Monthly Archives: January 2023

University of Colorado Boulder News: “ICS Alumna Leysia Palen recognized as rare ‘distinguished professor’ by CU system”

January 23, 2023

Leysia Palen, professor in the Department of Computer Science and the founding chair of the Department of Information Science (2015-19), has been recognized as a distinguished professor, the highest recognition given by the University of Colorado system.

Since the award was established 45 years ago, only 136 professors have been recognized in this way across all four campuses.This rare distinction recognizes the three pillars of professorship: research, teaching and service. Palen said it was deeply meaningful to be awarded for all these dimensions she cares about.  

Read the full story on the University of Colorado Boulder website.

Can Gaming Cool Global Warming? An Experimental Climate XR Class Aims to Inspire Change

January 13, 2023

An adorable creature with a fire-like glowing tail looks at you, pleading with its longing eyes as it is hunted to brighten a dark forest. Can you help save it by finding alternative sources of light? This is your mission in a virtual reality game called “The Darkened Pathway.” The VR world is one of five new extended reality (XR) experiences developed for Informatics 295/190: Climate XR, an experimental course offered in fall 2022 through UC Irvine’s Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS).

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The New York Times: “How to Focus Like It’s 1990” (Gloria Mark mentioned)

January 10, 2023

In 2004, Gloria Mark, a [Chancellor’s] Professor of informatics at the University of California, Irvine, watched knowledge workers go about a typical day at the office. Using a stopwatch, she noted every time they switched tasks on their computer, moving from a spreadsheet to an email to a web page to a different web page and back to the spreadsheet. She found that people averaged just two and a half minutes on a given task before switching. When Dr. Mark repeated the experiment in 2012, the average time office workers spent on a task had dropped to 75 seconds. And it has continued to drop from there. 

Read the full story at The New York Times (subscription required, UCI campuswide access if provided by UCI Libraries).

Software Engineering and Data Science Professional Master Programs Celebrate Capstone Successes

January 3, 2023

December 2022 concluded the 15-month journey of students in the master of software engineering (MSWE) and master of data science (MDS) programs. The two professional programs, offered by the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS) at UC Irvine, culminate in a capstone project, ensuring students graduate with hands-on, real-world experience. For some, this meant helping a robot learn to dance; for others, it meant applying data analytics to support the health of newborn babies.

“Capstone projects play an integral role in the academic development of students pursuing a graduate degree,” says MDS Program Director Bryan Muñoz. “The capstones also benefit the sponsoring companies, allowing them to preview emerging talent from the School of ICS.”

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