Spotlight

 Join us in wishing our recent graduates and post docs well as they move on to new jobs around the country and the world. Three cheers to one and all!

Ph.D. graduates Lopez, Baquero, Servant, and Wang.Alegria Baquero (R. Taylor, advisor) has taken a position on the Technical Staff at ZocDoc in New York City.

ISR would like to thank those of you who responded to two recent calls for volunteers sent to the ISR email list by Professor and Informatics Dept. Chair André van der Hoek and his research group.  They were particularly looking for professionals who could help them evaluate new ideas and tools in the areas of code search and crowdsourcing software programming, respectively.

Congratulations to Prof. James A. Jones for receiving the venerable SIGSOFT Impact Paper Award!  The 2015 award was bestowed upon Jones, the late Prof. Mary Jean Harrold, and Prof. John Stasko of Georgia Tech for their 2002 paper “Visualization of Test Information to Assist Fault Localization” which was presented at the 2002 International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE ‘02).  The award was announced at ICSE 2015 in May; Jones will receive the award at ESEC/FSE in September where he will give a retrospective talk on the research and its impact.

Prof. Walt Scacchi and Kendra M.L. Cooper have co-edited the book Computer Games and Software Engineering which was released in May. 

Congratulations to Prof. Debra J. Richardson as she retires from UCI!  Richardson has led a distinguished career at UC Irvine with numerous accomplishments along the way.  During her 28 years at UCI, she served as the Founding Dean of the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences, and prior to that, as Chair of the independent Department of Information and Computer Science.  Richardson has graduated fifteen Ph.D. students and seven Masters degree students, who have gone on to successful careers as well.  She has authored over 140 refereed book chapters, journal articles, and conference papers.

ISR made a great showing at iConference 2015, held March 24-27 in Newport Beach, CA. iConference is an international gathering of scholars and researchers concerned with critical information issues in contemporary society. It is presented by the iSchools organization, a collection of Information Schools. The UCI Donald Bren School of ICS is a member of the iSchools, and hosted the 2015 conference. Informatics Dept. Prof. Gary Olson led the way as conference General Chair. With over 530 attendees, 2015 was a great success! 

Building on the success of last year’s conference, the 2nd OpenSimulator Community Conference took place on November 8-9. OSCC is an entirely virtual conference focusing on online virtual reality, and is hosted on an OpenSimulator virtual environment running on a server at UC Irvine.  Attendance this year climbed to nearly 450 participants from multiple global timezones on Earth.

At ISR, we regularly engage graduate students, postdoctoral students, and sometimes undergraduate students to work as research assistants directed by ISR faculty.  We have not previously worked with or mentored high school students in ISR research projects, so this is something new – in this case, taken on by Prof. Walt Scacchi.  In Spring 2014, Scacchi was approached independently by two students from Northwood High School in Irvine who were seeking a summer research project to work on while being mentored.

Professor Debra Richardson is passionate about students’ access to computer science education, which is not just about access to computers, but about innovation of computing technology.  According to Richardson, “Computer science education builds students’ computational and critical thinking skills enabling them to create—not simply use—the next generation of computationally-oriented devices, tools, and games.”  This fundamental knowledge is needed to prepare students for the 21st Century, regardless of their ultimate field of study or occupation, giving them the tools they need to make further contributions to technology as well as its application in society.

Thomas LaToza, a postdoctoral research associate, and André van der Hoek, an ISR Professor, have been awarded $1.4M by the National Science Foundation to investigate “Crowd Programming,” applying ideas from microtask crowdsourcing to software development.

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