News & Announcements
Dear Friends of Berkeley Demography,
In the face of the global crises of the pandemic, increasing ecological precarity, and racial injustice, we are doing everything we can to advance scientific understanding, train a new generation of scholars, and keep a strong sense of community.
The research focus of the department continues in its traditional
strengths in formal modeling and demography theory. With the pandemic, we have also started a number of new projects to advance the scientific understanding of the response to and impact of the corona virus.
Our weekly Brown Bag is now virtual, and after several months focusing on the newest research on Covid-19, we have returned to our regular programming of a broad variety of the latest demographic research. The brownbag also features a special series of panels on human evolutionary demography. If you would like to be added to the listserv to receive notices of talks held via zoom, write to: dmurphy(at)berkeley.edu.
We are happy to announce that graduate admissions to the department will move forward as planned this year. We welcome inquiries and applications from students of diverse backgrounds who want to pursue an M.A. or Ph.D. in Demography or a joint Ph.D. in Demography and Sociology. We continue to receive strong support from our NIH-sponsored training programs and from Berkeley's Graduate Division, which enable us to provide competitive funding support for students admitted to our Ph.D. program.
We are also delighted to announce new additions to the department, including:
The arrival of Assistant Professor Ayesha Mahmud, whose research focuses on infectious disease modeling. Ayesha joins us after completing her Ph.D. at Princeton and a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard.
Two NIA postdoctoral fellows, Nathan Seltzer from University of Wisconsin, and Jordan Weiss from University of Pennsylvania, have joined as the first NIA post-doctoral cohort.
Two new joint-appointments of Berkeley faculty. Will Dow and I have both accepted joint-appointments in Demography. Will is a professor in the School of Public Health, director of the Center for the Economics and Demography of Aging, and a specialist in health, mortality, and health economics. I am a professor in Sociology and a specialist in the history and politics of census-taking, race and ethnicity, and the politics of demography.
Carl Boe has joined the Demography Department as our new head of computing. Carl’s appointment follows the retirement of Carl Mason last year.
Maria Teresa Hernandez has joined as a manager of Center for the Economics and Demography of Aging and the Berkeley Population Center. Maria also works in the School of Public Health.
While the department continues its focus on basic research on the central issues of demography, I also wanted to highlight a few of the Covid-19 related research projects. These include:
Magali Barbieri's work on the Human Mortality Database's new Short-term Mortality Fluctuations [https://mpidr.shinyapps.io/stmortality/] database;
Ayesha Mahmud and Dennis Feehan's survey of social contacts during the epidemic
Josh Goldstein and Ron Lee's recent work on the demography of epidemic mortality [https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2006392117].
In addition to research, Ayesha Mahmud is serving as an advisor to the government of Bangladesh concerning the spread of Covid-19.
In other faculty news, Kenneth Wachter is investigating the interface between socio-genomics and family demography and serving on the Editorial Board of Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.
Jennifer Johnson-Hanks’ book "How We Count: Why Quantitative Social Science Matters" will be published by Princeton University Press this year. The Department is enormously appreciative to Jenna for her service as Chair the past two years. She leaves the Department in great shape as she steps into a major Campus leadership role this year as Chair of the UC Berkeley Academic Senate.
Although we are all still distanced physically from each other, I know that everyone in Berkeley Demography looks forward to hearing from everyone in the greater community of Berkeley Demography from around the world whenever you get a chance to reach out.
Professor of Sociology and Demography
Demography Department Chair
Demography Brown Bag Seminars
Join us at the Demography Department, located at 2232 Piedmont Avenue, every Wednesday at noon for our weekly Brown Bag seminar series featuring guest speakers from a wide range of disciplines relating demographic topics to current issues in public health, sociology, economics, education, and more.
Meeting virtually, during the COVID-19 pandemic
Please arrive before 12:10 pm to secure a seat.
Coffee, tea, and cookies will be provided.
Special Statement about Development
I urge each of our alums and friends to consider making a gift to the Department of Demography. Although we regularly receive generous donations from some in our circle, the Department has not yet reached out widely to our strong constituency for broader support. It is important that we do so now, in this time of fiscal austerity on the campus, since private gifts are ever more critical to maintaining fellowship packages for our graduate students and meeting other needs (from providing research allowances for new faculty to funding the department’s scholarly and ceremonial events). A relatively young department, Demography does not have the historically old and deep endowments that enable many of our sister departments on campus to weather the winds of retrenchment with greater confidence. Please follow this link to make a gift of any amount to the Department, knowing that we shall use it wisely to sustain a program at the forefront of the discipline throughout the world. Thank you enormously for your consideration.