Nicholas Dirks inaugurated as 10th chancellor — the day in pictures and video
In an inaugural address invoking Berkeley’s “utopian ideals,” Nicholas Dirks on Nov. 8 formally became the campus’s 10th chancellor and outlined his vision for the future of “one of the greatest institutions of higher education and the finest public research university in the world today.”
The ceremony was the highlight of a day that began with public symposia on the three pillars of Dirks’ administration — undergraduate education, the global university, and innovation in basic and applied research across the disciplines. The symposia were followed by a noontime rally on Sproul Plaza and a late-afternoon investiture ceremony. It was a day of tradition and celebration, and you can see the highlights in pictures, plus video of the day and the full ceremony itself (ceremony video images start at 18:40).
Astronomers estimate billions of possibly habitable planets
UC Berkeley and University of Hawaii astronomers analyzed four years of Kepler space telescope data in search of Earth-size planets in the habitable zones of sun-like stars, and estimated that 22 percent of stars like the sun have potentially habitable worlds. The news was covered widely, including on the PBS NewsHour and KQED Radio’s Forum program.
Filmmaker Wiseman on “At Berkeley” movie: “Berkeley is really the face of modern America”
The new documentary, "At Berkeley” — now beginning to screen at select theaters around the country — has renewed attention on how the campus responded to the steep disinvestment by the state of California and pursued a path to ensure its commitment to its public mission. The movie has received critical acclaim, and director Frederick Wiseman has been quoted as saying, “Berkeley is really the face of modern America.” Find out more about this film and where it is screening. It will air nationally on PBS on Jan. 13, 2014 (check local listings).
New data science institute to help scholars harness ‘big data’
In a world awash in data, UC Berkeley is meeting the flood head-on by establishing a new institute to support faculty, researchers, and students in their efforts to mine this information in areas as diverse as astronomy and economics, genetics and demography. The Berkeley Institute for Data Science, to be housed in the campus’s central library building, is made possible by grants from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Sloan Foundation, which together pledged $37.8 million over five years to three universities – UC Berkeley, the University of Washington, and New York University – to foster collaboration in “data science.”
UC crowd-funding effort raises $1.3 million for undergraduate scholarships
Vice magazine raised $3,600 for UC students in a matter of minutes, and not one but two “Star Trek” Sulus came on board to support Promise for Education, a crowd-funding campaign that in six weeks raised more than $1.3 million for undergraduate scholarships. A story in the Los Angeles Times captured the spirit of the innovative effort, which drew a wide range of fun and interesting promises.
Facebook home for BerkeleyX features latest in online courses
BerkeleyX is the partnership between UC Berkeley and edX, via which the campus makes some of its courses available as tuition-free Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) to anyone in the world. Follow BerkeleyX on Facebook for news about the program, including course offerings.