North Carolina Public Radio WUNC: “Embodied: How Online Gaming Creates Real-Life Love” (Tess Tanenbaum mentioned)

February 13, 2020

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 .

Second Annual Southern California Software Engineering Symposium Builds Promising Partnerships

February 10, 2020

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.

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Connected Learning Alliance: “Reflections on a Decade of Engaged Scholarship–The Final Report from the Connected Learning Research Network” by Mimi Ito

February 6, 2020

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.

Informatics Ph.D. Student Jazette Johnson Wins Microsoft Research Ada Lovelace Fellowship

February 3, 2020

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.

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Microsoft Research Blog: “2020 Ada Lovelace and PhD Fellowships help recipients achieve broad research and educational goals”

January 23, 2020

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.