Washington Post: “Video game players get varsity treatment at more US colleges”

September 15, 2017

Students who represent their schools say it teaches them lessons in strategy, teamwork and time management, and it offers camaraderie with other gamers on campus.

“It really builds a sense of community,” said Griffin Williams, a senior at UC Irvine who captains a team for the game “Super Smash Bros. Melee.” ‘’I actually feel more school pride than I would have had otherwise.”

Read the full story at The Washington Post.

UCI part of NSF-funded study of big data ethics

September 11, 2017

UCI principal investigator Matthew Bietz, assistant informatics researcher in the Donald Bren School of Information & Computer Sciences, will lead a team exploring how those who create pervasive data – through social media, fitness trackers, etc. – feel about it being used in research. The group will also focus on how vulnerable populations are affected. “Big data has the potential to transform our understanding of human behavior and health,” Bietz said. “We want to ensure that this research is conducted ethically and in line with individuals’ expectations.”

Read the full story at UCI News.

Deadline: “Amazon Prime Unveils Kids Fall Slate” (Ito mentioned)

September 8, 2017

When you give a mouse a cookie, he’ll probably ask for a glass of milk, and then…who knows what he’ll ask for next? Based on the beloved books by Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie follows the adventures of Mouse, Oliver, Moose, Pig, Cat, and Dog, as they discover that when you’ve got a curious Mouse for a friend one thing always leads to another, then another, and then another! The show’s learning approach was developed in consultation with authors Mimi Ito and John Seely Brown and revolves around a cause and effect narrative structure that sparks imagination and the creativity engendered by knowing that possibilities are endless.

Read the full story at Deadline.

OC Register: “Games are changing the world, just ask new UCI professor who worked in the White House” (Steinkeuhler profiled)

August 28, 2017

In 2017, Constance Steinkuehler and her husband Kurt Squire, another gaming whiz and designer, moved from Madison, Wisconsin, to Southern California to join a virtual wave created by the presence of Blizzard, Riot Games, Naughty Dog, Insomniac Games, Infinity Ward and others. A professor of Informatics at UC Irvine, Steinkuehler is a part of one of the most exciting gamer/education movements in the world.

“I’m going to build an empire here,” Steinkuehler said. “California is the land of digital milk and honey.”

Read the full story at the OC Register.

Forbes: “Plagued By Workplace Interruptions? Set Some Boundaries” (Mark quoted)

August 23, 2017

Interruptions at work are a pandemic. Professionals get bombarded constantly from all sides. A typical manager gets interrupted every three minutes at work, according to Gloria Mark, associate professor at the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of California, Irvine. It’s no wonder that, by the end of the day, we feel frayed but not accomplished. To make matters worse, we interrupt ourselves nearly as often as others interrupt us. Be honest: How many times each day do you find yourself checking Instagram or compulsively tidying your inbox?

Read the full story at Forbes.

Tanenbaum collaborates on ‘Che’s Village’ VR experience

August 22, 2017

Karen Tanenbaum, a project scientist in the Department of Informatics, has completed work on a VR prototype called “Che’s Village” alongside UC Riverside’s Associate Professor of History Juliette Levy and Oregon Story Board Director Tawny Schlieski.

The experimental application, which was intended to stimulate intellectual learning and critical thinking for college-age users, was demonstrated for Levy’s History 75/History of Latin America course at UCR and for students and faculty at UCI. Many found the game to be an interesting and entertaining supplement to a traditional learning experience.

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Lopes honored with 2017 AITO Test of Time Award

August 21, 2017

Informatics Professor Cristina Lopes has been honored with the 2017 Association Internationale pour les Technologies Objets (AITO) Test of Time Award in recognition of her enduring contributions to the fields of computer programming and software development.

Lopes was recognized alongside fellow authors Gregor Kiczales, John Lamping, Anurag Mendhekar, Chris Maeda, Jean-Marc Loingtier and John Irwin for their 1997 paper “Aspect-oriented programming” at the 31st European Conference on Object-Oriented Programming (ECOOP) that took place June 18-23, 2017 in Barcelona, Spain.
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NPR: “‘Schoolifying’ Minecraft Without Ruining It” (Ito quoted)

August 10, 2017

“Scrappy educators and hackers and YouTubers kept adding stuff on, and it was very much an organic, geek-led movement,” says Mimi Ito, a cultural anthropologist at UC Irvine who studies how children and teens use media. She is also the founder of an online Minecraft summer camp.

Ito compares the game to a skateboarding park: a place that kids flock to and have a blast while also picking up wicked cool new tricks. “Kids are mostly hanging out, but they’re also learning from each other,” she explains. “Some are more advanced and are displaying their skills, so there are open invites to level up.”

Read the full story at NPR.

Mazmanian, Regan and Shahbaba appointed DECADE Graduate Faculty Mentors

August 4, 2017

The UCI Office of Inclusive Excellence (OIE) has appointed ICS professors Melissa Mazmanian, Amelia Regan and Babak Shahbaba to serve as DECADE (Diverse Educational Community and Doctoral Experience) Graduate Faculty Mentors. Mazmanian will serve as a mentor for the graduate program in informatics, Shahbaba will be the mentor for the graduate program in statistics; and Regan will serve as a mentor for the graduate programs in computer science, network systems and transportation science. They each will serve two-year terms that started in July.
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