Students had fun stepping into virtual worlds at UCI’s first VRcade event, hosted by the Virtual Reality Development Club (VRDC) in collaboration with UCI Esports. VRDC president Edward Lok says the event, held on April 23 at the Esports Arena, was a “great success,” with approximately 50 people attending throughout the night. “Many students got the chance to try VR for the first time and were completely blown away by it.”
If you visit the LinkedIn page of graduating senior Kevin (Zijia) Ke, you’ll see several mottos, two of which are “never give up” and “stay positive.” Such optimism no doubt helped the computer science major progress from being an undeclared freshman who spoke very little English in 2014 to being a senior who finished his coursework in Winter 2018, and now has a job offer from Amazon and graduate school admission letters from both UCI and UC San Diego.
Back in 1975, UCI alumnus Barbara Kew was one of two female computer science students in her class and, as she has noted, female ICS role models were scarce. By 2017, Kew had been inducted into the ICS Hall of Fame, and the number of female ICS undergraduates had grown to 685. Furthermore, there is now a plethora of available resources and mentors, thanks to UCI’s Women in Information and Computer Sciences (WICS) student organization.
Professors Kurt Squire, Ramesh Jain and Vladimir Minin provide a sneak peak of what technological innovations are ahead in 2018.
Don’t complain about your commute to Vince Steckler ’80. The UCI graduate with BS degrees in both math and computer science was commuting from Singapore to San Francisco as the senior VP of worldwide consumer sales at Symantec before becoming CEO of security giant Avast. “It was a fairly long commute — 22 hours,” he says, explaining why he left Symantec to start his own business in Singapore. But instead of eliminating the commute, he got a call from a colleague who put him in touch with the Prague-based Avast, which Steckler viewed as “a diamond in the rough. They had a great product but no real marketing or sales behind it.” So he joined Avast in 2009, at which point he says the online-security company had about 40 employees and sales of under $20 million a year. He reports it has since grown to 2,000 employees and over $750 million in sales, and its security software is stopping 3.5 billion attacks per month.
UCI’s Marie Curie Global Fellow Amir M. Rahmani’s multidisciplinary collaboration on four projects is proving how IoT technology can transform healthcare.
“Would you ride in a car if you wrote the software that controlled its brakes?”
That’s a question Ray Klefstad sometimes asks his students to emphasize the implications of their work. Klefstad, who recently became the associate professor of teaching in the Department of Computer Science, further explains: “What they’re doing is important. People’s lives could be at stake.”
Assistant Professor of Computer Science Marco Levorato participated in the five-day DARPA Software-Defined Radio Hackfest that took place Nov. 13-17, 2017, at the NASA Research Park in Moffett Field, Calif. DARPA initiated the SDR Hackfest this year to “explore software radio technology in new and interesting ways that are likely to become consequential in both civilian and national security contexts.”
After receiving a B.S. in computer science from UCI, Jim Sherriff ’79 went on to have a successful career in the tech industry, working first at Hewlett-Packard and eventually becoming senior vice president of sales and development at Cisco. He’s now using his 30-plus years of experience and expertise to train military veterans for high-tech sales jobs. His new company, Tech Qualled, provides veterans with seven weeks of free training in sales, technology and business acumen to help them transition from active duty into successful careers at leading technology companies.
Associate Professor of Computer Science Charless Fowlkes is helping advance biomedical image analytics with a course on Big Data Image Processing and Analysis (BigDIPA). The intensive weeklong course is part of a three-year NIH-sponsored project he’s leading with Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering Michelle Dignam. The goal is to train researchers to work with complex big data. Fowlkes explains that “people discover they’ve filled up their hard drive with all this beautiful image data, but they don’t quite know what to do next.”