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The people of the UC San Diego Division of Social Sciences make news. And they lend their expertise to media outlets big and small, locally and around the world.

DLamaDialogues With the Dalai Lama
In a special 30th Mind and Life Institute event held at the Sera Monastery in India, Lera Boroditsky of Cognitive Science sat with the Dalai Lama to discuss “Language and Mind: How the Languages We Speak Shape the Ways We Think.”

Presidential Election 2016
Political scientist Thad Kousser brings his expertise on this year’s election to several media outlets: The Christian Science Monitor (linked above) on why money won’t matter; KPCC’s AirTalk on the Republican Party’s California primary; The New York Times on the party’s 50-state solution; and KPBS’s Midday Edition on Obama’s State of the Union. Additionally, Kousser advocates for “ranked-choice voting” in a Zocalo Public Square conversation.

Biometric FutureFacial Recognition: Who's Tracking You in Public?
Kelly Gates of Communication, author of “Our Biometric Future: Facial Recognition Technology and the Culture of Surveillance,” is quoted in Yahoo! News. The story originally ran in Consumer Reports.

Solving Housing Crisis Key to Growing San Diego Economy
“We talk about a ‘sunshine tax’ on housing, as if the high cost simply reflects a surcharge for our high quality of life. There actually are many reasons for our affordable housing shortage,” writes Cary Lowe of Urban Studies and Planning in an op-ed for the San Diego Union-Tribune.

DailyShowDothraki and 'The Art of Language Invention'
The Daily Show hosted Linguistics alumnus David Peterson to discuss his book “The Art of Language Invention” and how he developed Dothraki for the TV series “Game of Thrones.”

Obama Administration Plans Shake-Up in Propaganda War Against ISIS
Anthropology alumnus Michael Lumpkin is appointed the new head of a State Department program on global engagement.

EconoMeter Predictions for 2016
What economic indicator to focus on most in 2016? Interest rates, says James Hamilton of Economics in the San Diego Union-Tribune.

GiveDirectlyGiving Money With No Strings Attached
Economist Paul Niehaus, president of GiveDirectly, discusses whether large, one-time cash transfers to the poor are more effective than sums given on a regular basis in this audio interview for The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

Robots in Context
In Triton magazine, Social Sciences Dean Carol Padden says social and cognitive scientists lend a deep understanding of the brain that will ultimately allow robots to better interact with humans.

Brain MonitoringBrain Monitoring Takes a Leap Out of the Lab
A first-of-its-kind dry EEG system was developed in part by Cognitive Science alumnus Tim Mullen, CEO of Qusp. Coverage of the invention includes Crazy Engineers, Engaget and Gizmag, among others.

Steph Barry, Assistant Vice Chancellor of Alumni and Community Engagement
Political Science alumna Steph Barry is announced as a new assistant vice chancellor at UC San Diego.

Obama Repeated a Common Myth About the Presidency
Research by Samuel Kernell of Political Science is cited in The Washington Post’s Wonkblog.

SchotterSo Much to Read, So Little Time
Ph.D. alumna, postdoctoral scholar Elizabeth Schotter of Psychology and the late Keith Rayner publish work on how we read, saying speed readers ultimately don't understand the information they take in. The research sparked features in The Daily Mail, Quartz and Tech Times, among others.

Flint Water Crisis Reveals Limits of Running a State as a Business
Commenting on recent events in Michigan, Thad Kousser of Political Science is cited in The Christian Science Monitor.

Drowning in Oil
“It’s slowing world GDP growth (particularly in China) that is causing oil prices to fall, not falling oil prices that are causing GDP to fall,” says economist James Hamilton.

SitStayPlaySit. Stay. Play.
Two UC San Diego alumni – Leo Trottier, a Ph.D. candidate with a master's in Cognitive Science, and Dan Knudsen, a neuroscientist from the Gentner Lab – took a prize at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show for CleverPet, a first-of-its-kind game console for dogs.

27 Million Latinos Eligible to Vote
Marisa Abrajano of Political Science: Making voting personal for Latinos is a significant part of getting them to the polls.

EmotientApple Buys San Diego Artificial Intelligence Startup Emotient
Created and developed by several UC San Diego affiliates, including Cognitive Science and Psychology alumna Marian “Marni” Bartlett and Javier Movellan, a research scientist at the Institute for Neural Computation and head of the Machine Perception Lab, Emotient offers emotion-recognition technology. The acquisition was widely reported, including in the Los Angeles Times, MacWorld and Bloomberg.

Previous News Highlights

Adida book‘Why Muslim Integration Fails in Christian-Heritage Societies’
A Research on Religion podcast features Claire Adida of Political Science discussing her new book and contemporary discrimination towards Muslims in France. Adida and the book’s other authors were also interviewed for The Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog.

UC San Diego’s Big Ideas for 2016 — and Beyond
The new year is the perfect time to look forward to what we want to accomplish next. Here, visionaries from UC San Diego share their “big ideas” for revolutionizing our community and our planet, including three from Social Sciences. Amy Binder of Sociology says “Match every first-generation college student with a mentor,” Sandra Brown of Psychology says “Move the campus to the ‘Frontiers of Innovation’” and Alan Daly of Education Studies says “Offer intentional instruction in network literacy.”

popkinJan. 21: Socially Speaking
The 2016 presidential election with political scientist Sam Popkin.

Archaeologists Find Captive Carnivore Remains in Mexico
Epoch Times features research analysis by Margaret Schoeninger of Anthropology of puma, eagle and wolf remains found in Teotihuacan.

GamesShooter Video Games Increase Aggression
“The effect of violent video game exposure on children remains a concern. Very little research has been conducted with children, and very little research has looked at cumulative effects of exposure over time,” says Mark Appelbaum of Psychology in Triton magazine.

Can We Prevent Terrorism by Checking Immigrants’ Social Media Accounts? No.
Political Science Ph.D. candidate Zachary Steinert-Threlkeld pens this op-ed with Jesse Driscoll of the School for Global Policy and Strategy for The Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog.

Vice Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Briefed on Cross Domain Deterrence
Erik Gartzke of Political Science, with Jon Lindsay of the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, recently briefed the second highest-ranking military officer for the U.S.

TuMarr Prize Honorable Mention for Computer Vision Researcher
Prestigious international conference selects paper coauthored by Zhuowen Tu of Cognitive Science from 1,698 submissions.

Racial Identity, and Its Hostilities, Are on the Rise in American Politics
The New York Times cites research by Julian Betts of Economics showing that for every four immigrants entering public high schools, one native student switched to a private school.

The Democratic Party’s Immigration Record Is Atrocious
David FitzGerald of Sociology is quoted by Salon.com in a piece arguing that GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz accidentally made a good point.

Conference Offers Perspectives on Refugee Situation Worldwide
East County Magazine features Center for Comparative Immigration Studies event, and sociologist David FitzGerald and Sociology Ph.D. candidate Rawan Arar.

ChairWhat’s a Chair?
Lane Kenworthy of Sociology, holder of the Daniel Yankelovich Endowed Chair on Social Thought, is interviewed in Triton magazine, stating how his research has direct policy implications. Triton also featured the upward mobility project  recently launched by Kenworthy as director of the Yankelovich Center for Social Science Research.

TritonAlumni in Triton: Making a Positive Impact
Also in Triton magazine, Economics alumna Chris Haley talks about her service as the San Diego Police Department’s data analyst and Communications alumna Lisa Rodriguez recounts her path to San Diego County Superior Court judge.

Governor Brown Appoints Alumna to San Joaquin County Superior Court
Imperial Valley News features Political Science alumna Kristine Eagle.

NEBR‘The Minimum Wage and the Great Recession’
NBER working paper by economist Jeffrey Clemens – showing that minimum wage increases reduced employment among individuals ages 16 to 30 with less than a high school education by 5.6 percentage points – caught the attention of the Adam Smith Institute, the Washington Examiner, Market Watch, The Week and the National Review, the latter citing Clemens’ work with Ph.D. alumnus Michael Wither.

Why Death Doesn’t Take a Holiday This Time of Year
The Wall Street Journal cites research by David Phillips of Sociology on the increases in deaths during the holiday season, including how New Year’s Day is the deadliest day of the year. Other media also cover the phenomenon, with his work cited in The Washington Post’s Wonkblog, the Daily Star and Quartz, among others, as well as a feature for Yahoo! News on why SIDS increases on New Year’s Day.

Sweetwater District Garners Celebrity Attention
San Diego Union-Tribune story celebrates the success and local impact of computer-science education that grew out of collaboration between the San Diego Supercomputer Center and the Center for Research on Educational Equity, Assessment, and Teaching Excellence (CREATE).

Jan. 21 and Feb. 18: A Life in the Law
The Department of Political Science presents a pair of lectures by renowned litigator Bill Lerach.


Economics Roundtable: Automation in Planes and Automobiles

Featured speaker: Edwin Hutchins, professor emeritus, Department of Cognitive Science

  • Feb. 4, 2016
  • 7:30 - 9 a.m.
  • UC San Diego Faculty Club
View our quarterly newsletter, Social Sciences e-Connection.


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Fax: (858) 534-1407

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