News In Brief

UCI to Have New Online Esports Course

UC Irvine’s Division of Continuing Education (DCE) is offering a new online course called “Overview of Esports.”

The class will discuss the industry from the perspectives of developers, athletes and fans. It will also cover job opportunities in the industry.

DCE is working on expanding their esports curriculum. An Esports Management Certification Program is currently in the works. With this, students will learn how to manage esports tournaments, teams and projects. They will also receive an esports certificate.


UCI Establishes Nonprofit Management Program

The UC Irvine Division of Continuing Education’s new Nonprofit Management program is now available.

The Specialized Studies Program in Nonprofit Management covers organization, fundraising, financing and leadership techniques. The program is open to those involved with small and large nonprofits who are hoping to take their organization to the next level.

Required courses include Nonprofit Management Fundamentals, Nonprofit Financial Management, Stakeholder and Board Management, Nonprofit HR and Operations and Nonprofit Strategy. The course is available online.


UCI Grad Creates Self-Driving Car

A UC Irvine graduate started his company PerceptIn in 2016 and is now working on developing affordable self-driving vehicles.

Shaoshan Liu, 33, established PerceptIn in Shengzhen, China. He is focusing on vehicles that are able to sense their environment to independently navigate. Liu’s vehicle will also only cost $10,000. It saves money by using an internal camera instead of a rooftop remote sensing method, which would cost up to $80,000.

Liu received a Ph.D. in computer engineering from UCI, among other degrees. He expects his demo vehicle to appear on the global market this year.


UCI Breaks Undergraduate Application Record

UC Irvine received a record number of freshman and transfer applications for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Among all who applied to the university, 94,866 are high school seniors and 21,326 are transfer students, which is an increase from last year’s 104,000 applicants. UC Irvine ranks third after UCLA and UC San Diego for total first-year applications and second among in-state applications.

Among UC schools, UCI also saw the largest number of applications from minority groups, especially Chicano/Latino (25,930) and African American (3,770) students. For in-state, first-year applications, 48.5 percent of them are first-generation students. UCI received the title of Hispanic-serving institution for the first time this school year, meaning at least 25 percent of its undergraduate population are Latinx.

UCI’s application record has increased by 41 percent over the last five years.


UCI Gets New Law School Dean

UC Irvine law professor L. Song Richardson became the new UCI School of Law dean on January 1, 2018, becoming the only woman of color to assume this position among the top 30 law schools in the nation.

Following founding dean Erwin Chemerinsky’s leave for Berkeley Law in May 2017, UCI held a nationwide search for a replacement before choosing Richardson.

Richardson has been a UCI law professor since 2014 and served as interim dean in Chemerinsky’s absence. She received her B.A. in psychology from Harvard University and her J.D. from Yale Law School.

Her book, “The Constitution and the Future of Criminal Justice in America,” was published in 2013 by Cambridge University Press. She has also been published by law journals at Cornell, the University of Minnesota, Northwestern, the University of Southern California, and Yale. Her current book project looks at the relationship between mind sciences research and policing and criminal procedure. In 2011, Richardson received the American Association of Law School’s Derrick Bell Award, which recognizes legal educational contribution through teaching and scholarship.


UCI Researchers Develop New Drought Index

UCI researchers have helped to create a new satellite-based drought severity index.

Headed by professor of Earth system science Isabella Velicogna, who co-authored a piece in the Journal of Hydrometeorology about the index, UCI researchers helped evaluate the use of satellite gravity observations, acquired through National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites.

She along with her team incorporated terrestrial water storage into the index, building off of data NASA’s GRACE program, which ran from 2002 to 2014.

The GRACE satellites record data from Earth’s surface, allowing for larger scale drought monitoring. The new index developed by UCI researchers tracks groundwater storage changes which can give indications of how soil will be affected as well as the route to drought recovery.

In a statement to UCI News, Velicogna said, “Reliable information on the frequency and intensity of drought conditions is of utmost importance to climate and meteorological scientists and government officials — and to assess drought impacts on vegetation, food production and water resources.”

She continued, saying, “This new tool provides for accurate and continuous drought monitoring, which is necessary for effective water management and impact assessment.”

Velicogna, along with her team, presented their work at the American Geophysical Union in December.

Correction: An earlier version of this article stated L. Song Richardson is the new dean for the Paul Merage School of Law. She is the new dean for the UCI School of Law.