College of Letters and Science

Faculty Member Examining Art on Borders as Part of Multicampus Latinx Project

As part of a $1.8 million award from the UC Office of the President, Assistant Professor of Chicana/o Studies Ofelia Ortiz Cuevas will examine how artists around the world have created public protest art. She plans to bring artists from Cuba, Vietnam, the Middle East, Africa and other places together for a symposium, create a graphic publication and organize an exhibition of their work.

Winners of Top 2020 College Awards Announced

Each year, the UC Davis College of Letters and Science names two graduating seniors as the Herbert A. Young Award and Leon H. Mayhew Memorial Award recipients in recognition of outstanding academic achievement, community service and extracurricular involvement in the college. The college honors and celebrates the incredible leadership that both these students have shown our academic community.

Theatre Graduate Reaches New Heights as Acrobat

Mark Ferrando (B.A., dramatic arts, ’11) has a résumé that illustrates his versatility: stunt performer, acrobat, actor, circus artist. Ferrando has channeled his passion for physicality and theater into a career that calls for both. As a student at UC Davis, he studied dramatic arts and was a part of the gymnastics club.

Taking the Temperature of Dark Matter

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

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. 

Can You Change Your Personality? Scientists Say ‘Maybe’

It has long been believed that people can’t change their personalities, which are largely stable and inherited. But a review of recent research in personality science points to the possibility that personality traits can change through persistent intervention and major life events.

Explaining the Tiger Stripes of Enceladus

Saturn’s tiny, frozen moon Enceladus is a strange place. Just 300 miles across, the moon is thought to have an outer shell of ice covering a global ocean 20 miles deep, encasing a rocky core. Slashed across Enceladus’ south pole are four straight, parallel fissures or “tiger stripes” from which water erupts. These fissures aren’t quite like anything else in the solar system. 

Recreating Nature’s Machinery for Making Hydrogen Gas

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. 

$3.75M to Explore Synthetic Diamond Semiconductors at Crocker Lab

Although diamonds are mostly thought of as jewelry, synthetic diamonds are being explored for semiconductors because of their unique properties. Structurally identical to diamonds, synthetic diamonds are produced by a controlled process, as compared to natural diamonds, which are created by geologic processes. 

Celebrating 150 Years of the Periodic Table

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.