Kerr Symposium, celebration of'student experience' this fall
This fall, UC Santa Cruz will welcome many of this country's biggest names in higher education to the campus for the University of California Clark Kerr Symposium. The weekend of October 10-12 will focus on public research universities in the 21st century with an emphasis on the student experience.
Topics will include the benefits of student diversity, creating changes in curricula and instruction, and how best to develop the leaders of tomorrow. Participants include Richard Atkinson, who steps down as UC president October 1; Karl Pister, chancellor emeritus of UCSC; Donald Kennedy, president emeritus of Stanford University; I. Michael Heyman, chancellor emeritus of UC Berkeley; Judith Ramaley, of the National Science Foundation; and James Duderstadt, president emeritus of the University of Michigan. In addition, Leon Panetta, former White House chief of staff under President Clinton, will participate.
Other weekend events scheduled include the dedication of Colleges Nine and Ten, UCSC's first-ever scholarships benefit dinner, and a celebratory brunch to mark the 10th anniversary of the prestigious Karl S. Pister Leadership Opportunity Awards Program. Alumni, students, parents, and friends of UCSC are invited to attend the festivities. Advance registration is required for some events; for details, see kerrsymposium.ucsc.edu.
"We are proud to host these esteemed leaders for a discussion of ways to strengthen education and enhance the student experience in the 21st century," said UCSC Chancellor M.R.C. Greenwood."This is an extraordinary opportunity to celebrate the campus and our unique undergraduate colleges."
The symposium, taking place Friday, will be followed by the Saturday dedication of Colleges Nine and Ten."UCSC has pioneered the role of the colleges within the public research university, and the college is at the heart of the UC Santa Cruz student experience," said Greenwood.
During the gala benefit dinner Saturday evening, Atkinson will be presented with the first UCSC Foundation Medal in recognition of his exemplary leadership. Proceeds from the dinner will help support undergraduate scholarships and graduate fellowships, as well as undergraduate internships, community service, and research opportunities.
The Pister Scholars Brunch on Sunday will unite current and alumni recipients of the community-college transfer student scholarship program that was established in 1993 by then-chancellor Pister.
"We look forward to welcoming alumni back to campus and making new connections with parents of current students and other members of the UCSC family," said Greenwood.
Numerous individuals and organizations have provided generous gifts to support the symposium, scholarship dinner, and other events. They include the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, UC Regent John Moores, Thomas Pritzker, Robert Bisno Sr., and Tim Weiss.
Linguist elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences
UCSC linguistics professor Geoffrey K. Pullum has joined Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, journalist Walter Cronkite, philanthropist William Gates Sr., Nobel Prize-winning physicist Donald Glaser, recording industry pioneer Ray Dolby, and U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, as a newly elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
The 2003 class includes four college presidents, three Nobel Prize recipients, and four Pulitzer Prize winners.
"Newly elected Fellows are selected through a highly competitive process that recognizes those who have made preeminent contributions to their disciplines," noted Academy President Patricia Meyer Spacks.
Pullum is coauthor of The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, the first definitive grammar reference book of standard international English in more than 20 years. He has published a dozen books and nearly 200 articles on the scientific study of language.
In 2002-03, UCSC received $22.7 million in private support
UC Santa Cruz received $22.7 million in private support in the form of gifts and grants during 2002-03, the second-largest total ever raised by the campus. A record $24.4 million was raised in 2000.
"The generous support from our donors is especially critical as the campus faces the funding challenges posed by the state budget shortfall," said Chancellor M.R.C. Greenwood.
The largest single gift came from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, which gave $9.1 million to establish a Laboratory for Adaptive Optics.
A tradition of support for the Baskin School of Engineering continued with a $1 million gift from philanthropist Jack Baskin.
Making science more engaging for undergraduates was the goal of a $1 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to Manuel Ares, a professor of molecular, cell, and developmental biology.
UCSC's New Teacher Center drew $1.7 million from various sources, including a $750,000 grant from the Carnegie Corporation.
Individual donors also provided crucial support to the campus. Gifts to the Annual Fund, including gifts from UC Santa Cruz Foundation trustees, alumni, parents, and friends, totaled $2.6 million. This included $100,000 for the Alumni Association Scholarship Fund.
Trustees of the UC Santa Cruz Foundation, which supports the campus through advocacy and private fundraising efforts, gave $1.3 million this past year, with 100 percent participation from board members.
Actor Nicolas Cage pays surprise visit to UCSC film class
A jolt of electricity shot through a UCSC classroom on an afternoon last May when Academy Award-winning actor Nicolas Cage stepped onstage for a surprise visit to Assistant Professor David Crane's Techno-Thrillers film class.
The star of more than 40 feature films including Raising Arizona, Leaving Las Vegas, Guarding Tess, Red Rock West, and Moonstruck, Cage appeared on campus with his cousin, Roman Coppola, a film and music video director, and the son of director Francis Ford Coppola.
The visit was arranged by Chip Lord, chair of UCSC's Film and Digital Media Department, who had met Roman Coppola through a mutual friend. Three days before the visit, Lord said,"Roman called me at home and said, 'my cousin just invited me to go to Europe, but I don't want to hang you up.' Then he put Nick Cage on the phone, and Cage offered to come to UCSC with Roman when they got back from Europe. I said: 'it sounds like you're making me an offer I can't refuse.' "
At UC Santa Cruz, Cage displayed the same combination of intensity and sincerity that has made him such a riveting presence on screen. He fielded questions from Crane's class of 350 for well over an hour, covering a wide range of topics, from Hollywood relationships to production design.
Asteroid may collide with Earth . . . in 2880
If an asteroid crashes into the Earth, it is likely to splash down somewhere in the oceans that cover 70 percent of the planet's surface. Huge tsunamis, spreading out from the impact site like ripples from a rock tossed into a pond, would inundate heavily populated coastal areas.
A computer simulation of an asteroid-impact tsunami, developed by scientists at UC Santa Cruz, shows waves as high as 400 feet sweeping onto the U.S. Atlantic Coast.
The researchers based their simulation on a real asteroid known to be on course for a close encounter with Earth eight centuries from now. Steven Ward, a researcher at UCSC's Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, and Erik Asphaug, an associate professor of Earth sciences, reported their findings in the June issue of the Geophysical Journal International.
On March 16, 2880, the asteroid known as 1950 DA, a huge rock two-thirds of a mile in diameter, is due to approach Earth. If it collides with the planet, it wouldn't mark the first such collision. The "K/T impact " ended the age of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.
Dynes named 18th president of UC
Robert C. Dynes, a first-generation college graduate who went on to become a distinguished physicist and chancellor of UC San Diego, was named the 18th president of the University of California system in June by the UC Board of Regents.
Dynes will become president of the 10-campus UC system on October 2. He succeeds Richard C. Atkinson, who is retiring from the UC presidency after eight years.
Dynes was selected from a national pool of more than 300 candidates. The recommendation was made by a regental selection committee that was advised by faculty, staff, students, and alumni.
"I am delighted with the choice of Chancellor Bob Dynes," said UCSC Chancellor M.R.C. Greenwood."He brings to this task his international scholarly reputation, his record of extraordinary achievements at UC San Diego, a strong sense of personal optimism, and integrity."
Dynes, 60, is an expert on semiconductors and superconductors who spent a 22-year career at AT&T Bell Labs before coming to UC San Diego in 1991. He was appointed chancellor in 1996.
UCSC scientist part of team decoding gamma-ray burst mystery
Scientists have pieced together the key elements of a gamma-ray burst, from star death to dramatic black hole birth, thanks to a March explosion considered the "Rosetta stone " of such bursts.
The results were described in the June 19 issue of Nature, in an article coauthored by Stan Woosley, professor and former chair of astronomy and astrophysics at UC Santa Cruz.
The telling March 29 burst in the constellation Leo, one of the brightest and closest on record, reveals for the first time that a gamma-ray burst and a supernova--the two most energetic explosions known in the universe--occur essentially simultaneously, a quick and powerful one-two punch.
The burst was detected by NASA's High-Energy Transient Explorer and observed in detail with the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope in Chile.
"The March 29 burst changes everything," said Woosley."With this missing link established, we know for certain that at least some gamma-ray bursts are produced when black holes, or perhaps very unusual neutron stars, are born inside massive stars."
The research team said that just as the Rosetta stone helped us understand an ancient language, this burst will serve as a tool to decode other gamma-ray bursts.
Woosley and his graduate student, Weiqun Zhang, created computer simulations of a gamma-ray burst using one of the fastest unclassified computers in the world, at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Using 128 computer processors simultaneously, Woosley said the simulations took about two weeks--or about 25,000 processor hours.
A supernova is the explosion of a star at least eight times as massive as the Sun.
When such stars deplete their nuclear fuel, they no longer have the energy to support their mass. Their cores implode, forming either a neutron star or (if there is enough mass) a black hole. The surface layers of the star blast outward, becoming a billion times as luminous as the Sun.
Scientists have suspected gamma-ray bursts and supernovae were related, but they have had little observational evidence, until March 29.
Center helps students bridge cultures, build friendships
When exchange student Midori Iwanabe arrived at UCSC from Tokyo a year ago, she felt nervous about interacting with American students and apprehensive about the U.S. university system. By spring quarter, Iwanabe had become a successful student with a network of close friends.
"I have a feeling of belonging here," said Iwanabe, who credits College Nine's new International Living Center (ILC) with providing support and a sense of community." When I arrived, I didn't know anybody. Now, almost every night my friends come for tea. It's more a feeling of living in America than just visiting."
Iwanabe shares an apartment with exchange students from France and Australia, as well as two U.S. students. Her housemates have helped Iwanabe with English and shared American traditions with her, and she has taught them about Japanese cooking and her own traditions.
Like a mini-United Nations, the ILC opened last fall to foster cross-cultural understanding and is now home to more than 100 undergraduates, about half of whom are exchange students from other countries.
Stimulating series of lectures open to all
A distinguished array of speakers--focusing on everything from Islam and California to biotechnology--are coming to UCSC during 2003-04.
Special presentations like these, arranged by UCSC's academic divisions and departments, have long been enjoyed by members of the campus community. Beginning this year, the campus will make them more visible and accessible to the public through expanded publicity and outreach.
"The campus is eager to bring these engaging, thought-provoking lectures--addressing a wide range of scientific, social, and political issues--to the broader community," said Ronald P. Suduiko, vice chancellor for University Relations.
The following lectures are open to the public and free. For updated information, call the University Events Office at (831) 459-5390, or go to events.ucsc.edu/lectures.
2003 Sidhartha Maitra Memorial Lecture
Fall Halliday Lecture
First Annual Keeley Lecture
Faculty Research Lecture
Alumni Banana Slug Spring Fair Lecture
Spring Halliday Lecture
Center for Justice, Tolerance, and Community Lecture
Parents may inhibit girls' performance, interest in science
Parents are more likely to believe that science is less interesting and more difficult for their daughters than sons, and their beliefs appear to affect children's interest and performance in science, according to research published in Developmental Psychology.
The study, "Parent-Child Conversations About Science: The Socialization of Gender Inequities?" may help explain why women remain underrepresented in the science and engineering labor force, according to authors Harriet Tenenbaum, a graduate of the UCSC doctoral program in psychology and a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard, and Campbell Leaper, a professor of psychology at UCSC. The article presents the findings of Tenenbaum's dissertation research; Leaper was her adviser.
Tenenbaum and Leaper found that parents also appear to use different language when discussing science and interpersonal relationships with their sons and daughters. Fathers who were observed were more likely to use challenging or scientific language with their sons than with their daughters, while they were more likely to ask daughters challenging questions about interpersonal dilemmas.
Tenenbaum and Leaper speculate that the differences contribute to the gender gap in scientific and interpersonal interest and skills. Only 23 percent of people employed in the sciences are women.
In their study, Tenenbaum and Leaper asked 52 boys and girls around 11 and 13 years old to indicate how much they enjoyed science and how good they were at science. There was no gender difference in children's grades or interest in science or math.
Mel Wong, a renowned choreographer, dancer, and visual artist, died of a heart attack in July in Santa Cruz. He was 64.
Wong established an international reputation, first as a performer with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, and then as a choreographer, teacher, and performer with the Mel Wong Dance Company. He had been a professor of dance in the Theater Arts Department at UC Santa Cruz since 1989.
Wong's dance background included professional training in ballet and modern dance in California and New York. He toured internationally with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company (1968-72) and later formed his own dance company.
At press time, a public celebration of Wong's life was being planned for late September.
Richard Hooper, a politics major who graduated with honors from UCSC in 1985, was killed in August when a bomb exploded outside United Nations headquarters in Baghdad. At press time, other details concerning his death were not known. Hooper, a U.N. expert on Arab affairs, was 40.
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