The Atlantic: “What If We Just Stopped Being So Available?” (Melissa Mazmanian Interviewed)

January 14, 2022

As more people got mobile devices, responding to messages anytime became the norm among co-workers as well as friends and loved ones. The superpower morphed into an obligation. This is an evolution that Melissa Mazmanian, an informatics professor at UC Irvine refers to as the “spiral of expectations.” … Now, when people feel they haven’t responded sufficiently quickly, they think they owe their correspondent an apology.

Read the full story at The Atlantic.

Mashable: “College prep software Naviance sells advertising data on millions of students” (Roderic Crooks Interviewed)

Another study, conducted by University of California, Irvine [Informatics Assistant] Professor Roderic Crooks, examined how students in a Los Angeles high school that was 94 percent Latino and 6 percent Black responded to the introduction of Naviance and a school mandate that they use the platform to apply to at least four colleges. He found that students rebelled against software-enabled surveillance of the application process, in some cases uploading fake applications to Naviance in order to meet their quotas and avoid expulsion.

Read the full story at Mashable.

Tech Trends for 2022

January 10, 2022

ICS Professors Daniel Epstein, Mohsen Imani and Tianchen Qian discuss their research and the technological developments they expect in the coming year.

The new year starts with healthcare front and center, as COVID-19 continues to impact people’s daily lives. Throughout the pandemic, the fields of computer science, informatics and statistics have all played an important role in helping people move their lives online, stay connected, and analyze vast amounts of data for informed decision making. How will these fields continue to advance virtual and augmented spaces, find new ways to bring people together, and improve healthcare analytics and interventions in the coming year?

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MSWE Capstone Project Modernizes Database for Elder Abuse Forensic Center

December 21, 2021

UCI’s 15-month Master of Software Engineering (MSWE) professional degree program concluded with a quarter-long capstone project that, in addition to the program’s internship component, ensures students graduate with real-world experience in software design and development. The projects often have real-world impact as well, such as with the Digital Referral Database project, presented at the 2021 MSWE Showcase. Four team members — Brandon Apana, Zenyu Chang, Weiyu Guan and Mandy Tsai — collaborated with UCI’s Elder Abuse Forensic Center (EAFC) on the project, working to modernize the center’s outdated referral system.

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UCI News: “Games + Learning + Society Conference set for June 2022 on UCI campus”

December 16, 2021

Videogame research and development experts at the University of California, Irvine are inviting the world’s gaming community to the Games + Learning + Society Conference to be held June 15 to 17, 2022, on the UCI campus.

Keynote speakers are Raph Koster, CEO of Playable Worlds; Erica Halverson, professor of curriculum and instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and author of How the Arts Can Save Education: Transforming Teaching, Learning, and Instruction; and Aaron Trammel, UCI assistant professor of informatics in the game design and interactive media program.

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Informatics Professors Receive NSF Grant to Improve Instruction in Sustainability Science

December 10, 2021

Informatics Professors Bill Tomlinson and Andre van der Hoek of the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS) have received a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) in support of their efforts to improve sustainability education. The grant, “Improving General Education Sustainability Science: A Pilot Study in Engaging Students with Complex Topics through Knowledge Graphs,” aims to serve students in colleges and universities in the United States.

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Ph.D. Candidate Emory Edwards Receives Public Impact Distinguished Fellowship

November 29, 2021

A headshot of Emory Edwards with a big smile. They are a white non-binary person with short dark-blonde hair wearing a black collared shirt with white flowers. The backdrop is out-of-focus greenery.

On Nov. 16, 2021, informatics Ph.D. candidate Emory Edwards of UCI’s Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS) received a Public Impact Distinguished Fellowship. “I was overjoyed when I heard the news,” says Edwards, who will receive $12,000 in funding. The fellowship aims to support research that “demonstrates the potential to significantly improve or enrich the lives of people in California and beyond,” and with a focus on representing people with disabilities in technology design, Edwards is already making an impact.

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Informatics Ph.D. Student Maria Anderson Coto Receives the Rosalva Gallardo Valencia Graduate Award

This year’s recipient of the Rosalva Gallardo Valencia Graduate Award is María J. Anderson Coto, an informatics Ph.D. student in the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS). Anderson Coto grew up in Costa Rica, spending part of her childhood in Honduras, and worked as a marketing consultant before starting her graduate studies at UCI. “My research is about helping Latinx and other minoritized communities be heard, seen and understood in today’s digital world,” says Anderson Coto, who was elated to hear she had received the $10,000 award, open to all Ph.D. students in ICS. “My first reaction was to call my family to let them know about it,” she says. “I’m so grateful Ms. Gallardo Valencia opened this opportunity and believed in me.”

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