June 21, 2023
UCI Digest
A Chalk Dudleya grows in the Ecological Preserve.
A chalk dudleya grows in the Ecological Preserve. (Photo: Steve Zylius/UCI)


Dark energy mapping project releases major data batch

The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument sits atop the Mayall 4-Meter Telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory in Tucson, Arizona.
To study the mysterious force known as dark energy behind this accelerating expansion of the universe, UCI scientists are using the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument to map more than 40 million galaxies, quasars and stars. The DESI collaboration recently released its first batch of data, with nearly 2 million objects for researchers to explore. Instead of taking a single image of each portion of the sky, the project uses 5,000 tiny robots to precisely position optical fibers to gather light from more than 100,000 galaxies each night and accurately measure their distance.

Building transparency by tracking jail experiences

 Naomi Sugie (on left), associate professor of criminology, law and society, and Kristin Turney, professor of sociology

Calls for racial equity and criminal legal reform are enhanced by data and knowledge about the legal system. That’s why Naomi Sugie, an associate professor of criminology, law and society, sociology professor Kristin Turney and their team of UCI colleagues — Chen Li, professor of computer science; Keramet Reiter, professor of criminology, law and society; Rocío Rosales, associate professor of sociology; and Bryan Sykes, associate professor of criminology, law and society — are building a data repository to track people’s experiences in jail. Sugie and Turney have been awarded $150,000 in seed funding from UCI for their project, “Jails as Hidden Institutions: Increasing Transparency and Understanding Health Inequities.”


Harvard-bound UCI grad highlighted among first-gen students

Jessica Cai stands in front of School of Education building
More than 41% of 2023 UC graduates are among the first generation in their families to earn a university degree. This year’s 27,000 first-generation grads bring their own unique sparks to UC’s collective fiat lux. Among the grads highlighted by UC’s Office of the President this year is SAGE scholar Jessica Cai, who this fall will pursue a Master of Education in the Learning Design, Innovation and Technology program at Harvard University.


Anteater volleyballers join Team USA

From left: Francesco Sani, David Smith, and Kyle Russell
Three UCI volleyball stars (two alums and one current player) have been selected to Team USA’s 30-man roster for the Volleyball Nations League, an annual international indoor tournament. From left, they are: Francesco Sani, an All-American at UCI who is majoring in business economics and has won accolades in beach and indoor volleyball; David Smith, a 2007 civil engineering graduate and three-time Olympian who was born 80% to 90% deaf and uses hearing aids on and off the court; and Kyle Russell, who graduated in 2016 with a bachelor’s in anthropology and is known for his signature mustache, as well as playing professionally in Korea, Germany, France and Poland.
#UCIconnected spotlights student, alumni, faculty and staff photos, essays, shoutouts, hobbies, artwork, unusual office decorations, activities and more. Send submissions via email or post on social media with the #UCIconnected hashtag.


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Scientists raise their own temperatures with debate over effects of humidity

Jefferson Public Radio, June 20
Cited: Jane Baldwin, assistant professor of Earth system science

Forbes logo

Playing Eminem At Work May Be Sexual Harassment, According To Court

Forbes, June 20
Cited: Charis Kubrin, professor of criminology, law and society

Japan’s nuclear dilemmas in a challenging new era

East Asia Forum, June 1
Cited: John T. Deacon, Ph.D. candidate, and Etel Solingen, Distinguished Professor and Thomas T. and Elizabeth C. Tierney Chair in Peace and Conflict Studies


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