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Graduate students play an important role in Cal Day.

Every year in April, UC Berkeley opens its lecture halls and research labs, museums and libraries, galleries and gardens to the general public. On Saturday, April 22, from 9 am – 4 pm visitors are invited to engage and experience the everyday people and projects driving the nation’s No. 1 public university. A full day of free lectures, performances, tours, concerts and more showcase the campus, its students, and the university’s programs.

Below is a list of graduate student presentations.

Archaeological Talks: Albany Bulb

Annie Danis, Ph.D. student in archaeology, discusses our understanding of contemporary sites in a talk entitled “The Archaeology of the Albany Bulb: An Archaeology of Now” (yes, that’s archaeology right here in the Bay Area!).

Archaeological Research Facility
11 am – 2 pm, 2251 College Building (next to Boalt Hall)

Astronomy Demonstrations and Hands-On Activities

Learn about the sizes and distances of the planets in our solar system and make your own pocket solar system to take home with you! Come visit our brand new parabolic mirror and roast some marshmallows.

10 am – 3:30 pm, 121 Campbell Hall

California and the Big One: What’s Fact, and What’s Fiction?

William Hawley, Ph.D. student in Earth and Planetary Science, talks about the Big One: what do we actually know about it, and what should we expect? Find out why earthquakes happen in California. We’ll share what we know — and don’t know — about the biggest earthquakes, along with a few simple things you can do to make yourself safer as a California resident.

Earth & Planetary Science
11:30 am – 12 pm, 141 McCone Hall


Discover what can make soil behave like a liquid during an earthquake, investigate why volcanos form and erupt with our volcano simulation, learn how you can get prepared for a damaging earthquake, and talk to our graduate students about their earthquake science research.

Earth & Planetary Science
10 am – 3 pm, McCone Hall Plaza

Getting Started in Philosophy

Thinking about taking a philosophy course, but not sure where to start? We’ll give you a brief tour of our introductory-level courses to help you see which best fits your interests.

Presented by philosophy chair Hannah Ginsborg and philosophy faculty and graduate students
10:30 – 11 am, Howison Philosophy Library, 3rd floor, Moses Hall

Israeli and Palestinian Cinemas: Finding “Thirdspace” Within the Dichotomous

Shirelle Maya Doughty, Ph.D. student, in Near Eastern studies, explores the intersections between Israeli and Palestinian cinemas to interrogate how filmmakers negotiate critical stances toward nationalism with expectations and desires that they represent “the nation.” This event is part of the Digital Near Eastern Studies: Transforming the Humanities Through Technology Conference.

Near Eastern Studies
10  – 10:30 am, 254 Barrows Hall

Meet Berkeley Data Science Students and Faculty

Berkeley students and faculty will be available to answer your questions about data science courses, research opportunities, career paths, and more. This event is co-sponsored by the Data Science Education Program and the Berkeley Institute for Data Science.

Berkeley Institute for Data Science
1 – 2 pm, 190 Doe Library

MyShake: Building a Smartphone Seismic Network

Did you know that the sensors in smartphones are capable of detecting and recording large earthquakes? Come learn about MyShake, the seismic network that uses these sensors. Algorithms developed at the Berkeley Seismological Lab can distinguish earthquake movements from human activities, which means MyShake can run in the background on a normally used phone.

Qingkai Kong, Earth & Planetary Science Graduate Student
Earth & Planetary Science
12:30 – 1:00 pm, 141 McCone Hall

Philosophy Panel Discussion

A panel of philosophy faculty, graduate students and undergraduates will talk about their research, the field of philosophy and the philosophy major.

11 am – 12 pm, Howison Philosophy Library, 3rd floor, Moses Hall

Portable Planetarium Shows

Who says you can’t see stars in the Bay Area?! Learn about the astronomical objects, mythology, and history behind the constellations visible in the spring. We’ll run continuous 15-minute shows.

10 am – 3:30 pm, 131 Campbell Hall

Observing the Marine Biological Carbon Pump

Hannah Bourne, Ph.D. student, in earth and planetary science, will discuss the biological carbon pump (BCP) — the process by which carbon taken up by plants in the ocean surface layer is exported into deeper regions of the ocean. With increasing atmospheric CO2, we need to understand the BCP cycle. Autonomous profiling floats allow us to gather information on the BCP on a much higher frequency than previous methods.

Earth & Planetary Science
12:30 – 12 pm, 141 McCone Hall

School of Information BioSENSE Lab

Play in virtual reality (VR) while exploring signals from your body for an immersive experience using the emerging sensor technology. Learn about bio-sensors and their applications, and let your voice drive our next wave of research directions by sharing your predictions and perspectives in our storybooth time capsule. Let your experiences and aspirations at the School of Information shape the next generation of technology.

School of Information
11 am – 2 pm, 141 South Hall Lobby

Solar Viewing

Safely observe the sun through a telescope and other special instruments (weather permitting). See sunspots and solar flares, and learn about the upcoming total solar eclipse in August!

10 am – 3:30 pm, Hearst Mining Circle

Student Scholars Panel: Middle Eastern Studies Research Grants and Fellowships

The Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES) provides essential support for undergraduate and graduate student research related to the Middle East and North Africa through the administration of several grants and fellowships. Join us for a student panel, during which you will learn about funding available through CMES as well as the exciting research carried out by previous awardees.

Center for Middle Eastern Studies
1 – 2 pm, 340 Stephens Hall

Tell Your Berkeley Story on the Red Carpet

Journalism School graduate students will be on the red carpet inviting you to tell your Berkeley Story. Why choose Berkeley? What makes this place special? Interviews will be videotaped and posted on social media (#berkeleystory).

11 am – 12 pm, and 2 – 3 pm, North Gate Hall Courtyard

Using Crystals to Decipher Volcanic Eruptions

Volcanoes play a fundamental role in linking dynamics in the deep earth to Earth’s surface, atmosphere and oceans. Eruptions release gases that influence climate both locally and globally and produce hazards to society, such as lahars and ash plumes. One way to study how and why volcanoes erupt is by understanding the textures of crystals grown in the volcanic system. This talk by Tanis Leonhardi, Ph.D. student, in earth and planetary science, discusses how crystals are used to understand volcanic eruptions and what different textures tell us about volcanic processes.

Earth & Planetary Science
11 – 11:30 am, 141 McCone Hall