UCI News

ABC10, Sept. 2, 2020 (Video)
Experts using AI to help people cope during pandemic: ‘Robots are our friends’
Robots are our friends,” said Jeffrey Krichmar, Ph.D., a professor of cognitive sciences at the University of California, Irvine (UCI). Recently, Krichmar’s team started testing socially assistive robots with the goal of helping people perform household chores, accomplish health care tasks and even offer them emotional support. “That could be very helpful if a person is impaired and can’t get help in the home because they’re locked down or quarantined,” he said.

Orange County Business Journal, Aug. 31, 2020
Monarch Beach Resort calls in public health experts
“We have the expertise, and we’re uniquely qualified to help people and businesses reopen,” Karen Edwards, professor and chair of epidemiology at UCI …. Edwards and her team put together a revised plan for Monarch Beach Resort within two weeks, after conducting an observational site visit …. Her team also created a 45-minute training video for staff members. [Subscription required, you can request an electronic copy of the article by sending an email to communications@uci.edu.]

Five Books, Sept. 2, 2020
The best books on the Hong Kong protests
Let’s turn to the first book you’ve chosen about the Hong Kong protests. This is Vigil: Hong Kong on the Brink by [UCI Chancellor’s Professor of history] Jeffrey Wasserstrom.“Vigil is a great, snappy introduction to how Hong Kong got where it is today. Whereas many Sinologists focus on the exceptional qualities of Xi Jinping’s China, Wasserstrom, a historian, looks at Hong Kong’s troubles through a comparative lens” [says Ben Bland.]

Los Angeles Times, Sept. 3, 2020
How Héctor Tobar turned a real-life gringo Che Guevera into the hero of his new novel
The first time Héctor Tobar and I ate together, we discussed Joe Sanderson. … Tobar’s fifth book, “The Last Great Road Bum,” circles back to that initial conversation; it’s a novel about Sanderson, an American from Illinois who in the 1980s fought alongside the rebels in the Salvadoran civil war. The Times caught up with Tobar [UCI associate professor of Chicano/Latino studies] via Zoom on a sweltering August morning. [Subscription required, you can request an electronic copy of the article by sending an email to communications@uci.edu.]

Psychology Today , Sept. 2, 2020
COVID-19 blew up the ‘epidemic of loneliness’
Sarah Pressman of the University of California, Irvine, underscores John Cacioppo’s work in her research demonstrating that loneliness can actually cut the lifespan by 70 percent—compared to obesity (20 percent) and smoking (50 percent). Loneliness can reduce our ability to manage stress, make us fatigued, and affect our sleep quality and concentration. It’s also a contributing factor in drug and alcohol use and abuse.

Previously “In the News”