Professor Pamela Samuelson inducted into American Academy of Arts and Sciences

By Seif Abdelghaffar, The Daily Californian


The American Academy of Arts and Sciences announced on Wednesday that 10 UC Berkeley professors are among 198 distinguished scholars to be inducted for 2013.

Professors Frances Hellman, Alison Gopnik, Jitendra Malik, Susan Marqusee, David Miller, Hitoshi Murayama, Pamela Samuelson, Ann Swidler, T. Don Tilley and Bin Yu were all recognized in a wide variety of fields and will now have a lifetime membership in the academy, joining the likes of Nelson Mandela, Denzel Washington and Michael Dell.

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences is an independent policy research center, and members come from a broad range of professions and disciplines. Those inducted into the academy are viewed as leaders in academics, public affairs, the arts and business. Once inducted, members contribute to the academy by participating in research and publishing studies in fields such as science and technology, energy and global security and social policy.

Yu, a chancellor’s professor and professor of statistics, electrical engineering and computer sciences, expressed delight at being inducted.

“It is a great honor, and I am humbled,” Yu said. “The Academy of Arts and Sciences is so prestigious because of the very high quality of people and their work in the American Academy. Being inducted is an affirmation of my work in statistics, and it is also a recognition of my collaborators, including students and postdocs, through the recognition of our joint work.”

UC Berkeley now has 234 members in the academy, which, according to professor and chair of physics and inductee Hellman, highlights the strengths of UC Berkeley as both a research institution and as a university.

“Berkeley is an institution that prides itself on its creation and dissemination of knowledge and its service to the broad community through the research, teaching and service activities undertaken by its faculty, students and staff,” Hellman said. “Berkeley, to me, represents the pinnacle of an example of what great things can happen when the public and private sectors work together.”

This year’s number of inductees from UC Berkeley has increased from last year, and Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Robert Price believes that this shows UC Berkeley’s strength in all subjects.

“This is testament to our strength across the board,” Price said. “The new academy members from UC Berkeley represent a wide range of disciplines, from physics to law, psychology to computer sciences, English to statistics, biosciences to sociology. I am very pleased to see the achievements of UC Berkeley faculty recognized in all of these fields.”

The new inductees will be honored in a ceremony at the academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, Mass., in October.