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Addressing grand challenges through collaborative research

Since its founding in 1965, UCI has been built on an ethos of interdisciplinary collaboration.
Researchers from every part of UCI are working together to address the most pressing challenges
facing humanity, from energy and the environment to lifesaving advances in biomedicine.

Conquering COVID-19

UCI pioneered an interdisciplinary approach like no other, and our
model of extreme collaboration puts us ahead of the curve.

No other local health system combines sophisticated clinical expertise in treating illness and keeping people healthy with the research and education designed to prevent disease and train tomorrow’s health professionals. UCI and UCI Health integrate seamlessly, combining discovery, teaching and healing to keep our community well. Our public health program
has taken the lead in educating about prevention and containment.

Did You Know?

While all but essential research shut down, studies connected to COVID-19 ramped up as UCI’s scientific community mobilized in a quest to serve the public good. Researchers harnessed their intellectual resources to investigate how the coronavirus behaves and mutates. They created diagnostic tools to help doctors predict which patients are more likely to be admitted to the ICU. And they launched antibody and surveillance studies to better assess the prevalence of the virus in the population and to understand why some people with COVID-19 get very sick while others don’t. Charged with producing and disseminating factual, evidence-based data, these experts welcomed what they saw as a tremendous period of collaboration among colleagues throughout the nation and the world.

Stop at nothing to tackle climate change

UCI Solved the Ozone Problem. We will Stop at Nothing to Tackle Climate Change. Last year, the New York Times Editorial Board used research from UCI as the primary example of how scientific discovery can create transformative outcomes. When chemistry professor Sherry Rowland and his postdoc Mario Molina showed that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) deplete ozone they helped to launch a campaign that literally saved the world. Following their discovery, several changes in policy took effect in the U.S. and in 1987 the world agreed on the Montreal Protocol, a global arrangement to protect the stratospheric ozone layer by phasing out the production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances. Fast forward to 2019 — the ozone hole was the smallest on record since its discovery.

This inspirational UCI success story continues to shape the university today. Among our top priorities is to provide solutions to the problem of climate change, an effort that unites our world-class climate scientists, chemists, biologists, engineers, humanities scholars and social scientists as we explore bold ideas in fusion energy, carbon capture and policy implications and more.

Did You Know?

UCI's legacy of sustainability began when shovel first hit dirt at the dedication of the campus by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964.
The interdisciplinary applied focus of UCI's founding academic units continues to animate the campus. Today, UCI continues to go beyond the classroom to put research to work to improve lives, the community, and the world.

A hub of innovation and entrepreneurship

Rising from a dusty ranch in an undeveloped, sparsely populated area of early Orange County, UCI has become a regional mecca for knowledge, discovery and health.

The first faculty, students and staff who arrived on the rolling coastal hills of the nascent campus had a pioneering spirit and an adventurous embrace of innovation, befitting of the new land. The pioneering, can-do spirit that transformed the remote ranch more than five decades ago still remains ingrained in the culture. UCI is determined to find cures, solve problems and constantly raise the bar, stopping at nothing to build a brighter future Orange County and the world.

Did You Know?

UCI Beall Applied Innovation brings campus-based inventions and entrepreneurship together with Orange County's vibrant business community to support job creation and economic growth.

Leading the way in AI

UCI researchers are working on what matters to all of us: saving the planet; securing data privacy; solving the mysteries of the brain, learning and memory; living longer, happier lives; and making our region one of the most prosperous global innovation hubs. With UCI's talent and enterprise adding billions to the economy, Orange County has become a high-performing ecosystem of medical device, computer gaming, cybersecurity and other high-tech firms that continue to have tremendous economic impact on our region, our state and our world.

Did You Know?

UCI and artificial intelligence go way back. In 1968, the campus opened the UC system’s first computer science department. At the helm was Julian Feldman, who had co-edited a groundbreaking anthology of AI research articles five years earlier. Almost immediately, the fledgling department began offering graduate seminars and workshops in artificial intelligence. But the lessons were largely theoretical. “A lot of the ideas we’re using now were around then,” says Padhraic Smyth, Chancellor’s Professor of computer science and founding director of the UCI Center for Machine Learning & Intelligent Systems from 2007 to 2014. “But they couldn’t pursue them in the 1960s because computers were too primitive.” Indeed, when Feldman’s book was reissued in 1995, co-editor Edward Feigenbaum wrote the preface on an Apple Macintosh that he said possessed “far more processing power, more RAM, and more disk memory than the sum of all the computers that were being used by all the AI researchers [from] 1956-62.” From those humble beginnings, ICS faculty and alumni have helped pioneer some of the computing world’s most important advancements, including HTTP and the domain name system, two cornerstones of the internet.

TRANSFORMING HEALTHCARE AND WELLNESS

UCI is the place in America to pursue the most future-focused opportunities to improve human health and well-being. Beyond new cures, we are challenging the paradigm to create a sea change in healthcare: from episodic treatment of illness to dramatically enhancing well-being for life. Leveraging the strength of the entirety of UCI’s academic enterprise, we will redefine how new medical breakthroughs are discovered; how personalized, compassionate healthcare is taught; how patients are treated; and how communities are empowered for mental and physical health.

Did you know?

As the only academic health system in Orange County, our multifaceted organization is dedicated to the discovery of new medical frontiers, to the teaching of future healers and to the delivery of the finest evidence-based care.

We are unique in our ability to provide the most compassionate healthcare because we’re driven by our passion for innovation, grounded in the best medical and scientific knowledge.

An epicenter for California art

With the acquisition of The Irvine Museum Collection in 2016 and the addition of The Buck Collection in 2017, UCI has become home to a significant collection of California art. To bring these collections together, the University founded the UCI Institute and Museum of California Art (IMCA) in 2018, with plans to construct a new museum facility on campus within the next few years.

An on-campus museum realizes the original vision for the University of California’s expansion into Irvine in the early 1960s. Architect William Pereira (1909-85), known for his distinctive modernist designs in the California Brutalist style seen throughout the two concentric rings that define the campus, included a museum among the main buildings.

IMCA is delighted to bring this earlier vision to life through a new museum and research institute. The museum will serve as an epicenter for California art and artists and engage diverse publics through innovative exhibitions and programs. The research institute will support collection research and advance interdisciplinary scholarship and learning opportunities for UCI students, faculty and visiting scholars and researchers.

Through a robust offering of exhibitions and publications, research, seminars and conferences, lectures and artist talks, tours, and educational outreach, IMCA strives to expand our understanding of California’s artistic past and present, its distinctive social and cultural framework, and its contribution to shaping and challenging the art historical canon.

Ad photo credit: Viola Frey, Woman in Blue and Yellow II (May Lady) 1983 Ceramic and glazes. The Buck Collection at the UCI Institute and Museum of California Art. Art © Artists' Legacy Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photograph by Fredrik Nilsen Studio.

Did you know?

The museum will serve as an epicenter for California art and artists and engage diverse publics through innovative exhibitions and programs. The research institute will support collection research and advance interdisciplinary scholarship and learning opportunities for UCI students, faculty and visiting scholars and researchers.