California University Applicants’ preferences for Students with Multiple Admissions is a website that allows prospective undergraduate students to apply to multiple universities with the same forms.  It also keeps track of who is admitted where, and what their final choice is.  We show how that works out for a few California Universities.


For those admitted to UC Berkeley and Stanford, 82% chose Stanford.


For those admitted to UCLA and other Universities, the choices were:


UCB 58%

USC 41%

UCR 12%

UCSD 11%

UCI 10%

UCD 8%


For those admitted to UC Irvine and other Universities, students chose:


UCB 96%

UCLA 90%

USC 84%

UCSD 69%

UCD 56%

UCSB 45%

UCSC 21%

UCR 19%


For those admitted to USC and other Universities, students chose:


UCB 67%

UCLA 59%

UCSD 32%

UCI 16%

UCSB 10%

Stanford 9%


UCD 7%


For those admitted to Stanford and other Universities, students chose:


Harvard 46%

Yale 39%

U. Chicago 37%

Caltech 27%

MIT 26%

Vanderbilt 20%

Princeton 19%

UCB 18%

USC 9%




It seems that students have a ranking of Universities similar to national rankings, and make their choices along such lines.

Posted in California University Rankings, Education | Leave a comment

Physics Graduate Programs in 2015 US News and World Report Rankings


We list the top 43 Physics graduate programs, which include most of the California campuses.


2 tie





    UC Berkeley

7 tie


    U. Chicago

9 U. Illinois – Urbana – Champaign


11 tie

    U. Michigan – Ann Arbor



14 tie

    U. Maryland – College Park

    U. Texas – Austin

16 tie

    U. Pennsylvania

    UC San Diego

18 tie

    John’s Hopkins


    U. Colorado – Boulder

    U. Wisconsin – Madison

22 U. Washington

23 tie

    Ohio State

    Penn State

    Stony Brook U. – SUNY

26 tie

    U. Minnesota


    Northwestern U.

29 tie

    UC Irvine

    UC Davis

    Georgia Institute of Technology


    Michigan State U.

    Brown U.

    Duke U.

36 tie

    U. Florida

    New York U.

    Carnegie-Mellon U.

39 tie

    UC Santa Cruz

    U. North Carolina

    U. Arizona

    Indiana U.

    Boston U.

Posted in Education, Physics Departments, UC Irvine | Leave a comment

Rankings of California Universities Among Public Universities, 2015


US News and World’s Report College Rankings, 2015, separates a list of public universities. Here are California Universities in the rankings.

Since rankings don’t really give the relative strengths in the criteria used, I also include in parentheses the overall score for each University.

1 UC Berkeley (79)

2 tie UCLA with U. Virginia (76)

8 UC San Diego (65)

9 UC Davis (64)

10 UC Santa Barbara (63)

11 tie UC Irvine with U. Illinois – Urbana-Champaign (62)

35 tie UC Santa Cruz (49)

55 tie UC Riverside (43)

78 tie San Diego State University (34)

Another way to say this is that UC takes one and two. Also 5 of the top 10 are UC campuses, and UC Irvine is tied for eleventh.

The overall score of UCLA is close to that of UCB. The overall scores of the next four UC campuses are also sequential in overall scores.

The student to teacher ratio for the UC campuses is mostly quoted as 17:1. That for San Diego State University is 28:1, but tuition is about half the cost of the UC campuses.

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California Universities in US News and World Report 2015 Best Colleges


First we list the top 10 nationwide to give them their full credit, and for comparison. In the list, first is their ranking, then their name, then in parentheses their overall scores, then their student to faculty ratios, and finally their acceptance percentage.

Top 10 Nationwide

1 Princeton (100), 6:1, 7.4%

2 Harvard (99), 7:1, 5.8%

3 Yale (98), 6:1, 6.9%

4 tie at (95)

    Columbia 6:1, 6.9%

    Stanford 5:1, 5.7%

    U. Chicago 6:1, 8.8%

7 MIT (93), 8:1, 8.2%

8 tie at (92)

    Duke 7:1, 12.4%

    U. Pennsylvania 6:1, 12.2%

10 California Institute of Technology (91), 3:1, 10.6%

After Stanford and Caltech, the California Universities are:

20 UC Berkeley (79), 17:1, 17.7%

23 UCLA (76), 17:1, 20.4%

25 U. of Southern California (75), 9:1, 19.8%

37 UC San Diego (65), 19:1, 36.8%

38 tie UC Davis (64), 17:1, 41.3%

40 tie UC Santa Barbara (63), 17:1, 39,8%

42 tie UC Irvine (62), 17:1, 41.1%

85 tie UC Santa Cruz (49), 18:1, 51.9%

95 tie U. of San Diego (47), 15:1, 48.9%

113 tie UC Riverside (43), 9:1, 60.2%

149 tie San Diego State University (34), 28:1, 37.2%

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The ill logic of the phrase “We’re recording this call for quality purposes”.


I of course assume that they are calling to get me to somehow commit to buying something, so I usually beg off by saying something about just not responding to such calls. I used to cite civil liberties. Now I just say that my agent doesn’t allow me to recorded without them arranging to pay royalties.

If the case is for “quality purposes”, I could imagine it is to check that the caller is not just charging their employer for a call that wasn’t completed, or that was answered by an answering machine, Following that line though, an employer can find out almost anything about a prospective employee to find out if they are honest, before hiring them. So the recording would mean that they are hiring an employee that they didn’t trust. If the employer doesn’t trust the employee, than why should I?

The latest call was a survey by the National Fisheries to ask how many people in my family fish. What kind of quality are they looking for in how that question is asked? It is rather straight forward. Are they evaluating the “quality” of my response in how I say none, or one, or two? How dare they!

If, as I suspect, the taping is to tape my agreeing to, or being trapped into buying something, then the caller has lied to me at the outset. Why should I trust them at all after that?

In this day when everyone is concerned about the privacy of their calls from government surveillance, (and they should be more concerned about unknown industries taping them), there must be many people who decline such calls. If the call really is for a survey only, why turn off many recipients by taping in the first place.

So, logically, there cannot be a good outcome for the caller, if they indeed are just calling for a survey, by taping me, and claiming that it is just for quality purposes.

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Freedom of speech, knowledge, and net neutrality

Is freedom of speech and knowledge transference going to be helped or hurt by the abolition of net neutrality? Net neutrality means everything gets the same priority without extra charges over the usual provider access charges. Its loss would mean priority would come with a charge.

The providers of massive video services such as Netflix and Youtube (Google) would like to have equal priority without having to pay extra. Their argument is that ordinary users with simple written websites would have less priority if Netflix was paying for priority. The fallacy of their misleading argument is that for-profit video services (think Youtube ads) are using up half the internet bandwidth for free, and usually not for freedom of speech content or knowledge content, but for entertainment. If they were to pay for their bandwidth, hopefully by the size of their files, they would have to charge for it, and their use of the available bandwidth would decrease. This would actually allow users for reading opinions or knowledge articles easier access, still for free. Netflix is really not arguing for the freedom of speech rights on the internet, but to avoid raising rates for its users.

Netflix and Youtube can of course spend small amounts of money to buy great influence in Congress, so it is unlikely that net neutrality will be abolished. They only need to spend a fraction of a percent of possible priority charges to influence Congressmen. The companies of course can spend as much as they want in PACS, since they are “people”.

Of course, if your main interest in the internet is to watch Netflix, you should consider that you are not getting a bargain for a pay like channel for about $7 a month, when you consider that you may be paying $45 a month for cable internet access. Also, the movie offerings on Netflix are hardly the latest or most popular movies shown on cable channels.

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Ignoring Climate Change’s Effects on our Military Endangers Our Troops

The House has just passed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization bill to not allow the Department of Defense to implement any of the results of any US or international climate change studies.  The vote was largely along party lines, with Republicans backing the amendment.

First of all, this inhibits defense planning in considering conflicts arising from climate change.  This is very important, for example, in the defense of Israel, or other parts of the Middle East, where the next war is considered to be one over water scarcity, not oil.  Knowing when and where water scarcity will arise will allow us to find equitable negotiated solutions, as well as to support building water infrastructure to prevent very costly conflicts and refugee or aid situations.  It inhibits forecasting the effects on harbors from sea level rise, and projecting projects and funds to adapt to it.  The use of spy satellites and drone warfare depends on clear skies, and we have to know what the future holds for cloud cover in various theatres of operation.  The decision whether to invade a country and equip and supply our forces in a country like Iraq which is desert and has very hot and dry summers would be affected by climate projections.

Second, looking at military history shows the importance of the climate in both long term strategy and short term battles.  The rise of US weather prediction by computers owes a lot to the necessity of planning a good period and day for the D-day invasion.  The defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 was due to a storm in the English Channel forcing the Spanish Armada North around England.  When it returned to the English Channel it was essentially demolished.  The defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo in 1815 in Belgium was because the field was too wet for a prompt attack, and Napoleon was later defeated there by Prussian reinforcements to the Duke of Wellington’s forces.

Napoleon’s defeat in attacking Russia was due to the cold and long Russian winter, and the large distance that the Russians were able to retreat.  Hitler’s defeat in his invasion of Russia was similar, with tanks being bogged down in mud, and soldiers suffering from frostbite.  Hitler’s defeat in the Battle of the Bulge came when clearing weather allowed US forces to attack German tanks from the air.

It is very short-sighted for the Republicans in the House to leave the US Military unprepared for strategic planning and fighting using the best scientific assessments of climate.

Posted in Climate Change, Sea Level Rise | Leave a comment

The UC Budget in the 2014-15 California Governor’s Budget

This is an accounting of the UC Budget in the May 13, 2014 revision of the 2014-15 California Governor’s Budget.  I don’t use rounding off.

The Total California Budget for 2014-15 is $156.152 billion.

The State Budget for Higher Education is $12.874 billion, or 8.2% of the state total.  The total higher education budget including federal support is $46.262 billion.  So the state contribution to the total higher education budget is 28%.

The State Budget for the University of California is $3.016 billion.  The total UC budget is $26.185 billion.  The state contribution to UC is 11.5% of the total.  The state also provides $1.482 billion in the Student Aid Commission.  There are 89,790 positions in the UC system.

In the UC system total budget, Instruction accounts for $5.246 billion.  This is broken down into the General Campus of $2.978 billion with 15,799 positions, and $1.991 billion in the Health Sciences with 8,267 positions.  Student Financial Aid is $1.389 billion of the total UC budget.  Research has $0.777 billion, with 5,303 positions.

Extramural Programs of the UC total $5.180 billion.  Of this, Research is $3.376 billion, and Student Financial Aid is $0.616 billion.  The extramural programs of $5.2 billion of outside money, compared to the state UC budget of $3 billion shows that the UC brings in money to the state.

The UC also run the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab for an income of $0.764 billion.



Posted in Economies, Education, UC Irvine, University Funding | Leave a comment

Fact checking Bill Maher on German Green Power

Bill Maher did a service this Friday by discussing climate change. But he did mislead on the point about Germany’s achievement on Green Power or renewables. He said that Germany was running on 74% renewables. One of the panel, Ian Bremmer, pointed out that that was only for one day. Actually, the appropriate qualification was that it was only for a brief period around noon when solar would be at a maximum, and presumably when wind was also close to a maximum. It was also not noted that it was on a Sunday, when industrial power requirements would have been at a minimum. The report in Climate Progress on May 13, 2014 would indicate that the Sunday was that of May 11, when the country was also not using power for summer air conditioning. The same article also said that renewables accounted for 27% of Germany’s electricity for the first quarter of 2014, far below the 74% of one propitious moment.

While Germany’s renewable sources are praiseworthy, as I have pointed out before, their solar power at their latitudes are only half as efficient as solar power in Mediterranean climate countries. They also may be needlessly shutting down their clean nuclear power, since they are not in earthquake or tsunami zones.
The various sources of Germany’s power from Wikipedia up to 2012 is below.

From the EIA, in 2012, Germany generated 576 TWh of electricity. Renewabes was 139 TWh or 24%. Nuclear was 94 TWh, or 16%. Together, this means that 40% of Germany’s electricity was cleanly generated.

Germany closed 8 nuclear reactors made before 1980. It plans to close the remaining 9 before 2022.

Germany’s total renewable capacity at the end of 2011 was 65 GW.

Bill Maher’s comment was to challenge the US to achieve the 74% renewables, but let us look at a comparison of recent US and German power sources below.

usa-germany sources


Coal is on top (in light blue).  Coal is increasing in Germany as they shut down nuclear (in orange).  The US, on the other hand, is replacing coal with natural gas (in gray).  Since natural gas only produces about half the CO2 of coal and is much less polluting, this is a dramatic step forward for the US.  Germany’s unnecessary shut down of nuclear eliminates greenhouse gas free power.  Germany has increased its share of renewables to 24%, and the US is on its way there.  California has a goal of 20% renewables by 2010, and of 33% by 2020.


Posted in Electric Power, Fossil Fuel Energy, Natural Gas, Nuclear Energy, Renewable Energy, Wind Energy | Leave a comment

UC President Janet Napolitano’s Inspiring Talk at UC Irvine

UC President Janet Napolitano gave the annual Jack W. Peltason Lecture for the Center for the Study of Democracy at UC Irvine on May 6, 2014.   Jack Peltason was UC Irvine’s Chancellor from 1984 to 1993.  He was the 16th President of the University of California from 1992 to 1995.  His wife Suzanne Peltason wrote the book UC Irvine, the First Twenty-five Years.

UC Irvine Chancellor Michael Drake introduced President Napolitano as a previous Governor of Arizona, and as past Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security under President Obama.

President Napolitano started by announcing the Jack Peltason had the President’s Medal bestowed on him.  She talked to Jack earlier today, and asked him what message could she pass on in her talk.  He said that every day has a crisis to deal with.  But don’t lose the sight of the forest for the trees.  Leave time to think, and then to dream.  (My reporting is paraphrased, but someone has to replace CNN until they overcome their fixation.)  Jack Peltason was in the audience, and received a long and warm applause.  President Napolitano asked how many in the audience knew Jack Peltason, and it was most of the audience.

President Napolitano discussed why the UC was a great university, and described it as a miracle developed by California, with a great story of how it came to be.  There is no end to its future, and it will continue to change.  She titled her talk “The Miracle in Our Midst”.  She had Chaired the National Governor’s Association, and that no state has what the University of California has in its 10 campuses.  The idea of the University goes back to the first California Constitutional Convention.  They thought of a University that could match Harvard.  No other public institute of higher education is above us.  We are a research university that asks new questions in basic research.

Janet Napolitano gets to explain the University in Sacramento, our State Capitol.  Andy Sheckman was our Newest Nobel prize winner.  41% of our freshmen were the first college students in their families.  40% of our freshman come from low income families that are eligible for Pell Grants.  The university has to keep moving and evolving.

The Gold Rush was like the Big Bang for the University. The Oakland College of California evolved into UC Berkeley.  Even from the start it struggled financially.  The UC budget is now at $24 billion.  Each new campus went from being considered a boondoggle by some to becoming a success.  Next came UCLA, UC Davis, UC Riverside, and UC Santa Barbara.   Then in the 60’s, the baby boomers and an invading nation required more campuses, and UC Irvine, UC San Diego, and UC Santa Cruz were formed.  UC Merced is our newest campus, a University for the 21st century.

The new campuses were seen as taking away resources from the existing campuses, but also as rescuers for the increases in enrollment.  Yet the institution never succumbed to rivalries.  UC Merced was inspired by UC Irvine’s start as the so-called “Instant University”.

UC Irvine was dedicated by President Lyndon B. Johnson on June 20, 1964.  UC Irvine has been again ranked as the highest research university in the US under 50 years of age, for the third time.

It was the first to have two Nobel Prizes in two different fields in the same year:  Sherwood Rowland in Chemistry and Fred Reines in Physics.  Since then we have added a third, Irwin Rose.

President Obama is coming for our commencement in June, 50 years after Lyndon Johnson dedicated our campus.

We need to continue for the future with audacious dreams.  “Teach for California, and research for the world.”

UC has concern for the commonwealth, and is following the California dream.  UC is a public good for the entire society.  Her greatest role is to lead the fight for UC to retain excellence and to be an engine for social mobility.  We are now the number one research University in the world.  All in the University must join in this fight to retain our excellence.  Don’t forget about the forest, and keep the big picture.  This miracle in our midst is transforming our lives.  We need to share in our starting vision and in transforming for the future.  This ending was followed by great applause.

President Napolitano then entertained questions that had been submitted.

Q.  Will there be more federal funding for higher education?

A.  Federal funding will remain flat.  In Sacramento she argues for more funding for the University.  California will not thrive unless the University does.  We are producing thousands of graduates and graduate students.  We are the number one recipient of federal research dollars.  We must also look to other ways to bring in more funding.  One source is private-public partnerships.  Another is to instill a spirit that alumni have an obligation to give back to the University, as is done in private universities.  The UC has 1.6 million living alumni.

Q.  What about the challenge of maintaining the California master plan?

A.  We must evolve and change.  We need more seats, and to look at what enrollment requirements will be.  We need public higher education to have a democracy.

Q.  What can be done to reform the immigration system?

A.  We must open up our visas.  We must make immigration easier, especially for our graduates.  Border security is not the solution.  We should get people already here documented, and into the system.  An immigration bill was passed by the Senate.  It was good but it put too much into border security as opposed to Ports of Entry.  We must keep up advocacy on this issue.

Q.  How can the UC Office of the President facilitate entrepreneurship?

A.  We are looking for ways to involve our Ph. D. students.  Part of doing research is to get our research out to the world.

Q.  What is the effect of the Affordable Care Act on our budget?

A.  The ACA is transformational – we want to treat people.  We want to get medical for people at the preventable stage, rather than at the acute stage.  This new act is in a transitional period.  We run five large health centers.  We are fourth in treatment in the state.  The UC is the largest medical researcher in the country.

Q.  What is the role of online education?

A.  Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) won’t solve all of our problems.  There will be a role for them.  We want to design such courses for students in the system.  We can use them for courses taught on other campuses, or that are only taught every other year.  We can provide courses to staff or to alumni.  We will quickly get better at such courses.

Q.  What about President Obama?

A.  It is great that he is coming here on our 50th year, and on the 50th year of the Great Society program.  He may tell us what he hopes for us.

Q.  The UC Office of the President is ending the Lick Observatory in 2018, but it is still a useful observatory.

A.  We don’t plan to close the observatory.  We are switching responsibility for it to campuses which are using it.  Cal Tech, China, India, and Canada are joining us in planning a 30 meter telescope in Hawaii near the Keck telescope site.




Posted in Education, Health Care, UC Irvine, University Funding | Leave a comment