Join the Upcoming Datafication and Community Activism Forum

April 12, 2021

On Friday, April 23, 2021, the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS) will host its second workshop on Datafication and Community Activism, building on a dialogue that Informatics Professor Roderic Crooks started back in 2019 between activists and academics. “I hope this workshop starts a conversation, where communities that have frequently been poorly served by data-intensive technologies get a chance to express their concerns, and researchers get a chance to hear them,” Crooks said of the first workshop, which resulted in a vow to orient “future work toward the commitment that data must be used to measure systems, not people.”

Continue reading

Three ICS Students Receive 2021 NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

Three students from UCI’s Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS) were recently awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship: Elizabeth Ankrah, Adam Birnbaum and Emani Dotch.

The Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in STEM disciplines across the U.S. Recipients receive a three-year annual stipend of $34,000, as well as $12,000 paid directly to the university to cover tuition and fees. The GRFP has a history of selecting recipients who go on to achieve high levels of success, and the promising work of these ICS recipients shows great potential in positively impacting society.

Continue reading

Alumni Spotlight: Archana Senthilkumar’s Real-World Education Helps Bring Fictional Worlds to Life

April 2, 2021

In 2015, Archana Senthilkumar was a software engineer in India, working at Genesys, a company focused on the cloud customer experience. By 2018, she was a graduate student at UCI in the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS), working on a mixed-reality experience in an Informatics AR/VR Theater course. By 2020, she had a master’s degree in computer science and a new career underway at Walt Disney Animation Studios. These days, the technical director is busy being interviewed for the New Indian Express newspaper about her role in helping bring to life the animated film “Raya and the Last Dragon.” Learn more about Senthilkumar’s journey from Genesys to Disney and why she wants you to start asking more questions.

Continue reading

New WICS Mentorship Program Helps High School Girls Explore Computer Science

March 31, 2021

Gayatri Subramaniam
Kasey Chuang

What comes to mind when you think of computer science? Kasey Chuang and Gayatri Subramaniam, community outreach co-chairs of UCI’s Women in Information and Computer Sciences (WICS) organization, want to make sure young girls are aware of all the different opportunities available through this field of study. “When a person says, ‘computer science,’ a lot of people think it’s all math and programing,” they say, “but it’s so much more than that!”

Continue reading

ACM: “Celebrate Women’s History Month by Sharing Your Stories” (Judith Olson mentioned)

March 30, 2021

During Women’s History Month this March, ACM is encouraging computing professionals and students to use the hashtag #SheIsWhyICode to share stories of women in computing who have inspired them at any point in their career or education. The stories might range in topic from your earliest introduction to computer science to overcoming a recent professional obstacle, and the technical women could vary from luminaries of the computing field to your high school CS teacher or current boss.

Read the full story at ACM.

Connected Learning Lab to Explore Pivotal Transitions in STEM Learning and Career Development

March 29, 2021

During a recent panel discussion in honor of Black History Month, UCI alumnus Anthony Mays talked about his journey from Compton to Google and how, back in high school, it was a computer lab instructor who suggested he turn his passion for technology into a career. Such moments can be pivotal, especially in the lives of underrepresented youth, but is there a way to capture these encounters and scale them for greater impact?

Two new projects in UCI’s Connected Learning Lab are exploring this and other questions, such as how does playing a board game lead a young girl to consider an engineering degree, or how are online learning programs exposing students to a more diverse set of career options?

Continue reading

Student Spotlight: A New Season Has Begun for Basketball Player Jeron Artest

Earlier this month, Anteater basketball came to an end just one win shy of March Madness. So what is UCI’s sophomore player Jeron Artest doing now that he’s no longer hitting three pointers to help his team get to the Big West Tournament championship game, or guarding the defensive player of the year during that game? The computer game science major has returned to his other passion — video game development. His interest in games dates back to his childhood, and by his sophomore year in high school, Artest had already developed his first game, “Jeronimo.”

Continue reading

Alumni Spotlight: Leysia Palen’s Commitment to Inquiry About the Role of Computing Fosters Interdisciplinary Collaboration

March 25, 2021

When Leysia Palen first came to UC San Diego in the 1980s to study engineering, the first-generation college student knew nothing of interdisciplinary research. That changed when she switched majors to join the newly formed and pioneering Department of Cognitive Science, where she started productively questioning the relationship between social and computer sciences. After earning her B.S., she continued her inquiries, exploring human-computer interaction in the context of safety critical and complex systems at Boeing. After a couple of years, she returned to academia, earning her M.S. and Ph.D. from UCI’s Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS) — though before it was even a School.

Continue reading