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UCLA Campus Report: UCLA #2 Public University, Math Prof Gets $3M Prize, More

This week’s post includes the announcement that UCLA is the considered the world’s number two public university. The rankings obviously didn’t include football. (#calgang … LOL) In other news, UCLA Mathematics Professor Terrence Tao, the Mozart of Math, received a 3 million dollar research prize. Also, UCLA students create a house with a 3-D printer and celebrities gather to foster worldwide education for girls.

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An occasional report from around campus that recognizes that UCLA is a school with a world-class reputation for research and innovation and whose people make real impact on the real world:

This week's post includes the announcement that UCLA is the considered the world's number two public university. The rankings obviously didn't include football. (#calgang ... LOL) In other news, UCLA Mathematics Professor Terrence Tao, the Mozart of Math, received a 3 million dollar research prize. Also, UCLA students create a house with a 3-D printer and celebrities gather to foster worldwide education for girls.

UCLA rated world's No. 2 public university in international rankings

UCLA remains one of the best public universities in the world, according to a new international report released March 5. In addition to ranking No. 2 among public universities, the campus maintained its status as one of the world's top 10 schools overall in the London Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings, which rates institutions of higher learning according to international prestige.

The top 10 institutions this year, in order, are Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford, UC Berkeley, Princeton University, Yale University, the California Institute of Technology and UCLA.

The 2014 reputation rankings were based on survey responses from 10,536 senior academics around the world who reported an average of 18 years working in higher education. The academics - all published scholars who were selected to be statistically representative of their geographical region and academic discipline - were asked their views on the excellence of research and teaching in their particular field at universities throughout the world. Since its establishment in 2011, the survey has garnered 58,117 responses from scholars in more than 150 countries.

The reputation rankings are a spinoff of the annual Times Higher Education World University Rankings, which uses 13 primarily objective indicators to deliver a multifaceted and balanced picture of university performance. Data from the reputation survey is used to form two of the indicators included in the overall World University Rankings.

The new rankings reinforce UCLA's reputation as one of the top schools in the world. UCLA also placed among the top 25 in U.S. News and World Report's most recent list of the best colleges and universities.

Professor Terrence Tao Wins $3M Prize

All you really need to know about Professor Terrence Tao is that he was once included on a list of the greatest mathematicians of all time. Who else was on the list? Pythagoras. Yes, that Pythagoras. The guy with the theorem.

Professor Tao is one of the most decorated mathematicians of our time, his awards include the Field Prize, which is sort of the Nobel Prize for math. (There is no actual Nobel Prize for math.) This week, Professor Tao received at 3 million dollar Breakthrough Prize in math. The Los Angeles Times' Larry Gordon reports:

Tao, 38, has been named one of five winners of the new Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics, an award that provides $3 million to each of its recipients from a fund established by high-tech titans in Silicon Valley and Russia.


The Breakthrough Prize in Math was established by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Russian tech mogul Yuri Milner. Related prizes in physics and life sciences also have been set up recently, with money from them and other wealthy figures in the tech fields.

Quoting a UCLA press release, Gordon added:

Tao said he may use some of the Breakthrough award to support open access journals or online research collaborations, according to a UCLA announcement.

Here is a link to Professor Tao's blog. (LOL @ trying to understand it.)

Need a small house? Just press print

UCLA architecture and urban design students helped create a fully functional microhouse built using 3-D printing technology

A bed. A kitchen. A place for lounging and watching television. Full bathroom. Storage space. Those are typical minimum requirements for a person's apartment. Now imagine all of that packed into fewer than 50 square feet in a portable structure  that you can "build" in one day.

That was what the third-year master of architecture students in UCLA's 3M futureLAB were challenged to create in just 10 weeks this past academic year. Thanks to 3-D printing technology, a prototype of the microhome of the future stands today.

With a base measuring roughly 7 feet wide, 7 feet long and standing 11 feet high, the four-ton dark gray structure, which was designed as two halves of an enclosed shell, it was when it was printed the largest residence ever created with a 3-D printer. And although it took marathon workdays for the team to design, the actual printing of the microhome took just a couple of days.

"Three-dimensional printing changes the paradigm of architecture," said Julie Mithun, who recently graduated from the Master of Architecture I program at UCLA. Mithun was one of six architecture and urban design students from UCLA and nine engineering students from the University of Huddersfield and from the Technical University / Hochschule München in Munich, Germany - who participated in the Munich-based 3M futureLAB, which runs every fall quarter. The other UCLA students were Sasha Geisler, Stephanie Odenheimer, Huwayda Fakhry and Tas Oszkay.

The 3M futureLAB, which was created by UCLA architecture and urban design visiting professor Peter Ebner and is sponsored by 3M, began in 2009. Ebner wanted to re-think architecture education and create a platform that challenged students to work at the intersection of architecture, art, technology and society by not only designing buildings but also engaging with engineers, artists, manufacturers, writers and designers throughout Germany and nearby German-speaking countries.

Burkle initiative recruits stars in campaign to support girls' education worldwide

Susan Sarandon, Anne Hathaway, Tyler Perry among those featured in new video

The UCLA Burkle Global Impact Initiative assisted in recruiting a diverse roster of film and music stars to appear in a new video it helped produce to promote a USAID (U.S. Agency for International Development) campaign to educate girls around the world: "Let Girls Learn."

Among the stars who appear in the public service announcement - all of whom contributed their time - are Susan Sarandon, Anne Hathaway, Alicia Keys, Josh Duhamel, Jennifer Garner, Tyler Perry and Kelly Osbourne. Film and television composer Ryan Perez-Daple contributed the original score. Their participation was solicited to raise the visibility of the issue of equal rights for girls worldwide and to build public awareness and support of girls' education.

Launched on June 20, the USAID "Let Girls Learn" campaign engages many nonprofit organizations and businesses to promote the message that education is an inalienable right of young girls. The campaign was created largely in response to recent acts of violence against girls pursuing an education, including the kidnapping of some 230-300 schoolgirls by Boko Haram in Nigeria in April and the shooting of Malala Yousafzai in Pakistan in 2012. Although these stories received global coverage, an estimated 61 million girls worldwide are not in school, often prevented from attending by unsafe conditions and the lack of hygiene facilities, such as running water and girls' bathrooms.

The Burkle Global Impact Initiative (BGI), which helped produce the new public service announcement with the assistance of Prime Content and the Jim Henson Company, is a major contributor to "Let Girls Learn." Additional partners in the campaign include CARE, the International Rescue Committee, Save the Children and Child Fund.

"The creative community has the ability to harness their collective social power to reach hundreds of millions of people with the push of a button, or in this case the upload of a two-minute video," said Brian Gott, BGI director. "I'm inspired by their seemingly endless willingness to do so." Gott is former publisher of the entertainment newspaper Variety and a member of the UN Foundation's Global Entrepreneurs Council.