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1. Alumnus and Qualcomm Co-Founder Franklin Antonio Gives $30 Million to UC San Diego

University of California San Diego alumnus and Qualcomm co-founder Franklin Antonio is donating $30 million to the university in support of programmatic expansion of the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering.

2. Who’s Afraid of Free Speech?

What is “free speech” and is it at risk on college campuses? Are raucous and violent demonstrations that disrupt or shut down campus speakers and events a legitimate form of “counter-speech” or a chilling attempt to silence open debate and the free exchange of ideas?

3. NASA Astronaut Jessica Meir Orbits Back to Scripps for Campus Visit

Jessica Meir is one of a few scientists and UC San Diego alumni who also hold the prestigious title of NASA astronaut. Meir obtained her Ph.D. in marine biology from Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 2009. Last week, she returned to her alma mater to serve as keynote speaker for Blue Tech Week, an event led by the Maritime Alliance. The event that attracted more than 400 participants from academia, finance, government, industry, and the military to focus on the theme of "Smart Ocean, Smart Water."

4. Women Rising

For Elizabeth Villa, 2017 was a banner year. Earlier this year, the biophysicist and assistant professor of molecular biology received her first of four years of research funding from the Pew Charitable Trusts following her selection last fall as a Pew scholar. Villa was one of only 22 early-career biomedical researchers nationwide to win the prize.

5. Mapping Earth’s Microbiome

More than 27,500 samples collected across seven continents and 43 countries. More than 307,500 unique DNA sequences. One reference map of the bacteria and related microbes that call Planet Earth home. This is the result of the Earth Microbiome Project, an effort by an extensive global team co-led by researchers at University of California San Diego, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory.

6. John Lithgow: An Actor’s Lessons

Being an actor is hard. It is fraught with rejection, failure, insecurity and envy. Just ask John Lithgow. “It is a profession that is very hard on your ego,” he told a small group of UC San Diego master of fine arts in acting students during a visit to the campus last week. Even worse, he said with comic theatricalism, is the “humiliation of being rejected by people you have contempt for,” a well-rehearsed line that garnered laughs from the students. Still, he admitted, “I fret all the time.” It seems like an odd confession from an actor whose career has spanned decades and been marked by numerous accolades and awards, including his recent Emmy for his role as Winston Churchill in the Netflix series “The Crown.”

7. Cybercrime Fighter Wins Genius Award

A few weeks ago, Stefan Savage, a UC San Diego computer science professor started receiving calls on a daily basis—sometimes more than once a day—from a phone number with a Chicago area code. The caller didn’t leave a voicemail. Savage never answers calls from a number he doesn’t recognize. He is a security researcher and at least one of his collaborators has been targeted by cybercriminals. So he looked up the phone number. To his relief, it tracked back to the MacArthur Foundation’s headquarters in Chicago.

8. UC San Diego Celebrates Oldest Living Alumnus Walter Munk as He Turns 100

If you’ve ever checked a surf report to know how big the waves will be for a surfing session, you have Walter Munk to thank. And those calendars that predict high and low tides? They wouldn’t be possible without the research from a UC San Diego legendary oceanographer.

9. A Flip Flop Revolution

UC San Diego students and researchers have produced the world’s first algae-based, renewable flip flops.The first prototypes of their new invention, developed over the summer in a York Hall chemistry laboratory, consist of a flexible, spongy slipper adorned with a Triton logo and a simple strap—fairly basic, as flip flops go.But when they go into full production later this academic year at what researchers hope will be a projected cost of $3 a pair, the impact of this campus innovation could be revolutionary, changing the world for the better environmentally.

10. Using Artificial Intelligence for Healthy Living

“UC San Diego is a community of changemakers and innovators,” said UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla Sept. 28 as he welcomed a crowd in Atkinson Hall at the IBM-UC San Diego signing ceremony celebration. “It is not an exaggeration to say that at this campus, which in its short time of 57 years is the top ten in the country and top 15 in the world, we must have done something right.