<< December 2019 >>

Monday, December 2, 2019

Dynamic perceptual feature selectivity in primary somatosensory cortex upon reversal learning

Lecture | December 2 | 10-11 a.m. | 3101 Berkeley Way West

 Anthony Holtmaat, University of Geneva

 Department of Psychology

Dissertation Talk: "After Revolution: Municipal Encounters and Local Politics in Tunisia" | Lana Salman

Lecture | December 2 | 12:30-2 p.m. | 340 Stephens Hall

 Lana Salman, University of California, Berkeley

 Center for Middle Eastern Studies

What do ‘municipal encounters’, everyday encounters between the ‘street’ and the ‘state’, make visible about the democratizing city? The 2011 revolutions which spread across the globe renewed the interest of urban studies scholars in the city as a site of political encounter, insurgency and the formation of urban social movements. An unsettled debate animates this literature: whether contestation...   More >

BIDS Forum: Statistics and Machine Learning Forum

Lecture | December 2 | 1:30-2:30 p.m. | 190 Doe Library

 Berkeley Institute for Data Science

Full details about this meeting will be posted here: https://bids.berkeley.edu/events.

Richard M. Karp Distinguished Lecture — Average-case Complexity through the Lens of Interactive Arguments

Lecture | December 2 | 4-5 p.m. | Sutardja Dai Hall, Banatao Auditorium

 Rafael Pass, Cornell University

 Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing

Consider the following two fundamental open problems in complexity theory:

Does a hard-on-average language in NP imply the existence of one-way functions?

Does a hard-on-average language in NP imply a hard problem in TFNP (i.e., the class of total NP search problems)?

We show that the answer to (at least) one of these questions is yes. In other words, in Impagliazzo's Pessiland (where NP...   More >

Art, Health, and Equity in the City of Richmond

Lecture | December 2 | 6:30-8 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Betty Reid Soskin; Donté Clark; Ptah Tracey Mitchell

 Arts + Design

Presented by the City of Richmond and UC Berkeley Arts + Design

Betty Reid Soskin, National Park Service, Ranger at Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond, CA
Donte Clark, Playwright, Storyteller, Former Poet Laureate of Richmond, CA
Ptah Tracey Mitchell, West Contra Costa Unified School District

Author, activist, and park ranger Betty Reid Soskin; writer...   More >

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Past Incentives, Present Choices: Ideational Legacies and the Politics of Migration in European Minority Regions

Lecture | December 3 | 12-1 p.m. | 223 Moses Hall

 Christina Isabel Zuber, University of Konstanz

 Institute of European Studies, Program for the Study of Italy, Spanish Studies Program, German Historical Institute Washington - Pacific Regional Office Berkeley

Christina Isabel Zuber presents the main arguments and empirical findings of her book project on ideational legacies and the politics of migration in European minority regions. The empirical analysis focuses on Catalonia and South Tyrol, two minority regions that respond very differently to immigration. South Tyrolean elites frame immigration as a threat and restrict immigrants’ access to social...   More >

Christina Isabel Zuber

Simons Institute Theoretically Speaking Series — Artificial Stupidity: The New AI and the Future of Fintech

Lecture | December 3 | 6-7:30 p.m. |  David Brower Center

 2150 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA 94704

 Andrew W. Lo, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

 Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing

Financial AI seems so close, yet so far. We have automated trading algorithms, machine-learning models of credit risk, electronic exchanges, robo advisors, and cryptocurrencies, but machines still haven’t replaced portfolio managers, financial advisors, and bankers. So what’s missing? Not artificial intelligence. What's missing is that we have yet to develop an algorithmic understanding of human...   More >

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Townsend Book Chat with Grace Lavery: Quaint, Exquisite: Victorian Aesthetics and the Idea of Japan

Lecture | December 4 | 12-1 p.m. | Stephens Hall, Geballe Room, 220 Stephens

 Townsend Center for the Humanities

Lavery examines the contradictory role — as both rival empire and cradle of exquisite beauty — played by Japan in the Victorian imagination.

Insistent Things: What Artifacts have to Say about Buffalo Soldiers’ Campaign for Citizenship Rights

Lecture | December 4 | 12:10-1 p.m. | 101 2251 College (Archaeological Research Facility)

 Laurie A. Wilkie, Professor, Anthropology, UC Berkeley

 Archaeological Research Facility

This paper will examine the ways that Black regulars serving in the frontier military used personal and company-owned artifacts to participate in national discourses on masculinity, citizenship and being human.

Directing molecular behavior in solution and at solid-liquid interfaces: Eastman Lecturer

Lecture | December 4 | 4-6 p.m. | 180 Tan Hall

 Susannah Scott, University of California Santa Barbara

 Department of Chemical Engineering

Heterogeneous catalyst design is often hampered by a lack of precise information about the molecular identity of the active sites. Synthesizing model catalysts with control of the local structure allows us to interrogate the active sites about their interactions with reactants and products.

Archipelagic Vietnam: Rethinking Nationalism and Trans-Pacific Regionalism at the Shoreline

Lecture | December 4 | 4-5:30 p.m. | 180 Doe Library

 David Biggs, Professor of History, UC Riverside

 Center for Southeast Asia Studies

Until recent conflicts over the South China Sea, Vietnam’s history has been almost wholly described in terrestrial terms. Seaborne connections across the East Sea and the Pacific have however played key roles in defining modern Vietnam. This talk reimagines Vietnam as an archipelago, a more permeable nation-system of nodes linked by flows of energy, food, people and technology.

David Biggs

First Step(pe)s: The Silk Road from a Steppe Perspective

Lecture | December 4 | 5-7 p.m. | 370 Dwinelle Hall

 Ursula B. Brosseder, Bonn University

 Institute of East Asian Studies (IEAS)

Numerous, far-reaching migrations and contacts have taken place during prehistory across the vast Eurasian steppes, reaching from Eastern Europe or the Near East to Inner Asia and present-day China. However, the intensity and speed of connectivity between East and West changed profoundly in the late first millennium BC. Traditional narrative holds that this change was initiated by the travels of...   More >

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Can the French President Emmanuel Macron Reform the Country After the Yellow Vest Protest?

Lecture | December 5 | 12-1 p.m. | 201 Moses Hall

 Jean-Claude Beaujour

 Institute of European Studies, Department of Sociology, Department of French, Berkeley Center on Comparative Equality & Anti-Discrimination Law

One year after the yellow vest movement can the Macron administration resume its reforms: budget deficit, pension, social inequalities. Although this yellow vest movement has declined, the protesters has long said they are not satisfied by the administration answers. Will Emmanuel Macron be able rebuild the relationship with the vast majority of the population in order to implement his political...   More >

Aging Services Faculty Search Candidate Talk

Lecture | November 14 – December 5, 2019 every Thursday with exceptions | 12:10-1:30 p.m. | Haviland Hall, Haviland Commons

 Social Welfare, School of

English Language Teaching Through Symbolic Competence Development: A Possible Response to Brazil’s Law of Quotas

Lecture | December 5 | 12:30-1:30 p.m. | B-4 Dwinelle Hall

 Sabrina Hax Duro Rosa, Visiting Scholar, Berkeley Language Center

 Berkeley Language Center

The Law of Quotas was instituted in Brazil in 2012 as an Affirmative Action policy, divided into Social and Racial Quotas. As an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teacher, I ask: How could EFL classes raise Brazilian students' awareness of racial issues and about racial quotas in particular?

DCRP Lecture Series: Kafui Attoh

Lecture | December 5 | 5:30-7 p.m. | 112 Wurster Hall

 College of Environmental Design

THURSDAY, DEC. 5, 5:30 PM. Uber, Public Transit and the Idiocy of the Smart City

The Age of Intoxication: Psychoactive Drugs in World History

Lecture | December 5 | 6-7:30 p.m. |  Hearst Museum of Anthropology

 Benjamin Breen, UC Santa Cruz

 Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology

How have perceptions of drugs changed over time? This lecture will explore the history of drugs in the colonial era and beyond.

Eating the flesh of an Egyptian mummy prevents the plague. Distilled poppies reduce melancholy. A Turkish drink called coffee increases alertness. Tobacco cures cancer. Such beliefs circulated in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, an era when the term “drug”...   More >

  Buy tickets online

Friday, December 6, 2019

Brexit after the UK Election: what happens next

Lecture | December 6 | 12-1 p.m. | 201 Moses Hall

 David Whineray, Visiting Scholar, Center for British Studies, UC Berkeley

 Institute of European Studies, Center for British Studies

This lecture will cover the reasons for the UK joining and leaving the EU - as well as the current state of the Brexit negotiations and what is likely to happen on Brexit after the upcoming UK election.

Specifically, it will address five issues. First, the history of UK relations with Europe - and why the UK joined the EU in 1973. Second, the reasons for the development of eurosceptism in...   More >

Fall 2019 BLC Fellows Insructional Development Research Projects

Lecture | December 6 | 3-5 p.m. | Dwinelle Hall, B-4 (Classroom side)

 BLC Fellows, UCB

 Berkeley Language Center

Teaching Karuk and Yurok Online: A Story of Pain and Healing
Dmetri Hayes, GSR, Linguistics
The Karuk and Yurok people have told stories orally for centuries. Some of their words have been recorded in dictionaries and written in notebooks by linguists. A great loss of life and language occurred leading to few people speaking Karuk or Yurok in their daily life today. I discuss my attempt to...   More >

Monday, December 9, 2019

El Salvador: Human Rights Denied

Lecture | December 9 | 4-6 p.m. | 102 Moffitt Undergraduate Library

 Alejandro Diaz, Association Legal Guardianship Dra. María Julia Hernández

 Center for Latin American Studies

Alejandro Díaz will discuss the El Mozote massacre and the legal case against its perpetrators. Over four days in 1981, members of the Salvadorian army killed almost 1000 people, including 558 children, in the town of El Mozote, El Salvador. Now the trial has been reopened.

Memorial at the site of the El Mozote massacre, Morazan, El Salvador. (Photo by Efrojas.)

Andrew Braisted Award Lecture: "Radicals: Your Life is in their Hands RNR as a Paradigm"

Lecture | December 9 | 4-5 p.m. | 106 Stanley Hall

 JoAnne Stubbe, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

 College of Chemistry

Ribonucleotide reductases (RNRs) catalyze the de novo reduction of NDPs to dNDPs in all organisms, controlling their relative ratios and amounts and contributing to the fidelity of DNA replication and repair. The class Ia RNRs are composed of a2 and b2 subunits that form an active and dynamic a2b2 complex. Studies with mechanism-based inhibitors have revealed half-sites reactivity with only one...   More >

Julia Robinson Centennial Public Lecture: Julia Robinson: Personal Reflections, Her Work and Time

Lecture | December 9 | 5-6 p.m. |  Sibley Auditorium, Bechtel Engineering Center

 Dr. Lenore Blum, Carnegie Mellon University

 Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI)

I knew Julia Robinson from 1968, when I arrived as a postdoc at Berkeley to work with her, until her death in 1985. As a grad student at MIT, her beautifully written paper, “The decision problem for fields,” was a constant reference while I was developing a model theory and axioms for differentially closed fields (ch 0). When I arrived in Berkeley, I was shocked that this famous mathematician who...   More >

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Birth Strike: The Hidden Fight Over Women's Work

Lecture | December 10 | 4-5:30 p.m. | 602 Barrows Hall

 Jenny Brown

 Department of Gender and Women's Studies

Birth Strike “Lays bare how U.S. politics around race and immigration are closely connected to the struggle for reproductive freedom, both in the past and today. You will never think about reproductive rights in the same way again.”

—Ibram X. Kendi, author, Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America and How to Be an Antiracist, director, Antiracist Research...   More >

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Explaining urban transformations through Roman pottery: the case of Carthago Nova (Southeastern Spain)

Lecture | December 11 | 12-1 p.m. | 101 2251 College (Archaeological Research Facility)

 Alejandro Quevedo, UC Berkeley Roman Material Culture Laboratory

 Archaeological Research Facility

This lecture explores Carthago Nova’s urban reality during the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD based on the archaeological record and taking into account the stratigraphic sequences and the material culture, especially the pottery.

Toward a New American Narrative on the Peopling of America

Lecture | December 11 | 5-8 p.m. | David Brower Center, Goldman Theater

 2150 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA 94704

 John R. Weeks, San Diego State University; Hector Tobar, University of California, Ivine

 Irene Bloemraad, University of California, Berkeley

 Institute of European Studies, German Historical Institute Washingthon - Pacific Regional Office, Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility, Berkeley Interdisciplinary Migration Initiative

This event features two speakers: John R. Weeks, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Geography and Director of the International Population Center at San Diego State University, and Héctor Tobar, Author, Journalist, Associate Professor UC Irvine.

The discussion after the lectures will be moderate by Irene Bloomberg, Chair of Canadian Studies & Director of the Berkeley Interdisciplinary...   More >

  RSVP online by December 10.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

From Revolution to Nation. Popular Unrest in Russian Poland, 1907-1918

Lecture | December 12 | 4-5:30 p.m. | 270 Stephens Hall

 Wiktor Marzec, Assistant Professor, Robert Zajonc Institute for Social Studies, University of Warsaw

 Institute of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ISEEES)

Russian Poland was among the most militant tsarist borderlands during the 1905-1907 Revolution. Harboring long-lasting strikes and breeding bellicose street fighters, Poland witnessed an unprecedented political upheaval manifest in the emergence of mass parties, labor unions and a new public culture. However, only a decade later, when revolutionary movements again loomed large and shook the whole...   More >

Monday, December 16, 2019

BIDS Forum: Statistics and Machine Learning Forum

Lecture | December 16 | 1:30-2:30 p.m. | 190 Doe Library

 Berkeley Institute for Data Science

Full details about this meeting will be posted here: https://bids.berkeley.edu/events.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Science Lecture - How do you feel?: Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Itch, Touch and Pain

Lecture | December 21 | 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | 100 Genetics & Plant Biology Building

 Diana Bautista, Professor, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology


Humans rely on the sensations of itch, touch and pain for a broad range of essential behaviors. For example, acute pain acts as a warning signal that alerts us to noxious mechanical, chemical and thermal stimuli, which are potentially tissue damaging. Likewise, itch sensations trigger reflexes that may protect us from disease-carrying insects. Despite these essential protective functions, itch...   More >

Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Itch, Touch and Pain