UCI Institute for Money, Technology & Financial Inclusion awarded $4.17 million
Funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will advance applied research on monetary practices in developing countries
UC Irvine's Institute for Money, Technology & Financial Inclusion has received a $4.17 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to continue research on current and potential uses of mobile technology in providing banking and financial services to people in developing countries. The four-year grant brings the IMTFI's total Gates Foundation funding to more than $6.13 million since the institute's founding in 2008. In three years of operation, the IMTFI has supported 54 research projects in 32 countries, including Haiti, where, in early 2010, institute researchers Heather Horst and Erin Taylor were on the ground when a devastating 7.0 earthquake struck. With plans already in place to study the social uses of mobile phones on the Haiti/Dominican Republic border, their project took on a new sense of urgency. Joined by Espelencia Baptiste, an anthropologist from Michigan's Kalamazoo College, the research team worked in concert with the Gates Foundation and USAID to accelerate the development of mobile money transfer services in the disaster-stricken region. Digicel and Voila are the two mobile carriers currently providing such services to the island nation, thanks to the collaborative effort.
Study: Undocumented immigrants in O.C. use fewer health services than rest of population
Finding by UCI anthropologist is attributed to lack of medical insurance
According to a new UC Irvine study, undocumented immigrants living in Orange County utilized fewer medical services in 2005 than did documented immigrants and citizens of Latino and non-Latino white backgrounds in the region. The discrepancy was found to be, in large part, attributable to a lack of health insurance among undocumented immigrants. "It's a common misperception that undocumented immigrants overuse medical services and rely primarily on hospital emergency rooms for care," said UCI anthropologist Leo Chavez, author of the study. "Despite what we hear in the public debate, there is not a great deal of social science data on healthcare for undocumented immigrants." His work, published online in Social Science & Medicine, provides statistical data on the type and frequency of services accessed by undocumented immigrants in comparison to documented immigrants and citizens. Findings are based on information collected in a 2006 telephone survey of 805 Latino and 396 non-Latino white men and women 18 and older with both listed and unlisted phone numbers.
Hickok receives grant to grow his brain research team
Postdoctoral researcher Kayoko Okada, cognitive sciences `05, will help Hickok map brain lesions and activity linked to language processing using fMRI
Greg Hickok, cognitive sciences professor and founding director of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, has received a $257,960 grant from the National Institutes of Health to further his research on the brain's role in speech and how abnormalities can inhibit this process. The funding adds to the $9.3 million he has already received for research in this area, and allows him to add postdoctoral researcher Kayoko Okada, a `05 graduate of the UCI cognitive sciences doctoral program and specialist in fMRI and behavioral research, to his team. Using state-of-the-art methods, the researchers are conducting a large scale mapping study of brain areas involved in language processing. They're also mapping areas of the brain that, when damaged, produce language disorders. The research is being coordinated through a multi-university consortium Hickok created to quicken the pace and sharing of this type of work, the result of which may lead to advancements in therapies for persons who have suffered brain damage or exhibit neural abnormalities.
Beckmann talks presidential politics on Inside OC with host Rick Reiff
A discussion on today's issues from a historical perspective
Catch UCI political science associate professor Matthew Beckmann on PBS SoCal's Inside OC as he provides historical perspective on presidential issues of the day. The interview, "What Would Nixon Do?" with Beckmann and Ron Rotunda, Chapman University, will air on PBS SoCal (formerly KOCE) October 27 at 1:00 p.m., October 28 at 7:30 p.m., October 30 at 11:30 a.m., and November 2 at 12:00 p.m.
Op-ed: What Occupy Wall Street learned from the tea party
An op-ed by David Meyer, sociology professor, as featured in the Washington Post October 7, 2011
"The Occupy Wall Street movement, three weeks strong and gaining momentum, reminds us that tea partyers aren't the only people unhappy with the state of the nation. The two groups are angry about some of the same things, too, especially the government bailouts for big banks - a similarity that Vice President Biden observed in remarks on Thursday. They've taken different tacks for expressing their anger. The Occupiers are camping out in New York's Financial District, while tea partyers have elected people to fight against government spending and deficits - and against regulations or oversight of businesses, small and big. It's not something they're likely to claim credit for, but members of the tea party cleared the way for protesters on the other side of the political spectrum. The tea party demonstrated that protest works, even when government doesn't."
Zhang receives 2011 Kassouf Fellowship
Award named in honor of pioneering economics professor and academician
Cathy Zhang, economics graduate student, is the 2011-12 recipient of the School of Social Sciences' Sheen T. Kassouf Fellowship. Named in honor of the highly respected UC Irvine economics scholar and pioneer of modern finance, the $10,000 fellowship annually recognizes an economics graduate student who demonstrates excellence in coursework and research. Zhang, a fourth year graduate student with degrees in economics (high honors) and legal studies from UC Berkeley, studies the emergence of international currencies and how dollarization, or adoption of a foreign currency by local citizens, impacts domestic economies. She has developed an economic model that could be used by policy-makers to determine whether dollarization or continued use of a native, national currency is most conducive to a country's welfare and stability.
Wan receives nuclear security predoctoral fellowship from Harvard University's Belfer Center
Award includes one-year in-residence study
Wilfred Wan, political science graduate student, is the recipient of a 2011-12 Stanton Nuclear Security Predoctoral Fellowship, awarded by the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University. He is spending the academic year in Cambridge, Mass. working with the Belfer Center's International Security Program and the Project on Managing the Atom through which he is pursuing research on the evolution of nuclear weapons proliferation.
Vote for Fontein
Andrew Fontein, UCI men's soccer goalkeeper and business econ major, is a finalist for Lowe's Senior CLASS Award
UC Irvine men's soccer goalkeeper Andrew Fontein is one of 10 national finalists for the 2011 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the honor recognizes student-athletes who use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact in their communities. Fontein, a senior business economics major from Las Vegas, set the UCI single-season record with 11 shutouts last year. The Anteater career-record holder had four shutouts in UCI's first 11 games this season, including a 2-0 win at Big West Conference rival UC Santa Barbara Oct. 1. He also volunteers with several youth soccer programs in the Orange County area. Fans may cast their votes daily through November 14 at www.seniorCLASSaward.com. Fan votes will be tallied with those from coaches and media to determine the 2011 award recipient. The winner will be announced at the Men's College Cup which takes place December 9 and 11 in Hoover, Ala.
Social sciences opens new anechoic research facility
Facility is available for use by faculty pursuing auditory research
The School of Social Sciences Anechoic Facility opened in fall 2011 as a shared resource for use by all faculty who have an interest in auditory research. The facility includes a large acoustically isolated RF-shielded chamber for free-field research and a second smaller RF-shielded steel booth for research using headphones. The facility has access to state-of-the-art equipment including a harmonizer, function generators, oscilloscopes, mixers/equalizers, amplifiers, ABR setup (auditory brainstem recording) and research-quality vocal microphones and headphones. The facility is managed by UCI cognitive sciences professors Bruce Berg, Greg Hickok, Virginia Richards and Kourosh Saberi whose primary areas of expertise include hearing, speech and language.
Social sciences launches new experimental lab to study interactive decision making
Facility is available to researchers and is seeking paid student research participants
The School of Social Sciences has launched a new facility dedicated to experimental studies on individual and interactive decision making in the social sciences. The Experimental Social Science Laboratory is available to researchers in all social science disciplines and can accommodate up to 40 research subjects at a time for computer-based studies of human behavior. Experiments currently underway in the facility include research on how terrorist networks may form and why peace negotiations sometimes fail. Run by Michael McBride, economics associate professor, the lab provides opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students to learn experimental methods in the social sciences and participate in paid studies.
SPOTLIGHT EVENT: Modeling of Infectious Diseases: Bridging Data and Models
October 28-29, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Social Science Plaza A, Room 2112
Infectious diseases form a continual societal problem that comes with several mysteries. We experience this with a common flu; some years, in spite of dire predictions, not much happens, while other years an unexpected outbreak can be serious. Experts from several disciplines, who bring different perspectives on this topic, will gather at this two-day conference hosted by the Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Sciences to explore these concerns.
SPOTLIGHT EVENT: Citizen Diplomacy: Pakistan-India Track-II Dialogue
November 2, 5:30-8:00 p.m., UCI Student Center, Pacific Ballroom C
The Center for Citizen Peacebuilding presents "Citizen Diplomacy: Pakistan-India Track-II Dialogue," with Javed Jabbar, Chairman and Chief Executive, JJ Media (Pvt.) Ltd., Pakistan. A former senator and federal minister of Pakistan, Jabbar has an active interest in a variety of fields including international affairs, volunteer work for rural and urban development, the environment, social issues and mass media. Since 1992, he has served as a member of the longest-running Pakistan-India track-II process, known as the Neemrana Dialogue. Jabbar is the author of several books including his most recent work, Pakistan: Unique Origins, Unique Destiny (National Book Foundation, 2011).
SPOTLIGHT EVENT: The Possibilities and Perils of the Arab Awakening
November 17, 5:00-6:30 p.m., Social Science Plaza A, Room 1100
As part of UCI's International Education Week, the International Studies Public Forum, in collaboration with the Center for the Study of Democracy, Center for Global Peace and Conflict Studies, and Interdisciplinary Center for the Scientific Study of Ethics and Morality, present "The Possibilities and Perils of the Arab Awakening," with Roger Cohen, New York Times columnist. Cohen joined The New York Times in 1990. He was a foreign correspondent for more than a decade before becoming acting foreign editor on September 11, 2001, and foreign editor six months later. Since 2004, he has written a column for the Times-owned International Herald Tribune, first for the news pages and then, since 2007, for the op-ed page. In 2009, he was named a columnist of The New York Times. Cohen has written Hearts Grown Brutal: Sagas of Sarajevo (Random House, 1998), an account of the wars of Yugoslavia's destruction, and Soldiers and Slaves: American POWs Trapped by the Nazis' Final Gamble (Alfred A. Knopf, 2005). He has also coauthored a biography of General Norman Schwarzkopf, In the Eye of the Storm (Farrar Straus & Giroux, 1991).
SPOTLIGHT EVENT: Engendering Racial Perceptions: An Intersectional Analysis of How Social Status Shapes Race
November 22, 12:30-1:30 p.m., Social Science Plaza B, Room 4206
The Department of Sociology Population, Society and Inequality Series presents "Engendering Racial Perceptions: An Intersectional Analysis of How Social Status Shapes Race,"
with Andrew Penner, UCI sociology assistant professor. Penner's talk will cover his recently published research on ties between perceived racial status and clothing.
SPOTLIGHT EVENT: Understanding and Resolving the U.S. Fiscal Problem
November 30, 7:00-8:00 p.m., UCI Student Center, Pacific Ballroom C
What policy decisions have contributed to the U.S.'s budget woes? In light of the current weakened state of the U.S. economy, do any realistic, viable resolutions exist? In his upcoming talk, Alan Auerbach, director of the UC Berkeley Robert D. Burch Center for Tax Policy and Public Finance and former Deputy Chief of Staff of the U.S. Joint Committee on Taxation, will discuss potential solutions in the form of tax and entitlement program reforms. The discussion comes on the heels of the expected 12-member Congressional panel's November 23 recommendations on how to cut more than $1.2 trillion from the U.S. budget, and is the inaugural lecture of the UCI Center for Economics & Public Policy, directed by economist David Neumark.