Kai Zheng Elected ACMI Fellow for Contributions to Biomedical Informatics

November 5, 2018

Informatics Professor Kai Zheng was elected a Fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI). ACMI Fellows are elected by their peers and are individuals who “have demonstrated major contributions in biomedical and health informatics, have achieved national recognition in the field, and are committed to advancing the charitable, scientific, literary and educational purposes of ACMI.”

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Professor Branham Highlights “Interdependence” for Assistive Technology in Award-Winning Paper

November 2, 2018

Back when Assistant Professor of Informatics Stacy Branham was a still postdoc, her first research paper focused on how blind and sighted partners work together to make their homes mutually accessible. She had originally discussed both “independence” and “interdependence” in the home, but the section on interdependence did not make the final cut for 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. However, at that CHI 2015 conference, Branham concluded her paper presentation by saying that the challenge going forward would be to “design toward interdependence.”

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Buzzfeed: “Multitasking Is Bad, And You Really Shouldn’t Do It” (Gloria Mark quoted)

October 26, 2018

Gloria Mark, a professor of informatics at UC Irvine, told me that people check their email an average of 74 times a day. Our email demands our attention. It makes our phone buzz, it makes a little (1) icon pop up that is impossible to ignore, it more or less stomps its feet and throws a fit until we pay attention to it. That’s fertile ground for stress. “We’ve done a study that looks at the start and stop time of when people are on email, and then looks at stress measurements created by heart rate monitors,” Mark said. “We find that the longer time people spend on email, the higher their stress.”

Read the full story at Buzzfeed.

UCI News: “UCI receives $14.7 million grant to expand its successful literacy outreach project” (Rebecca Black co-investigator)

October 25, 2018

The University of California, Irvine has received a five-year, $14.7 million Education Innovation & Research expansion grant from the U.S. Department of Education to expand its Pathway to Academic Success Project, which helps close reading and writing achievement gaps among high-needs students in grades seven to 11.

Read the full story at UCI News.

Los Angeles Times: “UCI student helps design canoe that allows the blind to paddle solo” (Informatics Ph.D. student Mark Baldwin profiled)

In less than six months of working together, a UC Irvine doctoral candidate and the director of a charitable organization offering recreational therapy for the visually impaired have developed special canoes that allow the blind to paddle solo.

The idea had been on the mind of the nonprofit Makapo Aquatics Project’s executive director, RJ De Rama, for several years, but plans were roadblocked by expensive designs or labor-intensive project proposals.

The missing link, as it turned out, was UCI graduate student Mark Baldwin, who has a knack for creating low-cost, do-it-yourself solutions for challenges facing the blind community.

Read the full story at The Los Angeles Times.

The Fight Against Global Warming: Where Does Technology Fit In?

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an international body established in 1968 to assess science related to climate change, recently released a new report, “Global Warming of 1.5 C.” Compiled by 91 leading climate scientists from around the world, the report outlines the effects of global warming and how greenhouse gas emissions must be cut by more than 40 percent in the next 12 years to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

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Adjunct Lecturer Paul Lumsdaine Prepares Informatics Students for Real-World Challenges

October 24, 2018

UCI’s Department of Informatics is constantly bridging the gap between industry and academia — with professors like Gillian Hayes navigating both worlds and guest lecturers like Stew Sutton obtaining donated software licenses. Another ally in this effort is Adjunct Lecturer Paul Lumsdaine, an experienced software designer and educator. Lumsdaine currently works as a senior lead user designer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), and he’s also the founder of Lab Coat Media, which offers design and web development services. In recent years, in addition to his full-time work, he has often been found in the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS), teaching Informatics 133: User Interaction Software and Informatics 134: Project in User Interaction Software.

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EdSurge: “Anthropologist Mimi Ito: Good Intentions Don’t Always Mean Equitable Outcomes in Edtech”

October 11, 2018

Mimi Ito, a cultural anthropologist at the University of California, Irvine who studies how young people use technology, says it’s not necessarily because the teachers or the people making edtech tools have bad intentions. She argues that understanding another person’s situation is tough if you don’t share that experience. EdSurge recently sat down with Ito at the Intentional Play Summit to get her thoughts on equity in edtech, creativity and how kids’ relationship to technology has changed over the years.

Read the full story at EdSurge.

UCI News: “Making a donor-powered difference” (Gillian Hayes profiled)

October 9, 2018

Professor Gillian Hayes is a risk-taker. Her pursuit of what she calls “wacky ideas” has resulted in products that improve quality of life for the disabled and those caring for them: a remotely controlled harness that lets blind children go canoeing; an app to store medical records for children with autism that saves parents time and simplifies interaction with doctors; an app that teaches and reminds autistic youth about common hygiene practices.

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