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July 11 - UCI professors win research grants, UC reaches contract deal with nurses union

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A Hummingbird by a Naked Coral Tree bloom.

A Hummingbird has an early dinner from a Naked Coral Tree bloom on the UCI campus. Photo by Steve Zylius/UCI


Professor Yanning Shen’s computer science research wins Google funding


Google has named UCI’s Yanning Shen, assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science, a winner of its prestigious Research Scholar Program. Titled “Addressing Unfairness in Learning over Social Networks,” Shen’s machine learning and data mining research explores bias in machine learning algorithms across social networks that may lead to biased results toward underrepresented groups. Her project seeks to design algorithms to address this issue. Google’s award provides professors from around the world with $60,000 in funding for up to one year to support research that advances computer science.

Distinguished Professor Roxane Cohen Silver

Distinguished Professor Roxane Cohen Silver. Photo by Steve Zylius/UCI

Vice Provost receives Distinguished Senior Faculty Award for Research 

A UCI distinguished professor of psychological science, medicine and public health and vice provost for academic planning and institutional research, has been named the 2022-2023 recipient of the Distinguished Senior Faculty Award for Research, the most prestigious award UCI faculty members can receive from their colleagues. UCI’s Academic Senate confers the award on Roxane Cohen Silver, an expert on coping with collective traumas who joined UCI in 1989, for her “significant contributions to scholarship through sustained, distinguished research.” Silver’s current research explores the connection between trauma within disadvantaged communities and climate change as well as the effect that the reporting of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has on the mental health of U.S. citizens.


UC administrators reach three-year contract with California nurses union

UC officials today announced they have reached an agreement with the California Nurses Association on a new three-year contract for the more than 17,000 nurses who work in UC medical and student health facilities. The agreement takes effect immediately and will run through Oct. 31, 2025. The contract includes a 6 percent wage increase effective Jan. 1, 2023, another 5 percent wage increase effective Jan. 1, 2024, and a 5 percent wage increase effective Jan. 1, 2025.

New COVID-19 variant spreading in several countries, gaining ground in India

Another highly contagious mutation of the rapidly evolving coronavirus is quickly spreading in India and starting to pop up in numerous other countries, including the United States. The latest variant, which scientists call BA.2.75, seems immune from both vaccines and previous infections. So far, most of the infections are in India, although it has been identified in 10 other countries, including three cases in the U.S.

California COVID-19 cases continue to climb

The state’s COVID-19 positivity rate has doubled over the past five weeks to 16.7 percent from 8.3 percent, according to figures reported Friday by the California Department of Public Health. (Earlier this year, infection rates peaked near 26 percent.) 4,009 people are currently hospitalized with the disease statewide, including 445 in intensive care units, which is a 66 percent increase in hospitalizations from five weeks ago. Additionally, case numbers of the BA.4 and BA.5 coronavirus strains originally identified in South Africa earlier this year are growing in California, with BA.5 infections and BA.4 infections respectively rising by 51.9 percent and 16.5 percent, according to July 2 figures released by CA’s state health department.


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.

NASA grant to go toward UCI-led project studying beach, dune loss

Daily Pilot, July 9
Cited: Brett Sanders, professor of civil and environmental engineering

Do I have to give up meat to save the planet? How food and climate change are linked

The San Luis Obispo Tribune, July 10
Cited: Joana Tavares, Ph.D. candidate, Earth system science department

How Racism Ended a Renaissance of Weight

WNYC Studios (podcast), July 8
Cited: Sabrina Strings, Chancellor’s Fellow and assistant professor of sociology


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34 new campus cases

On Friday and over the weekend, UCI recorded 34 new cases of COVID-19: 24 students and 10 employees. For more information, visit the UCI COVID-19 dashboard.

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