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The Haas Design and Innovation Strategy Club's innovation tournement winners demonstrate their Photohawk application. Picture here: Cheryn Flanagan of design firm Sequence; Deepti Gottapati, MBA 13; Evan Atherton, MS 12 (Mech. Engineer.); Adam Menter of Autodesk; Eileen Change, MBA 12; and Gabe Cohen, MBA 13
Students sketched teddy bears, scribbled flow charts, and even flapped their arms like hawks for the Haas Design and Innovation Strategy Club’s first innovation tournament in San Francisco in March. Their challenge: help Autodesk use the cloud and the crowd to help far-flung teams work better together.
Teams had 30 seconds to make pitches and returned for multiple rounds. Each time, judges prodded them to go further.
The team of students who flapped their wings soared to victory with their proposed Photohawk application to crowdsource 3D models. The team included Gabe Cohen and Eileen Chang, both MBA 12, and Deepti Gottipati, MBA 13.
Autodesk Director of Strategic Initiatives Jonathan Knowles was so impressed that he tweeted, “I have a new positive perspective on MBAs after being a judge @BerkeleyHaas Innovation Tournament today.”
Haas is launching two digital courses on a pilot basis to optimize the teaching opportunities offered by this game-changing medium.
Haas’ first online course, Data and Decisions, was rolled out to evening-and-weekend students in June. It will be followed in the fall by an online version of Power and Politics, a popular MBA course, which attracted a long waiting list.
Instructors are exploring the new opportunities created by the online environment, including enhanced collaboration, more interactive exercises, and use of real-time data to improve student learning. Funds from a $1 million matching gift from Steve and Susan Chamberlin, MBA 87, former members of the Haas faculty, are being used to cover the pilots’ costs.
Matteo Maggiori, PhD 12, was the first Haas student to be chosen to participate in the prestigious Review of Economics May Meetings in Europe. The May Meetings “award” is given annually to the nation’s seven most promising graduating economics and finance doctoral students, who present their research at several European universities. Maggiori has studied the international financial role of the U.S. and the U.S. dollar as a global safe asset. He landed an assistant professorship at NYU’s Stern School of Business and Economics Department.
The Berkeley Master of Financial Engineering Program offered a new elective this year to give students a better understanding of the importance of the law and ethics in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. Speakers from investment banking, law, and the Securities and Exchange Commission hit home to students that the models they would design in their careers would have to incorporate elements of new, very complex regulations, says Lecturer Greg La Blanc, who taught the class. Students also learned from cases and group projects that ethics are rarely black and white and often extend beyond an individual to involve an organizational failure. Mike Pesky, MFE 12, was among the many students who finished the course thinking it should be required. “In any job, there are ethically grey areas, and students must know how to navigate such issues prior to having to deal with them,” says Pensky, who now works in Morgan Stanley’s Securitized Products Group.
From climate change to speculation in oil markets, no energy topic is off limits in the new blog launched by the Energy Institute at Haas. Recent posts on the Energy Economics Exchange include “The Death Knell for Nuclear Power in the U.S.,” by Elizabeth Bailey, the institute’s new executive director, and “The Lunch Table: Are Apples Really More Energy Efficient Than Dells?,” by Catherine Wolfram, the institute’s co-faculty director. Bookmark or subscribe to the blog at energyathaas.wordpress.com.
Haas has just launched a new Berkeley MBA for Executives Program. Hundreds of individuals already have expressed interest in the program, announced earlier this year with the decision to end the Berkeley-Columbia Executive MBA Program. Haas held a focus group with about 60 Berkeley- Columbia alumni in June to gather their suggestions for the new program. To learn more, visit mbaforexecutives. haas.berkeley.edu.
Two undergrads and one alumna headed to London this summer to participate in the Summer Olympics.
Alumna Lauren Boyle, BS 11, and undergraduate Mathias Gydesen, BS 13, competed in swimming events, representing New Zealand and Denmark, respectively.
Boyle qualified for the 200-, 400-, and 800-meter freestyle races and the 4x200-meter freestyle relay after setting a national record in the 400-meter freestyle in New Zealand. She also competed in the 2008 Olympics. Gydesen qualified in the 100-meter backstroke following a careerbest at the Indianapolis Grand Prix.
Meanwhile, Kylan Nieh, BS 14, was selected by Coca-Cola to participate as an Olympic torch bearer. Nieh spent countless hours in his youth training to be an Olympic gymnast before an injurysidelined him. Then Nieh co-founded two nonprofits and became his high school valedictorian. At Cal, Nieh teaches a leadership course and runs a national campaign to collect school supplies for students in need.
Every year, the UC Berkeley community launches dozens of companies?many guided by angel investors.
Some of these investors also have ties to the campus, yet until recently there was no organized way for these alumni angels to connect with each other or with budding UC Berkeley startups. That changed last year when several Cal alumni, including George Willman, MBA 93, and Jerry Engel, Lester Center for Entrepreneurship founding director, launched the Berkeley Angel Network.
The network has attracted 100 members. Two Haas companies have been offered funding.
“The Berkeley Angel Network made the daunting task of finding interested investors much easier,” says Bhavin Parikh, MBA10, CEO of Internet test-prep company Magoosh. “I presented my company to over 20 pre-qualified investors and received some funding within weeks.”
Students’ growing interest in Latin America has combined with the Haas School’s expanding network in the region to enable students to organize a Latin American Business Conference for three consecutive years. The latest installment, on Feb. 24, included keynote speakers Walter Schalka, CEO, Votorantim Cimentos, a Brazilian cement company; Stelleo Tolda, COO, MercadoLibre, the region’s largest online trading platform; and Eduardo Leon, partner, Boston Consulting Group, Mexico. Panels also examined clean energy, technology entrepreneurship, and venture capital.
The Evening & Weekend Berkeley MBA Program climbed to #2 in the U.S. News & World Report ranking of top U.S. parttime MBA programs, released in March. The program, which ranked #3 last year, tied this year for second with Chicago Booth.