“A Day Unlike Any Other”: Two First-Person Accounts of the Capitol Riot
Two U.S. Representatives recount the harrowing events of Jan. 6. REP. LINDA SÁNCHEZ (D-CALIF.): The night before [the Electoral College vote count], I called my husband and said, “In case anything happens to me, I want you to know where my will is.” He tried to reassure me, but I couldn’t shake my growing sense […]
Snapp Chats: An Infamous Kidnapping, A Selfless Entrepreneur, and the Fight for Tenants’ Rights
The latest news from our quarterly columnist FORGET O.J. SIMPSON. The “Trial of the Century” was the Lindbergh kidnapping case in 1935, when a German immigrant named Bruno Richard Hauptmann was sent to the electric chair for killing the infant son of Charles Lindbergh, arguably the most popular man on Earth. “Lucky Lindy” had been […]
A Formula for Funny: The Surprisingly Smart Humor of The Simpsons
Three Berkeley alumni ponder the connections between advanced scholarship and comedy writing. FOR CENTURIES, FERMAT’S LAST THEOREM defied mathematicians to prove that there are, in fact, no natural numbers for x, y and z that can satisfy the equation xn+yn=zn when n is greater than 2. Countless great minds tried and failed, until 1995, when […]
The Editorial That Split the Daily Cal (And May Have Provoked a Riot)
50 years after the paper parted ways with the University, a former staffer revisits the controversial editorial that sparked the Daily Cal’s independence. Editor’s note: The Daily Californian, Berkeley’s student newspaper, marks two momentous anniversaries this year. The first is its founding, 150 years ago. Since 1871, the paper—originally called the College Echo—has been published […]
Will AI Write the Next Great American Novel?
A writer explores what happens to art when our muses become mechanical, when inspiration is not divine but digital. IN SEPTEMBER OF LAST YEAR, a startling headline appeared on the Guardian’s website: “A robot wrote this entire article. Are you scared yet, human?” The accompanying piece was written by GPT-3, or Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3, […]
Editor’s Note: Nothing Writes Itself, Yet
“This practically writes itself,” is something writers often say but don’t really believe. No story worth telling comes without toil. That could change, however, with an assist from artificial intelligence. Already, AI programs are being used to help craft poetry, stories, and essays. California’s Laura Smith examines what this new development may mean for the […]
Chancellor’s Letter: COVID and the Arts
In the absence of live theater, music, and dance, Cal Performances has orchestrated digital programs to help patrons through the pandemic. Since the pandemic began, Jeremy Geffen, director of Cal Performances, has been sending a weekly email to patrons, a playlist of half a dozen or so performing arts videos, entitled “Now, More Than Ever.” […]
Spotlight: From Berkeley to the Biden Administration
Five Cal alumni and one faculty member have joined the U.S. government—now under new management.
Meet Cal’s New Changemaker in Chief
RICH LYONS SPENT TEN YEARS (2008–2018) as dean of Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, where he himself studied as an undergraduate, before being appointed the University’s first-ever chief innovation and entrepreneurship officer in January 2020. A year later, California Editor in Chief Pat Joseph caught up with Lyons on a video call to talk about […]
Editors’ Picks: What To Read and Watch This Spring
Our editors have curated a list of entertainment to indulge in this spring. Here are their top picks of web series, books, films, and more, all produced by UC Berkeley faculty and alumni. Homeroom Directed by Peter Nicks, M.J. ’99 Your senior year of high school generally follows a well-worn script: prom, social entanglements, and anxieties […]
First Lady of Physics Gets Stamp of Approval
IN FEBRUARY, THE U.S. POSTAL SERVICE released a new Forever Stamp honoring the late Dr. Chien-Shiung Wu, one of the most influential nuclear physicists of her era. Born in China in 1912, Wu came to America at age 24 and studied nuclear physics at Cal. As a graduate student, she worked at Berkeley’s Radiation Laboratory—now […]
Researchers are Using Big Data to Combat Extreme Poverty in Togo
RESEARCHERS AT BERKELEY’S DATA-INTENSIVE development lab are using big data to deliver aid to the world’s chronically hungry—a group that has doubled in size from 135 million to more than a quarter billion during the pandemic. Lab director and associate professor Joshua Blumenstock has spent much of the past six months developing an algorithm to […]
Another Berkeley Building “Unnamed” for Its Namesake’s Controversial Past
“[Kroeber’s] actions weren’t malicious, but they were flawed. Unnaming acknowledges that there was harm done.” ON JANUARY 26, KROEBER HALL BECAME THE LATEST Berkeley campus building to be “unnamed” because of its namesake’s controversial legacy. Alfred Louis Kroeber was one of the most influential anthropologists of his era, known for studying and documenting California’s indigenous […]
In the Wake of the Capitol Riot, A Conversation on Right-Wing Ideology
Lawrence Rosenthal of the Berkeley Center for Right-Wing Studies talks fascism, nationalism, and Trumpism.
Plant-based Creations from the Newest Crop of Food Entrepreneurs
Students trained in Berkeley’s Alt: Meat Lab are serving up meat substitutes and more.
Plants for the People: The UC Botanical Garden Is Blooming and Ready for Visitors
“The garden is a resource that belongs to the people of California. And it’s right at their doorstep.” ON JULY 14, 2020, THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA BOTANICAL GARDEN at Berkeley welcomed visitors for the first time since its closure four months earlier due to the coronavirus pandemic. The garden’s executive director, plant biology professor Dr. […]
A Bug’s Life: Surviving Disease in the Colonies
Professor Neil Tsutsui talks hygiene, personal sacrifice, and other lessons humans can learn from eusocial insects.