My trip to UC Irvine


UC Irvine in California is a great school (take a look at the terrific ratings).

That’s why I’m both honored and humbled to receive the Hall of Fame award for my work in software engineering and video games.  I recently visited the Donald Bren School of Computer Sciences & Information for a couple of days to meet the Dean and Assistant Dean and Department Chair, see how things have changed since I attended, meet with informatics researchers, and present to students and alumni at Game Developer’s Week.

When I graduated in 1981 (Computer Science) the campus had only a few buildings, now there are many.  The campus is still growing, yet it is quite attractive and still has a very personal feel — not to mention the beautiful beaches nearby.  Environmental practices at the college are hard to beat.

There are far more students attending today, and among the great variety of majors to choose from, there are excellent Computer Sciences & Informatics programs — including a Computer Game Science (video game developer and software engineering) degree that didn’t exist when I attended.

Informatics researchers are working on a variety of interesting projects related to health and education, as well as other diverse fields.

I very much enjoyed meeting with and giving a presentation to the UC Irvine Video Game Developer’s Club called “Staying Creative”, the main premise being that in order to have a long career in video games or other creative fields you should consider — know — your interests and stay flexible.    See the video below, or click on the link above to see it on YouTube.

I can’t conclude without mentioning Peter the Anteater, UC Irvine’s mascot.  I think he’s pretty terrific too.

What’s a mycobiome?

A couple of years ago I wrote about our microbiome — microbial communities in and on our bodies — and since then much more has been learned about it.

But what about our mycobiome?  It’s about our resident fungal community and the role it plays in health and disease.  Scientists recognizing the importance of the relatively young study of our mycobiome are calling for microbiome researchers to include our mycobiome in their studies.

So would those studies be called our microbiome mycobiome?  Try saying that real fast a few times.

In my video game Microsurgeon (Imagic 1982), I included bacteria, viruses, and white blood cells that stand in your way of curing the patient.  But if someone were to make a Microsurgeon-like game today, they should include fungal opponents.  An average fungus is 50 times larger than an average bacterium.

If you’d like to read more about mycobiome you might like a 2013 article on the subject or a 2013 talk (video) about it.