Monthly Archives: December 2016

Men’s Health: “Why science says you should take a daily selfie”

December 21, 2016

Smile for your smartphone: Snapping selfies can help boost your mood, a new study from the University of California, Irvine found. … Seeing yourself physically engage in a positive facial expression − like a smile − can decrease stress hormones like cortisol, so you start to actually feel happier and more relaxed, says study author Sanna Ali.

Read the full story at Men’s Health.

Kobsa to lead an international team in the study of household IoT users’ privacy decisions using process-tracing technology

December 19, 2016

Bart Knijnenburg and Alfred KobsaUCI Informatics Professor Alfred Kobsa is part of an international team who recently received an $882,000 award in a joint competition of the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The award will fund research on “Using Process Tracing to Improve Household loT Users’ Privacy Decisions,” which Kobsa will work on with his former student Bart Knijnenburg, who is now an assistant professor at Clemson University, and Martijn Willemsen from the Eindhoven University of Technical in the Netherlands. Continue reading

The Atlantic: “Drink From Home: The Rise of the Remote-Work Holiday Party” (Mazmanian quoted)

December 15, 2016

After all, compulsory corporate fun, as draining as it sounds, exists to serve an organizational purpose. “My initial take on [virtual parties] is, yeah, they sound awkward and stilted,” says Melissa Mazmanian, an associate professor of informatics at the University of California, Irvine, who has researched ways to get geographically dispersed workers to collaborate more effectively. Mazmanian is interested in having remote workers “[see] each other as humans” instead of just chat-app icons or email addresses, and she says that “forcing yourself in the context of a group to do something different, speak in a way that’s different … even though they might seem silly, might possibly be really generative.”

Read the full story at The Atlantic.

The Atlantic: “Mentoring’s Promise and Limits” (Ito mentioned)

December 14, 2016

Research on the long-term effects of advisers is mixed, and some programs are now relying on video-game networks and other technology to forge stronger relationships

Such peer mentoring and so-called “affinity networks” are partly a response to the failures of some traditional mentoring programs, according to Mizuko “Mimi” Ito, a UC Irvine cultural-anthropology and informatics professor, who is the hub’s research director and the co-founder of Connected Camps. While well-intentioned, traditional mentoring programs often match adults, teenage, or college-age volunteers with less privileged youngsters, without regard for a real bond, she said.

Read the full story at The Atlantic.

Raconteur: “Do we really need our own office or is there a smarter way of working?” (Mark mentioned)

Sometimes it takes a scientist to tell us what we already know. Academic research is confirming that often bland corporate offices are sub-optimal places to work and can at times drive us crazy.

Research by Gloria Mark of the University of California, Irvine, shows that interruptions, even minor ones, lead to rushed work. She notes: “People in the interrupted conditions experienced a higher workload, more stress, higher frustration, more time pressure and effort.”

Read the full story at Raconteur.

Ito named to Cartoon Network’s STEAM Team

Mimi Ito, a professor in residence with the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences’ Informatics Department, was recently appointed to a seat on a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) advisory team by Cartoon Network USA.

The team is comprised of fellow academic and creative experts: Zach Klein, CEO of DIY Co.; Karen Peterson, CEO of National Girls Collaborative; Mitchel Resnick, LEGO Papert Professor of Learning Research and Head of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab; and Diana Skaar, Head of Business Innovation for Robotics at X, formerly Google[x].
Continue reading

UCI ranked 7th best university for coding in U.S. by HackerRank

December 9, 2016

HackerRank, a free coding practice website that allows developers to hone their coding skills by solving challenges, recently conducted an online competition that ranked UC Irvine 7th in the U.S. and 47th in the world for having the best university coders. More than 5,500 students from 126 schools worldwide participated in the University Rankings Competition, which set out to find which universities had the best coders around the world. The universities were ranked based on both number of participants in the competition and high scores; HackerRank’s engineering team then created a formula to rank each university. Check out the complete list of university rankings on the HackerRank blog.

All work and game play

December 7, 2016

Computer Game Showcase highlights undergraduate talent.

Students love an opportunity to develop their own games. And develop they did!

During finals week, an end-of-quarter project showcase successfully demonstrated the many talents of UC Irvine’s future game designers, many of whom may even enter the fast-growing Orange County industry.

Continue reading

Multichanel News: “Cartoon Network Adds STEAM to Computer Ed Initiative” (Ito mentioned)

The network’s new STEAM advisory board was billed as the latest initiative in that effort, others being teaming with MIT, DIY and Google to promote using computer coding to “express ideas, craft stories and make art.”

Named to the advisory board were DIY CEO Zach Klein; National Girls Collaborative CEO Karen Peterson; Mitch Resnick, a professor at MIT Media Lab; and Diana Skaar, head of business innovation for robotics at X (formerly Google[x]); and Mimi Ito, digital media professor at University of California Irvine.

Read the full story at Multichanel News.