Gazette 3/1/95


Raphael Robinson, retired mathematics professor and a self-described "old-fashioned" mathematician who tackled neglected problems in a broad range of fields, died Jan. 27 at age 83.

In an age of specialization, Robinson switched fields frequently over six decades, making significant contributions to such diverse areas as logic, set theory, combinatorial mathematics, aspects of geometry, complex analysis and number theory.

He was among the first to use computers to obtain results in pure mathematics, anticipating most of the mathematical community by 20 years. In 1952 he wrote the first program to factor a large prime number. Robinson was actively working and contributing new mathematics into his 80s. He published several joint papers with his wife, Julia Bowman Robinson.

Raphael Robinson received his BA (1932), MA (1933) and PhD (1935) in mathematics from Berkeley. He was promoted to full professor in 1949 and retired in 1973.

Except for a few private bequests, Robinson's estate will go into the Julia B. Robinson Memorial Fellowship Fund, which he established after her death to assist graduate students in mathematics at Berkeley. Checks in his remembrance may be sent to the Robinson Fund, mathematics department, UC Berkeley, CA 94720-3840.

Around Cal

Tan Chemistry Building Rises

The College of Chemistry's nine-story Tan Kah Kee Hall should be finished by spring 1996. Two floors will be underground. Total cost is $39.7 million, of which $26.5 million is being raised from private sources.

The building is named after industrialist and philanthropist Tan Kah Kee, whose friends gave $8.5 million to the project in his memory. Construction company is Hensel Phelps; architect is Stone, Maraccini and Patterson of San Francisco.

Awards and Honors

Bruce Bolt, professor emeritus of geology and geophysics, has received the 1994 Alfred E. Alquist award of the California Earthquake Safety Foundation for "achievement in earthquake safety and sustained leadership in the earthquake studies field." The silver medal of the award will be presented at the annual meeting of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute.

Ian Carmichael, professor of geology, has received the 1995 Murchison medal from the Geological Society of London, the oldest geological society. The award, which has been given continuously since 1873, will be presented in London in June.

David Hodges, dean of the College of Engineering, has accepted an invitation to serve on the advisory board for the Center for Science, Technology, and Congress for the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The center is intended to assist Congress in gaining access to timely and objective information on the many scientific and technical issues it faces.

Andrew Neureuther, professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences, has been elected to membership in the National Academy of Engineering, the highest professional honor for an American engineer.

Neureuther is an authority on computer-aided modeling of various processes used in manufacturing integrated circuits. His work has been used widely in industry to improve chip fabrication.

His election brings the total Berkeley faculty membership in the academy to 68. The academy cited Neureuther for "outstanding research and teaching in the field of computer-aided modeling of lithography and semiconductor fabrication processes."

John Quigley, chair of the economics department and professor of public policy, has been elected president of the American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, which is composed of about a thousand academics, mostly in departments of economics, business, public policy and planning. Quigley will serve as program chair for annual meetings of the association before assuming the presidency in 1996.


New 403(b) Loan Program Interest Rates

The 403(b) loan program allows faculty and staff to borrow money from their own tax-deferred 403(b) plan account balances. Repayments are made by payroll deduction. The repayment and interest go back into the employee's account, minus a small administrative fee.

The repayment period for a short-term loan is one to five years. Long-term loans are available only if the money is used to buy a principal residence, with a repayment period of up to 15 years.

Current loan rates through April 30, 1995 are 6.40 percent for a short-term loan and 6.30 percent for a long-term loan.

Loan packets, including applications, are available through department benefits counselors.

Systematic Withdrawals Available for Inactive Savings Plan Members

Effective Jan. 1, 1995, systematic withdrawals are available as an additional retirement income optionfor inactive participants of the Tax-Deferred 403(b) Plan and/or Defined Contribution Plan (DC Plan). Active employees (including UCRP retirees in casual appointments) are not eligible. Systematic withdrawals provide a convenient way for inactive participants to receive monthly distributions from the 403(b) Plan, the DC Plan, or both, without having to submit a distribution request form each time.

Systematic withdrawals are available to inactive participants of any age who have the required $2,000 minimum balance in either plan, although distribution penalties may apply to those under age 59-1/2. All systematic withdrawals, which are distributed until the participant's cancellation of election, will be subject to 20 percent federal withholding tax. There is no required minimum payment amount and elections may be canceled or revised at any time.

1995 Social Security Wage Base Changes

The Social Security Administration has announced that the 1995 taxable wage base for the Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) is $61,200.

All wages are subject to the payroll tax for Medicare.

The employee contribution rate will remain at 6.2 percent for the OASDI component and 1.45 percent for the Medicare health insurance component.

Staff Enrichment

Employee Development And Training

For more information, for copies of the 1994-95 Employee Development and Training catalog or for information on how to enroll in classes, call 642-8134.

Interview and Selection

March 8, 8:30 am-4:30 pm, Room 24, University Hall

Learn how to use the personnel office employment unit to expedite hiring new employees, write focused interview questions and make final selections based on comparability factors.

Preparing and Using Flip Charts and Overheads

March 17, 10 am-noon, Room 24, University Hall

Preparing effective visual aids can make your presentation easier, more interesting and even more fun. Through demonstration and practice you will learn how to make and use effective flip charts and overheads.

Staff Diversity Program

For more information, call the Staff Affirmative Action Office at 642-5002.

Managing Diversity at UCB:

An Overview

March 9, 8:30 am-12:30 pm, Room 24, University Hall

This workshop for UC Berkeley managers defines diversity and uses exercises, discussion and lecture to explore the interaction of diversity and management, including the role of manager, skills needed to manage effectively in a multicultural environment, the relationship between diversity and affirmative action and resources available to campus managers.


For information, a complete program flyer or to enroll, call 643-4646.


Tuesdays, March 7-21,

12:10-12:55 pm, free

Find out how the body changes during menopause, identify methods to cope with symptoms of menopause, evaluate the pros and cons of estrogen replacement therapy.

Computers at Work

March 16, 10:30 am-noon, free

Learn about health issues related to computer use, design a user friendly workstation, practice exercises to relieve computer related aches and pains.

Making VDT Workstations

User Friendly

March 22, 8 am-noon, free

This is a training for departmental VDT workstation evaluators. Learn the ABC's of a successful departmental VDT health and safety program, practice the basics of a VDT workstation evaluation, identify how to set priorities in modifying VDT workstations.


Materiel Management

Business Affirmative Action

March 20, 9 am-noon, Room 150 University Hall

This Office of Small Business Development workshop covers university policy, business affirmative action goals, federal subcontracting plans, fast track purchasing, Pro Card and more. Call 642-8601 for information.

Trademarks and Licensing

Protecting the UC Berkeley Image

March 9, 10 am-noon, 36 University Hall, free, door prizes

Call Maria Rubinshteyn, 642-6344, for information.

Care Services

Care Services provides counseling, assessment and referral services for faculty and staff. For information or to enroll in their classes, call 643-7754.

Assertiveness Workshop

March 8, 11 am-1 pm

Explore the dynamics of assertive communication and your own communication styles.

Relaxation Training for Stress

March 9, 3:30-5 pm

Identify and practice relaxation techniques that may help you cope with stress.

HIV in the Workplace Support Group

March 8 and 15, noon-1 pm

Focuses on the issues raised when caring for people with HIV/AIDS and working.

Adoptive Parents Support Group

March 17, May 12, noon-1:30 pm

An ongoing support group that began last semester and has two more meetings this semester. Each meeting includes discussion, special topics and guest speakers.


Copyright 1995, The Regents of the University of California.
Produced and maintained by the Office of Public Affairs at UC Berkeley.
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