News In Brief

President Yudof Speaks About Furlough Plans for UC Schools

On July 15, University of California President Mark Yudof will present his proposal concerning system-wide furloughs and salary reductions to the Board of Regents.

President Yudof has released a YouTube video in which he describes the outline of his proposal which he says was greatly influenced by the massive amount of input from the UC community.

The proposal calls for staff and faculty to get additional time off, and when that time is to be taken must remain flexible. These holidays will be paid as well, and furloughs will be spread out along a 12-month period, so as not to force all furloughs to happen at once.

In addition, benefits such as medical care will remain protected, and what Yudof calls a “graduated approach” will be implemented in salary cuts. This means that lower salary levels will get approximately 4 percent cut, while higher salary levels will get around 10 percent cut.

July 15 will be the determining factor because the Board of Regents must pass the proposal in order for it to go into full effect. Still, Yudof remains hopeful.

“I have great faith in the plan,” said Yudof.

UCI Cosmologist Detects Farthest Giant Supernovae by 5 Billion Years

Employing a novel technique to find dying stars, University of California, Irvine’s cosmologist Jeff Cooke, a McCue Postdoctoral Fellow in Physics and Astronomy, has successfully detected two supernovae with his colleagues that are located farther away than any previously detected.

Cosmologists generally compare photographs taken of the same stretch of sky at different times of the year for the presence of new light, which serves as an indictor that there could have been a supernova.

Cooke and his colleagues built on this strategy by blending all the photographs taken during the year and comparing them with those previously taken. This allows the cosmologists to see fainter objects and ultimately detect supernovae located farther than that which the previous technique permitted.

Using this method, UCI’s cosmologists were able to find supernovae that occurred 11 billion years ago. This is impressive compared to the farthest supernova found previously of six billion years ago.

Cooke explains why this technique works.

“It’s like in photography when you open the shutter for a long time. You’ll collect more light with a longer exposure,” said Cooke.

When this method was applied to images from Hawaii’s Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, Cooke successfully unveiled four more objects that were later confirmed to also be supernovae.