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Wong Named to Top Engineering Post at the National Science Foundation

By Robert Sanders, Public Affairs

Eugene Wong, professor emeritus of electrical engineering and computer sciences, has been appointed to head the National Science Foundation's engineering directorate.

The post is one of seven top directorate positions at NSF which together oversee the disbursal of $3.3 billion each year in research and education projects. The heads of these directorates report to NSF director Neal Lane.

As head of NSF's engineering directorate, Wong will manage a budget of about $320 million annually.

He assumed his new position as assistant director for engineering last month.

Wong is a pioneering researcher in database management systems. He co-designed INGRES, one of the first modern database systems. He then co-founded INGRES Corp., which became a leading commercial provider of database software. He is currently chief scientist and member of the board of directors of Vision Software Tools, Inc., a start-up based in Oakland, which produces software products for automating business processes.

Wong joined the faculty in 1962, and chaired the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, helping the department become one of the highest ranked in its field.

From 1990-93, Wong served as associate director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, where he was responsible for physical sciences, engineering and industrial technology.

Wong is the fourth person to be named head of the engineering directorate since its creation in 1983.


Test of Time Award for Two Faculty members

Two faculty and an alumnus have received the first "Test of Time Award" from the Association of Computing Machinery.

They are faculty members Randy Katz, chair and professor of computer sciences; David Patterson, professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences; and alumnus Garth Gibson, computer science '87, '91.

The new award will be given annually for the most influential paper published a decade earlier at the association's national conference Management of Data conference, SIGMOD.

The Berkeley trio is honored for its 1988 paper, "The Case for Redundant Arrays of Inexpensive Disks."

Gibson is now on the faculty at Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh.


Hari Dharan

Hari Dharan, professor of mechanical engineering, recently received the 1998 Western Composites Institute Grant award from the Society of the Plastics Industry.

The award is given for distinguished contributions to the design of machinery for low-cost composite fabrication and for developing commercial applications for polymer composites.

Dharan was honored May 15 in San Diego at the society's 55th annual western conference.


Harry LeGrande

Harry LeGrande, executive director -- undergraduate affairs for Housing, Dining and Child Care Services, was recently re-elected treasurer of the Affordable Housing Associates' board of directors.

Affordable Housing Associates is a private nonprofit corporation that develops and preserves cost-effective housing for low-income households in the East Bay. Its current projects include Shattuck Senior Homes, under construction next to the Manville Apartments, and a senior project in East Oakland.

LeGrande was initially elected to the board in April 1996.


Jack P. Moehle

Jack P. Moehle, professor of civil and environmental Engineering, received the Alfred E. Lindau Award from the Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute for his contributions to understanding the behavior of reinforced concrete structures in response to seismic loadings.

Moehle received the award at the American Concrete Institute's convention in Houston. At the same meeting he received the ERICO award for his contributions to simplifying building codes. Moehle is director of the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center and the Roy W. Carlson distinguished professor of civil engineering.


Ilya Segal

Ilya R. Segal, assistant professor of economics, is one of 12 recipients of Hoover Institution National and Peace Fellowships for 1998-99.

National fellows spend one year conducting independent research on current or historical 20th century public policy issues.

Segal's research topic is "A Study of Contracting with Externalities, with Applications to Antitrust, Corporate Finance and Property Rights." He will work on his topic at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace, a Stanford campus think tank on domestic policy and international affairs.

The program has awarded more than 350 fellowships to North American scholars over the past two decades.


Nicholas Sitar

Nicholas Sitar, professor of civil and environmental engineering, has received the Chi Epsilon 1998 Pacific District Excellence in Teaching Award, given annually to a professor from a university in California or Hawaii.

Berkeley's student chapter of Chi Epsilon, the national civil engineering honor society, nominated Sitar because he increased student appreciation for the field of civil engineering.

Since he joined the faculty in 1981, Sitar has also served as a faculty adviser for student organizations.


Lotfi A. Zadeh

Lotfi A. Zadeh, professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences, has received the Fiegenbaum Medal from the International Society for Intelligent Systems. The award recognizes Zadeh's development of fuzzy logic and its application to the conception and design of knowledge-based systems.

Zadeh was honored at the World Congress on Expert Systems in Mexico City on March 17.


Lars Bildsten

Lars Bildsten, assistant professor of physics, was named one of 13 Cottrell Scholars by Research Corporation, a philanthropic organization that recognizes young faculty who excel as both teachers and researchers. The $50,000 award is named for chemist Frederick Gardner Cottrell, who endowed the corporation with patent rights to his invention, the Cottrell precipitator. Bildsten, who joined the faculty in 1995, works on the physics of accreting neutron stars and white dwarfs in the field of high energy astrophysics.


James L. Patton

James L. Patton, professor of integrative biology and curator of mammals at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, received the Joseph Grinnell Award for Excellence in Education in Mammalogy from the American Society of Mammalogists at the society's 78th annual meeting, June 5-10.

Patton, who also has received the ASM Research award, studies genetic variation in populations of small mammals in California and the Amazon.


J. Randolph Paulling

J. Randolph Paulling, professor emeritus of naval architecture and offshore engineering, has been elected an honorary member of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers for his career of outstanding work in hydrodynamics, offshore structures, and ship design, dynamics, and structures.


Ronald W. Yeung

Ronald W. Yeung, professor of mechanical engineering has been elected a Fellow of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers in recognition of his contributions to the education of young naval architects, his research, and his service to the society. Yeung's research includes hydromechanics, mathematical modeling, numerical fluid mechanics, offshore mechanics, ship hydrodynamics, separated flows, and wave loads.


Lotfi A. Zadeh

Lotfi A. Zadeh, professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences, has received his ninth honorary degree, this one from the University of Toronto. The degree is given in recognition of his development of revolutionary new set and logic theories and the concept of soft computing, which have made significant contributions to the fields of computer science and engineering.


Bruno Zumino

Bruno Zumino, professor emeritus of physics, was invited to deliver the Dirac lecture at the University of Cambridge, England on June 15. An annual lecture in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, the talk gives an overview of an area of theoretical physics to a non-expert audience.

Zumino, who has been at UC Berkeley since 1982, is a theorist interested in the unification of the fundamental forces of physics.


Seven Named Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellows

Seven Berkeley scientists have been named Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellows - 1998.

"The Sloan Research Fellowships were created by Alfred P. Sloan, Jr. in 1955 to provide crucial and flexible funds to outstanding researchers early in their academic careers," said Ralph E. Gomory, president of the foundation.

Grants of $35,000 for a two-year period are administered by each Fellow's institution. Fellows can pursue whatever lines of inquiry interest them, and can employ fellowship funds in a variety of ways to further their research aims, the foundation said in announcing this year's fellows.

Out of 400 nominations for the 1998 awards, 100 young faculty scientists were chosen. The seven from Berkeley are Yang Dan, neuroscience; Aaron Edlin, economics; Jack L. Gallant, neuroscience; Joseph M. Hellerstein, computer science; Shamit Kachru, physics; James K. McCusker, chemistry; and Bjorn Poonen, mathematics.


Hearst Museum Mission Statement Called Exemplary

The mission statement of the Phoebe Apperson Hearst Museum of Anthropology has been recognized by the technical information service of the American Association of Museums as an example of good standards and practices. The statement will be included in the service's new book "Museum Mission Statements: Building a Distinct Identity."

"A mission statement is the fundamental guide for all museum staff to evaluate their progress," said Rosemary Joyce, Hearst Museum director. "It helps determine how museum staff prioritize their efforts, and ensures that all the many things they do contribute to the same goals. Because museums always have more possibilities than can be realized with existing staff, time and resources, mission statements are critical."

The Hearst's mission statement was one of only 50, among thousands submitted, that were selected as an exemplary guide for establishing and evaluating institutional goals. The citation is the highest recognition of the museum's knowledge and practice of contemporary museum standards.

The mission statement is available on the museum's website, at


Koshland Endows New NAS Science Center

Daniel Koshland, professor of biochemistry and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, has donated an endowment of approximately $25 million to the academy to build and operate a new public science center on NAS grounds at 2101 Constitution Ave., Washington, D.C.

The new center will be named for his wife, Marian Koshland, a prestigious immunologist and academy member who died last year.

Expected to be completed in about three years, the science center will feature exhibits and displays demonstrating how science works.

"This center will make the nature of science come to life for those who visit it," said NAS president Bruce Alberts. "With the help of this generous gift, Marian Koshland's enthusiastic dedication to science and its public understanding will be shared by future generations."

Marian Koshland, who graduated in 1942 from Vassar College and received a doctorate from the University of Chicago in 1949, helped develop a vaccine for cholera and pioneered basic research on the nature of immunity. After working as a bacteriologist and immunologist at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, N.Y., she joined Berkeley's faculty in 1965. She chaired the university's department of microbiology and immunology from 1982 to 1989 and lead the department's graduate affairs division until her death in October 1997. She was elected to the academy in 1981, and she served on many NAS committees dedicated to the promotion of science.

Daniel Koshland earned his Berkeley bachelor of science degree in chemistry in 1941, and his doctorate from the University of Chicago in 1949. He also did research at Brookhaven before joining Berkeley's faculty in 1965, where he chaired the department of biochemistry for five years and the chancellor's advisory council on biology from 1982 to 1993. In addition, Koshland served as editor of the journal Science from 1985 to 1995, and received the National Medal of Science in 1990. He was elected to the Academy in 1966.

The Koshlands married in 1945 and had five children.


UC Extension Online Independent Study Program Honored

The University Continuing Education Association (UCEA) recently honored the University of California Extension Online with its prestigious award for Significant Achievement in Independent Study. Bestowed only four times in the past 25 years, the award honors a major contribution to the field.

When it started in 1994, UC Extension Online was the first program sponsored by a major U.S. research university to offer an interactive, fully online continuing education curriculum easily accessible nationwide via a commercial carrier.

UC Extension's Center for Media and Independent Study (CMIL) and UC Berkeley Extension created UC Extension Online with a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

UC Extension Online now offers 60 courses and serves more than 1,100 students. It intends to offer 175 courses by 1999.

The new award is "truly an honor," says CMIL director Mary Beth Almeda, because it is given only to programs that have advanced the discipline as a whole.

"The work must be ground-breaking and set a standard for all of us in the field," says Deborah Hillengass, a chair of the UCEA Independent Study division and director of Independent and Distance Learning for the University of Minnesota.

UC Extension Online developed attractive, easily accessible features such as an online class tour, catalog, libraries, access to Web sites with relevant course materials, a real-time "chat room" for virtual instructor office hours and collaborative student work, and a live auditorium for guest lectures.

The award highlights the changing role of distance learning in continuing education, said Almeda. "No longer are we in independent study at the periphery of our institutions. Because of our use of technology we are 'up front and center,' serving as early adopters and leaders of our campuses."

For more information, visit UC Berkeley Extension Online at

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