Lectures & Learning Opportunities

Check back often as events will be added to the website frequently — right up until Homecoming weekend!

Parents’ Info Lounge

10/18/19 10 a.m.4 p.m.  
10/19/19 9 a.m.1 p.m.  

Come by for a chance to talk with campus leadership about topics specific to Cal Parents and families. Learn what resources are available for you and get advice on how your student can make the most of their time on campus. Plan on having a chance to talk to the Dean of Students and many of the colleges as well as parent, housing, and other teams to help you help your student thrive!

Check back in August for the schedule of deans and faculty who will be in the lounge.

Sponsored by: 
Cal Parents
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Black Holes: Beyond Reasonable Doubt

10/18/19 5 p.m.6 p.m.  

Black holes, long thought to be only the products of theoretical physicists’ fertile imaginations, have now been shown to exist beyond a reasonable doubt. The best recent evidence comes from the detection of merging pairs of black holes, rapidly orbiting stars in the centers of galaxies, and the stunning image (revealed in April 2019) of the shadow of a black hole in the center of galaxy M87. Come learn about black holes and the amazing observations that reveal them.

Speaker(s): 
Alex Filippenko
Professor, Astronomy

Alex Filippenko is one of the world’s most highly cited astronomers and the only person to have served on both teams that simultaneously discovered the Nobel-worthy accelerating expansion of the universe. Voted UC Berkeley’s “Best Professor” a record nine times, he appears frequently on TV documentaries and is addicted to observing total solar eclipses throughout the globe (16 so far).

Sponsored by: 
Class of 1994
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Arleigh Williams Forum: Student Perspectives on Access

10/18/19 10 a.m.11 a.m.  

What does it really mean for a UC Berkeley student to access the campus? Physical accessibility is key, but it may be just a part of how students need to — and seek to — access and participate in the campus community. You are invited to explore all components of Cal’s accessibility in a panel discussion with current students.

Sponsored by: 
Order of the Golden Bear
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On the Outside: Prisoner Reentry and Reintegration

10/18/19 10 a.m.11 a.m.  

Professor Harding will discuss the challenges of prisoner reintegration in the era of mass incarceration and how we can reduce recidivism and improve the well-being of the formerly incarcerated. His recent book, On the Outside, examines the lives of 22 people — varied in race and gender but united by their time in the criminal justice system — as they pass out of the prison gates and back into society. For more information, see ontheoutsidebook.us.

Speaker(s): 
David J. Harding
Professor of Sociology and Faculty Director, Social Sciences D-Lab

David Harding studies poverty, inequality, criminal justice, education, urban communities, and culture. He is the author of Living the Drama: Community, Conflict, and Culture Among Inner-City Boys (2010) and On the Outside: Prisoner Reentry and Reintegration (2019).

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Three Lessons for the Greater Good from the Golden State Warriors

10/18/19 10 a.m.11 a.m.  

Over the last five years, the Golden State Warriors have not only distinguished themselves by their record-setting accomplishments on the court but by the unique team culture they have built, centering on values like compassion, joy, and mindfulness. Drawing on cutting-edge research, Jason Marsh will discuss how those values help to explain the Warriors’ success. Not just for basketball fans, this talk will highlight the keys to building successful teams, strong relationships, and a happy, meaningful life. 

Speaker(s): 
Jason Marsh
Editor in Chief and Director of Programs, Greater Good Science Center

Jason Marsh founded the Greater Good Science Center’s award-winning online magazine, Greater Good. He has written on subjects ranging from the psychology of the bystander to the reasons why he should finally start meditating, and has produced the GGSC’s popular online course and podcast The Science of Happiness. He is a co-editor of two anthologies of Greater Good articles: The Compassionate Instinct and Are We Born Racist?. Marsh’s writing has also appeared in the Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, and the opinion section of CNN.com.

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AI and Robots Will Diversify Human Thinking, Not Replace It

10/18/19 11:30 a.m.12:30 p.m.  

Should we believe headlines about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robots stealing jobs, replacing drivers, doctors, and lawyers? Are AI and robots an existential threat to humans? “Automation Anxiety” has a long history, with widespread pronouncements about the imminent loss of jobs to automation. In contrast to the science-fiction fearmongering around “Singularity,” Goldberg proposes an inclusive alternative: “Multiplicity,” wherein diverse groups of humans work together with diverse groups of machines to innovate and solve problems. He will share results from his research in robotics and a global study suggesting how AI could lead to a more productive and inclusive future for humans. 
 

Speaker(s): 
Ken Goldberg
Professor and Department Chair, Industrial Engineering and Operations Research

Ken Goldberg teaches and supervises research in Robotics, Automation, and New Media. He is professor of industrial engineering and operations research, with secondary appointments in EECS, the School of Information, art practice, and the UCSF department of radiation oncology. Goldberg and his co-authors have published over 200 peer-reviewed technical papers on algorithms for robotics, automation, and social information filtering. He holds eight U.S. patents and was awarded the Presidential Faculty Fellowship by President Clinton in 1995, the National Science Foundation Faculty Fellowship in 1994, the Joseph Engelberger Robotics Award in 2000, and was elected IEEE Fellow in 2005.

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Fake News. What’s New?

10/18/19 11:30 a.m.12:30 p.m.  

Fake news is hardly a new phenomenon, whether malicious (Joseph McCarthy’s phantom Communists) or merely mistaken (“Dewey Defeats Truman!”). So why do we feel so victimized by it now? Or, to put it more psychologically, why do we feel the need to protect other people from it — since we are generally confident that we can tell the difference? This talk is based on the recent Freshman Seminars on “fake news.”

Speaker(s): 
Daniel F. Melia
Professor Emeritus, Rhetoric and Celtic Studies

Daniel Melia took all his degrees at Harvard (in English and then Celtic studies) and came to Cal in 1972 as an assistant professor of rhetoric. His publications have included articles and books on Celtic languages and literature, classical and medieval literature and rhetoric, and skin cancer. At Berkeley, he has served as an undergraduate and graduate dean, department chair, and member and chair of several Academic Senate committees. He also won the Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions in 1998.

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The Future of Precision Disease Diagnostics

10/18/19 11:30 a.m.12:30 p.m.  

A business maxim that is also applicable to medicine goes: “If you can’t measure something, you can’t understand it. If you can’t understand it, you can’t control it.” Bioengineers are working to transform medicine into a precise — even personalized — discipline. Professor Amy Herr’s laboratory is pushing the boundaries of what can be measured so as to gain deeper knowledge of what “goes wrong” in disease at the cellular and molecular level. She will share how advances in the microelectronics industry have powered new tools for disease diagnostics.

Speaker(s): 
Amy Herr
Lloyd Distinguished Professor, Bioengineering; Investigator, Chan Zuckerberg Biohub; Faculty Director, Bakar Fellows Program

Amy E. Herr focuses on understanding unique microscale phenomena to create measurement tools that advance the “mathematization” of biology and medicine. She received her Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Stanford University in 2002 and has been recognized as a National Institutes of Health New Innovator, an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow, and a Visionary Award honoree by the City of Berkeley.

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Capturing Chemotherapy Drugs before They Spread Through the Body

10/18/19 1:30 p.m.2:30 p.m.  

Chemotherapy can kill cancer cells very effectively, but leftover drugs can spread and potentially poison healthy cells elsewhere in the body. Using 3D printing, Professor Balsara’s team has created a “drug sponge” that can absorb excess chemo drugs before they spread. The device will be placed at a predetermined location using minimally invasive surgery during chemotherapy and removed at the end of the procedure. Their first target is liver cancer, wherein the device will be placed in the blood vessel exiting the liver.

Speaker(s): 
Nitash Balsara
Professor, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering and Principal Investigator, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Nitash Balsara has been a UC Berkeley faculty member since 2000 and has started two companies. These are Seeo, Inc., and more recently, Blue Current, LLC, which focuses on solving one of the problems of lithium-ion batteries: flammability. His research interests include microstructured polymer materials, light, and neutron scattering.

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Climate Change and Wildlife in California

10/18/19 1:30 p.m.2:30 p.m.  

Forecasts of climate change on biodiversity are typically based on models of species associations at contemporary locations and often produce alarming conclusions. Professor Beissinger will report on a 15-year effort to direct measures of change by resampling locations throughout California that were originally surveyed for birds and mammals by Cal faculty and students in the early 1900s. This includes resurveys of small mammals and birds spanning the highest and lowest points in the continental U.S. and across the length of the California including long protected, iconic national parks (e.g., Yosemite and Death Valley) and other public and private lands.

Speaker(s): 
Steve Beissinger
Professor of Ecology & Conservation Biology, Department of Environmental Science, Policy & Management, and Museum of Vertebrate Zoology

Beissinger’s professional career has been devoted to producing ecological knowledge that can be used to both conserve biodiversity and uncover basic processes in population biology that govern how nature works. His current research centers on two of the biggest challenges facing conservation and society — wildlife responses to global change and species’ extinctions — with work carried out in California and Latin America. Beissinger is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Ecological Society of America, and the American Ornithological Society, the latter of which awarded him the William Brewster Memorial Award for his research on Western Hemisphere birds.

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CRISPR: From Basic Biology to Technological Revolution

10/18/19 1:30 p.m.2:30 p.m.  

Under constant attack from viruses, bacteria have evolved a unique and creative immune system, which scientists named “CRISPR.” In the course of investigating this intricate immune system, scientists realized that CRISPR proteins might not only improve the health of bacteria, but also that of humans. Researchers have since shown that various CRISPR proteins can be programed to cut any sequence of DNA. The ability to precisely edit genomes has revolutionized biology, medicine, and agriculture, from curing deadly genetic disorders to engineering drought-resistant plants. This talk will illuminate this groundbreaking technology and outline pressing questions society is now forced to answer.

Speaker(s): 
Kevin Doxzen
Science Communications Specialist, Innovative Genomics Institute

The Innovative Genomics Institute (IGI) is a joint research partnership between UC Berkeley and UCSF, focused on developing genome editing tools to treat genetic diseases and engineer sustainable agriculture. In his role as science communications specialist, Doxzen undertakes myriad projects in education, outreach, and communications. From designing high school CRISPR kits to developing CRISPR AR and VR apps, the IGI is working to bring educational tools to school, libraries, and hospitals. Doxzen also gives public talks, writes op-ed articles, and collaborates with various community groups to engage, equip, and empower different stakeholders with accurate information.

Sponsored by: 
Innovative Genomics Institute
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Food Slaves: Labor Trafficking in American Agriculture

10/18/19 1:30 p.m.2:30 p.m.  

Learn about the agricultural industry’s dependency on undocumented workers and how both immigration enforcement and worker visas can make them more vulnerable to abuse during this conversation between Andrés Cediel and Nina F. Ichikawa, both of the Berkeley Food Institute.

Speaker(s): 
Andrés Cediel
Professor, Graduate School of Journalism

Andrés Cediel is a professor of visual journalism. He produced a series of award-winning documentary films about the sexual abuse of immigrant women workers which ultimately resulted in legislative change. His most recent work, Trafficked in America, tells the story of unaccompanied minors from Guatemala who were forced to work against their will at an Ohio egg farm. Cediel graduated from Brown University and holds a master’s degree in journalism from UC Berkeley.

Nina F. Ichikawa
Executive Director, Berkeley Food Institute

Nina F. Ichikawa previously served in the Office of Senator Daniel K. Inouye of Hawai’i and for the USDA’s “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food” initiative during the Obama administration. She holds degrees from UC Berkeley and Meiji Gakuin University in food and agricultural policy.

Sponsored by: 
Class of 1967
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Cannabis in California: Policy, Communities and the Environment

10/18/19 3:30 p.m.4:30 p.m.  

Cannabis is unlike any other agricultural crop. Because of its circuitous history — once illegal to grow, now legal in certain states but heavily regulated — cannabis has left a unique footprint on the environment and the communities of farmers who grow it. UC Berkeley is home to the Cannabis Research Center, a multidisciplinary team of faculty exploring how cannabis production impacts the world around us. Explore how this rapidly developing field can grow with sustainability, equity, and society in mind.

Speaker(s): 
Van Butsic
Co-Director, Cannabis Research Center and and Assistant Cooperative Extension Specialist, Environmental Science, Policy, & Management

Van Butsic studies the geographic spread of cannabis agriculture using remote sensing techniques and econometric modeling.

Hekia Bodwitch
Postdoctoral Researcher, Environmental Science, Policy, & Management

Hekia Bodwitch studies how contemporary and historical resource governance initiatives impact the distribution of economic benefits and ecological burdens along food value chains.

Phoebe Parker-Shames
Graduate Student, Environmental Science, Policy, & Management

Phoebe Parker-Shames studies how land use change shapes wildlife communities across human-ecological landscapes.

Ted Grantham
Assistant Cooperative Extension Specialist, Environmental Science, Policy, & Management

Ted Grantham studies the hydrology of rivers and its role in structuring freshwater ecosystems and sustaining habitat for aquatic species.

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High Performance Athletic Lessons to Inspire You

10/18/19 3:30 p.m.4:30 p.m.  

The University of California’s athletics department strives to build a consistent culture of excellence for approximately 850 student-athletes in 30 varsity athletic programs. Cal’s elite coaches utilize strategies to build leaders who will succeed long after student-athletes have donned the blue and gold in competitive arenas. Join Cal Director of Athletics Jim Knowlton and nationally-regarded head coaches Teri McKeever (women’s swimming and diving) and Jack Clark (rugby) to learn how sports high-performance leadership and motivational strategies can inspire you to pursue excellence in your personal and professional aspirations.

Speaker(s): 
Jim Knowlton
Director of Athletics

Jim Knowlton is in his second year as director of athletics, having established himself as a dynamic leader and accomplished administrator through service in intercollegiate athletics and the U.S. Army. Prior to his coming to Berkeley, Knowlton served as AD at Air Force for three years and previously spent seven overseeing the athletic department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he was named the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Athletic Director of the Year. Throughout his career, Knowlton has focused on and successfully fostered programs that place a premium on leadership and character development among student-athletes, coaches, and staff.

Teri McKeever
Head Coach, Women’s Swimming and Diving

Regarded as one of the most accomplished swimming mentors in the United States — if not the world — Teri McKeever is entering her 29th season overseeing the women’s swimming and diving program. Over the course of her career with the Golden Bears, she has guided Cal to four NCAA and four Pac-12 team championships, and top three finishes at the NCAA Championships 11 years in a row for the longest current streak in the country. In 2012, McKeever served as head coach of the U.S. Olympic women’s swimming team in London, a unit that included six past, present, and future Golden Bears who produced 13 medals for Team USA.

Jack Clark
Head Coach, Rugby

Jack Clark is entering his 37th year as head coach, and has directed the Golden Bears to 24 national 15s and five national sevens championships. Under his leadership, Cal has posted records of 671-94-5 (.875) in 15s and 174-19-0 (.901) in sevens, earning him UC Berkeley’s Glenn T. Seaborg Award, a Living Legend honor by Pac-12 Networks, and a selection to the Cal Athletic Hall of Fame. Clark has produced 136 All-Americans and 48 players with 715 combined appearances on the United States National 15s Team. A member of the U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame, Clark served as the head coach of the U.S. National Team from 1993–99.

Sponsored by: 
Cal Athletics
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