Dan Frost, informatics lecturer in the Donald Bren School of Information & Computer Sciences, wants to set the record straight: Just because he's on the faculty of UCI's new Center for Computer Games & Virtual Worlds doesn't mean he's a hardcore gamer. Still, his students have created more than 400 games over the last 12 years for everything from the iPhone to the Xbox, so he knows a good one when he sees (and sometimes plays) it. Here are five computer games (from bestsellers to little-known titles) that impress him, and why:
1. Façade,by Andrew Stern and Michael Mateas. More of an interactive drama than a game, Façade has great voice acting and a soap-opera-type situation, and players type in text to join in the conversation.
2. Mirror Stage, by Increpare Games. Surreal and oddly relaxing.
3. Fallout, by Interplay. Tim Cain, a UCI ICS alumnus, produced this great 1990s game, set in the near future after a devastating war.
4. Darfur Is Dying, by mtvU. Not much fun, but it draws you into a world that is reality for more than 2 million people.
5. World of Warcraft, by Blizzard. It's the biggest and the best, a beautiful and immersive world, endlessly fascinating, and created by our neighbors in Irvine!
UC Irvine Medical Center CEO Terry A. Belmont will chair the 2010 March of Dimes Orange County Division's March for Babies, overseeing fundraising efforts for the Sunday, April 25, walk. The event supports efforts to combat premature birth, the No. 1 cause of newborn death in the U.S. This year's fundraising goal is $750,000. Walkers of all ages, including student, family and corporate teams, are encouraged to participate.
Daniel Gajski, director of UCI's Center for Embedded Computer Systems, has received the 2010 European Design & Automation Association Lifetime Achievement Award for outstanding contributions to the design, automation and testing of electronic systems. Gajski has published more than 250 journal and conference papers; has edited, written or co-authored seven books and numerous book chapters; and has received several best-paper awards and nominations.
Ellen Druffel, Earth system science professor, has been elected a fellow of The Oceanography Society for her research advancing the use of radiocarbon measurements in studying the marine carbon cycle. The fellows program recognizes individuals who have made outstanding and sustained contributions to oceanography. The society was established in 1988 to promote oceanography as a true scientific discipline and publicize the importance of the ocean sciences.
The American Society of Neuroradiology will present UCI radiological sciences professor Dr. Anton Hasso with its most prestigious prize, the Gold Medal Award, at its annual meeting in May. Hasso, director of neuroimaging research & development, is being honored for his internationally recognized advances in diagnostic imaging and for his tireless work with organizations in the field.
Nelson Pike, philosophy professor emeritus, died Jan. 24. He was an influential philosopher on religion and author of God & Timelessness, Mystic Union: An Essay in the Phenomenology of Mysticism and numerous articles, including "Divine Omniscience & Voluntary Action." Pike also edited David Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion. Born Dec. 26, 1930, he earned a master's at the University of Michigan and a doctorate from Harvard University. After teaching briefly at UCLA and Brown University, Pike taught at Cornell University from 1960 to 1968 and at UCI from 1968 until his retirement in 1991. He won teaching awards at Cornell and UCI and twice chaired the philosophy department here.