Any tour of UC Berkeley’s campus includes some of its key landmarks. Strawberry Creek cutting through the center of campus from east to west. The iconic Campanile clock tower ringing every hour. Sather Gate welcomes students to campus. Recently, though, visitors and newcomers have been enamored with a new UC Berkeley feature—small, autonomous, four-wheeled delivery robots called Kiwibots. The technology driving the adorable mini bots is known as machine learning.
The machine learning which allows Kiwibots to successfully navigate their surroundings is also involved with a slew of scientific advances. In this issue of the Berkeley Science Review, we see how machine learning is implemented to detect the validity of news sources in “Fake news?” A trio of briefs under the umbrella title of “OK Google, what is ‘machine learning’?” takes us through the use of machine learning in processing large amounts of data in biology and particle physics, as well as its role in cybersecurity. The “From the field” (in this case, the editor’s field) touches on my personal day to day research involving machine learning. And the “Faculty profile” walks us through a scientist’s path to specializing in machine learning.
The remainder of the magazine covers the wide range of research being done by UC Berkeley researchers outside the computational realm. “Making meat mindfully” and “Thirsty for microbes” give us a taste of what’s being done to improve food technology for increased sustainability. “Old fight, new tools,” “Get on the brain train,” and “Understanding autism” highlight advances in treating human disease.
This is also my second and last issue as Editor in Chief. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to work with many talented and passionate graduate students over the past year. I’m excited to announce that I will be succeeded by Katie Deets, a graduate student in molecular and cellular biology who has played a significant role in supporting the Berkeley Science Review as the former Managing Editor, an editor, and a writer. The magazine will only continue to improve under her watch.
I thank the rest of the Berkeley Science Review team, including the authors, editors, and designers for their hard work and effort in the creation of this issue. I would especially like to thank Nicole Repina, the Art Director, whose guidance, vision, and hard work allowed the manifestation of this beautiful issue. As well, the work of our Managing Editor, Hayley McCausland, ensures that the magazine and organization remain thriving.
With all that said, please take in the science, writing, and art as you flip through these pages. Welcome to Issue 35 of the Berkeley Science Review.
Editor in Chief