UCI's reputation as an innovative, Earth-friendly campus got a bit, er, inflated recently with the launch of ZotWheels, the first automated bike-sharing program in the UC system. Ronald Fleming, interim director of Parking & Transportation Services, came up with the idea after renting a stroller from a self-serve vending station in an outlet mall. Now, for a $40 annual fee, students, faculty and staff can borrow a bicycle with the swipe of a membership card — replacing car trips around campus with pedal power.
UCI is getting its game on. The Donald Bren School of Information & Computer Sciences has established a center to expand campuswide research into the social and technological aspects of games and virtual worlds. More than 20 faculty members from computer science, arts, humanities, social sciences and education will collaborate in the new Center for Computer Games & Virtual Worlds. Could a major in "World of Warcraft" be next?
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With $20 million over five years from the National Science Foundation, UCI scientists hope to make real-time videos of single molecules in action — a feat that has proved elusive because size and time scales are so small. Success for UCI's Chemistry at the Space-Time Limit, one of three NSF Centers for Chemical Innovation, would accelerate the pace of nanoscience, which is miniaturizing technologies ranging from computers to radios to satellites.
Now you can hang out with Peter the Anteater at the Student Center Terrace. UCI's mascot has been warming a bench and posing for photos with Chancellor Michael Drake, students and anyone else who happens by. Sculptor Edward E. Hlavka created the bronze anteater, with support from UCI's class of 2003. Visit Peter, take a photo and submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org.