I was honored to serve as a keynote speaker (May 6, 2007)
for the opening session at the
American Physical Society (APS) workshop titled:
Gender Equity: Strengthening the Physics Enterprise in Universities and National Laboratories.
I was also invited to speak at the
2007 APS April meeting.
The last time I had been at an APS meeting was with my mother (then a professor
of physics), while I was a Freshman in college.
Also reported in the
June 2007 issue of the APS News. Chairs of 50 physics departments in the US
and leaders from national laboratories gathered at ACP headquarters in May to
discuss how to double the number of
women in physics over the next 15 years. . . Alice Agogino of UC Berkeley
addresses the opening session of the Gender Equity conference.
There were 127 attendees at the conference, of whom 72 were male and 55 were female --
closer to gender equality than in the larger physics community.
Of PDAs and maternal medicine in Mongolia:
Agogino's doctoral student, Jaspal Sandhu, was featured on
CNET News.com, 9 April 2007 special
report on Engineering Change.
"In a three-part series, CNET News.com profiled Sandhu and two other
engineers who chose hands-on international development work over the cubicle lifestyle.
Their perspective among tech do-gooders is unique: they came to the United States
either as children or for education, and carried with them an ingrained
understanding that in many parts of the world, Web surfing, social networking and
gadget craving take a back seat to the basics of fighting childhood disease and
drinking potable water. . . . He has an uncommon perspective for a mechanical engineer, added Alice Agogino, Sandhu's professor and adviser at Berkeley. "There's a saying in the engineering community that the civil engineers make the targets and the mechanical engineers shoot them down," she said.
With many mechanical engineers working in the defense industry, Sandhu's educational projects are "very unusual."
"ENMU Business Faculty and Students and Helping Senior Citizens with Taxes",
March 6, 2007. Article described the volunteer work of my mother,
a retired physics professor.
Mind the Gender Gap, Study Group Says, Forefront, Spring 2007, p. 8.
First-generation airbags, installed in motor
vehicles until 1998, decreased the risk of death
for "average" front-seat occupants in 10 percent
of collisions; but they actually caused injury
in others, primarily women and children, in
40 percent of cases by some estimates. This,
says Berkeley ME professor Alice Agogino, is
because women were not involved in early
research, in which airbags were tested exclusively
on the average 5'10", 170-pound
"Discrimination is bad science," Agogino
says. "It affects how we do our research and
practice." Agogino was one of 18 members of
a National Academy of Sciences study panel
that found that pervasive discrimination
against women in the academic sciences and
engineering is chasing them out of these
fields. Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau
was also on the panel, which published its
findings last fall in the report "Beyond Bias
Women underrepresented in professorships despite high grad rates, study shows article
in The Daily Texan by Philip Jankowski, January 26, 2007. The article is about a campus-wide
talk I gave at UT Austin titled:
Beyond Bias and Barriers: Gender Equity in Academia, University of Texas at Austin,
January 25, 2007. Scroll down this link to get a copy of
my slides and the poster for the event.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost,
the Center for Women's and Gender Studies, Faculty Women's Organization,
Women in Engineering, and Women in the Natural Sciences. The talk concerned a recent National Academies' report of the
same title. This report has received
considerable press coverage, including print, radio, television, and blogs.
report and add your own
EngineeringPathway.com has a catalog record for the National Academies Report along with a
comment/ blog from the community.
catalog record to get to the report with
community comments to the right.
catalog record to get to the report with
community comments to the right.
I was very much disturbed by the insensitivity of
Paul Fain's January 19, 2007 article in the
Chronicle of Higher Education titled:
Denice Denton made a rapid rise to become a university chancellor. Then she leapt to her death. Why?
The article includes misinformation and personal medical information that should be a family matter.
The article has material from my tribute to Chancellor Denton, but the journalist did not talk to me directly.
I consider this sloppy journalism, at best.
"The quality of Denice Denton's research won her wide acclaim, and she could have had a place in academic history just based on her contributions to her discipline," said Alice M. Agogino, a professor of engineering at Berkeley, during her remarks at a memorial service for Ms. Denton. "But Denice had much more to offer."
Ms. Agogino first met Ms. Denton in 1987 at a ceremony to mark Ms. Denton's being named a recipient of National Science Foundation's Young Investigator Award. Ms. Agogino had won the prestigious award a few years earlier, as had Ms. Denton's future partner, Ms. Kalonji.
But Sandhu has always been willing to roll up his sleeves, Agogino said. When the lab was working to protect migrant workers in central California from repeated pesticide poisoning, Sandhu decided to stay the night with a family in the affected town to fully analyze their real-world situation."
In Mongolia, Sandhu is drawing on the so-called human-centered design approach of Agogino's Berkeley lab, a bottom-up philosophy that begins the design process in communities, not in concrete rooms. "We discover their needs and then match those needs to the best solution," Agogino explained.
That field-first approach might sound like an obvious methodology,
but it's not usually what happens. "There's so much bull sometimes with all that
technology can do for the poor and starving in the third world,"
Agogino said, referring to cases in which technologists formulate solutions
based on a largely theoretical approach. "But that's not always appropriate for
rural environments. (Sandhu) really understands that."
Chabot's TechBridge Newsletter,
Fred T. Korematsu Discovery Academy and Esperanza Academy,
mobile learning project and our pilot classroom project in the 5th grade class
of the Fred T. Korematsu Discovery Academy and Esperanza Academy in December 2006.
What better way to introduce engineering than with a fun lesson introduced by
engineering students from the University of California , Berkeley .
Professor Alice Agogino and her graduate students in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Cal
piloted curriculum on simple machines with PDAs. After a hands-on activity and mini-lesson on
simple machines the girls were given PDAs and invited on a scavenger hunt.
Exploring their classrooms and school yard, the girls captured photos of inclined planes,
levers, and pulleys. The following week, the girls viewed their photos and tested their
knowledge, identifying the simple machines and describing how they work.
With a field trip planned for later in the year to U.C. Berkeley, the girls from the
Korematsu and Esperanza Academies we hope to continue to support the girls' interest in
The ASME fellow a membership grade of distinction, November 1, 2006. "The ASME Board of Governors confers the Fellow grade of membership on worthy candidates to recognize their outstanding engineering achievements.
Nominated by their peers, these 2005-2006 Fellows have had 10 or more years of active practice and at
least 10 years of continuous active corporate membership in ASME, or 20 years of active practice and five
years of continuous corporate membership in ASME. "
UC's Berkeley and Davis campuses earn Sloan award for family-friendly policies:
The Berkeley and Davis campuses of the University of California have received a $250,000 Alfred P. Sloan Award to expand programs supporting career flexibility for tenured and tenure-track faculty.
The Sloan Award for Faculty Career Flexibility, announced today (Monday, Sept. 25), recognizes research universities for their leadership and accomplishments in implementing groundbreaking policies that enhance flexible career paths for faculty. It comes as institutions of higher education are increasingly recognizing the need to beef up family-friendly policies in order to compete for new talent as baby boomer faculty members retire over the next decade.UC's Berkeley and Davis campuses earn Sloan award for family-friendly policies. The award also comes one week after the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) released a report on the barriers faced by women in academic science and engineering. UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau and Alice Agogino, UC Berkeley professor of mechanical engineering, were members of the NAS panel that authored the report."
Wireless Smart Lighting System: Saves Energy, Responds to Human Preferences.
"Your mother always told you: 'Turn off the lights!'
And it turns out, that was sound advice. Turning off
the lights when they are not in use is one of the best
ways to save energy - especially in an office building.
These days, many people don't even have to flip the
switch to save energy. Automated lighting, which turns
on when a person walks into a room and off when he
or she leaves, is fairly common in many newer offices
today. And opportunities to save even more energy
with automated lighting are just around the corner.
UC Berkeley researchers are exploring new combinations
of commercial lighting systems controlled by 'smart'
wireless sensor technology that can customize a room's
lighting to meet a range of pre-established conditions,
including the occupant's personal preference. Mechanical
Engineering Professor Alice Agogino is leading a multi-
year project funded in part by the California Energy
Commission's Public Interest Energy Research (PIER)
Program. . ." Article in Energy Notes, December 2006, Vol. 4, Issue 2.
|As a co-author and member of the Committee, I was interviewed and quoted in an article in Newsweek titled
Science and the Gender Gap as part of the magazine's package of stories on women and leadership. "Until the mid-1990s, most women scientists were on their own as they tried to work around these barriers. "When I was in graduate school," says ALICE AGOGINO, A PROFESSOR OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING AT BERKELEY, "people would say there was no gender in science, no ethnicity in science. There's just good science. I was intimidated by this, but then I realized it isn't true." Gender, many women scientists say, shows up in everything from whether you work with the professor of your choice to how much lab space you get." . . . "Beyond the support the female students provide for each other, Berkeley (like other campuses, including Georgia Tech) tries to help by offering new "family friendly" policies like tenure-clock extension after the birth of a child, reduced teaching duties for new parents and a part-time option. "I think we're on the cutting edge," says Agogino." Also in UCBerkeleyNews,
18 September 2006. Ruth Simmons, President of Brown University and member of the Committee, was featured on the
Today Show based on the Newsweek article and the National Academy report. ||
A memorial ceremony honoring
UCSC Chancellor Denice Denton took place on Thursday, June 29 in USCS's Recital Hall. I was honored to speak to her academic career accomplishments (download PDF file or link to
web version of testimony).
Donna Shalala, President of the University of Miami, former Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin at Madison and U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) under the Clinton administration, asked me to read the
The event was written up in numerous newspapers, including the
Santa Cruz Sentinel, June 30, 2006 and the New York Times, June 30, 2006:
Stunned Campus Mourns Its Chief, an Apparent Suicide, Speakers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, remembered Denice Dee Denton as a pioneer who advanced the careers of women and minorities in the sciences. . . Dr. Denton was among those who chastised Lawrence H. Summers when, as Harvard's president, he questioned women's scientific abilities at a conference she attended last year. Afterward, she described the event in an e-mail, jokingly titled, "Denice does Boston," said Alice Agogino, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley.
Listen to an audio recording of the event or
View a slideshow of the event produced by the San Jose Mercury,
|The report received quite a bit of news coverage. Donna Shalala and the report were covered by
NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. Shalala also spoke on the
Jim Lehrer Hour on September 19. Even Rush Limbaugh is rumoured to have commented on this report in his broadcast on September 19, not that I actually listened to him.
Other press articles include: New York Times
Bias Is Hurting Women in Science, Panel Reports; The Seattle Post-Intelligencer (from the Associated Press release)
Gender still hinders women scientists; and Reuters News
Study finds U.S. bias against women in science "Women are being filtered out of high-level science, math and engineering jobs in the United States, and there is no good reason for it, according to a National Academies report released on Monday. A committee of experts looked at all the possible excuses -- biological differences in ability, hormonal influences, childrearing demands, and even differences in ambition -- and found no good explanation for why women are being locked out." The Scientist published
NAS issues report on gender bias
Inter-institution cooperation is needed to improve the climate for women in academic science, the report states. Fox News
Gender Still Hinders Women Scientists "Gender bias -- not any biological difference between the sexes -- stifles the careers of female scientists at the nation's universities, says a new report that calls for wide-ranging steps to level the playing field.
The study is the latest since Harvard University's president ignited controversy last year by suggesting that innate gender differences may partly explain why fewer women than men reach top university science jobs. The comment eventually cost him his job.
Four times more men than women who hold doctorates in science and engineering have full-time faculty positions, the National Academy of Sciences reported Monday. Minority women are virtually absent from leading tenured positions."
The Chronicle of Higher Education wrote
"National Academies Panel Blames Biases for Women's Underrepresentation in Science and Mathematics". NetworkWorld Women not getting a fair shake at research universities. Harvard Crimson No Innate Gender Difference. CBS News Women Scientists Face Bias
Study Says Steps Needed To Level Playing Field At Colleges, Universities, WASHINGTON, Sept. 18, 2006.
American Council on Education publishes Research Universities Need to Eliminate Barriers Against Women in Science and Engineering; 'The report urges immediate reform and decisive action by university administrators, professional societies, government agencies and Congress to eliminate institutional gender bias." The report has also received attention from the International Press as well:
NAS issues report on Gender Bias from indymedia Ireland "Inter-institution cooperation is needed to improve the climate for women in academic science, the report states"; Barrieres voor betavrouwen in VS;
Nieuwsbank: Interactief Nederlands persbureau "Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Dream of Women in Academic...";
International Herald Tribute;
and The China Daily,
Study finds U.S. bias against women in science. Also see the press list initially compiled by Laurel Haak at the National Research Council.
Agricultural Projects Win CITRIS White Paper Competition. Two ME graduate students, Thomas H. Cauley III and
Brian D. Sosnowchik, and their teammate, Alexander K. Do, are co-winners of the First Annual CITRIS White Paper Competition. Alice M. Agogino is their faculty advisor on this project and PI on their related
NCIIA grant, "Wireless Crop Protection."
Campus staff issues to take center stage at May 9 diversity forum: The forum is sponsored by the Office of the Chancellor and the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate. Senate Chair Alice Agogino notes that the entire campus community met last March in a similar forum,
'Diversity in Action: Leading the Nation Through Research and Practice,' where faculty issues were discussed.
"A great deal of input and advice from the many staff who attended that forum" helped shape the launch of the
faculty-focused Berkeley Diversity Research Initiative, she says.
"The entire community's support and thought-provoking advice has been crucial to what I consider the current success of that initiative." Berkeleyan, article by Cathy Cockrell, Public Affairs, 3 May 2006.
Faculty's digital divide:
Access to computing resources varies widely. An Academic Senate committee offers a plan to level the playing field and safeguard network security . . . . "Additionally, the campus has been developing and launching new computerized systems for more and more functions - from course management and grading to course enrollment, calendaring, and web-based e-mail. Alice Agogino, chair of the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate (and a former chair of COMP), says the Senate itself is busy "trying to put many aspects of academic life online" - such as personnel and faculty-promotion functions. As such efforts come to fruition, faculty with aging computers, outdated software, and little or no technical support are sometimes unable to use the new systems." Berkeleyan, article by Cathy Cockrell, Public Affairs, 27 April 2006.
Report Finds Decline in Faculty Pay . . . . "We estimate that our faculty salaries are 15 to 20 percent below our peer institutions," said Alice Agogino, chair of the campus Academic Senate.
UC Berkeley salary levels also dropped relative to other public universities that offer doctorates, which on average experienced no change in inflation-adjusted salary levels.
"We don't have enough money," Agogino said. "The budget cuts to the UC system for the past few years have left us unable to compensate our faculty at the rates of our peer institutions." Daily Californian, article by Michael Kay, 27 April 2006.
'UC students asked to complete online survey to improve undergraduate experience . . . . "Online survey techniques allow for new ways to analyze student responses, which include open-ended questions, said Alice Agogino, chair of the UC Berkeley division of the Academic Senate. . .
"UCUES is part of a new and vital approach for analyzing and improving the undergraduate experience, developed as a collaborative project between faculty researchers and university administrators," she said. "We need students to seize this opportunity to help make Berkeley an even better university." UC Berkeley News, 26 April 2006.
Diversity Research Initiative draws enthusiastic response_Ten faculty pre-proposals, from a surprising array of fields, advance to next phase. . . "Response came from 21 teams from a broad array of scholarly fields - including fields not immediately associated with diversity issues", says Alice Agogino, co-chair of the BDRI steering committee and current chair of the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate. . . . Research quality and potential to make a positive impact will be key criteria, says Agogino. "The goal is to provide research-based programs to really have an impact on diversity in the state of California, first, and then the nation." Berkeleyan, article by Cathy Cockrell, Public Affairs, 19 April 2006.
Spring Meeting of the Berkeley Division, Calmessages April 5, 2006.
One of my student E-Teams with funding from the
National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA) was featured in The Oregonian, March 22, 2006, during the NCIIA "March Madness" conference in Portand. The "E-Teams" -- short for Excellence and Entrepreneurship Teams -- are working on inventions ranging from a home water-purification system for developing countries to a medical device that quickly detects acute kidney failure. . . . Alex Do, who is on a team at the University of California at Berkeley that is developing a frost-protection system for vineyards, said the program's guidance and funding helped his group. "It has provided a hands-on, real-life learning experience that really teaches you how to work with others in solving complex problems. The Spring 2006 issue of the NCIIA newsletter gives more details on the project. Also see:
A wireless watchdog for Napa vineyards. Engineering News, April 10, 2006 Vol. 77, no. 12S
Learning with the $100 Laptop, eLearning Africa. The G1:1 members want to contribute to the discussion about the $100 laptop and to bring in their collective experience. They have written an Open Letter to put Negroponte's idea into the bigger picture
G1:1 is an international community of researchers working on "globally, one computer for one person" concept for learning.
As a Senator to the systemwide Council and Assembly of the Academic Senate (Fall 2005 - Summer 2006), I have not had a more difficult challenge than that concerning the cirmcumstances leading to the removal of the standing Chair of the Systemwide Academic Senate, Clifford Brunk, professor of biology at UCLA.
Blog of events and press releases.
Chancellor's Award for Advancing Institutional Excellence.
The campus this year introduced a new award to acknowledge meritorious achievement by Academic Senate faculty members
in pursuit of the university's mission to create an inclusive environment and serve the needs of the
increasingly diverse state of California. The Chancellor's Award for Advancing Institutional Excellence recognizes
faculty who are providing leadership in research, education, and public service in building an equitable and diverse
Recipients are Alice Agogino, professor of mechanical engineering; Gibor Basri, professor of astronomy;
William Lester, professor of chemistry; and Rhona Weinstein, professor of psychology. Agogino's work is described in the
award program as "an extraordinary blend of research in mechanical engineering, inquiry into issues of gender and minority
access and equity, and the building of programs, resources, and curricula to advance both causes.". . . Berkeleyan, May 31, 2006.
Also in Engineering News
September 1, 2006, Vol. 77, no. 3F.
Last updated: 15 July 2012