Berkeley in the News Archive

The links to the stories summarized on this page are time sensitive, so stories might no longer be online at that URL. We also include links to the original source publication itself.

Monday, 21 April 2014

1. Admission rates fall at UC campuses as international presence grows
Sacramento Bee

The UC system has announced its admissions numbers, reporting a couple of firsts. The system admitted more Hispanics than whites for the first time, and competition was tougher, especially at Berkeley and Los Angeles, where the acceptance rates fell below 20 percent for the first time. At Berkeley, applications were up 9 percent, with only 17.3 percent accepted. Anne DeLuca, Berkeley’s associate vice chancellor for admissions and enrollment, says: “Students may have once applied to three or four universities as part of their college application process, and now you’re seeing those numbers creeping up.” In a letter to the campus community Friday morning, Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks announced that the university would be enrolling more out-of-state and international students with a goal of growing their portion of their undergraduate population from 20 percent to 23 percent over the next three years. He said the decision was "driven primarily by our commitments to maintain Berkeley’s academic excellence, access and robust financial aid programs. ... In order to sustain the excellence of our programs and the student experience, tuition from out-of-state and international students is crucial.” Stories on this topic appeared in dozens of sources, including the Los Angeles Times (1), Los Angeles Times (2), San Francisco Chronicle, Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Business Times, San Francisco Business Times Online, and Oakland Tribune. Full Story

2. Cal senior football players closing in on degrees
San Francisco Chronicle

Eight of next year's senior football players are on track to graduate this year or next, signaling significant progress in Cal's academic progress and graduation success rates. Coach Sonny Dykes says about the students: "They've been through a lot, coaching changes, some tough seasons. ... They hung in there. They'll come out getting a degree. They're going to do what they set out to do -- get a degree from a place where it's not easy to get a degree. I'm proud of those guys." Full Story

3. At Work Blog: B-School Deans Get to Work at the White House
Wall Street Journal Online (*requires registration)

Haas School of Business Dean Rich Lyons was among a group of l4 top U.S. business school leaders meeting with economic advisors at the White House on Wednesday, April 16. They were there to discuss their institutions' roles in improving workplace conditions for workplace families. Dean Lyons said he wants to ensure that his school’s support of faculty research on gender issues is as strong as it is for other research topics. In order for faculty to teach students about the importance of workplace flexibility, they must research success and failure in such programs themselves. Full Story

4. Op-Ed: Minimum wage debate goes local
San Francisco Chronicle

Ken Jacobs, chair of Berkeley's Center for Labor Research and Education, and Annette Bernhardt, a visiting professor of sociology and researcher at the Berkeley's Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, write about trendsetting local minimum wage laws. They conclude: "In the new campaigns to raise the local wage floor, we see a return to a long and proud history in the United States where states and cities are laboratories of policy innovation and grassroots organizing that then build momentum for national change. As a result, an innovative new way of thinking about inequality is emerging, where urban centers and regions like the Bay Area with higher costs of living use a range of tools, including robust minimum wage laws, to ensure that growth and prosperity are broadly shared." Full Story

5. Op-Ed: Playing deal or no deal with income inequality
San Francisco Chronicle

Public policy professor Robert Reich writes about a game he asks his students to play in his "Wealth and Poverty" class. "A far bigger version of the game is now being played on the national stage," he says. "But it's for real -- as a relative handful of Americans receive ever bigger slices of the total national income while most average Americans, working harder than ever, receive smaller ones. And just as in the simulations, the losers are starting to say 'no deal.'" Full Story

6. Morning Edition: Sichuan Pepper's Buzz May Reveal Secrets Of The Nervous System

Assistant molecular and cell biology professor Diana Bautista has been making some interesting discoveries about the nervous system with help from the tiny Sichuan peppercorn. Link to audio. Full Story

7. How Urban Anonymity Disappears When All Data Is Tracked
International New York Times (*requires registration)

Information professor Deirdre Mulligan weighs in on data collection in major cities. “People in cities have anonymity from their neighbor, but not from an entity collecting data about them,” she says. “These are far more prevalent in cities. ... There is an idea here that data is truth, and that’s not always true. ... You may know who is running a red light, but you don’t know if there is a sick kid in the back seat, and they are racing to the hospital.” More importantly, she says, that deferral to data comes at the expense of people making real choices about how to behave. “If you want people to act morally, you don’t tell them what they can and can’t do. We all need to think about the effect on others, what should be done.” Full Story

8. Air Pollution: Study outlines minorities' dramatically higher exposure to NO2

Environmental science, policy and management professor Rachel Morello-Frosch comments on a new study finding that minorities in the U.S. are exposed to 38 percent more nitrogen dioxide (NO2) outdoor air pollution than white people. She calls it "a great study because it's a national assessment" of who is affected by NO2. "Few studies on traffic-related air pollution have looked at racial and income disparities at this wide of a geographic scope across the entire country, so I think that's what makes the results of this study unique and important." Full Story

9. Loosening protections for delta fish won't end the drought
San Francisco Chronicle

U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson (D-St. Helena) quotes agricultural and resource economics professor W. Michael Hanemann in a commentary warning against rolling back water regulations in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. He says that, as Professor Hanemann "correctly points out, insufficient delta pumping isn't the problem; it's insufficient water. It's the lack of rain and snowpack that feeds the delta to start with. As he put it, 'You could kill every fish in the delta and you'd still have a real problem.'" Full Story

10. CIO Journal Blog: Facebook Cyber Chief Says Bug Bounty Program is ‘Valuable’
Wall Street Journal Online (*requires registration)

A study co-authored by Berkeley computer science researchers Matthew Finifter, Devdatta Akhawe and David Wagner is cited for its finding that bug bounty programs appear more cost-effective than hiring full-time security researchers. The researchers reported that the programs reduce the likelihood of unexpected and costly zero-day disclosures and give researchers an incentive not to sell exploits to malicious actors. Full Story

11. Poll: Big Bang a big question for most Americans
Washington Post

Molecular and cell biology professor Randy Schekman was among a group of scientific Nobel Laureates who were consulted on a national poll and lamented the results. The poll asked Americans about their confidence in a number of concepts the scientists consider factual. The overall takeaway was that people are most dubious about ideas that are remote from their bodies or daily life, such as global warming, the Big Bang, and evolution. They are least skeptical about intimate concepts, such as the link between smoking and cancer. "Science ignorance is pervasive in our society, and these attitudes are reinforced when some of our leaders are openly antagonistic to established facts,” Professor Schekman says. This story appeared in dozens of sources nationwide. Full Story

12. Astronomers spot most Earth-like planet yet
Washington Post

Astronomy professor Geoff Marcy says a newly discovered Earth-like planet in the so-called Goldilocks zone where it's not too hot and not too cold for life is "the best case for a habitable planet yet found. The results are absolutely rock solid.” Noting that the planet probably basks in an orange-red glow from its star and is likely cooler than Earth, he says it would be "similar to dawn of dusk on a spring day." Full Story

13. Experts Blog: Roth 401(k) vs. Traditional 401(k): Here’s the Math
Wall Street Journal Online (*requires registration)

Business and finance professor Terrance Odean explains differences between Roth 401(k) and traditional 401(k) investments. Factors to consider include whether you think your tax rate will be lower or higher when you start withdrawing your savings and whether you expect to make early withdrawals. Full Story

14. Arts & Not Blog: Famed Thorsen House now a class at Cal
San Francisco Chronicle

A new two-unit class has been developed for architecture students at Berkeley. Called the Thorsen Restoration Project, a historic 105-year-old redwood bungalow designed by Greene and Greene will provide students with a prime working opportunity and the California Sigma Phi Society residents of the house with much-needed help in maintenance and restoration. Link to video. Full Story

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