The embossed seal shows the motto of the University of California,
"Fiat Lux," or "Let there be light," although San Francisco Chronicle
columnist Herb Caen said that it means "an Italian car wash."
At the time, I felt that the cap-and-gown outfit at graduation was a
bit too fancy and pompous. So I turned my outfit into a Batman
costume by adding a black mask to the cap and a Batman insignia to
the gown. However, I removed the Batman stuff before going up to the
stage to receive my diploma holder. (They handed out empty diploma
holders; the real diplomas were mailed out some weeks later.)
Shortly before graduation, I was offered a Phi Beta Kappa
membership. I wasn't familiar with the organization, and I was
reluctant to pay the one-time membership fee. But my brother told me
it was a real honor and that I should definitely join. So I followed
his advice and got the membership. I don't know if anyone was ever
The focus of my course work in my major, Electrical Engineering and
Computer Science (EECS), was mainly electrical engineering and
integrated circuit design. I learned most of what I know about
computer programming during my Dog Daze years.
A favorite professor of mine, Chenming Hu, was
just starting a distinguished career as a teacher, research
scientist, and inventor. In 1980, he and his students built a hybrid
(gas/electric) automobile, 20 years before the first
production models were introduced, the Toyota Prius and Honda
Insight. In the 1990s, he and his associates developed the Berkeley
Short-channel IGFET Model (BSIM), a set of mathematical transistor
models now used throughout the semiconductor industry.
Many years after leaving school, I contacted Professor Hu to thank
him for his excellent teaching and the personal interest he took in
his students. Although he didn't remember me, he wrote back with warm regards.