UC Berkeley News


Celebrating Berkeley's blue ribbons, gold stars, and honorable mentions

06 February 2008

Google's search for outstanding scholars has led it to Berkeley's own Marti Hearst, associate professor in the School of Information. Hearst, who has an affiliate appointment in the Computer Science Division of EECS, is the proud winner of a $50,000 Google Research Award, which will support her work in developing algorithms to help improve the usability of social tags for navigation and search tasks. Hearst earned her bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees at Berkeley, serving on the research staff of Xerox Parc before returning to join the faculty.

The New Yorker is singing the praises of Myra Melford, assistant professor of improvisation and jazz, for her rhythmic contributions to the world of jazz. Its "Jazz Notes" column named Spark!, the pianist's second duet recording with reedist Marty Ehrlich, among the "best of 2007" jazz albums. Spark!, the magazine said, is "lyrical, eclectic, and adventurous." Melford, a veteran composer and recording artist, will appear live next month at Berkeley's Freight & Salvage Coffee House.

Lowell Bergman, a longtime investigative reporter for the New York Times and a producer/correspondent for the PBS series Frontline, is a candidate for three Writers Guild of America Awards. Bergman, the Reva and David Logan Distinguished Professor of Investigative Journalism, was nominated for The Enemy Within, a documentary look at the U.S. government's domestic counterterrorism efforts, and for two episodes of News War, a four-part Frontline series co-produced by the Graduate School of Journalism. Winners will be announced this Friday, Feb. 8.

Mark Tanouye, professor of neurobiology, is one of six scientists to share grants totaling $1.8 million as winners of the 2008 Neuroscience of Brain Disorders Awards, given by the McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience. Tanouye, whose research focuses on developing novel genetic approaches to the study of epilepsy and other nervous-system disorders, will receive $300,000 over the next three years.

The Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology has recognized assistant professor Sheila Patek with its 2008 Bartholomew Award, given annually by the Division of Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry to a young investigator for distinguished contributions. Patek studies the evolution of sensory and mechanical systems in arthropods. She presented the Bartholomew Lecture - named in honor of the late George Bartholomew, a biologist at UCLA and president of the society - at the organization's annual meeting in San Antonio.

Berkeley scholars swept the Open Archaeology Prize competition of the Alexandra Archive Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to "digital open access for world cultural heritage research and instruction." First prize for a senior scholar went to a team led by anthropology professor Ruth Tringham and program manager Noah Wittman for their website, "Remixing Catalhöyök" which features "the investigations and discoveries" of Berkeley archaeologists at the site of a 9,000-year-old farming community in what is now central Turkey. The top prize for a junior scholar was awarded to Catherine Foster, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Near Eastern Studies.

A pair of Berkeley scholars also received the 2007 Paul Davidoff Award, presented by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning. The biennial award, presented to Randy Hester, professor of landscape architecture, and Jason Corborn, assistant professor of city and regional planning, recognizes "an outstanding book publication promoting participatory planning and positive social change, opposing poverty and racism as factors in society, and seeking ways to reduce disparities between rich and poor, white and black, men and women." Hester won for Design for Ecological Democracy (2006, MIT Press), Corborn for Street Science: Community Knowledge and Environmental Health Justice (2005, MIT Press).

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