Having trouble reading this newsletter? Visit http://www.socsci.uci.edu/files/socsci/newsletters/2013/ne_1013.html to see it in your browser.
UCI Social Sciences 


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

Make a Difference

Invest in tomorrow's leaders today. Learn how!

Follow us on

facebook twitter

Upcoming Events

Using Federal Minimum Wages to Identify the Impact of Minimum Wages on Employment and Earnings Across the U.S. States
October 1, 2013

Liberated Africans and Digital Humanities: African Diaspora Reconsidered
October 1 & 2, 2013

The Macroeconomic Effects of Large-Scale Asset Purchase Programs
October 2, 2013

Social Sciences Welcome Reception
October 2, 2013

Threat Level Pink: State Homophobia and the Invention of an LGBT Menace
October 3, 2013

Grades of Inductive Skepticism
October 4, 2013

Effects of Large-scale Youth Employment Subsidies: Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design
October 8, 2013

Film Workshop: Beginning and End
October 9, 2013

Latinas/os in the Crosshairs: Media and the Politics of Nativism
October 9, 2013

Figuring Exchange: Art and Money
October 14, 2013

Analyzing Treatment Effects under Regression Discontinuity Designs using Conditional Quantile Processes
October 14, 2013

Film Workshop: Place Without Limits
October 15, 2013

Mergers and Product Quality: Theory and Evidence from the Airline Industry
October 15, 2013

Film Workshop: Midaq Alley
October 16, 2013

Film Workshop: Romelia's Secret
October 23, 2013

Film Workshop: The Castle of Purity
October 29, 2013

Event Calendar

Social Sciences
in the Media

Anaheim council may limit mayor's authority
Petracca, Los Angeles Times

Immigration backers plan U.S. marches
DeSipio, azcentral.com

Mock Trial, Orange County Register

Parkinson's patient exploring virtual world
Boellstorff, U-T San Diego

Second Life's strange second life
Boellstorff, The Verge

Study: Blame the depth of the recession for the growth in welfare
Bitler, Washington Examiner

I [heart] the emoji revolution
Ito, The Boston Globe

The wrong way to reduce poverty: Column
Neumark, USA Today

Rick Perry's below-the-belt cheap shot
Neumark, Gazette.net

Hard truths about reaching a ceasefire in Syria (op-ed)
Wolf, The Hill's Congress Blog

Empty promises on minimum wage
Neumark, Orange County Register

Sage Hill panel to apply science to Wall St.
Weatherall, Orange County Register

Can Spanish survive in the US
Rumbaut, Being Latino

Making money off the poor
Avery, New York Times

UCI professor appears on PBS series 'Latino Americans'
Ruiz, Orange County Register

City leaders are in love with density but most city dwellers disagree
Brueckner, Daily Beast

They guessed wrong on gas, too
Cohen, Orange County Register

"Latino Americans"
Ruiz, NPR

California Legislature approves raising minimum wage to $10 - the highest of any state
Neumark, Contra Costa Times, Mercury Times, Inside Bay Area, San Jose Mercury News and The Herald

The minimum-wage muddle (Op-Ed)
Neumark, Washington Post, Daily Herald, Columbus Dispatch, Telegram and Investors.com

What to consider when you are considering donating
Lynch, The World

Is prosecuting Assad a better option than Syria strike?
Smith, Yahoo! News and MSN News Canada

Northwood Community Park celebrates new center
School of Social Sciences, OC Register

UC Irvine to offer online class based on The Walking Dead
Christopherson, Time

UC Irvine scares up a 'Walking Dead' online course
Christopherson, Los Angeles Times

UC Irvine teaches about society, science and survival in "Walking Dead"-based course
Christopherson, U.S. News & World Report

Cue the zombies: UCI offers 'Walking Dead' course
Christopherson, Orange County Register

'The Walking Dead' is getting scholarly
Christopherson, The Atlantic

'Walking Dead' 101: How you can take a free college course on the hit AMC drama
Christopherson, Yahoo! TV and MTV Geek

'The Walking Dead' inspires free online college course at University of California, Irvine
Christopherson, New York Daily News, CBS News, USA Today, Wired.com and Entertainment

Pass it on

Know anyone who might be interested in our newsletter? Email us to subscribe.

It's going to be a great year!

Fall 2013 welcome from Bill Maurer, social sciences dean

Dear social sciences students, faculty, staff and alumni,

Welcome to the 2013-14 academic year! It has been a summer of transition, with a new provost, Howard Gillman, who is a faculty member in our very own school, a new associate dean of graduate studies, Kourosh Saberi, and a new dean (myself), as well as some important milestones and achievements for the social sciences community at UC Irvine.

Over the summer, Vicki Ruiz, Chicano/Latino studies professor, was named Distinguished Professor. Etel Solingen, political science professor, was appointed to the Thomas T. and Elizabeth C. Tierney Chair in Peace Studies. And Stergios Skaperdas, economics professor, was named the Clifford T. Heinz Chair, effective October 1. Linda Cohen, economics professor, has been elected faculty chair for the School of Social Sciences.

All of our research centers that were up for renewal succeeded with flying colors. Under the new directorship of Jeff Krichmar, cognitive sciences professor, the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience is becoming the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience and Engineering. Kai Wehmeier, logic and philosophy of science professor, was successful in creating the Center for the Advancement of Logic, its Philosophy, History & Applications (C-ALPHA). And after lengthy negotiations with the U.S. Census Bureau, I am pleased to report that, under the direction of Marianne Bitler, economics professor, the school will open the UC Irvine branch of the California Census Research Data Center during the academic year, giving researchers across the campus access to non-public census microdata. Working together with sociology Chancellor's Professor Frank Bean, David Neumark, also a Chancellor's Professor (economics), will be reorganizing and accelerating population research this year by bringing together scholars from across the campus to tackle questions of population, policy and demography in the U.S. and beyond. You'll hear more about these new centers as they get up and running this year, and we can expect a rewarding and busy year ahead thanks to the efforts of our research center directors and other faculty-driven activity in the school. To that end, we welcome, in addition to provost and professor of political science Howard Gillman, six other new faculty members.

Read on...

New faculty bring diverse expertise and experience to social sciences

Interests span education and environmental economics, medical anthropology, judicial politics, Latino history, philosophy of science, and cognition, perception and action

The School of Social Sciences is happy to welcome a new provost and professor, five new assistant professors and one lecturer with potential security of employment to its fall 2013 faculty lineup. With research interests ranging from educational attainment influences to migration of unaccompanied children from Central America and Mexico to the U.S., their scholarly contributions will further expand the diversity and interdisciplinary research strengths for which the School of Social Sciences is known.

Learn more about the school’s new faculty below and come welcome them in person at the annual Social Sciences Welcome Reception on Wednesday, October 2 from 3:00-4:30 p.m. in Social & Behavioral Sciences Gateway, Room 1517.


Angela Jenks, Lecturer with Potential Security of Employment

Angela Jenks received her Ph.D. in medical anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley and San Francisco in 2009. Her research examines the development of cultural competence efforts in U.S. biomedicine and explores the way notions of culture, race and difference are deployed in health disparities research, medical education, managed care and clinical settings. She comes to UCI from Los Angeles Southwest College where she served as a tenure-track faculty member from 2009-13. In addition to expanding undergraduate course offerings in anthropology, Jenks will be directing the department’s new master of arts in social sciences (concentration in medicine, science and technology studies) program.

Chicano/Latino Studies

Anita Casavantes Bradford, Assistant Professor

Anita Casavantes Bradford is originally from Vancouver, Canada where she obtained her undergraduate degree in history and English literature at Simon Fraser University. She holds a master's degree in history and politics from Texas A&M University in Kingsville and a Ph.D. in U.S. and Latino/Latin American history from the University of California, San Diego. She was a 2012-13 UC Presidents' Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Chicano/Latino Studies at UCI. Her research interests include comparative and transnational Latina/o history, the history of immigration, race and ethnicity, and childhood, family and education. Her first book, The Revolution is For the Children: The Politics of Childhood in Havana and Miami, 1959-1962, will be released by University of North Carolina Press in spring 2014. She is currently at work on a second project on the migration of unaccompanied children from Central America and Mexico to the United States.

Cognitive Sciences

Mimi Liljeholm, Assistant Professor

Mimi Liljeholm’s research addresses how humans discover and represent the predictive structure of their environment, and how such knowledge shapes cognition, perception and action. Her approach is highly interdisciplinary, drawing on a wide range of methods from psychology, neuroscience, economics and machine learning. In particular, she uses computational fMRI - a technique that correlates putative quantitative variables with neuroimaging data - to evaluate and develop formal accounts of psychological phenomena. Her work has been funded by the National


Kevin Roth, Assistant Professor

Kevin Roth holds a Ph.D. in economics from Cornell University. He specializes in environmental economics research, particularly in transportation issues related to environmental regulation. He hopes to provide policy makers with guidance on the structure of regulation targeting environmental issues. He is also interested in consumers' choices of transportation mode and fuel economy, and the ability of policy to influence those decisions. His research seeks to better understand how these types of regulations interact with a broader set of issues including congestion, city structure and automobile safety.


Damon Clark, Assistant Professor

Damon Clark comes to UCI from Cornell University where he was an assistant professor in the Department of Policy Analysis and Management. His research focuses on education economics, labor economics and public economics. He is currently engaged in several projects designed to understand the factors that influence educational attainment and policies that might improve it. He is also working on research designed to understand the longer-term impacts of educational success. His findings have been published in the American Economic Review and Journal of Political Economy. He earned his Ph.D. in economics at the University of Oxford.

Logic & Philosophy of Science

Cailin O’Connor, Assistant Professor

Cailin O'Connor received her undergraduate degree from Harvard, and she is a recent graduate of UCI’s logic & philosophy of science Ph.D. program where she received both the Justine Lambert and the A. Kimball Romney awards for outstanding papers. Her research is focused in the philosophy of science, especially the philosophy of biology and evolutionary game theory. She also has substantial interests in decision theory and rational choice, the philosophy of economics, and the philosophy of perception - especially color. Her work has appeared in Philosophy of Science, Erkenntnis and other leading journals. She has served as the managing editor for the journal Philosophy of Science, and she is the founder of the Hypatia Society for Graduate Women in Philosophy.

Political Science

Howard Gillman, Professor

A native of Southern California, Gillman grew up in North Hollywood and was a first-generation college student. He earned his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. at UCLA. Prior to his appointment at UC Irvine, Gillman was a professor of political science, history and law at the University of Southern California. From 2007-12, he was dean of the USC David & Dana Dornsife College of Letters, Arts & Sciences. He previously held positions as USC's associate vice provost for research advancement and chair of its Department of Political Science. He is a nationally recognized expert in American constitutionalism and judicial politics. He has received a number of awards for his scholarly contributions, including the C. Herman Pritchett Award for best book in the field of public law and the American Judicature Society Award for best paper presented at a regional or national conference. Recognition of Gillman's dedication to students and teaching has included USC Dornsife's General Education Teaching Award and the Associates Award for Excellence in Teaching. In 2001, he was made a Distinguished Faculty Fellow at USC's Center for Excellence in Teaching.

Ruiz is named Distinguished Professor

Honor is highest campus-level distinction for UCI faculty

Vicki Ruiz, Chicano/Latino studies chair and history professor, has been named Distinguished Professor. The honor is considered UCI's highest campus-level distinction for faculty. The news comes on the heels of her election to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2012. An expert in 20th century U.S. history, Ruiz has spent her 35-year academic career studying and telling the historical accounts of Latina women as they fought for civil and labor rights. She is credited with helping to establish the field of Chicano/Latino history with her research on Mexican-American women in the U.S. southwest. She specializes in Chicana/o studies, oral narratives, gender studies, labor, immigration, and California and the American West.

Read on...

Solingen is named Tierney Chair

Honor recognizes political scientist for contributions to world peace

Etel Solingen, political science Chancellor's Professor, has been named the Thomas T. and Elizabeth C. Tierney Chair in Peace Studies. The endowed chair was established in 1986 by longtime friends of UCI, Thomas and Elizabeth Tierney, as a way to honor a scholar of distinction who is making contributions to world peace through teaching, research and service. Solingen is an internationally recognized political science scholar and one of the world's foremost experts on nuclear proliferation, international political economy and regional orders. Her book, Nuclear Logics: Contrasting Paths in East Asia and the Middle East, received the 2008 American Political Science Association's (APSA) Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award for the best book across all fields of political science, and the Robert Jervis and Paul Schroeder Award for the best book on international history and politics. She was the 2012-13 president of the International Studies Association (ISA), having previously served as ISA vice-president and president of its International Political Economy section. She has participated in many "Track Two" meetings with academic and government officials designed to address international conflicts. She has lectured extensively at prestigious academic institutions, association meetings and conferences worldwide, including more than 20 keynote addresses and presentations over the last year alone, in Beijing, Moscow, Berlin, Singapore, Buenos Aires, Edinburgh, Brisbane, Budapest, Madrid and Florence, among others. A full list of talks can be found online.

Read on...

Skaperdas is named Heinz Chair

Honor recognizes economics scholar for research on peace

Stergios Skaperdas, economics professor, has been appointed to a five-year term as the Clifford S. Heinz Chair. Established in 1988 by the UC Regents, the honor recognizes an outstanding UC Irvine scholar who studies the economics of peace. Skaperdas is a theorist who specializes in political economics research. He has published groundbreaking work on the role the absence of property rights plays in creating incentives for cooperation, as well as conflict, and its implications for trade, war, organized crime, the role of the state and other topics in more than 40 journal articles and books. More recently, he turned his attention to the faltering financial situation in his home country of Greece. A paper he wrote on the country's debt crisis was cited in more than a dozen publications - including the The New York Times, The Guardian, National Public Radio and CNN - and propelled him into the policy community as a proponent of dissolving the Eurozone. He has given talks around the world including presentations in Milan, Paris, Quebec, Munich, Oslo and Kigali (Rwanda) as well as others. A full list of workshop and seminar presentations can be found online.

Read on...

Montoya wins book award from British Sociological Association

Honor recognizes Making the Mexican Diabetic as best health and illness book in 2013

Michael Montoya, anthropology and Chicano/Latino Studies associate professor, is the 2013 winner of the Foundation for the Sociology of Health and Illness Book Prize. The honor, awarded by the British Sociological Association, recognizes Making the Mexican Diabetic: Race, Science and the Genetics of Inequality for making the most significant contribution to medical sociology/sociology of health and illness. Montoya's book characterizes how social ideas about racial human difference impact genomic research into chronic diseases. Published in 2011, the ethnographic study follows blood donations from the U.S./Mexico border to laboratories around the world illuminating how social inequality becomes embedded in genetic sciences. Making the Mexican Diabetic demonstrates that simplistic ideas about good and bad science and scientists do not account for the complex ways ideas about human variation and the practices of scientific research that are keyed to social forces in American life.

Read on...

UCI social sciences leadership pledges to become Trekkies for a day

Part of UC-wide Promise for Education initiative

Trekkies unite! The School of Social Sciences is challenging its networks to raise money for student scholarships as part of the UC-wide Promise for Education Initiative. Should your donations to this particular promise travel at warp speed to the collective tune of $5,000, the social sciences senior staff will transport themselves into your favorite characters from Star Trek for a day. No cloaking devices permitted; staff - including dean Maurer and associate deans Petracca and Saberi - will attend all meetings as Captain Kirk, Spock and the rest of the Star Trek crew. As a bonus, if more than $5,000 is raised, the entire social sciences staff will be encouraged to be part of the Klingon army.

Read on...

UCI Mock Trial ranked #1 in the nation

Ranking follows the group's strong finish at last year's national tournament

For the second consecutive year, UCI Mock Trial will start their fall season ranked #1 in the nation over more than six hundred college teams. The program earned a third place finish at last year's nationals and finished the season with a 23-3-2 record. In the last two years, the anteaters have won tournaments up and down the coast including bouts in San Diego, Irvine, Newport Beach, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and Berkeley, as well as top finishes at tournaments in New York City, Washington DC, Minneapolis, Memphis and Miami Beach. Along the way, students on the UCI team have racked up more than 100 individual awards as attorneys and witnesses, and positioned themselves well for careers in law. Team members have consistently earned admission to more than half of the top 20 law schools, including several from last year's Mock Trial graduates who are now freshmen at NYU, Columbia, Georgetown, Northwestern, Cornell, UCLA and USC law schools.

Read on...

Making a difference

Olive Tree Initiative students return from Middle East and share their experiences

Every day, UCI anteaters are doing amazing things. Current students and alumni can be found everywhere from local elementary school classrooms where they're teaching our next generation of leaders how to read, to the halls of international governments where they're impacting human rights policy on a global level. UCI's Olive Tree Initiative is full of anteaters like these who want to make a difference. The group promotes conflict analysis and resolution through education on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and in OTI's sixth year of existence, they've raised more than $1 million to fund their experiential learning work. This summer, two groups of students from the Olive Tree Initiative travelled to Washington, D.C. and the United Nations headquarters in New York City before leaving for the Middle East. The students spent three weeks in Israel, the West Bank and Jordan where they met with more than 60 politicians, religious leaders, nongovernmental leaders and academics to gain a better understanding of regional tensions. Below, hear from Timna Medovoy, an OTI member who made the trek and how the experience has shaped her future plans.

Read on...

Finding the perfect tune

Anthro grad student receives NSF grant to study science behind online music recommendations

Have you ever wondered how online streaming sites like Pandora and Spotify comb through millions of tracks to populate your playlists? It may surprise you to learn that cultural theory plays a role as important as statistics when a machine is picking out your preferred tunes, says Nick Seaver, anthropology graduate student. "As engineers design and build recommender systems for online music sites, they make a lot of decisions about how to mix and match data sources and algorithmic techniques," he says. "These decisions are not only based on technical criteria like efficiency or accuracy, but also on engineers' own theories about culture." His research investigates where their theories come from and how they get programmed into recommender systems.

Read on...

Academics take on zombies

Offered through Instructure, the free, eight-week MOOC will explore subjects related to math, public health, social science and physics

One moment in Season Two, Episode 5 of AMC's "The Walking Dead" really struck UC Irvine mathematician Sarah Eichhorn. As fans know, the show's premise is that Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes awakens from a coma to discover his world ravaged by a zombie apocalypse. As the flesh-eating undead walk the streets hunting living people and animals, he and his group must be constantly vigilant in order to survive. "It is math," says Grimes to his fellow humans. "Basic survival. How much fuel, how much food, how much ammo? Not much room in that equation for being soft." Eichhorn, who has devoted her career to helping people understand the value of numbers, heard a big opportunity in those lines. She and fellow faculty had been asked by Instructure, an online education provider, to participate in a massive open online course (MOOC) linked to the popular show. As a science fiction lover, she was intrigued and delighted to accept the invitation to teach part of the eight-week course, "Society, Science, Survival: Lessons from AMC's 'The Walking Dead.'"

Read on...

See past issues of the Social Sciences Monthly eNews.
If you no longer wish to receive the eNews and other updates from social sciences, please email Heather Ashbach.

School of Social Sciences
University of California, Irvine
Irvine, CA 92697-5100