Berkeley in the News Archive

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Tuesday, 17 September 2013

1. Push for Yellen to Lead at Fed Gathers Steam
New York Times & International Herald Tribune (*requires registration)

Berkeley economics professor Janet Yellen became the "frontrunner by elimination" yesterday, according to this article, following Lawrence Summers' withdrawal as a candidate to succeed Ben Bernanke as chair of the Federal Reserve. The authors write: "Described by one former colleague as 'a small lady with a large I.Q.,' Ms. Yellen forged an academic career at the University of California, Berkeley as a member of the economics counterculture that attacked the dogma of efficient markets. She has long argued that markets benefit from regulation to prevent abuses and limit disruptions of economic growth. ... She also played a leading role in shaping what has become the conventional wisdom that central banks, for the sake of job growth, should seek to moderate rather than eliminate inflation." Other stories on this topic appeared in the New York Times Online, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle (1), and San Francisco Chronicle (2). Full Story

2. Obituary: Roderic Park, former UC Merced acting chancellor, dead at 81
Sacramento Bee

Plant biology professor emeritus Roderic Park has died, at the age of 81. During his long career at Berkeley, he held several leadership positions, including department chair, provost, and dean of the College of Letters and Sciences, as well as the second-highest ranking university position of vice chancellor and provost. After a brief stint as interim chancellor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, he returned to California to help establish the UC Merced campus. A memorial service will be held October 11 at Berkeley's Faculty Club. Full Story

3. UC-Berkeley institute for Jewish law gets $2.85 million grant
Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Berkeley's 2-year-old Institute for Jewish Law and Israeli Law, Economy and Society has received a $2.85 million grant from four Bay Area Jewish foundations to be distributed over the next three to five years. The institute hopes to use the funds to expand its programming, which includes conferences and community events along with courses. Full Story

4. Op-Ed: The International Criminal Court's risky move
Los Angeles Times

Eric Stover, faculty director of the Berkeley Law's Human Rights Center, and Arizona State University professor Victor Peskin write about the Kenyan parliament's recent vote to withdraw from the International Criminal Court. They say it could undermine the trials of Kenya's president and deputy president, as well as impede the ICC's global mandate to prosecute perpetrators of state-sponsored atrocities. Full Story

5. For Workers Leaving Their Jobs, Health Exchanges Offer Insurance Choices Beyond COBRA
Washington Post

Laurel Lucia, a policy analyst at Berkeley's Center for Labor Research and Education, is concerned that people who become unemployed after the Affordable Care Act takes effect in October may not understand all their healthcare options, and that ignorance could hurt them. “Particularly in the beginning, it could be common that people don't understand all their options,” she says, adding that the notice that workers receive informing them of their right to elect COBRA coverage may not make it clear that enrolling in that coverage will likely restrict enrollment in exchange plans. Full Story

6. FBI report: Violent crime up in Bay Area, California in 2012
Contra Costa Times (*requires registration)

Barry Krisberg, a senior fellow at Berkeley's law school, comments on a new FBI report showing that violent crime throughout California was up 3.3% in 2012. He doesn't believe the FBI data means much, and he notes that certain factors can skew statistics. "People are trying to make much out of a one-year trend. ... But there are so many problems in regards to the data." Full Story

7. The Best College for Every Major
Wall Street Journal Online (*requires registration)

The 2013-2014 College Salary Report by PayScale ranks schools producing the highest-earning graduates for each major. UC Berkeley ranks highest for computer science. Link to video. Link to the ranking at PayScale. Full Story

8. Berkeley cracks down on turning houses into mini-dorms
San Francisco Chronicle

The Berkeley City Council passed a law last week designed to crack down on single family homes in residential neighborhoods being remodeled into mini-dorms. The trend has been especially problematic in the environs of UC Berkeley, where students are challenged to find affordable housing. Berkeley senior Igor Akimenko, a typical resident of such a house, says of his enviable $540-per-month rent: "I don't even know how many people are living here - 14? - but there's a lot of common space. It's decent. ... Finding a place when you don't have to worry about money is easy, but if you have a small budget, it can be very difficult." Full Story

9. PBS series on Latino Americans is long overdue, they say
Sacramento Bee

"Latino Americans," a new three-part, six-hour series premieres tonight, September 17, on PBS stations. Featuring interviews with 100 Latinos, including Berkeley historian and ethnic studies professor David Montejano, the documentary will cover more than 500 years of history. “We’re trying to construct a history that has not been written,” Professor Montejano says in the first episode. “We had a blank slate that had to be recaptured, recovered.” Full Story

10. Book Review: Love and Math
Scientific American

A brief review of math professor Edward Frenkel's new book, Love and Math: The Heart of Hidden Reality (Basic Books, 2013), concludes: "Part ode, part autobiography, Love and Math is an admirable attempt to lay bare the beauty of numbers for all to see, even though some readers may balk at Frenkel's mentions of Kac-Moody algebras and of objects called hyperspheres." Full Story

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