Breaking Barriers: VenusHacks 2023 Empowers Women in Computing

June 21, 2023

A group of students pose for a photo at VenusHacks 2023.
Photo courtesy of VenusHacks 2023

VenusHacks 2023, UCI’s largest women-centric hackathon, took place from May 26-28 and concluded with resounding success. Organized in collaboration with Women in Computer Sciences and Hack at UCI, the hackathon brought together more than 200 participants from over 20 schools and 20 majors. With a mission to empower underrepresented groups and make computing more inclusive and diverse, VenusHacks 2023 provided a platform for students from all experience levels to engage in innovative projects.

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Celebrating Dr. Jazette Johnson and Dr. Lucretia Williams: An Important First in Informatics

June 12, 2023

In 1982, Marsha Rhea Williams became the first African American woman to earn a doctorate degree in computer science. Forty-one years later, higher education is still celebrating important firsts for Black women in computing. This month, UC Irvine is recognizing Jazette Johnson and Lucretia Williams as the first Black women to earn their Ph.D. degrees in informatics from the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS).

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KUCI, Ask A Leader Podcast: “Bandwidth: Guard it Like Your Life Depends on it” (Gloria Mark Interviewed)

June 8, 2023

Gloria Mark, UCI Chancellor’s Professor of Informatics, gets the full hour to talk about her latest book, Attention Span: A Groundbreaking Way to Restore Balance, Happiness and Productivity. Luckily there’s a few people left with long enough attention spans to write about it, so we can have a little agency to regain, shore up the decline of this capacity and achieve some balance. “I thought that everybody is affected by how they use their devices and I thought that it’s really important to spread the message to a much broader public than academia because I think people can… improve their lives. People are exhausted, they feel overwhelmed, so I think people are looking for ways to get out of this mess that we’ve gotten into,” says Mark.

Listen to the full podcast.

Senior Spotlight: Jumanah Almajnouni Ready to Hit the Ground Running as a Software Engineer

June 5, 2023

Jumanah Almajnouni’s resume lists the various programming languages she has learned throughout her years at UC Irvine in the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS): JavaScript, HTML, CSS, Python, Java and C++. Yet she’ll be the first to say you can’t rely on a resume alone when trying to land your first job. “Saying that you learned a certain language is not sufficient,” says the software engineering major, who will graduate on June 20. “What have you built with it?”

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Connected Wellbeing Initiative to Build Understanding and Action Regarding Teens’ Technology Use and Their Mental Health

June 1, 2023

The positive benefits of youth interacting with technology are often ignored while the negatives are emphasized. Today, the nonprofit Connected Learning Alliance and the Connected Learning Lab at the University of California, Irvine, announce the new Connected Wellbeing Initiative. This collaborative effort focuses on amplifying benefits of digital technology for vulnerable youth by accelerating innovation, building a coalition, and supporting a more evidence-driven narrative about youth, technology and wellbeing.

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Alumni Spotlight: Nenad Medvidović’s Serendipitous Journey to Success in Academia

May 24, 2023

When a mentor first suggested looking into UC Irvine for graduate school because of its strong program in software engineering, Nenad Medvidović still wasn’t sure what he wanted to study — and he had no idea where Irvine was. Originally from the former Yugoslavia (now Montenegro), Medvidović had only been in the United States for a few years. Fast forward to today, and Medvidović is an internationally recognized leader in software engineering. He serves as chair of the Thomas Lord Department of Computer Science within the Viterbi School of Engineering at USC, where he has taught since 1999.. He joined USC after earning his master’s and Ph.D. degrees from UCI’s Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS). Earlier this month, he was inducted into the ICS Hall of Fame in recognition of his contributions to the field of software development, including his landmark paper with Yuriy Brun, “An Architectural Style for Solving Computationally Intensive Problems on Large Networks.” Here, Medvidović talks about what brought him to the U.S., his original career goal and why he’s often up at 4:30 a.m., and what he loves best about working in academia.

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