert forum to explore implications of grading teachers
Joining a national debate about the Los Angeles Times’ recent publication of its own evaluations of 6,000 elementary school teachers, the University of California, Berkeley, is hosting a Sept. 27 experts forum, “Grading the Teachers: Measures, Media and Policies.
43 years after 'Titicut Follies,' it's Berkeley, the movie
With dozens of documentaries under his belt, Frederick Wiseman has found
that "when you turn the camera off, the interesting thing will happen." That,
in part, is why he plans to shoot some 250 hours of film for his exploration
of life at Berkeley.
Chancellor: Universities play key role in strengthening science, math education in the U.S.
The nation's future competitiveness relies on the success of its universities, among others, in producing teachers for the next generation of scientists, tech whizzes and engineers, Chancellor Robert Birgeneau told a panel of experts at the Brookings Institution Monday, and Berkeley is doing its part.
Campus website gives old stuff a new life
Modeled after the Freecycle Network, the Exchange helps Berkeley community members do right by discards and go one eco-step beyond recycling.
Energy experts convene Oct. 1-2 to discuss pathways to a sustainable energy future
An international all-star lineup of experts in solar and biofuel energy, climate science, urban design and other areas of research critical to sustainable energy technologies will gather in Berkeley for a public symposium Oct. 1-2 to lay out the best course of action for a clean, green energy future.
Engineers make artificial skin out of nanowires
UC Berkeley engineers have developed a pressure-sensitive electronic material from semiconductor nanowires that could one day be used as an artificial skin for robots and prosthetic limbs.
Amateur astronomers track asteroids as they impact Jupiter
In 1994, amateur astronomers discovered the comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 that made a dramatic impact on the planet Jupiter. Amateur astronomers have found three small asteroid impacts on the planet since then - the most recent in August - providing helpful information for astronomers trying to assess the danger from near-Earth asteroids.
Tempest in a spit cup
A decision by the deans of the College of Letters & Science to offer students the opportunity to find out about three of their genes ignited a nationwide discussion of genetic privacy issues - exactly the kind of discussion organizers hope will take place on campus.
Researchers expand yeast's sugary diet to include plant fiber
Yeast cells don't normally eat complex sugars or carbohydrates, only simple sugars like glucose and sucrose. UC Berkeley's Jamie Cate and colleagues have now added genes to yeast that allow it to eat more complex sugars, called cellodextrins. These yeast could find use in the biofuels industry, which hopes to use cellulosic plant fibers to make alcohol.
"Appalachian Portfolio, 1959-1963" on exhibit at North Gate Hall
“The Appalachian Portfolio, 1959-1963: Photographs by Andrew Stern,” a collection of black-and-white photos depicting life 50 years ago in Kentucky’s hardscrabble coal mining country, is on display through Oct. 15 at the University of California, Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. It is the collection’s first West Coast showing.
Inspired by one small boy, a Berkeley father wins new UC parental-leave policy
It took more than five years from the time Jon Bain-Chekal and his husband adopted their son, Wesley, but the Berkeley controller's office employee persisted — and parents working for UC benefit: mother or father, gay or straight, they can use 30 days of sick leave to care for a new child.
Lunch Poems Series starts with rugby coach, French professor, among others
The fifteenth season of the popular Lunch Poems Series kicked-off on Thursday at Morrison Library. The series features faculty and staff from a wide range of disciplines reading some of their favorite poems.
For Operational Excellence, bottom line is $75 million in change
It took Al Pisano, recently named to head the program office for Operational Excellence, a week to agree to take the assignment. Now, the veteran mechanical engineering professor is "completely committed' to helping Berkeley achieve $75 million in annual savings by boosting the efficiency -- and effectiveness -- of campus operations.
Bancroft Library opens reading room to personal cameras
Patrons of the library can photograph any of the materials in the Bancroft's vast collection for personal use throughout the fall semester. The trial program, which aims to foster increased access to the library's materials, began in August.
Bancroft Library opens Mexico exhibit
A rare 1916 poster offering a reward for information leading to the arrest of Mexican Revolution leader Francisco “Pancho” Villa is just one of dozens of images and original documents in the University of California, Berkeley’s Bancroft Library’s “Celebrating Mexico” exhibit that opens this Thursday (Sept. 2).
Campus takes action to solve problems in financial system upgrade
With the school year already under way, Berkeley administrators are moving quickly to iron out the problems caused by the summer upgrade of the campus's central purchasing system.
In case of emergency: Sign up for WarnMe
Amid the hubbub of a new school year, it's easy to forget that an emergency could strike at any time — an earthquake, a fire, or someone with a gun. But it's a good time to remember to sign up for WarnMe, Berkeley's emergency notification system. It's easy; just go to warnme.berkeley.edu.
Coming attractions: A short list of the campus's enticing fall events
This semester's rich range of cultural offerings includes a daylong cornucopia of free arts performances, as well as appearances by violin virtuoso Christian Tetzlaff, the much-loved Mark Morris Dance Group, director and outside-the-box thinker Peter Greenaway, and bestselling writer David Sheff.
The BBC lands a helicopter at Memorial Stadium
The BBC was on campus Thursday to film a segment about seismic activity for the program "Naked Earth." As part of the shoot, they landed a helicopter in the middle of Memorial Stadium.
Chancellor 'cautiously optimistic' about the year ahead
At Chancellor Birgeneau's back-to-school press briefing Aug. 26, the mood was notably sunnier than a year ago, when the campus was reeling from severe cuts in state funding. Faculty, staff, administrators, students, alumni, donors — "everyone contributed" to meeting the crisis, he told reporters.
NSF funds interdisciplinary team's grey water disinfection plan
A UC Berkeley team has been awarded a $2 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant for research on biologically-inspired technologies for grey water reuse and thermal energy management that may propel sustainable building into a new era.The grant comes from the NSF’s Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation’s 2010 Science in Energy and Environmental Design program for engineering sustainable buildings. Leading UC Berkeley’s award-winning research team as principal investigator is Maria Paz-Gutierrez, assistant professor of architecture in the College of Environmental Design, and the only architect serving as principal investigator for any of the NSF’s eight EFRI-SEED grants this year.
Hopeful outlook for new academic year
As fall classes begin this week at UC Berkeley, the 2010-11 academic year promises to be markedly more upbeat than the last, with ramped-up faculty hiring, dozens more lower-division courses to help students graduate on time, and major progress on key construction projects, including the renovation of Memorial Stadium.
Sunlight spawns many binary and "divorced" binary asteroids
Asteroids that are slightly out of round can start spinning because of impinging sunlight. A new study by Czech astronomers and their international colleagues, including UC Berkeley's Franck Marchis, suggests that over millions of years, these asteroids may spin fast enough to fission into a binary asteroid system. The two bound asteroids eventually move far apart to become independent asteroids, or a "divorced" binary.
North American continent is a layer cake, scientists discover
The North American continent is not one thick, rigid slab, but a layer cake of ancient, 3 billion-year-old rock on top of much newer material probably less than 1 billion years old, according to a new study by UC Berkeley seismologists. The new findings by Barbara Romanowicz and Huaiyu Yuan also indicate that the continent grew by addition of rock from subducting ocean floor, not by mantle plume upwelling from below.
Campus, city police form joint safety patrol
UC Berkeley and Berkeley city police have formed a new joint patrol to target improving public safety in Southside neighborhoods and after home games.
Fall semester offers bounty of free arts programs
The University of California, Berkeley, is opening up the campus this fall for free, public arts programming that will feature dance, music, prize-winning poets, fiction and non-fiction writers, multidisciplinary collaborations and debate about the role of art in the world today.
Incoming freshmen on the move – from here, there, everywhere
This past weekend, new freshmen students arrived at UC Berkeley and got settled into their campus housing. Among the many students were three individuals who provide a glimpse of the diversity and excellence of this year's freshmen class.
Prenatal pesticide exposure linked to attention problems in preschool-aged children
Children who were exposed to organophosphate pesticides before birth were more likely to develop attention disorders years later, according to a new UC Berkeley study. Researchers linked higher maternal concentrations of pesticide metabolites during pregnancy to greater odds of attention problems in children at age 5. The study adds to a growing body of evidence that organophosphate pesticide exposure can impact human health.
Gulf oil drilling is just one facet of South's surfeit of heavy industry
Cal alum Rachel Edmonds '09 is keenly interested in places like the Gulf of Mexico, where "dirty" industries provide jobs but can mar the landscape and degrade the environment. She recently visited many such sites in the American South — where much of the nation's heavy industry is found — on a travel fellowship given annually by the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning.
Einstein@Home's pulsar discovery proves value of volunteer computing
One of the world's most popular volunteer computing projects, Einstein@Home, has discovered an unusual pulsar from data captured by the giant radio dish in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. The project, built on UC Berkeley's BOINC platform, proves the scientific value of volunteer computing.
UC Berkeley alters DNA testing program
The California Department of Public Health has instructed the University of California, Berkeley, not to proceed with a portion of its ground-breaking program to educate students about genetic testing and personalized medicine.
Student Parent Center and Summer Bridge team up to help student parents
Three incoming freshmen, who are also young parents, will be among those who complete the UC Berkeley Summer Bridge program on Friday. The young women have received mentoring and student services from the Transfer, Re-Entry, and Student Parent Center to help with their transition.
Frog evolution tracks rise of Himalayas and rearrangement of Southeast Asia
The spiny frogs of Asia have hard, nubby spines on their chests and arms and Popeye-like forearms in order to securely grasp females during mating in swift-flowing streams. Kunming Institute of Zoology and UC Berkeley biologists have conducted a genetic analysis of 24 species of spiny frogs to track the rise of the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau that led to their diversification.
Genome of ancient sponge reveals origins of first animals, cancer
A team of researchers led by Daniel Rokhsar has published a draft genome sequence of the sea sponge, an organism that wasn't recognizied as an animal until the 19th century. The genome gives insight into the origins of multicellular animals and cancer.
Researchers document human toll of violence in Central African Republic
UC Berkeley human rights researchers have systematically canvassed nearly 2,000 households in the Central African Republic to document the devastating human impact of violence in the country. They present a stark picture of a population traumatized by decades of political strife, military coups and poverty.
Memorial service planned for UC Berkeley sophomore and plane crash victim Misha Dawood
A memorial service is being planned for Sunday, Aug. 29, for Misha Dawood, a UC Berkeley sophomore and rising soccer talent who was among 152 passengers killed last Wednesday in what is being deemed Pakistan's deadliest air crash.
Architecture professor and activist Kenneth Simmons dies at 77
Kenneth Harlan Simmons, a professor emeritus of architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, died of cancer in Johannesburg, South Africa, on July 6 at the age of 77. He was known for his work in equal rights, urban planning and community development from San Francisco to Detroit, Harlem and South Africa.
Graphene exhibits bizarre new behavior well-suited to electronic devices
Graphene, a sheet of pure carbon heralded as a possible replacement for silicon-based semiconductors, has been found to have a unique and amazing property that could make it even more suitable for future electronic devices.
World-renowned astronomer Donald C. Backer dies at age 66
Don Backer, a professor at UC Berkeley’s Department of Astronomy, and a world leader in the field of radio astronomy, died on Sunday, July 25. He was 66.
Three UC Berkeley students awarded Switzer environmental fellowships
Three UC Berkeley students have been awarded the 2010 Switzer Fellowship, given to outstanding environmental scholars who are pursuing graduate degrees in a variety of ecological disciplines.
Ed Roberts, disability-rights leader and Cal alum, gets his own state day
Disability-rights pioneer Ed Roberts, who was a Cal alum, will be recognized each year on Jan. 23 with a commemorative day on which the state's schools will offer education on disability history, rights, and legal requirements. The California State Legislature unanimously passed the bill, which Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed on July 19.
Sketching a season for Mark Twain Papers & Project
The Bancroft Library's Mark Twain Papers & Project at UC Berkeley has acquired "A Family Sketch," Samuel Clemens' 64-page, unpublished tribute to his daughter, Olivia "Susy" Clemens.
Eight UC Berkeley students receive Fulbright scholarship
Eight students from the University of California, Berkeley, have received Fulbright scholarships to travel and study abroad for the 2010-11 academic school year.
Energy-efficiency expert Karl Brown named 2010 UC Sustainability Champion
On the UC Berkeley campus, which has an annual energy bill of about $35 million, new energy monitoring systems have been installed in 10 buildings, and annual savings of $650,000 have been recorded.
Exposé on Mexican justice system produced by two Berkeley grad students to air July 27
On Tuesday, July 27, the PBS POV documentary series will air "Presumed Guilty", a riveting examination of the Mexican judicial system created by UC Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy doctoral candidates Roberto Hernández and Layda Negrete.
Chancellor Funds 15 Campus – Community Partnerships
Nearly $225,000 in grants through the Chancellor's Community Partnership Fund have been given by Chancellor Birgeneau to joint campus/city of Berkeley community service and neighborhood improvement projects.
Philanthropist keeps memories of fallen youth alive through scholarships
The Phoebe Prince Memorial Scholarship Endowment Fund marks the 24th scholarship Michael Mahoney has established at UC Berkeley. Each of his scholarships, collectively valued at more than $9 million, commemorates a young life cut short.
Chancellor Birgeneau urges Congress to pass the DREAM Act
Leaders in higher education, including UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau, have asked Congress to act on the DREAM Act, allowing young undocumented immigrants who grew up in the U.S. to get a college education and have a path to legal residency.
57 Berkeley grads join elite Teach for America corps
Teach for America has named UC Berkeley as one of the top five large universities contributing graduating seniors to its 2010 teaching corps.
Cash rewards and counseling could help prevent STIs in rural Africa
Giving out cash can be an effective tool in combating sexually transmitted infections in rural Africa, according to a study which found that people who were offered $60 over 12 months to stay free of STIs had a 25 percent lower prevalence of infections.
Philip Frickey, leading scholar in federal Indian law, dies at 57
Philip Frickey, one of the nation’s foremost experts on federal Indian law, died Sunday, July 11, at the age of 57.
UC Berkeley psychologists bring science of happiness to China
As the ranks of China’s millionaires continue to grow, the pursuit of wealth in the nation is fast outpacing mental health and wellbeing, according to psychologists at the University of California, Berkeley, who are seeking to correct that imbalance and spread the science of happiness in China.
Eminent statistician David Blackwell has died at 91
David H. Blackwell, an eminent statistician at UC Berkeley who was the first black admitted to the National Academy of Sciences, died Thursday, July 8, of natural causes at Alta Bates Medical Center in Berkeley. He was 91.
UC releases preliminary enrollment data for 2010-11 freshman class
Preliminary data released July 14 by UCOP show that more than 5,200 students have indicated plans to enroll in UC Berkeley's 2010-11 freshman class. This is a level within the general enrollment target set by campus admissions officials.
Path-breaking anthropologist George De Vos dies at 87
George Alphonse De Vos, a professor emeritus of anthropology at UC Berkeley, and a pioneer in cultural psychology, ethnic identity and migration studies, died Friday, July 9, of congestive heart disease at his home in Oakland, Calif. He was 87.
reproductive choices in Brazil
Human Rights Fellow Ugo Edu, posting for the NewsCenter's "Student Journal" series,
reports from the field on her summer research, documenting Brazilian
women's experiences with tubal ligation and other contraceptive alternatives.
Serious about child's play
Teacher-researcher Jane Perry, who started her career at Berkeley as Ph.D.student in early-childhood education, spent nearly 30 years advocating for the importance of child's play. While she plans to continue working for kids, last month Perry retired from the campus's Harold E. Jones Child Study Center.
Chancellor welcomes report on Cal athletics
UC Berkeley faculty and alumni have joined forces to provide the chancellor with recommendations for the future of Intercollegiate Athletics.
I-House invites campus soccer fans to view Sunday's World Cup final
International House will host a free viewing of the World Cup final game and is encouraging fans from all backgrounds to come and cheer for their favorite team.
Coral tests show fast construction pace for Polynesian temples
Ancient Polynesians went from building small-scale temples to constructing monumental, pyramid-shaped temples in just 140 years, not in four or five centuries as previously calculated, according to research led by a University of California, Berkeley, anthropologist and published this week in the print edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
New Human Resources Center aims to streamline services, improve efficiency, and reduce costs
Berkeley's new Human Resources Center, located in 615 University Hall, brings together HR services duplicated across three units under one roof. It will serve more than 3,000 staff from campus administration, the Office of the Chancellor, Information Services and Technology, and the Office of the Chief Information Officer, part of IST.
Tibetans adapted to high altitude in less than 3,000 years
UC Berkeley's Rasmus Nielsen teamed up with Chinese researchers to compare the genomes of Tibetans living above 14,000 feet to Han Chinese living at essentially sea level. They found that within the last 3,000 years, Tibetans evolved genetic mutations in a number of genes having to do with how the body deals with oxygen, making it possible for Tibetans to thrive at high altitudes while their Han relatives cannot.
Labor Center launches monthly black jobs report
UC Berkeley’s Center for Labor Research and Education is officially launching tomorrow (Friday, July 2) a series of monthly reports that highlight the employment outlook in the black community as national jobless numbers hover around 10 percent and African Americans fare far worse.The Labor Center’s “Black Employment and Unemployment” detailed data brief for June will be available online shortly after researchers assess a monthly national jobs report to be issued Friday from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
high-speed rail ridership forecast not reliable, study finds
The California High-Speed Rail Authority’s forecasts of demand and ridership for a new San Francisco-to-Los Angeles high-speed train are not reliable because they are based on an inconsistent model, according to a new study by researchers at UC Berkeley’s Institute of Transportation Studies. The study is the first academic review of the rail authority’s ridership forecasts, which was included in California’s successful application for federal stimulus dollars.
Experiment tests underpinnings of quantum field theory, Bose-Einstein statistics of photons
The world of elementary particles is divided between bosons, such as photons,
and fermions, including electrons and neutrinos. Fermions and bosons play
by separate rules, which makes chemistry possible as well as superconductivity.
But do bosons sometimes play by fermion rules? Two UC Berkeley physicists
asked that question, and found — so far — that the answer is, no.
BAM/PFA selects Diller Scofidio + Renfro to design new building
Following a national search, the world renowned New York City-based design
firm of Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) has been chosen to design the new
Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) at the University
of California, Berkeley. The new museum complex is targeted for completion
by late 2014.
Exposure to flame retardants linked to changes in thyroid hormones
A new UC Berkeley-led study of pregnant women links higher blood levels of PBDEs, a common type of flame retardant, with altered thyroid hormone levels. Normal maternal thyroid levels are important for healthy fetal neurodevelopment.
Historic treasure of Jewish life and culture gifted to UC Berkeley
This summer, one of the world’s preeminent collections of Jewish life, culture and history will begin arriving at its new home at UC Berkeley. The transfer of a 10,000-piece collection from the Judah L. Magnes Museum in Berkeley is being made possible through gifts totaling $2.5 million from philanthropists Warren Hellman, Tad Taube, and the Koret Foundation.
Defending the human rights of Muslim women
Human Rights Fellow Rochelle Terman, posting for the NewsCenter's "Student Journal" series, reports from the field on her summer research, documenting the work of women's organizations in seven countries with laws and customs said to derive from Islam.
Botanical Garden braces for blooming corpse plant
The UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley, nestled in Strawberry Canyon just above the central campus, features a mind-boggling 12,000 kinds of plants and breathtaking views of the Bay Area. The term breathtaking soon will describe the rotten flesh-like stench of the garden’s about-to-blossom Titan Arum, aka the corpse plant.
Volunteer victims add punch to simulated campus emergency
Members of the Berkeley campus community pitched in to make more realistic Thursday's campuswide emergency preparedness drill. In preparation for the exercise, experienced injury makeup artists attached pre-made "wounds" to volunteer victims of an (also simulated) earthquake.
Philip Selznick, leading scholar in sociology and law, dies at 91
Philip Selznick, professor emeritus of law and sociology at the University of California, Berkeley, and a leading expert in the sociology of both law and organizations, died Saturday, June 12. He was 91.
Campus Police Review Board issues report on Nov. 20 demonstrations
UC Berkeley's civilian Police Review Board has issued its report on the Nov. 20, 2009, demonstration on campus that resulted in the occupation of Wheeler Hall and the arrest of nearly 50 demonstrators.
Earthquake drill on Thursday will test campus emergency preparedness
UC Berkeley's annual emergency preparedness drill, Vigilance 2010, will take place Thursday morning, June 17, with more than 700 people on and off campus participating in activities both indoors and outdoors to simulate the aftermath of a magnitude 5.5 earthquake on the Hayward fault.
Examining justice alternatives in the South Bronx
Human Rights Fellow Kony Kim, posting for the NewsCenter's "Student Journal" series,
reports from the field on her experience as a summer
legal intern for the Bronx Defenders, a legal-aid organization in New York
Campus panel issues report on November 2009 protest response
The independent Police Review Board has completed its report responding to the chancellor’s request for a review of how the November 20, 2009 Wheeler Hall demonstration was handled.
Bears on Bikes: Day 7
AIDS LifeCycle 9 raised $10 million for AIDS/HIV services and awareness, and ended Saturday, June 12 with the arrival of close to 2,000 cyclists and 400 roadies in Los Angeles. To wrap up a week of reporting from the road, 11 members of the Cal team offer final thoughts on the experience.
Bears on Bikes: Day 6
Cal alum Devin Wicks directs fitness operations at the campus's Recreational Sports Facility. He reports here on Day 6 of the 2010 AIDS LifeCycle, the Lompoc-to-Ventura leg.
Bears on Bikes: Day 5
Alumna Sabine Zimmermann, '06, a former Cal rower, reports from the road on Day 5 of the AIDS LifeCycle, the Santa Maria-to-Lompoc leg.
How Japanese Americans preserved traditions behind barbed wire
For several decades, Berkeley staff member Shirley Muramoto Wong has tracked down elderly artists who, during World War II, taught traditional Japanese arts while imprisoned in far-flung "relocation" camps. In coaxing out and recording their memories, Muramoto — herself a master of the koto — has helped bring to light a little-known aspect of U.S. history.
Bears on Bikes: Day 4
Eric Trautman, who just completed his sophomore year at UC Berkeley, reports on Day 4 of the AIDS LifeCycle, from Paso Robles to Santa Maria.
Bears on Bikes: Day 3
Reporting for the Cal team, about Day 3 of the AIDS LifeCycle — Tuesday's leg from King City to Paso Robles — is Lu Zhu, who just graduated from Berkeley.
Bears on Bikes: Day 2
Reporting from the AIDS LifeCyle Cal team, about Day 2 the ride — Monday's leg from Santa Cruz to King City — is Jonathan Goodrich, a staff member at UC Berkeley's Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology.
Bears on bikes: Day 1
On June 6, UC Berkeley's AIDS LifeCycle team left San Francisco for Santa Cruz on the first leg of a seven-day benefit ride to L.A. Team members Celeste Roschuni, a mechanical engineering PhD student, and Josh Schoenfeld, a campus staff member, report from Santa Cruz at the end of Day 1.
Bears on Bikes: 'You're riding your bicycle from San Francisco to L.A.?!'
On June 6, 23 members of UC Berkeley's AIDS LifeCycle team — students, staff, and alums — will leave San Francisco, along with more than 2,500 other bicyclists, for a seven-day benefit ride to L.A. Team co-captain Christine Shaff introduces some of the Cal riders, in the first of a series of report-backs throughout the coming week.
Climate change leading to major vegetation shifts around the world
Vegetation around the world is on the move, and climate change is the culprit, according to a new analysis of global vegetation shifts led by a UC Berkeley ecologist in collaboration with researchers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
Bidding adieu to Berkeley
Fifteen of the campus's soon-to-retire staff reveal what made working on campus memorable and share what helped them make the most of their time at Berkeley.
UC Berkeley chemist, biologist, entrepreneur awarded $500,000 Lemelson–MIT Prize
Chemical biologist Carolyn Bertozzi will receive this year's $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize, which honors inventors and entrepreneurs. Bertozzi, a professor of chemistry, has developed innovative chemical reactions that can be performed on biological molecules, living cells and even in live animals without harming them.
New gecko species identified in West African rain forests
Using a new statistical method to compare the genes of 50 specimens of the West African forest gecko, two former UC Berkeley students have determined that the widely distributed species is actually four distinct species that appear to have evolved over the past 100,000 years as the rain forest fragmented with increasing aridification.
‘A very difficult time’ for the campus, but Birgeneau accentuates the positives as he looks toward the future
In his annual talk to staff, the chancellor moderates his optimism, but declares himself "confident we will be able to maintain Berkeley's excellence and public character" in the face of continuing financial challenges.
New bacterial signaling molecule could lead to improved vaccines
In a 20-year quest to determine why Listeria bacteria produce a uniquely strong immune response in humans, UC Berkeley scientists have found part of the answer: an unsuspected signaling molecule that the bacteria pump out and which ramps up production of interferon by the host. Interferon mobilizes the immune system to fight off bacteria and viruses.
Earthquake simulation shows off the potential for safer bridges
With a series of computer-controlled earthquakes, simulating some of the most devastating in recent memory, engineers from Berkeley's Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER) showed off new technology designed to keep bridges not just from collapsing in a catastrophic temblor but open to traffic. A 30-foot scale-model bridge, set up on the shake table (earthquake simulator) at the Richmond Field Station, was the star of the show, put on by Berkeley’s Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER).
Study finds governor’s budget would cost jobs, economic output
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s cuts-only approach to balancing the state budget will leave deep economic scars, according to a new report issued today (Thursday, May 27) by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley. But it adds that balancing cuts with targeted revenue increases would save nearly 250,000 jobs – half of them in the private sector.
IGS goes Web 2.0 with information resource on state propositions
The University of California, Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies (IGS) is taking a decidedly Web 2.0 tack to help voters sort through the facts, fiction and political posturing around five propositions on the state’s June 8 primary election ballot. IGS has collaborated to produce California Choices, a comprehensive resource guide with a unique and colorful multimedia presence and an online tool (http://californiachoices.org/ballot-measures/endorsements) that, along with a wealth of related data, lets voters electronically share their personal positions on ballot propositions.
Corliss Lee: Teaching undergrads how to unearth academic resources
Although the Web has become the go-to tool for finding anything and everything online, instructional librarian Corliss Lee is holding the line and teaching students that academic research involves more than a Google search.
STEREO, SOHO spacecraft catch comet diving into sun
Four UC Berkeley post-doctoral fellows have tracked a comet deeper into the sun's atmosphere than ever before, just short of its evaporation in the photosphere.
Enrollment in summer school projected to be the highest ever
Enrollment in summer school at UC Berkeley is shaping up to be a record-breaker.
More than 13,800 UC Berkeley students, international scholars and independent
adult learners are signing up for courses ranging from first-year reading
and composition to "The Philosophy of Martin Luther King, Jr.," and
thousands more are expected to enroll.
Chancellor calls for a unified civic effort to restore public education
"The message is very simple: Investment in education is an investment in our future," Chancellor Robert Birgeneau said in a speech Thursday before a San Francisco nonprofit that is creating innovative partnerships to help get schools back on track. The alliance is a nonprofit organization that brings together government, university, community and philanthropic interests to find ways to better prepare the city's 56,000 public schoolchildren for college and careers.
Oral histories of 'self advocates' with developmental disabilities added to UC Berkeley Library
The disability history program in the Bancroft Library's Regional Oral History Office (ROHO) has added a new collection of oral histories of leaders in the self-advocacy movement, led by individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Preventing cells from getting the kinks out of DNA
A new discovery by UC Berkeley biochemists could pave the way for new research into how to re-design some of the standard antibiotic and anti-cancer drugs to make them more effective poisons for cancer cells and harmful bacteria.
Decades late, a diploma – and an ovation – for Cal Nisei
For 92-year-old Saburo Hori and 87-year-old Sachi Kajiwara, graduation day came on Thursday, May 20 — more than 60 years late. With pride and a dash of humility, the two survivors of Topaz internment camp in central Utah received honorary degrees at the Department of Ethnic Studies graduation ceremony.
Grove gift launches translational medicine program at UCSF, UC Berkeley
A gift from former Intel Corp. exec Andy Grove has helped UCSF and UC Berkeley jointly launch a new program that will speed the translation of cutting-edge medicine into patient care advances.
The Bancroft Library accepts gift of William Saroyan archives
The Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley, has received a spectacular gift of hundreds of books, drawings, correspondence and other personal communications to and from one of America's best-known writers, the Armenian-American author and playwright William Saroyan.
Possible new class of supernovae puts calcium in your bones
UC Berkeley astronomers have discovered several examples of an unusual type of exploding star that may be a new class of supernovae spewing calcium into the galaxy, which eventually ends up in all of us.
Invoke a little moxie
This is the text of Tiffany Shlain's keynote address at UC Berkeley's Commencement Convocation on Sunday, May 16, 2010.
University Medalist Josh Biddle speaks out
This is the text of the speech delivered by University Medalist Josh Biddle at UC Berkeley's 2010 Commencement Convocation on Sunday, May 16, at the Walter A. Haas Jr. Pavilion.
A call for "moxie" and compassion marks Commencement
From the traditional to the outrageous, a colorful procession of more than 1,200 graduating seniors – many clutching their smartphones and some even tweeting – marched into UC Berkeley's Walter A. Haas Jr., Pavilion on Sunday to celebrate a hard-earned rite of passage.
Hunger strikers call off fast; chancellor and group meet
Representatives from the Hunger for Justice group, who have been engaged in a 10-day hunger strike over a number of issues, called an end to the strike Wednesday afternoon. The chancellor and other administrators met with the group shortly thereafter.
Painter, printmaker Karl Kasten dies at age 94
Acclaimed painter and printmaker Karl Kasten, a professor emeritus in the University of California, Berkeley’s Department of Art Practice and a leading figure in “The Berkeley School” of abstract expressionism, died at his Berkeley home on May 3 at the age of 94. He had suffered from pulmonary fibrosis. Kasten's art was exhibited around the world at major public and private museums.
At Berkeley, math major — and soon-to-be doctoral student — María Guadalupe Martínez swapped one dream of helping people for another
When María Guadalupe Martínez came to Berkeley four years ago, she planned to major in public health and go on to medical school. An experience in a pre-calculus course turned the reluctant math student into someone with a passion for proofs.
Hunger strike continues despite chancellor's offer to meet
A hunger strike by a small group of UC Berkeley Chicano/Latino students and their supporters went into its ninth day today (Tuesday, May 11), despite a plea yesterday by campus administrators that the protesters end it that evening in exchange for a meeting today with Chancellor Robert Birgeneau. This afternoon, about 60 people held a rally in front of California Hall in support of the strikers and their demands.
Array of speakers to address graduating students
Graduation season at UC Berkeley is under way, and is expected to draw dozens of erudite speakers to the campus through the end of May. Among those imparting wisdom to thousands of graduating students will be scholar and activist Angela Davis; Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, the former mayor of Mexico City; Google chief economist Hal Varian and green jobs champion Cecilia Estolano.
In their own words: UC Berkeley students on the impact of campus budget cuts
When all is said and done, the story of the 2009-10 academic year at the University of California is the story of unprecedented cuts in state funding. What has this meant, at Berkeley, to students trying to get an education? Twelve students share their experiences.
University medal finalists learn lessons about leadership at Berkeley
Pamela Krayenbuhl, Erik Petigura, Pedro Spivakovsky-Gonzalez, and Reid Zimmerman, this year's finalists for the University Medal, respond to questions about what contributed to their success at Berkeley.
Gates foundation awards $100,000 grants for novel global health research
Two UC Berkeley scientists, Jennifer Doudna and John Ngai, each will receive a $100,000 Grand Challenges Explorations grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to explore innovative research that could impact global health.
Top graduating senior's life trajectory is amazing
It's fitting that the life of Josh Biddle, UC Berkeley's top graduating senior, would read like the lyrics of "Amazing Grace." During high school in Marin County, Calif., and at a subsequent boarding program for troubled teens in Colorado, he was lost. But while driving a tractor in his Great-aunt Velma's farm, finding his niche in science at City College of San Francisco and transferring to UC Berkeley, he was found. This Sunday, he will share his story at Commencement Convocation.
Campus acts to remove hunger striker’s encampment
This morning, the campus removed an encampment of hunger strikers outside California Hall. No arrests were made and police provided vans to assist in transporting the group's personal belongings.
Athletics luncheon honors courage, inspiration and academics
Coxswain Jill Costello brought the crowd at Cal Athletics' annual Academic Honors Luncheon to its feet with the story of her battle with cancer. Costello was one of dozens of students honored as both scholars and athletes at Thursday's event.
Chancellor Birgeneau denounces Arizona immigration bill
UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau has denounced Arizona Bill SB 1070, saying the immigration measure cannot be implemented without engaging in racial profiling.
Provost and vice chancellor meet with hunger strikers
A group of five students and one staff member met with senior administrators in California Hall today for almost two hours to discuss issues raised by the "Hunger for Justice Coalition."
Christopher Patti appointed as chief campus counsel at UC Berkeley
Christopher M. Patti has been appointed the chief campus counsel for the UC Berkeley campus.
Chancellor Robert Birgeneau’s statement to UC Berkeley students involved in the hunger strike
Chancellor Robert Birgeneau issued a statement in response to the demands of those on a hunger strike at UC Berkeley.
Biotech incubator opens its doors at UC Berkeley
UC Berkeley's QB3 will launch a biotech incubator on May 6, hoping to duplicate the success of a similar incubator at QB3's Mission Bay outpost. UC Berkeley grad Wesley Chang, CEO of the start-up Aperys, LLC, is the first tenant of the QB3 Garage@Berkeley.
The Vienna Philharmonic, artistic residencies and partnerships, and new music highlight Cal Performances' new season
One hundred performances in 10 series with artists from 30 countries make up Cal Performances 2010-11 season. The line-up features familiar names and new artists.
It's all in the family at Berkeley
Aaida and Tahoura Samad, identical-twin freshmen and scientists-in-the-making at Berkeley, will welcome a familiar face to campus in the fall: their mother. Bushra Samad is one of just 53 students accepted into Berkeley's highly competitive graduate program in bioengineering — while raising her ambitious and accomplished daughters.
UC Berkeley launches new master’s program in sustainability, joining global campus network
Recognizing the proven leadership of campus faculty and students in addressing climate change, poverty and public health, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation today (Tuesday, May 4) selected the University of California, Berkeley, as one of 10 universities worldwide to launch a new master’s degree program in development practice.
Downsizing the prison-industrial complex
California has created, through its laws and policies, a hugely bloated correctional system, says Barry Krisberg, a well-known advocate of criminal-justice reform. With 170,000 prisoners held in dozens of overcrowded facilities located mostly in rural areas, the system is financially unsustainable — setting the stage, potentially, for smarter policies, he says.
Weird, ultra-small microbes turn up in acidic mine drainage
For nearly a decade, Jillian Banfield and her UC Berkeley colleagues have been studying the microbe community that lives in one of the most acidic environments on Earth: the drainage from a former copper mine in Northern California. One group of these microbes seems to be smaller, and weirder, than any other known, free-living organism.
Two UC Berkeley scholars elected to America's oldest learned society
Leslie Kurke, professor of classics and comparative literature, and John Searle, professor of philosophy, have been elected to the American Philosophical Society.
Chancellor Birgeneau reacts to ASUC divestment bill related to disputed territories in the Middle East
On April 28, the ASUC Senate upheld a veto of a bill that called for the UC Berkeley administration and the UC Regents to divest from any investment in companies with business interests which support "the occupation of the Palestinian territories" by Israel. UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau reacts to the debate.
Scientists report first genome sequence of frog
The African clawed frog, Xenopus, has helped scientists understand how embryos develop and the many chemical reactions going on inside dividing cells. Now, scientists report the first draft genome sequence of Xenopus, setting the stage for a more complete genetic analysis of this popular frog.
At campus health center, Tangy Voce provides ‘emotional therapy’ and a chance to sing during the workday
For 10 years, Tangy Voce, a chorus made up of current and retired faculty and staff, has offered its members an opportunity to grow as musicians and gain confidence as singers.
Sports 'no sanctuary from drugs, racism and corruption' — but studying it can still be fun
Leora Lawton - sociologist, Deadhead, baseball fan - resurrected Harry Edwards' course to introduce students to 'the sociology of race, and ethnicity, and sex, and age, and class, and business, and politics,' among other things.
Three UC Berkeley professors named to National Academy of Sciences
Two University of California, Berkeley, faculty members were elected members of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and a third professor was elected a foreign associate, according to an announcement today (Tuesday, April 27) from the academy.
Three architecture firms to submit proposals for new Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
The University of California, Berkeley, announced today (Tuesday, April 27) the selection of three architecture firms to submit design proposals for the new Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA).
New orchid species is discovered in the UC Botanical Garden collection
A Haitian orchid is enjoying celebrity status at the UC Botanical Garden, after scientists discovered that the long-time Garden resident is a distinct new species. The orchid has been named for the UC Berkeley research associate who found it in the wild.
Judith Warren Little named dean of Graduate School of Education
Judith Warren Little, the Carol Liu Chair in Educational Policy at the University of California, Berkeley's Graduate School of Education, has been appointed the school's dean, effective July 1.
California Assembly committee endorses UC Berkeley statistician's election auditing method
Since 1965, California counties have been required to hand tally 1 percent of all ballots after an election to validate the machine count, despite the fact that available auditing techniques lack any statistical basis. UC Berkeley's Philip Stark has now provided statistically sound methods for conducting these audits, and a proposed bill, AB 20203, will establish a statewide pilot program to test these methods.
Honoring campus staff who have shown their dedication to Berkeley
The annual Chancellor's Outstanding Staff Awards ceremony, held Thursday, April 22, recognized campus staffers who go above and beyond.
Nine UC Berkeley faculty members elected to American Academy of Arts & Sciences
Nine UC Berkeley faculty members have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, bringing to 234 the total number of faculty now members of one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honorary societies.
Adventurous musical doubleheader to raise money for jazz students
This weekend two benefits for the Jazz and Improvised Music Fund will feature pianist and composer Myra Melford's group, Trio M.
Four professors win 2010 Distinguished Teaching Awards
UC Berkeley’s 2010 Distinguished Teaching Award, the campus’s top honor for exceptional teaching, is being awarded today (Thursday, April 22) to four professors in the fields of computer science, linguistics, engineering and business.
2010 Dorothea Lange Fellowship winner looks at dueling identities
Photojournalism student Steve Saldivar turned his camera on teenagers celebrating their quinceaneras to win the 2010 award that honors documentary photographer Lange. The grant will let him explore changes wrought by a new rail line through the center of his hometown, in East L.A.
Janet Adelman, scholar of Shakespeare, psychoanalytic and feminist critic, dies at 69
Janet Adelman, a University of California, Berkeley, professor emeritus of English who wove her research on psychoanalysis, gender and race into a scholarly exploration of Shakespeare and other English Renaissance authors, died on April 6 at her home in Berkeley. She was 69 and had cancer.
Can California fix the Delta before disaster strikes?
Finding ways to better manage the overlapping infrastructure systems in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta is the goal of a four-year, $2 million project headed by UC Berkeley researchers and funded by the National Science Foundation. Networks of highways, railroads, and electrical, gas and telecommunication lines intersect in the Delta, which serves as the hub for aqueducts serving 23 million people and 3 million acres of agriculture.
UC Printing Services to end its run after 136 years of business
Next month, the campus will lose a beloved Berkeley institution. UC Printing Services' employees and customers weigh in on its demise.
On a visit to Berkeley, Bill Gates, full-time philanthropist, asks students' help in saving lives
Speaking at Zellerbach Hall on Monday, Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates called on the "brightest minds" to focus less on technological gizmos and more on pressing global concerns like health, education and poverty.
Uptick in job recruitment could help UC Berkeley grads
Nearly 100 companies and organizations as varied as Amazon.com, Yelp, the Peace Corps and the FBI will be recruiting at UC Berkeley’s “Just in Time” job fair tomorrow (Wednesday, April 21). At least 1,000 graduating seniors are expected to attend.
This year's Distinguished Teaching Award winners define excellence in the classroom, and dedication to their students
At a ceremony at Zellerbach Playhouse on Thursday, April 22, four Berkeley faculty members — acclaimed by their peers and students alike — will receive the campus's top honor for exceptional teaching.
Cal Day 2010 slideshow
Photos tell the story of Cal Day 2010.
Secretary Clinton appoints Dan Kammen first clean energy fellow to Western Hemisphere
Dan Kammen of energy & resources has been appointed a special State Department envoy to our neighbors in the Western Hemisphere to encourage cooperation in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting sustainable energy.
Census blitz next week aims for complete count in student residence halls at Berkeley
Early next week, thousands of UC Berkeley students will stand up and be counted, in the 2010 U.S. census. The civic-minded, even fun, action will unfold the evenings of April 19 and 20 in student residence halls, where more than 6,000 students live. The upcoming student census blitz is the culmination of months of organizing by the UC Complete Count Committee, or UC4, a unique town-gown-federal coalition.
For post-boomers, public education is worth more than Social Security and Medicare
It's easy to assume retiring baby boomers will benefit from Social Security and Medicare at the expense of younger generations, as analysts estimate that these government-run programs will pay out more than they collect in payroll taxes by 2017. But a far-reaching new study from UC Berkeley concludes that younger Americans are actually getting the better deal when the value of public education is factored in as an intergenerational entitlement program on a par with Social Security and Medicare.
More than 12,900 offered admission after competitive application period
More than 12,900 high school students who applied to the University of California, Berkeley, during a highly competitive application period, have been offered freshman admission for the 2010-2011 school year, campus officials announced today (Wednesday, April 14). A record number of student applicants, more than 50,000 of them, applied during a period when dwindling state funding for higher education forced the campus to limit enrollment for California residents.
In Townsend Center exhibit, architecture prof Jean-Paul Bourdier 'explores the infinite potentials of photography'
Photographer Jean-Paul Bourdier's otherworldly, bold desert images underscore the connection between humans and the world we inhabit.
Campus, neighborhood association settle stadium dispute
UC Berkeley and the Panoramic Hill Association have reached a legal settlement agreement that resolves issues related to recent litigation, and establishes parameters for the use and operation of California Memorial Stadium after extensive seismic retrofitting and renovation work is completed in 2012.
UC Berkeley opens its doors for annual Cal Day extravaganza
Cal Day, UC Berkeley's annual open house, is Saturday, April 17, and features student performances, faculty lectures, campus tours, free museums, Pac-10 competitions, kid-friendly activities and an afternoon concert by the band Cold War Kids. Free admission.
For prospective undergrads, student-authored Golden Bears Blog could just be the X factor in choosing Cal
From student life and housing to academics to extracurricular activities, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions' student bloggers capture the nuances and richness of life at Berkeley.
Researchers develop a robot that folds towels
A team from Berkeley's Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences department has figured out how to get a robot to fold previously unseen towels of different sizes. Their approach solves a key problem in robotics — how to deal with flexible, or "deformable," objects.
Canadian history scholar Thomas G. Barnes dies
Thomas Garden Barnes, a professor emeritus of history and law at the University of California, Berkeley, and a leader in the development of Canadian studies in the United States, died on March 9 after suffering a stroke. He was 79. Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon credited Barnes with increasing the understanding of Canada in the United States and with promoting closer political, economic and cultural ties between the two countries.
Contributions to UC pension fund set to restart
At the University of California, April 15, 2010 marks a financial watershed: the restart of contributions to the UC Retirement Plan. On that day, the university will begin making regular contributions to the retirement fund. Then, on May 1, employees will follow suit.
Chancellor's new advisory group aims to help set Cal Athletics on path to financial sustainability
UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau has established a special committee to review the financial model for Intercollegiate Athletics. The group brings together eight leading members of the faculty and alumni community to analyze the department's current budgetary challenges and propose possible solutions that could be supported by their respective constituencies.
Giggles give clues to hyena's social status
The giggle call of the spotted hyena tells other hyenas not only the age and identity of the animal, but also its social status, according to a new UC Berkeley study.
On a listening tour at Berkeley, UC Commission on the Future has its vision tested
Senate faculty respond to the sometimes controversial first round of recommendations to reshape the institution in both minor and dramatic ways.
Fighting Nazism with the printed word
Resonating through a new Doe Library exhibit of Dutch clandestine art and literature published in defiance of Nazi suppression is the knowledge that, more than a half-century later, persecution, prison and even execution can still be the price of words printed on paper. On display are some 100 pamphlets, books, and artworks from a Bancroft Library special collection, one of the largest of its kind in the world. Driving home the exhibit's message will be a Regents Lecture on April 15 by Kader Abdolah, a Dutch writer forced to flee his native Iran for opposing the ayatollahs.
Insulin-like signal needed to keep stem cells alive in adult brain
Most parts of the fruit fly brain, as well as the human brain, are devoid of neural stem cells, which means that once a nerve cell dies, it can't be replaced. A new study in fruit flies shows one way to keep these stem cells from disappearing as the brain matures.
UC Berkeley Students volunteer in underserved communities over spring break
Nearly 100 UC Berkeley students are participating in service-learning trips this week through the Cal Corps Public Service Center’s Alternative Breaks program. Seven trips spread throughout California and in New Orleans, each consisting of 12-14 student volunteers, are taking place March 20-26.
Cal Day 2010 to be held Saturday, April 17
Cal Day, the University of California, Berkeley's annual open house and preview day – to be held this year on Saturday, April 17 – offers visitors of all ages an inside look at the world’s leading public research university. Admission is free to all, including children who want to see a giant T. rex, families who want to explore campus museums, and prospective students looking for information on academic programs.
Hazardous eucalyptus trees slated for removal
Work crews this week will begin removing seven trees from the large eucalyptus grove near the west entrance to campus, after arborists determined that the trees present a significant public safety hazard due to their failing health and weakened root structures.
Helium rain on Jupiter explains lack of neon in atmosphere
When the Galileo probe descended through Jupiter's atmosphere in 1995, it found neon to be one-tenth as abundant as predicted. This unexpected finding has led two UC Berkeley researchers to propose that this is due to a rain of helium that depletes Jupiter's layers of neon as well as helium.
Campus hosts “Tsinghua Week”
Nobel Prize winners, faculty, administrators and students from the University of California, Berkeley, and Tsinghua University in Beijing will meet April 5-7 to strengthen academic and cultural ties. They will explore collaborations in fields ranging from science, engineering and transportation to architecture, public policy, psychology, philosophy, history, social welfare and higher education.
Charles Muscatine, Chaucer scholar and educational reformer, dies at 89
Charles Muscatine, a UC Berkeley professor emeritus of English, a scholar of Chaucer and medieval literature, and an educational reformer known for refusing to sign a state loyalty oath during the McCarthy era, died of an infection in Oakland on Friday, March 12. He was 89.
Eric Brewer to receive $150,000 ACM-Infosys Foundation Award for scalable Web technology
Eric Brewer, UC Berkeley professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences, is the 2009 recipient of the ACM-Infosys Foundation Award in the Computing Sciences, a prestigious honor that comes with a $150,000 prize.
New Hubble treasury project to survey first third of cosmic time, study dark energy
The Hubble Space Telescope has allotted an unprecedented 902 orbits of observing time to a project that will seek out distant supernovae and galaxies to study dark energy and galaxy evolution.
Campus to expand reading and composition curriculum
UC Berkeley plans to significantly increase funding to support reading
and composition courses, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost George Breslauer
announced March 10. The intent is to ensure that all undergraduates can
complete this important requirement before entering their junior year.
Study validates general relativity on cosmic scale, existence of dark matter
While general relativity describes well the behavior of the solar system, Einstein's theory of gravity and spacetime has not been tested on cosmological scales. Now, a team lead by physicist Uros Seljak has analyzed data on 70,000 galaxies to show that the theory is so far the best and most precise description of the universe, at least out to 3.5 billion light years from Earth.
Berkeley Scholars to Cal works to close the achievement gap
By providing both extra schooling and good examples, the 10-year-old Berkeley Scholars to Cal gives promising African American and Latino students the beliefand boost they need to get into college. New statistics show the progress its participants have made.
New collaborations sought for Chancellor's Community Partnership Fund
The Chancellor's Community Partnership Fund is seeking grant applications to fund neighborhood improvement projects and community service programs, run jointly by UC Berkeley and the community, that strive to improve the quality of life in Berkeley.
Engineers deployed to Chile to study earthquake's impacts
UC Berkeley engineers are traveling to Chile to help coordinate U.S. reconnaissance efforts to document the effects of the massive 8.8 magnitude earthquake that struck the region on Feb. 27.
Thomas Pigford, influential voice in nuclear policy, dies at 87
Thomas Pigford, professor emeritus and founding chair of nuclear engineering at UC Berkeley, and an influential voice in nuclear policy, has died Feb. 28 at the age of 87. Pigford was recognized internationally for helping nuclear science evolve into a discipline that incorporated principles of chemical engineering, and he was respected among scientists and environmentalists alike for his technical expertise and objectivity.
Wendy Brown: Without quality public education, there is no future for democracy
UC Berkeley professor of political science Wendy Brown was among the more than 200 Berkeley faculty members who traveled to Sacramento on March 4. A co-chair of the Berkeley Faculty Association, she gave the following address on the capital steps during the "Educate the State" rally.
'Day of Action' starts quietly, peacefully at Berkeley
A statewide "day of action" for public education kicked off quietly Thursday morning at Berkeley, with small groups of protesters greeting students, staff and faculty at major campus entrances with chants and signs. Many Berkeley faculty canceled classes to participate in events in Sacramento, where the focus was on the state Legislature's long-term disinvestment in public higher education in California.
Genome sequenced for amoeba that flips into free-swimming cell
Scientists have sequenced the genome of a weird creature that exists as an amoeba until the food runs out, then turns into a two-tailed swimmer to find new hunting grounds. The organism, called Naegleria, is an early eurkaryote – a cell with a nucleus and internal organs – and could shed light on the origin of complex cells like those in humans.
March 4 rallies to 'Defend Public Education' planned for Berkeley and around state
Major rallies to express concern about the future of public education in California are expected to take place throughout the state on Thursday, March 4, including here at UC Berkeley.
Bancroft Library is home to new Shorenstein Program in Politics, Policy and Values
With the United States and many other governments mired in red ink, the University of California, Berkeley’s Bancroft Library couldn’t have picked a timelier topic than the U.S. national debt for the initial focus of its new Shorenstein Program in Politics, Policy and Values.Establishment of the program in the Bancroft’s Regional Oral History Office (ROHO) and underwriting by San Francisco commercial real estate titan Walter Shorenstein was formally announced today (Tuesday, March 2).
Campus ride-sharing goes online and interactive
Looking for someone to share your commute, or a cheap ride to LA for spring
break? Now Berkeley staff, faculty and students have a new way to match
up with people driving to and from campus: Zimride, an online ride-sharing
service that went live Friday.
How Berkeley is finding its voice in Sacramento
Since the beginning of the spring semester, a team led by the Office of
Government and Community Relations has been gathering stakeholders — from
on campus and beyond — in a coordinated effort to boost the effectiveness
of Berkeley's budget-advocacy activities.
Berkeley's budget: tradeoffs, choices, and challenges
As the state budget process gets under way — and students, staff, and faculty gear up to make the case for renewed investment in higher education — the point person on the campus's finances looks beyond the numbers.
Pesticide atrazine can turn male frogs into females
The herbicide atrazine, one of the world's most widely used pesticides, screws up the sex lives of adult male frogs, emasculating three-quarters of them and turning one in 10 into females, according to a new study by UC Berkeley's Tyrone Hayes.
Berkeley students join Sacramento lobbying blitz
A small group of UC Berkeley students are en route this morning to Sacramento, where they plan to join a small army of their peers in urging state legislators to reinvest in public higher education.
Vandals strike campus building, trouble spills onto city streets
Two people, one a UC Berkeley student and the other a former student, were arrested Feb. 26 following the takeover and vandalism of a campus building and a riot nearby in the city of Berkeley, according to campus police.
Back at Berkeley, Citizen Clinton embraces the global village
Speaking Wednesday to a packed Zellerbach Hall, former President Bill Clinton discussed the growing importance of nongovernmental organizations in remediating the problems caused by global poverty, and the need for today's students to "put yourselves on the line" to combat inequality.
Study says Obama health plan increases access, affordability in California
President Obama’s newest health reform proposal expands access to coverage and affordability for many low- and middle-income Californians by creating a new health insurance exchange and expanding Medicaid, according to a new study by UC Berkeley’s Center for Labor Research and Education.
Black Nature event explores environment for African American voices
Think of American nature writers, and African American authors probably don’t spring to mind. But the University of California, Berkeley, is hosting a March 4-5 symposium of leading poets and scholars who will explore 400 rich years of African American nature writing, as evidenced in a new, first-ever anthology of nature poetry by black writers.
Symposium to explore black nature writers
Think of American nature writers, and African American authors probably don't spring to mind. But Berkeley is hosting a March 4-5 symposium of leading poets and scholars, including English professor Cecil Giscombe (pictured), who will explore 400 rich years of African American nature writing, as evidenced in a new, first-ever anthology of nature poetry by black writers.
NSF awards $24.5 million for center to stem increase of electronics power draw
The NSF has awarded $24.5 million to UC Berkeley researchers to head an ambitious, multi-institutional center that could one day lead to a million-fold reduction in power consumption by electronics. The researchers said such a dramatic increase in energy efficiency could allow the digital revolution to continue well beyond the limits that would otherwise be imposed by its growing demand for energy.
'A Woman's Nation' reveals a workplace transformation
Women now make up half the American workforce, a dramatic social transformation over just one generation, according to the Shriver Report, co-produced by a Berkeley Law team. But public policy hasn't kept up with the massive social change.
Vigil marks 200 days of imprisonment in Iran for Berkeley hikers
Friends and family of three Berkeley alums imprisoned in Iran held a vigil on Feb. 21 to mark the 200th day of their loved ones' detainment. Thanks to the group's efforts, a heart-shaped altar in the Eucalyptus Grove behind Valley Life Sciences Building now offers a place for community members to reflect and meditate upon the plight of Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd, and Josh Fattal.
An afternoon nap markedly boosts the brain's learning capacity
If you see a student dozing in the library or a co-worker catching 40 winks in her cubicle, don’t roll your eyes. New research from UC Berkeley shows that an hour’s nap can dramatically boost and restore your brainpower. Indeed, the findings suggest that a biphasic sleep schedule not only refreshes the mind, but can make you smarter.
North Korea's official propaganda promotes idea of racial purity and moral superiority, scholar says
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea is not the last bastion
of Marxist Leninism or of Confucian patriarchy, says visiting scholar Brian
Meyers. Instead, it is guided by a paranoid ideology of race-based nationalism,
holding that the Korean people are inherently purer than all others.
Study finds significant non-union impacts for proposed tax on “Cadillac” health plans
Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley’s Center for Labor Research and Education report that an excise tax on high-cost employer health insurance plans as proposed by the U.S. Senate would affect more non-union than union workers. Likewise, they say a majority of the savings from a reduction in the tax, as proposed by the White House and union leaders in January, would accrue to non-union workers.
Images of extrasolar planets win award for most outstanding papers in Science
The first image of an extrasolar planet has won UC Berkeley astronomers and their team of planetary paparazzi the 2009 Newcomb Cleveland Prize of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for the most outstanding paper published in the journal Science.
Pioneering initiative launched on equity, diversity and inclusion, backed by Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund
A major effort was announced today (Feb. 18) to establish UC Berkeley as a national leader in research, teaching and public service related to equity and inclusion. Backed by the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, the new initiative will launch a sweeping array of research projects, faculty chairs, student scholarships, dozens of new courses, and programs across campus. The $16 million commitment from the Haas, Jr. Fund eventually could total $31 million, as parts of it are set up as challenge grants.
'Faculty need to participate directly in remaking the State of California,' says Academic Senate chair
Faced with an alarming budget crisis, the Academic Senate has recently become a hub for faculty deliberation and activity on an array of important decisions — some reversible, some not — concerning the character and structure of the campus and the UC system. Senate Chair Chris Kutz shares his perspective on the challenges of shared governance in a time of unprecedented change.
Six UC Berkeley faculty elected to NAE
Six UC Berkeley faculty are among 68 new members and nine foreign associates elected Feb. 17 to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). Election to the NAE is one of the most prestigious professional distinctions accorded to an American engineer.
Most precise test yet of Einstein's gravitational redshift
Using an atom interferometer, UC Berkeley scientists have tested one of the foundations of Einstein's general theory of relativity: that time slows down in a gravitational field. Their experiment proves Einstein correct with 10,000 times more precision than previous experiments.
Six young faculty members to receive $50,000 Sloan Research Fellowships
Six young University of California, Berkeley faculty members have been awarded prestigious Sloan Research Fellowships, given annually by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to scientists, mathematicians and economists who are at an early stage of their research careers.
Architecture professor heads to Haiti with U.N. team
Throughout her career, disaster expert Mary Comerio has traveled the globe to study the wreckage from deadly earthquakes, hurricanes, and floods and to determine the best approaches to recovery.
Fog has declined in past century along California's redwood coast
An analysis of newly available climate data shows that summer fog along the California coast has declined significantly in the past century, though it is unclear whether this is a natural variation or a result of human activity. The UC Berkeley report links summer high pressure cells above the NW California coast to frequent fog. When the cells are weak, fog escapes inland and coastal temperatures rise. This could affect redwoods, which need high humidity.
Summertime is camp time for Berkeley kids
Whether your kids' idea of a great summer tends toward Taekwondo,
skateboarding and swimming, or science experiments, writing workshops and
business school, Berkeley's summer camp programs have something to
offer just about everyone in the community. Here's a rundown of all
the camp opportunities, and information on where to find full details.
Operational Excellence homes in on potential savings
Now two-thirds of the way through a six-month fact-finding phase, the project has interviewed more than 500 staff, faculty, students, and alumni to determine smarter, cheaper, and more effective ways of conducting university business. Vice Chancellor Frank Yeary, the initiative's point person, says the efforts are starting to bear fruit.
New fiber nanogenerators could lead to electric clothing
In research that gives literal meaning to the term "power suit," UC Berkeley engineers have created energy-scavenging nanofibers that could one day be woven into clothing and textiles. The technology could eventually lead to wearable 'smart clothes' that can power hand-held electronics through ordinary body movements.
Strongest evidence to date links exploration well to Lusi mud volcano
New data provide the strongest evidence to date that the world’s biggest mud volcano, which killed 13 people in 2006 and so far has displaced 30,000 people in East Java, Indonesia, was not caused by an earthquake, according to an international scientific team that includes researchers from Durham University and the UC Berkeley.
Berkeley Art Museum's new installation puts the fun in functional art
Many modern museums now serve as gathering spots for the art-minded and (especially) the young. BAMscape, a commissioned installation in the museum's central atrium, supports the Berkeley Art Museum's new activities and direction.
New advisory group to help map campus's technological future
Berkeley students will offer up their IT expertise and insights on the Student Technology Council, an advisory group that will help develop new, scalable, and green IT projects.
Auto exhaust linked to thickening of arteries, possible increased risk of heart attack
Swiss, California and Spanish researchers have found that particulates from auto exhaust can lead to the thickening of artery walls, possibly increasing chances of a heart attack and stroke.
Top quality graduate students flock to UC Berkeley despite budget woes
Despite a budget shortfall, hiring freeze and higher fees, the University of California, Berkeley, continues to attract more and higher quality graduate students, according to new data from the campus's Graduate Division.
Nathan Brostrom, Berkeley's budget guru, departs for Oakland – but won't leave campus behind
After four years, Berkeley's vice chancellor for administration begins a new role at the Office of the President. And Wall Street credentials notwithstanding, it's the human give-and-take of the campus he'll miss the most.
Storm runoff and sewage treatment outflow contaminated with household pesticides
Pyrethroid pesticides were supposed to be a benign replacement for organophosphate use around the home, but UC Berkeley studies show that these insecticdes are showing up at toxic levels in storm runoff and even in the effluent from sewage treatment plants. While the levels are not high enough to harm fish, they may be enough to kill the mayfly, caddisfly and stonefly larvae upon which the fish feed.
Climate change: 'Berkeley has a special obligation'
As a public university, Berkeley has a "special obligation" to reach far beyond its scientific expertise to seek solutions to global warming, Vice Chancellor for Research Graham Fleming told experts from across campus Thursday at the "Beyond Copenhagen" conference on international climate change negotiations.
Cardenas first in Mexican speaker series
The University of California, Berkeley’s Center for Latin American Studies will host a lecture by Mexican politician Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas next Wednesday (Feb. 3) on the promise and legacy of the Mexican Revolution and on Mexico's present challenges.
Engineers develop cancer-targeting nanoprobe sensors
UC Berkeley scientists have created smart nanoprobes that may one day be used in the battle against cancer to selectively seek out and destroy tumor cells, as well as report back on the mission's status.
Limb regeneration and attosecond research each get $1 million from Keck Foundation
Two UC Berkeley research projects that push the boundaries of their fields have each received $1 million grants from the W.M. Keck Foundation. One grant will fund research on limb and organ regeneration, while the other will support a laser laboratory that probes the movement of electrons on the attosecond timescale.
Couples who say "we" have a better shot at resolving conflicts
People often complain about those seemingly smug married couples who constantly refer to themselves as “we.” But a new study from the UC Berkeley suggests that spouses who use “we-ness” language are better able to resolve conflicts than those who don’t. Researchers analyzed conversations between 154 middle-aged and older couples about points of disagreement in their marriages and found that those who used pronouns such as “we,” “our” and “us” behaved more positively toward one another and showed less physiological stress.
Study links reduced fertility to flame retardant exposure
A new UC Berkeley study finds that women with higher blood levels of PBDEs, a common type of flame retardant, took longer to get pregnant. The flame retardants are used in foam furniture, electronics, fabrics, carpets, plastics and other common items in the home.
Multiple Bay Area stakeholders meet on how to 'green' the local economy
More than 200 turned out Thursday for "Innovating the Green Economy," a campus conference on how to turn an emerging and much celebrated "win-win" into actual businesses and real paychecks for local communities.
Iain Finnie, pioneer in engineering materials, dies at 81
Iain Finnie, UC Berkeley professor emeritus of mechanical engineering and one of the world's leading experts on the fracture of materials, died on Dec. 19 from pneumonia and complications of Parkinson's disease. He was 81.
Coming attractions: A short list of spring's enriching experiences
This semester's calendar includes visits from a host of celebrated musicians, filmmakers, artists, and authors, and worldly thinkers.
Positive prospects for California's green businesses, study finds
California’s green businesses are more focused on local markets and more likely to stay in the Golden State than are their non-green counterparts, according to a University of California, Berkeley, study released Thursday (Jan. 21). And when compared with traditional businesses, green ones are more likely to expand.
Chancelllor Birgeneau announces senior-management transition plans, as Brostrom accepts UCOP position
President Mark Yudof today announced the appointment of UC Berkeley Vice Chancellor Administration Nathan Brostrom as Executive Vice President Business Operations. Chancellor Birgeneau says that Frank Yeary will take on a substantial portion of Brostrom's responsibilities on an interim basis.
NSF grant to launch world’s first open-source genetic parts production facility
Bioengineers from the UC Berkeley and Stanford University are ramping up efforts to characterize the thousands of control elements critical to the engineering of microbes so that eventually, researchers can mix and match these "DNA parts" in synthetic organisms to produce new drugs, fuels or chemicals.
Berkeley undergrad takes action to help Haiti
Freshman Michael Bloch is using the far reach of Facebook to mobilize UC Berkeley students to aid earthquake-relief efforts in Haiti.
Charles Townes honored during celebration of laser's 50th birthday
The Lawrence Hall of Science is hosting a 50th-anniversary exhibit on the laser, Jan. 23-25, highlighted by a free public talk on Jan. 25 by Nobel Laureate Charles Townes, who conceived the idea of a laser in the 1950s.
Student parent, born in an Andean village, aims to go global in defense of the dispossessed
Consuelo Bustinza’s journey has taken her, so far, from a tiny Andean village to a place she describes as "a big ocean of knowledge and opportunities" where one learns to "solve big problems," UC Berkeley. Diminutive, energetic, and startlingly self-possessed, the campus senior aspires to one day be a voice for the dispossessed in the international arena.
Two of three students stranded in Haiti to help with relief efforts
Three UC Berkeley graduate students in Haiti are safe in the wake of a magnitude 7.0 earthquake that ravaged Port-au-Prince and its environs on Tuesday, killing tens of thousands of people in the impoverished Caribbean nation.
Low-income high-achievers lift their sights at Berkeley
For more than a decade, SAGE Scholars Program has helped low-income Berkeley students learn how to navigate their way through the institution and into successful careers and graduate studies.
Fall 2010 applications up, officials use new outreach tools
More than 50,000 student applicants, a record number, have applied for admission to the University of California, Berkeley's fall 2010 freshman class, after campus admissions officials visited not only high schools but also chat rooms to connect with promising students.
Trees invading warming Arctic will cause warming over entire region, study shows
Once trees expand their range into the Arctic, their higher transpiration rate could well pump enough extra water into the atmosphere to warm the climate over the entire Arctic region, with positive feedback speeding the melting of sea ice.
For Berkeley alternative-energy project, big changes on the horizon
The Helios Energy Research Facility appears close to finding a new home west of the Berkeley campus — and to replacing a shuttered neighborhood eyesore with an eco-friendly building and public open space designed to spur downtown revitalization as it seeks solutions to global climate change.
Researcher's study sheds new light on math ability, gender equity
Marcia Linn, a University of California, Berkeley, professor of education known for exploring the teaching and learning of science and their connection to gender, is offering proof once again that girls' math abilities are just as good as boys'.
Dining halls join the trayless trend
Trays in Berkeley's dining commons have gone the way of panty raids and letter sweaters — they're a thing of the past. As of the start of spring semester this week, Berkeley is joining the trend sweeping college campuses nationwide and eliminating most of the black plastic trays used in the Crossroads, Foothill, Clark Kerr, and Café 3 dining halls.
Chancellor comments on governor's State of the State address
Chancellor Birgeneau comments on the governor's address.