This Week @ UCSD
Top Stories Print this story Print Forward to a Friend Forward

Looking Forward to 2008

Ioana Patringenaru | January 7, 2008

This Week@UCSD has asked the campus’ divisions and schools what they have in store for this new year. Here is a preview of some of the exciting developments planned for 2008.


UC San Diego Selected for Nationwide Science Education Program
UC San Diego  Selected for Nationwide Science Education Program Providing more opportunities for undergraduate research will be the goal of the Division of Biological Sciences in 2008. The division is raising funds for Eureka! Scholarships to allow promising students to participate in laboratory research over the summer and get paid for the experience. In another new program launched this year by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), biology students at UCSD will engage in actual research through the first nationwide genomics course. UCSD was one of 12 inaugural institutions selected by HHMI to participate in this new educational initiative. “All of us agree that undergraduates can and should participate early on in authentic research,” said Gabriele Wienhausen, the division’s associate dean for education. “The scientific method and a scientific way of thinking needs to be taught through hands-on experiences.”

Scripps Launches Undergraduate Major;
Celebrates Keeling Curve’s 50th Anniversary

Scripps Launches Undergraduate Major; Celebrates Keeling Curve’s 50th AnniversaryThis year, Scripps will commemorate the beginning of one era while launching another. March will mark the 50th anniversary of the Keeling Curve, a measure of rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels named for the late Scripps geochemist Charles David Keeling. The record represented by the curve has helped scientists identify human use of fossil fuels as the cause. The Weather Channel recently termed the curve the “discovery of global warming” and history’s “Biggest Weather Moment.” Scripps Institution of Oceanography this year is also expanding its official curriculum to include major and minor courses for undergraduate students, in addition to its long tradition of graduate education. Scripps faculty members have taught a variety of UCSD undergraduate courses for decades, but, for the first time, Scripps has assumed full assignment of UCSD's earth sciences major.

Division of Physical Sciences to Launch
Graduate Program as Part of Trans-scale Initiative

The Division of Physical Sciences will introduce a master’s degree program in computational science, mathematics and engineering (CSME) in 2008 to equip students with the skills they need to tackle the increasing number of problems in science and engineering that require extensive computation. A doctoral program in CSME was launched last year and currently has 20 students. CSME is part of the division’s trans-scale initiative, which is aimed at bringing together researchers from multiple disciplines to study scientific phenomena—such as the earth’s climate and the spread of infectious disease—at different scales, from the quantum level to the level of complex systems. To understand the laws of nature at multiple scales, simulations and visualization tools are critical.

Rady School to Offer FlexMBA Program in an Evening Format
UC San Diego  Selected for Nationwide Science Education ProgramBeginning in fall 2008, the Rady School will offer the FlexMBA in two formats, FlexWeekend and FlexEvening, to accommodate the needs of working professionals. The FlexMBA program has been offered in a weekend format since 2004. The FlexEvening MBA provides access to the same rigorous education, but without the commitment of regular time away from work. Classes meet two evenings a week, and students typically complete their degrees in 30 months. Applications for the FlexMBA are currently being accepted for fall 2008. To learn more or apply to the program, please visit


The Division of Social Sciences to Focus
on First Facility for Study of Early Childhood Brain Development

The Division of Social Sciences to Focus on First Facility for Study of Early Childhood Brain DevelopmentVery little is known about the normally developing human brain—especially in its earliest years, when capacities as remarkable as language come online at tremendous speeds. In the past, brain-imaging studies have been conducted either on clinical populations or on sleeping infants, and group findings have been extrapolated for the “average” child, ignoring what is readily apparent in the real world: vast differences among individuals. The Institute for Child and Adolescent Neuroscience (I.CAN) aims to change that. In 2008, the Division of Social Sciences will concentrate efforts to establish the first research facility in the world dedicated to the longitudinal study of early childhood brain development. This basic research has potential significance both for pediatrics and for K-12 education. The institute will be co-directed by Joan Stiles of Cognitive Science and Terry Jernigan of Psychiatry.

Calit2 to Apply Computational Advances to Non-Traditional Fields
Calit2 to Apply Computational Advances to Non-Traditional FieldsThe California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) will step up its role in spreading the gospel of computational science to disciplines that were largely by-passed by the information-technology revolution. From January through June, Calit2 is sponsoring a series of visits from top thinkers around the country. Organized by UCSD political scientist Mathew McCubbins, the seminar series will address how computer science can help social and behavioral scientists do their jobs. Economist Hal Varian from UC Berkeley, Harvard political scientist Gary King, German psychologist Gert Gigerenzer and MIT’s Charles Kemp (a cognitive scientist) are among the world-renowned researchers who will spend time at Calit2 to talk about their experiences using computational science to push the envelope of their respective fields. 

Korea at the IRPS Research this Coming Year
Korea at the Center of IRPS Research this Coming YearKorean studies will be a major focus of The School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IRPS) in the coming year. UCSD scholars will produce at least three new books—on economic development in South Korea, on North Korea’s relations with China and South Korea, and on Korean corruption and development. Additional research, including another three volumes, will be produced by bringing visiting scholars to IRPS’s Korea-Pacific Program and to its Center on Pacific Economies. The new initiatives, led by professors Stephan Haggard and Jong-sung You, with substantial funding from the Seoul-based Academy of Korean Studies, will further strengthen UC San Diego’s reputation as a center for the study of contemporary Korea.


Price Center Expansion to Open its Doors
Jacobs School to Break Ground on New BuildingCompletion is expected in March of the $76.6 million Price Center expansion and renovation project, which nearly doubles in size the original structure. A new food court, with eight additional restaurants, will feature indoor seating for 375 people and outdoor seating for 160. Other amenities for students include a post office, bank, grocery store and hair salon. More office space for student organizations will be provided along with significantly more lounge and study spaces, as well as spaces to just hang out. Additional meeting and program space will include a performance ballroom designed with cultural student organizations in mind. A highly anticipated program space and social lounge, The Loft, will offer high quality programming, great food and interesting design.

Jacobs School to Break Ground on New Building
Jacobs School to Break Ground on New BuildingGroundbreaking is expected by late summer or early fall for the energy- and resource-efficient Structural Engineering and Materials Science Building on the central campus between Matthews Lane and Lyman Avenue. The building will be home to the Jacobs School of Engineering’s structural engineering department as well as to the newly formed nanoengineering department, one of the first university departments in the nation to address nanoscale science and engineering research and education in a comprehensive way. The building’s 110,000 assignable square feet will be devoted to classrooms, laboratory areas and faculty and administrative offices. Construction of the four-story building is expected to be completed by 2010. 

SDSC to Open “Green” Building Addition in 2008
SDSC to Open Green Building Addition in 2008The San Diego Supercomputer Center will double in size, when its new “green” 80,000-square-foot building expansion is completed next summer. Besides adding 5,000 square feet to its data center, the new structure will house classrooms, offices, meeting rooms and a 250-seat auditorium. The SDSC expansion is designed for energy efficiency, including awnings that limit the impact of the sun’s rays; a concrete exterior that will help cool the building naturally; and a cogeneration system that will convert waste steam to power chillers for the data center. Designed by the firm of Esherick Homsey Dodge and Davis, the new building earned the 2005 Best Practices Award for innovative heating, ventilation and air conditioning design from the Higher Education Energy Partnership.

Expansion of UCSD Medical Center in La Jolla Takes Shape
Expansion of UCSD Medical Center in La Jolla Takes ShapeUCSD’s health system will finalize architectural and program plans for a new 100- to 150-bed inpatient tower that will expand services on the UCSD Medical Center-La Jolla campus, building further on the additional capacity that is being created with the Sulpizio Family Cardiovascular Center. In addition, several enhancement projects at the UCSD Medical Center-Hillcrest, including expansion of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, will be completed, and planning will begin for further improvement of the women and infants services provided in Hillcrest. The Medical Center vision is “Clinical Excellence Through Service, Innovation and Education” and a new strategic plan is being implemented to further strengthen UCSD’s regional and national reputation as a premier academic medical center, through recruitment of clinical stars as well as the continuing development of regional centers of excellence in oncology, cardiovascular care and surgery.

Arts and Humanities Re-Launches
University Art Gallery, With New Curator at Helm
Expansion of UCSD Medical Center in La Jolla Takes ShapeShuttered since 2006 for renovation and reorganization, the University Art Gallery will reopen in January with “In the Beginning,” an exhibition put together by Stephen Hepworth, the new curator for the gallery, recently recruited from London. The show will feature contemporary artists from around the world whose practice involves text—and will, as Hepworth put it, “saturate” the extensively renovated space with words. “In the Beginning” marks the start of a new era for the gallery, which is once again aligned with the department of visual arts. With Hepworth’s playful, interactive curatorial philosophy and a goal of increasing the gallery’s reach at the university and beyond, expect not only to see a year-round slate of exhibitions at Mandeville but also creative, temporary art happenings throughout campus.


UCSD Looking for Advocates
UCSD has launched an unprecedented effort to engage alumni, students, parents, faculty, staff and friends in a campaign to remind elected officials why adequate funding and investment in our students, education and research are critical for California's future. Participants in the UCSD advocate program can support UC San Diego and become advocates for the university. They are part of the team that lets our federal, state and local officials know the importance of UCSD throughout the region, state and nation. To join “Advocate to Educate” and be part of the power of many voices, go to

U.S. Open to Take Place Near UCSD, Impact Campus Schedule
San Diego will host the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines golf course June 9 to 15, and the event will impact the campus in a number of ways. In an initial move, UCSD has rescheduled undergraduate commencement ceremonies to June 21 and 22, one week later than usual, to accommodate traffic concerns. Streets adjoining the campus will remain open but will be affected as some 200 shuttle buses make round trips to transport patrons from Qualcomm, the designated parking lot, to the Gliderport. UCSD departments are being advised to limit any on-campus meetings or seminars for the week. For more information, please visit

UCSD to Maintain Fundraising Momentum
Local Impact. National Influence. Global Reach. These words underscore the essence of UC San Diego, and offer a theme that will continue to engage supporters who made The Campaign for UCSD—our $1 billion fundraising effort—an unqualified success. UC San Diego built its reputation on surpassing expectations, but with rapid expansion projected for the 21st century, private support will be even more critical in meeting the future funding needs of the university. To maintain the fundraising momentum and inspire donors to invest in our campus, we will continue to share the real-world impact that private gifts have made to UC San Diego, the community …. and the world.  Visit for more information.

Subscribe Contact Us Got News UCSD News

UCSD University Communications

9500 Gilman Drive MC0938
La Jolla, CA 92093-0938