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Chancellor Birgeneau stepping down at year’s end

Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau announced last week that he will step down as UC Berkeley’s chancellor at the end of 2012, calling the time he has spent leading one of the world’s preeminent teaching and research universities “an immense privilege and honor.”

Birgeneau was appointed Berkeley’s ninth chancellor in September 2004, and originally planned to stay for seven years. But he decided to remain longer because of the extraordinary circumstances facing the university due to the state’s financial crisis and the steep loss of state funding. An editorial in the San Francisco Chronicle lauded Birgeneau for showing “how assertive, attentive leadership can make a difference in education at any level, and even in the most treacherous of times."

Berkeley shines in new reputation, grad school rankings

UC Berkeley’s reputation shines internationally, and the campus’s graduate schools retain high marks nationally, as well, according to two separate rankings made public last week.

Berkeley is fighting back

“Berkeley is fighting back”: video puts strengths front and center

In an e-mail to Cal alumni, parents and friends, Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau shared a video designed to raise awareness and support for the university. The 79-second spot was produced in-house for The Campaign for Berkeley. With the $3-billion fundraising effort entering its final two years, the video demonstrates how support from the Cal family will help to ensure that Berkeley remains the “crown jewel of public higher education, the driver of innovation, the brains behind our knowledge economy, and the fuel of upward mobility.”

Forbes profiles philanthropist Li Ka-shing

In a profile of philanthropist Li Ka-shing, Forbes magazine points to his vision and generosity toward UC Berkeley, which made possible the Li Ka Shing Center for Biomedical and Health Sciences on campus. The magazine also reports on Mr. Li’s visit to campus last October, describing him as having a “rock star status” that transcends the Pacific: “A throng of 300 gathered outside the Berkeley chancellor’s house during a thank-you lunch, hoping to meet him.”

Youngsters tapped to make computers smarter

People often wonder if computers make children smarter. UC Berkeley scientists are asking the reverse question: Can children make computers smarter? And their answer appears to be “yes” as they tap cognitive smarts of babies, toddlers, and preschoolers to program computers to think more like humans.

A deep dive into the history of everything

Working with eight UC Berkeley students and with resources from Microsoft Research Connections, geologist Walter Alvarez has created a new piece of Web-based software that allows students, researchers, and the general public to cruise through cosmic timelines. Called ChronoZoom, it could help students visualize the sweep of history.

Linguistics students explore limitations and potential of video game

GameSpot recruited a class of UC Berkeley linguistics students to analyze the multiplayer communication system of the video game Journey.

Cal Parents: upcoming dates to remember

Classes for the spring semester began this week. Here are some important dates to remember:

  • March 26–30: Spring recess, no classes
  • April 21: Cal Day, campuswide open house
  • April 27: Formal classes end for spring semester
  • April 30–May 4: Reading/review/recitation week
  • May 7–11: Final exams
  • May 12: Residence hall move-out
  • May 12: Commencement celebration

Discover the Berkeley that Nobel Prize winners love: Cal Day

Save the date for UC Berkeley’s annual Open House — Cal Day — set for Saturday, April 21, with events across campus from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Prospective students are invited to visit classrooms, labs and residence halls, and attend faculty talks. Young ones can explore museums and play interactive science games. Families are encouraged to join campus tours and take in spectacular cultural performances.

Upcoming events on campus: Save the date for Cal Day, more

  • Monday, March 26 to Wednesday, March 28: Berkeley Bioeconomy Conference. This conference addresses some of the most contentious issues in environmental and resource economics. Alumni House.
  • Wednesday, March 28: Symposium: Harnessing the Immune System to Fight Cancer. This event honors the pioneering research carried out in the lab of Jim Allison at Berkeley, with talks ranging from basic immunology to clinical aspects of cancer immunotherapy by a distinguished group of investigators. Li Ka Shing Center for Biomedical and Health Sciences. Registration recommended.
  • Saturday, April 21: Save the date for Cal Day. Some 300 events will take place across campus from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.Prospective students are invited to visit classrooms, labs and residence halls, and attend faculty talks. Young ones can explore museums and play interactive science games. Families are encouraged to join campus tours and take in spectacular cultural performances.
  • Through Sunday, April 29: Hands-on exhibit: Imaginate. Explore the creative process of science. Race irons to find the path of least resistance. Become a designer of aerodynamic objects. Affect light and sound using your heartbeat. Solve problems, challenge your ideas, create, and explore new ways of thinking. Lawrence Hall of Science.

Campus Events Calendar
Alumni Events Calendar

Discover Cal: Election 2012 is the topic

Discover Cal — the traveling lecture series that brings the campus’s distinguished faculty to a location near you — is coming to Lafayette on April 5 with a timely topic:

  • Place Your Bets: Election 2012. With the presidential campaign under way, can you keep track of this week’s frontrunner? Race, religion, the economy, and other forces continuously sway voters’ decisions. Examine some surprising issues that influenced President Obama’s 2008 victory and the wild cards at play for voters today. Featuring Charles Henry, the H. Michael and Jeanne Williams Chair of African American Studies, and Gabriel Lenz, assistant professor of political science. Lafayette Park Hotel, light refreshments at 6 p.m., followed by presentations and audience Q&A at 7 p.m.

Discover Cal in LA, Newport Beach: Election 2012, sleep science are the topics

Discover Cal — the traveling lecture series that brings the campus’s distinguished faculty to a location near you — is coming to Los Angeles and Newport Beach with timely topics:

Tuesday, March 27: Place Your Bets: Election 2012. With the presidential campaign under way, can you keep track of this week’s frontrunner? Race, religion, the economy, and other forces continuously sway voters’ decisions. Examine some surprising issues that influenced President Obama’s 2008 victory and the wild cards at play for voters today. Featuring Charles Henry, the H. Michael and Jeanne Williams Chair of African American Studies, and Gabriel Lenz, assistant professor of political science. Los Angeles Athletic Club, 431 W. Seventh St., light refreshments at 6 p.m., followed by presentations and audience Q&A at 7 p.m.

Wednesday, April 11: Wake-Up Call: Why Science Says Sleep is Essential. Sleepless nights can make us cranky. They may also impact our immunity, metabolism, learning, memory, and other primary functions. Hear how UC Berkeley researchers are proving that sleep is more than a luxury. It’s a matter of survival. Featuring Matt Walker, director of the Sleep and Neuroimaging Laboratory and associate professor of psychology. Big Canyon Country Club, One Big Canyon Dr., Newport Beach, light refreshments at 6 p.m., followed by presentations and audience Q&A at 7 p.m.

Events in Southern California

Save the dates for the following events for alumni and friends in Southern California:

For a full listing of activities in Southern California:
Events for alumni and friends

For a full schedule of Cal athletics, including games in Southern California:
Cal sporting events

Save the date for Cal Day — campus open house — April 21

The campus welcomes all to Cal Day on Saturday, April 21. Some 300 events will take place across campus from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Prospective students are invited to visit classrooms, labs and residence halls, and attend faculty talks. Young ones can explore museums and play interactive science games. Families are encouraged to join campus tours and take in spectacular cultural performances.

Events in New York, New Jersey

Save the dates for the following local events for alumni and friends.

  • Wednesday, March 28: Cal Alumni Club of New York, Spring Happy Hour. The Three Monkeys, 236 W. 54th Street, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 28: Cal Alumni Association and Office of Undergraduate Admissions, New Student Reception in New York. Roosevelt Hotel, Palm and Terrace Rooms, 45 East 45th Street (at Madison Avenue), 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 29: Cal Alumni Association and Office of Undergraduate Admissions, New Student Reception in New Jersey. Sheraton Newark Airport, Monmouth Room, 128 Frontage Road, Newark. 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

For a full listing of activities in New York:
Events for alumni and friends

For a full schedule of Cal athletics, including games on the East Coast:
Cal sporting events

 

 

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