UCI School of Medicine: “New Study Shows Crowdsourced Traffic Data Could Save Lives”

May 22, 2019

A new University of California, Irvine-led pilot study finds, on average, Waze “crash alerts” occur two minutes and 41 seconds prior to their corresponding California Highway Patrol (CHP)-reported crash.  These minutes could mean the difference between life and death. The paper titled, “Crowdsourced Traffic Data as an Emerging Tool to Monitor Car Crashes,” was published today in JAMA Surgery.

Informatics Professor Sean Young is the study’s lead author. Read the full story on the UCI School of Medicine website.

Univision: “Rosalva Gallardo, a Peruvian who stands out working for Google in Silicon Valley” (video interview)

May 20, 2019

She was born in Lima, where she studied informatics engineering before coming to the US to pursue a doctorate in California on a full scholarship at UC Irvine. Now, she is in charge of working with software developers at partner companies to ensure that Google’s technologies such as Android are being implemented and utilized optimally.

Watch the video interview at Univision.

Active Learning Transforms Ubiquitous Computing Course

May 8, 2019

The 100 students enrolled in “IN4MATX 148: Project in Ubiquitous Computing” last quarter might not have realized it, but they got a free course upgrade. The learning objectives and range of topics remained the same from years past, as did the emphasis on the ecological and social impacts of the internet of things (IoT), but the winter 2019 offering featured two significant differences from prior courses. “We had access to the Anteater Learning Pavilion, which was transformative,” explains Associate Professor in Informatics and Education Kylie Peppler, who taught the course, “and we purchased hands-on materials through the Informatics department.”

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SHRM: “Why Are Companies Ending Remote Work?” (Judith and Gary Olson quoted)

May 7, 2019

In their research published in 2000, Judith Olson and her husband and UCI colleague, Gary Olson, found that those most likely to succeed at working remotely are people who have worked with others at the main worksite before, have similar work styles, like one another, have access to high-end technology that helps them collaborate, and are skilled at using that technology.

But a situation in which all these factors are present is rare, the researchers found. And if some of these factors are missing, it creates “strain on the relationships among teammates and require[s] changes in the work or processes of collaboration.” Often, teams do not succeed “because distance still matters.”

Read the full story at SHRM.

Marketplace: “Remote offices find creative workarounds as more Americans stay home” (Judith Olson quoted)

Xerox, American Express, Dell and about two dozen other Fortune 500 companies have made entire divisions remote. But it’s not as simple as just giving employees a laptop and sending them home, said Judith Olson, a professor of informatics and computer science at UC Irvine. Moving people out of the office can make simple collaborative tasks much less efficient.

Read the full story at Marketplace.

UCI’s Game Design Program Ranked Third in State, 11th in Nation by ACR

May 2, 2019

Animation Career Review (ACR) has released its 2019 Game Design School Rankings, and UCI is again third best for game design in California, fourth best on the West Coast and fourth best among U.S. public colleges. Furthermore, UCI improved in the national ranking compared to 2018, moving up to 11th best in the nation. Also, UCI moved up to being ranked ninth best in the nation among schools offering a games-related B.S. degree program.

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ICS Finalist in UCI Stock Market Competition Two Years in a Row

April 30, 2019

Students from the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS) were among the top three finalists in both the first and second annual Stock Market Competition at UCI, showing how combining computer science skills with financial knowledge can be a lucrative endeavor. Senior YuHeng Li, majoring in informatics and minoring in economics, took second place this year, earning $750 for his strategy to invest $100,000 in virtual funds. Last year, computer science major Praneet Sah took third place as a freshman, winning $500. Both were able to leverage their technology background throughout the four-month competition, which aims to teach financial literacy to undergraduates.

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Parenting OC: “Autism and Fanfiction” (Rebecca Black quoted)

April 25, 2019

A study led by UC Irvine researchers and published in January in the Journal of Literacy Research found that those with autism—along with family members, teachers and advocates—use “Harry Potter” fanfiction to cast autistic characters in their stories that can help challenge stereotypes.

“We expected to find that fanfiction authors with autism, or friends, family members and close advocates of autistic individuals, would write about autism in ways that challenged pervasive stereotypes about neurological difference that are often found in popular media,” said Rebecca W. Black, UCI associate professor of informatics and lead author of “Representations of Autism in Online ‘Harry Potter’ Fanfiction.” “While we found that this was often the case—and that fanfiction authors did use their stories to present nuanced representations of autistic characters—we also found that they also drew on stereotypes and included negative reactions to autism as a rhetorical device.”

Read the full story at Parenting OC.