Monthly Archives: March 2020

2020 Hall of Fame Celebration Honors Achievement and Opportunity

March 30, 2020

With much of the world now socially distanced to stem the tide of a global pandemic, it seems a lifetime ago that more than 220 attendees gathered on the evening of Feb. 28 to attend the 2020 Hall of Fame Celebration for the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS) and Samueli School of Engineering. There was no way to know that widespread quarantines were just around the corner, but this year’s event could not have happened at a better time — or place. As UCI alumni and their family and friends, along with faculty and staff, playfully explored a room full of interactive science-based exhibits, there was no doubting that the Discovery Cube Orange County was the perfect place to honor the achievements of computer scientists and engineers.

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Alumni Spotlight: Greg Bolcer Shares Insights from his Decades of Tech Experience

March 18, 2020

Following in his sister’s footsteps, Greg Bolcer attended UCI for his bachelor’s degree — lured by her description of “living on the sand on Balboa Island.” In fact, the coast helped Bolcer financially support himself, as the Fullerton native worked as a lifeguard for the city of Laguna while earning his degree in Information and Computer Sciences (ICS) at UCI. After graduating in 1989, Bolcer traded his “beachfront” office for one at UCI, working for Professor Richard Taylor as a DARPA-funded programmer in ICS. He continued working full time at UCI while earning his master’s degree in computer science and software engineering from USC and his Ph.D. in ICS from UCI.

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The Atlantic: “The Art of Socializing During a Quarantine” (Melissa Mazmanian quoted)

March 16, 2020

People probably won’t have much trouble remembering to stay in touch with their best friends while stuck at home, but less-regular catchups—such as occasional lunches with co-workers or bumping into an acquaintance at a coffee shop—are more at risk of falling by the wayside, because they’re often impromptu. Melissa Mazmanian, an informatics professor at UC Irvine, told me that it might help to proactively schedule a videochat date that functions as a “low-level exchange of ‘What’s going on with you today?’” to compensate for these lost interactions.

Read the full story at The Atlantic.

Applied Innovation: “Orange County Entrepreneurs Come Together to Share Experiences” (Gillian Hayes quoted)

March 11, 2020

The event concluded with the closing keynote speaker Gillian Hayes, UCI vice provost for Graduate Education and former CEO of AVIAA, who shared her experience in both the academic and entrepreneurial worlds. She highlighted the need to create affordable housing in Orange County to keep talent in the area.

“If we want to keep our brilliant young minds here, we first need to do something about housing,” said Hayes. “We want all of our alumni to come back from all of the schools in this area and start creating and investing in businesses here and hiring our students and keeping these brilliant young minds here.”

Read the full story at the UCI Beall Applied Innovation News site.

Study of Technologies in a Leaderless Movement Receives Honorable Mention at CHI 2020

Informatics Professor Emeritx Bonnie Nardi and her former Ph.D. student Yong Ming Kow, now an assistant professor at City University of Hong Kong, worked with independent researcher Wai Kuen Cheng to study how digital technologies can mediate a successful leaderless movement. Examining a movement in Hong Kong against the Extradition Law Amendment Bill (ELAB) — a bill that that allows extradition of criminal suspects from Hong Kong to mainland China — the researchers looked at how Anti-ELAB participants used technology to organize protests, strikes and traffic disruptions. The researchers will present their findings at the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2020) next month, where their paper, “Be Water: Technologies in the Leaderless Anti-ELAB Movement in Hong Kong,” received an Honorable Mention.

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Staff Spotlight: Debra Brodbeck’s Unique Background a Perfect Fit for Institute for Software Research

March 10, 2020

When Debra Brodbeck first came to California at age 19, there was no way for the Pittsburgh native to know that her spontaneous decision to pack up and move across the country would lead to a long-term and mutually beneficial relationship with UCI. In fact, when she first transferred to UCI at age 23, she had no idea she would eventually become the assistant director of UCI’s Institute for Software Research (ISR), advancing software and information technology through research partnerships. She knew she had a knack for programming, but she didn’t know she could manage large projects and events. She knew she was good at math, but she didn’t know she could facilitate collaborations and lead fundraising efforts for student fellowships.

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TechTarget: “As remote work tools deploy, next task is behavioral ” (Judy Olson quoted)

March 9, 2020

The role of HR in supporting the transition to remote work is to establish rules, policies and suggestions about how to behave, according to experts. The most important thing remote workers can do to build trust is acknowledge a message has been received, said Judith Olson, a retired professor of information and computer science at the University of California at Irvine. Olson has researched remote working.

Read the full story at TechTarget.


ACM Interactions: “Inclusive and Engaged HCI” by Gillian Hayes

March 6, 2020

How can we create a world of user experience and HCI that is truly inclusive and that engages with people, problems, and communities in meaningful ways? I gave a talk on these issues at CHI 2019; in this article, I further expand on this line of discussion. Inclusion and engagement in HCI projects are important for multiple reasons. While we see a growing interest in new technologies from social media to AI, there is also a growing interest in questions concerning participation, engagement, and equality. Of course, HCI should be about the design and evaluation of new technologies, but even more important, it should be about making life a little bit better. So how can we go about exploring such fundamentals in HCI?

Read the full story at ACM/Interactions.