Category Archives: resources

SFMOMA x Berkeley Lab: Hybrid forms

Yesterday I invited Tanya Zimbardo from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art to give a talk at Berkeley Lab (details about the even can be found here: Hybrid Forms: Connecting Art and Science)

Tanya Zimbardo (SFMONA) at Berkeley Lab

It was quite interesting to hear her perspective on a topic which is close to my heart, and happy to hear many references to Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, who currently has the Techs-Mechs exhibition running at the Gray Area, but also quite surprising not hear anything about Jim Campbell (whose art glows atop the Salesforce building “Eye of Sauron”) or the work of Illuminate.

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How do you spell croissants

Finding the best croissants in the San Francisco is an essential quest. Here are a few great options:

  • Rotha (East Bay) – 1051 San Pablo Ave, Albany, CA
  • Arsicault (San Francisco) – 97 Arguello Blvd, San Francisco, CA
  • Marvel Cake (South Bay) – 1614 W Campbell Ave, Campbell, CA

I won’t dare to mention pastry shops that bake monstrosities such as Cronuts, Croffle or Croffin (there must beat cosmic justice, Mr. Holmes went down.)

I’ll take a minute to say a word about Bakesum (3249 Grand Ave,  Oakland, CA), a French pastry / Asian flavor fusion that started in Berkeley during the pandemic, very close to where I lived and brought me a lot of joy when I needed most.

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Acronyms, I like acronyms!

Here are two resources that I found useful for (1) supervising researchers (SMART) and (2) mentoring scientists (TGROW)


(this is an excerpt from the Virtual Remote Mentor Guide -DOE-SC-WDTS Programs)
SMART is an acronym for a framework to help guide goal setting. It is intended to ensure that goals are planned, clear, trackable, and reachable. With SMART goals, you are more likely to achieve the goal efficiently and effectively. Below is an overview of the framework to establish SMART goals.

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1000 days

Today is the thousandth day since the start of the pandemic, and we still haven’t figured out how to hold efficient meetings online.Here’s a useful resource:

A practical guide to Remote & Hybrid Communications – Berkeley Executive Education

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Penn State University (Fall 2022)

I had a great time at Penn State University, where I was positively impressed by the facilities and the people!

I mainly visited the Material Research Institute and the department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, where they are developing x-ray adaptive optics for space application together with NASA, for the Lynx project.

Millennium Science Center, Penn State University (November 2022)

Thanks Susan Trolier-McKinstry for hosting me!

Angela Saini at Berkeley Lab

We were pleased, as Berkeley Lab Global Employee Resource Group co-chairs, to invite and co-organize with Angela Saini at Berkeley Lab on November 9th, 2022.

Author Angela Saini in conversation with Aditi Chakravarti from the Diversity and Inclusion office at Berkeley Lab (IDEA)

More details about the event:

Go with the flow

I discover the beautiful fluid motion videos from Yahya Modarres-Sadeghi of the Fluid-Structure Interaction Lab at UAmherst:

fluid speckle (by Modarres-Sadeghi, FSI/UAmherst)

These images and videos just show us how much information can be gained from a random signal (the marbled incoming flow) when it is coherent (linear flow) preserve correlation in space and time.

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new website: dream beam

Hello everyone!

I have a new website to talk more specifically about our work on adaptive optics for coherent beamlines (the DREAM beam project.)

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How to get the most out of a conference in person

Making the most out of a conference is a good idea! My friend Maria Zurek (former Berkeley Lab postdoc, now at Argonne) made a very interesting talk, and here are her slide:

Maria Zurek (left) and I (right) with Jeff Welser (IBM VP of research, center) and the rest of the Berkeley Lab Postdoc Association in October 2019

She gave a few great pieces of advice, here are my favorites:
– come to the conference with your slides READY. If they’re not ready, you will miss most of the social hours, where the networking happens (that’s a hard one – but very true: a conference is mostly about meeting people, not presenting your research.)

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Scientists on screen

There isn’t much representation of scientists in popular culture, with a only few movies standing out, such as a “A Beautiful Mind” (on John Nash) or “Good Will Hunting.” There’s been a few more in the biopic genre lately, such as the “Imitation Game” on Alan Turing or “The Theory of Everything” on Stephen Hawking, and soon a movie on Robert Oppenheimer by Chris Nolan.

But the representation of women in science and technology is even less frequent. Things seem to be changing, and during the pandemic there’s been a few biopics on women scientists, to which I want to bring attention to:

(credit: @truffleduster)

All of them have been deprived of a theatrical release, and I find it a bit sad they haven’t been delayed, but perhaps there’s been increased distribution through streaming platforms.
I should also mention slightly older movies such as “Hidden Figures“, “Contact“, “Arrival” and “Interstellar” – surprisingly all about space exploration.
Why can’t we see beakers, petri dishes and lasers?