Motherboard: “The Reddit Moderator Getting a PhD in Online Moderation” (PhD student Kat Lo profiled)

December 13, 2017

Much of the internet runs on volunteer labor performed by people who are often unnoticed, such as online community moderators. When these people are recognized, it’s usually because they’ve become a target of harassment, are involved in a flamewar, or are accused of abusing their power.
Moderators make message boards, Reddit, Facebook groups, email listservs, and many other online communities function, and yet not a whole lot of time has been spent by mainstream academics understanding good internet moderation, or the psyche of a moderator. Kat Lo, a PhD student at the University of California Irvine, is bridging that gap by researching online communities at a time when most major platforms are trying reckon with widespread harassment.

Read the full story at Motherboard.

Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute (MVLRI) interview with Mimi Ito

December 6, 2017

In this episode, we’re joined by two researchers affiliated with the Digital Media and Learning Research Hub – Mimi Ito from UC Irvine and Justin Reich from MIT. First we’ll get acquainted with their work more generally and learn about the unique research topics they’re pursuing at their respective institutions. Then, we talk extensively about a recent publication that they authored that was published through the Hub, called From Good Intentions to Real Outcomes: Equity by Design in Learning Technologies. We talk about the process of producing this report, including convening stakeholders from many different organizations involved in education technology and online learning, and the challenges and strategies identified with regard to equitable use of learning technologies in K-12 settings.

Listen to the episode on SoundCloud.

Connected Learning Summit Debuts at MIT Aug. 1-3

November 29, 2017

Organizers of the Digital Media and Learning (DML) Conference, the Games+Learning+Society (GLS) Conference and Sandbox Summit have joined forces and announced the creation of a new annual event — the Connected Learning Summit — that will debut next summer at the MIT Media Lab.
“I’m excited about the launch of this event. It marks the beginning of the next phase of our collective effort to revolutionize how kids learn,” said Constance Steinkuehler, professor of informatics at the University of California, Irvine and former chair of the GLS Conference. “The convergence of these three communities — DML, GLS and Sandbox — promises to catalyze the field of learning technologies in a whole new way. We concluded the GLS event in order to enable this very merger, realizing that the silos we formerly operated within were no longer serving us well.”

SDPB Radio: “Why Libraries Are More Important Now Than Ever” (Mimi Ito cited)

November 28, 2017

Chicago Public Library partnered with the MacArthur Foundation to launch YOUmedia in 2009 as a way to engage teenagers at the library. The space is equipped with a music studio, digital cameras, 3-D printers, loads of computers and, of course, books. It’s all self-driven, but there’s a staff of mentors and librarians ready to help.

The loose atmosphere is based on University of California, Irvine professor Mizuko (Mimi) Ito’s study that found teens engage with digital media by “hanging out,” “messing around” and “geeking out,” as she puts it. Teens can “hang out” at the center by playing games or relaxing, but mentors are there to help them “mess around” or learn how to use new tech and gadgets, and “geek out” or dive deeper into passionate projects, like music production, designing a float or writing poetry.

Read the full story at SDPB Radio.

Los Angeles Times: “UCI-made game explores a ‘magical world’ with costumes and spells” (Josh Tanenbaum quoted)

November 27, 2017

Joshua Tanenbaum always envisioned creating a mixed-reality game that incorporated elements of theater, costumes and dance. The UC Irvine assistant professor of informatics got his chance last fall when he collaborated with then-student Natalie Nygaard to start developing an interactive storyline for a physical game called Magia Transformo — The Dance of Transformation.

Read the full story at Los Angeles Times.

The Register: “More than half of GitHub is duplicate code, researchers find” (Crista Lopes research)

An international team of eight researchers didn’t set out to measure GitHub duplication. Their original aim was to try and define the “granularity” of copying – that is, how much files changed between different clones – but along the way, they turned up a “staggering rate of file-level duplication” that made them change direction.

Presented at this year’s OOPSLA (part of the late-October Association of Computing Machinery) SPLASH conference in Vancouver, the University of California at Irvine-led research found that out of 428 million files on GitHub, only 85 million are unique.

Read the full story at The Register.

The National: “Women’s advocate says females must change approach” (Gloria Mark cited)

November 21, 2017

According to the study, No Task Left Behind? Examining the Nature of Fragmented Work, by Gloria Mark, Victor Gonzalez and Justin Harris of the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Science at the University of California, people were interrupted and moved from one project to another about every 11 minutes; each time, it took some 25 minutes to return to full focus on the original project.

Read the full story at The National.

Bleeping Computer: “82% of the Code on GitHub Consists of Clones of Previously Created Files”

Most source code files hosted on GitHub are actually clones of previously created files, according to a recent study conducted by a joint team of researchers from the University of California, Irvine, the Czech Technical University, Microsoft Research, and Northeastern University.

Researchers looked at 4.5 million original (non-forked) GitHub projects, holding a total of 482 million different files. They found that only 85 million files were unique, or approximately 17.63% of all the analyzed files.

Read the full story at Bleeping Computer.

Dourish’s Collaborative Work on #thismymob Grant Supports Indigenous Communities

November 17, 2017

When an online game centered on violence toward Aboriginal Australians made headlines in 2016, Apple and Google quickly pulled the game from their app stores. But Indigenous researcher Chris Lawrence, an associate professor in the School of Software at the University of Technology Sydney, went a step further. Working with a team of researchers that includes UCI Chancellor’s Professor of Informatics Paul Dourish, Lawrence started exploring how social networking technologies could enhance people’s notions of Indigenous identity.
Continue reading