Cristina Lopes

Tools for Techies

Software is everywhere, and every day it becomes a more integrated and indispensable part of how we live. Understanding its inner workings, as well as the complex systems it makes possible, is critical to ongoing technological innovation. By both delving deep into the technical underpinnings of existing systems and continuously experimenting with new software tools and platforms, Professor Cristina Lopes is pioneering the development of innovative, global-scale and immersive environments that help people lead better, fuller and richer lives.

Building Software Solutions

Though it is often taken for granted, says Professor Lopes, software is actually “a radical new material that touches the very notion of what it is to be intelligent, interactive and evolvable.” Through her research, Professor Lopes paves the way for software that leaves a tangible and lasting impact on business and society. Her cutting-edge work includes deriving general principles of system construction by analyzing the source code of tens of thousands of software systems and designing new ways of supporting large-scale, real-time interactions.

Rubber, Meet Road

While theory is central to any research, it is its translation to practice — where the rubber hits the road — that reveals the far-reaching potential of Professor Lopes’ work. In collaboration with university colleagues and industry, she has designed unique systems with groundbreaking capabilities ranging from visualizing energy-efficient urban plans to remotely monitoring the home-based rehabilitation of patients with severe disabilities. “Simply by writing source code,” Lopes says, “we can engineer systems that can accomplish remarkable things.”

Cristina Lopes - ICS faculty head shots photo: Steve Zylius/UC Irvine communications

“Software touches the very notion of what it is to be intelligent, interactive and evolvable.”

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