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UCI Social Sciences 


Welcome to the January 2013 issue of the Social Sciences eNews!

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Upcoming Events

Measuring Baumol and Bowen Effects in Public Research Universities
January 7, 2013

The Contagion of Cheating and Networked Ethics
January 8, 2013

The Static-Dynamic Efficiency Trade-Off in the US Rail Freight Industry: Assessment of an Open Access Policy
January 8, 2013

Economic Motion Sensing
January 9, 2013

Behavioral Rationality and Heterogeneous Expectations in Complex Economic Systems
January 9, 2013

Henkin Semantics for First-Order Logic
January 11, 2013

Circulations of the Future, Specters of the Past: The Speculative Urbanism of Phnom Penh
January 15, 2013

Cross-National Comparative Research Workshop
January 17, 2013

The Journey to Global Nonviolence and Peace
January 24, 2013

Event Calendar

Social Sciences
in the Media

Editorial: A poor way to help low-skill workers
Neumark, OC Register and Limaohio.com

Los Angeles Mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti looks to connect with Latino voters
DeSipio, KPCC

Kevin O'Leary: Gun culture glorifies war weapons (Op-ed)
O'Leary, OC Register

Minimum wages to rise in at least ten states and three cities in 2013
Neumark, Alaska Business Monthly

American, US Airways may merge to form giant airline
Brueckner, Los Angeles Times, News.gnom.es.com, Chicago Tribune and TradingCharts

Doomsday debunked, but lessons learned?
Mahmud, OC Register

Lewis: The physics of Wall Street
Weatherall, Fox Business and Denver Post

How Freemasonry united Italy
Mahmud, Pravda.ur

Immigration reform to be a critical issue in the U.S. capital in 2013
DeSipio, Yahoo! News Canada, Winnipeg Free Press, News Talk 980, Yahoo! Canada Finance, and MSN Canada

Mirror neurons: The most hyped concept in neuroscience?
Hickok, Psychology Today

Shades of gray in color talk
Penner, Tampa Bay Times

Peacemaking is her passion
OTI, UC Berkeley News Center

A first for LA County: Jackie Lacey sworn in as DA
Lacey, '79, myfoxla, ContraCostaTimes.com, Press Telegram and Daily Breeze

Do American workers deserve an increase in the minimum wage? No
Neumark, The Denver Post

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From physics to finance

UCI prof explores the physics of Wall Street in new book

When U.S. markets crashed in 2008, James Weatherall was completing his Ph.D. in physics and mathematics less than five miles from Wall Street. A financially strapped grad student, he didn't really have a monetary interest at stake, but he was keenly interested in how it all went down. "Derivatives, these complicated financial products that require the use of mathematical models to understand, seemed to be at the heart of the collapse," says Weatherall, now a logic & philosophy of science assistant professor at UCI. Finger pointing put the mathematicians and physicists behind these models in the spotlight as financiers and others called into question scientists' place in the financial world. With Harvard physics and philosophy degrees under his belt and his first Ph.D. in sight, Weatherall couldn't stay out of the fray.

Read on...

UCI researchers map new dimension in human auditory cortex

Findings have implications for hearing research and therapies for those with hearing and language deficits

UCI researchers have successfully identified and mapped a new acoustic dimension in the human auditory cortex that sheds light on the link between how sounds are analyzed and how higher order processes such as language develop. Published in the November 27 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the findings have wide implications for future hearing research and studies on specialized therapies for those with hearing and language deficits. "Measuring a cortical field map of a sensory space allows us to pinpoint where and how a sense like vision or hearing is processed in the human brain," says Alyssa A. Brewer, M.D., Ph.D., UCI cognitive neuroscientist and senior co-author of the study. She is a vision scientist with extensive experience using functional MRI techniques to measure visual field maps in humans and non-human primates.

Read on...

Title company

Newest Chancellor's and Distinguished professors join select group

There are currently 39 Chancellor's Professors and 30 Distinguished Professors at UCI. Chancellor's Professors cannot account for more than 3 percent of filled faculty positions, and Distinguished Professors, a title reserved for those who have achieved the very highest levels of scholarship over the course of their careers, cannot account for more than 2 percent of filled faculty positions. In the past year, the following social sciences faculty have joined the ranks:

Barbara Dosher, dean of the School of Social Sciences and professor of cognitive sciences, studies how humans perceive, remember and retrieve information using a combination of behavioral testing and mathematical modeling. Her research covers memory, attentional processes, and the mechanisms of learning and improvement in perceptual tasks.

Dosher was named a Distinguished Professor in March 2012.

David Neumark, professor of economics, studies labor economics and econometrics. He has done extensive research on the minimum wage, labor markets, urban economics, the economics of aging, health economics, industrial organization and finance. He co-authored the 2008 book Minimum Wages.

Neumark was named a Chancellor's Professor in November 2011.

Charles Ragin, professor of sociology, developed methods for qualitative comparative and fuzzy set analyses that have been widely adopted in sociology and political science. He is the author of more than 100 articles in research journals and edited books and has created several software packages for data analysis.

Ragin was named a Chancellor's Professor in June 2012.

David Snow, professor of sociology, is a specialist in social movements and protests and an authority on the lives of homeless people. He is the co-author of Down on Their Luck: A Study of Homeless Street People, which has helped dispel stereotypes about homeless people. He followed and interviewed homeless people in Austin, Texas, for two years and spent more than 500 hours on the streets prior to publishing his influential work.

Snow was named a Distinguished Professor in November 2011.

Read on...

Treas earns research honors from Gerontological Society

Awards recognizes the sociologist's work on incorporating immigrants

Judy Treas, sociology professor and Center for Demographic and Social Analysis director, is the 2012 recipient of the Theoretical Developments in Social Gerontology award. Presented by the Gerontological Society of America in cooperation with American University, the honor recognizes her paper, "Incorporating Immigrants: Integrating Theoretical Frameworks of Adaptation." The award carries a $2,000 cash prize and was presented to Treas at the society's annual meeting held November 14-18 in San Diego. With over 5,400 members, the Gerontological Society is the nation's leading professional organization for researchers on aging.

Read on...

Penner named National Academy of Education Spencer Postdoctoral Fellow

Two-year fellowship will support travel and research on boys' academic disengagement

Andrew Penner, sociology assistant professor, has been named a National Academy of Education Spencer Postdoctoral Fellow. Penner will use data from 71 countries to examine the international variations in boys' academic disengagement. By understanding where boys are more and less engaged in school, he hopes to determine how countries might help both boys and girls succeed in school. The fellowship carries a $55,000 award which will support research and travel over the two-year study which began in summer 2012.

Read on...

'Tiger Kids' and the success frame

Paper by Jennifer Lee is named The Society Pages' most popular in 2012

A paper by Jennifer Lee, sociology professor, has been named The Society Pages' most popular white paper of 2012. "Tiger Kids and the Success Frame," posted in April as a response to the Tiger Mom controversy, explains that educational attainment of high-achieving Asians is not attributable to East Asian cultural values alone. Immigrant selectivity, the average socioeconomic status of an ethnic group, and the group's capacity to mobilize resources conducive to upward mobility play extremely important roles in determining success, says Lee.

Read on...

Garb and CCPB board recognized for peace efforts

Honored at special December award ceremony

The Center for Citizen Peacebuilding and Paula Garb, UCI anthropology lecturer and center co-director, have received a Vision of Peace Award from the Interfaith Women of S.A.R.A.H. (Spiritual And Religious Alliance for Hope). The group, one of three recipients, was selected for their work to cofound the Olive Tree Initiative and launch UCI's first gang intervention and mediation program. They were honored at a special award ceremony and dinner marking S.A.R.A.H.'s 10 year anniversary, held December 5 at the Huntington Beach Library and Cultural Center.

Read on...

Dingeman-Cerda named 2012 Fletcher Jones Fellow

Honor carries $18,300 prize

Katie Dingeman-Cerda, the UC Irvine recipient of the prestigious 2012 Fletcher Jones Fellowship, holds community engagement front and center in her research. A doctoral candidate in sociology, she is on a mission to put her academic learning to good use and to help make the world a better place. As an undergraduate sociology student at a small liberal arts college in Indiana, Katie participated in a unique, international study program called "Semester Around the World" which took her to Southeast Asia and the Far East. As part of this immersion program, Katie spent three months in India and later participated in a service-learning course through the development organization Heifer International in Honduras. The compilation of these opportunities along with several experiential learning courses at her undergraduate college took her out of the classroom and into the local community.

Read on...

Nucho named 2012 Chancellor's Club Fellow

Honor recognizes UCI's best and brightest

Joanne Nucho, anthropology graduate student, is a recipient of a 2012 UCI Chancellor's Club Fellowship. The honor, which carries a $10,000 prize, recognizes UCI's six best and brightest graduate students. A sixth year student, Nucho studies the notion of sectarianism in Lebanon and the way in which infrastructures, services and municipal planning create a sense of community as well as the conditions of possibility for various forms of conflict along sectarian lines. "Often in the media, it's just assumed that conflict between ethnic and religious groups is something natural or inevitable," she says. "I hope to show that the pathways to a sectarian sense of belonging are something constructed, not inevitable, and provide a different means of analysis." With an interest in ethnographic filmmaking and Middle Eastern studies, she says UCI's anthropology department made the most sense for what she was trying to do in terms of in-depth research in the Middle East.

Read on...

E-waste warrior

Fulbright scholar hopes to foster safe recycling, disposal of outdated electronics

Ask UC Irvine Ph.D. candidate Natalia Milovantseva why research intrigues her and she's apt to quote T.S. Eliot: "We shall not cease from exploration, / And the end of all our exploring / Will be to arrive where we started / And know the place for the first time." A 2012-13 Fulbright-Schuman grantee with a B.S. in economics, a UCI B.A. in international studies and a UCI M.A. in demography, Milovantseva is pursuing a doctorate in social ecology, with a concentration in environmental analysis & design. Her dissertation is about electronic waste and ways to more effectively repurpose the billions of electronic devices manufactured each year.

Read on...

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