UCI News

Orange County Business Journal, April 13, 2020
UCI Pools Resources For COVID-19 Efforts
“We have many research groups working on COVID-19 efforts, and some groups that have been working on these issues before the pandemic arrived,” UCI Vice Chancellor of Research Pramod Khargonekar told the Business Journal. … It’s not just research, officials stress. The school’s tech transfer branch has been active in translating ideas born out of the university into viable commercial products and resources. … “The entire university has mobilized in service of our community at this moment of great need,” [UCI Chancellor Howard] Gillman said. Below is a roundup of some of the recent activity at UCI. [Subscription required, you can request an electronic copy of the article by sending an email to communications@uci.edu.]

EdScoop, April 10, 2020
UC Irvine’s new coronavirus map shows sentiment on Twitter
To better understand the American public’s reaction to the coronavirus pandemic, researchers at the University of California, Irvine published an interactive map this week that plots the origin of Twitter posts related to the health crisis. … The project was led by UCI computer science professor Chen Li together with five of his students. “This tool gives people a way to locate discussions about the coronavirus within a region and in a time window,” Li said in a press announcement. “We want the tool to help them gain insights on public discussions about this fast-evolving crisis, which can help government agencies and researchers in various domains, such as public health.”

The Atlantic, April, 10, 2020
We Need to Stop Trying to Replicate the Life We Had
Obviously, some aspects of prepandemic life can’t be re-created or replaced. In person, humans can sync up to one another through gaze and body language—which is impossible over phone or text, and difficult over videochat. Melissa Mazmanian, an associate informatics professor at UC Irvine, recently had to switch from in-person to Zoom interviews for a research project, “and some of them just don’t work as well,” she said. “I can’t read [subjects’] body language and help them feel comfortable in the way that I can when I’m there.”

EdSource Today, April 13, 2020
California university researchers join the global race to fight coronavirus
Virologists like Mike Buchmeier at UC Irvine’s Center for Virus Research [is] studying exactly how the virus is spreading. Buchmeier, who specializes in researching coronaviruses, has been researching the virus since it was discovered in China in December. … [His] current research, he said in an interview, involves studying the virus’s RNA …. The genetic material also allows Buchmeier to better understand how the virus causes damage in humans. “And then we can use that to think about what would be a suitable vaccine,” Buchmeier said. 

The New York Times, April 9, 2020
No Halt to Culture Wars During Coronavirus Outbreak
The rulings signal an approaching season of bitter election-related litigation, said University of California at Irvine law professor Richard Hasen. “It is a very bad sign for November that the Court could not come together and find some form of compromise here in the midst of a global pandemic unlike anything we have seen in our lifetimes,” Hasen wrote about the U.S. Supreme Court justices on his Election Law blog. [Subscription required, campus-wide access provided by UCI Libraries. Sign-up here: AccessNYT.com]

Previously “In the News”