UC Berkeley

Mass Appeal: Researchers Score Public Support—and Cash—Via Crowdfunding

Marcus Lehmann is at work alongside a 50-meter-long water tank in a high-ceilinged engineering lab at UC Berkeley’s O’Brien Hall, surrounded by wrenches, tape, wires, electronics, pipes, lab notebooks and other flotsam and jetsam. Within the tank, he generates ocean-like waves to test a promising invention: a carpet-like device that captures wave energy. It holds the promise of someday being able to harness the power of the ocean, a potential huge source of renewable energy.

NPR’s White House Reporter Tells Grads A Secret to Her Success: Not Realizing Limitations

Tamara Keith—National Public Radio’s new White House correspondent—told graduating philosophy majors that when she received her UC Berkeley degree in philosophy 15 years ago, her dream job was to cover presidential campaigns for MTV.

“But,” she quipped, “covering the White House for NPR would have been a very close second.”

As the department’s distinguished alumni speaker, she offered graduates the following triad of advice: “Never give up. Don’t take no for an answer. Seek out mentors.”

Hyena Heave-Ho: Time’s Up for UC Berkeley’s Unique Captive Research Colony

What Berkeleyite has not heard them, hooting and gibbering at twilight across the East Bay hills? As the romance novelists might say, it sent a frisson down your spine, made you somehow feel that you were an early hominid on the African veldt, vulnerable to large and toothy predators.

A Vacation Goes South

I knew we were in trouble as soon as our minivan crested the hill at 8 a.m., about 30 miles south of Guatemala’s border with Mexico. A band of heavily armed men suddenly erupted from the jungle, taking positions in the center of the road. Cloth bags with eye holes masked their faces.

The cowled gunmen surrounded us, screaming orders in a local dialect, their weapons trained through the van’s windows at our heads. In response, the driver turned up a narrow dirt path into the dense jungle.

From the Summer 2012 North South issue of California.

Aiming To Be a Small World After All: Cal’s Plan to Shrink a Big, ‘Impersonal’ Campus

Peter Chernin loved his time as an undergraduate at UC Berkeley. The media mogul—who served as president and chief operating officer of News Corp for more than a decade, and now owns his own media, technology and entertainment group—has attributed his success in part to the English degree he earned in 1974: To be a good leader, he’s said, you need empathy, and the best way to learn empathy is to study literature.

When Cal’s Human-Powered Vehicle Snapped in Two, Nobody Expected How it Would End

Things were looking bleak for the UC Berkeley Human Powered Vehicle Team last weekend, and the timing couldn’t have been worse.

The team, all engineering majors, were on the verge of their big competition: the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Human Powered Vehicle Competition West, in Santa Clara. Rider Andrew Taylor had just started his practice run on Saturday morning when Reuben, the state-of-the-art vehicle that he and his cohorts had spent seven months building, crashed on the first lap.

Cal Architecture Grad Asks Fellow Alums to Urge Toy Titan: LEGO My Campanile

Michael Lin liked playing with Legos as a kid. In fact, he couldn’t get enough of the strangely compelling little plastic building blocks. Literally.

“My family wasn’t wealthy, so I never had as many as I wanted,” Lin recalls. “But I was fascinated with them, with their possibilities.”

Ambitious Plan for a Captive Readership: Berkeley MBA Students Advise Inmate Newspaper

It was an early fall day when the gates of San Quentin State Prison clanged shut behind the unusual team of consultants on its way to meet the equally unusual team of clients.

“I was apprehensive,” admits Laura Tilghman, an MBA student at UC Berkeley who had never stepped into a prison before. “It was such different circumstances and territory.”

The clients, most of them serving life sentences, didn’t know what to expect either. Why would students from one of the top business schools in the state want to visit inmates at the state’s oldest prison?

Berkeley Econ Study: No Keystone XL Pipeline Keeps a Billion Oil Barrels Underground

For avid watchers of the political saga known as Keystone, it’s another cliffhanger.

Last Friday, the U.S. State Department announced it would kick the can on deciding whether to approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, blowing past its prior May deadline and ensuring that the project will endure as a partisan talking point until well after the November midterm election.

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