Community Leader's View: UCSD a place for innovation

By Marye Anne Fox



UC San Diego is unique for many reasons — our quick 50-year rise from a fledgling campus to a leading global research university, our location near the ocean and Pacific Rim, and the people who work and study here, our stellar students, faculty and staff. Something else that sets UC San Diego apart from other universities: our foundation of innovation.

Over the last five decades, UC San Diego faculty, students and alumni have been pioneers of discovery. They’ve brought the world’s attention to global warming and started up more than 200 companies, including many local companies that helped to create the biotech and high-tech cluster on the Torrey Pines Mesa.

This year, as the campus celebrates 50 years of “Achieving the Extraordinary,” we want to share the history and legacy of our pursuit of knowledge. That is why, as part of our anniversary commemoration, we are hosting an “Innovation Day Expo and Symposia” (IDEaS) from Feb. 22 to 25.

Students, faculty, staff and community members are invited to the free hands-on, informative display of creativity and breakthroughs that originated at UC San Diego to benefit the community and world. The university’s top innovators will demonstrate their original inventions — from robotic programming to new technology for ocean exploration — and take questions from participants. The symposia will include three nights of panel discussions featuring UC San Diego Nobel Laureates, healthcare rock stars and the “Da Vinci Detective.”

IDEaS will also introduce three programs focused on cultural innovation and social justice, and a presentation by UC San Diego alumnus Kip Fulbeck who uses comedy, political activism and personal stories to discuss identity, multiraciality and pop culture. Just as the sciences and arts and humanities have advanced exponentially in the past five decades, so has our local, national and global society.

To learn more about our Innovation Day Expo and Symposia, and UC San Diego’s 50th anniversary celebration, visit




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