As the only computing-focused school in the UC system, and one of the largest in the nation, the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS) educates nearly 3,500 undergraduate and over 800 graduate students in its three departments: computer science, informatics and statistics. Offering a remarkable breadth and depth of research and education programs with strengths in the areas of AI and machine learning, bioinformatics, cybersecurity and data science, the technologies taught and researched by ICS faculty, students and alumni are transforming virtually every aspect of our society, from business and healthcare to education and national security.
Using data to advance business, commerce, healthcare and science must be done responsibly and equitably. That is why our school has made a major investment in big data. Our faculty and students act as the connective tissue that draws together so many other areas of research on campus, including Artificial Intelligence, bio-sciences, health sciences and bio-informatics. Establishing the UCI Data Science and AI Institute will further expand our trailblazing work and significantly impact all of these areas across campus.
In a world where everything is connected, everyone faces unprecedented vulnerabilities when it comes to privacy and security. High-profile breaches in both the public and private sectors underscore the magnitude of this crisis. As a founding partner of the UCI Cybersecurity Policy & Research Institute (CPRI), we are committed to addressing the problem from both a technical and a human perspective. We seek to deepen our investment and focus on high-impact, multidisciplinary research to combat cyber threats and protect individual privacy and civil liberties.
Together, with the School of Education, we have formed the Connected Learning Laboratory, which studies and designs learning technologies that are equitable, innovative and learner-centered. Our researchers are in K-12 schools, working with educators and students, reinventing camps, designing games and other educational tools, and evaluating how to bring in others to build supportive learning environments for young people of all backgrounds.
One of our top priorities is to further inclusivity at all levels – students, staff and faculty – to be a model for other institutions to emulate. We hope to expand our extensive outreach into elementary and middle schools, high schools and community colleges, promoting computing in accessible, fun, and interactive ways as taught by our own students. By positioning ourselves as welcoming to students of all backgrounds and income levels, we will raise the level of all.