UCLA In the News August 1, 2018

UCLA In the News lists selected mentions of UCLA in the world’s news media. See more UCLA In the News.

Common thread in California wildfires: heat like state has never seen | Los Angeles Times

[UCLA’s Daniel] Swain said California is seeing more fires spreading much faster than what was customary. “It’s just that much easier for fires to escape initial control,” he said. According to Swain, an ominous warning sign before each of the major fires of the last year — including last fall’s catastrophic Santa Rosa blaze — was alerts about record or near-record dryness in the vegetation. (Also: USA Today, Time, KCBS-TV)

Pick to head White House science office gets good reviews | Science

“His command of both science and policy issues is nearly unmatched in the community,” says Roger Wakimoto, vice chancellor for research at the University of California, Los Angeles, and president of the American Meteorological Society in Boston. Wakimoto says he has known Droegemeier since graduate school and predicts he will be “a superb spokesperson for the community.”

The decade we almost stopped climate change | New York Times Magazine

“The day before the Santa Rosa fires,” said Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles, “the vegetation was at record-high values for dryness, and just weeks before, the vegetation was at a record high for the century. This was following the hottest summer on record.” He added: “There’s this component of vegetation dryness that matters. It affects how intense the burn is and how receptive the fuels are to embers.”

Hispanic activist groups launch campaign targeting Paramount Pictures | Hollywood Reporter

Paramount was chosen after a study conducted by NHMC and the team behind UCLA’s “Hollywood Diversity Report.” Reviewing the top 100 grossing films in the U.S. from 2016 to 2017, researchers said that the studio had the worst track record in terms of hiring Latino actors, writers and directors.

Rejected by parents, gay valedictorian is going to college, with $50K from donors | NBC News

Conversion therapy, also known as “reparative therapy” or “ex-gay therapy,” aims to change one’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Despite widespread opposition from health associations, like the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics, approximately 700,000 LGBTQ Americans between the ages of 18 and 59 have been subjected to this practice at some point in their lives, according to a 2018 report from UCLA’s Williams Institute. The report also estimates tens of thousands of LGBTQ youth currently between the ages of 13 and 17 will undergo “gay conversion therapy” before they turn 18. (Also: USA Today)

Abolish ICE? Reform it? Or what? | Christian Science Monitor

Hiroshi Motomura, a law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, suggests that the strong opposition to ICE taking children from parents presents an opportunity for Democrats in November. He contends that, on its own, “Abolish ICE” leaves Democrats vulnerable to inflated charges of promoting open borders and gutting immigration policy.

In L.A., driving to work can be a part-time job of its own | NPR’s “Marketplace”

“If you try to add housing in built-up areas: traffic impacts. It’s going to make traffic worse,” says UCLA’s Brian Taylor. (Approx. 12:50 mark)

Measles outbreaks come with serious consequences | Reuters Health

The new report highlights the growing number of measles cases in the U.S., said Anne Rimoin, an epidemiologist at the Fielding School of Public Health at the University of California, Los Angeles. “It’s due to the fact that there are pockets of people in the U.S. who are unvaccinated,” Rimoin said. “People forget that there is a responsibility not only to their own children, but also to their community to have high levels of vaccination so outbreaks can be prevented. It’s particularly important for children with cancer or other immune suppressing conditions who have to depend on herd immunity. Measles is very contagious. Up to 90 percent of those exposed who don’t have immunity become infected.”

Assisted suicide is controversial, but palliative sedation is legal and offers peace | Washington Post

“There are people who believe they are the same. I am not one of them,” said Thomas Strouse, a psychiatrist and specialist in palliative-care medicine at the UCLA Medical Center. “The goal of aid-in-dying is to be dead; that is the patient’s goal. The goal in palliative sedation is to manage intractable symptoms, maybe through reduction of consciousness or complete unconsciousness.”

3D-printed Deep Learning neural network uses light instead of electrons | New Atlas

Traditionally, deep learning systems are implemented on a computer to learn data representation and abstraction and perform tasks, on par with — or better than — the performance of humans. However, the team led by Dr. Aydogan Ozcan, the Chancellor’s Professor of electrical and computer engineering at UCLA, didn’t use a traditional computer setup, instead choosing to forgo all those energy-hungry electrons in favor of light waves. The result was its all-optical Diffractive Deep Neural Network architecture.

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