03/15/10 Department of State — Opinion Space, an interactive site hosted on State.gov that seeks to foster global conversations on foreign affairs, was developed jointly by the Department of State and UC Berkeley's Center for New Media and is accessible to anyone around the world. According to Berkeley Engineering professor and BCNM director Ken Goldberg, "Opinion Space is designed to 'depolarize' discussions by including all participants on a level playing field." Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called Opinion Space an example of "21st century statecraft."
Education & outreach
03/03/10 — The boys from the Amazonian orphanage decided to name themselves Los Científicos. The Scientists. It was a small but monumental achievement for Rick Henrikson and Richard Novak, two Berkeley bioengineering graduate students. The pair cofounded Future Scientist, a tiny but highly motivated aid organization whose mission is to teach science and practical technical skills to young people in rural, developing regions. Last August, Novak, Henrikson and nine other Future Scientists traveled to Peru for their first pilot project: teaching a two-week crash course on pathogenic microorganisms, disease transmission, optics and solar-powered electricity to schoolchildren living along the Amazon River. This slideshow tells their story.
12/15/09 — "Fun. Easy to learn. Can relate to it." That's what students were saying about a new introductory computing course at Berkeley, established by Dan Garcia, Brian Harvey, Colleen Lewis (B.S.'05 EECS) and George Wang, that will alter the way young people perceive the field. Called "The Beauty and Joy of Computing," the two-unit freshman/sophomore seminar teaches non-majors basic programming skills while exploring big picture topics such as abstraction, world-changing applications and the social implications of computing.
08/03/09 — What do you see when you think engineer? Our non-engineering colleagues might envision a middle-aged man at a construction site, sporting a hardhat and poring over a set of plans. But we know that engineering has exploded in recent years due to globalization, the IT and biotech booms, clean energy and a host of other factors. As Lawrence Fisher reports in our spring Forefront ("Engineering evolved"), the field today is so broadly multidisciplinary that new applications require the talents of everyone from "software savants and materials mavens" to "aerospace adepts."
08/03/09 — Daryl Chrzan, a noted researcher in the field of computational materials science, is a diehard skateboarder. Besides carving the bowls at local skate parks, Chrzan loves to think about the science behind the sport. The Berkeley professor of materials science and engineering considers such questions as the physics involved in stunts, the evolution of the skateboard wheel, the limits of a skateboard's strength and even the g-forces experienced in spectacular spills. For the past two years, Chrzan has posed-and tried to answer-those puzzles in a one-unit freshman seminar called Physics and Materials Science of Skateboarding. His hands-on class puts a new spin on a popular, if educationally unsung pastime.
06/04/09 — “If you haven't gotten the ideal job yet, don't take any job! Be bold and creative: take a year off. Look for great leadership development opportunities. Become a volunteer math or science teacher in underserved communities in America or in poor villages in Africa, South America or Asia.”
05/02/09 — From Monica Tanza, a mechanical engineering senior interested in sustainable design, to Cagla Meral, a civil and environmental engineering Ph.D. student working on greener cement, women are pursuing their ambitions at Berkeley Engineering.
02/02/09 — As we listened to President Obama's inaugural address on January 20, we were encouraged by his remarks emphasizing the role of science. However, the nation's research community would be shortsighted to take these words simply as an invitation to submit funding requests and expand programs. Instead, we must mobilize quickly to identify the most ambitious challenges we are capable of tackling-in other words, our “moon shots” for the 21st century.
01/01/09 — Wielding screwdrivers and shears, a crew of Oakland middle-school girls was doing some serious damage to a pair of hapless computers. The girls pried open a PC tower and a laptop and eagerly began extracting such components as the memory, hard drive and power supply. "This is awesome," said Jessica Nguyen, a sixth grader at Montera Middle School. "It's so much fun to take things apart!" Berkeley Engineering alumnae are volunteering as mentors for Techbridge, an Oakland-based program that introduces girls in grades 5 through 12 to technology, science and engineering with a variety of after-school and summer activities.
09/02/08 — For the average teen, “What I Did on My Summer Vacation” doesn't normally involve building a faster supercomputer, perfecting a lab on a chip or designing a device called an optical antenna that sniffs out bomb residue. Thanks to an innovative UC Berkeley summer program, 15 high school students conducted hands-on research on these and other high-flying topics--all linked to groundbreaking nanoscale science and technology work taking place on campus. The Summer High-School Apprenticeship Research Program turns teens into bona fide scientific investigators.
08/02/08 — The topic has become a persistent one in engineering and entrepreneurial circles: Is the United States losing its technological edge? Reports like last month's “America's engineering crisis” on CNBC's Street Signs, on which I had the opportunity to appear with my esteemed colleague Jim Plummer of Stanford, fuel the perception that U.S. engineers are becoming extinct.
05/02/08 — For Berkeley-trained Sung-Mo "Steve" Kang, the work of a university chancellor is a lot like engineering. "Think of integrated circuits," says Kang (Ph.D. '75 EECS), who in March began his second year at the helm of UC Merced. Just as a chip relies on a network of connections to operate smoothly, so does a college campus. With that in mind, Kang is taking a collaborative approach to building his young institution into a world-class research university.
04/02/08 — Yes, it is a bold foreign partnership that has generated considerable controversy. But it is also an unprecedented opportunity for UC Berkeley to get involved at ground level in building a new research university, performing stellar multinational research, and facilitating constructive relationships in the Middle East.
02/02/08 — When the governor speaks about our profession, we listen. In the run-up to his January state of the state address, Governor Schwarzenegger invoked some startling statistics about our engineering workforce and proposed a plan to fortify it.
01/02/08 — As someone who came to Berkeley 30 years ago as an international student, I was pleased to see that international enrollments are up significantly for the first time since the post-September 11 backlash cast a chill over immigrant-friendly policies at U.S. colleges and universities.