Can mobile applications improve disaster response? How does constant connectivity affect family life? How can my app distinguish itself in an infinite field of competitors? Where does our personal information go once it gets collected by information technology? How can we use technology to build a sustainable natural environment? What will the next Internet look like?
These questions, and many others like it, are the domain of informatics.
Informatics concerns itself with the study of living, working and building in a digital world. Wherever technology touches people, it must be designed with ultimate care. This requires mastery of technological knowhow and a deep appreciation of the social, cultural and organizational forces at work.
The Department of Informatics at UC Irvine is at the forefront of exploring the exciting challenges that arise from the intersection of people, information and technology. The department brings together scholars, students and practitioners to improve our understanding of technology’s extraordinary impact and to create innovations that redefine how we experience the world.
Our research is varied and cutting-edge. We perform long-term field studies in China, Africa and Australia to understand aspects of technology and its use in different cultures. We propose bold visions concerning topics such as values in design, sustainability and the quantified self. We create deep technological innovations in massive virtual world infrastructures, educational apps and advanced software-development tools. We do this in partnership with organizations such as Google, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Boeing, Children’s Hospital of Orange County, Disney, Accenture, Nokia and others. Our connection with the real world drives us, strengthening both our results and our impact.
Our educational programs are equally varied and cutting-edge. Undergraduates can select from five complementary degree programs (business information management, computer game science, informatics, information and computer science, and software engineering) and graduate students from two M.S. and Ph.D. programs (informatics and software engineering). To each, we apply the lens of people, information and technology, treating them in unison to prepare students for outstanding future careers — as our alumni attest.
Today’s world is profoundly digital and the possibilities ahead are enormous. My own life is nowhere near what it was like just ten years ago; ten years from now, it will have changed even more. Join me and our world-renowned community of students, partners, faculty and staff in shaping this world as best we can.
Welcome to the Department of Informatics.
André van der Hoek