Customizing the features of an avatar can be an intensely personal experience. It can offer fantastical escapism, an expression of a hidden self or a pixelated reflection. Tess Tanenbaum discusses how designing digital counterparts can help break players free of oppressive social norms — and why the majority choose to remain shackled. She is an assistant professor in the department of informatics at the University of California, Irvine.
Read the full story at North Carolina Public Radio WUNC .
Popular gaming personality Pokimane has donated $50,000 to the University of California, Irvine for student scholarships in its esports program. An initial $25,000 gift this year will be combined with the remaining $25,000 in 2021 to create an endowment that will fund tuition and fees for gamers selected by UCI Esports.
On Jan. 24, UCI’s Institute for Software Research (ISR) hosted its second annual Southern California Software Engineering Symposium (SuCSES). The event helps build bridges between software engineering researchers, industry leaders and technical practitioners by bringing them together to identify trends, discuss current and future research, and explore new technological directions. The daylong program featured industry keynote talks, short faculty talks, a lunch with a poster and demo session, and a career-oriented reception.
It’s rare to have the opportunity to work with a stable team of extraordinary scholars over the course of a decade. It’s even rarer for this group of scholars to span a wide range of disciplines and approaches, while sharing common concerns in research, educational practice, and social change. A long time in the making, we are at last releasing our final collaborative report, The Connected Learning Research Network: Reflections on a Decade of Engaged Scholarship, from the MacArthur Foundation Connected Learning Research Network, that grew out of a decade of the network’s work together.
Read the full story at Connected Learning Alliance.
Kylie Peppler sits down with Dean Richard Arum to share her views on connected learning, the intersection of new technology and the arts, and maker culture.
Watch the interview on YouTube or embedded below.
Microsoft Research has announced the recipients of the 2020 Ada Lovelace Fellowship, which aims to “increase the diversity of talented people receiving advanced degrees in computing-related fields.” Informatics Ph.D. student Jazette Johnson was one of five students selected to receive the fellowship, which comes with three years of tuition funding and a $42,000 annual stipend. This will allow Johnson to focus on her research of technologies that support healthy independent living for older adults with dementia, which she’s conducting in partnership with the nonprofit organization Alzheimer’s Orange County and UCI’s Stark Lab in Neurology & Behavior.
Animation Career Review (ACR) has released its 2020 Game Design School Rankings, and UCI is ranked fourth best for game design in California, fifth best on the West Coast, fifth best (top 8%) among U.S. public schools and colleges, and 13th best (top 9%) in the nation. UCI also remained ranked ninth best in the nation among schools offering a games-related B.S. degree program.
Our devices are constant sources of distraction and context shifting. A study spearheaded by Gloria Mark of the University of California, Irvine found that it takes more than 20 minutes to recover from a distraction and return to the original task.
Read the full story at Inc.
Twitch announced its Research Fellows for 2020, and Informatics Ph.D. candidate Amanda Cullen was one of just five students selected. Fellowship recipients each receive a $10,000 award from the livestreaming company, as well as a full-time paid internship at its headquarters in San Francisco.
Jazette Johnson, a recipient of the fellowship who is a PhD student at University of California, Irvine, is hoping to improve the mental, emotional, and social health of people with dementia. Johnson’s research seeks to understand how to better support people with dementia and their caregivers through the design of virtual support technologies. “This fellowship will not only ease the financial burden that sometimes comes with being in graduate schools, but it will also give me the opportunity to solely focus on the research that has interested me for years,” Johnson says.
Read the full story at the Microsoft Research Blog.