Monthly Archives: February 2022

Alumni Spotlight: J.P. Allen’s Journey from Playing Atari in Saudi Arabia to Appearing on Jeopardy

February 23, 2022

J.P. Allen headshot. He is smiling and has blue eyes, gray hair and a thin goatee, and a fair complexion. He is wearing a blue collared shirt with a brown jacket.

This UCI alumnus fulfilled a lifelong dream by participating in the first-ever Jeopardy Professors Tournament in December 2021. Who is J.P. Allen?

Allen earned his M.S. and Ph.D. (’95) from the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS). Although he wasn’t named tournament champion, he made it to the semifinals and had an incredible experience appearing on his favorite TV show. Here, he talks about his journey from playing Atari as a 10-year-old kid in Saudi Arabia to becoming a professor in the School of Management at the University of San Francisco. He shares stories of learning from pioneering ICS faculty, which set the stage for his own pioneering career in digital entrepreneurship. He was the founding chair of USF’s Technology, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship Department and has leveraged his skills to address the growing need for technical expertise in the business world, always bringing a multidisciplinary perspective to his work as he tackles questions around the role of technology in society.

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UCI News: “UCI announces launch of Institute for Precision Health”

February 15, 2022

Individually tailored wellness approach is giant leap in patient control, improved outcomes

Irvine, Calif., Feb. 15, 2022 — The University of California, Irvine today announced the launch of the Institute for Precision Health, an endeavor that marries UCI’s powerhouse health sciences, engineering, machine learning, artificial intelligence, clinical genomics and data science capabilities to deliver the most effective health and wellness strategy for each individual person and, in doing so, confronts the linked challenges of health equity and the high cost of care.

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Young Explores the Use of Social Media to Monitor Public Health Behavior

February 14, 2022

With expertise in both health and technology, Informatics Professor Sean Young has been exploring what role social media might play in helping to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Young’s joint appointment between the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS) and the School of Medicine (SOM) at UCI gives him a unique perspective when approaching this topic, and he recently co-authored two papers on COVID-19 and the use of social media in monitoring health behaviors.

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Edutopia: “How Fan Fiction Can Do Wonders for Student Writing” (Rebecca Black quoted)

February 8, 2022

As a medium, fan fiction gives students the liberty to alter existing worlds or create new ones where they can build upon stories or topics that excite them.

The genre also allows students who are still learning about the elements of a good story to “jump right into a preexisting world, and they can really just attend to things about plot and characterization and create new characters without having to do all those other world-building aspects,” says Rebecca Black, a former high school teacher and now professor of informatics at the University of California, Irvine, who has studied the impact of fan fiction on adolescents and English learners.

Read the full story at Edutopia.

Black History Month: Sharing Resources to Expand Diversity in Tech

February 2, 2022

Last year, in honor of Black History Month, the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS) highlighted pioneers in science and technology (see Part I and Part II of the post). This year, we’ve pulled together a list of resources, including on-campus groups here at UCI. We also list some nationwide organizations and books that focus on diversity and race in technology, as well as spotlight some Black leaders in computer science and engineering, both on and off campus.

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