Oakland A’s General Manager Billy Beane and NY Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson.
Oakland A’s legends Billy Beane and Sandy Alderson surprised 241 full-time MBA students during orientation week to discuss how their use of advanced data transformed baseball talent management—a feat immortalized in the Michael Lewis book (and later movie) Moneyball. “[General] managers thought for a long time that we couldn’t bring some of the principles used in real estate or financial business to baseball,” Alderson said. “Moneyball caused a revolution among owners.” Moneyball details how Beane used scientific analysis to assemble a team of undervalued players. On a shoestring budget, the A’s broke an American League record in 2001, winning 20 consecutive games. “We are data-driven and pretty ruthless in our implementation,” Beane said. “We really want to remove our emotions from the decision making.”
Two Evening & Weekend Berkeley MBA students have been shortlisted in a competition to help the British nonprofit World Child Cancer (WCC). The pair are among 40 students on seven finalist teams in the Financial Times MBA Challenge, which seeks business plans for the long-term sustainability of WCC’s programs in developing countries. WCC partners with hospitals and healthcare workers in Africa, Asia, and Central America to increase children’s access to drugs and treatment. Matt Volm, MBA 16, is focusing on Ghana. Rekha Iyer, MBA 15, helped develop a plan to use mobile technology to raise funds for a Bangladeshi hospital.
UC Berkeley is one of only seven top schools nationwide offering cognitive computing courses using IBM’s Watson supercomputer. Solomon Darwin, executive director of the Garwood Center for Corporate Innovation, is teaching “Open Innovation, Leveraging IBM Watson” with Adjunct Associate Research Prof. Donald Wroblewski. The 24 undergraduates craft new healthcare applications for Apollo Hospital Group, Asia’s largest healthcare organization. High-level IBM executives shepherd the four teams, one of which will compete for $100K. “I want students to realize that with these digital tools they are capable of addressing one of society’s grand challenges—global healthcare—by building disruptive business models for emerging markets,” says Darwin.
Rick Liu, BS 05, CFO of Glazier Steel, and Tom Glazier, BS 04, VP and co-owner.
In October, the ceremonial final steel beam was placed atop Eshleman Hall, the new student union complex on Lower Sproul Plaza. All of the steel for the project—support beams, handrails, and the like—was supplied by Hayward-based Glazier Steel, co-owned by Tom Glazier, BS 04. Rick Liu, BS 05, is CFO. “When I applied to Haas, I wrote in my essay how I wanted to make a mark on the Bay Area skyline through the company that was started by my dad in 1979,” says Glazier. “Seeing that happen at Berkeley is particularly rewarding.” Also sporting Glazier steel on campus: the new art museum under construction and the Pacific Film Archive.
Lean In, written by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.
More than 50 Berkeley-Haas undergraduates headed to Silicon Valley Sept. 18 to be part of an exclusive live audience with Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, author of the NYT bestseller Lean In. The live webcast covered how Berkeley-Haas students could bring Lean In to campus and why Lean In Circles work for peer support. Sandberg also shared career advice and explained why today’s students have the potential as a generation to reach true equality.
Cardinal Health CIO Patty Morrison received the third annual Fisher-Hopper Prize Sept. 18 for lifetime achievement as a CIO. The prize is awarded by the Fisher CIO Leadership Program at Haas. Her 30-year career includes IT leadership roles at Motorola, Office Depot, and Pepsi Co., spanning industries including high tech, consumer products, retail, and healthcare. She’s also mentored other rising IT managers, 20 of whom are now CIOs.
MBA students during orientation week
It’s a banner admissions year for women in Berkeley MBA programs. Incoming full-time MBA students included a record 43 percent women. The 241 new students in the class were chosen from an applicant pool with one of the highest percentages of women ever, says Stephanie Fujii, assistant dean of the Full-time MBA Program and Admissions. The Executive MBA program admitted a record 31 percent women to its class this year, compared to a national marketplace average of 15 percent. And the Evening & Weekend class nudged close to a record number of women with 28 percent, up from 26 percent last year. Haas leaders, admissions and program staff, faculty, and students have made it a priority to improve gender balance at the school. Dean Lyons was among a group of 14 top business school leaders who visited the White House earlier this year to outline best practices for cultivating women leaders.
Hugh D. Williams
It may have taken Hugh D. Williams more than 70 years to earn a UC Berkeley degree, but at age 101, he finally did it. Williams received the diploma in September, surrounded by his family at the senior complex in Cupertino, Calif., where he lives.
Williams was attending UC Berkeley when World War II started. A physical issue prevented him from joining the military so he took a job in a machine shop supporting the war effort. He married a fellow UC Berkeley student, the late Ardell Rademacher, and continued working as a machinist to support his family. He never graduated.
A UC Berkeley advisor told Williams that if he petitioned to graduate, the university would probably grant it, but he never did. Some months ago, Williams confided to his daughter that he regretted not pursuing his degree. So his daughter contacted Barbara Felkins, assistant director of academic affairs for the undergraduate program. Felkins found the microfiche of Williams’s transcript and added it to the current campus database. Using the requirements published for the class of 1941–1942, she determined that Williams had completed his degree requirements. History was made for the centenarian.
Sameer B. Srivastava
Assistant Professor Sameer B. Srivastava has been awarded a Schwabacher Fellowship, the highest honor Haas bestows on assistant professors. The award is intended to recognize up-and-coming faculty stars and includes a small cash award, a research grant, and a modest instructional point credit. Srivastava’s research focuses on the formation, dynamics, and consequences of social networks within organizations. He teaches Power and Politics in Organizations for MBAs and two Haas executive programs: the Women’s Executive Leadership Program and Strategy in Competitive Markets.