IGN: “Dragon Age 4: Who Is the Dread Wolf?” by Informatics graduate student Kat Brewster

December 11, 2018

Kat Brewster, UCI informatics graduate student writes, “Thursday night’s Game Awards offered much in the way of glitz, glam, and game teasers — including an exclusive look at the fourth installment of BioWare’s blockbuster Dragon Age series. BioWare has been known to offer painstaking amounts of detail in their promo art which, if deciphered correctly, has the potential to unlock oodles of secrets about Thedas, character backstory, lore and more.”

Read the full story at IGN.

Founders of Coding Club for Kids in Homeless Shelters Grateful for UCI’s Support

December 10, 2018

While volunteering at local homeless shelters, University High School students Katherine McPhie and Milan Narula witnessed the struggles of poverty firsthand. Yet they didn’t just feel sorry for the children they met; they found a way to empower them. In part by applying knowledge gained through UCI programs and leveraging UCI student volunteers, they have built a service to help prepare these children for future success.

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CPRI Hosts Workforce 2020 Panel Discussion and Networking Reception for ICS 90 Students

The Cybersecurity Policy & Research Institute (CPRI) introduced students to the opportunities and realities of working in cybersecurity by hosting a private panel discussion during ICS 90 — the seminar class for new students in UCI’s Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS). For the Nov. 14 seminar, Informatics Professor Hadar Ziv handed the course over to CPRI Executive Director Bryan Cunningham, who moderated the Cybersecurity Workforce 2020 discussion featuring cybersecurity leaders from three Orange County companies. Even students not interested in pursuing a career in cybersecurity might have reconsidered after Cunningham mentioned projections for the field. “In about three years,” he said, “there will be 500,000 open jobs in cybersecurity just in the United States.”

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Professor Crista Lopes Named IEEE Fellow

December 7, 2018


Informatics Professor Crista Lopes has been named an IEEE Fellow for her contributions to ubiquitous and immersive programming. “I am extremely honored for having received this recognition,” says Lopes. IEEE Fellow is a distinction reserved for select IEEE members whose “extraordinary accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest are deemed fitting of this prestigious grade elevation.”

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The Conversation: “Why Tumblr’s ban on adult content is bad for LGBTQ youth” (postdoctoral fellow Alexander Cho quoted)

Tumblr has served as an essential outlet for LGBTQ youth in relation to other popular platforms. Alexander Cho, a postdoctoral fellow at UC Irvine, has written about Tumblr’s “queer ecosystem” where “users circulate porn, flirt, provide support to deal with homophobia as well as advice on coming out…” Cho has found that queer youth of colour experience Facebook as a space of “default publicness” and prefer Tumblr for sharing intimate and personal content.

Read the full story at The Conversation.

SXSW: “Constance Steinkuehler, Mark Deppe, Michael Prindiville, and Peter Levin Announced as Featured Speakers for SXSW Gaming 2019”

December 6, 2018

We are thrilled to have Constance Steinkuehler (Professor of Informatics) and Mark Deppe (Director of Esports) from the University of California, Irvine … join the 2019 Featured Speaker lineup at SXSW Gaming. … With esports teams forming at the high school level, Deppe and Steinkuehler will analyze the results of a study conducted at the University of California, Irvine on how connecting teens’ vast esports interest with education will yield emotional and skill development to prepare them for a larger, increasingly connected world.

Read the full announcement at SXSW.com.

Jersey City Dinner Draws 35 UCI Alumni, Faculty and Students at CSCW 18

December 5, 2018

UCI’s Department of Informatics was well represented at the 21st ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW 18), held the first week of November in New Jersey. UCI alumni, faculty or students (co)organized four of the conference workshops and co-authored almost two dozen of the accepted papers. Informatics Professor Yunan Chen helped organize the “Data Work in Healthcare” workshop with Katie Pine ’12, and Chen co-authored a handful of CSCW papers on topics ranging from self-tracking and fertility care to social networking and privacy concerns. While at the conference, many of the UCI folks she talked to expressed an interest in getting together.

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Games at Play Arcade — A Night of Alternative Game Design

November 30, 2018

On Saturday, Dec. 1, from 5-7 p.m., room 6011 in Donald Bren Hall will be transformed into an interactive exhibit featuring new and experimental games. Free of charge and open to the public, this Games at Play Arcade event will give attendees an opportunity to explore a variety of games — video, tabletop and paper-based — created by game designers from around the world.

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Education Week: “No, Fortnite Isn’t Rotting Kids’ Brains. It May Even Be Good for Them” by Kurt Squire

November 29, 2018

Some researchers have said that parents and teachers shouldn’t worry the violence in Fortnite will lead to violent behavior by players. Kurt Squire, a professor of social informatics at the University of California Irvine, wrote in an Education Week Commentary that research shows there is no causal link. He said Fortnite isn’t all that different from “traditional types of kids’ play,” like tag or capture the flag.

Read the full story at Education Week.