2012 at Berkeley: a quick look back

A year with leaping lizards and tailed robots, a $60-million-dollar institute for Berkeley, a theory proven 40 years later, a crucial election, and a transition at the very top of the campus food chain.

GSI honors for a dozen new ways of helping people learn

These 12 people, in some ways the crème de la crème of this year's top graduate student instructors, have effectively, and often cleverly, identified, addressed, and documented a teaching problem they encountered and, for the benefit of all, told how they solved it. Read, for instance, how Sonja Schwartz reinvented the bean jar.

Adventure Man

In a field where the progress of research and career are usually sequential, orderly, and predictable, Rich Muller is a wild card, rocketing wherever the first tantalizing inkling of a puzzle takes him until he has the explanation pinned down satisfactorily. Then he abruptly goes elsewhere, as if cued by the Monty Python catchphrase (first used to introduce a sketch about a man with three buttocks) — “And now for something completely different.”