Monthly Archives: June 2021

The Resilience of the Class of 2021

June 24, 2021

UCI’s 56th annual commencement, though not unique in marking the university’s now second ever virtual ceremony, nevertheless represented something extraordinary. “The class of 2021 will have a unique place in our institutional memory as the most resilient and responsive class we have ever had the privilege of teaching,” said Chancellor Howard Gillman during his opening remarks. “Under the most extraordinary circumstances, you rose to the occasion, supported each other, adapted and persisted.”

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In Memoriam: Vince Steckler ’80

June 23, 2021

The UCI community mourns the loss of beloved alumnus, friend and supporter Vincent Steckler ’80. The former CEO of Avast Antivirus Software died unexpectedly on June 15, 2021 at the age of 62. 

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The New York Times: “Do Chance Meetings at the Office Boost Innovation? There’s No Evidence of It.” (Judith Olson quoted)

At the same time, technology — like Zoom, Slack and Google Docs — has made idea generation as effective online, researchers said. Judith Olson, a professor of computer science at the University of California, Irvine, has studied the effect of distance on teamwork for three decades. Distance matters much less now, she said: “Because of the technology these days, we’re actually inching closer and closer to replicating the office.”

Read the full article at The New York Times. (Subscription my be required.)

Capstone Program Showcases Growing Talent of ICS Students

June 22, 2021

The first incarnation of the capstone course in the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS) was in 2009, with 19 students from the Department of Informatics working on five project teams. Now, more than a decade later, the Informatics capstone course is offered three times a year, and ICS has added undergraduate capstone courses for its computer science and data science majors. It also offers capstone courses through its Master of Human-Computer Interaction and Design (MHCID), Master of Computer Science (MCS) and Master of Software Engineering (MSWE) professional programs. Even with the global pandemic moving people out of classrooms and offices and into online spaces this past year, more than 130 ICS capstone projects were successfully completed.

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UCI News: “Beyond Zoom: Virtual reality classrooms” (Crista Lopes quoted)

June 15, 2021

Cristina Lopes, UCI Chancellor’s Professor of informatics, sits in a courtyard waiting as her students slowly trickle into class. In front of them is a series of large objects: the topic of today’s lecture. Lopes reaches out and touches a yellow cylinder floating in front of her, and the object is instantly replaced with a complex line of code.

This classroom is not outside in the courtyard or a park. It’s not even on campus. Lopes’ classroom exists entirely in cyberspace, created via a program she helped design called OpenSimulator.

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CNN Business: “‘It’s just human dignity.’ Trans writers and journalists struggle to get old bylines corrected” (Theresa Tanenbaum mentioned)

June 1, 2021

In the fight for what she wants, Tanenbaum is, in her own words, willing to make a nuisance of herself. She began speaking outworking with others who also support name-change policies in academic publishing, and connecting directly with publishers. And she’s starting to see changes, as a slew of major academic publishers have since enacted policies allowing anyone to quietly, retroactively change the name on their published work.

Read the full article at CNN.