Divisions & Units - Mathematical & Physical Sciences

Portrait honoring David Blackwell unveiled in namesake residence hall

December 7, 2018

A portrait honoring David Blackwell, the first black man to get tenure at UC Berkeley, was unveiled this week in the residence hall bearing his name.  The portrait was commissioned by Richard Davis, a friend and former student of the late math professor Blackwell.

What magnetic fields can tell us about life on other planets

November 21, 2018

Earth's magnetic field is one of the key elements that allows it to sustain life. A new analysis of Earth-like exoplanets up to five times the size of our world suggests that they probably have a magnetic field like our own, but one generated in a totally novel way: by the planets’ magma oceans.

Is it time to rename Oakland International Airport for alumna Maggie Gee?

October 26, 2018

A new petition seeks to rename Oakland International Airport after Berkeley alumna Maggie Gee, who dropped out during WWII and fought discrimination to join the US military as one of its first volunteer female pilots. After the war she returned to Berkeley to complete a degree in physics, and led a successful career as a scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.

When it has to be done yesterday, the physics world turns to Berkeley

October 23, 2018

When your telescope breaks at the South Pole, a zillion miles away from, well, pretty much anywhere, who do you call? Odds are it would be to Warner Carlisle and his crew at UC Berkeley’s physics lab, who perform research-saving repairs for scientists and technicians from Athens to Antarctica.

150 years after last big East Bay quake, what have we learned?

October 19, 2018

We're due for a big quake - scientists think one happens along the Hayward Fault roughly every 150 years. But Roland Bürgmann, a UC Berkeley professor of earth and planetary science and a member of the UC Berkeley Seismology Lab, says that while there’s nothing we can do to prevent or predict big quakes, we understand the fault — and the risk — better than ever before.

Will Hurricane Michael sprint or linger once it hits land?

October 10, 2018

As Hurricane Michael moves toward what will likely be a deadly interaction with the panhandle of Florida, one of the primary questions facing those who will be impacted is just how the storm will manifest itself. William Boos, an associate professor of earth and planetary sciences at UC Berkeley, is one of many researchers hoping to better understand storm systems to predict future damage.

Two Berkeley alums win MacArthur ‘genius’ awards

October 9, 2018

The MacArthur Foundation yesterday unveiled the 25 newest stars in its constellation of “genius” award winners, among them mathematician Allan Sly, a mathematics professor at Princeton who earned his Ph.D. in statistics at Berkeley in 2009 and served on the statistics faculty at Berkeley from 2011-2016.

Ghost objects in the sky

October 4, 2018

Astronomers typically study objects that are visible night after night or explode suddenly, like supernovas, but astronomy researcher Casey Law is scouring vast amounts of data in search of bright objects that disappear, never to be seen again.

Meet our new faculty: Semyon Dyatlov, mathematics

September 11, 2018

Semyon Dyatlov, who received his Ph.D. from Berkeley in 2013, is joining the faculty as an assistant professor of mathematics.

Blackwell Hall is officially dedicated to late statistics professor

September 12, 2018

Campus leaders gathered this week to dedicate UC Berkeley’s newest residence hall to David Blackwell, the first black professor to receive tenure at Berkeley and a preeminent statistician who died in 2010. Blackwell Hall opened to more than 750 students in August and features study centers, a gym and plenty of ping-pong and pool tables.