Janet Broughton, Executive Dean, College of Letters & Science
Janet Broughton is Vice Provost for the Faculty, Emerita, and Professor of Philosophy, Emerita. She is a scholar of 17th- and 18th-century philosophy, with a special interest in skepticism. She is author of Descartes’s Method of Doubt and co-editor of The Blackwell Companion to Descartes. Currently she is working on a book about Hume’s complicated blend of radical skepticism and ordinary belief.
Broughton received her B.A. from UC Davis and her Ph.D. in philosophy from Princeton University. She taught at Harvard University before coming to Berkeley in 1979.
Anthony J. Cascardi, Dean, Arts & Humanities Division
Anthony J. Cascardi is a professor of comparative literature, of rhetoric, and of Spanish. He is a former director of the Doreen B. Townsend Center for the Humanities and of the Arts Research Center at Berkeley. Cascardi’s research interests include aesthetic theory, the novel, early modern Europe, and the relations between literature and philosophy. His publications include two edited volumes, Art and Aesthetics After Adorno (U California P, 2010) and Poiesis and Modernity in the Old and New Worlds(Vanderbilt UP, 2012), the book Cervantes, Literature, and the Discourse of Politics (U Toronto P, 2011), and The Cambridge Introduction to Literature and Philosophy (Cambridge P, 2014).
Raka Ray, Dean, Social Sciences Division
Raka Ray began her term as dean of social sciences at UC Berkeley on January 1, 2020. Dean Ray is an award-winning mentor and teacher, and has previously held several leadership positions at UC Berkeley, including Chair of the Institute of South Asia Studies (2003-2012), Chair of the Department of Sociology (2012-2015), and Chair of the Academic Senate Committee on Budget and Interdepartmental Relations. Ray is much in demand as a speaker on issues ranging from gender and feminist theory, postcolonial sociology, contemporary politics in the US and India, and her current project on the transformations in gender wrought by the decline of traditional fields of work for men. Ray’s publications include Fields of Protest: Women’s Movements in India (University of Minnesota, 1999; and in India, Kali for Women, 2000), Social Movements in India: Poverty, Power, and Politics, co-edited with Mary Katzenstein (Rowman and Littlefeld, 2005), Cultures of Servitude: Modernity, Domesticity and Class in India with Seemin Qayum (Stanford 2009), The Handbook of Gender (OUP, India 2011), Both Elite and Everyman: The Cultural Politics of the Indian Middle Classes, co-edited with Amita Baviskar (Routledge, 2011), The Social Life of Gender (Sage 2017) co-edited with Jennifer Carlson and Abigail Andrews, and many articles and op-eds. Dean Ray earned a Bachelor’s degree from Bryn Mawr College (1985), and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1993). She has been a Professor of Sociology and South and Southeast Asia Studies at the University of California, Berkeley since 1993.
Michael R. Botchan, Dean, Biological Sciences Division
Michael Botchan is Dean of Biology and a professor of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Structural Biology at the University of California, Berkeley. He is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The Botchan Lab at UC Berkeley studies the mechanisms and regulation of DNA replication and gene expression in eukaryotes, especially focused on how these processes couple to the cell cycle and progression from G1 to S phase in a developmental context.
Frances Hellman, Dean, Mathematical & Physical Sciences Division
Frances Hellman received her B.A. in physics from Dartmouth College in 1978, graduating summa cum laude and phi beta kappa with high honors in physics. She received her Ph.D. in applied physics from Stanford University in 1985. After a two-year postdoc in thin film magnetism at AT&T Bell Labs, she went to UCSD as an assistant professor in 1987, where she received tenure in 1994 and became a full professor in 2000. She joined the Physics Department at UC Berkeley in January 2005, became chair of the department in 2007, and became dean of Mathematical & Physical Sciences in January 2015.
Bob Jacobsen, Dean, Undergraduate Studies
Bob Jacobsen obtained a B.S.E.E. from MIT in 1978. He spent 1976 through 1986 working in the computer and data communications industry for a small company that was successively bought out by larger and larger companies. He left in 1986 to return to graduate school in physics, obtaining his Ph.D. in experimental high energy physics from Stanford in 1991. From 1991 through 1994, he was a scientific associate and scientific staff member at CERN, the European Laboratory for Nuclear Physics, in Geneva Switzerland. While there, he was a member of the ALEPH collaboration concentrating on B physics and on the energy calibration of the LEP collider. He joined the faculty at Berkeley in 1995.
Fundamental particle physics, particularly from the experimental perspective, is my primary research interest. Over the past 20 years the “Standard Model” of high energy physics has triumphed in precise tests of predictions of various quantities. The next step is to learn more about the unknown parameters, particularly in the neutrino sector, and to search for hints to the remaining phenomenological mysteries: Dark Energy and Dark Matter.
The LHC collider and experiments provides one powerful approach to these next steps. But it’s also possible to make progress with smaller projects that address specific questions. For example, a number of different techniques are being used, and new ones are being proposed, for experimental searches for dark matter. My interest lies with using very quiet targets, for example heavily-shielded and high pure targets of liquid Xenon, and watching them with high-sensitivity phototube arrays to detect possible interactions with dark matter particles as they transit through the Earth. Much like the initial solar neutrino experiments of decades ago, this is an exercise in careful understanding of backgrounds and observation of very small, low-rate signals with high confidence levels. Experimentally, it’s hard, but also a lot of fun. From a physics perspective, confirmed observations of dark matter particles would open up an entirely new window on fundamental physics.
The LUX detector is located 4850 feet underground at the Homestake Mine in Lead, South Dakota. In 2013 it published the best-yet limits on WIMP-type dark matter. In 2014 and 2015 we’ll have a longer run to gather more data, along with new calibration methods to improve our ability to understand that data. After that, the next step is a larger detector, called “LZ”. This 6+ tonne liquid Xenon detector will replace LUX in the cavern, and provide a large improvement in sensitivity. It’s being designed now (2014) and will be constructed at LBL and other sites over the next few years. We expect “first dark”, the initial operation, some time in 2018.