Monthly Archives: March 2018

Christian Science Monitor: “Here comes the esports revolution – are video gamers the Tom Bradys of tomorrow?” (Constance Steinkuehler quoted)

March 23, 2018

UCI wants to go beyond just supporting competitive gaming. Constance Steinkuehler, a professor of informatics there, believes gaming and esports research can do everything from improving student educational performance to fostering a culture of teamwork. She says that competing in high-level esports takes sophisticated communication and mastery of complex schemes.

Read the full story at The Christian Science Monitor.

CMSWire: “New Consortium Looks to Humanize the Digital Workplace” (Gloria Mark named to consortium)

March 22, 2018

In the workplace, increased use of mobile devices and next generation collaboration tools is also having a negative effect, albeit in a different way than in the consumer world. In the workplace, tech addiction is not a problem of addiction. Rather, it is the increased use of pervasive technology that makes it hard for workers to focus on deep work and complete tasks that require extended periods of concentration.

Because the challenges and threats of tech usage at work are different than those at home, a different approach is needed to address them. To meet this need, a consortium of organizational and academic experts recently formed to bring the human back to the center of the workplace. The newly-formed Humanizing the Digital Workplace Consortium was founded “to identify solutions and offer guidance to organizations about creating people-centric approaches that improve worker productivity, creativity and wellbeing.”

Read the full story at CMSWire.

Inc.: “Distractions Are Costing Companies Millions. Here’s Why 66 Percent of Workers Won’t Talk About It” (Gloria Mark research cited)

One of the most shocking findings that we uncovered was that 34% of employees like their jobs less when they find themselves in a distracting workplace and 66% of workers have never discussed solutions to address workplace distraction with their managers. When workplace distractions are reduced, whether through training or policies, we found that 75% of employees are more productive, 57% have increased motivation, and 49% are overall happier at work. These statistics are further supported by findings from a UC Irvine study that show “people compensate for interruptions by working faster, but this comes at a price: experiencing more stress, higher frustration, time pressure, and effort. In addition to the negative emotional impacts on employees, businesses also feel the consequences since even the briefest interruptions can double a worker’s error rate.

Read the full story at Inc.

Diverse Innovation on Display at 2018 Capstone Game Showcase

March 21, 2018

On March 14, in the sixth-floor conference room of Donald Bren Hall, you could find astronauts chasing shooting stars, blobs navigating through volcanoes and time travelers walking through a bear-infested countryside. And this was just part of the fun of the 2018 showcase for the Capstone Game Project course, taught by Informatics Professor Josh Tanenbaum. The two-quarter class, offered as part of the Computer Game Science major, culminated in this presentation of nine new adventurous games.

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Rolling Stone: “How Developers Can Reduce Toxicity in Online Communities” (Ph.D. student Katherine Lo quoted)

March 20, 2018

Toxicity often seems like a foregone conclusion in online communities, just something that happens when a game becomes too big or popular. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
During a presentation at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this week, expert panelists talked about what creators can do to help prevent their communities from succumbing to abuse and harassment. User experience researcher and veteran social media moderator Katherine Lo began by debunking a key myth about online behavior: the long-held belief that someone acts like an asshole because they’re hiding behind a fake name.

Read the full story at Rolling Stone.

Alumni Spotlight: Google’s Rosalva Gallardo ’12 Advances Tech Education in Peru

March 13, 2018

Long before Rosalva Gallardo became a security and privacy program manager for Google Cloud Platform, she was a student studying informatics at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru. A native of Peru, Gallardo then worked for five years in Lima, leading teams that created software for telecommunication companies and banks. During that time, she recognized the need for improvements in software quality, and her desire to learn about potential solutions led her to apply for software engineering Ph.D. programs in the U.S. In 2006, she was granted a fellowship at UCI. “I was very excited to accept this offer,” she says, “because UCI has one of the strongest software engineering programs in the U.S., with top professors and students working on cutting-edge and innovative research.” Gallardo received her Ph.D. in information and computer science in 2012 and now not only applies what she learned through her work at Google, but also shares her knowledge and experiences with other aspiring tech professionals in Peru.

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New VR Development Club Aims to Innovate, Explore

March 12, 2018

If you want to learn more about virtual reality and help develop innovative VR applications, then look no further than UCI’s new Virtual Reality Development Club (VRDC). Started by computer science major Edward Lok, a second-year transfer student, VRDC aims to explore the boundaries and applications of VR technology and collaborate with VR companies to test new products.

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