Engineering News
October 6, 2006 Vol. 77, no. 8F

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Big C gets a touch up

LETTERED: ME students (right) watch as members of the UC Rally Committee prepare to re-paint the “Big C” yellow after Stanford was suspected of surreptitiously painting it red. The mechies had taken a hike up to the Big C as part of an activity with Pi Tau Sigma, the ME honor society. If you haven’t visited the hallowed spot, you should. It’s about a 30-minute hike from Bechtel Engineering Center. Start at the Foothill Parking Lot. Follow the dirt track that begins in the southeast corner of the lot. Take the fork that becomes paved (briefly) and keep heading up. Wear shoes with good traction and bring water. The view from the top is worth it! RACHEL SHAFER PHOTO

Drawing with light
Professor Brian Barsky teaches the art and science of photography

With the proliferation of point-and-click digital cameras and camera phones, taking a photo has never been easier. But that doesn’t mean pictures are better. “As cameras have become smarter, people may not be learning about photography because they’re relying on the camera to do everything for them automatically,” says EECS professor Brian Barsky. “Technique, lighting, composition, an aesthetic sense, storytelling — these are all elements that people sometimes skip.”

But in Barsky’s CS 39J, “The Art and Science of Photography: Drawing with Light,” students skip the automatic mode to immerse themselves in f-stops, apertures and the darkroom. They study the work of great photographers. They strive to develop an “eye.” They practice taking photos based on principles covered each week in class, and their assignments are critiqued by the group the following week. In this freshman/sophomore seminar, Barsky teaches his students not only how to take better photos, but how cameras work, the science behind photography, and the art of seeing and producing a good photograph. [FULL STORY]

EECS professor wins prestigious MacArthur award, first for the College

What would you do with $500,000? That’s the pleasant dilemma facing EECS associate professor Claire Tomlin (Ph.D.’98 EECS), who recently won a 2006 MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Fellowship. Tomlin was one of 25 recipients chosen for their creativity, originality and potential to make important future contributions. Fellows receive a $500,000 “no strings attached” grant over the next five years.

“It was really out of the blue,” Tomlin told the San Francisco Chronicle about the surprise phone call. “I was sort of shaking on the phone.” [FULL STORY]

Great performances
Engineers in Theatre Rice discover the joys of being onstage

The first time EECS senior Jeff Chou performed improv comedy in front of a live audience, he was a sophomore. “Five minutes before going on, I was really nervous,” he recalls. “But when it was my turn, I forgot everything else and just went out there. When you say something and the audience laughs, it’s thrilling. Being onstage definitely changed me.”

Chou is a producer of Theatre Rice, an Asian American theater group run entirely by Berkeley students that performs improv, sketch comedy, plays and monologues, among other modern pieces. It began in 1998 as a way to promote Asian Americans in theater, though you don’t have to be Asian American to join. Students from a variety of majors are represented, including EECS, ME, BioE and IEOR [FULL STORY]

 

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