college of letters and science

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. The researchers reported their findings Oct. 15 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

$2.5M to Explore Synthetic Diamond Semiconductors at Crocker Lab

November 26, 2019

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

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. 

Student Ambassadors: Personalizing the Aggie Experience

Every fall, thousands of college-bound students put UC Davis on their wish list. Some know exactly what they want to study, but most are searching for just the “right fit” — a quest that includes exploring possible majors and all aspects of student life. Who better to serve as sherpa on that journey than a current Aggie?

Our Ambassadors of Letters and Science (ALAS) work directly with prospective students and families, as well as peers, College leadership, and the community at large, to represent all the College has to offer.

Alumnus Shares Thoughts on Winning Fiction Prize

November 14, 2019
2019 Maurice Prize for Fiction: Peter Shahrokh (English, M.A. ’75; Ph.D. ’83; MBA ’99)

I started my winning novel, A Wind Will Come, 30 years ago. The premise was that a professional engineer had chosen to become a chef, and he was then lured by the promise of owning his own restaurant by an ex-girlfriend if he found her lost lover. The lover was a psychopath, and that made things a little interesting. After I’d done the first two chapters, I couldn’t figure out where I was going with it. Ten years later I picked it up again and finished the last three chapters.

Author Assist

November 14, 2019
Best-selling author John Lescroart says it took winning a prestigious award early in his career to “believe I could be a writer.” The Maurice Prize for Fiction at UC Davis, now in its 14th year, is Lescroart’s way of paying it forward. A UC Berkeley graduate and resident of Davis, Lescroart established the Maurice Prize, named for his father, to encourage UC Davis alumni writers. Peter Shahrokh (English, M.A. ’75, Ph.D. ’83; MBA ’99) won the 2019 prize for his manuscript, "A Wind Will Come."

Steeped in Tea 

Seminar gives students a wide view of world’s most consumed brew.

From a trip to the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco, to tea tasting, to lectures given by an art historian, chemist, nutritionist, farmer, librarian, and professor of Japanese literature, the seminar “Global Tea Culture and Science” introduces students to the rich and intersectional world of tea.

Meet Brian Burwell 

New chair brings strategic expertise to Dean’s Advisory Council

Brian Burwell (B.A., economics, ’72) has worked with some of the world’s leading corporations and nonprofit organizations. He brings his expertise in strategy, execution, and organization to his leadership of the College Dean’s Advisory Council (DAC), whose mission is to offer advice and counsel to the dean.

Gorman Museum Move

November 13, 2019
Volunteer leadership is helping to ensure the longevity of the venerable C.N. Gorman Museum and its smooth transition to a new home on campus. Longtime arts champions Bill and Nancy Roe recently pledged $250,000 toward its expansion.

Designing It Forward

November 13, 2019
Ronald Whitney-Whyte (B.S., design, ’75) has made a planned gift of $1 million to the College to support undergraduates majoring in design. Whitney-Whyte’s gift will establish two endowed funds, one to provide students with supplies and the other to support scholarships for junior and senior design majors.