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From the Dean

Dear ICS Faculty and Staff,

Welcome to the 2023-24 academic year!

This fall, we welcome to our School 1,161 new undergraduates, 102 new MS students, 214 new professional master’s students, and 77 new PhD students. Total undergraduate enrollments have increased to 3,608, reflecting the record number of applicants for Fall ’23 admission (more than 20,000). Graduate enrollments remain strong, with more than 400 doctoral and 600 master’s students enrolled in our programs. Currently, 1 in every 8 undergraduate students and 1 in every 6 graduate students at UCI are enrolled in ICS.

This fall we also welcome three new senate faculty and several new staff members. All ICS departments will be running faculty searches during AY 2023-24, in addition to the ongoing school-wide search for Bren chairs.

The vibrant start to AY 2023-24 follows on the heels of a strong finish in AY 2022-23:

  • ICS Commencement was held in Bren Center last June, with more than 1,210 degrees conferred (802 BS, 138 MS, 226 professional master’s, 45 PhD) in AY 2022-23.
  • ICS faculty research expenditures exceeded $25M for the first time in the School’s history.
  • Philanthropic fundraising approached $40M, with the lead gift from Paul (BS ’74, MS ’81) and Jo Butterworth marking the largest ever alumni gift in UCI’s history. Paul and Jo will be recognized with UCI’s Extraordinarius award at the upcoming Lauds & Laurels event on October 26.
  • The ICS Summer Academy quadrupled in size, with about 40 high-school students enrolling in each of the two 2-week modules on data analytics and artificial intelligence.

The new academic year marks the launch of a new student initiative, the unveiling of a new website for the school, and the return of the ICS Distinguished Lecturer Series:

  • Following up on the recommendations of the Undergraduate URM Retention Workgroup, ICS has established the ICS Tutoring Center to offer free drop-in tutoring to students in lower division ICS courses. During the Center’s inaugural year, tutors will be available 3 days per week to support ICS 6B, 6D, 31, 32, 32A, 33, 45C, and 45J. The Center is directed by Shannon Alfaro.
  • The new ICS website was unveiled last week. New websites for the ICS departments and a number of ICS offices are expected to come online in October. Your feedback and comments are greatly appreciated as we enter the final stretch of this multi-year project.
  • After a 3-year hiatus, the ICS Distinguished Lecturer Series returns this year with 3 lectures on AI and society. Please keep an eye out for the announcements of these events later in the year.

Please mark your calendar with the following Fall ’23 events:

  • AI & Biomedicine Symposium, organized by the Institute for Genomics and Bioinformatics.
    October 9, 9:30am, Calit2 Auditorium
  • 5th ICS Industry Showcase: This event brings to campus 30+ ICS industry partners with the explicit goal of recruiting ICS undergraduate and graduate students. Please encourage your students to attend!
    • October 10-11, 10am-6:30pm, ISEB/DBH
  • Breakfast with the dean
    • October 20, 8:30-9:30am, Dean’s Suite
    • December 15, 8:30-9:30am, location TBD
  • School-wide faculty meeting
    • November 15, 3:30-5pm, DBH 6011

My very best wishes for the new academic year.


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Faculty Updates

New Faculty
We are pleased to welcome the following new faculty to ICS.

  • Habiba Farrukh (Computer Science), Assistant Professor
  • Ana Kenney (Statistics), Assistant Professor
  • Thomas Yeh (Computer Science), Assistant Professor of Teaching

Congratulations to the following faculty for their promotions, effective Fall 2023.

Associate Professor and Tenure

  • Michael Shindler (Computer Science)
  • Aaron Trammel (Informatics)
  • Shuang Zhao (Computer Science)


  • Yunan Chen (Informatics)
  • Marco Levorato (Computer Science)

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Appointment
Prof. Andre van der Hoek has been appointed associate dean for academic affairs for a 3-year term starting July 1, 2023.

Capstone Programs Director Appointment
Prof. Hadar Ziv has been appointed Director of ICS Capstone Programs for a 2-year term starting July 1, 2023. In this role, Prof. Ziv will be developing shared know-how and best practices among instructors of capstone courses in ICS, and steering opportunities from the ICS External Relations Office to the appropriate capstone program.

Honors Program Director Reappointment
Prof. Volodymyr Minin has been reappointed Director of the ICS Honors Program for a 2-year term starting July 1, 2023.

Equity Chair Reappointment
Prof. Magda El Zarki has been reappointed equity advisor for a 3-year term starting July 1, 2023. She will be joining Prof. Veronica Berrocal, who enters the 3rd year of her service in this role.

Decade Mentors Reappointment
Profs. Sharad Mehrotra, Vladimir Minin, and Aaron Trammel will be continuing their service as Decade Mentors for the Departments of Computer Science, Statistics, and Informatics, respectively, for a 1-year term starting July 1, 2023.

Faculty Chair Reelection
A ballot is underway with nominee(s) for ICS Faculty Chair for 2023-24.

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New Staff

We are pleased to welcome the following new staff who have started in ICS since July 1, 2023.

  • Mariko Walton (Department Manager, CS)
  • Brittny Arceo (Payroll Analyst)
  • Katie Ling (Web/Graphics Designer)
  • Kelly Tran (C&G Analyst)
  • Margaret Erel (Business Manager, Statistical Consulting)
  • Lorraine Villegas (Administrative Coordinator, Outreach, Access & Inclusion)
  • Keshia Washington (Events Coordinator, CS)
  • Kaelyn Costa (MHCID Manager, starts Oct. 9)

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Undergraduate Education Updates

In AY 2022-23, total Student Credit Hours (based on department offering course) for ICS exceeded 172,100, the 4th highest on campus behind Social Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Humanities.

For Fall 2023 admission, ICS received more than 20,000 applications, an all-time high. Selectivity and yield were 20% and 27%, respectively. Among the 1,161 incoming undergraduates, 818 (70%) are freshmen, 313 (27%) are female, 350 (30%) are first generation, 309 (27%) are low income, and 143 (12%) are from under-represented groups.

As you interact with our students during this academic year, please keep this information in mind:

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Graduate Education Updates

ICS received more than 6,100 applications for Fall 2023 admission to its graduate research and professional programs, with almost 400 new graduate students (77 PhD, 102 MS, and 214 professional master’s) joining our School this fall.

Professional Programs
For the 44 students in the 7th class of the Master of Human Computer Interaction and Design program, commencement took place in-person on September 9, 2023. The 32 students in the incoming Class of 2024 kicked the year off with the intensive course Informatics 280.

The Master in Computer Science (MCS) program will be graduating its 6th class (139 students) in December 2023. This fall, the program welcomed 70 students in its incoming Class of 2024.

The Master in Software Engineering program (MSWE) will be graduating its 4th class (43 students) in December 2023, together with MCS. This fall, the program welcomed its 5th cohort of 43 students.

The new Master in Data Science will be graduating its 2nd class of 43 students together with MCS and MSWE in December 2023. This program has welcomed its 3rd cohort of 69 students in Fall 2023.

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Commencement 2023

Our School’s 2023 Commencement was held in Bren Center on Tuesday, June 13. ICS graduating student Nadia Etemadi and Julia White, Chief Marketing and Solutions Officer at SAP, addressed the graduates and their families. During AY 2022-23, ICS conferred more than 1,210 degrees (802 BS, 138 MS, 226 professional master’s, 45 PhD).

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Research Updates

ICS Research Awards Program
The ICS Research Awards program selected 8 proposals out of the 16 that were submitted in response to the AY 2022-23 Call for Proposals. The program will continue in Academic Year 2023-24. An email announcement will be coming out later in the fall quarter.

NSF Career Institute
The NSF Career Institute, organized by the UCI Office of Research in collaboration with Engineering, ICS, Physical Sciences, and Social Sciences, will be held in early 2024. This workshop prepares junior faculty for submitting proposals to the NSF Career program. For additional information, please reach out to Darine Zaatari, ICS Director of Research Development.

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Access, Inclusion, and Outreach News

OAI Reorganization
The ICS Office of Outreach, Access, and Inclusion (OAI), the ICS unit of the Stacey Nicholas OAI, has recently been established with key appointments: Vinh Luong as Assistant Director, Julie Lindo as Outreach Director, and Lorraine Villegas as Administrative Coordinator. Already this year, OAI has facilitated ICS student participation in the Grace Hopper Celebration in Florida and the Tapia Conference in Dallas. OAI is also developing a comprehensive communications strategy, including a website and newsletters, and launching a learning mentor program tailored for ICS majors.

ICS Summer Academy
The ICS Summer Academy, our School’s outreach program for high-school students, enrolled more than 40 students in each of two 2-week modules last July. The first module covered topics on data analytics theory and applications (DATA) and was taught by Prof. Babak Shahbaba (Statistics) and Prof. Jessica Jaynes from Cal State Fullerton. The second module offered an introduction to artificial intelligence and was taught by Prof. Michael Shindler. The students came from more than 20 high schools across Orange County.

For Summer 2024, we plan to expand the program to include two or three additional 2-week modules covering security, embedded systems, and introduction to software engineering. If you are interested in teaching in this program, please contact Prof. Magda El Zarki, ICS Summer Academy Director.

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External Relations News

AY 2022-23 was a record year for our fundraising efforts, approaching $40M in philanthropic support towards the UCI Brilliant Future Campaign. Highlights include the $35M estate gift from Paul (BS ’74, MS ’81) and Jo Butterworth, the highest ever alumni gift in UCI’s history.

Our External Relations team is organizing the 5th ICS Industry Showcase on October 10-11. This two-day event provides our industry partners with an unparalleled opportunity to learn what’s new in ICS and recruit our undergraduate and graduate students for internships and full-time positions. This year, the event includes information sessions from Corelogic, Google, Northrop Grumman, and SAP, recruiting booths from 30+ industry partners, a game industry meet-and-greet, and networking mixers with our industry partners for our master’s students (October 10) and our PhD students (October 11). Please share the news with the students in your classes and encourage them to take advantage of this opportunity.

The annual Call for Nominations for the ICS Alumni Hall of Fame will be coming out in late fall. New inductees will be announced at this year’s Hall of Fame event in Spring 2024.

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Facilities Updates

To complement the recent renovations in the south wing of ICS2, additional renovations will take place this year to refresh flooring, walls and furnishings in the north wing. Once completed, the south wing will house the Institute for Genomics and Bioinformatics (IGB). The north wing will house the Graduate Programs Office, Professional Programs, Career Services, and the ICS Office of Outreach, Access and Inclusion.

Facilities will soon be embarking on a major initiative to install key-card access to ICS1’s floors and offices/suites, to give it similar access control as other ICS buildings already have.

Finally, later in 2024, Bren Hall will see the addition of a Gender Inclusive Facility on the 6th floor, adjacent to existing restrooms. This project will result in restroom access to a broader scope of ICS students, faculty, staff and visitors.

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