Informatics Professors Promote Inclusiveness

Two Informatics professors have each received an Inclusive Excellence Spirit Award for their work in promoting equity, diversity and inclusion at UCI. Assistant Professor Bonnie Ruberg, along with Ph.D. student Amanda Cullen, received the award to help diversify esports, while Assistant Professor Aaron Trammell, along with graduate student Sarita Rosenstock, undergraduate student Grace Wood, and Library Event Coordinator Daniel Gilchrist, received the award for efforts to promote feminism and the politics of inclusion. UCI’s Office of Inclusive Excellence offers the awards, which include funding for related campus activities.

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ICS Professors Presenting at AICRE Events for Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend

January 11, 2018

Two ICS professors are participating in events hosted by UCI’s Africana Institute for Creativity, Recognition and Elevation (AICRE) for Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. AICRE aims to “create a dynamic exchange of cultural, scientific, economic and spiritual knowledge between local communities and academia to positively impact the next generation, so people of African descent can equitably contribute to a more sustainable society and command respect worldwide.” Informatics Professor and AICRE Fellow Aaron Trammell and Computer Science Professor Magda El Zarki will be presenters at two of the public events, contributing to this exchange of knowledge.

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Professor Mark Aims to Reduce Workplace Stress

December 22, 2017

Informatics Professor Gloria Mark has received funding from a National Science Foundation Cyber-Human Systems (NSF CHS) grant to study methods to detect and address workplace stress. The $1.2 million grant, “Managing Stress in the Workplace: Unobtrusive Monitoring and Adaptive Interventions,” with Ricardo Gutierrez-Osuna of Texas A&M University and Ioannis Pavlidis of the University of Houston, runs through July 2020. Mark’s share of the funding is $420,000.
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Motherboard: “The Reddit Moderator Getting a PhD in Online Moderation” (PhD student Kat Lo profiled)

December 13, 2017

Much of the internet runs on volunteer labor performed by people who are often unnoticed, such as online community moderators. When these people are recognized, it’s usually because they’ve become a target of harassment, are involved in a flamewar, or are accused of abusing their power.
Moderators make message boards, Reddit, Facebook groups, email listservs, and many other online communities function, and yet not a whole lot of time has been spent by mainstream academics understanding good internet moderation, or the psyche of a moderator. Kat Lo, a PhD student at the University of California Irvine, is bridging that gap by researching online communities at a time when most major platforms are trying reckon with widespread harassment.

Read the full story at Motherboard.

Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute (MVLRI) interview with Mimi Ito

December 6, 2017

In this episode, we’re joined by two researchers affiliated with the Digital Media and Learning Research Hub – Mimi Ito from UC Irvine and Justin Reich from MIT. First we’ll get acquainted with their work more generally and learn about the unique research topics they’re pursuing at their respective institutions. Then, we talk extensively about a recent publication that they authored that was published through the Hub, called From Good Intentions to Real Outcomes: Equity by Design in Learning Technologies. We talk about the process of producing this report, including convening stakeholders from many different organizations involved in education technology and online learning, and the challenges and strategies identified with regard to equitable use of learning technologies in K-12 settings.

Listen to the episode on SoundCloud.

Connected Learning Summit Debuts at MIT Aug. 1-3

November 29, 2017

Organizers of the Digital Media and Learning (DML) Conference, the Games+Learning+Society (GLS) Conference and Sandbox Summit have joined forces and announced the creation of a new annual event — the Connected Learning Summit — that will debut next summer at the MIT Media Lab.
“I’m excited about the launch of this event. It marks the beginning of the next phase of our collective effort to revolutionize how kids learn,” said Constance Steinkuehler, professor of informatics at the University of California, Irvine and former chair of the GLS Conference. “The convergence of these three communities — DML, GLS and Sandbox — promises to catalyze the field of learning technologies in a whole new way. We concluded the GLS event in order to enable this very merger, realizing that the silos we formerly operated within were no longer serving us well.”

SDPB Radio: “Why Libraries Are More Important Now Than Ever” (Mimi Ito cited)

November 28, 2017

Chicago Public Library partnered with the MacArthur Foundation to launch YOUmedia in 2009 as a way to engage teenagers at the library. The space is equipped with a music studio, digital cameras, 3-D printers, loads of computers and, of course, books. It’s all self-driven, but there’s a staff of mentors and librarians ready to help.

The loose atmosphere is based on University of California, Irvine professor Mizuko (Mimi) Ito’s study that found teens engage with digital media by “hanging out,” “messing around” and “geeking out,” as she puts it. Teens can “hang out” at the center by playing games or relaxing, but mentors are there to help them “mess around” or learn how to use new tech and gadgets, and “geek out” or dive deeper into passionate projects, like music production, designing a float or writing poetry.

Read the full story at SDPB Radio.