Monthly Archives: February 2019

Seeing Video Games in a New Light

February 25, 2019

By exploring gender and sexual identity in video games, Bonnie Ruberg’s latest book seeks to provide a sense of belonging for LGBTQ players while also offering readers of all backgrounds a new perspective on video games that foregrounds diversity.

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VentureBeat: “How the ESA’s acting CEO views video game addiction” (Constance Steinkuehler mentioned)

February 22, 2019

“At the federal level there is a lot of interest in the power of games. You have, for example, the Department of Education that funds game research and how to use games in educational ways. Past administrations have actually had a video game guild, where they talk about games. Obviously there was Constance Steinkuehler, who’s a professor at UC-Irvine now. She spent time at the White House promoting the value of games in learning. There is a lot of interest in the power of games.”

Read the full story at VentureBeat.

Graduate Student Spotlight: Hillary Abraham Driven to Explore Future Transportation

A recent Marketplace article, “Your Car Is Not Self-Driving, No Matter How Much It Seems Like It Is,” quotes informatics Ph.D. student Hillary Abraham in response to concerns from safety advocates that driver-support technologies will be viewed as self-driving. “If that’s the attitude, then it’s only a matter of time until you get in an accident,” she explains. The article reports on a study Abraham conducted while working as a research assistant at MIT’s AgeLab. She found that car dealerships don’t always sufficiently explain to customers how advanced safety features work. Now at UCI, Abraham is exploring broader questions about the future of transportation from a variety of perspectives.

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UCI Applied Innovation: “AVIAA Merges Fleets, Acquires Convolus”

February 20, 2019

AVIAA, an international group purchasing organization for business aviation and UCI startup company, has reached an agreement to merge operations with Convolus, Europe’s smart purchasing business. The acquisition will increase AVIAA’s European presence by establishing an office in Munich, Germany, in addition to their U.S. and U.K. locations.

“We are delighted to have formalized this agreement with Convolus,” said Gillian Hayes, AVIAA CEO, in a press release. “It marks a significant strategic step for AVIAA, which will enable us to deliver larger scale global purchasing for our collective members and suppliers.”

Read the full story at UCI Applied Innovation.

ICS Honors Four Alumni at 2019 Hall of Fame Celebration

February 15, 2019

On Friday, Feb. 8, the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS) inducted four esteemed alumni into its Hall of Fame. In a joint ceremony with UCI’s Schools of Engineering and Physical Sciences and their own 2019 inductees, ICS celebrated the achievements of its newest inductees in the impressive expanse of the Tustin Hangar. Noted for being one of the largest wooden structures in the world, the immense venue — with a rotating spotlight highlighting the vast open space surrounding the vibrant central event — seemed a perfect reflection of the far-reaching accomplishments of the night’s inductees.

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Informatics Professor Gillian Hayes Receives Social Impact Award

February 14, 2019

Winners of the 2019 SIGCHI Awards have been announced, and the Social Impact Award went to Gillian Hayes, the Robert A. and Barbara L. Kleist Professor in Informatics in the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS). The award, which comes with an honorarium of $5,000, recognizes those “who promote the application of human-computer interaction research to pressing social needs.”

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EdSurge: “Playing Games Can Build 21st-Century Skills. Research Explains How.” (Katie Salen Tekinbaş and Kurt Squire quoted)

February 13, 2019

“In the moment they’re talking about it, you get a lot of learning for free because they might have to think about technical terminology,” says Kurt Squire, a professor at the University of California, Irvine, who has studied how games impact learning. “That’s a general finding in research in other fields, but it works in kind of a cool way in games.”

Read the full story at EdSurge

Roberta Ellen Lamb Memorial Endowed Fellowship Recipient Investigates Online Democratic Discourse

February 12, 2019

Informatics Ph.D. student Eugenia Rho recently earned the Roberta Ellen Lamb Memorial Fellowship. Established through an endowment in 2007 by Bob and Mosselle Pione, the fellowship honors the memory of their daughter, former ICS Associate Professor of Informatics Roberta Lamb, who passed away in 2006 after a short battle with cancer. In a personal remembrance following her passing, Informatics Professor Bonnie Nardi wrote, “Roberta’s genius was to ask big, nearly imponderable questions and to ground them in lengthy precise field studies, sophisticated theorizing and deep understandings of technology.”

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Professor Bowker’s Research as a CAS Fellow Tackles Timely Issues

February 11, 2019

The Centre for Advanced Study (CAS) in Oslo, Norway has brought together a group of Fellows to collaborate on a novel project, “In Sync: How Synchronisation and Mediation Produce Collective Times, Then and Now.” As explained in the project abstract:

Synchronised collective actions and experiences include political elections, sports events, demonstrations, parades, as well as other public rituals or performances…. But these synchronised collective times do not exist in and by themselves. They are always the result of work, and this work crucially involves and employs a wide range of communicative genres carried by different media.

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The New York Times: “Our Brains Aren’t Designed to Handle the Trump Era” (Gloria Mark cited)

In 2016, before Trump was elected, Gloria Mark, a professor of informatics at the University of California, Irvine, examined the daily habits of 40 information workers. She discovered they checked their email 77 times per day, on average, and slalomed between screens every 47 seconds. … For what it’s worth, Gloria Mark says that women, in her research, tend to self-interrupt less frequently than men. 

Read the full story at The New York Times or via campus-wide access provided by UCI Libraries.