Alumni Spotlight: Google’s Rosalva Gallardo ’12 Advances Tech Education in Peru

March 13, 2018

Long before Rosalva Gallardo became a security and privacy program manager for Google Cloud Platform, she was a student studying informatics at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru. A native of Peru, Gallardo then worked for five years in Lima, leading teams that created software for telecommunication companies and banks. During that time, she recognized the need for improvements in software quality, and her desire to learn about potential solutions led her to apply for software engineering Ph.D. programs in the U.S. In 2006, she was granted a fellowship at UCI. “I was very excited to accept this offer,” she says, “because UCI has one of the strongest software engineering programs in the U.S., with top professors and students working on cutting-edge and innovative research.” Gallardo received her Ph.D. in information and computer science in 2012 and now not only applies what she learned through her work at Google, but also shares her knowledge and experiences with other aspiring tech professionals in Peru.

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New VR Development Club Aims to Innovate, Explore

March 12, 2018

If you want to learn more about virtual reality and help develop innovative VR applications, then look no further than UCI’s new Virtual Reality Development Club (VRDC). Started by computer science major Edward Lok, a second-year transfer student, VRDC aims to explore the boundaries and applications of VR technology and collaborate with VR companies to test new products.

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SportTechie: “Orange County High School Esports League Combines Education, Gaming” (Constance Steinkuehler quoted)

March 9, 2018

Esports are coming to colleges around the country with the creation of varsity programs and unofficial leagues. One of the collegiate leaders in esports is UC Irvine. It was one of the first colleges to have a varsity program and built the first esports arena on a college campus. UC Irvine’s influence in esports has trickled down to local high schools in Southern California with the formation of the Orange County High School Esports League.

Constance Steinkuehler, a professor at UC Irvine, has been helping get the OC Esports League up and running. “(At UC Irvine) we have seen lots of added engagement with students,” she said. “There isn’t a lot of academic research on esports yet but we have seen a positive effect on student performance and retention.”

Read the full story at SportTechie.

Professor Chen Receives Grant for Study that Encourages Older Adults to Exercise

March 6, 2018

What gets seniors moving to stay healthy? Informatics Professor Yunan Chen is exploring this question after receiving a Council on Research, Computing and Libraries (CORCL) grant. The funding will help Chen study how older adults can use smartwatches for exercise tracking. In particular, the smartwatch app will help seniors with diverse health conditions create personalized exercises goals each day, so Chen can investigate the impact of adaptive exercise tracking.
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Women in Information and Computer Sciences (WICS) Organization Mentors and Supports Future Tech Professionals

Back in 1975, UCI alumnus Barbara Kew was one of two female computer science students in her class and, as she has noted, female ICS role models were scarce. By 2017, Kew had been inducted into the ICS Hall of Fame, and the number of female ICS undergraduates had grown to 685. Furthermore, there is now a plethora of available resources and mentors, thanks to UCI’s Women in Information and Computer Sciences (WICS) student organization.

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