February '07 Newsletter
The New Year began on a very sad note, as we learned of the death of our colleague and our friend, Richard Newton. As Dean of the College of Engineering at UC Berkeley, Rich was a visionary leader whose belief in technology's ability to alleviate human suffering was a driving force in CITRIS's creation. He was also one of our greatest champions. We joined with our friends in the College of Engineering on February 11 for A Celebration of the Life of Richard Newton, which was both moving and inspiring.
Although we mourn our loss, we also take comfort in knowing that Rich's legacy continues in the important work we are doing here at CITRIS, and in the research and activities he inspired. One such activity is the subject of our first feature. Big Ideas, a UC Berkeley campus initiative started by Tom Kalil, Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Science and Technology, is providing students with the resources they need to change the world and giving people like you an easy way to donate and help them achieve those goals.
Our second feature looks at an inspiring collaboration between CITRIS's former director Ruzena Bajcsy and Lisa Wymore, an assistant professor in Berkeley's dance department. Wymore is using Bajcsy's tele-immersion lab to explore new possibilities in the realm of dance. At the same time, Bajcsy and her team are learning from the dancers what scientists need to do to improve the technology. Their group, the Resonance Project, calls this pioneering approach "performance as research." We were honored to present their first performance at our holiday party in December.
As always, we thank you for your interest in and support of the work we are doing here at CITRIS. We welcome your comments and ideas.
Professor Shankar Sastry
Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society
UC Berkeley, in partnership with LBNL and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will lead an unprecedented $500 million over ten years research effort to develop new sources of energy and reduce the impact of energy consumption on the environment. The Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI) initially will focus its research on biotechnology to produce biofuels — that is, turning plants and plant materials, including corn, field waste, switchgrass and algae, into transportation fuels.
Steve Kang named new UC Merced chancellor
UC Santa Cruz engineering dean Sung-Mo (Steve) Kang has been appointed chancellor of UC Merced. Kang replaces Carol Tomlinson-Keasey, who stepped down last summer after seven years to return to teaching and scholarship. http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/2007/jan17.html
CITRIS Asia Research Symposium, Taiwan
Our next CITRIS-Asia research symposium will be held on March 27 in Barry Lam Hall at National Taiwan University in Taipei. Faculty members will give technical talks throughout the day, presenting their findings and holding discussion sessions in key areas, such as wireless computing, electronic design automation and digital houses and security. http://www.citris-uc.org/Taiwan-2007
CITRIS professors to draft new California fuel policy
Dan Sperling, director of UC Davis' Institute of Transportation Studies, and Alex Farrell, assistant professor in the UC Berkeley Energy and Resources Group are drafting a low-carbon fuel standard for the State of California. The new fuel standard, which will be the first such policy in the world, is part of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s goal to require manufacturers to cut the carbon content of fuels sold in California by at least 10 percent by 2020.
ESEM Certificate Program launched at UC Berkeley
UC Berkeley has a new certificate program in Engineering for Sustainability and Environmental Management (ESEM) to train graduate students to work across boundaries to achieve sustainable solutions to pressing societal problems.
Online Marketplace to Support Student Projects
UC Berkeley has launched an online marketplace that allows donors to make a targeted donation to support a specific student project.