Leading research influence

UC Santa Cruz ranked first in research influence among the world’s top universities, according to the World University Rankings, published annually by Times Higher Education (THE).

“This placing should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with UCSC,” said Scott Brandt, vice chancellor for research. “That is an accurate reflection of the world-class research that takes place across our campus. UCSC is too small to be best at everything, but it is big enough to be best at everything we choose to do. That ie as true of our research–as reflected in THE rankings–as it is of the educational opportunities that we provide to our students.”

Slugs earned the top slot with a citation score of 100, tying for first place with MIT, and edging out Rice University at 99.9. The score is based on counting the average number of times publications by UCSC researchers were cited.

The spirit of inquiry@UC Santa Cruz

Welcome to the inaugural issue of inquiry@UC Santa Cruz. The office of Research and University Relations are proud to sponsor this annual research magazine. The purpose of inquiry is to present a campus-wide snapshot of our world-class research and a sense of “who we are” as a community of researchers and to draw out the complex interplay between pioneering research at UCSC and our investigators’ vision and passion.

Reading through these briefs and features, one finds the diversity of high-impact research at UCSC striking. We see examples of UC researchers conducting and leading complex inter-institutional scientific research to better understand our changing natural world; we see humanist archival scholarship retrieving worlds of lost cultural meaning; we see monographs on prison reform that are informing policy decisions; and we see the development of new technologies to aid and empower people with physical challenges. No wonder the Times Higher Education World University Rankings placed UCSC #1 in the world in research impact and #8 overall among world universities under 50 years old!

We hope you enjoy inquiry@UC Santa Cruz for 2015–16. It is a great privilege to support and foster the growth of research at UC Santa Cruz as we celebrate our 50th anniversary.

Scott A. Brandt
Vice Chancellor for Research
and Professor of Computer Science

University Of California Santa Cruz

  • Chancellor: George Blumenthal
  • Campus Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor: Alison Galloway
  • Vice Chancellor, Research: Scott Brandt
  • Vice Chancellor, University Relations: Keith Brant

inquiry@UC Santa Cruz, 2015–16

  • Editor: Elizabeth Devitt
  • Creative Director: Lisa Nielsen
  • Art Director/Designer: Linda Knudson (Cowell ‘76)

Associate Editors

  • Quentin Williams
  • Principal Jeanne Lance
  • Tedd Siegel
  • Lynne Stoops


  • Carolyn Lagattuta
  • Elena Zhukova


  • Anil Ananthaswamy (SciCom ‘00)
  • Becky Bach (SciCom ‘14)
  • Elizabeth Devitt (SciCom ‘13)
  • Jennie Dusheck (SciCom ‘85)
  • Melissae Fellet (SciCom ‘11)
  • Heather Rock Woods (SciCom ‘94)
  • Helen Shen (SciCom ‘12)
  • Danielle Venton (SciCom ‘11)

Image Research

  • Linda Knudson

Produced by UC Santa Cruz Communications & Marketing
1156 High Street Santa Cruz, CA 95064-1077
E-mail: inquiry@ucsc.edu
Web: research.ucsc.edu & inquiry.ucsc.edu