Sydney Morning Herald: “Wordplay: A cryptic-shaped hole” (Mark cited)

July 24, 2017

Professor Gloria Mark knows all about distraction. In 2015, working with her team at the Department of Informatics, based in the Uni of California, Mark studied how often our focus is compromised. Subjects were observed over three dozen offices, their working days vulnerable to phones or colleagues, emails or rival chores.

The study was a sequel to Mark’s matching study in 2000, where the average attention span had been 12 seconds. This time round? Try eight seconds, roughly the duration of a goldfish, minus the benefit of a sunken castle.

Read the full story at The Sydney Morning Herald.

Bowker named Chancellor’s Professor

July 21, 2017

Geoffrey Bowker, informatics professor and EVOKE Lab and Studio director, has been named a UCI Chancellor’s Professor. Granted for a five-year term, the distinguished title recognizes UCI professors who have demonstrated unusual academic merit and who continue notable achievement in scholarship.

A leading international scholar of informatics and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Bowker’s research focuses on web and digital resource uses and how these new classification systems transform our understanding of classic knowledge. He is noted for merging literary and social theory, art and history, and policy studies with computer science to create new technologies and digital experiences.

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KPBS: “Comic-Con For Educators” (GeekEd panel of Informatics faculty highlighted)

July 20, 2017

GeekEd #2: Shall We Play a Game?:
A panel of game scholars discuss how building better games, identifying the biases within them, and the act of “play” helps people empathize with others and provides them with a guideline for this work on college campuses. This panel of scholars will explore the intersection of games, learning and inclusivity in the context of curriculum development, activism, policy, history and game design. Panelists include Constance Steinkuehler (UC Irvine; Senior Policy Analyst, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy 2011-2012), Bonnie Ruberg (UC Irvine), Kurt Squire (UC Irvine), Amanda Cullen (UC Irvine) and Aaron Trammell (UC Irvine).

Read the article at KPBS.

Inside Higher Ed: “Educational games expand classroom learning” (Squire quoted)

July 19, 2017

All of these adventures are video-enabled, thanks to a handful of sophisticated educational games designed for college classrooms. Used in conjunction with a textbook and traditional lectures, the games are “like a lab experience,” said Kurt Squire, a professor of informatics at the University of California, Irvine, who helped design the astronomy video game At Play in the Cosmos when he was with the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Read the full story at Inside Higher Ed.

Ruberg publishes article on the feminist history of online security questions in Summer 2017 issue of Feminist Media Histories

July 14, 2017

Assistant Professor of Informatics Bonnie Ruberg had her article, “What Is Your Mother’s Maiden Name? A Feminist History of Online Security Questions,” published in the Summer 2017 issue of Feminist Media Histories. This special issue of the international journal focuses on data and feminism. By tracing the evolution of the security question, Ruberg’s article surveys industry writings on authentication protocols from the 1850s to the present, arguing for a re-evaluation of the often-unquestioned logics that perpetuate discrimination through technologies of data.
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Informatics panel to explore game studies during Comic-Con conference

July 12, 2017

Informatics Professors Aaron Trammell, Kurt Squire, Constance Steinkuehler, Katie Salen Tekinbaş and Bonnie Ruberg, along with Informatics Ph.D. student Amanda Cullen, will be on a game studies GeekEd panel on Sunday, July 23 from 12-1 p.m. during the Comic Conference for Educators and Librarians, a five-day conference that takes place at the San Diego Public Library and is affiliated with Comic-Con International. This is the second year that Comic-Con and the San Diego Public Library have teamed up for the five-day conference that explores the role comics play in promoting education and literacy for all ages.
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KQED News: “How Online Camps Help Kids Stay Connected to STEM Skills and Mentors Year-Round” (Ito quoted)

July 6, 2017

California-based Connected Camps is part of a growing offering of online camps that fill a unique niche to complement their traditional pine-and-mortar counterparts. Accessible across the U.S. and around the world, the camp offers programs in engineering, architecture, coding, animation, game design and storytelling, all hosted on custom Minecraft servers or delivered with MIT’s Scratch coding software. Each weeklong program connects kids with fellow campers and expert mentors who support the participants and share their expertise.

“We meet kids where they are, where they’re already engaged with social and interest-driven learning,” said Mimi Ito, a co-founder of Connected Camps and a cultural anthropologist whose research focuses on how young people engage with digital media. “If you’re already messing around with redstone in Minecraft, this is a pathway for you to learn circuitry and get interested in engineering.”

Read the full story at KQED News.

BusinessMirror: “Sleep: How much you really need?” (Mark quoted)

June 29, 2017

If you are constantly checking your Facebook on your phone or browser, then there’s one thing you need to know: You’re not getting enough sleep, according to a recent research done at the University of California. Professor Gloria Mark, who led the study, asked students to fill out a sleep survey; activity was monitored on their phones and computers—logging when they switched from one window to another, texted or made a phone call.

“There have been lots of studies on how information technology affects sleep,” Mark was quoted in an article published by The Independent. “We did the opposite: We looked at how sleep duration influences IT [iformation technology] usage.”

Read the full story at BusinessMirror.