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22 Faculty Receive Chancellor's Award

posted September 30, 1998

Twenty-two professors have been recognized this year with Chancellor's Professorships for distinguished research, teaching and service.

Created in 1996 as one of Chancellor Tien's Bridge Initiatives, Chancellor's Professorships offer three annual stipends of $20,000, to be used for any research-related expense. As in the past, this year's recipients were nominated by department chairs or deans.

These last recipients of 60 Chancellor's Professorships, created to further research on campus, began their appointments July 1, 1998.

Paul Alivisatos
Department of Chemistry
"I am studying nano-crystals, which are very small inorganic crystals. They are so small that their properties depend on size. There's likely to be all kinds of applications. We all know that electronics is being miniaturized. The features on computer chips will soon be so small that size effects become important. Studies of how properties depend on size are fundamental to our understanding of materials, so this research is important for technology as well as science."

Walter Alvarez
Department of Geology and Geophysics
"I am an earth historian, and worked for many years on the impact that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. Now I'm shifting to the history of mountains and seas in the Mediterranean area, and the earth history recorded in the magnificent rock exposures of the Colorado Plateau. Scientists often find it very hard to obtain research support when moving into new areas, but the Chancellor's Professorship will make it possible to support graduate students whose thesis research is on these new topics. This financial help could not have come at a better time than during a major shift in research interests."

George Breslauer
Department of Political Science
"I am taking my first sabbatical leave in 19 years, and will spend it working on a book that I've tentatively titled, "Boris Yeltsin as Leader." I have written articles and published books on the leadership of Khrushchev, Brezhnev and Gorbachev. Now I will be comparing patterns in Yeltsin's leadership with that of Gorbachev and Brezhnev. What this professorship makes possible is several quick trips to Moscow for research. This is a stunning honor."

Roy Caldwell
Department of Integrative Biology
"This professorship will support some of my field work -- studying octopus and mantis shrimp -- in Moorea, Indonesia, and Australia."

James Casey
Department of Mechanical Engineering
"I'll continue to pursue research in continuum mechanics, particularly in the area of theoretical plasticity. As funding is limited in the field of theoretical mechanics, the Chancellor's award provides welcome support."

David Cohen
Department of Rhetoric
"I'm currently researching World War II war crimes trials in both Asia and Europe. The records of these trials are scattered all over the world. I'm trying to collect the records and archive them, and possibly bring them to the West Coast."

Eugene Commins
Department of Physics
"I am doing research in experimental physics. I'm looking for the electric dipole moment of the electron. It is a problem of considerable interest these days. There is no practical application but it is conceptually significant in physics."

Andrea DiSessa
Graduate School of Education
"The professorship will help me continue work on math and science computer programs for school children -- programs that allow teachers and kids to modify and create simulations on their own. We think teachers and kids should be given credit for being creative individuals."

Troy Duster
Department of Sociology
"I am looking at the social meaning of developments in genetics, examining how people deal with diseases such as cystic fibrosis and sickle cell anemia in work, school and home environments. This research differs from previous studies, which focused only on people in clinics and hospitals."

Paula Fass
Department of History
"I am looking at trial spectatorship -- what makes trials appeal to the public. I am working on a book that will begin by examining the 'real trial of the century,' the Nuremburg trial. Given its international significance, the trial attracted relatively little attention. It was both a political and a criminal trial but it didn't captivate the common person."

Jeffrey Frankel
Department of Economics
"I am currently on leave in Washington, DC, as a member of the President's Council of Economic Advisors. I won't be returning to teaching and scholarly research for another year. At Berkeley I was researching regional trading blocs."

Wayne Getz
Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management
"I'm working on two projects: the application of neural network theory to insect olfaction (bugs' ability to smell), and applying mathematical models to sustainable wildlife management by rural communities in Africa. The professorship will help me support a post doc in neural-network modelling as well as support students working in Africa."

Stephen Glickman
Department of Psychology
"I have been developing an interest in historical topics related to psychology and biology. The Chancellor's Professorship will enable me to continue my studies on Alfred Russell Wallace, who studied natural history in Indonesia. I'll be able to research both at the places where he worked and by reading his works in a London library where they are housed."

David Hollinger
Department of History
"I am working on a book about children of Protestant missionaries and their impact on American life in the middle decades of the 20th century."

Chenming Hu
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences
"The professorship will help support an undergraduate research project called 'Technology for Living,' which combines undergraduate research with community service. The students use their technological know-how to help disabled people, from fixing toys for disabled children to designing computer-based technologies for disabled adults."

Carolyn Merchant
Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management
"I'm putting my courses on the Internet. I'm also working on a book called 'Reinventing Eden: Women, Nature and Narrative.' Since the 17th century, Western culture has tried to turn the earth into a garden-planet by cutting down the forests and irrigating the deserts in an attempt to reinvent nature. My book shows how the environmentalists are trying to restore a lost environment while the progressives are trying to turn the world into a shopping mall.

William Miller
Department of Chemistry
"I am doing theoretical work trying to explain chemical reactions at the most fundamental levels."

Eric Rakowski
School of Law
Rakowski is on leave this year, teaching at Harvard. "The Chancellor's Professorship will enable me to continue my research on the taxation of wealth and wealth transfers (estates), and health care."

Marina Ratner
Department of Mathematics
"I plan to use my Chancellor's Professorship to enhance my research, to attend conferences, and invite colleagues working on important problems related to my research to come to Berkeley. I am now working on a number of fundamental problems in Lie group theory, dynamics, and related number theory."

Nicholas Sitar
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
"I'm studying the behavior of discontinuous rock masses, looking at the stability of rock slopes and tunnels in rock."

Candace Slater
Department of Spanish and Portuguese
"I'm researching contemporary Brazilian literature and civilization. I'm also examining Latin American and Iberian folk and popular traditions."

Andrew Stewart
Department of Art History
"I am researching a number of sculptures in France, Italy and Greece. Some of this work will involve hiring a professional photographer to document these sculptures which have never been properly documented and published."



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