Around Cal

Braun is new brains of men's basketball

Ben Braun, 42, was named head coach of men's basketball Sept. 15 after a nationwide search to replace Todd Bozeman. Braun is regarded as one of the game's top strategists, recruiters, and teachers.

He comes to Cal after 11 very successful years at Eastern Michigan, where he guided the Eagles to four post-season tournament berths, including three NCAA appearances.

The three-time Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year had been approached for numerous head coaching jobs around the country before deciding to make the move to Berkeley.

"I'm very proud and very excited to be at the University of California," said Braun. "It was a difficult decision for me to leave Eastern because of the relationship I've had with my players. On the other hand, it was an easy decision for me to come to Cal, a school that represents everything I believe an institution should be about."

"Landing Ben Braun is a tremendous step for the Cal basketball program," said Cal athletic director John Kasser. "The things that really set him apart are his class and integrity."

Cybersemester '97

To both highlight and maintain Berkeley's lead on the cutting edge of technology, spring semester at Cal has been dubbed "Cybersemester."

As part of the Academic Senate's focus on "themed" semesters, a variety of freshman seminars have been created to expound on the theme of computers and society, among them "Archaeology Goes Multi-Media," "CyberCafe: Lunch with Women Engineers in Cyberspace," and "How the Internet Works: From Dirt to Ether."

Twin goals of the themed semester are to let the outside world know what Berkeley is doing vis à vis computer research and applications, and to galvanize all corners of the campus to integrate their cyberspace activities and join the computer revolution.

"We are the first in higher education to try this concept," notes Chancellor Tien.

Highlighting Cybersemester will be workshops for faculty and students on web page development, colloquia and symposia on such topics as intellectual property, voice on the Internet, and instructional technology, and expert speakers from on and off campus.

To learn more, check out the Cybersemester web site:

Testimonials to Tien

This year's annual Charter Day ceremony-part of Cal Day on April 19-will feature a keynote speech by outgoing Chancellor Chang-Lin Tien. The program will include an alumni parade of classes, presentations by students, faculty, and alumni, the Cal Band, and several testimonials to Tien.

On Jan. 27, School of Journalism Dean Orville Schell will interview Tien about his life and experiences before an audience in Zellerbach Auditorium. On Feb. 22, alumni, students, faculty, and staff will join in a musical tribute to Tien. For more information about these events, call the Office of Public Ceremonies, (510) 642-3687.

Interactive University reaches out to K-12 students

Putting a human face on technology, the U.S. Department of Commerce is helping fund an ambitious Bay Area project that will bring Berkeley faculty and students into K-12 schools via the Internet.

Berkeley's Interactive University project represents collaboration between the university and schools, community groups, and industry partners in San Francisco and Oakland. It's part of the Berkeley Pledge-an outreach program launched by Chancellor Tien last year to increase the chances of underrepresented students attending UC.

A $650,000 Commerce Department grant will provide core support for the project. Other partners are the city of Oakland, more than a dozen schools in Oakland and San Francisco, and corporate leaders IBM and Pacific Bell.

Through the Interactive University, K-12 students can capture images with the UC Santa Barbara Remotely Operated Telescope, have a Berkeley student serve as their personal tutor, do math with data supplied by researchers operating a NASA satellite, and go online to discuss world affairs with international visitors to the campus.

All told, 30 departments and several hundred Berkeley professors, staff, and students are expected to participate in the project.

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