UC Berkeley Diploma

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 impressed.

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.


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2005 Gray Chang