News in Brief

Nate Tabak covers crime. E-mail him at [email protected].

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UC Berkeley Alum Wins Nobel Prize

A former UC Berkeley psychology professor won the Nobel Prize in economics yesterday.

Daniel Kahneman, who won the award, received his Ph.D. in psychology from UC Berkeley in 1961 and was a professor of psychology at the university from 1986 until 1994.

Daniel Kahneman

Kahneman currently teaches at Princeton University.

"Daniel Kahneman has integrated insights from psychology into economics, thereby laying the foundation for a new field of research," a statement from the Nobel Foundation said. "His work has inspired a new generation of researchers in economics and finance to enrich economic theory."

Kahneman found people's decisions often differ from those expected by economic theory when they are uncertain of the decisions' outcome, the statement added. Instead, he said people rely on more complex motivations in choosing their actions.

"In situations with uncertainty, human judgment often exploits rules of thumb that systematically contradict fundamental propositions in probability theory," the statement said.

Kahneman did some of the research with Stanford University psychology professor Amos Tversky, who died in 1996.

Kahneman will share the prize with Vernon Smith, an economics professor at George Mason University.

Dry Ice Causes Blast at Berkeley High

A bomb exploded at Berkeley High School yesterday as part of a teacher-sanctioned activity, police said.

No injuries were reported after the student detonated the dry ice bomb shortly before 2:34 p.m.

A physics teacher had given the students in his class pieces of dry ice, telling them the ice would explode if placed in a bottle, said Berkeley police Officer Mary Kusmiss. A student went outside and exploded the device, allegedly with the permission of another nearby teacher.

Dry ice bombs have the potential to kill, Kusmiss said. The making and use of such devices is illegal in California.

The incident was being documented yesterday and no arrests were made.

Nate Tabak


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