UCI News

Leadership Exchange, Summer 2019 (Subscription)
The Rapid Rise of Esports
The University of California, Irvine (UCI) is the first public university to create an official varsity esports program, which is regarded as one of the best and most comprehensive programs in the world. The impetus for the program was the desires of the student-gaming community. Like other clubs or affinity groups, UCI Esports affirms gamer-students with a dedicated space, community support, and a fun and competitive atmosphere. UCI Esports forge connections and a sense of belonging for these students. [Subscription required, you can request an electronic copy of the article by sending an email to communications@uci.edu.]

Vox, July 25, 2019
Extremely powerful cosmic rays are raining down on us. No one knows where they come from.
Your phone can be turned into a cosmic ray detector. Daniel Whiteson is a physicist at the University of California Irvine who has been working on a crowd-sourced cosmic ray project. It’s called Crayfis (Cosmic RAYs Found In Smartphones). … The hope is that millions of users can turn the app on at night while they are asleep, and it will look for these cosmic rays. With enough phones, Whiteson hopes, he and his colleagues can get a better picture of where cosmic rays come from. The project isn’t quite off the ground yet. But you can sign up now to become a beta tester when the app is ready.

Los Angeles Times, July 24, 2019
Beijing strikes ominous tone, saying military could intervene in Hong Kong
Jeff Wasserstrom, a historian at UC Irvine, said the state narrative’s portrayal of Hong Kong protesters resembles how Chinese Communist Party leadership spoke about student protesters in Tiananmen Square in the lead-up to the massacre in 1989. “The CCP leadership promulgated the notion 30 years ago that what were, in fact, overwhelmingly nonviolent and broadly supported gatherings in Tiananmen and public squares in scores of other cities were somehow creating ‘chaos,’” Wasserstrom said. [Subscription required, you can request an electronic copy of the article by sending an email to communications@uci.edu.]

Newsweek, July 24, 2019
Lyme Disease- Carrying White-Footed Mouse Could One Day Be Genetically Modified to Stop Spread of Tick-Borne Illness
Co-author Anthony D Long, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at University of California, Irvine, told Newsweek: “P. leucopus is really quite different in many ways, including how it responds to infection. So now we can use this genome to understand those differences.” Long explained: “One important observation is that the bacteria is pretty good at getting to a place in Peromyscus [deer mice] where it can be picked up by another tick and complete its life cycle: the skin, not the blood.”

The Appeal, July 24, 2019
In Alabama, Decades- Delayed Justice in a Double Homicide—Or a Brand New Injustice?
“Jailhouse informants often come into being in order to corroborate other evidence in a case sometimes deeply flawed or with faulty evidence,” Alexandra Natapoff, a law professor at the University of California, Irvine and expert on informants, told The Appeal. She added that the use of informants can derail an otherwise strong case. “They’re a little like salt. Sometimes we use them out of habit, sometimes more than we should in dishes that don’t need it.”

Previously “In the News”