A New Perspective on Technology and the Realities of Work-Life Balance

June 11, 2020

Melissa Mazmanian and Christine Beckman’s new book detailing technology use by nine families explores how working parents navigate today’s digital world. Yet their findings move well beyond the role of technology, portraying a cultural landscape in which exhaustion is the norm, work seems never-ending and family is all consuming — even before a global pandemic started making everything more challenging.

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University of California News: “Newly funded COVID-19 research aims to protect the most vulnerable” (Sean Young quoted)

June 5, 2020

This week, UC announced the successful completion of a whirlwind effort to award $2 million in seed funding to research across the state aimed at mitigating the impact of COVID-19, particularly among those at greater risk for infection and adverse outcomes. Sean Young of UC Irvine, who was awarded seed funding, has been working on health interventions for a long time, most recently among African American and Latinx men at high risk for AIDS. His project, HOPE (Harnessing Online Education), is a 12-week online community intervention designed to change risky behavior. With funding from UC, Young’s goal is to go back to this most recent HIV awareness cohort, and offer them a chance to take a survey to address some of their concerns and risks around the coronavirus, and learn how to create a new online community intervention to reduce their risks about COVID-19.

Read the full article at University of California News.

Bold: “Making distance learning work” by Gillian Hayes

May 26, 2020

If we don’t want our most vulnerable students to fall further behind, we must re-engage them – not just academically, but by providing appropriate support services and ensuring our students can access them.

Read the full article at Bold.

Graduate Student Spotlight: Eugenia Rho Reveals Risks of Political Hashtags

May 22, 2020

Almost a decade ago, Eugenia Rho was a recent graduate of Columbia University with a bachelor’s degree in political science and government, working as a business analyst at a management consulting firm. Now, the informatics Ph.D. candidate is finalizing her postdoctoral plans for Fall 2020 before heading to Virginia Tech, where she has accepted a position as a tenure-track computer science faculty member for Fall 2021. Her journey from humanities to computer science wasn’t without its challenges, but her political science background informed her dissertation, “Quality of Democratic Discourse in the Age of Political Hashtags and Social Media News Consumption.”

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Christie Abel and Amanda Cullen Receive Women Techmakers Scholarships for Gaming

May 20, 2020

Google’s Women Techmakers Scholars Program supports gender equality in the tech industry by providing scholarships to women studying computer science and gaming. Formerly known as the Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship Program, it furthers the vision of Dr. Anita Borg, who “devoted her adult life to revolutionizing the way we think about technology and dismantling barriers that keep women and minorities from entering computing and technology fields.”

Google has awarded Women Techmakers Scholarships for gaming to two scholars in the Department of Informatics. Ph.D. student Christie Abel and Ph.D. candidate Amanda Cullen will each receive $10,000 for the 2020-21 academic year, along with opportunities to connect with fellow scholars and Google mentors.

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Professor Roderic Crooks Talks Technology and Racial Inequality in the Context of COVID-19

May 11, 2020

On April 15, 2020, Roderic Crooks, assistant professor of Informatics in the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS), participated in an interdisciplinary virtual workshop on “Racial Violence and Restorative Engagement in a Time of Pandemic.” Hosted by the Newkirk Center for Sciences and Society, the workshop featured five panelists and opened with Bill Maurer, dean of the School of Social Sciences, explaining the motivation behind the discussion. “First, there are obvious disparities in the way that the pandemic is impacting various communities in our country and around the world,” he explained. “But second, on March 31, at UC Irvine, we held a forum on the US census [and] that event was Zoombombed.”

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MIT Sloan Management Review: “Why Time Signals Still Matter When Working Remotely” (Co-authored by Melissa Mazmanian)

May 4, 2020

Managing remote workers is a challenge under the best of circumstances, but during the coronavirus pandemic, these challenges are amplified. Most people are new to working remotely. Many are juggling work and caring for children who are home while schools are closed. Others are cut off from key relationships and sources of support. Everyone is coping with unprecedented uncertainty and disruption. And everyone is anxious — about health, money, and the future.

Read the full story at MIT Sloan Management Review.

Undergraduate Informatics Course Offers Real-World Lessons on Inclusive Human-Centered Design

April 27, 2020

“Today is going to be a little experimental,” announced Informatics Professor Stacy Branham as she stood at the front of an Anteater Learning Pavilion (ALP) lecture hall back in January and introduced her IN4MATX 131 students to a panel of speakers:

  • Jenaro Soto, a third-year Ph.D. student in pharmaceutical sciences at UCI and a wheelchair user;
  • Maya Gupta, a master’s student in informatics at UCI studying wayfinding technology for people with disabilities; and 
  • Cella Sum, a software engineer at Big Cartel and a student in UCI’s master of human-computer interaction and design (MHCID) program.
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A Chain of Giving Back: Rosalva Gallardo Valencia and Adriana Meza Soria

April 24, 2020

(Este artículo está disponible en Español)

When Rosalva Gallardo Valencia was awarded the Miguel Velez fellowship for Latin American graduate students in 2009, she became a link in a chain that, a decade later, would extend to Adriana Meza Soria, currently a doctoral student in software engineering at UCI. The significance of this chain was highlighted at the 2020 Hall of Fame Celebration for the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS), when Gallardo Valencia, a 2020 Hall of Fame inductee and featured speaker at the event, recalled receiving the award so many years ago.

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