Berkeley in the News Archive

The links to the stories summarized on this page are time sensitive, so stories might no longer be online at that URL. We also include links to the original source publication itself.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

1. Gas-Charged Earthquakes Linked to Mysterious Louisiana Sinkhole
Yahoo! News

A study co-authored by earth and planetary science professor Douglas Dreger and graduate student Avinash Nayak suggests that surges of gas-charged fluid may have explosively triggered tremors that preceded a giant sinkhole in Louisiana. The researchers are not certain about the origin of the natural gas behind the tremors. Full Story

2. Moderate voters are a myth

A commentary about the statistical myth of moderate voters describes research co-authored by political science graduate student David Broockman. He found that people who answer polls with some answers on the left and some on the right tend to be averaged to the middle, when in fact their opinions often turn out to be quite extreme. The result is that voters who hold gentle opinions that are all on the left or the right then appear considerably more extreme than voters who hold intense opinions all over the political spectrum. Full Story

3. Seeker, Doer, Giver, Ponderer
New York Times (*requires registration)

Alumnus James Simons is profiled as a "a billionaire star of mathematics and private investment who often wins praise for his financial gifts to scientific research and programs to get children hooked on math." He earned his Ph.D. in mathematics from Berkeley at the age of 23. There he met Dr. Shiing-Shen Chern, a math prodigy from China, and together the two went on to write the Chern-Simons equations that underpin parts of modern physics, including theories about how invisible fields interact with matter to produce everything from superstrings to black holes. In his varied career he has done advanced code breaking for the NSA, led a university math department, won geometry's top prize Ė the Oswald Veblen Prize, founded one of the world's most successful hedge funds, and set up a number of charitable foundations. This year, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Full Story

4. Radical Remissions: Cancer Patients Who Defy the Odds

Alumna Kelly Turner focused her Ph.D. thesis at Berkeley on cases of spontaneous cancer remission among patients who sought therapies other than standard Western medical approaches. Since then, she has identified more than 75 different healing factors patients used, narrowing the list down to 9 that were shared by almost all of the survivors. Her book, Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds tells the story. "Some of the popular media outlets were trying to present this as a '9 steps to curing cancer' sort of thing, and I said no, you can't do that," she says. "This is not a 9-step program for getting well. These are just 9 factors that most of the survivors had in common. Ö I am a researcher who is simply trying to get a conversation started about this important subject. Ö My biggest hope is that we can bring radical remissions to the discussion table. I have put out the hypotheses and now they need to be tested in prospective trials." Full Story

5. David Bratís Hand of God Economics
New York Times (*requires registration)

An article about David Brat, the Randolph-Macon College economic professor who won Eric Cantor's seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, mentions that he and many other economists, including Berkeley professor J. Bradford DeLong, have long seen merit in an old theory that religion plays a role in economic growth. In 1988, Professor DeLong presented a paper offering statistical evidence of the theory. Full Story

6. In France, boys will be boys
Al Jazeera America

The French government has decided to discontinue a controversial pilot program that introduced gender theory at 275 elementary schools. The goal of the program was to challenge gender norms and halt sexist stereotyping. Conservative religious and right-wing groups staged massive protests. Much gender teaching is rooted in the work of Berkeley rhetoric professor Judith Butler, and some in France called the program a U.S. import. However, as this article concludes: "Butlerís work was heavily influenced by the ideas of French thinker Michel Foucault ó a point that seemed lost on the French, Robert Zaretsky, a professor of modern French history at the University of Houston, wrote in the Boston Globe." Full Story

7. Obituary: Earl Robinson dies -- was 2-sport athlete at Cal
San Francisco Chronicle

Alum Earl Robinson, a member of Cal's Athletic Hall of Fame, has died at the age of 77.
He played two sports in college -- baseball and basketball. In baseball, he was an All-America pick in 1957 when Cal won the national title, and he went on to play professionally with the Dodgers and Orioles. In basketball, he played for Pete Newell and helped the Bears win conference titles in 1956, '57 and '58. He was an All-Pacific Coast Conference pick three times, and led the bears to the NCAA Tournament twice. He returned to Cal after his baseball career to be an assistant basketball coach from 1963 to '65. Services are pending. Full Story

8. Digital gaming ignites Kabamís exploding growth
San Francisco Business Times (*requires registration)

Kabam Inc., an online gaming company founded in 2006 by four UC Berkeley graduates, is profiled. It is, according to Deloitte, the fastest-growing Internet media company in the Bay Area and was the country's 17th fastest-growing company overall in 2013. The company was valued at $700 million last year, and is now pursuing a global vision. Full Story

9. Berkeley native seeks to be youngest council member

Alumnus Sean Barry hopes to become the youngest person on the Berkeley City Council, representing District 7. The newly redrawn district is now about 86% students, and he is campaigning as a necessary liaison between the campus and the city. ďItís been nice to see more students in the last few years join commissions,Ē he says. ďI canít pretend Iím as connected to the campus as I was a few years ago, but I think what I can offer as a candidate is an understanding of the perspective of being a student, but also a broader perspective on the city. Thatís what Iíve heard a lot of students say they want ó to feel like they have a conduit in City Hall, and a pathway to getting involved.Ē For more information on his platform, visit: Full Story

10. Berkeley: Student reports attempted robbery on Cal campus
Contra Costa Times (*requires registration)

Police are looking for two men who tried to rob a student walking on campus Friday night. The attempt occurred around 8:45 p.m., and the suspects were riding bicycles. Anyone with information about the crime should call the police at (510) 642-0472 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. or (510) 642-6760 after hours. People walking on campus are reminded to be aware of their surroundings and to move away from threatening situations. Call (510) 642-3333 or use a Blue Light emergency phone to get help. Full Story

11. Robots Are SmartóBut Can They Understand Us?

The Robotics Science and Systems Conference will take place at Berkeley next week. Full Story

Today's Edition of UC Berkeley in the News