Around Storke Tower  Special Edition 2011

UCSB Ranked No. 35 in World University Rankings

UC Santa Barbara has been ranked number 35 in a list of the world’s top 200 universities released today by Times Higher Education, a British periodical. Among U.S. universities, UC Santa Barbara is ranked number 24. The 2011-12 World University Rankings use a methodology developed with data supplied by Thomson Reuters, and give more weight to hard measures of excellence in all three core elements of a university’s mission –– research, teaching, and knowledge transfer. They include 13 separate performance indicators, across five categories: teaching, research, citation impact, industry income, and international mix.

Professors Receive NSF Grant to Bring Wireless Technology to Rural Africa

africaThe city of Macha, located in the southern province of Zambia in sub-Saharan Africa, has a population of roughly 130,000. It also has Internet connectivity, but for only a small group of users –– perhaps 300 in all.

With a $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation, UC Santa Barbara scholars Elizabeth Belding and Lisa Parks are embarking on a project that will bring the information superhighway to the homes and businesses of everyone in the local community. To accomplish that, Belding's research group is working at the frontiers of wireless networking, developing a lot of technology that, at this point, doesn't exist. One component of the project is to develop VillageCell, a low-cost system that provides free local cellular and data telephone service.

International Team Crafts Plan for Feeding the World While Protecting the Planet

agricultureChristian Balzer, a graduate student in UC Santa Barbara’s Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology, contributed to an international effort to create a plan for environmentally sustainable agriculture in the decades ahead –– in the face of high population growth. “Global food security and environmental sustainability are not at odds –– they can and must go hand-in-hand,” said Balzer.

The report, published in the journal Nature, presents a recipe for doubling the world’s food production while reducing environmental impacts of agriculture. The team's recommendation is to successfully pursue sustainable food production on five key fronts: halting farmland expansion in the tropics; closing yield gaps on underperforming lands; using agricultural inputs more strategically; shifting diets; and reducing food waste.

Ocean Walk Faculty Housing Project Receives LEED Certification

housingThe first 22 homes of UC Santa Barbara's Ocean Walk faculty housing project have been awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Homes certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. Ocean Walk is the first housing project in the University of California system to receive LEED for Homes certification. Ocean Walk at North Campus is UC Santa Barbara’s newest planned faculty housing community. It was created under the authority of the Board of Regents to provide affordable housing for faculty.

centenaryNobel Laureate Honored as Centenary Solvay Chair

The International Solvay Institutes have created a special “Solvay Centenary Chair,” which has been granted to David J. Gross, Nobel laureate in physics, for his seminal contributions to particle physics and string theory.

Gross holds the Frederick W. Gluck Chair in Theoretical Physics at UCSB and is director of UC Santa Barbara’s Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics. Gross will chair the 25th Solvay Conference, “The Theory of The Quantum World,” which is being held this week on the 100th anniversary of the first Solvay Conference on Physics. This first international physics conference, which has gained legendary status, marked a profound rupture between classical physics and quantum physics.

From UC Santa Barbara’s Office of Public Affairs

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