Volume III, Issue 1: September 2010


Word up: Rameen Talesh shares his study-break tunes

Rameen Talesh
Rameen Talesh's rendition of "Word Up" earned him the UC Idol title.

Need a pick-me-up to get you through a long workday or study session? Jump-start your brain with these tunes recommended by Rameen Talesh '89, dean of students, assistant vice chancellor for student affairs and UCI Alumni Association board member. A music lover, Talesh rocked it at the 2009 staff picnic with his cool rendition of Cameo's "Word Up!" — winning the UC Idol competition. Here are his picks to load into your iPod.
1. "Beggin'" by Madcon: addictive and upbeat.
2. "Crazy in Love" by Beyoncé: The riff is catchy; great pump-up song.
3. "When I Hear Music" and "Lookout Weekend" by Debbie Deb. Great old school songs from back in the day.
4. "Looking for the Perfect Beat" by Afrika Bambaataa & the Soulsonic Force: Playing basketball in high school, we didn't run out to this song — we walked out to it with our crowd pumped up.
5. "Mas Que Nada" by Sergio Mendes with Black Eyed Peas: When I hear this — my sleeper pick — I start swaying (or thinking about Brazilian soccer).

Goodbye, Mr. Gómez

Manuel Gómez celebrates at retirement party
Manuel Gómez, vice chancellor for student affairs, is feted at a retirement celebration in UCI's Student Center.

More than 500 family members, friends and UCI students, alumni and colleagues gathered in August to honor retiring Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Manuel Gómez. Speakers — including Chancellor Michael Drake and Vicki Ruiz, humanities dean — described him as a leader who, in his 38 years of service to the campus, inspired countless students to meet their goals; laid a strong and lasting foundation for academic, character and leadership excellence at UCI; and supported student diversity programs. That legacy was recognized with an anonymous $100,000 donation to the XIV Dalai Lama Endowed Scholarship that Gómez established.

Slide show and story »

Teen goes for gold in chemistry lab

Ervin Meneses works in lab
Ervin Meneses, a summer intern in Reginald Penner's chemistry lab at UCI, meticulously readies a slide to produce gold nanowires.

All summer, Ervin Meneses drove an old minivan between his gang-plagued Santa Ana neighborhood and UCI to work as an intern in Reginald Penner's chemistry lab. His mission: to grow gold-coated filaments 1/1,000th the width of a human hair — a tough, tedious task that confounds even veteran researchers. But the Santa Ana High School student never gave up, motivated by his desire to escape gangs and drugs and to one day possibly attend UCI.

Going for gold »

Nardi's virtual life as a Night Elf Priest

Illustration of Night Elf Priest
Jessica Damsky's cover art for Bonnie Nardi's new book depicts her online character.

Informatics professor Bonnie Nardi recently published My Life as a Night Elf Priest: An Anthropological Account of World of Warcraft. The book is based on her research of the massively multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft, which has 11.5 million subscribers worldwide. Nardi studies gender roles, culture and addiction in the play experience. She has spent more than three years participating in WoW in the U.S. and China — as a Night Elf Priest.

Nardi Q&A »

Smyth named fellow of artificial-intelligence association

Padhraic Smyth
Padhraic Smyth

Padhraic Smyth, computer science professor and director of the Center for Machine Learning & Intelligent Systems, has been named a fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence. Recognized for his significant contributions to the theory and practice of statistical machine learning, Smyth is one of only eight researchers worldwide named AAAI fellows this year.

Smyth named to AAAI fellows »