Fast Company: “People are building technology that could survive the apocalypse” (Bill Tomlinson quoted)

November 8, 2019

If computing resources become more scarce and networks fracture, even deciding what information to store could become an important question, potentially leading to scenarios such as communities dividing up pieces of resources like Wikipedia to try to preserve it across computers, says Bill Tomlinson, a professor and vice chair of the Department of Informatics at the University of California at Irvine.

Read the full story at Fast Company.

Healthline: “People Are Getting Their STDs Diagnosed on Reddit” (Sean Young quoted)

November 7, 2019

There’s also a lot of information missing from the Reddit posts that could help health officials understand what’s going on. “Like many social media studies, this study didn’t provide info on the location of the people posting about sexually transmitted infections (STIs) on Reddit, whether they were being honest or if it was a hoax, how their actual STI risk compares to those not using Reddit, etc.,” said Sean Young, PhD, executive director of the UC Institute for Prediction Technology and a professor in the departments of informatics and emergency medicine at UC Irvine.

Read the full story at Healthline.

Student Spotlight: Veteran Chauncy Sapien Hopes to Create Software to Support the U.S. Military

November 4, 2019

Chauncy Sapien is a software engineering major in the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS). He is gaining experience during his senior year by working part time as a software engineer at Raytheon. However, before Chauncy took the job at Raytheon, he was a peer advisor and webmaster for UCI’s Veteran Services Center (VSC), which provides veterans with the “world-class benefits and services they have earned.” Chauncy himself earned those benefits while serving in the United States Marine Corps (USMC). He is one of 23 veterans in the School of ICS and 167 veterans (including both active duty and reservists) at UCI, and he is president of the Anteater Veteran Association (AVA). Here, the devoted veteran, student, software engineer and father to five-year-old son, Ryan, talks about his service in the Marines and future career plans.

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Family Circle: “Mind Control: How to Focus and Pay Attention” (Gloria Mark quoted)

I wonder whether I have to give up multitasking too; it seems crucial, in light of what I need to get done in a mere 24 hours. Plus, I consider myself a maven at accomplishing a million things all at once. As it turns out, I’m kidding myself. According to a study conducted by Gloria Mark, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Informatics at the University of California, Irvine, every time we switch from one project to another and back again, we lose a hefty amount of mental efficiency, as well as create a certain level of stress. “If we are interrupted from a task, it takes us a full 23 minutes to circle back to our original degree of concentration for the job at hand,” says Mark.

Read the full story at Family Circle.

Informatics Alumna Lilly Irani Receives Diana Forsythe Prize for Chasing Innovation

November 1, 2019

The 2019 Diana Forsythe Prize has been awarded to informatics alumna Lilly Irani (Ph.D. ’13) for her bookChasing Innovation: Making Entrepreneurial Citizens in Modern India. The prize celebrates work in the spirit of Diana Forsythe’s feminist anthropological research on work, science or technology, and the book captures that spirit in its examination of how long-standing power hierarchies continue to influence opportunities. In particular, the book documents the rise of “entrepreneurial citizenship” in India, demonstrating how “a global ethos of development through design has come to shape state policy, economic investment, and the middle class in one of the world’s fastest-growing nations.”

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NPR: “It’s A Smartphone Life: More Than Half Of U.S. Children Now Have One” (Mimi Ito cited)

October 31, 2019

Teens report spending only 3 percent of their screen time on creative pursuits like writing, or making art, or music — outside of homework or school projects. But some researchers, like Emily Weinstein at Harvard, and Mimi Ito at the University of California, Irvine, note that social media platforms like TikTok, Snapchat or Instagram can be platforms for creative expression in ways that aren’t necessarily captured by a survey like this.

Read the full story at NPR.

Boston Globe: “Amid BC suicide case, a look at how texting can empower abusers” (Gloria Mark quoted)

October 30, 2019

The effect of a text extends beyond the five or 10 seconds it takes to read it, added Gloria Mark, professor of informatics at the University of California Irvine, who studies the impact of digital media on people’s lives. Emotions and anxiety surround anticipating the text, and then reacting to it. Exchanging a torrent of texts every day has got to interfere with a person’s life, she said: “It’s a way of controlling.”

Read the full story at the Boston Globe.

Advancing Accessible Technologies for All

October 28, 2019

Two current projects led by researchers from the Department of Informatics represent the broad spectrum of accessible technology users, with one project targeting children with neuro-developmental disorders, and the other targeting older adults and people with vision impairments. Gillian Hayes, the Robert A. and Barbara L. Kleist Professor of Informatics and Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of the Graduate Division at UCI, and Franceli Cibrian, a postdoctoral fellow in the Social and Technological Action Research (STAR) lab run by Hayes, are working to design a smartwatch app for improving self-regulation in children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). At the same time, Informatics Professor Stacy Branham is leading a team that is developing wayfinding technology for older adults and people with vision impairments.

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Global Sport Matters: “Diversity, inclusion remain a problem in esports industry” (Bo Ruberg featured)

At the University of California, Irvine’s Esports Conference 2019, Bo Ruberg, an assistant professor of digital games and interactive media in the school’s Department of Informatics, delved into the subject during a keynote speech. Ruberg stressed how important it is to make changes as the industry is still growing, before those involved are settled into their ways.

Read the full story at Global Sport Matters.