We always like to salute successful fundraising that doesn't involve tearing down buildings to put up new ones and that focuses on research and teaching. Here is one such effort:
A $5 million gift to the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering in honor of internet pioneer Leonard Kleinrock will establish a new center devoted to shaping the future of the internet and computer networking. The gift from Sunday Group Inc., a Las Vegas-based software company specializing in blockchain technology, will create the UCLA Connection Lab.
Kleinrock, a UCLA distinguished professor of computer science who established the underpinning framework of the internet in the 1960s, will lead the new center.
The Connection Lab will foster interdisciplinary research on a range of technologies, such as blockchain (secure records of digital transactions), computer networks, big data, artificial intelligence, machine learning and the “internet of things.” It will draw inspiration from the school’s foundational role as the birthplace of the internet.
The gift will provide resources to recruit and retain top faculty at the lab and will support research conducted by undergraduates, graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. It also will facilitate startups by seeding priority research and connecting members of the lab with industry and government leaders.
“It’s impossible today to consider a world without the internet — this global nervous system plays a major role in every facet of modern society — but indeed that’s where we were before Professor Kleinrock and his team laid the first cornerstone of this network of networks at UCLA,” said James Pack, a director and co-founder of Sunday Group. “Nearly 50 years after that landmark work, we are very excited to see UCLA continue its lead role in the study of emerging connections technologies.”
While a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the early 1960s, Kleinrock created the mathematical theory of packet switching, which allows different computers to communicate with each other. Five years later, as a UCLA professor, he was asked by the Advanced Research Projects Agency (which later become Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA) to put his theory into practice.
Kleinrock, with a team of select graduate students and others, then launched the network now known as the internet. At 10:30 p.m. on Oct. 29, 1969, the first message on the network was sent from his UCLA laboratory to Stanford Research Institute. Now known as one of the fathers of the internet, Kleinrock has been recognized with many distinguished international honors for his work, including the National Medal of Science, the United States’ highest honor for achievement in the sciences.
“The UCLA Connection Lab is designed to provide an environment that will foster advanced research in innovative technologies at the forefront of all things regarding connectivity and will deliver the benefits from that research to society globally,” Kleinrock said. “The lab’s broad-based agenda will enable faculty, students and visitors to pursue research challenges of their own choosing, without externally imposed constraints on scope or risk.”
The gift will also enhance the Internet Experience, a permanent exhibition that is open to the public. After a renovation, the center — which is located in in 3420 Boelter Hall, the site of Kleinrock’s research laboratory in the 1960s — will tell the story of the internet’s evolution through new exhibits, interactive displays and a virtual reality experience that will be accessible online, around the world.
“Simply put, Professor Kleinrock’s work was essential in giving the world the internet, which has revolutionized our lives,” said Todd Mitsuishi, CEO and co-founder of Sunday Group. “The creation of the UCLA Connection Lab will play an important role in continuing his legacy, and Sunday Group is honored and proud to play a small part in this endeavor.”
Jayathi Murthy, the Ronald and Valerie Sugar Dean of Engineering, said, “I want to thank the Sunday Group for their visionary support of UCLA, and of Professor Kleinrock’s exploration of what the internet can and should be. Len’s leadership brings an unmatched level of knowledge and scholarship to this important endeavor. The UCLA Connection Lab will help ensure the continued excellence of our research enterprise for years to come.”
The gift is part of the $4.2 billion UCLA Centennial Campaign, which is scheduled to conclude in December 2019 during UCLA’s 100th anniversary year. The gift also moves UCLA Samueli Engineering closer to its own campaign goal of $250 million.
UC admissions rise, with record surge in transfers
UC Office of the President, Wednesday, July 11, 2018
The University of California announced today (July 11) that it has offered nearly 137,000 students a spot on at least one of its nine undergraduate campuses this fall, including more than 28,750 transfer applicants, the highest number in the history of the university. California residents make up the vast majority of those admitted, 71,086 as freshmen and 24,568 as transfer students. Overall, this represents 1,114 more California freshmen and 1,851 more California transfers than were admitted last year. Almost all of the transfers were from the California Community Colleges. “After reviewing yet another record-breaking number of applications, our campuses have offered admission to an exceptionally talented group of students for the upcoming academic year,” said UC President Janet Napolitano. “With the benefit of a UC education, these accomplished young people from different backgrounds, with diverse beliefs and aspirations, will make California and the world a better place. We look forward to having them at the university.” More California undergraduates are currently enrolled at UC than at any point in its history, and after last year’s enrollment jump of some 5,000 California students, the university anticipates it will have far surpassed its goal of adding an additional 10,000 Californians by the 2018-19 academic year. Total three-year growth is estimated to be an additional 15,000 California resident undergraduates. As part of the university’s effort to effectively manage enrollment growth, this year not every campus increased its admissions offers over last year. Based on preliminary reports of students’ intention to register, however, indications are that the number of new California freshman and transfer students who will enroll at UC in the fall, what is known as “yield,” will increase by more than 3,000 over 2017. In keeping with the recently enacted caps on nonresident enrollment at all of the campuses, 17,863 domestic and 19,069 international freshmen were also offered admission for the fall. Nonresident students typically accept UC admissions offers at a much lower rate than do Californians. “University admissions is part science, part art and part experience,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Robin Holmes-Sullivan. “High admissions numbers don’t automatically translate to high enrollment. The data we have available today give us great confidence in predicting that our actual fall enrollment will exceed our goal. We are gratified that so many of these top-notch, motivated students are eager to attend UC.” The preliminary admissions numbers show increases in offers to students from historically underrepresented groups and among California freshmen and transfers who would be the first in their families to graduate from a four-year college, with first-generation students comprising 46 percent of the total. Among freshman applicants, Asian American students remained the largest ethnic group admitted at 36 percent, followed by Latinos at 33 percent, whites at 22 percent and African Americans at 5 percent. American Indians, Pacific Islanders and applicants who did not report a race or ethnicity made up the remainder of admitted students. Admission of California Community College transfer students grew by 8 percent over fall 2017, and is in keeping with UC’s goal of enrolling one new California resident transfer student for every two new California resident freshmen. UC’s current transfer student enrollment is at an all-time high and will likely continue to grow. UC recently announced a plan to guarantee transfers to a UC campus for students who achieve the requisite GPA and complete one of 21 “pathways,” or prerequisite classes for the most popular UC majors. These guarantees will be in place for students beginning community college in fall 2019. This year’s proportion of transfer students who were admitted from historically underrepresented groups jumped to 38 percent. Latino students were the largest ethnic group at just under 32 percent, followed closely by white students at 31 percent and Asian Americans at 27 percent. African Americans represented 6 percent of the admitted transfer students, while American Indians and Pacific Islanders made up less than 1 percent of the admitted transfer students. The preliminary data released today includes applicants admitted from waitlists and through the referral pool. The data tables, which include campus-specific information for both freshmen and transfers, may be accessed here:https://www.ucop.edu/institutional-research-academic-planning/content-analysis/ug-admissions/ug-pages/2018-admissions.html
The state controller has released the cash report
for the past fiscal year 2017-18. There is good news and bad news. The good
news is that revenues were up about $1.5 billion relative to the projections
made in June 2017 (when the 2017-18 budget was enacted). The bad news is that the
extra money came mainly from the personal income tax (which probably means a
big capital gains component) and the corporate tax (profits). Sales tax revenue
- which is a proxy for consumption and much of the economic activity of the
state came in below budget projections and, indeed, below last year's figure.
So the good revenue news was likely from the most volatile component of revenue
that can drop off precipitously in any kind of downturn.
Of course, there is no sign of a downturn currently,
despite the turmoil about tariffs and such. And the state has access not only
to its official general fund reserves - including the governor's rainy day fund - but also to cash sitting in other accounts of the state outside the general fund. So-called
unused borrowable reserves are close to $40 billion, which is a significant