A daily selection of stories about UC Berkeley and higher education that have appeared in the local and national media.
Wednesday, 20 August 2014
1. 35 Innovators Under 35 -- 2014
MIT Technology Review
Two Berkeley alumni and one current post-doc have been named to MIT Technology Review's “35 Innovators Under 35” list. All three are recognized in the humanitarian category. George Ban-Weiss, who earned his Berkeley Ph.D. in mechanical engineering in 2008, is a USC professor developing reflective roof technology to help keep urban areas cool. Kuang Chen, who earned his Berkeley Ph.D. in computer science in 2011, founded Captricity, a company that digitizes paper records faster and more efficiently than the previous standard manual-entry methods. Kurtis Heimerl is an electrical engineering and computer science post-doc who developed the Village Base Station, which brings cellular telecommunications to remote places of the world.
2. California Report: Bill to Address Sexual Abuse of Farmworkers Passes Legislature
State Senator Bill Monning has introduced a bill requiring more sexual harassment training for farm supervisors as well as for farmworkers. He says he was moved to action by a series, co-produced by Berkeley's Investigative Reporting Program, about the problem of farmworker sexual harassment and assault. Link to audio.
3. The Upshot Blog: One America, Guns and Diet. In the Other, Cameras and ‘Zoolander.’
New York Times Online
Information, Business and Economics Professor Emeritus Hal Varian, chief economist at Google, was consulted on an analysis of quality of life in U.S. counties. Each county was evaluated according to an index of factors related to income, education and life expectancy, with the objective of determining which are the most difficult places to live. He suggested looking at how web searches differ at both ends of the spectrum, and the result offers a portrait of the very different thoughts of richer and poorer Americans. In the most difficult places, including areas of Kentucky, Arkansas, Maine, New Mexico and Oregon, common search topics included health problems, weight loss diets, guns, video games and religion. In the easiest places, including areas of Nebraska, Iowa, Wyoming and the large metro areas of the Northeast and West Coast, digital cameras, technology, exercise equipment, upscale baby products, and travel were top-of-mind topics.
4. RISC creator is pushing open source chips for cloud computing and the internet of things
A group of Berkeley computer scientists led by Professor David Patterson is pushing for open source chips with an instruction set architecture called RISC-V. Professor Patterson originally led the development of the instructions to help teach computer architecture to students, but now he and his team want to push it into the mainstream to boost emerging markets such as cloud computing and the internet of things.
5. Despite lip service, Silicon Valley venture capital still a man's world
According to business professor Ross Levine, the percentage of female entrepreneurs has stagnated since the early 1980s at around 27 percent.
6. Vexed in the city: If you're moving to San Francisco, bring cash. Lots of cash.
Protesters are blaming the free commuter buses supplied by Silicon Valley tech companies for the worst housing crunch San Francisco has ever experienced. The protesters charge that the buses make it too easy for people to live in the city and work in the valley. A Berkeley study has validated that claim, finding that 40 percent of tech bus commuters say they'd move closer to their jobs if their free shuttles were discontinued, while 10 percent say they would quit their jobs if the shuttles were canceled.
7. Meet John Tye: the kinder, gentler, and by-the-book whistleblower
Assistant law professor Catherine Crump comments on the quiet whistleblowing campaign of former State Department official John Tye, who is concerned about the massive amounts of "incidental" data collected by U.S. intelligence. “It’s too soon to tell what impact Tye’s disclosure will ultimately have on the government’s surveillance practices,” Professor Crump says. “People are far more likely to heed his oblique warnings because of the groundwork done by other whistleblowers.”
8. Blog: Why No Hillary in 2016?
Linguistics Professor Emeritus Robin Lakoff predicts that Hillary Rodham Clinton will not be the Democratic candidate for president in 2016. She bases the prediction on trends in the "rants of the commentariat," and says: "For those who are afraid, very afraid, of a female Clinton in the White House, the unflagging attention paid to the un-candidate offers an extra added benefit. In presidential primary campaigns, one big thing voters are looking for is freshness. They want someone they don’t know everything about, someone whose novelty creates excitement. ... But Clinton’s premature ubiquity is working against that. In each of the last three days, the New York Times has run a combination of at least three front-page articles and op-eds in which she is the major topic. We are getting dangerously close to Clinton fatigue, and the election is still a couple of years away. It would be paranoid (wouldn’t it?) to suggest that Clinton’s omnipresence is part of a deliberate plot to render her unelectable, but it certainly gives aid and comfort to her enemies."
9. Berkeley: Woman sexually assaulted in People's Park, police say
Contra Costa Times (*requires registration)
Campus police are investigating a sexual assault Monday night in People's Park and reminding students to be alert and aware of their surroundings and follow safety tips on and around campus. As the new academic school year begins next week, the campus has launched a new web site dedicated to supporting victims of sexual assault and other types of violence. Link to the site at http://survivorsupport.berkeley.edu.
10. Back Spasms Trouble Missy Franklin
New York Times (*requires registration)
Rising sophomore swim star Missy Franklin has been troubled by back spasms at the Pan Pacific Championships in Australia this week, and as of Tuesday evening her participation in the meet was in doubt. She was to be re-evaluated later Wednesday. The 19-year-old marquee member of the U.S. national swim team qualified in the 100- and 200-meter backstrokes and 100 and 200 freestyles and was set to swim in as many as three relays.
11. Erik Tarloff’s ‘All Our Yesterdays’ is grounded in Berkeley
Erik Tarloff's new book, All Our Yesterdays, is reviewed as "a brilliant chronicle of life among the chosen few in Berkeley over the past four decades." Tarloff will read from his novel at various Bay Area bookstores in coming weeks, including Pegasus on Solano Avenue on September 23.