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UCI Social Sciences 


Welcome to the December 2012 issue of the Social Sciences

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Upcoming Events

Hinterlands and Divergences in Asian History and World History
December 1, 2012

Partial Fiscal Decentralization: Theory and Evidence for Norway
December 3, 2012

Consequences of Withdrawal: Free Condoms and Birth Rates in the Philippines
December 4, 2012

Perceptual and Neural Processing of Body Movements Studied with Dots and 'Bots
December 5, 2012

Robust Estimation of ARMA Models with Near Root Cancellation
December 5, 2012

Eliminating Asset Bubbles in the Laboratory
December 5, 2012

IMTFI's Fourth Annual Conference for Funded Researchers
December 5-6, 2012

The Role of Citizen Peacebuilding in Cold War Relations between the U.S. and USSR
December 6, 2012

Fighting Words!: Protest and Popular Culture in Africa
December 6, 2012

UCI and Africa: Expanding Engagements, Ongoing Dialogues
December 6-7, 2012

Event Calendar

Social Sciences
in the Media

9 tips to help jobseekers beat age bias
Neumark, MarketWatch

Montebello Library glances back to the history of `Brick People'
DeSipio, Whittier Daily News

California election turnout: In search of a million missing voters
DeSipio, KPCC

UPDATE 2-Fed's Williams: Policies have aided growth without undue fallout
CEPP, Reuters, Bloomberg Businessweek, CNBC, My Fox Houston, Morningstar and World News

New research on employment-based insurance sheds light on health care reform
Neumark, MedCompare

What's so special about mirror neurons?
Hickok, Scientific American Blog Network and Yahoo! News

The Federal Reserve's unconventional policies
CEPP, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

China's 'golden decade' brings some relief to rural poor
Solinger, The Guardian

Gas price rise helps fuel cities
Brownstone, The Desert Sun

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UCI alumnus elected LA county's first female and African American district attorney

Jackie Lacey now heads the nation's largest local prosecutorial office

Jackie Lacey, psychology '79, became Los Angeles County's first female and first African American district attorney when she beat out opponent Alan Jackson in the November 6 election. As the new DA, Lacey will oversee the nation's largest local prosecutorial office with 1,000 attorneys, 300 peace officers and 800 support staff. She replaces outgoing district attorney Steve Cooley who retired. After completing her undergrad at UCI, Lacey went on to the University of Southern California Law School, graduating in 1982. She has prosecuted thousands of criminal cases in her 26-year career with the LA County District Attorney's office including her successful prosecution of LA county's first race-motivated hate crime. She was named four times as the Deputy District Attorney of the Month while serving as second-in-command to Cooley.

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Breaking down the fiscal cliff

UCI macroeconomist explains its causes and consequences, should we go over

Tax increases and spending cuts set to take effect January 1 would likely push the U.S. economy back into recession, says UCI economics associate professor Bill Branch. An expert in macroeconomics, he explains the looming "fiscal cliff" - a term coined by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke - as the result of a number of expiring tax laws and automatic spending cuts that were enacted to deal with escalating federal budget deficits. Here, Branch explains in detail what fiscal tightening measures would mean for the average American and what it will take from a polarized Congress to ensure a fall off the cliff is avoided.

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Social sciences graduate programs earn top dollar funding, prestigious awards

2012 marks the highest grossing year for graduate grants and fellowships in social sciences

Social sciences graduate programs, already ranked highly and at the top of their fields by the National Research Council, Philosophical Gourmet Report, U.S. News and World Report and other ranking agencies, reached new heights this year, thanks to graduate student research awards and grants. From 2011 through October 2012, social sciences graduate students secured over $2 million in research funding, including extramural funds, UC system-wide and UC Irvine awards. Measured in terms of dollars or sheer number of grants and awards, social sciences graduate students exceeded all previous years' funding and awards received since the school's graduate programs were founded.

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UCI Mock Trial ranked #1 in the nation

With three fall season victories, team is poised for another national bid

UCI's Mock Trial continues to impress at the national level. After a second place finish last year at nationals, the program came into 2012 ranked #1 in the nation by the American Mock Trial Association, and after three top tournament finishes, they've shown the ranking is well deserved. Two UCI teams competed at the University of Arizona's Great Sonoran Showdown at the end of October; both tied for first with undefeated records. Four teams competed in November at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles; two teams tied for first with undefeated records while the other two earned fourth and ninth finishes. The anteaters closed out their fall season with the Beach Party Invitational in Newport Beach, beating out Duke University, the defending national champions, and winning their second straight Beach Party championship. Congrats on a great fall season, anteaters! We'll be rooting for you in spring as you work your way to nationals!

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Joining forces

Center for Networks and Relational Analysis, headed by sociologist Carter Butts, fosters interdisciplinary research

Not so long ago, the word "network" brought to mind electrical engineers hunched over silicon chips. Today, networks encompass sociology, biology, communications, public health, criminology and a myriad of other realms. Researchers looking to unravel overlapping connections can find support at the Center for Networks and Relational Analysis, housed in the Calit2 Building. Led by Carter Butts, a UCI sociology and statistics professor, the center provides neutral territory where sociologists, electrical engineers, computer scientists, chemists, psychologists, statisticians, public health experts and criminologists can hang their hats while they work together on network-related issues that transcend any one field.

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Social services

Intel Science & Technology Center for Social Computing, co-led by anthropologist Bill Maurer, provides window into the future of social computing

Sandwiched between the room-sized computers of the 1940s and the smart phones currently in millions of pockets worldwide is an era of unprecedented technological advancement. Equally significant is the associated social revolution. A new multidisciplinary center headquartered at UC Irvine will devote the next five years to examining the sometimes underestimated social impacts of the digital age. The Intel Science & Technology Center for Social Computing, launched last June, is part of a five-campus collaboration funded by a $12.5 million grant from semiconductor giant Intel. Cornell University, Indiana University, the Georgia Institute of Technology and New York University are partners in the research. Led by UCI informatics professor Paul Dourish, anthropology and law professor Bill Maurer, and Intel's Scott Mainwaring, the center is dissecting the social aspects of computing trends from multiple vantage points along the disciplinary divide.

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Book by UCI Chicano/Latino studies prof turned documentary

The Brick People premiered in October in Irvine

A historical novel by UCI Chicano/Latino studies professor Alejandro Morales has been adapted into a documentary. Titled after his 1988 book, The Brick People chronicles the growth of Southern California through the story of the Simons Brick Factory and the Mexican immigrant brick layers who helped build much of Los Angeles. The film premiered in Irvine in October and has since been screened at the Los Angeles Latino Book & Family Festival in Dominguez Hills, locations in Houston, Occidental College and at three different events in Montebello, the site where the Simons family's largest 350 acre factory and small township once stood. Plans are in the works for a UCI-hosted screening in the spring.

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Study on integration requirements earns honors for Goodman

Political science professor receives prize from APSA, publication in World Politics

Sara Goodman, UCI political science assistant professor, is the recipient of the 2012 James B. Christoph Prize for the best conference paper on British politics, presented by the American Political Science Association's British Politics Group. The honor recognizes her study on Western European states' integration requirements for citizenship and residence. She finds that while states collaborate on similar requirements, the ways in which they are applied differ greatly due to varying existing citizen membership policies and politic pressures. The study is published in the October issue of World Politics. Goodman joined the UCI faculty in fall 2009 following a six month post doctoral fellowship at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. She completed her Ph.D. at Georgetown University and specializes in the study of membership requirements for citizenship acquisition through naturalization.

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Dual honors for Dalton's Political Parties and Democratic Linkage

International agencies recognize political scientist's work on parties

Russell Dalton, UCI political science professor, has received the 2012 Brian Farrell book prize from the Political Studies Association of Ireland for Political Parties and Democratic Linkage: How Parties Organize Democracy. Published in 2011, the book explains that despite rising cynicism and voter discontent, political parties are still vital in uniting disparate segments of government and in connecting citizens' preferences to policies. The book was also recognized in 2011 with the Klingemann prize, awarded by the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems (CSES) and GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences in Germany, for best scholarship.

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SPOTLIGHT EVENT: IMTFI's Fourth Annual Conference for Funded Researchers

December 5-6, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
UCI Student Center

This conference brings together the institute's fourth-year award recipients who will present their preliminary findings. 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.

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SPOTLIGHT EVENT: UCI and Africa: Expanding Engagements, Ongoing Dialogues

December 6-7, 8:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
UCI Student Center and Social & Behavioral Sciences Gateway

The University of California, Irvine is pleased to present ongoing work and collaborative projects with universities and non-governmental groups in Africa. These engagements represent a wide range of initiatives in the areas of fine arts, literature, finance, social media, religion, and social activism. These initiatives share a guiding philosophy of mutuality: engaging, learning and producing joint research, policy and artistic endeavors. The conference also serves to enrich ties between universities, institutions and groups across Africa and North America. Participants include faculty from the University of Ghana-Legon, University of KwaZulu- Natal, Kenyatta University, and Université Cheikh Anta Diop, as well as faculty from UCI, other UC and North American campuses, and local and transnational NGO representatives.

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In memoriam: Ian J. Scofield, '09 alumnus

Cognitive sciences graduate alumnus

Ian J. Scofield, UCI cognitive sciences graduate alumnus, died Sept. 28. He was 42. Scofield, who lived in Santa Ana, was a part-time lecturer in psychology at Cal State Fullerton where he taught various courses in cognitive psychology, learning and memory, biological psychology and research methods. He was born Dec. 3, 1969, in England. He received his bachelor's degree in accountancy from the University of East Anglia in Norwich, U.K., in 1991; a master's degree in computer science from Chico State in 2007; a master's degree in psychology from UC Irvine in 2007; and a doctorate in psychology from UCI in 2009. His dissertation was titled "Texture Segregation Functions and Spatial Attention." His advisor throughout his studies at UCI was George Sperling, Distinguished Professor of cognitive sciences.

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