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Our work, by its very nature, deeply engages with the broader community in our research and teaching. Whether it is in performing field studies, designing new technology, or delivering relevant educational experiences to our students, we work closely with individuals and organizations around us.

Some examples:

  • John Carls, Oscar-winning producer of Rango and Where The Wild Things Are, is serving as an expert consultant and project client on a special project course on ‘Games: From Concept to Pitchable Prototype’.
  • Professor Melissa Mazmanian is working with the Orange County Courts to understand the impacts of their electronic legal filing system on coordination, effectiveness and the daily experience of work.
  • We are working with several schools, including the Child Development School, a charter school run by UC Irvine, to work with children with ADHD and other problematic behaviors, to jointly design games for teaching social skills.
  • Lynn Dombrowski, graduate student in Informatics, studies food insecurity and works with a variety of non-profits as well as social services to examine, design and prototype social-technical systems to contend with hunger.
  • Our senior design project course is entirely driven by projects provided to us by our partners, including large, well-known companies (Google, SHARP Labs, Toshiba America, Southern California Edison), smaller, up-and-coming companies (Mirth, M2Catalyst, GrandPad), non-profit and charitable organizations (Second Harvest OC Foodbank, Down Syndrome Foundation of Orange County, Presidio Trust of San Francisco), and of course UC Irvine itself (Alumni Association, Pediatrics, Clinical Informatics).
  • Game designers from Blizzard Entertainment regularly serve as mentors in our game project capstone course, and occasionally even step in as the lecturer for an entire course, bringing real-world games design expertise to our students.
  • Both fueled by and fueling her research in distributed architectures, professor Cristina Lopes is one of the primary architects and code contributors in the OpenSim community, collaborating with her peers to create a free, multi-user 3D application server.
  • Observing healthcare professionals at work at the UC Irvine Medical Center and the Veterans Affairs Healthcare System, and discussing her findings with them, professor Yunan Chen identifies important areas of improvement in electronic health records systems and practices.


Informatics Professor Cristina Lopes participates in a virtual conference using the open-source software she helped develop.