Berkeley in the News

Berkeley in the News is a daily selection of articles and commentaries in the news media that mention UC Berkeley. The views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect the official policies or positions of the campus.

Friday, 15 December 2017

1. Freshman applicants to UC soar to a new record
Los Angeles Times

UC campuses collectively received more than 181,000 freshman applications this past year, according to preliminary data, and that represents a 5.7 percent increase over the prior year. "We are thrilled by yet another record-shattering year," UC President Janet Napolitano said in a statement. "The steady momentum of increasing application numbers underscores the university's standing as one of the best higher education institutions in the world." Stories on this topic appeared in dozens of sources, including the Mercury News, Sacramento Bee, and San Francisco Chronicle (AP).
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2. CBS This Morning: Research reveals how sleep helps hit the 'save button' on your memories

Poorly synchronized brainwaves during sleep hinder the recording of memories in older adults, according to a new study from Berkeley's Center for Human Sleep Science. Psychology and neuroscience professor Matthew Walker, the center's director and the study's senior author, visited CBS This Morning to discuss the research. "What we found is that in young, healthy adults, the deep-sleep brain waves are perfectly synchronized in time and that synchronization helps you essentially hit the 'save button' on your memories," he said. "But as we get older those deep-sleep brain waves become mistimed." The study looked at adults aged 65 and older -- the age at which brainwave rhythm changes become most pronounced. Link to video. For more on this, see our press release at Berkeley News. Other stories on this topic appeared in Science Magazine, Irish Times, and True Viral News.
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3. Sea Level Rise May Swamp Many Coastal U.S. Sewage Plants

More than 1.5 million people in California, New York and Virginia could be left without wastewater treatment services by 2030 if their sewage treatment plants aren't secured in time, according to a new study led by graduate civil and environmental engineering student Michelle Hummel. Using data from a national database of treatment facilities, the study is the first to quantify the populations potentially affected by various sea rise scenarios. "We found that almost all coastal cities in the U.S. will experience some impact if no action is taken to protect them," Hummel says.
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4. Op-Ed: Clerkships are invaluable for young lawyers. They can also be a setup for abuse.
Washington Post (*requires registration)

Following reports that six women have accused federal appeals court Judge Alex Kozinski of "inappropriate sexual conduct or comments," assistant clinical law professor Catherine Crump writes, "In legal circles, this wasn't a surprise. Rumors have swirled around him for years. ... This isn't just a story, though, of one bad judge. Clerkships are plagued by what [Slate's legal correspondent Dahlia] Lithwack calls a culture of 'worshipful silence' that leaves young lawyers feeling helpless in the face of abusive treatment." Recommending potential remedies, she concludes: "In the end ... various reform ideas people have floated will make a marginal difference. But ultimately, as [Berkeley law and sociology professor Lauren] Edelman wrote, 'a culture free of harassment will require widespread respect for women and equal representation of women in leadership.' There, the profession has a long way to go."
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5. Renowned scientist Professor Zhang Xiang named University of Hong Kong vice-chancellor
South China Morning Post

In disappointing news for Berkeley but a stroke of luck for the University of Hong Kong, star mechanical engineering professor Zhang Xiang has been appointed the next vice-chancellor of the Asian city's oldest university. The appointment is a sensitive one, as Professor Zhang leaves a liberal western university for one where the challenges of maintaining academic freedom are politically charged. Professor Zhang is renowned for his breakthrough research in nanotech and metamaterials, including engineered material that is capable of bending light, like an invisible cloak. A naturalized U.S. citizen, he studied at Nanjing University and the University of Minnesota before earning his doctorate at Berkeley.
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6. Op-Ed: My Supercharged, Tricked Out, Bluetooth Wheelchair Life Force
New York Times (*requires registration)

Doctoral social welfare student Katie Savin, who drives a wheel chair she calls Anita, has made friends with a homeless man named Olantis, whose wheelchair is Roscoe. In a moving commentary, Katie expresses gratitude for the friendship she's cultivated with Olantis and grief over his recent cancer diagnosis. She writes: "I enter another space in a wheelchair, one in which the homeless and disabled people like Olantis are quick to greet me and talk to me while the able-bodied world averts its gaze. Even with my disability, I realize I am in a place of privilege -- a white, middle-class woman pursuing a doctorate, with access to medical insurance. I know that Olantis does not share this privilege. I know that I am lucky to be in the space I am at Berkeley, but the challenges it brings can be emotionally draining and painful. My time with Olantis is anything but. The crip-bus-bond isn't just tolerant; it's fully embracing of me, because of my cripness, not in spite of it. ... I love the world Olantis and Roscoe and Anita and I have created in our exile, where we are free to call our wheelchairs by name and bop to the music. Where we giggle too easily at the slightest perception of innuendo. Where we drag race and brag about getting first-class seats since the bus driver loads the wheelchairs first."
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