Lectures & Learning Opportunities

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

Film Screening: Horse Feathers

Friday 4 p.m.5:30 p.m.  

BAMPFA celebrates Homecoming with this perennial Marx Brothers favorite, including an unforgettable send-up of the weekend’s big football game.

$8-12 per person.

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Einstein Triumphs: The Magnificent Detection of Gravitational Waves

Friday 5 p.m.6 p.m.  

Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity predicts the existence of ripples in the fabric of space-time. Such gravitational waves have been detected from several pairs of merging black holes. And on October 16, astronomers announced the detection of a colliding pair of neutron stars with both gravitational waves and light, signaling the birth of a black hole!

Speaker(s): 
Alex Filippenko
Professor of 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).

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California's Native Languages: History and Revival

Saturday 9 a.m.10 a.m.  

In this lecture we will discuss the unique language profile of California, whose 90 or more Native languages belong to more than a dozen different language families. UC Berkeley researchers have played a central role in documenting these languages, even as Europeans have decimated their communities and European languages have replaced them in daily usage. Language restoration is an active effort throughout our state, and documentation in Berkeley archives can be used in this effort.

Speaker(s): 
Andrew Garrett
Professor of Linguistics and Nadine M. Tang & Bruce L. Smith Professor of Cross-Cultural Social Sciences

Andrew Garrett received his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1990 and has taught at Berkeley, Stanford, and the University of Texas at Austin. His research concerns language change and linguistic reconstruction, and the documentation and revitalization of Native languages of California, especially the Karuk and Yurok languages.

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Differences in Noise Pollution Across the United States

Saturday 9 a.m.10 a.m.  

Noise can trigger the sympathetic nervous system, resulting in the release of stress hormones. Research has linked nighttime noise, in particular, to sleep disturbance, impaired cognitive performance, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and adverse birth outcomes. No one has described the burden of environmental noise in the U.S. since the 1980s. In a new study, we found substantial differences in noise exposure along racial and socioeconomic lines nationwide.

Speaker(s): 
Joan Casey
Postdoctoral scholar, School of Public Health

Joan Casey received her doctoral degree from the department of environmental health sciences at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2014. Her research focuses on using electronic health records and spatial statistics to study the relationship between emerging environmental exposures and population health. Casey has an interest in a range of exposures including unconventional natural gas and oil development, environmental noise pollution, and concentrated animal feeding operations. 

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Going Down the Up Escalator of Climate Change

Saturday 9 a.m.10 a.m.  

Some of the most promising solutions for slowing climate change also bring immediate benefits for human health, agricultural productivity, and climate equity.  We describe the reasons for advancing these solutions, our research on why it is timely to start now, and the momentum that the state and UC system have attained towards these worthy environmental objectives.

Speaker(s): 
William D. Collins
Senior Scientist and Director, Climate and Ecosystem Sciences, Berkeley Lab; Professor in Residence, Earth and Planetary Science

William Collins is an internationally recognized expert in climate modeling and climate change science. Collins’s role in launching the Department of Energy’s Accelerated Climate Model for Energy (ACME) program was awarded the U.S. Department of Energy Secretary’s Achievement Award on May 7, 2015.  He is also a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).  He was a Lead Author on the Fourth Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), for which the IPCC was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.  Dr. Collins received his undergraduate degree in physics from Princeton University and earned an M.S. and Ph.D. in astrophysics from the University of Chicago.

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Cal Parents 101: Weathering the Transition

Saturday 10:30 a.m.11:30 a.m.  

Dropping your children off at Berkeley can be an emotional moment that signals the start of their transition into adulthood. In this mid-semester check-in, staff from four different departments will describe the academic, health, and other resources available to you and your student as well as answer your questions. Don’t miss this dynamic conversation dedicated to helping you feel at ease and empowering your student to make the most of Berkeley.

Speaker(s): 
Roseanne Fong
Director, Undergraduate Advising, Letters and Science

Roseanne Fong ’83 provides academic advising and counseling to approximately 19,000 students on program planning, procedures, degree requirements, enrichment opportunities, and exploring majors. 

Paige Lee
Psychologist, Counseling and Psychological Services

Paige Lee ’84 is a therapist and undergraduate adviser for the College of Letters and Science. She understands the college experience from various perspectives and uses this knowledge in her work with students. 

David Ortega '90
Director, Cal Parent Services

Having worked at Berkeley for more than 20 years, David Ortega has a wide range of experience with Cal students and their parents. In the past, he has teamed with Cal Student Orientation (CalSO) to offer the “Family Transition” and “Letting Go” sessions at student orientation.

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Cal Spirit and Traditions

Saturday 10:30 a.m.11:30 a.m.  

Investigate the rich history of UC Berkeley from its founding to the current era. Expect to hear more than the belabored stats and quippy slogans: we’ll discuss many defining moments in the University’s history that have shaped student life and education throughout the years. From Founder’s Rock, football, and free speech to Sather Tower and the Stanford Axe, this presentation will embody everything at the heart of what it means to be a Golden Bear! 

Speaker(s): 
Conrad Brenneman

Conrad, originally from Chicago, Illinois, is a second year chemistry major and a devoted, loyal Californian. He is the Director of Traditions for the UC Rally Committee, and teaches a one-unit course on Cal History and Traditions. When he’s not doing homework, you can find Conrad taking a leisurely stroll through campus, singing Cal songs, playing card games, and cheering on the Golden Bears at a variety of events. 

Sponsored by: 
UC Rally Committee
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Information and Consumer Choices: Studies Using Supermarket Data

Saturday 10:30 a.m.11:30 a.m.  

How do consumers respond to changes in the information they’re presented with at the point of purchase? Evidence from retail field experiments in the wine category will be presented and discussed.

Speaker(s): 
Sofia Berto Villas-Boas Ph.D. '02
Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics

Sofia Berto Villas-Boas was born in Portugal. Her research interests include industrial organization, consumer behavior, food policy, and environmental regulation. She is interested on how consumers respond to product characteristics such as nutritional content; and the environmental sustainability of production practices of products. 

Sponsored by: 
College of Natural Resources
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Inventing the Future

Saturday 10:30 a.m.11:30 a.m.  

We have an audacious goal: to invent a better, more promising future for generations to come. Whatever the domain — health, cognition, work, mobility, or infrastructure — there are unprecedented opportunities for technologies to create solutions, provided we develop them responsibly. An interdisciplinary community of Berkeley Engineering researchers are working to invent our future through innovations that serve society with a consideration for ethics built in from the start. Join us for this visionary conversation featuring a panel of engineering faculty hosted by Dean Sastry.

Speaker(s): 
S. Shankar Sastry
Dean and Roy W. Carlson Professor of Engineering

S. Shankar Sastry is a Berkeley alumnus as well as a seasoned, popular professor and an internationally recognized expert on embedded and autonomous software. He has invested decades in technology research, spearheading projects to improve the nation’s cybersecurity and network infrastructure. His other research initiatives include robotics and hybrid and embedded systems. Sastry holds faculty appointments in the departments of Bioengineering; Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences; and Mechanical Engineering.

Ken Goldberg
Professor and Department Chair, Industrial Engineering and Operations Research

Ken Goldberg holds secondary appointments at Cal in EECS, Art Practice, and the School of Information; and in radiation oncology at the UCSF Medical School. He directs the CITRIS “People and Robots” initiative and the UC Berkeley AUTOLAB, where he and his students pursue research in geometric algorithms and machine learning for robotics and automation in surgery, manufacturing, and other applications.

Aaron Streets
Assistant Professor, Bioengineering

Aaron Streets joined the Bioengineering faculty in 2016 and is now a Chan Zuckerberg Biohub investigator, designing fluidic microchips to enable researchers to study single cells and make a variety of measurements on the same cell.

 

Claire Tomlin
Charles A. Desoer Chair, and Professor, Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences

Claire Tomlin’s areas of research include control, intelligent systems, and robotics (CIR); and biosystems and computational biology (BIO). Currently, she is working on research in cyber-physical systems to develop a theory of “ActionWebs” — networked, embedded, sensor-rich systems that coordinate multiple decision-makers.

Joan Walker
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering and Acting Director, Institute of Transportation Studies

Joan Walker co-directs the interdisciplinary Global Metropolitan Studies (GMS) initiative. Her research focus is behavioral modeling, with an expertise in discrete choice analysis and travel behavior. She works to improve the models that are used for transportation planning, policy, and operations.

Sponsored by: 
College of Engineering
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Students or Athletes: Can You Be Both on the Berkeley Campus?

Saturday 10:30 a.m.11:30 a.m.  

Get perspective on the student-athlete role on the Berkeley campus from an alumnus and lecturer who has been working with Cal student-athletes for more than two decades.Marshawn Lynch, Justin Forsett, Nnamdi Asomugha, Jared Goff, Davis Webb, Jaylen Brown, Ivan Rabb, Missy Franklin, and Ryan Murphy. 

Speaker(s): 
Stephen Etter
Finance Lecturer, Haas School of Business

Stephen Etter ’83, M.B.A. ’89 is one of the founding partners of Greyrock Capital Group, which manages over $700 million in four funds. Etter has been a lecturer on corporate finance for the Haas School of Business for the past 22 years — 44 consecutive semesters. His focus has been on athletes majoring in business and others planning a career in the business world after graduation. He teaches a unique, nationally-recognized course preparing student-athletes for life after Berkeley as professionals in the sports world. Prior students include Marshawn Lynch, Justin Forsett, Nnamdi Asomugha, Jared Goff, Davis Webb, Jaylen Brown, Ivan Rabb, Missy Franklin, and Ryan Murphy. Etter has been awarded the Cheit Distinguished Teaching Award twice.  20th year serving as a director of the San Francisco Giants Community Fund.

Sponsored by: 
Haas School of Business
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The 2016 Election: What Working-Class Voters Are Thinking

Saturday 10:30 a.m.12 p.m.  

The 2016 election results were a shock to many blue state residents across the country. White, working-class voters voted in droves for Donald Trump, leaving many wondering how it had happened and if this meant a new status quo. In this panel, speakers discuss the mindsets of working-class voters and how our country can bridge its gaping political divide.

Speaker(s): 
Steven Hayward
Ronald Reagan Professor of Public Policy, Pepperdine University

Steven Hayward is a visiting scholar at the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies and a Fox News commentator.

Arlie Hochschild
Professor Emerita, Department of Sociology

Professor Hochschild is the author of Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right, a finalist for the National Book Award. She conducted five years of intensive interviews with Tea Party enthusiasts in Louisiana, learning about what and how these voters see, think and feel.

Sponsored by: 
Center on Civility and Democratic Engagement, Goldman School of Public Policy, and the Berkeley Forum
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Using the Sun’s Power to Pull Water from the Desert

Saturday 10:30 a.m.11:30 a.m.  

More than two-thirds of the world’s population lives in water-stressed regions. We recently demonstrated that water in the atmosphere can be harvested to deliver fresh water using metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) — a class of materials we discovered 20 years ago. Learn about the technology currently being further developed at UC Berkeley’s College of Chemistry and the Berkeley Global Science Institute.

Speaker(s): 
Omar Yaghi
James and Neeltje Tretter Chair Professor of Chemistry

Originally from Jordan, Omar Yaghi received his B.S. from State University of New York-Albany and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois-Urbana. He was an National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow at Harvard and has been on the faculties of Arizona State University, University of Michigan, and UCLA. He is the founding director of the Berkeley Global Science Institute; and the co-director of the Kavli Energy NanoScience Institute and California Research Alliance by BASF.  

The recipient of many scientific awards, he is widely known for inventing several classes of new materials termed metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), covalent organic frameworks, and zeolitic imidazolate frameworks. These materials have the highest surface areas known to date, making them useful in clean energy storage and generation, separation of hydrogen, methane, and carbon dioxide, and in clean water production and delivery. He is among the top five most highly cited chemists worldwide, having published over 200 articles that have received, on average, more than 300 citations per paper.

Sponsored by: 
College of Chemistry
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Vacant Lots, Climate Change, and the Unexpected Future of Civic Infrastructure

Saturday 10:30 a.m.11:30 a.m.  

One of the most valuable resources making American cities more resilient in the face of climate change is the lowly vacant lot. Over the last six years, de Monchaux and his team have used digital mapping tools and data science to devise essential, efficient, and fair ways to reinforce cities’ physical, social, and ecological resilience to face the growing and multifaceted threats to our urban communities and infrastructure. This work shows how digital mapping and design methods can reveal new opportunities and design methods in our cities’ most unexpected and underappreciated environments.

Speaker(s): 
Nicholas de Monchaux
Associate Professor of Architecture and Urban Design and Director of the Berkeley Center for New Media

Nicholas de Monchaux is the author of Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo (2011), an architectural and urban history of the Apollo spacesuit, winner of the Eugene Emme award from the American Astronautical Society and shortlisted for the Art Book Prize; and Local Code: 3,659 Proposals About Data, Design, and the Nature of Cities (2016). With Kathryn Moll, he is principal of Modem. His work has been exhibited widely, including at the Biennial of the Americas, the Venice Architecture Biennale, the Lisbon Architecture Triennial, SFMOMA, and the Chicago MCA.

Sponsored by: 
College of Environmental Design
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Cal Parents 201: Seeing the Future

Saturday 12 p.m.1 p.m.  

“Is my student ready to graduate?” “Is my student prepared for the real world?” If you’ve had these thoughts or others like them, we have the answers for you. Dynamic faculty and staff members will provide insights for parents of third- and fourth-year students about the second half of their education.

Speaker(s): 
Roseanne Fong
Director, Undergraduate Advising, Letters and Science

Roseanne Fong ’83 provides academic advising and counseling to approximately 19,000 students on program planning, procedures, degree requirements, enrichment opportunities, and exploring majors. 

David Ortega '90
Director, Cal Parent Services

Having worked at Berkeley for more than 20 years, David Ortega has a wide range of experience with Cal students and their parents. In the past, he has teamed with Cal Student Orientation (CalSO) to offer the “Family Transition” and “Letting Go” sessions at student orientation.

Thomas C. Devlin
Director, Career Center

Thomas C. Devlin joined UC Berkeley in 1997. Before Berkeley, he was the executive director of University Career Services at Cornell. Devlin received the Kauffman Award from the National Association of Colleges and Employers for his significant contributions to the career profession and co-writing a chapter for NACE’s book Leadership in Career Services: Voices from the Field. The Career Center has been awarded national honors by NACE for producing the best publication for students, as the most innovative program in the country, and more. In 2009 he received Berkeley’s Excellence in Management Award. Devlin received a B.A. in history from the State University of New York at Geneseo and an M.A. in college student personnel from Bowling Green State University.

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Emotion and Aging: Two Roads Diverged

Saturday 12 p.m.1 p.m.  

Many things change with age, but our emotions follow their own unique paths. This talk will discuss how we study emotion in our Berkeley laboratory and share some of our newest findings about emotion, close relationships, and aging.

Speaker(s): 
Robert Levenson
Professor, Department of Psychology and Director, Institute of Personality and Social Research

Robert Levenson has been on the faculty at UC Berkeley since 1986 and is a member of the clinical science, social/personality, and developmental research areas. His research is on human emotion, with particular interests in the influences of age, gender, culture, and disease.

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