Monthly Archives: November 2018

Games at Play Arcade — A Night of Alternative Game Design

November 30, 2018

On Saturday, Dec. 1, from 5-7 p.m., room 6011 in Donald Bren Hall will be transformed into an interactive exhibit featuring new and experimental games. Free of charge and open to the public, this Games at Play Arcade event will give attendees an opportunity to explore a variety of games — video, tabletop and paper-based — created by game designers from around the world.

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Education Week: “No, Fortnite Isn’t Rotting Kids’ Brains. It May Even Be Good for Them” by Kurt Squire

November 29, 2018

Some researchers have said that parents and teachers shouldn’t worry the violence in Fortnite will lead to violent behavior by players. Kurt Squire, a professor of social informatics at the University of California Irvine, wrote in an Education Week Commentary that research shows there is no causal link. He said Fortnite isn’t all that different from “traditional types of kids’ play,” like tag or capture the flag.

Read the full story at Education Week.

Ph.D. Students Du, Meza Soria Take Second Place at AMIA Student Design Challenge

Tasked with “leveraging interactive technologies to deliver care outside of traditional care settings — anytime, anywhere,” third-year informatics Ph.D. student Yao Du and second-year software engineering Ph.D. student Adriana Meza Soria rose to the challenge. Together, they entered the Sixth Annual Student Design Challenge (SDC), held at the 2018 Annual Symposium of the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA), and were among the three finalists asked to give oral presentations. They ended up taking second place for their proposal, “Designing Conversational Agents to Support Home Exercises for Children Who Receive Speech and Language Therapy.”

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Multidepartmental Collaboration on Detecting Code Clones Leads to Distinguished Paper Award

November 20, 2018

Faculty and graduate students representing all three departments of the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS) received a Distinguished Paper Award at the 26th ACM Joint European Software Engineering Conference and Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering (ESEC/FSE 18). At the internationally renowned forum for software engineering researchers, practitioners and educators, software engineering Ph.D. students Vaibhav Saini and Farima Farmahinifarahani, along with their adviser, Informatics Professor Crista Lopes, and statistics Ph.D. student Yadong Lu and his advisor, Distinguished Professor of Computer Science Pierre Baldi, were recognized for their paper, “Oreo: Detection of Clones in the Twilight Zone.”

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Huffington Post: “On Maid-Rating Apps India’s Entitled Baba-Log Hit New Low” (PhD candidate Noopur Raval quoted)

November 19, 2018

Having an app that rates these domestic workers only makes the problem worse, explained Noopur Raval, a PhD candidate in Informatics at the University of California, Irvine …. “People tend to rate and give feedback only in extreme experiences—bad or good. There is also a rating bias because users have previously trained on rating systems for Amazon. Yelp etc. So a 5-star or equivalent does not mean the same thing in each platform and this affects workers too.”

Read the full story at The Huffington Post.

Professor Black Discusses Technology Behind UCI’s $14.7M Grant to Expand Literacy Outreach

UCI was recently awarded a $14.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to expand its literacy outreach project, Pathway to Academic Success, which has improved student outcomes for English learners in 10 Southern California school districts. The grant aims to extend the program to 109,200 middle- and high-school students in Arizona, Illinois, Minnesota, Nevada, Texas and Wisconsin. As reported in October, “the multiyear professional development program for teachers promotes an instructional approach to enhance the thinking tools that research indicates students use to understand, interpret and write analytical essays about nonfiction texts.”

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Informatics Researchers and Neurology Professor Recognized for Paper on Stroke Vlogs

November 15, 2018

At the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) 2018 Annual Symposium recently held in San Francisco, the Outstanding Student Paper Award in the field of consumer and pervasive health informatics went to “Recovery in My Lens: A Study on Stroke Vlogs.” The paper was a collaboration between Informatics post-doc fellow Yu Chen (now an assistant professor at San Jose State University), Informatics student Kingsley T. Abel, Professor of Neurology Steven C. Cramer, and Informatics Professors Kai Zheng and Yunan Chen.

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Kai Zheng Elected ACMI Fellow for Contributions to Biomedical Informatics

November 5, 2018

Informatics Professor Kai Zheng was elected a Fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI). ACMI Fellows are elected by their peers and are individuals who “have demonstrated major contributions in biomedical and health informatics, have achieved national recognition in the field, and are committed to advancing the charitable, scientific, literary and educational purposes of ACMI.”

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Professor Branham Highlights “Interdependence” for Assistive Technology in Award-Winning Paper

November 2, 2018

Back when Assistant Professor of Informatics Stacy Branham was a still postdoc, her first research paper focused on how blind and sighted partners work together to make their homes mutually accessible. She had originally discussed both “independence” and “interdependence” in the home, but the section on interdependence did not make the final cut for 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. However, at that CHI 2015 conference, Branham concluded her paper presentation by saying that the challenge going forward would be to “design toward interdependence.”

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