The question at the center of Daniel Chatman’s latest paper seems like it already should have been answered: Just how much is public transportation worth to a city? Although city planning papers had examined public transit’s financial effects before, Chatman, an assistant professor of city and regional planning, found none researched the link between public transportation, worker productivity, and increased wages. That gap led Chatman to create a model that could accurately predict the financial benefits different public transit systems bring to the cities they serve.
Imagine a website that could offer you personalized medical advice. You could log on and input your symptoms and medical history. The program would then compare your situation to that of other people with a similar condition, perhaps analyze your genotype, consult with a few hundred doctors as necessary, and then provide you with a diagnosis and treatment recommendation.
With government funding more scarce, corporations have stepped in to underwrite an increasing amount of research in academia—as we’ve reported, industry now accounts for about 10 percent of funding for research at UC Berkeley, double the percentage it was two decades ago. But what about the iconoclastic researchers—the ones whose work is either irrelevant to, or at cross-purposes with, the profit-minded interests of corporate funders?
Posted on December 2, 2013 - 4:24pm
Na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na… BATPHONE!
Or possibly Batwatch, or BatGPS, or Batslideshow-controller, or Batscreen with gestural interface. Really, the possibilities are endless within the realm of electronic devices you could control by waving your hand—like, say, a miniature symphony orchestra, or the stereo in the Batmobile.
Posted on November 14, 2013 - 10:35am
Three UC Berkeley computer science researchers walk into a bar. A facial-recognition camera scans each of their faces individually, and they soon hear their favorite music blasting (or wafting) from the bar’s speakers.
Posted on November 5, 2013 - 6:49pm
Cal is replete with geniuses, of course, but it’s always gratifying when one is recognized as such. That happened today to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory physicist and “sound savior” Carl Haber, who has been named one of 2013’s MacArthur Genius Grant recipients.
Posted on October 23, 2013 - 3:22pm
Posted on October 17, 2013 - 5:32pm
As the Bay Area celebrates the opening of a new Bay Bridge—an eastern span that transportation officials are hailing as elegant and seismically secure—UC Berkeley engineers are expressing serious misgivings about whether the structure is safe. And at least one professor labels it far less stable than the old bridge.
Posted on August 28, 2013 - 10:37am
Posted on August 27, 2013 - 3:48pm
Tell people you’ve invented “the world’s first origami kayak,” and you’re likely to be met with wry grins and chuckles. The mind runs to images of paddlers astride giant paper gewgaws, sodden and sinking in the surf. But, rest assured, the Oru Kayak is no joke: It’s a sleek, honest-to-god kayak that folds together in minutes from a single sheet of corrugated plastic, then folds again into a carrying case about the size and shape of an overstuffed garment bag.
When close to three dozen anchor rods snapped on the nearly completed new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge this spring, it was just the latest in a series of controversies that have dogged the $6.4 billion project since the start.
When I first got to know Joe Blum nearly 40 years ago, he was a union boilermaker working as a shipfitter and welder in the fabrication shops and shipyards of the Bay Area. Joe was a single dad and a workingman. He had dropped out of grad school at Berkeley to enlist in the progressive politics of the day, making common cause with his union mates. He hadn’t yet taken up photography in a serious way.
Warren Hellman was driving home to San Francisco from Stinson Beach a while back when he saw a woman hitchhiking. He pulled over. “I said, ‘Are you an axe murderer or anything?’
“Create your own future,” cried the new age tapes I chanced upon in a California bookstore a few years ago. Not far away, at the Crystal Cathedral in Orange County, the Reverend Robert H. Schuller was singing his own gospel of “Possibility Thinking” with the help of books called Your Future Is Your Friend and Success Is Never Ending, Failure Is Never Final. Around him, the latest immigrants, from Vietnam, Mexico, Taiwan, were acting with their feet on those very notions.