2016-17 Physics/Astronomy Commencement

Tuesday, May 16, 2017 - 2:00pm

Location: Zellerbach Auditorium
(Reception at the Campanile Esplanade)

Congratulations to all 2017 Physics and Astronomy graduates! View photos from the event here.

This year 143 grads walked the stage at the Physics/Astronomy commencement ceremonies in Zellerbach Hall. Of these there were 33 Ph.D.'s (4 from Astronomy and 29 from Physics); 5 M.A.'s (Physics); and 105 B.A.'s (3 Engineering Physics, 12 Astronomy and 90 Physics). Along with their families, Physics hosted about 800 people for the event, culminating in a reception held in the Campanile Esplanade.

The ceremonies were lead by Physics Interim Chair Joel Moore, and Astronomy Chair Eugene Chiang. The two student speakers this year were Unpil Baek, B.A. Physics, and Goni Halevi, B.A. Astronomy. This year's Principal Commencement Speaker was Lars Bildsten.


About the Principal Commencement Speaker

Lars Bildsten is the Director of the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (KITP) and the Gluck Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He received his PhD in theoretical physics from Cornell University in 1991, where he held a Fannie and John Hertz Graduate Fellowship. Dr. Bildsten was at Caltech for three years as the Lee A. DuBridge Research Fellow in Theoretical Astrophysics and was an assistant and associate professor in both the Physics and Astronomy departments at University of California, Berkeley. Moving to Santa Barbara in 1999 as a Permanent Member at the KITP, he held the Rosing, Raab Chair in Theoretical Astrophysics prior to becoming Director in 2012. Among his awards are the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship, the Cottrell Scholar of the Research Corporation, the Helen B. Warner Prize from the American Astronomical Society and the Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics.  Dr. Bildsten was the Salpeter Lecturer at Cornell University, the Biermann Lecturer at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, the Beatrice Tinsley Centennial Visiting Professor at UT-Austin, the Bishop Lecturer at Columbia University, and the Jesse Greenstein Lecturer at Caltech. He has served on many international scientific advisory boards, including the “Decadal Survey” prioritization process for US Federal investments in astrophysics for 2010-2020, and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Physical Society. His effort in K-12 educational outreach was focused on the three-fold expansion of the Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy via fundraising and construction of a new facility in Goleta, California. He most recently completed the con-struction of the Charles T. Munger Physics Residence, a uniquely designed facility dedicated to housing visitors to the KITP.


PLEASE NOTE: This event in not open to the public. Invited guests of our graduates, including children, must have a ticket. Each graduate will receive two complimentary tickets. Additional tickets (limit is set at 20 ticket) are $5 each. Tickets will be available on and after April 3, 2017. Graduates can pickup their tickets after they complete the online RSVP.

The Cal Student Store invites you to attend the ASUC sponsored 2017 myGrad event on March 22, 23 and 24. This festive event is for all grads to order their official Cal regalia, class ring, graduation announcements, diploma frame and CAA membership. Plus get your Blue & Gold Yearbook photo taken!


Guests are welcome to take photographs during the processional and ceremony as long as they do not block the walkways. Each graduating student will have his or her photo taken by a professional photography company during the ceremony.

UC Berkeley Visitor Services
San Francisco Visitor Center
Oakland International Aiport
San Francisco International Airport

Department Contacts:
     Claudia Trujillo

     Kathy Lee

     Amanda Dillon



Campus-wide Commencement
Commencement at Cal – Saturday, May 13, 2017 , 10 am, Memorial Stadium
Registration begins in March


Zellerbach Auditorium