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  • richardmitnick 9:16 pm on June 30, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "BerkSEL": Berkeley Surface Emitting Laser, "New single-mode semiconductor laser delivers power with scalability", A semiconductor membrane perforated with evenly spaced and same-sized holes functioned as a perfect scalable laser cavity., , Berkeley engineers have created a new type of semiconductor laser that meets an elusive goal in optics: the ability to emit a single mode of light with the ability to scale up in size and power., Computer Sciences, , , , , , Scanning electron micrography, , The laser emits a consistent single wavelength regardless of the size of the cavity., The membrane in the study had about 3000 holes but theoretically it could have been 1 million or 1 billon holes., The study’s results are particularly relevant to vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers [VCSELs], This new laser capability enables lasers to be more powerful and to cover longer distances for many applications.   

    From Berkeley Engineering: “New single-mode semiconductor laser delivers power with scalability” 

    From Berkeley Engineering

    At

    The University of California-Berkeley

    June 29, 2022
    Sarah Yang

    1
    Schematic of the Berkeley Surface Emitting Laser (BerkSEL) illustrating the pump beam (blue) and the lasing beam (red). The unconventional design of the semiconductor membrane synchronizes all unit-cells (or resonators) in phase so that they are all participating in the lasing mode. (Image courtesy of the Kanté group)

    Berkeley engineers have created a new type of semiconductor laser that accomplishes an elusive goal in the field of optics: the ability to emit a single mode of light while maintaining the ability to scale up in size and power. It is an achievement that means size does not have to come at the expense of coherence, enabling lasers to be more powerful and to cover longer distances for many applications.

    A research team led by Boubacar Kanté, Chenming Hu Associate Professor in UC Berkeley’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (EECS) and faculty scientist at the Materials Sciences Division of the DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, showed that a semiconductor membrane perforated with evenly spaced and same-sized holes functioned as a perfect scalable laser cavity. They demonstrated that the laser emits a consistent single wavelength regardless of the size of the cavity.

    2
    Top view of a scanning electron micrograph of the Berkeley Surface Emitting Laser (BerkSEL). The hexagonal lattice photonic crystal (PhC) forms an electromagnetic cavity. (Image courtesy of the Kanté group)

    The researchers described their invention, dubbed Berkeley Surface Emitting Lasers (BerkSELs), in a study published June 29, 2022 in the journal Nature.

    “Increasing both size and power of a single-mode laser has been a challenge in optics since the first laser was built in 1960,” said Kanté. “Six decades later, we show that it is possible to achieve both these qualities in a laser. I consider this the most important paper my group has published to date.”

    Despite the vast array of applications ushered in by the invention of the laser — from surgical tools to barcode scanners to precision etching — there has been a persistent limit that researchers in optics have had to contend with. The coherent, single-wavelength directional light that is a defining characteristic of a laser starts to break down as the size of the laser cavity increases. The standard workaround is to use external mechanisms, such as a waveguide, to amplify the beam.

    “Using another medium to amplify laser light takes up a lot of space,” said Kanté. “By eliminating the need for external amplification, we can shrink the size and increase the efficiency of computer chips and other components that rely upon lasers.”

    The study’s results are particularly relevant to vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers, or VCSELs, in which laser light is emitted vertically out of the chip. Such lasers are used in a wide range of applications, including fiber optic communications, computer mice, laser printers and biometric identification systems.

    VCSELs are typically tiny, measuring a few microns wide. The current strategy used to boost their power is to cluster hundreds of individual VCSELs together. Because the lasers are independent, their phase and wavelength differ, so their power does not combine coherently.

    “This can be tolerated for applications like facial recognition, but it’s not acceptable when precision is critical, like in communications or for surgery,” said study co-lead author Rushin Contractor, an EECS Ph.D. student.

    Kanté compares the extra efficiency and power enabled by BerkSEL’s single-mode lasing to a crowd of people getting a stalled bus to move. Multi-mode lasing is akin to people pushing in different directions, he said. It would not only be less effective, but it could also be counterproductive if people are pushing in opposite directions. Single-mode lasing in BerkSELs is comparable to each person in the crowd pushing the bus in the same direction. This is far more efficient than what is done in existing lasers where, using the same analogy, only part of the crowd contributes to pushing the bus.

    3
    Schematic showing the “Dirac cones.” Light is emitted synchronously from the entire semiconductor cavity as a result of the Dirac point singularity. (Image courtesy of the Kanté group)

    The study found that the BerkSEL design enabled the single-mode light emission because of the physics of the light passing through the holes in the membrane, a 200-nanometer-thick layer of indium gallium arsenide phosphide, a semiconductor commonly used in fiber optics and telecommunications technology. The holes, which were etched using lithography, had to be a fixed size, shape and distance apart.

    The researchers explained that the periodic holes in the membrane became Dirac points, a topological feature of two-dimensional materials based on the linear dispersion of energy. They are named after English physicist and Nobel laureate Paul Dirac, known for his early contributions to quantum mechanics and quantum electrodynamics.

    The researchers point out that the phase of light that propagates from one point to the other is equal to the refractive index multiplied by the distance traveled. Because the refractive index is zero at the Dirac point, light emitted from different parts of the semiconductor are exactly in phase and thus optically the same.

    “The membrane in our study had about 3000 holes but theoretically it could have been 1 million or 1 billon holes, and the result would have been the same,” said study co-lead author, Walid Redjem, an EECS postdoctoral researcher.

    The researchers used a high-energy pulsed laser to optically pump and provide energy to the BerkSEL devices. They measured the emission from each aperture using a confocal microscope optimized for near-infrared spectroscopy.

    The semiconductor material and the dimensions of the structure used in this study were selected to enable lasing at telecommunications wavelength. Authors noted that BerkSELs can emit different target wavelengths by adapting the design specifications, such as hole size and semiconductor material.

    Other study authors are Wanwoo Noh, co-lead author who earned his Ph.D. degree in EECS in May 2022; Wayesh Qarony, Scott Dhuey and Adam Schwartzberg from Berkeley Lab; and Emma Martin, a Ph.D. student in EECS.

    The Office of Naval Research provided the primary support for this study. Additional funding came from the National Science Foundation, the Berkeley Lab, the Moore Inventor Fellows program and UC Berkeley’s Bakar Fellowship.

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The College of Engineering, also known informally as Berkeley Engineering or CoE, is one of the fourteen schools and colleges at the University of California, Berkeley. Established in 1931, the college is considered among the most prestigious engineering schools in the world, ranked third by U.S. News & World Report and with an acceptance rate of 8%. Berkeley Engineering is particularly well known for producing many successful entrepreneurs; among its alumni are co-founders and CEOs of some of the largest companies in the world, including Apple, Boeing, Google, Intel, and Tesla.

    The college is currently situated in 14 buildings on the northeast side of the central campus, and also operates at the 150 acre (61 ha) Richmond Field Station. With the Haas School of Business, the college confers joint degrees and advises the university’s resident startup incubator, Berkeley SkyDeck.

    Departments

    Aerospace Engineering
    Bioengineering (BioE)
    Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE)
    Development Engineering (DevEng)
    Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (EECS)
    Engineering Science
    Energy Engineering
    Engineering Mathematics and Statistics (EMS)
    Engineering Physics
    Environmental Engineering Science (EES)
    Industrial Engineering and Operations Research (IEOR)
    Materials Science and Engineering (MSE)
    Mechanical Engineering (ME)
    Nuclear Engineering (NE)

    The College of Letters and Science also offers a Bachelor of Arts in computer science, which requires many of the same courses as the College of Engineering’s Bachelor of Science in EECS, but has different admissions and graduation criteria. Berkeley’s chemical engineering department is under the College of Chemistry.

    Research units

    All research facilities are managed by one of five Organized Research Units (ORUs):

    Earthquake Engineering Research Center – research and public safety programs against the destructive effects of earthquakes
    Electronics Research Laboratory – the largest ORU; advanced research in novel areas within seven different university departments, organized into five main divisions:
    Berkeley Sensor & Actuator Center
    Berkeley Wireless Research Center
    Berkeley Northside Research Group
    Micro Systems Group
    Engineering Systems Research Center – focuses on manufacturing, mechatronics, and microelectro mechanical systems (MEMS)
    Institute for Environmental Science and Engineering – focuses on applying basic research to current and future environmental problems
    Institute of Transportation Studies – sponsors research in transportation planning, policy analysis, environmental concerns and transportation system performance

    Major research centers and programs

    Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation
    Berkeley Institute of Design
    Berkeley Multimedia Research Center
    Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS)
    Center for Intelligent Systems – developing a unified theoretical foundation for intelligent systems.
    Consortium on Green Design and Manufacturing
    Digital Library Project
    UCSF/Berkeley Ergonomics Program
    International Computer Science Institute – basic research institute focusing on Internet architecture, speech and language processing, artificial intelligence, and cognitive and theoretical computer science
    Intel Research Laboratory @ Berkeley
    Integrated Materials Laboratory – facilities for research in nano-structure growth, processing, and characterization
    Microfabrication Laboratory
    The Millennium Project – developing a hierarchical campus-wide “cluster of clusters” to support advanced computational applications
    Nokia Research Center @ Berkeley
    Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center
    Partners for Advanced Transit & Highways – researching ways to improve the operation of California’s state highway system
    Power Systems Engineering Research Center

    The The University of California-Berkeley is a public land-grant research university in Berkeley, California. Established in 1868 as the state’s first land-grant university, it was the first campus of the University of California system and a founding member of the Association of American Universities . Its 14 colleges and schools offer over 350 degree programs and enroll some 31,000 undergraduate and 12,000 graduate students. Berkeley is ranked among the world’s top universities by major educational publications.

    Berkeley hosts many leading research institutes, including the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute and the Space Sciences Laboratory. It founded and maintains close relationships with three national laboratories at DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and DOE’s Los Alamos National Lab, and has played a prominent role in many scientific advances, from the Manhattan Project and the discovery of 16 chemical elements to breakthroughs in computer science and genomics. Berkeley is also known for student activism and the Free Speech Movement of the 1960s.

    Berkeley alumni and faculty count among their ranks 110 Nobel laureates (34 alumni), 25 Turing Award winners (11 alumni), 14 Fields Medalists, 28 Wolf Prize winners, 103 MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipients, 30 Pulitzer Prize winners, and 19 Academy Award winners. The university has produced seven heads of state or government; five chief justices, including Chief Justice of the United States Earl Warren; 21 cabinet-level officials; 11 governors; and 25 living billionaires. It is also a leading producer of Fulbright Scholars, MacArthur Fellows, and Marshall Scholars. Berkeley alumni, widely recognized for their entrepreneurship, have founded many notable companies.

    Berkeley’s athletic teams compete in Division I of the NCAA, primarily in the Pac-12 Conference, and are collectively known as the California Golden Bears. The university’s teams have won 107 national championships, and its students and alumni have won 207 Olympic medals.

    Made possible by President Lincoln’s signing of the Morrill Act in 1862, the University of California was founded in 1868 as the state’s first land-grant university by inheriting certain assets and objectives of the private College of California and the public Agricultural, Mining, and Mechanical Arts College. Although this process is often incorrectly mistaken for a merger, the Organic Act created a “completely new institution” and did not actually merge the two precursor entities into the new university. The Organic Act states that the “University shall have for its design, to provide instruction and thorough and complete education in all departments of science, literature and art, industrial and professional pursuits, and general education, and also special courses of instruction in preparation for the professions”.

    Ten faculty members and 40 students made up the fledgling university when it opened in Oakland in 1869. Frederick H. Billings, a trustee of the College of California, suggested that a new campus site north of Oakland be named in honor of Anglo-Irish philosopher George Berkeley. The university began admitting women the following year. In 1870, Henry Durant, founder of the College of California, became its first president. With the completion of North and South Halls in 1873, the university relocated to its Berkeley location with 167 male and 22 female students.

    Beginning in 1891, Phoebe Apperson Hearst made several large gifts to Berkeley, funding a number of programs and new buildings and sponsoring, in 1898, an international competition in Antwerp, Belgium, where French architect Émile Bénard submitted the winning design for a campus master plan.

    20th century

    In 1905, the University Farm was established near Sacramento, ultimately becoming the University of California-Davis. In 1919, Los Angeles State Normal School became the southern branch of the University, which ultimately became the University of California-Los Angeles. By 1920s, the number of campus buildings had grown substantially and included twenty structures designed by architect John Galen Howard.

    In 1917, one of the nation’s first ROTC programs was established at Berkeley and its School of Military Aeronautics began training pilots, including Gen. Jimmy Doolittle. Berkeley ROTC alumni include former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and Army Chief of Staff Frederick C. Weyand as well as 16 other generals. In 1926, future fleet admiral Chester W. Nimitz established the first Naval ROTC unit at Berkeley.

    In the 1930s, Ernest Lawrence helped establish the Radiation Laboratory (now DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (US)) and invented the cyclotron, which won him the Nobel physics prize in 1939. Using the cyclotron, Berkeley professors and Berkeley Lab researchers went on to discover 16 chemical elements—more than any other university in the world. In particular, during World War II and following Glenn Seaborg’s then-secret discovery of plutonium, Ernest Orlando Lawrence’s Radiation Laboratory began to contract with the U.S. Army to develop the atomic bomb. Physics professor J. Robert Oppenheimer was named scientific head of the Manhattan Project in 1942. Along with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley founded and was then a partner in managing two other labs, Los Alamos National Laboratory (1943) and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (1952).

    By 1942, the American Council on Education ranked Berkeley second only to Harvard University in the number of distinguished departments.

    In 1952, the University of California reorganized itself into a system of semi-autonomous campuses, with each campus given its own chancellor, and Clark Kerr became Berkeley’s first Chancellor, while Sproul remained in place as the President of the University of California.

    Berkeley gained a worldwide reputation for political activism in the 1960s. In 1964, the Free Speech Movement organized student resistance to the university’s restrictions on political activities on campus—most conspicuously, student activities related to the Civil Rights Movement. The arrest in Sproul Plaza of Jack Weinberg, a recent Berkeley alumnus and chair of Campus CORE, in October 1964, prompted a series of student-led acts of formal remonstrance and civil disobedience that ultimately gave rise to the Free Speech Movement, which movement would prevail and serve as precedent for student opposition to America’s involvement in the Vietnam War.

    In 1982, the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) was established on campus with support from the National Science Foundation and at the request of three Berkeley mathematicians — Shiing-Shen Chern, Calvin Moore and Isadore M. Singer. The institute is now widely regarded as a leading center for collaborative mathematical research, drawing thousands of visiting researchers from around the world each year.

    21st century

    In the current century, Berkeley has become less politically active and more focused on entrepreneurship and fundraising, especially for STEM disciplines.

    Modern Berkeley students are less politically radical, with a greater percentage of moderates and conservatives than in the 1960s and 70s. Democrats outnumber Republicans on the faculty by a ratio of 9:1. On the whole, Democrats outnumber Republicans on American university campuses by a ratio of 10:1.

    In 2007, the Energy Biosciences Institute was established with funding from BP and Stanley Hall, a research facility and headquarters for the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences, opened. The next few years saw the dedication of the Center for Biomedical and Health Sciences, funded by a lead gift from billionaire Li Ka-shing; the opening of Sutardja Dai Hall, home of the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society; and the unveiling of Blum Hall, housing the Blum Center for Developing Economies. Supported by a grant from alumnus James Simons, the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing was established in 2012. In 2014, Berkeley and its sister campus, University of California-San Fransisco, established the Innovative Genomics Institute, and, in 2020, an anonymous donor pledged $252 million to help fund a new center for computing and data science.

    Since 2000, Berkeley alumni and faculty have received 40 Nobel Prizes, behind only Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology among US universities; five Turing Awards, behind only MIT and Stanford University; and five Fields Medals, second only to Princeton University (US). According to PitchBook, Berkeley ranks second, just behind Stanford University, in producing VC-backed entrepreneurs.

    UC Berkeley Seal

     
  • richardmitnick 8:17 am on April 16, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "A flexible way to grab items with feeling", , Computer Sciences, , GelSight Fin Ray, , Perceptual Science Group, ,   

    From The MT Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) : “A flexible way to grab items with feeling” 

    1

    From The MT Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL)

    at

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    April 15, 2022
    Rachel Gordon | MIT CSAIL


    Overview of the GelSight Fin Ray.

    1
    The GelSight Fin Ray gripper holds a glass Mason jar with its tactile sensing. Photo courtesy of MIT CSAIL.

    The notion of a large metallic robot that speaks in monotone and moves in lumbering, deliberate steps is somewhat hard to shake. But practitioners in the field of soft robotics have an entirely different image in mind — autonomous devices composed of compliant parts that are gentle to the touch, more closely resembling human fingers than R2-D2 or Robby the Robot.

    That model is now being pursued by Professor Edward Adelson and his Perceptual Science Group at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). In a recent project, Adelson and Sandra Liu — a mechanical engineering PhD student at CSAIL — have developed a robotic gripper using novel “GelSight Fin Ray” fingers that, like the human hand, is supple enough to manipulate objects. What sets this work apart from other efforts in the field is that Liu and Adelson have endowed their gripper with touch sensors that can meet or exceed the sensitivity of human skin.

    Their work was presented last week at the 2022 IEEE 5th International Conference on Soft Robotics.
    ===
    The fin ray has become a popular item in soft robotics owing to a discovery made in 1997 by the German biologist Leif Kniese. He noticed that when he pushed against a fish’s tail with his finger, the ray would bend toward the applied force, almost embracing his finger, rather than tilting away. The design has become popular, but it lacks tactile sensitivity. “It’s versatile because it can passively adapt to different shapes and therefore grasp a variety of objects,” Liu explains. “But in order to go beyond what others in the field had already done, we set out to incorporate a rich tactile sensor into our gripper.”

    The gripper consists of two flexible fin ray fingers that conform to the shape of the object they come in contact with. The fingers themselves are assembled from flexible plastic materials made on a 3D printer, which is pretty standard in the field. However, the fingers typically used in soft robotic grippers have supportive cross-struts running through the length of their interiors, whereas Liu and Adelson hollowed out the interior region so they could create room for their camera and other sensory components.

    The camera is mounted to a semirigid backing on one end of the hollowed-out cavity, which is, itself, illuminated by LEDs. The camera faces a layer of “sensory” pads composed of silicone gel (known as “GelSight”) that is glued to a thin layer of acrylic material. The acrylic sheet, in turn, is attached to the plastic finger piece at the opposite end of the inner cavity. Upon touching an object, the finger will seamlessly fold around it, melding to the object’s contours. By determining exactly how the silicone and acrylic sheets are deformed during this interaction, the camera — along with accompanying computational algorithms — can assess the general shape of the object, its surface roughness, its orientation in space, and the force being applied by (and imparted to) each finger.

    Liu and Adelson tested out their gripper in an experiment during which just one of the two fingers was “sensorized.” Their device successfully handled such items as a mini-screwdriver, a plastic strawberry, an acrylic paint tube, a Ball Mason jar, and a wine glass. While the gripper was holding the fake strawberry, for instance, the internal sensor was able to detect the “seeds” on its surface. The fingers grabbed the paint tube without squeezing so hard as to breach the container and spill its contents.

    The GelSight sensor could even make out the lettering on the Mason jar, and did so in a rather clever way. The overall shape of the jar was ascertained first by seeing how the acrylic sheet was bent when wrapped around it. That pattern was then subtracted, by a computer algorithm, from the deformation of the silicone pad, and what was left was the more subtle deformation due just to the letters.

    Glass objects are challenging for vision-based robots because of the refraction of the light. Tactile sensors are immune to such optical ambiguity. When the gripper picked up the wine glass, it could feel the orientation of the stem and could make sure the glass was pointing straight up before it was slowly lowered. When the base touched the tabletop, the gel pad sensed the contact. Proper placement occurred in seven out of 10 trials and, thankfully, no glass was harmed during the filming of this experiment.

    Wenzhen Yuan, an assistant professor in the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University who was not invovled with the research, says, “Sensing with soft robots has been a big challenge, because it is difficult to set up sensors — which are traditionally rigid — on soft bodies,” Yuan says. “This paper provides a neat solution to that problem. The authors used a very smart design to make their vision-based sensor work for the compliant gripper, in this way generating very good results when robots grasp objects or interact with the external environment. The technology has lots of potential to be widely used for robotic grippers in real-world environments.”

    Liu and Adelson can foresee many possible applications for the GelSight Fin Ray, but they are first contemplating some improvements. By hollowing out the finger to clear space for their sensory system, they introduced a structural instability, a tendency to twist, that they believe can be counteracted through better design. They want to make GelSight sensors that are compatible with soft robots devised by other research teams. And they also plan to develop a three-fingered gripper that could be useful in such tasks as picking up pieces of fruit and evaluating their ripeness.

    Tactile sensing, in their approach, is based on inexpensive components: a camera, some gel, and some LEDs. Liu hopes that with a technology like GelSight, “it may be possible to come up with sensors that are both practical and affordable.” That, at least, is one goal that she and others in the lab are striving toward.

    The Toyota Research Institute and the U.S. Office of Naval Research provided funds to support this work.
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    See the full article here .


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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    4

    The MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) is a research institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) formed by the 2003 merger of the Laboratory for Computer Science (LCS) and the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (AI Lab). Housed within the Ray and Maria Stata Center, CSAIL is the largest on-campus laboratory as measured by research scope and membership. It is part of the Schwarzman College of Computing but is also overseen by the MIT Vice President of Research.

    Research activities

    CSAIL’s research activities are organized around a number of semi-autonomous research groups, each of which is headed by one or more professors or research scientists. These groups are divided up into seven general areas of research:

    Artificial intelligence
    Computational biology
    Graphics and vision
    Language and learning
    Theory of computation
    Robotics
    Systems (includes computer architecture, databases, distributed systems, networks and networked systems, operating systems, programming methodology, and software engineering among others)

    In addition, CSAIL hosts the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

    MIT Seal

    USPS “Forever” postage stamps celebrating Innovation at MIT.

    MIT Campus

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private land-grant research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The institute has an urban campus that extends more than a mile (1.6 km) alongside the Charles River. The institute also encompasses a number of major off-campus facilities such as the MIT Lincoln Laboratory (US), the MIT Bates Research and Engineering Center (US), and the Haystack Observatory (US), as well as affiliated laboratories such as the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard(US) and Whitehead Institute (US).

    Massachusettes Institute of Technology-Haystack Observatory Westford, Massachusetts, USA, Altitude 131 m (430 ft).

    Founded in 1861 in response to the increasing industrialization of the United States, Massachusetts Institute of Technology adopted a European polytechnic university model and stressed laboratory instruction in applied science and engineering. It has since played a key role in the development of many aspects of modern science, engineering, mathematics, and technology, and is widely known for its innovation and academic strength. It is frequently regarded as one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

    As of December 2020, 97 Nobel laureates, 26 Turing Award winners, and 8 Fields Medalists have been affiliated with MIT as alumni, faculty members, or researchers. In addition, 58 National Medal of Science recipients, 29 National Medals of Technology and Innovation recipients, 50 MacArthur Fellows, 80 Marshall Scholars, 3 Mitchell Scholars, 22 Schwarzman Scholars, 41 astronauts, and 16 Chief Scientists of the U.S. Air Force have been affiliated with The Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The university also has a strong entrepreneurial culture and MIT alumni have founded or co-founded many notable companies. Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU).

    Foundation and vision

    In 1859, a proposal was submitted to the Massachusetts General Court to use newly filled lands in Back Bay, Boston for a “Conservatory of Art and Science”, but the proposal failed. A charter for the incorporation of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, proposed by William Barton Rogers, was signed by John Albion Andrew, the governor of Massachusetts, on April 10, 1861.

    Rogers, a professor from the University of Virginia , wanted to establish an institution to address rapid scientific and technological advances. He did not wish to found a professional school, but a combination with elements of both professional and liberal education, proposing that:

    “The true and only practicable object of a polytechnic school is, as I conceive, the teaching, not of the minute details and manipulations of the arts, which can be done only in the workshop, but the inculcation of those scientific principles which form the basis and explanation of them, and along with this, a full and methodical review of all their leading processes and operations in connection with physical laws.”

    The Rogers Plan reflected the German research university model, emphasizing an independent faculty engaged in research, as well as instruction oriented around seminars and laboratories.

    Early developments

    Two days after Massachusetts Institute of Technology was chartered, the first battle of the Civil War broke out. After a long delay through the war years, MIT’s first classes were held in the Mercantile Building in Boston in 1865. The new institute was founded as part of the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act to fund institutions “to promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes” and was a land-grant school. In 1863 under the same act, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts founded the Massachusetts Agricultural College, which developed as the University of Massachusetts Amherst ). In 1866, the proceeds from land sales went toward new buildings in the Back Bay.

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology was informally called “Boston Tech”. The institute adopted the European polytechnic university model and emphasized laboratory instruction from an early date. Despite chronic financial problems, the institute saw growth in the last two decades of the 19th century under President Francis Amasa Walker. Programs in electrical, chemical, marine, and sanitary engineering were introduced, new buildings were built, and the size of the student body increased to more than one thousand.

    The curriculum drifted to a vocational emphasis, with less focus on theoretical science. The fledgling school still suffered from chronic financial shortages which diverted the attention of the MIT leadership. During these “Boston Tech” years, Massachusetts Institute of Technology faculty and alumni rebuffed Harvard University president (and former MIT faculty) Charles W. Eliot’s repeated attempts to merge MIT with Harvard College’s Lawrence Scientific School. There would be at least six attempts to absorb MIT into Harvard. In its cramped Back Bay location, MIT could not afford to expand its overcrowded facilities, driving a desperate search for a new campus and funding. Eventually, the MIT Corporation approved a formal agreement to merge with Harvard, over the vehement objections of MIT faculty, students, and alumni. However, a 1917 decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court effectively put an end to the merger scheme.

    In 1916, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology administration and the MIT charter crossed the Charles River on the ceremonial barge Bucentaur built for the occasion, to signify MIT’s move to a spacious new campus largely consisting of filled land on a one-mile-long (1.6 km) tract along the Cambridge side of the Charles River. The neoclassical “New Technology” campus was designed by William W. Bosworth and had been funded largely by anonymous donations from a mysterious “Mr. Smith”, starting in 1912. In January 1920, the donor was revealed to be the industrialist George Eastman of Rochester, New York, who had invented methods of film production and processing, and founded Eastman Kodak. Between 1912 and 1920, Eastman donated $20 million ($236.6 million in 2015 dollars) in cash and Kodak stock to MIT.

    Curricular reforms

    In the 1930s, President Karl Taylor Compton and Vice-President (effectively Provost) Vannevar Bush emphasized the importance of pure sciences like physics and chemistry and reduced the vocational practice required in shops and drafting studios. The Compton reforms “renewed confidence in the ability of the Institute to develop leadership in science as well as in engineering”. Unlike Ivy League schools, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) catered more to middle-class families, and depended more on tuition than on endowments or grants for its funding. The school was elected to the Association of American Universities in 1934.

    Still, as late as 1949, the Lewis Committee lamented in its report on the state of education at Massachusetts Institute of Technology that “the Institute is widely conceived as basically a vocational school”, a “partly unjustified” perception the committee sought to change. The report comprehensively reviewed the undergraduate curriculum, recommended offering a broader education, and warned against letting engineering and government-sponsored research detract from the sciences and humanities. The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences and the MIT Sloan School of Management were formed in 1950 to compete with the powerful Schools of Science and Engineering. Previously marginalized faculties in the areas of economics, management, political science, and linguistics emerged into cohesive and assertive departments by attracting respected professors and launching competitive graduate programs. The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences continued to develop under the successive terms of the more humanistically oriented presidents Howard W. Johnson and Jerome Wiesner between 1966 and 1980.

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology ‘s involvement in military science surged during World War II. In 1941, Vannevar Bush was appointed head of the federal Office of Scientific Research and Development and directed funding to only a select group of universities, including MIT. Engineers and scientists from across the country gathered at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US)’s Radiation Laboratory, established in 1940 to assist the British military in developing microwave radar. The work done there significantly affected both the war and subsequent research in the area. Other defense projects included gyroscope-based and other complex control systems for gunsight, bombsight, and inertial navigation under Charles Stark Draper’s Instrumentation Laboratory; the development of a digital computer for flight simulations under Project Whirlwind; and high-speed and high-altitude photography under Harold Edgerton. By the end of the war, Massachusetts Institute of Technology became the nation’s largest wartime R&D contractor (attracting some criticism of Bush), employing nearly 4000 in the Radiation Laboratory alone and receiving in excess of $100 million ($1.2 billion in 2015 dollars) before 1946. Work on defense projects continued even after then. Post-war government-sponsored research at MIT included SAGE and guidance systems for ballistic missiles and Project Apollo.

    These activities affected Massachusetts Institute of Technology profoundly. A 1949 report noted the lack of “any great slackening in the pace of life at the Institute” to match the return to peacetime, remembering the “academic tranquility of the prewar years”, though acknowledging the significant contributions of military research to the increased emphasis on graduate education and rapid growth of personnel and facilities. The faculty doubled and the graduate student body quintupled during the terms of Karl Taylor Compton, president of Massachusetts Institute of Technology between 1930 and 1948; James Rhyne Killian, president from 1948 to 1957; and Julius Adams Stratton, chancellor from 1952 to 1957, whose institution-building strategies shaped the expanding university. By the 1950s, Massachusetts Institute of Technology no longer simply benefited the industries with which it had worked for three decades, and it had developed closer working relationships with new patrons, philanthropic foundations and the federal government.

    In late 1960s and early 1970s, student and faculty activists protested against the Vietnam War and Massachusetts Institute of Technology ‘s defense research. In this period Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s various departments were researching helicopters, smart bombs and counterinsurgency techniques for the war in Vietnam as well as guidance systems for nuclear missiles. The Union of Concerned Scientists was founded on March 4, 1969 during a meeting of faculty members and students seeking to shift the emphasis on military research toward environmental and social problems. Massachusetts Institute of Technology ultimately divested itself from the Instrumentation Laboratory and moved all classified research off-campus to the MIT Lincoln Laboratory facility in 1973 in response to the protests. The student body, faculty, and administration remained comparatively unpolarized during what was a tumultuous time for many other universities. Johnson was seen to be highly successful in leading his institution to “greater strength and unity” after these times of turmoil. However six Massachusetts Institute of Technology ( students were sentenced to prison terms at this time and some former student leaders, such as Michael Albert and George Katsiaficas, are still indignant about MIT’s role in military research and its suppression of these protests. (Richard Leacock’s film, November Actions, records some of these tumultuous events.)

    In the 1980s, there was more controversy at Massachusetts Institute of Technology over its involvement in SDI (space weaponry) and CBW (chemical and biological warfare) research. More recently, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US)’s research for the military has included work on robots, drones and ‘battle suits’.

    Recent history

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology has kept pace with and helped to advance the digital age. In addition to developing the predecessors to modern computing and networking technologies, students, staff, and faculty members at Project MAC, the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and the Tech Model Railroad Club wrote some of the earliest interactive computer video games like Spacewar! and created much of modern hacker slang and culture. Several major computer-related organizations have originated at MIT since the 1980s: Richard Stallman’s GNU Project and the subsequent Free Software Foundation were founded in the mid-1980s at the AI Lab; the MIT Media Lab was founded in 1985 by Nicholas Negroponte and Jerome Wiesner to promote research into novel uses of computer technology; the World Wide Web Consortium standards organization was founded at the Laboratory for Computer Science in 1994 by Tim Berners-Lee; the MIT OpenCourseWare project has made course materials for over 2,000 Massachusetts Institute of Technology classes available online free of charge since 2002; and the One Laptop per Child initiative to expand computer education and connectivity to children worldwide was launched in 2005.

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology was named a sea-grant college in 1976 to support its programs in oceanography and marine sciences and was named a space-grant college in 1989 to support its aeronautics and astronautics programs. Despite diminishing government financial support over the past quarter century, MIT launched several successful development campaigns to significantly expand the campus: new dormitories and athletics buildings on west campus; the Tang Center for Management Education; several buildings in the northeast corner of campus supporting research into biology, brain and cognitive sciences, genomics, biotechnology, and cancer research; and a number of new “backlot” buildings on Vassar Street including the Stata Center. Construction on campus in the 2000s included expansions of the Media Lab, the Sloan School’s eastern campus, and graduate residences in the northwest. In 2006, President Hockfield launched the MIT Energy Research Council to investigate the interdisciplinary challenges posed by increasing global energy consumption.

    In 2001, inspired by the open source and open access movements, Massachusetts Institute of Technology launched OpenCourseWare to make the lecture notes, problem sets, syllabi, exams, and lectures from the great majority of its courses available online for no charge, though without any formal accreditation for coursework completed. While the cost of supporting and hosting the project is high, OCW expanded in 2005 to include other universities as a part of the OpenCourseWare Consortium, which currently includes more than 250 academic institutions with content available in at least six languages. In 2011, Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced it would offer formal certification (but not credits or degrees) to online participants completing coursework in its “MITx” program, for a modest fee. The “edX” online platform supporting MITx was initially developed in partnership with Harvard and its analogous “Harvardx” initiative. The courseware platform is open source, and other universities have already joined and added their own course content. In March 2009 the Massachusetts Institute of Technology faculty adopted an open-access policy to make its scholarship publicly accessible online.

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology has its own police force. Three days after the Boston Marathon bombing of April 2013, MIT Police patrol officer Sean Collier was fatally shot by the suspects Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, setting off a violent manhunt that shut down the campus and much of the Boston metropolitan area for a day. One week later, Collier’s memorial service was attended by more than 10,000 people, in a ceremony hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology community with thousands of police officers from the New England region and Canada. On November 25, 2013, Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced the creation of the Collier Medal, to be awarded annually to “an individual or group that embodies the character and qualities that Officer Collier exhibited as a member of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology community and in all aspects of his life”. The announcement further stated that “Future recipients of the award will include those whose contributions exceed the boundaries of their profession, those who have contributed to building bridges across the community, and those who consistently and selflessly perform acts of kindness”.

    In September 2017, the school announced the creation of an artificial intelligence research lab called the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab. IBM will spend $240 million over the next decade, and the lab will be staffed by MIT and IBM scientists. In October 2018 MIT announced that it would open a new Schwarzman College of Computing dedicated to the study of artificial intelligence, named after lead donor and The Blackstone Group CEO Stephen Schwarzman. The focus of the new college is to study not just AI, but interdisciplinary AI education, and how AI can be used in fields as diverse as history and biology. The cost of buildings and new faculty for the new college is expected to be $1 billion upon completion.

    The Caltech/MIT Advanced aLIGO was designed and constructed by a team of scientists from California Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology , and industrial contractors, and funded by the National Science Foundation .

    Caltech /MIT Advanced aLigo

    It was designed to open the field of gravitational-wave astronomy through the detection of gravitational waves predicted by general relativity. Gravitational waves were detected for the first time by the LIGO detector in 2015. For contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves, two Caltech physicists, Kip Thorne and Barry Barish, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology physicist Rainer Weiss won the Nobel Prize in physics in 2017. Weiss, who is also an Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate, designed the laser interferometric technique, which served as the essential blueprint for the LIGO.

    The mission of Massachusetts Institute of Technology is to advance knowledge and educate students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the twenty-first century. We seek to develop in each member of The Massachusetts Institute of Technology community the ability and passion to work wisely, creatively, and effectively for the betterment of humankind.

     
  • richardmitnick 8:40 am on April 11, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Engineered crystals could help computers run on less power", An effect called negative capacitance, Computer Sciences, , Gate-oxide technology,   

    From The University of California-Berkeley: “Engineered crystals could help computers run on less power” 

    From The University of California-Berkeley

    April 7, 2022
    Kara Manke
    kjmanke@berkeley.edu

    1
    Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have created engineered crystal structures that display an unusual physical phenomenon known as negative capacitance. Incorporating this material into advanced silicon transistors could make computers more energy efficient. UC Berkeley image credit Ella Maru Studio.

    Computers may be growing smaller and more powerful, but they require a great deal of energy to operate. The total amount of energy the U.S. dedicates to computing has risen dramatically over the last decade and is quickly approaching that of other major sectors, like transportation.

    In a study published online this week in the journal Nature, University of California, Berkeley, engineers describe a major breakthrough in the design of a component of transistors — the tiny electrical switches that form the building blocks of computers — that could significantly reduce their energy consumption without sacrificing speed, size or performance. The component, called the gate oxide, plays a key role in switching the transistor on and off.

    “We have been able to show that our gate-oxide technology is better than commercially available transistors: What the trillion-dollar semiconductor industry can do today — we can essentially beat them,” said study senior author Sayeef Salahuddin, the TSMC Distinguished professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at UC Berkeley.

    This boost in efficiency is made possible by an effect called negative capacitance, which helps reduce the amount of voltage that is needed to store charge in a material. Salahuddin theoretically predicted the existence of negative capacitance in 2008 and first demonstrated the effect in a ferroelectric crystal in 2011.

    The new study shows how negative capacitance can be achieved in an engineered crystal composed of a layered stack of hafnium oxide and zirconium oxide, which is readily compatible with advanced silicon transistors. By incorporating the material into model transistors, the study demonstrates how the negative capacitance effect can significantly lower the amount of voltage required to control transistors, and as a result, the amount of energy consumed by a computer.

    “In the last 10 years, the energy used for computing has increased exponentially, already accounting for single digit percentages of the world’s energy production, which grows only linearly, without an end in sight,” Salahuddin said. “Usually, when we are using our computers and our cell phones, we don’t think about how much energy we are using. But it is a huge amount, and it is only going to go up. Our goal is to reduce the energy needs of this basic building block of computing, because that brings down the energy needs for the entire system.”
    ===
    Bringing negative capacitance to real technology

    State-of-the-art laptops and smart phones contain tens of billions of tiny silicon transistors, and each of which must be controlled by applying a voltage. The gate oxide is a thin layer of material that converts the applied voltage into an electric charge, which then switches the transistor.

    Negative capacitance can boost the performance of the gate oxide by reducing the amount of voltage required to achieve a given electrical charge. But the effect can’t be achieved in just any material. Creating negative capacitance requires careful manipulation of a material property called ferroelectricity, which occurs when a material exhibits a spontaneous electrical field. Previously, the effect has only been achieved in ferroelectric materials called perovskites, whose crystal structure is not compatible with silicon.

    In the study, the team showed that negative capacitance can also be achieved by combining hafnium oxide and zirconium oxide in an engineered crystal structure called a superlattice, which leads to simultaneous ferroelectricity and antiferroelectricity.

    “We found that this combination actually gives us an even better negative capacitance effect, which shows that this negative capacitance phenomena is a lot broader than originally thought,” said study co-first author Suraj Cheema, a postdoctoral researcher at UC Berkeley. “Negative capacitance doesn’t just occur in the conventional picture of a ferroelectric with a dielectric, which is what’s been studied over the past decade. You can actually make the effect even stronger by engineering these crystal structures to exploit antiferroelectricity in tandem with ferroelectricity.”

    The researchers found that a superlattice structure composed of three atomic layers of zirconium oxide sandwiched between two single atomic layers of hafnium oxide, totaling less than two nanometers in thickness, provided the best negative capacitance effect. Because most state-of-the-art silicon transistors already use a 2-nanometer gate oxide composed of hafnium oxide on top of silicon dioxide, and since zirconium oxide is also used in silicon technologies, these superlattice structures can easily be integrated into advanced transistors.

    To test how well the superlattice structure would perform as a gate oxide, the team fabricated short channel transistors and tested their capabilities. These transistors would require approximately 30% less voltage while maintaining semiconductor industry benchmarks and with no loss of reliability, compared to existing transistors.

    “One of the issues that we often see in this type of research is that we can we can demonstrate various phenomena in materials, but those materials are not compatible with advanced computing materials, and so we cannot bring the benefit to real technology,” Salahuddin said. “This work transforms negative capacitance from an academic topic to something that could actually be used in an advanced transistor.”

    Nirmaan Shanker of UC Berkeley is also a co-first author of this study. Additional co-authors include Li-Chen Wang, Cheng-Hsiang Hsu, Shang-Lin Hsu, Yu-Hung Liao, Wenshen Li, Jong-Ho Bae, Steve K. Volkman, Daewoong Kwon, Yoonsoo Rho, Costas P. Grigoropoulos, Ramamoorthy Ramesh and Chenming Hu of UC Berkeley; Matthew San Jose, Jorge Gomez, Wriddhi Chakraborty, Patrick Fay and Suman Datta of The University of Notre Dame; Gianni Pinelli, Ravi Rastogi, Dominick Pipitone, Corey Stull, Matthew Cook, Brian Tyrrell and Mohamed Mohamed of The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory; Vladimir A. Stoica of The Pennsylvania State University; Zhan Zhang and John W. Freeland of The DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory; Christopher J. Tassone and Apurva Mehta of The DOE’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory ; Ghazal Saheli and David Thompson of Applied Materials; Dong Ik Suh and Won-Tae Koo of SK Hynix; Kab-Jin Nam, Dong Jin Jung, Woo-Bin Song, Seunggeol Nam and Jinseong Heo of Samsung Electronics; Chung-Hsun Lin of Intel Corporation; Narendra Pariha and Souvik Mahapatra of the Indian Institute of Technology; and Padraic Shafer and Jim Ciston of The DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

    This research was supported in part by the Berkeley Center for Negative Capacitance Transistors (BCNCT), the DARPA Technologies for Mixed-mode Ultra Scaled Integrated Circuits (T-MUSIC) program, the University of California Multicampus Research Programs and Initiatives (UC MRPI) project and the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Materials Sciences and Engineering Division under contract No. DE-AC02-05-CH11231 (Microelectronics Co-Design program).

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The The University of California-Berkeley is a public land-grant research university in Berkeley, California. Established in 1868 as the state’s first land-grant university, it was the first campus of the University of California system and a founding member of the Association of American Universities . Its 14 colleges and schools offer over 350 degree programs and enroll some 31,000 undergraduate and 12,000 graduate students. Berkeley is ranked among the world’s top universities by major educational publications.

    Berkeley hosts many leading research institutes, including the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute and the Space Sciences Laboratory. It founded and maintains close relationships with three national laboratories at DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and DOE’s Los Alamos National Lab, and has played a prominent role in many scientific advances, from the Manhattan Project and the discovery of 16 chemical elements to breakthroughs in computer science and genomics. Berkeley is also known for student activism and the Free Speech Movement of the 1960s.

    Berkeley alumni and faculty count among their ranks 110 Nobel laureates (34 alumni), 25 Turing Award winners (11 alumni), 14 Fields Medalists, 28 Wolf Prize winners, 103 MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipients, 30 Pulitzer Prize winners, and 19 Academy Award winners. The university has produced seven heads of state or government; five chief justices, including Chief Justice of the United States Earl Warren; 21 cabinet-level officials; 11 governors; and 25 living billionaires. It is also a leading producer of Fulbright Scholars, MacArthur Fellows, and Marshall Scholars. Berkeley alumni, widely recognized for their entrepreneurship, have founded many notable companies.

    Berkeley’s athletic teams compete in Division I of the NCAA, primarily in the Pac-12 Conference, and are collectively known as the California Golden Bears. The university’s teams have won 107 national championships, and its students and alumni have won 207 Olympic medals.

    Made possible by President Lincoln’s signing of the Morrill Act in 1862, the University of California was founded in 1868 as the state’s first land-grant university by inheriting certain assets and objectives of the private College of California and the public Agricultural, Mining, and Mechanical Arts College. Although this process is often incorrectly mistaken for a merger, the Organic Act created a “completely new institution” and did not actually merge the two precursor entities into the new university. The Organic Act states that the “University shall have for its design, to provide instruction and thorough and complete education in all departments of science, literature and art, industrial and professional pursuits, and general education, and also special courses of instruction in preparation for the professions”.

    Ten faculty members and 40 students made up the fledgling university when it opened in Oakland in 1869. Frederick H. Billings, a trustee of the College of California, suggested that a new campus site north of Oakland be named in honor of Anglo-Irish philosopher George Berkeley. The university began admitting women the following year. In 1870, Henry Durant, founder of the College of California, became its first president. With the completion of North and South Halls in 1873, the university relocated to its Berkeley location with 167 male and 22 female students.

    Beginning in 1891, Phoebe Apperson Hearst made several large gifts to Berkeley, funding a number of programs and new buildings and sponsoring, in 1898, an international competition in Antwerp, Belgium, where French architect Émile Bénard submitted the winning design for a campus master plan.

    20th century

    In 1905, the University Farm was established near Sacramento, ultimately becoming the University of California-Davis. In 1919, Los Angeles State Normal School became the southern branch of the University, which ultimately became the University of California-Los Angeles. By 1920s, the number of campus buildings had grown substantially and included twenty structures designed by architect John Galen Howard.

    In 1917, one of the nation’s first ROTC programs was established at Berkeley and its School of Military Aeronautics began training pilots, including Gen. Jimmy Doolittle. Berkeley ROTC alumni include former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and Army Chief of Staff Frederick C. Weyand as well as 16 other generals. In 1926, future fleet admiral Chester W. Nimitz established the first Naval ROTC unit at Berkeley.

    In the 1930s, Ernest Lawrence helped establish the Radiation Laboratory (now DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (US)) and invented the cyclotron, which won him the Nobel physics prize in 1939. Using the cyclotron, Berkeley professors and Berkeley Lab researchers went on to discover 16 chemical elements—more than any other university in the world. In particular, during World War II and following Glenn Seaborg’s then-secret discovery of plutonium, Ernest Orlando Lawrence’s Radiation Laboratory began to contract with the U.S. Army to develop the atomic bomb. Physics professor J. Robert Oppenheimer was named scientific head of the Manhattan Project in 1942. Along with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley founded and was then a partner in managing two other labs, Los Alamos National Laboratory (1943) and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (1952).

    By 1942, the American Council on Education ranked Berkeley second only to Harvard University in the number of distinguished departments.

    In 1952, the University of California reorganized itself into a system of semi-autonomous campuses, with each campus given its own chancellor, and Clark Kerr became Berkeley’s first Chancellor, while Sproul remained in place as the President of the University of California.

    Berkeley gained a worldwide reputation for political activism in the 1960s. In 1964, the Free Speech Movement organized student resistance to the university’s restrictions on political activities on campus—most conspicuously, student activities related to the Civil Rights Movement. The arrest in Sproul Plaza of Jack Weinberg, a recent Berkeley alumnus and chair of Campus CORE, in October 1964, prompted a series of student-led acts of formal remonstrance and civil disobedience that ultimately gave rise to the Free Speech Movement, which movement would prevail and serve as precedent for student opposition to America’s involvement in the Vietnam War.

    In 1982, the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) was established on campus with support from the National Science Foundation and at the request of three Berkeley mathematicians — Shiing-Shen Chern, Calvin Moore and Isadore M. Singer. The institute is now widely regarded as a leading center for collaborative mathematical research, drawing thousands of visiting researchers from around the world each year.

    21st century

    In the current century, Berkeley has become less politically active and more focused on entrepreneurship and fundraising, especially for STEM disciplines.

    Modern Berkeley students are less politically radical, with a greater percentage of moderates and conservatives than in the 1960s and 70s. Democrats outnumber Republicans on the faculty by a ratio of 9:1. On the whole, Democrats outnumber Republicans on American university campuses by a ratio of 10:1.

    In 2007, the Energy Biosciences Institute was established with funding from BP and Stanley Hall, a research facility and headquarters for the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences, opened. The next few years saw the dedication of the Center for Biomedical and Health Sciences, funded by a lead gift from billionaire Li Ka-shing; the opening of Sutardja Dai Hall, home of the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society; and the unveiling of Blum Hall, housing the Blum Center for Developing Economies. Supported by a grant from alumnus James Simons, the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing was established in 2012. In 2014, Berkeley and its sister campus, University of California-San Fransisco, established the Innovative Genomics Institute, and, in 2020, an anonymous donor pledged $252 million to help fund a new center for computing and data science.

    Since 2000, Berkeley alumni and faculty have received 40 Nobel Prizes, behind only Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology among US universities; five Turing Awards, behind only MIT and Stanford University; and five Fields Medals, second only to Princeton University (US). According to PitchBook, Berkeley ranks second, Stanford University, in producing VC-backed entrepreneurs.

    UC Berkeley Seal

     
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