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UCI Social Sciences E-News

Welcome to the November issue of the Social Sciences E-News

Upcoming Events

Gender, Food, and Households in Micronesia

Economics Graduate Student Poster Session

IMTFI first annual conference for funded research

The Institutional Change after Socialism

International conference commemorates 20 year anniversary of fall of Berlin Wall

Rainbow Festival & Conference 2009: Leading Women of the World

Muslim Integration into EU Societies: Comparative Perspectives

Covering the Law: Documenting Justice in Picture, Performance and Press

Spillovers Across Labor Markets in Search Models: Effects of ’Animal Spirits’

Efficient Simulation and Integrated Likelihood Estimation in State Space Models

Social Sciences Hot Topics Debate: Health Care as a Constitutional Right?

But Do Not Identify as Gay: The Lives of ’MSM’

Conference on Inference and Imaging

Wealth and Life Chances in Comparative Perspective

Haunting Legacies: Violent Histories and Transgenerational Trauma

Grading President Obama

Careers in International Relations

Science Matters: The Medicalization of Race

Monetary Policy Indeterminacy Across the G7 and the Great Inflation

Learning Self Control

See more events

Social Sciences
in the Media

Gucci snake bag draws ire in China as wage gaps widen

The young and the jobless

Tea Party story leaves tasty leftovers

Figuring out the true cost of complying with California regulations

UCI report says small businesses face heavy burden

State GOP tries to steal Dems’ fire over water

Academics seek to put a human face on undocumented Hispanic immigrants

Fighting poverty one loan at a time

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Understanding the human mind is focus of two new fellowships in Social Sciences

Tarow and Minako Indow Distinguished Fellowships in Cognitive Sciences and Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Sciences

Improving the fundamental understanding of the human mind is being advanced through a generous legacy gift to the School of Social Sciences at the University of California, Irvine. The Tarow and Minako Indow Distinguished Fellowships in Cognitive Sciences and Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Sciences have been established in the School of Social Sciences with a gift from Minako Indow and her late husband, Tarow, formerly a cognitive sciences professor at UCI.

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Unsolved mysteries

Professor Barrett is searching for answers to one of philosophy and physics’ deepest mysteries

For logic and philosophy of science professor Jeff Barrett, taking delivery of the dusty old boxes that now line the walls of his UC Irvine office marked a high point in his academic career. Their contents: pages and pages of handwritten notes, most more than 50 years old, penned by famous quantum theorist, Hugh Everett, III. With a newly awarded $160,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, Barrett and a team of researchers are combing through, scanning and preserving the documents which they hope may shed light on the quantum measurement problem, one of philosophy and physics’ deepest mysteries.

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UCI cognitive scientist studies how background noise helps and hinders hearing

Findings will help explain how we separate and hear sounds in an acoustically cluttered world

Honing in on a particular conversation in a noisy restaurant can be quite a challenge as myriad background noises vie for your listening attention.  For those with hearing impairments, the continuous stream of commotion from conversational chatter and dining ware clatter can be overwhelming, making the ability to hear a singular conversation next to impossible, even with help from assistive technology. “Our ability to hear and pick up on different sounds is a very complex process,” says Virginia Richards, a cognitive scientist and hearing specialist in UCI’s School of Social Sciences.  “This is because the sounds combine together before they enter the ear, making it difficult to separate out energy from different sources.” With a newly awarded $192,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health, she is conducting a study on how certain background noises may help rather than hinder a person’s ability to detect new sounds in a noisy environment.

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UCI researcher receives grant to study U.S. immigrant health

Funding provided by National Institutes of Health “GO” program

Frank D. Bean, UCI sociology and economics Chancellor’s professor, is a co-recipient of a $1.34 million grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Development, a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), that will be used to compile a new dataset and conduct research on the health of immigrants living in the United States.  The resulting information will be made publicly available for future studies on the effects of immigration and incorporation on health outcomes of immigrants in the United States.

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Study combines EEG and MEG imaging to understand how brain processes attention

Data will be used to create computerized model for future non-invasive cognitive and clinical studies of attention disorders

Ramesh Srinivasan, UCI cognitive sciences associate professor, has received a $2.36 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop a non-invasive approach for studying areas of the brain responsible for attention. The study will be one of the largest of its scale to combine electroencephalography (EEG) and magnetoencephalography (MEG) imaging methods in order to simultaneously measure the electric and magnetic fields of the brain during performance of attention related tasks. Data collected will be used to develop a software generated model of the brain for future non-invasive cognitive and clinical brain studies of attention disorders.

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Pitfalls and unintended positives of going global

New book takes a comparative look at the impact of global trade on the local economies and government responsiveness in China, France and Mexico

Despite their different economic structures, political party systems and geographic locations, the countries of China, France and Mexico experienced similar spikes in local unemployment levels after joining or preparing to join international trade organizations in the 1980s and 90s. In her new book, States’ Gains, Labor’s Losses, UCI political scientist Dorothy Solinger takes a comparative look at the sequence of events that followed each country’s entry into an international trade organization.

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Cities can’t bank on small businesses for stable economic partnerships

UCI co-author says study validates efforts to attract and retain corporate headquarters

Locally owned small businesses don’t insulate communities from layoffs and closures in bad economic times. Rather, corporate headquarters do the most to protect cities from employment reductions, reports a new study co-authored by UC Irvine economist David Neumark. This debunks a popular argument that owners of “mom and pop” stores are less likely to lay off employees, relocate or close their businesses when the economy sours, he says, adding that the findings validate the efforts of many local governments to attract and retain corporate headquarters.

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Invisible immigrants

Research by sociology professor Judith Treas sheds light on foreign-born seniors in the U.S.

The nearly 80,000 immigrants older than 65 who arrive in the U.S. each year are often overlooked by society because they don’t hold paid jobs or speak fluent English, says UC Irvine sociology professor Judith Treas. They come to America too late in life to attend public schools or find regular employment, she says, adding that they don’t qualify for retirement benefits or social services and usually depend entirely on their families for financial support. “Elderly immigrants remain in the shadows,” says Treas, whose research was recently published in Generations, a journal of the American Society on Aging.

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Graduate research to shed light on factors impacting immigrant health

Funding provided by National Science Foundation

Georgiana Bostean, sociology graduate student, has received an $8,600 National Science Foundation Fellowship to study factors that impact and shape Latino immigrant health in the United States. She will specifically be looking at factors such as marital status, parenthood, household composition, and level of family conflict and cohesion and how they relate to overall health of the Latino immigrant population living in the United States.

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Can union mergers reverse declining membership?

Sociology graduate student Jasmine Kerrissey awarded grant from NSF to find out

Jasmine Kerrissey, sociology graduate student, has received a $10,000 National Science Foundation Fellowship to study whether or not union mergers can help reverse declining union membership. Using archival data from 1886-2000, she will examine union membership growth, degree of union democracy, and union organizational structure changes directly before and after mergers took place during this time period to determine their effects on membership.

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SPOTLIGHT EVENT - IMTFI First Annual Conference for Funded Research

IMTFI’s First Annual Conference for Funded Research brings together the institute’s inaugural set of award recipients who will present their preliminary findings based on research in 14 developing world countries. As more and more philanthropic, industry and development actors ask whether mobile technology can help provide access to needed financial services like savings and money transfer, these projects look to the experience on the ground of existing, traditional money systems and financial practices, as well as the potential and real impact of new technology in providing access to finance for the world’s poor.

November 4 & 5, 2009
10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Doheny Beach Conference Room, UCI Student Center
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SPOTLIGHT EVENT - International Conference Commemorates 20 Year Anniversary of Fall of Berlin Wall

November 9, 2009 marks the 20 year anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. A four day conference hosted by UC Irvine’s Center for the Study of Democracy will bring together world renowned scholars and experts to examine the international political, economic, and social changes that have taken place since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe and the 1989 protests at Tiananmen in Beijing, China. The conference will kick off with a keynote address from Poland’s first post-communist Finance Minister, Leszek Balcerowicz.

November 5-8, 2009
University of California, Irvine
Hotel Laguna, Laguna Beach, California (425 South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, CA)

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SPOTLIGHT EVENT - Social Sciences Hot Topics Debate: Health Care as a Constitutional Right?

The Social Sciences Dean’s Ambassadors Council kicks off their Hot Topics Debate series this quarter with the ever-entertaining experts of debate - political science professors Mark Petracca and William Schonfeld and Wayne Sandholtz as moderator. The issue up for debate: health care as a fundamental constitutional right.

November 12, 2009
7:00 p.m.
Parkview Classroom Building (PCB) 1100
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SPOTLIGHT EVENT - Grading President Obama

Matthew Beckmann, UCI political science assistant professor, studies how presidents push their policy proposals in Congress and the consequences of partisan polarization in Washington - a timely topic given the current national debate over healthcare. So how’s President Obama faring with his agenda? Beckmann will offer insights - and a glimpse of the White House action - at the University Club Forum when he speaks on “Grading President Obama’s First Year.” Does Beckmann grade on a curve? Find out!

November 18, 2009
Lunch begins at 11:15 a.m.
UCI University Club
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