Steven Shladover thinks that you, my human friend, are an excellent driver—and that fact makes his job exceptionally difficult. That is because Shladover, program manager at UC Berkeley’s Partners for Advanced Transportation Technology (PATH), has spent 40 years researching automated vehicle systems. The Holy Grail of this field is the self-driving car: the artificially intelligent chauffeur that promises to one day relieve us of our driving duties. If recent media accounts are to be believed, this sci-fi dream may be right around the corner, but the veteran Shladover is not so sure.
University of California
Sitting around a table together is about to get even more symbolic.
For the first time, two students, one Muslim and one Jewish, will sit together as the two student members of the University of California’s Board of Regents when the board meets in San Francisco later this month. One voted against the other’s appointment and both faced opposition and hard feelings when they were named to what remains, to many, an obscure post on UC’s system-wide governing body.
Posted on September 11, 2014 - 4:08pm
A forklift operator at Wild Horse Winery near Paso Robles was maneuvering between barrel rows in the wine cellar when suddenly the ground started to shake. The 18-foot-high stacks swayed above her and then collapsed, burying her in an avalanche of 600-pound barrels. It took rescuers over an hour to reach her, after carefully draining and removing barrels one by one.
Posted on September 10, 2014 - 2:45pm
George Ban-Weiss is all about being cool: Not only does coolness figuratively define his work as a professional jazz bassist, it almost literally defines his career as a scientist.
His work was pivotal in persuading the city of Los Angeles to require this year that new and renovated residential rooftops be “cool roofs”—reflecting rather than absorbing the sun’s heat. It’s an idea that could someday spread throughout California and other sun-soaked metropolises.
Posted on September 4, 2014 - 3:44pm
As the U.S. Forest Service finalizes plans to restore forests torched in last year’s Yosemite-area Rim Fire—the third largest in state history—conservationists are worried that the scheme skimps on environmental protection. Also concerned is one of the state’s top forestry experts, a UC Berkeley professor who warns that replanting trees the traditional way will simply sow the seeds for the next conflagration.
Posted on September 2, 2014 - 12:23pm
The first thing likely to hit viewers of a new photo exhibit on the UC Berkeley campus—given that it features images from some of the most strife-torn places in the world—is the lack of any graphic violence.
Posted on August 27, 2014 - 4:43pm
Saving your life when the Big One finally rocks California? Yeah, there’s an app for that.
Posted on August 24, 2014 - 12:30pm
Legend has long engulfed UC Berkeley’s iconic Jane K. Sather Tower—the Cal Campanile , which was completed 100 years ago and is celebrating its centennial this academic year. Perhaps you’ve heard that it contains prehistoric fossils?
Posted on August 20, 2014 - 4:07pm
Update: The Berkeley City Council on May 12 unanimously voted to make Berkeley the nation’s first city with a “Right to Know” law about health risks associated with radio frequency radiation from cell phones.
Posted on August 19, 2014 - 11:55am
The police shooting of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, is the lead story on all broadcast, social media and print outlets, pushing out the Gaza conflict, ISIS in Iraq, and the war in Ukraine. It’s caused unease across the country and along the full range of the political spectrum. That’s because it’s not just about a single cop shooting a single teenager. It’s about two trends affecting the United States from coast to coast.
Posted on August 15, 2014 - 3:51pm
As California’s drought drags on, is it time for universities to shut off their sprinklers and bid their velvety, emerald-green campus lawns farewell?
Posted on August 14, 2014 - 4:22pm
Today UC Berkeley scientists are announcing that they have probably identified, in samples returned from a NASA probe, particles of interstellar matter—the first samples of “stardust” from beyond our solar system.
Obtaining the dust motes has been an achievement of staggering technical proficiency in extracting the infinitesimal from the infinite.
Posted on August 14, 2014 - 10:57am
The two robots spin and lurch, their little electric motors whirring against each other as a bevy of kids look on, their eyes bulging and their shoulders scrunched almost up to their ears in rapt attention. A girl of about 12 with long black hair scratches her chin, smiling nervously—a smile that twists into a grimace as her robot battles too near the edge of the circular table. She talks to her robot, goads it on, giggles. When that fails, she resorts to body English, rapping her right hand against her hip three times.
Posted on August 12, 2014 - 3:47pm