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MEDIA ADVISORY: Press briefing about the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS)


Contact: Robert Sanders
(510) 643-6998



A press briefing about the University of California, Berkeley's Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS), which Gov. Gray Davis today (Thursday, Dec. 7) endorsed as a fourth California Institute for Science and Innovation. He said he will seek funding for CITRIS from the California Legislature next year.

CITRIS was one of six proposed institutes, three of which Davis selected today to receive $100 million each from the state over four years. The several hundred million dollar CITRIS project will use new information technology to produce scientific advances in fields critical to the future of the California economy.

WHEN: 3 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7.  
WHERE: Wozniak Lounge, fourth floor of Soda Hall, UC Berkeley. Soda Hall is at the corner of Hearst and LeRoy avenues, on the north edge of the campus.  
WHO: Chancellor Robert M. Berdahl, UC Berkeley
Chancellor M.R.C. Greenwood, UC Santa Cruz
Dean Richard Newton, College of Engineering, UC Berkeley
Professor James Demmel, associate director of CITRIS
Rod Park, senior associate for academic development, UC Merced

BACKGROUND: In his year 2000 State of the State address, the governor proposed the creation of CISI to help California maintain its premier standing in science and technology and to provide the technological underpinnings for the state's future economic growth. His fiscal year 2000-2001 budget included $75 million to establish the institutes.

CITRIS, a CISI finalist, involves engineers, scientists and scholars from UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz and UC Merced. CITRIS projects range from the design of information systems for emergency and disaster response in an earthquake to life-saving medical alert sensors to "smart" buildings that automatically adjust their internal environment, saving both energy and pollution costs.

VISUALS: Samples of "smart dust" - millimeter-sized, cheap sensors outfitted with wireless communication and onboard computer processing that are key to many of the societal applications envisioned by CITRIS.