Los Angeles Times: “Are video games bad for your kids? Not so much, experts now believe” (Steinkuehler quoted)

November 13, 2017

At a recent seminar on video games at UC Irvine, Constance Steinkuehler, a professor of informatics at the school and president of the Higher Education Video Game Alliance, emphasized that most researchers embrace the idea that “play is good.” She also acknowledged that video games, like smartphones, social media and other modern technologies, can have addictive properties.

Read the full story at Los Angeles Times.

HAI Lab paper takes third at AMIA 2017 Symposium Student Paper Competition

November 8, 2017

Informatics Ph.D. student Clara Caldeira presented a paper, “Routine Self-tracking of Health: Reasons, Facilitating Factors, and the Potential Impact on Health Management Practices,” which took third place at the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) 2017 Annual Symposium Student Paper Competition in Washington, D.C., at the beginning of November. The paper was co-authored by fellow Ph.D. studentMayara Costa Figueiredo, as well as Informatics Professors Yunan Chen and Kai Zheng. The paper uses data from the Pew Survey on Tracking for Health to examine the patterns of self-tracking activity to understand reasons for this behavior and its impact on health management practices. This year, AMIA selected five papers led by Ph.D. students in the Health and Information (HAI) Lab within UCI’s Department of Informatics.
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New Report Finds Tech Inequality Persists, Proposes Solutions

October 31, 2017

Free and open technologies do not democratize education, but strategies to combat educational inequity exist and should be replicated, a new report by digital learning experts recommends.

The report —“From Good Intentions to Real Outcomes: Equity by Design in Learning Technologies” — published today proposes following promising strategies the authors found that are addressing equity in learning technologies. New technologies, even free ones, they argue, disproportionately benefit students with the financial, social, and technical capital to take advantage of them.
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Tanenbaum’s Interactive ‘Magia Transformo’ Game a Hit at IndieCade Festival

October 27, 2017

Ever since Josh Tanenbaum, assistant professor of informatics, first learned about IndieCade as a graduate student back in 2008, he has wanted to participate in the international festival of independent games. This year, he got his chance with his visionary game, “Magia Transformo – the Dance of Transformation.” Out of approximately 1,000 submissions, “Magia Transformo” was one of just 104 selected as a demo for the IndieCade Festival 2017, held Oct. 6-8 in Los Angeles.

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Lopes Analyzes Big Code with Funding from DARPA

October 25, 2017

Informatics Professor Cristina Lopes received a $600,000 Defense Advanced Research Agency (DARPA) grant under the Mining and Understanding Software Enclaves (MUSE) program. The program was started with the goal of reviewing billions of lines of open-source code to discover new relationships among this “big code,” thereby helping to build more robust software. As part of this effort, Lopes is researching software analytics for big code.
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WalletHub: “2017’s States Most Vulnerable to Identity Theft & Fraud” (Dourish quoted)

October 18, 2017

Information online, of course, does have a major role to play, especially in light of incidents like that with Equifax. The spread of social media does factor into this in a number of ways. One is obviously the fact that we all have more and more information online, but another is that, even if the accounts don’t have access to sensitive information, each social media account is a potential source of weakness for the security of your information, especially when it can potentially be used to impersonate you and gain access to other information held at other sites. This is also why it’s important to use unique passwords for each site, so that if your password is compromised, you can limit the damage.

Read the full story at WalletHub.

ICS Welcomes 9 New Faculty for 2017

October 17, 2017

The Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences is pleased to introduce the following nine faculty who joined ICS in calendar year 2017. Emphasizing its strategic priorities in the areas of data science and digital media and learning, these outstanding researchers and educators will be instrumental in moving the school forward as it continues to lead in the exploration of computing technologies and the ways in which they revolutionize the world around us.

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