Monthly Archives: September 2020

Alumni Spotlight: Dan Woolley’s Success in Building from Scratch

September 29, 2020

UCI alumnus Dan Woolley (B.S. ’90) realized his ability to build something from scratch as a teenager after creating a “rudimentary version of Donkey Kong” on his dad’s Osborne 1 PC, one of the first portable personal computers. He’s been building ever since, with his latest creation being W+R Studios, a startup he founded in 2008 with Greg Robertson that provides software for the real estate industry. This year, W+R Studios not only received a 2020 Software Companies to Watch Award from Startup Weekly, it also made its seventh appearance on Inc. 5000, an annual list of the nation’s fastest-growing companies. Here, Woolley talks about his years in the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS), what led to his startup success, and why ICS graduates should consider creating a startup of their own.

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Connected Learning Blog: “Raising Good Gamers: New Report Tackles the Systemic Forces Shaping the Climate of Online Play for Youth”

September 24, 2020

When experts from around the country came together at the World Economic Forum last February for Raising Good Gamers, a workshop focused on exploring the myriad forces shaping the culture and climate of online game communities for youth, no one could have predicted how relevant the work would become in the months that followed. As teens and tweens turned to online games in record number in order to connect with friends, play, and explore interests while sequestered at home with their families, many of them also experienced systemic bias, hate, harassment, and disruptive player behavior. The release of a new report, “Raising Good Gamers: Envisioning an Agenda for Diversity, Inclusion, and Fair Play,” explores why this might be the case and just what might be done about it.

Read the full story on the Connected Learning Blog. “EA, Microsoft and Epic Games join Raising Good Gamers’ advisory board” (Connected Learning Lab mentioned)

Raising Good Gamers today unveiled its advisory board, which includes 32 individuals from a wide range of companies, and outlined its roadmap to create a “more diverse, inclusive and positive online environment for youth”.

The initiative was launched this summer by non-profit organisation Games for Change, which champions the games industry to make real-life impact, in partnership with Connected Learning Lab from the University of California, Irvine.

Read the full story at

Women in Technology at UCI: First Event Offers Encouragement and Empowerment

The new Women in Technology at UCI (WiT UCI) organization had 243 guests at its first event on Sept. 10, a virtual panel focused on “Altered Environments, New Opportunities.” There were faculty, staff, alumni and students of all genders, from across UCI and other higher education institutions and from industry. “This shows a great deal of support and interest around the experiences of women and minorities in tech fields during these altered times,” says Shohreh Bozorgmehri, director of the Student and Academic Services Division of UCI’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) — the inspiration behind WiT UCI.

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First-ever Cannabinoid Anxiety Relief Education Study (C.A.R.E.S.) will explore CBD and Cannabis Efficacy for Anxiety aggravated by COVID-19

September 23, 2020

University of California, Irvine Departments of Emergency Medicine and Informatics, in partnership with Wholistic Research and Education Foundation, introduce C.A.R.E.S., an exploratory survey reaching millions of CBD and cannabis users across the U.S. to assess the potential role of cannabinoids in reducing anxiety and insomnia and improving quality of life.

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UC IT Blog: “Capstone Project Supports Student Affairs and Student Success”

September 18, 2020

Getting hands-on project experience is critical for most students in any field. At UC Irvine, in the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Science, all ICS majors are required to take a capstone course so they have the opportunity to stretch themselves beyond classroom learning, while benefitting local non-profits, corporations, and even UCI.

The projects range from websites and mobile apps, to non-coding projects, like analyzing a technology need or creating a list of requirements for a new system. “Often our students work with a group that is using technology in a clunky way,” said Emily Navarro, an ICS faculty member who teaches capstone courses. “They work to modernize, secure, and streamline the technology – or they build something new.”

Read the full story on the UC IT Blog.

EdSurge: “What Should Recess — and Play — Look Like in a Socially Distanced World?” (Katie Salen Tekinbaş quoted)

September 17, 2020

“We know that one of the key purposes of play is socialization,” says Katie Salen, a professor at the University of California, Irvine, who studies game design and learning. By around 3-years-old, kids begin to play productively with one another and engage in peer-based play, which helps kids learn how to make friends and interact with other people. “Once they enter pre-adolescence, it’s very peer-based,” she explains. “The play and experimentation is very much rooted in the peer group and issues of exploring identity and friendship and belonging.”

Read the full story at EdSurge.

eFinancialCareers: “How to get an internship at a top technology firm” (Melissa Mazmanian study cited)

September 16, 2020

It’s not just investment banks that are biased towards elite upper middle class students, it turns out that the big technology companies are too. If you want to make it through to an internship at the likes of Google, Amazon or Facebook a new study suggests that you’ll need to show (or fake) that you’re the right sort of person.

Read the full story at eFinancialCareers.