Join Ruha Benjamin in Exploring Discriminatory Designs That Encode Inequity

January 17, 2020

On Feb. 7, 2020, the Department of Informatics is partnering with UCI School of Law in hosting Ruha Benjamin, associate professor of African American studies at Princeton University. This blending of multidisciplinary perspectives is at the heart of Benjamin’s research into the social dimensions of science, medicine and technology and the relationship between innovation and inequity, health and justice, and knowledge and power. Her talk, “A New Jim Code? Race, Carceral Technoscience, and Liberatory Imagination in Everyday Life,” will explore a range of discriminatory designs that encode inequity as she discusses biased bots and altruistic algorithms, challenging participants to more closely examine their own technology designs.

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MIT Technology Review: “The Human Screenome Project will capture everything we do on our phones” (Mimi Ito quoted)

“Screen time is a popular carry-over measure from the context of a TV-centered era, developed around health and parenting concerns,” says Mimi Ito, a cultural anthropologist who studies technology use at the University of California. Even the American Association of Pediatrics, which first popularized the term, has moved away from screen time as a core measure, she says.

Read the full story at MIT Technology Review.

Informatics Student Emma Anderson Named Kleiner Perkins Fellow

January 9, 2020

When André van der Hoek, chair of the Department of Informatics, received an email from the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins about its Fellows Program, he sent out his own email, notifying students of this opportunity to work with Silicon Valley companies. “Andre sent an email to the informatics department encouraging students to apply to the KP fellowship,” recalls Emma Anderson, a fourth-year informatics student. Anderson applied and will now be joining Zumper, an apartment rental startup, as a KP Fellow.

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Medium: “Reverse Engineer an Awesome Grace Hopper Celebration Experience” by ICS Alumna Alegría Baquero

January 6, 2020

I will never forget the excitement of attending the Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC), the largest gathering of women in computing, for the first time in 2014. While I wasn’t sure what to expect, I never anticipated the energy and inspiration I felt, nor the influence that GHC would have on me lasting far beyond those incredible days at the conference.

Read the full story at Medium.

Radio New Zealand: “Political hashtags make people less likely to believe the news” (Ph.D. student Eugenia Ha Rim Rho interviewed)

December 20, 2019

A new study out of the University of California set out to find whether people responded differently to the presence or absence of political hashtags in news stories in major publications.

Study co-author Eugenia Ha Rim Rho explained to Jim Mora that hashtags were first popularised by Twitter in 2009 and have become widespread ever since.

Read the story and listen to the interview at Radio New Zealand.

Creative Bloq: “How to hone your design skills (if you’re a developer)”

December 18, 2019

Depending on just how deep you want to go, many options are available. There are masters and bachelor’s degrees in digital design, HCI and, as of late, even UX that you can go for if you don’t mind spending time and money. Some of the more affordable and flexible online university programmes available include UC Irvine’s Master of human-computer interaction & design, which lasts one year and costs $49.500.

Read the full story at Creative Bloq.

Harvard Business Review: “How to Overcome Your (Checks Email) Distraction Habit” (Gloria Mark quoted)

December 5, 2019

In my work as a productivity trainer and speaker for nearly 2,000 organizations, I have found that distraction is the single biggest barrier to meaningful, satisfying work. Studies by Gloria Mark and colleagues show that we often switch what we’re doing every few minutes, and these frequent interruptions “cause us to work faster, which causes more stress, higher frustration, time pressure, and effort.” And this sabotages not just our performance but the way we “show up” in the world.

Read the full story at Harvard Business Review.

The San Diego Union-Tribune: “Esports makes its way into San Diego high schools and has boosted some students into college” (Constance Steinkuehler quoted)

December 4, 2019

Inserting adults and teachers into video game culture helps teach students how to be better citizens online, said Constance Steinkuehler, who studies links between video games and learning at UC Irvine’s Department of Informatics. A lack of oversight and mentorship in online spaces has led to “a real erosion of basic respectfulness for ourselves and others online,” she said. Esports in schools can help reverse that, she said.

Read the full story at The San Diego Union-Tribune.

KCBS Radio: “How Political Hashtags Make Discussion More Partisan”

Hashtags like “Me Too” and “Make America Great Again” have been at the center of recent social and political movements. But while they are a powerful tool for activists, it turns out that using a hashtag can make it much easier for people to dismiss content as partisan or untrustworthy. That’s according to a recent study out of UC Irvine. For more on it KCBS Radio anchor Susan Kennedy spoke with the study’s lead author Eugenia Rho. She is a PhD candidate in the department of information and computer science at UC Irvine.

Listen to the interview at KCBS Radio on