UCI Forward

UCI Forward is our commitment to the well-being of our community as we ramp up campus operations. Working together, each of us doing our part, we can move UCI Forward.

May 5 - Why UCI mask rules vary; a high-tech Rubik’s Cube

Section 1

Cinco de Mayo dancers twirl at UCI sometime between 1983 and 1994.

Anteater Time Machine: Cinco de Mayo dancers twirl at UCI sometime between 1983 and 1994. More archive photos below.

Ask the Expert banner

In this continuing series, UCI experts answer questions about COVID-19, vaccinations, variants or the future of work. Submit questions via email.

Today’s question is fielded by David Souleles, director of UCI’s COVID-19 Response Team:

I heard that UCI Health is again requiring indoor masking in non-clinical settings because of increased cases in the community, but the campus is not following suit. Why the difference?

Face-covering policies for healthcare settings follow a different set of metrics under Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. Because of a recent increase in COVID-19 cases nationally and here in Orange County, the county has reached the CDC-defined case rate level that requires face coverings in non-clinical healthcare settings, including UCI Health. But for most other public spaces, including UCI’s main campus, guidance from Orange County and the California Department of Public Health continues to strongly recommend indoor masking regardless of vaccination status.


Photo of Heykube

“Everyone we’ve talked with about this project is excited to see what we can do with these smart Rubik’s Cubes,” says Quoc-Viet Dang. Photo by Samueli School of Engineering

Move over, Rubik’s Cube. Heykube inspires educational program

A cube puzzle loaded with a built-in microprocessor, Bluetooth, sound sensors and flashing lights is the centerpiece of an educational pilot program led by Quoc-Viet Dang, assistant professor of teaching in UCI’s Samueli School of Engineering. Armed with a $50,000, two-year grant from the Henry Samueli Foundation, the program will use Heykubes to teach engineering lessons to middle and high school students.

The student-to-storyteller pipeline

Thanks to a pair of English department internship and fellowship programs, UCI students have investigated COVID vaccine hesitancy among Vietnamese Americans, researched a trio of California-based German spies during World War I and written articles about the state prison system for a nonprofit, among other projects. The goal is to give students “real world” writing experience before they graduate.

UCI Podcast: What it means to be AANAPISI

Joseph Morales, associate director of strategic initiatives and partnerships in the Office of Inclusive Excellence, discusses what UCI’s federal designation as an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution means for the campus and students on the UCI Podcast.


Is California in a sixth wave of virus?

One health official says yes as cases and hospitalizations continue climbing locally and nationally, but others aren’t as pessimistic. And, so far, the number of California COVID-19 patients needing intensive care, although up from a record low last month, remains at one of the lowest levels of the entire pandemic.

O.C. hospitalizations fell slightly over weekend

COVID-related hospitalizations in Orange County fell from 83 on Saturday to 74 on Monday. “The numbers don’t look too bad,” said Andrew Noymer, UCI professor of population health and disease prevention. Of those hospitalized, 83.2% were unvaccinated. ICU patient numbers climbed from 11 to 13 over the same period.


UC Global Health Day 2022
Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (sponsored by UC Global Health Institute) 

UCI Opera: “The Impresario” 
Saturday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m. (sponsored by Claire Trevor School of the Arts)

Visit today.uci.edu to see and submit event listings. Events of general interest will be shared in UCI Digest two days before they occur.


Note: Some news sites require subscriptions to read articles. The UCI Libraries offer free subscriptions to The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, The Orange County Register and The Washington Post for students, faculty and staff.

100 x 100 Beaches Project to measure changes in SoCal

Spectrum News 1, May 4
Cited: Students Victoria Lee and Daniel Kahl

Polluters are using forests as ‘carbon offsets.’ Climate change has other plans.

National Geographic, May 4
Cited: Jon Wang, Earth system science postdoctoral scholar

Housing prices and asking rents continue to rise amid strained inventory

Long Beach Business Journal, May 3
Cited: Edward Coulson, professor of economics and director of the Center for Real Estate


A Cinco de Mayo dancer, sometime between 1983 and 1994.

A Cinco de Mayo dancer, sometime between 1983 and 1994.

Cinco de Mayo, 1992.

Cinco de Mayo, 1992.

#UCIconnected spotlights student, alumni, faculty and staff photos, essays, shoutouts, hobbies, artwork, unusual office decorations, activities and more. Send submissions via email or post on social media with the #UCIconnected hashtag.


28 new campus cases

On Wednesday, UCI recorded 28 new cases of COVID-19: 26 students and two employees. For more information, visit the UCI COVID-19 dashboard.

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Potential workplace exposure

UCI provides this notification of a potential workplace COVID-19 exposure. Employees and subcontractors who were in these locations on the dates listed may have been exposed to the coronavirus. You may be entitled to various benefits under applicable federal and state laws and University-specific policies and agreements. The full notification is available on the UCI Forward site. If you have been identified as a close contact to a COVID-19 case, the UCI Contact Tracing Program will contact you and provide additional direction.

For COVID-19 questions

UCI Forward - information on campus status and operational updates

UCI Health COVID-19 Updates - important information related to UCI Health

UCI Health COVID-19 FAQs

UCI Coronavirus Response Center - available at covid19@uci.edu or via phone at (949) 824-9918

Contact Tracing and Vaccine Navigation Services - assistance with vaccines and vaccine uploads; available at contacttracing@uci.edu or via phone at (949) 824-2300

Program in Public Health chatline - answers to questions about COVID-19

For questions specific to your personal health situation, please contact your doctor or healthcare provider.