Volume II, Issue 1: September 2009


Law school welcomes inaugural class

Student enters law school library
Hoang Xuan Pham / University Communications
A student enters through the law school library's security portal.

Class is in session for 61 students who looked at the faculty and philosophy behind UC Irvine School of Law and decided, "That's for me." The first new public law school in California in 40 years opened its doors Aug. 24 with a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony. Victoria Ortiz, assistant dean of student services for the law school, calls the inaugural class "pathmakers" for their eagerness to help build a school with an innovative curriculum emphasizing hands-on clinical experience and public service as well as the theory and substance of law.

Law school opens »

Anteater's wedding video goes viral

Jill Peterson
UCI graduate student Jill Peterson and Kevin Heinz became instant celebrities thanks to their wedding dance video.

You didn't need an invite. You didn't even need to know the happy couple — Kevin Heinz and Jill Peterson, a graduate student in social ecology. All you needed was to watch "JK Wedding Entrance Dance" on YouTube, as more than 24 million others have done, to catch wedding dance fever. This summer the bridal boogie video went viral, the couple became talk show celebrities, and — after shaking off a parody called "JK Divorce Entrance Dance" — husband and wife have gone on to live happily ever after.

Bride busts a move »

Downsizing for a good cause

Playhouse interior
UCI Facilities Management
UCI volunteers built a playhouse with amenities like this gourmet kitchen to benefit HomeAid Orange County.

As campus construction projects go, this one was on the small side: Facilities Management volunteers once again contributed their spare time, sweat and talent to build a playhouse to provide real shelter for the homeless. UCI's fourth entry to Project Playhouse, a pint-size coastal cottage, was auctioned Sept. 12 with eight other mini-homes at the Irvine Spectrum Center to raise funds for HomeAid Orange County.

Playhouse »

Campus's new galaxy quest

Hyperwall image of galaxy
Daniel A. Anderson / University Communications

UCI has been chosen to lead the new Southern California Center for Galaxy Evolution, the largest institute of its kind in the world. With about $1.3 million over five years in UC Multicampus Research Programs & Initiatives funding, the center brings together 26 scientists from UC campuses in Irvine, Los Angeles, Riverside, Santa Barbara and San Diego to research how galaxies such as the Milky Way emerged from the big bang.

Cosmology center »

Supernovae sighting

Star in the Milky Way
Eta Carinae, a star in the Milky Way galaxy, will become a supernova similar to those detected by Jeff Cooke and colleagues.

Get ready to rewrite those expensive astronomy textbooks: UCI cosmologists have found two supernovae farther away than any previously detected. The dying stars occurred 11 billion years ago, while the next-farthest large supernova occurred a mere 6 billion years ago. "The universe is about 13.7 billion years old, so really we are seeing some of the first stars ever formed," said Jeff Cooke, McCue Postdoctoral Fellow in physics & astronomy, who spotted the supernovae.

Supernovae »