Monthly Archives: April 2019

ICS Finalist in UCI Stock Market Competition Two Years in a Row

April 30, 2019

Students from the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS) were among the top three finalists in both the first and second annual Stock Market Competition at UCI, showing how combining computer science skills with financial knowledge can be a lucrative endeavor. Senior YuHeng Li, majoring in informatics and minoring in economics, took second place this year, earning $750 for his strategy to invest $100,000 in virtual funds. Last year, computer science major Praneet Sah took third place as a freshman, winning $500. Both were able to leverage their technology background throughout the four-month competition, which aims to teach financial literacy to undergraduates.

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Parenting OC: “Autism and Fanfiction” (Rebecca Black quoted)

April 25, 2019

A study led by UC Irvine researchers and published in January in the Journal of Literacy Research found that those with autism—along with family members, teachers and advocates—use “Harry Potter” fanfiction to cast autistic characters in their stories that can help challenge stereotypes.

“We expected to find that fanfiction authors with autism, or friends, family members and close advocates of autistic individuals, would write about autism in ways that challenged pervasive stereotypes about neurological difference that are often found in popular media,” said Rebecca W. Black, UCI associate professor of informatics and lead author of “Representations of Autism in Online ‘Harry Potter’ Fanfiction.” “While we found that this was often the case—and that fanfiction authors did use their stories to present nuanced representations of autistic characters—we also found that they also drew on stereotypes and included negative reactions to autism as a rhetorical device.”

Read the full story at Parenting OC.

All-Female Capstone Team Delivers for Emergency Preparedness Program

April 18, 2019

In 2008, William “Bill” Cunningham established the BERT (Building Emergency Response Teams) training program to help companies and organizations better prepare for emergency situations. For more than a decade, the program has helped build safety teams in compliance with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations, leveraging effective communication technology. More recently, Cunningham has been leading a different kind of team, leveraging UCI’s Informatics Senior Design Project course. Collaborating with students enrolled in the two-quarter capstone course — supported through partnerships with local corporations and organizations — Cunningham was able to better advertise BERT’s EmergaLink service while giving the students hands-on experience with a real-world project.

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Women In the World: “Raising safe, digitally savvy kids in the ‘screen age’ requires a strategy” (Mimi Ito quoted)

April 17, 2019

“Just because [kids] may meet an unsavory person in the park, we don’t ban them from outdoor spaces,” said Mimi Ito, director of the Connected Learning Lab at University of California-Irvine, at the 10th annual Women in the World Summit on Thursday. After years of research, the mother of two college-age children said she thinks parents need to understand how important digital spaces are to children and adjust accordingly.

Read the full story at Women In the World.

Cyber@UCI: Club’s Growing Cybersecurity Community Develops Third-Place Team

April 15, 2019

In 2017, when the Cyber@UCI student club was just starting out, computer science major and founding club president Howard Chen noted in an article, “in two years, I want Cyber to be an official ICS club and I want a competitive cybersecurity team operating out of UCI.” Fast forward to 2019, and Cyber@UCI is not only an official club of the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS), but its National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC) team advanced to the Western Regional Championship for the first time and took third place overall!

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The UCI Podcast: Interview with Bonnie Ruberg

April 10, 2019

This episode of The UCI Podcast discusses the history of video games through the lens of LGBTQ theory with Bonnie “Bo” Ruberg, assistant professor of informatics, whose new book, “Video Games Have Always Been Queer,” is on shelves now.

Listen here or at The UCI Podcast on SoundCloud.

Alumni Spotlight: Gerald Bortis Helps Transform Healthcare

April 9, 2019

By the end of high school, Gerald Bortis knew he wanted to study computer science at UCI. He joined the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS) and earned his B.S. in 2005. He had already decided to continue his education when he received a job offer from the company he worked with for his capstone project. Rather than choose between industry and academia, he earned his M.S. in ICS in 2007 and his Ph.D. in software engineering in 2016, all while working as a software engineer at Mirth. Through his work, he quickly recognized the power of technology to transform the healthcare industry; through his education, he gained the knowledge necessary to help realize that transformation. As vice president of software development at NextGen Healthcare, Bortis now leads teams in developing systems that manage electronic health records and that aggregate and share healthcare data. The School of ICS recognized his achievements and positive influence on healthcare in February, inducting him into the ICS Hall of Fame.

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Merage School of Business: “UCI Stock Market Competition Makes Financial Literacy a Top Priority for Undergraduate Students” (Informatics student YuHeng Li second place winner)

April 5, 2019

In the UCI Stock Market Competition, students have the opportunity to learn about trading –– how to formulate trading strategies, execute trades and learn from wins and losses. In addition, the workshops teach both basic and advanced investing, information about the investment industry and how to invest when students land their first job.

Read the full story on the UCI Paul Merage School of Business news site.

Student Success on Display at Winter 2019 Informatics Project Showcase

April 1, 2019

“Students, you have survived!” André van der Hoek, chair of the Department of Informatics, cheered students at the Winter Informatics Student Project Showcase on March 18, 2019, applauding their completion of the two-quarter capstone course. He then thanked the sponsors for providing this opportunity for students to build their resumes and put their education to practical use. “I’m forever grateful for all the capstone sponsors,” he said. He highlighted that this experience lets students walk into an interview and say, “not only did I take these courses, but I took the capstone and was working with real clients in real situations and encountering real challenges, and here’s how I personally overcame these challenges.” He explained how that narrative can be the difference between merely landing an interview and actually landing the job.

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