These spotlights illustrate only a partial list of the experiences faculty, alumni and students have during their time at the Bren School and beyond.
To suggest someone to spotlight please contact Rizza Barnes at email@example.com or (949) 824-1562.
» 10TH ANNUAL BUTTERWORTH COMPETITION
Creators of Bluetooth Assisted Tracking, or BAT, win the 2013 Butterworth Product Development Competition, a contest that promotes the creation of commercially viable technology while fostering entrepreneurship among students.
» CULTIVATING COLLABORATION
Dean Stern unveils the Kay Family Foundation Innovation Lab, which features Apple TVs, a PolyVision smartboard, and MacBook Airs and iPads available for checkout by students.
» ALUMNA JOINS GOOGLE.ORG
Nithya Sambasivan (Ph.D. ’12), now a user experience researcher with the philanthropic division of Google, continues to study the role that digital technology plays in developing countries.
» SCACCHI RECEIVES DISTINGUISHED ALUMNUS AWARD
Walt Scacchi (Ph.D. ’81), senior research scientist and research faculty at the Institute for Software Research and research director for the Center for Computer Games and Virtual Worlds, received the Bren School’s 2012 Distinguished Alumnus Award.
» PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT SUPERSTARS
Ten teams of UCI students representing various disciplines — including computer science, business and the arts — competed for cash prizes totaling $10,000 in the final round of the 9th Annual Butterworth Product Development Competition.
» LATEST APPJAM FOCUSES ON SELF-IMPROVEMENT
A team of UCI undergraduates took home the latest AppJam Tournament grand prize with “AwkTalk,” which provides users with instant feedback on their social skills.
» CREATING GAMES FROM SCRATCH IN 7 DAYS
Five groups, each with about 15 students, participated in the latest Game Jam, organized by the Video Game Development Club. Competitors were given one week to design a fully functional video game that incorporates the theme of "growth."
» NEW STUDENT CLUB GETS CREATIVE
With workshop topics ranging from Arduino hacking to espresso brewing, new student organization Design, Art, and Technology Hackerspace (DAT Space) is making good on its promise to provide a student-run physical space where members of the UCI community can meet and work together on creative projects.
» STUDENTS BUILD APPS IN A WEEK
Eight teams of Bren School students with varying levels of programming experience — ranging from proficient to none — created fully functional mobile applications in just one week, as part of the inaugural ICS Student Council AppJam Tournament.
» CSEDWEEK 2011
Dec. 4-10 marks the third annual Computer Science Education Week — a national movement that spotlights the critical role computer science education plays in preparing students for 21st Century careers. Debra Richardson, professor of informatics and founding dean of the Bren School, is chair of CSEdWeek.
» CAREER FAIR SEASON
Bren School students gathered recently at the Student Center to meet with potential employers. A Career Center-sponsored fair gave them opportunities to learn more about available jobs and internships, while the ICS Student Council Reverse Career Fair provided students a chance to showcase their projects to recruiters.
» SOLVING MICROSOFT'S SEARCH CHALLENGE
A group of Bren School students took third place in the Microsoft Speller Challenge, in which teams submitted programs designed to suggest plausible alternatives to misspellings in search queries. More than 100 teams submitted 435 programs, placing UCI in the top 1 percent of the competition.
» STUDENTS REAP CAMPUS AWARDS
Three Bren:ICS student organizations and a freshman computer science major took home Anteater Awards, presented by the Office of the Dean of Students, for their achievements throughout the 2010-11 academic year.
» SHOWCASE HIGHLIGHTS
More than 60 undergraduates in 14 teams presented their projects at the 2011 Bren:ICS Student Showcase. The event highlighted a range of student innovations, from mobile apps, to search engines, interactive games and more.
» HE GETS AROUND
Postdoctoral Research Fellow Garnet Hertz has designed a video-game concept car that combines an arcade game cabinet with a real-world electric vehicle. As the driver navigates, a computer-vision system projects the surrounding environment as an 8-bit video game on its windshield.
» LEADING BY EXAMPLE
As the first in his family to attend college, Jose Romero-Mariona says pursuing a Ph.D. has proven to be an exciting journey. His undergraduate work in ICS at UC Irvine influenced his desire to make a difference in the field of science, while actively participating in student organizations early in his educational career served as a platform for his current involvement as a peer mentor.
» SOCIALLY CONNECTED
Social media is everywhere - Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, My Space, blogs. Making sense of this online networking universe is Donald Patterson, UC Irvine assistant professor of informatics.
» PRESCRIPTION FOR SUCCESS
David Cheng, always wanted to be a businessman. In 1997, he saw his opportunity and founded Accenx, a leading provider of health information exchange and interoperability solutions, with more than 150 customers and the largest dedicated team of integration specialists in the industry. more »
» BLENDED PASSION
Jeff Monroe didn’t see a difference between the creativity of the artist and the creativity of the software engineer, so he co-founded a company that melded the two and provided him an outlet for both of his passions. more »
» HYBRID VIGOR
Doctoral student Yong Ming Kow is studying modders, users that create functionality in a software product that is much more suited to their own needs. Kow wants to learn how modding culture can impact the future of software and product development. more »
» ISCHOOLS INSIGHT
More than 50 doctoral students from three UC campuses discussed their research and a variety of research related issues at the inagural UC iSchools Workshop held in January 2008. more »
» STUDENT AMBASSADORS TO THE RESCUE
The Bren School Student Ambassadors program is on a mission to reach out to potential computer science students through a near-peer outreach program that profiles student successes. more »
» SUPERNATURAL CONCLUSIONS
If members of the scientific community once debated the existence of psychic abilities, professor of statistics Jessica Utts' research has helped put the argument to rest. more »
» STAYING CURRENT
Marco Cesarano knows the field of computer science is constantly evolving and if he wanted to keep his skills current, he would have to take advantage of opportunities to improve his skills and knowledge. When he saw an advertisement at the National Council of Research in his hometown of Naples, Italy for UC Irvine’s Master’s in Information and Computer Science with a Concentration in Embedded Systems, he knew he found an avenue that would allow him to take his skills and knowledge to the next level. more »
» ONCE IN A LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY
Rosario Cammarota was looking for a Master’s program, but he wanted to stay in his hometown of Naples, Italy and continue to work full time at the local start-up he joined. Pursuing a Master's degree in Embedded Systems at UC Irvine provided him a 'once in a lifetime opportunity' to study in the United States for two summers while studying the rest of the time at the Istituto di Cibernetica Eduardo Caianiello in Naples, Italy. more »
» A THIRST FOR KNOWLEDGE
Working as an IT consultant was rewarding for Charu Srivastava, but she had a thirst for knowledge that could only be quenched by returning to school for an advanced degree. Pursuing a Master's degree in Embedded Systems at UC Irvine enabled her to do that and allowed her a unique opportunity to study for three quarters at the Istituto di Cibernetica Eduardo Caianiello in Naples, Italy. more »
» UNDERSTANDING INFLUENCE
Doctoral student Lilly Irani is studying how the experiences of gender and cultural background, such as national background, influence the way technologies get designed. more »
» CALLFIRE ANSWERS THE CALL
Integrating a 100 year-old medium – the telephone, with a 30-year old medium – the Internet, rekindled the friendship of four alumni and led to the creation of CallFire, a company that, with fewer than six full-time employees has already attained several million dollars in revenue. more »
» OVERCOMING OVERLOAD
Doctoral student Norman Makoto Su studies how people combine certain media types, and how they manage their interactions can reveal what strategies and policies organizations can employ to alleviate "communication" overload and design of systems to manage communications. more »
» CRUISE CONTROL
Jasmine Yau ’03 discovered that a career in information and computer sciences requires a lot more than strong technical knowledge. A business analyst at Kelley Blue Book, she works on the company web site, kbb.com, which requires her to rely on her interpersonal skills as much as her technical skill. more »
» FUN AND GAMES
Hector Parra didn't want to graduate without taking the computer game development class, and while it gave him an opportunity to spend time playing in a virtual world, it also taught him intangible skills he can use in the real world. more »
» THE PRODUCER
As Executive Producer of UCI's Vagina Monologues, Jacob Knobel found himself spending a lot of time on repetitive tasks, so the senior Informatics major utilized his programming skills to create a stage management software program that allowed him to work more efficiently and focus on more important aspects of the production. more »
» THE DILEMMA
Trina Choontanom credits her two older sisters for sparking her interest in the field of computer science, however, she didn't know if she wanted to concentrate on computer software or hardware. Luckily UCI made the decision easy by offering a major that combined both areas. more »
» STAYING CONNECTED
Informatics Ph.D. student Bryan Semaan is studying how people use technology to continue their collaborative work despite living in a disrupted environment caused by a natural disaster, terrorist attack or conflict. more »
» IN THE ZONE
When Rebecca Maessen was considering where to attend college, she wanted a place that would allow her to fulfill her passion for basketball and computer science, even if it meant going half way around the world. more »
» A HELPING HAND
Della Halim, president of the Women in Information and Computer Sciences student group, helps ensure the female students in ICS feel more at home in their often male dominated classes. more »
» KING OF THE ANTHILL
Jeff Fulkerson made Bren School history by becoming the school’s first student to run for and win UCI Homecoming King. He was coronated during halftime of the February 3rd men's basketball game. more »
» THE COORDINATOR
Ph.D. candidate Anita Sarma is researching ways to prevent breakdowns in the coordination of software development projects. Her novel approach warns developers of relevant parallel activities and changes that will lead to potential development conflicts. more »
» RUNNING ON OCTANE
During his freshmen year, Robert Olson's participation in the Bren School's hITEC OCTANe product development competition ignited his passion for entrepreneurship and earned him a $5,000 check. more »
» FOREIGN EXCHANGE
After receiving a reciprocity fellowship from UC’s Education Abroad Program (EAP) and spending one year at UCI, Ph.D. student Pablo Diaz-Gutierrez decided that graduate school at UCI was right for him. more »
» DASHBOARD CONFESSIONAL
Orange County native Gerald Bortis is working on Dashboard, a project that allows software developers to become more aware of the work that is going on in their environment and helps them to more effectively collaborate with their teammates. more »
» CUSTOMER CONFIDENTIAL
After graduating with his bachelor degree, Einar Mykletun worked as a programmer, but that was not satisfying enough and he ultimately decided to pursue a Ph.D. in the area of security and cryptography. Now, Mykletun is working on ways to protect the confidentiality of customer data stored on vendor databases. more »
» THE MODELER
Ph.D. student Guy Yosiphon was looking for a challenge. After earning a bachelor degree he worked in the software industry for two and a half years as a programmer and project leader. The work was rewarding, but he missed the challenge of academic studies and the scientific research environment, two things he found at the Bren School. more »
» BETTER, FASTER, SMALLER
What Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and Donna Karan are to fashion, Ph.D. student Sudeep Pasricha is to small electronics we use on a regular basis. The next time you purchase a smaller, flatter cell phone or a digital camera that is the size of a credit card and weighs about as much, you'll have Pasricha's research efforts to thank. more »
A member of the inaguaral class of the Informatics major and the founder and president of the Informatics Student Association, (INSA), Gabriela Marcu is blazing a trail for future Informatics students at UCI. more »
» FUELING A PASSION
Indecision about a career led Amber Israelsen to leave school and work for several years in a variety of industries. It was during these journeyman years, that she discovered her passion for computers. more »
» MAN OF THE HOUSE
Michael Golightly, housing assistant for the ICS Theme House, helps his 24 residents adjust to life in college by providing mentorship and resources for their development and enrichment. more »
» UNLOCKING THE CLUB HOUSE
Jennifer Law, former president of UCI's Women in Computer Science (WICS) group, is working to help and encourage women to pursue a college degree and a successful career in computer science. more »
» DYNAMIC DUO
Victor Liu and Adam Bonner took a risk when graduating from the Bren School by foregoing the opportunity to join established companies. Instead they decided to branch out on their own. That gamble is starting to pay off. more »
» FATHER OF CAD/CAM
Success is somewhat commonplace for the trailblazing Patrick Hanratty. Anointed the 'Father of CAD/CAM' for his pioneering work in computer-aided design and manufacturing, industry analysts estimate that 70 percent of all 3-D mechanical CAD/CAM systems available today trace their roots back to Hanratty’s original code. more »
» EXPERIENTIAL EXPERT
Ramesh Jain, former professor of embedded and experiential systems at Georgia Institute of Technology, was recently named the first Donald Bren Professor of Information and Computer Sciences at UC Irvine. more »
Nhu Vuong '05 has come a long way since she began her career at UCI just over four years ago. Vuong, an information and computer science major, is now a software engineer at Google and working on building a company-internal web application. more »