It's great to be starting the New Year with outstanding news. Sandy Faber will receive the National Medal of Science from President Obama at the White House on January 31, and I couldn't be more proud of her. I'm also delighted that she has invited me to join her and her family for the festivities. (One of her daughters is unable to make it, which is a shame for the family, but I am thrilled to fill the spot.) Sandy and I have been colleagues and friends for 40 years, and no one deserves this recognition more than she does. It will be an honor to witness this momentous occasion!
It was also terrific to attend the three-day physics symposium hosted by the campus over the weekend in honor of UCSC professors Howard Haber and Michael Dine on the occasion of their 60th birthdays. This gathering attracted the best of the best, including luminaries like Ed Witten of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton and Lisa Randall of Harvard--a true testament to Michael and Howie. I saw many dear friends and colleagues, including my grad school buddy Jack Gunion of UC Davis. At dinner on Saturday night, I sat between Lenny Susskind of Stanford and Nobel laureate David Gross of UC Santa Barbara. It's hard to imagine a more distinguished group of physicists gathering anywhere for any reason. I'm glad it was right here at UC Santa Cruz to honor two of our finest.
Today is the first day of Winter Quarter, and we're off to a great start. I think it's going to be a good one!
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