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Research is at the core of the Ph.D. experience, which is why our Ph.D. students engage in research from the start. Some know exactly what to study, others sample various research groups and projects before settling on a topic. Regardless, our focus is to get all new students up and running with meaningful research projects as soon as possible, to build a strong foundation for a productive career – here at UC Irvine and beyond.

Within the overarching domain of living, working and building in a digital world, we encourage our Ph.D. students to be bold and creative in working with their faculty advisors to choose a research question to work on. Our past dissertations provide examples of the many exciting topics in which the deep and fruitful collaborations among our students, faculty and research staff have resulted.

Drawing upon a rich portfolio of research methods across a range of fields, our Ph.D. students engage in field work, technology design, laboratory experimentation and deployment of new interventions back into the field. Of course, not everyone is involved in all of these. Together, however, our work comes full circle – resulting in the kind of impact that we wish to achieve.

If you are curious about our informatics or software engineering Ph.D. program and the research that we perform, use this website to find possible projects and faculty members of interest, and feel free to contact professors directly expressing your interest. Alternatively, make an appointment with our vice chair for graduate affairs to talk it over and get some pointers. We look forward to hearing from you![/two_third]

Graduate PhD students


Ph.D. student Lee Martie and visiting Argentinean M.S. student Martin Medina use affinity diagramming to find patterns in how people search for code.