Improving Software Developer Mental Well-Being and Productivity

September 19, 2023

Today’s software developers collaborate around the world, creating an unprecedented amount of complex software, thanks in part to improved development tools. However, as an interdisciplinary team of UC Irvine researchers points out, there’s a dark side to this work.

André van der Hoek
Iftekhar Ahmed
Madhu Reddy
Stephen Schueller

“Software development can be a very stressful endeavor, with serious negative consequences on one’s mental well-being,” says Informatics Professor André van der Hoek, who is the principal investigator on a new $1.6 million grant from the National Science Foundation: “Improving the Mental Well-being and Productivity of the Software Development Workforce of Tomorrow.” His co-investigators are two colleagues from the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS), Iftekhar Ahmed and Madhu Reddy, and Stephen Schueller from the School of Social Ecology.

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A Productive Partnership: Entrepreneur Craig Caryl and the ICS Capstone Program

August 17, 2023

Craig Caryl is a self-described “business ninja,” a seasoned production executive and master marketer whose entrepreneurial spirit knows no bounds. He has co-founded multiple startups, produced more than two dozen documentaries and worked in a variety of industries, partnering with companies ranging from Activision to Hasbro to Nike. So when Caryl reached out to Hadar Ziv, faculty director of capstone programs in UC Irvine’s Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS), it presented a win-win opportunity.

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TIME Magazine: “Why Everyone’s Worried About Their Attention Span—and How to Improve Yours” (Gloria Mark interviewed)

August 10, 2023

Screens present a unique minefield of distractibility, with their constant flow of notifications and information—and that’s by design, says Gloria Mark, a professor [emeritus of informatics at the University of California, Irvine, and author of Attention Span: A Groundbreaking Way to Restore Balance, Happiness and Productivity. … “It’s not just the fact that there’s algorithms catching our attention,” Mark says. “We have this sense that we have to respond, we have to check.”

Read the full story on TIME.

Ph.D. Candidate William Dunkel Heads to Seoul as Fulbright Fellow

August 3, 2023

“How does play become industrialized as part of the larger practice of a culture industry?” This question is central to the research of William Dunkel, an informatics Ph.D. candidate in UC Irvine’s Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS).

“To explore this question, I examine a particular regional subsection of the global esports industry: Korea,” says Dunkel. As one of the biggest esports markets in the world, and as a global exporter of pop culture (owing to the Korean Wave known as “Hallyu”), Korea is an ideal focal point for Dunkel’s research.

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Yes, People Who Are Blind Can Be Software Engineers

July 17, 2023

UC Irvine’s Accessibility Research Collective works to shatter assumptions and empower people with disabilities.

While conducting research into meeting accessibility for software engineers who are blind or low vision, the first problem Yoonha Cha encountered was a lack of awareness. “I’ve talked to sighted software developers, and they’ve said, ‘I’m sorry, but software development is just something a blind person cannot do,’” says Cha, a Ph.D. student studying informatics at UC Irvine. (Watch developer Saqib Sheikh prove otherwise in this conference presentation.)

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Third Annual ICS Project Expo: Supporting the Tech Talent Pipeline

June 29, 2023

Strolling through the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Building at UC Irvine on May 25, 2023, local industry leaders saw more than 40 projects on display — including innovative medical solutions, education technology for improved learning outcomes, and projects that could one day spark new startups. These capstone projects, developed over 20 weeks, showcased the knowledge and skills of students in UCI’s Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS).

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2023 ICS Commencement: Centering Humanity

June 26, 2023

On June 20, 2023, UC Irvine held its final gradution ceremony as students from the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS) started their procession into the Bren Events Center for the ICS Commencement Ceremony. “This is the last but certainly not least of the 11 ceremonies,” said Dean Marios C. Papaefthymiou in his welcoming remarks to the crowd of students, families and friends, and esteemed faculty.

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