Blog

Taking the Temperature of Dark Matter

January 15, 2020

Warm, cold, just right? Physicists at the University of California, Davis, are taking the temperature of dark matter, the mysterious substance that makes up about a quarter of our universe.

Pursuing Undergraduate Research Outside the Lab

January 13, 2020

Getting research experience as an undergraduate student doesn’t have to mean working in a laboratory. Instead of days spent transferring fluids from one tube to another, math major Tracy Camacho explored matroids, complex mathematical objects with many different uses. 

Who Will Kamala Harris Supporters Vote for Now?

December 20, 2019
With California Sen. Kamala Harris out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, UC Davis communication professor Magdalena Wojcieszak and colleagues investigated who her supporters are likely to vote for.

What Gamers and Redditors Can Teach Us About Democracy

December 11, 2019
Despite the ongoing threat of misinformation spreading online, UC Davis cognitive scientist Seth Frey still believes in the promise of the internet as a force for political and economic empowerment. The National Science Foundation recently awarded Frey and colleagues at three other universities a $460,000 grant to study how groups create and enforce self-rule in a wide array of domains, including Frey’s focus: Reddit forums (called subreddits) and video games.

How Flu Vaccine Misinformation Spreads Online

December 10, 2019
Social media are a powerful tool to spread information — and misinformation — about health issues such as vaccines and cancer prevention. How does bad information spread online, and what is the best way to stop it? That is a topic being studied by Assistant Professor Jingwen Zhang and her students in the UC Davis Department of Communication.

How Groups Make Up Their Minds

December 10, 2019
The choices we make in large group settings, such as in online forums and social media, might seem fairly automatic. But our decision-making process is more complicated than we know. So, researchers at the University of Washington and UC Davis have been working to understand what’s behind that seemingly intuitive process. The research has discovered that in large groups of essentially anonymous members, people make choices based on a model of the “mind of the group” and an evolving simulation of how a choice will affect that theorized mind.

How Do You Bounce Back After a Setback?

December 10, 2019
Why are people often only fleetingly happy about positive events, but persistently upset about negative events like setbacks? Alison Ledgerwood, behavioral scientist, professor of psychology and chancellor’s fellow at UC Davis, has conducted extensive research to understand this.

Recreating Nature’s Machinery for Making Hydrogen Gas

December 04, 2019
Research from the University of Illinois and UC Davis has chemists one step closer to recreating nature’s most efficient machinery for generating hydrogen gas. This new development may help clear the path for the hydrogen fuel industry to move into a larger role in the global push toward more environmentally friendly energy sources. 

For These Design Students, the Campus is the Lab

November 26, 2019

For many students, research involves donning white coats, gloves and goggles, and going into a lab. But for students in Advanced Interior Architecture, the entire UC Davis campus is their lab.

Celebrating 150 Years of the Periodic Table

November 25, 2019
Did you know the periodic table of chemical elements turned 150 years old in 2019? To celebrate the chart's 150th anniversary, the College of Letters and Science asked our experts to share their favorite element. 

Q&A: Ron Mangun and the Future of Mind and Brain Science

October 28, 2019
When George “Ron” Mangun led a campuswide effort to launch the UC Davis Center for Mind and Brain in 2002, he declared, “This is the most exciting time in mind and brain research in human history.” In an interview, Mangun talks about becoming the center's director for a second time and the even greater potential for mind and brain breakthroughs today.

Mutant Fern Spores Point to Mass Extinction Culprit

October 24, 2019
About 200 million years ago, much of the life on Earth was wiped out in the end-Triassic mass extinction. The catastrophe may have been caused by climate change related to massive volcanic eruptions.

Math Breakthrough Speeds Supercomputer Simulations

October 22, 2019
A breakthrough by UC Davis mathematicians could help scientists get three or four times the performance from supercomputers used to model protein folding, turbulence and other complex atomic scale problems.