ESPN Esports College League of Legends Week 1 rankings

January 16, 2019

University of California-Irvine is the No. 1 team in the inaugural Top 25 College League of Legends Coaches Poll.

The Top 25, which was released Wednesday, is the first poll of its kind in college esports. ESPN gathered responses from a group of more than 40 college coaches in the U.S. and Canada to craft the rankings, which will be updated every other week. League of Legends developer Riot Games assisted in identifying seasoned coaches in the College League of Legends scene and provided data to help inform the preseason rankings for those coaches.

Read the full story at ESPN.

Informatics Department Receives $1.1M to Study Socially Responsible AI

How do we build systems that proactively promote values of inclusion? This is one of the questions the Department of Informatics hopes to tackle over the next few years, thanks to a Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) award from the U.S. Department of Education (DoE). The award of $895,000, combined with $222,875 in cost-sharing funds from the UCI Graduate Division, will support seven informatics Ph.D. fellowships for students researching socially responsible AI.

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BBC: “Why an off-the-grid hour at work is so crucial” (Gloria Mark quoted)

January 15, 2019

“If a person has a habit of smoking, and they’re away from their cigarettes for a while, it creates tension,” says Gloria Mark, who led that 2012 study about email and who’s an informatics professor at the University of California, Irvine. Depending on your job, eliminating (or even significantly reducing) tech may also be totally unrealistic. But Mark thinks organizations also have a responsibility to ensure employees don’t become tech slaves.

Read the full story at the BBC.

Connected Learning Alliance: “Close the Digital Generation Gap, Unlock the Power of Online Affinity Networks, and Fuel Learning” by Mimi Ito

January 10, 2019

Fresh into the new year, I’m delighted to announce the publication of Affinity Online: How Connection and Shared Interest Fuel Learning, a book synthesizing research by the Leveling Up team of the Connected Learning Research Network. This book follows in the footsteps of Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media (HOMAGO) published a decade earlier.

Read the full story at Connected Learning Alliance.

Informatics Ph.D. Student Saumya Gupta Receives ACM-W Scholarship for TEI 19

Informatics Ph.D. student Saumya Gupta has been awarded an ACM-W scholarship to attend the 13th International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction (TEI 19).

The ACM-W “supports, celebrates and advocates internationally for the full engagement of women in all aspects of the computing field.” It offers scholarships of up to $600 for intra-continental conference travel and up to $1,200 for intercontinental conference travel.

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Hispanic Engineer: “UC Irvine hopes to find how young people are using digital technology” (Mimi Ito quoted)

January 9, 2019

One in three users of the internet is younger than 18, yet cyberspace isn’t geared toward them. That’s why the Connected Learning Lab in the California Institute for Telecommunications & Information Technology at UC Irvine hopes to better understand how young people are using digital technology. … Cultural anthropologist and informatics professor-in-residence Mimi Ito directs the lab. … According to Candice Odgers, a UC Irvine professor of psychological science who studies adolescents’ mental health and development, many adolescents are actually thriving in the digital age.

Read the full story at Hispanic Engineer & Information Technology.

Mobile Banking Prototype Exemplifies Value of Capstone Classes for Students and Businesses

December 19, 2018

The Informatics Senior Design Project infuses undergraduate education with hands-on, practical learning through external partnerships from local corporations and organizations. During spring and summer 2018, the banking solutions company Global Wave Group offered its support and sponsored a project. By the end of the two-quarter capstone course, the four informatics students who teamed up to work on the project — Daniel LeeLilyann Khung Torres , Griffin Williams and Aivan Eugene Francisco — had not only gained real-world experience, but had also developed a mobile banking app prototype and successfully presented a demo to Global Wave Group’s client, First Foundation Bank.

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Entrepreneur: “Why Entrepreneurs Are Constantly Distracted (And 6 Ways To Fight Back)” (Gloria Mark quoted)

December 18, 2018

If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you find yourself struggling with distractions on a regular basis. Whether it’s an email notification, a meeting or a new emergency to deal with, every distraction can potentially pull you away from whatever project you’re working on. And that’s not good because, according to Gloria Mark, a professor of informatics at the University of California, Irvine, “Once thrown off track, it can take some 23 minutes for a worker to return to the original task.” So, why are entrepreneurs so susceptible to distraction and what steps can they – and you – take to fight back against this vulnerability?

Read the full story at Entrepreneur.

The Conversation: “With a limited on-screen presence, autistic characters have emerged in another medium: fan fiction” by Rebecca Black and Jonathan Alexander

December 13, 2018

As scholars of fan fiction and young adult literature, we started noticing how some fan fiction authors were incorporating autism into their stories – sometimes through new characters and other times by rewriting existing ones. Since then we’ve been collecting and analyzing fan fictions in which young writers have created characters with autism.

Read the full story at The Conversation.