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Be a part of something BIG November 20 (video)

The entire Cal community is getting together for a new Big Game Week event on Thursday, November 20 — and you’re an important part of it. BIG GIVE is Berkeley’s first-ever, 24-hour fundraising blitz, when schools and programs will compete for challenge prize funds in a wide variety of contests. Visit BigGive.berkeley.edu today to see Natalie Coughlin, Alex Filippenko, Renee Montagne, Thelton Henderson, and many others showing off what makes Berkeley a big deal to them; to find out how to post your own “big” image; and to learn all about this historic giving event!

Sunshine after the storm: Berkeley shines in more rankings

As Chancellor Nicholas B. Dirks writes in Times Higher Education this month, “Berkeley has emerged from its recent round of financial challenges stronger than ever.” This assertion is echoed in that publication’s recently published world university rankings, placing Berkeley among the top globally. We made LinkedIn's new undergraduate rankings in two categories as well: best schools for software developers at startups (No. 5) and best schools for software developers (No. 6). And rounding out our rankings report this month is USA Today, which named Berkeley the No. 1 school for a major in social work.

Why we can’t tell a movie star from a stunt double

Berkeley researchers have pinpointed the brain mechanism by which we latch on to a particular face even when it changes. While it may seem as though our brain is tricking us into morphing, say, an actor with his stunt double, this “perceptual pull” is actually a survival mechanism, giving us a sense of stability, familiarity, and continuity in what would otherwise be a visually chaotic world, researchers point out.

Chancellor’s Task Force on Athletics and Academics issues report

In December 2013, Chancellor Nicholas B. Dirks established the Task Force on Academics and Athletics, a 20-member panel he charged with devising “new means to ensure that our academic mission informs every part of our intercollegiate athletics programs.” The task force’s report and recommendations were released in late September, along with a message to the campus community from Chancellor Dirks.

Three faculty members awarded National Medal of Science

Three Berkeley faculty members were selected recently by President Barack Obama to receive the National Medal of Science, the nation’s highest honor for a scientist. Recipients Judith P. Klinman, professor emerita of chemistry, and Alexandre J. Chorin, University Professor emeritus of mathematics, will receive their awards at the White House later this year. Statistician David Blackwell was honored posthumously; he died in 2010 at the age of 91.

BECI abuzz

The Berkeley Energy and Climate Institute (BECI) is abuzz this week with two annual events focused on global energy and research issues. The Cal Energy Corps Symposium presented reflections from undergrads who fanned out over the summer to develop sustainable energy projects in Brazil, Kenya, Nicaragua, India, and beyond — as well as right here in the Bay Area. In addition, the Berkeley Energy & Resources Collaborative (BERC) Energy Summit 2014 brought together leading voices in the energy sector.

J-school alums win big at the Emmys

Last month’s 2014 Emmy awards included four winners with ties to Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, and nominees in eight different categories. Al Jazeera America's weekly investigative program, Fault Lines — whose senior producer is Carrie Lozano ’05 and is produced by Singeli Agnew ’07 — won an award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism in a News Magazine. The New York Times Op-Docs took top honors in the New Approaches: Arts, Lifestyle, and Culture category for an interactive web feature whose executive producer is Jason Spingarn-Koff ’01.

 

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