Informatics Professor Gloria Mark explains why letting your mind wander is good for your brain, and how to regain your lost attention span.
Salon talked recently to Mark about why we keep throwing ourselves into “attention traps,” the myths of sustained focus and learning how to find the “empty time” in our distracted days while still living in our real and infinitely diverting world.
Read the full interview on Salon.
Today, a wealth of personal, health-related data is readily available to us. “The use of wearable technology has more than tripled in the last four years,” reports Insider Intelligence, “in accordance with consumers’ increased interest in monitoring their own health and vital signs.” This intersection of technology and health has long been of interest to Yunan Chen, associate professor of informatics in UC Irvine’s Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS). However, she is shifting her attention a bit with her latest research. “I’ve been working on health tracking for over a decade,” she says. “The majority of research has focused on the adult population, but not much on children.”
Graduate students at UC Irvine are carrying out impressive research, but how does their work affect our daily lives? The Grad Slam competition bridges that gap between academia and application, helping scholars communicate how their research impacts real-world living. How can qualitative methods for assistive technology impact our lives and the lives of loved ones? Why should we care about spatially augmented reality on deformable surfaces?
A new, first-of-its-kind undergraduate course at UC Irvine is being offered through the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS) this spring quarter. In “Info 190: Recrafting Tech Information,” students will construct and program a robotic loom to weave designs of their own making, blending mathematics, computing and textiles. Informatics Postdoctoral Scholar Joey Huang helped develop the course materials, including the Robo-Loom prototype, with funding from an NSF Postdoctoral Supplement Award. Her work is part of the larger “ReCrafting Computer Science: Concretizing Computational Thinking Through Tangible Fiber Crafts ” project, a collaborative effort between researchers from UCI and Carnegie Mellon University that has been supported through a $1.5 million NSF grant.
Gloria Mark, [is] a [Chancellor’s] professor of informatics at the University of California, Irvine. Mark’s investigations explore the impact digital media is having on our lives. Her research has found evidence that attention spans appear to be declining. This theme and how we can reclaim our focus are discussed in Mark’s new book Attention Span: A Groundbreaking Way to Restore Balance, Happiness and Productivity, which draws on her years of research. … Mark said there are a number of factors that may be playing a role in our increasing distractibility, and our psychology is just as important a factor as technology.
Read the full Newsweek article
Gloria Mark is a Chancellor’s Professor of Informatics at UC Irvine. She’s been a visiting senior researcher at Microsoft Research since 2012 and is a recipient of the Google Research Award and the NSF Career award. She’s the author of the new book, Attention Span: Finding Focus for a Fulfilling Life, which unpacks how our brains operate in the digital world, why we can’t focus, and how we can take back control to find more success in our careers but also more health and wellness in our lives. We unpacked myriad topics, including the anatomy of attention and the forces of distraction.
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UCI Graduate Division named informatics doctoral candidate Benedict “Bono” Salazar Olgado as a 2022-2023 Public Impact Distinguished Fellow.
Olgado is a Ph.D. candidate in UC Irvine’s Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS), with a graduate emphasis in global studies. He is co-advised by Geoffrey C. Bowker and Roderic Crooks within the Department of Informatics.