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Tips for Informatics Grad Students

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Living in the OC

Overview map of Irvine & Surround

  • Google Map - This should be public. please feel free to edit!

Where to live? On & Off Campus Options

  • On Campus:
    • Cheaper: Verano Place, Palo Verde,
    • More Expensive: Vista del Campo & Vista del Campo Norte, Puerta del Sol
  • Off Campus:
    • Right near campus - very expensive (i.e. more than VDC).
    • Close-ish to campus (but basically requiring a car unless you are really serious about biking), cheaper than VDC & PDS - Costa Mesa, Newport, South Coast Plaza
    • Farther from campus, reasonable prices, cooler neighborhood, definitely need a car - Long Beach
  • For far more details, please see: Informatics Grad Housing Info

Where can I get coffee?

  • On Campus
    • Java City - Located in the middle of DBH, CALIT2, and Engineering 3 (er, you didn't miss it, did you?).
    • CyberA Cafe (Arts Cafe) - Like Java City, but over on the arts campus. More food options (like freshly prepared sandwiches instead of the ones in the plastic triangles)
    • Coffee Kiosk - Located on the outer ring road on the East end of campus. Pastries are available too. This is outdoors, but it has seating and big planter benches.
    • Starbucks - Southwest corner of the student center. It has indoor seating.
    • Espresso Cafe (a/k/a Ms. Kelly's) - West side of Reines Hall (in physical sciences near the transition engineering) on the outer ring. Look right as you walk. The cafe is outside of Reins Hall. Also has decent sandwiches for breakfast and lunch.
    • Phoenix Grille - the Einstein's bagels has decent coffee in a rush
    • LUCI lab - how to for the espresso machine:
    • CC Lab - sometimes has coffee if you are nice to its members
  • Off Campus - Closer
    • Peet's (in university center, uci wifi available)
    • Starbucks (by albertsons. lots of outlets & free wifi)
  • Off Campus, but still in Irvine
    • Paradise Perks (Fun place to hang out and study, Thursday is board game night) (2 hour wifi with purchase)
    • Tapioca Express
    • 85C Bakery
    • Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
    • Peet's Coffee in the University Town Center
  • Off Campus - Farther
    • Gypsy Den (santa ana + costa mesa)
    • Portfolio (long beach)
    • Milk and Honey (costa mesa)
    • Kean (costa mesa + tustin)
    • Viento y agua (long beach)
    • The Library (long beach)

Where is good to eat?

  • Native Foods - Vegetarian (Costa Mesa + Tustin + Santa Ana??)
  • Avanti Cafe - Vegetarian (Costa Mesa)
  • Starling Diner has awesome brunch (Long Beach)
  • Memphis Cafe (Costa Mesa + Santa Ana)
  • Frostbites (Cypress) - Italian ice meets frozen yogurt. it sounds weird but it's good. I like to stop here after eating at Albertaco's across the parking lot
  • Thai Gulf (Huntington Beach) - Lunch special for $6 includes soup, salad, entree, dessert and unlimited thai iced tea
  • Original Thai BBQ (Cerritos)
  • Koi (Seal Beach) - sushi
  • La Parolaccia Osteria Italiana (Long Beach) - authentic Italian
  • Cucina Alessa (Newport Beach) - authentic Italian
  • Taqueria La Mexicana (Long Beach)
  • Philippe (Los Angeles) - where the French dip sandwich was invented
  • Langer's (Los Angeles) - worth every minute of the drive. their pastrami is second only to Katz's in NYC
  • Seafood Cove #2 (Westminster) - not to be confused with Seafood Paradise No. 2 across the street. my favorite Chinese restaurant
  • Sam Woo express (Irvine) - 5.50 ish for 3 item takeout

Where can I eat late at night?

Walking distance from campus:

  • In N' Out (University Town Center) - Open til 1:30AM
  • Jack in the Box (University Town Center) - 24 hours
  • Koba Tofu Grill (Albertsons plaza) - Open til 2AM (outside "To Go" area closes at 9)
  • Del Taco (Albertsons plaza) - 24 hours
  • Berkeley Dog (University Town Center) - Open til 12AM

Driving distance from campus:

  • Albatross - 24 hours
  • Karl's Jr - 24 hours (I think this is the case)
  • IHOP - 24 hours (but only on weekends? Don't remember)

Where can I get a haircut?

Great Clips:
- discount with student ID

The Haircutters (across the bridge in UTC, next to Cha for Tea)
- $17 with student ID
- David Nguyen recommended Kevin by name

What about Food options on campus?

  • Campus places to find food
  • University Center - Veggie Grill, Britta's
  • Vending Machine in the LUCI Lab has ramen and snacks (usually)
  • Check the ics email for occasional leftover seminar food :P
  • ...

What if I am stuck without a car?

  • Not to worry, there's a good deal of activities on-campus. Click for more.
  • UCI has Zipcar (though you need to have been driving 5 years in the U.S.) [1] Get a membership for free as a UCI student.

Parking on campus

  • NOTE: DO NOT park at University Town Center and walk across the bridge to go to school. There are parking enforcement staffs there just to wait for people to park and walk across the bridge. Each parking ticket is ~$65.
  • You can get incentives for not buying a campus parking permit, in the form of ... free parking permits (5 free passes/month).
    • CSA hangtags do not need to be dated between 5:00 pm and 7:00 am, Monday - Friday. This also applies all day Saturday and Sunday. Simply place your valid hangtag on your dashboard and park in any unmarked or non 24-hour enforced AR stalls. If you have any questions, please call 949-824-PARK.
  • If you plan on buying the parking passes, you may do so at the parking office. The reserve permits cost more but will allow you to park in the physical sciences parking lot (12B). Otherwise, the closest parking spaces to DBH is the engineering parking structure on Anteater and E. Peltason.
  • If you live in one of the graduate student housing communities on campus (Verano Place, Palo Verde, Vista Del Campo, Vista Del Campo Norte, Camino Del Sol, or Puerta Del Sol), you'll need to register your car with the respective housing office. There's also a limited number of visitor parking passes. Visitor parking passes resets at the beginning of each quarter.

How will I meet people?

  • Reading groups - these vary by quarter and are usually announced in the first week or two. Ask a professor whose work you're interested in if they know about any reading groups coming up. Sometimes these are offered for units, sometimes not.
  • Coffee Hour - these happen bi-weekly on Wednesdays throughout the quarter at the Graduate Student Lounge.
  • Friday happy hour - these happen every Friday at 4-5pm after the seminar talks.
  • The Fishbowl!
  • Visit places where students sit.
    • Bonnie's and Gloria's students sit in DBH 5089 and 5099.
    • Alfred's students sit in DBH 5091.
    • Don's, Paul's, Melissa's, Yunan's, and Gillian's students sit in the LUCI lab (BH 5059 & 5069).
      • There is a couch and tea in here and it is totally appropriate to hang out.
    • Susan's students sit in DBH 5051.
    • Dick's students sit in DBH 5029
    • Judy and Gary's students sit in the Hana Haven - DBH 5211
    • David's students sit in the CC lab - DBH 5231
    • Jim's students sit in DBH 5243
  • Informatics social hour after IN4MATX 209S has snacks and people.
  • Get on a mailing list, see below.
  • OC CHI - ask Chris Jensen about this, or to set up a web page for this.
  • Work in office whenever you can and keep a smile on your face :)

school stuff

What classes should I take?

  • Background and technical details
    • Nearly every course at UCI carries 4 units; units don't correspond precisely to the number of scheduled class hours.
    • Classes numbered 1-199 are undergrad classes, 200-299 are grad classes, 300-399 are professional/practical classes.
    • A full-time course load for grad students is 12 units (typically three classes) per quarter. MS students may petition for a part-time load.
  • Course requirements
    • Check the UCI Catalogue for degree requirements.
    • MS students in their first quarter typically take ICS 200 or Informatics 201 (see below), at least one of the core courses (Informatics 211, 231, 241, 261), and one other course.
    • PhD students in their first quarter should take Informatics 201 and should consult with their advisor about other courses.
    • Students who are TAing for the first time should enroll in ICS 398A, the ICS TA Seminar; first-time readers should also enroll in ICS 398A. Every quarter you're a TA, you should enroll in ICS 399; this "class" doesn't meet, but it needs to be on your course list every quarter you're a TA.
    • For specific questions or advice, PhD students should check first with their advisor and all students may consult with Kris Bolcer ( or Gina Anzivino ( in the ICS Student Affairs Office or with David Kay ( in 5056 Bren Hall.
  • Finding specific courses
    • Search for classes with WebSoc and enroll in them with WebReg.
    • Check WebSoc for courses listed under both ICS and IN4MATX. In particular, classes for ACE (the Arts Computation Engineering program) are listed under ICS.
    • ICS 200 is the ICS schoolwide first-year seminar. Informatics 201 is the first-year reserch course for Informatics students (this is required for all PhD students; MS students can choose between ICS 200 and Informatics 201, pending approval).
    • Informatics 209S is the Informatics-specific speaker series.
    • Seeking interdisciplinary courses on technology? They are offered all over campus and there is no great way to track them (yet?). Check ACE, Women's Studies, Visual Studies, Anthropology, and Sociology (School of Anthropology and Sociology offered several Social Network Analysis courses).

How do I find out about events on campus?

Are there interesting mailing lists I should be on?

Informatics Mailing Lists - Definitely Join

  • Blahblah - Informatics grad students only (no faculty). Anything goes from chatting, to research help, to furniture sales, to event announcements, whatever.
  • IGSA Talk - Informatics Grad Student Association list -- meeting announcements, IGSA related discussions, etc.
  • Your lab's Mailing List:

Other lists to consider on Campus

  • Hackers @ UCI - Help for technical problems that plague us all.
  • HumaniTech - The center at UCI exploring technology in support of the humanities.
  • FriendsofWS - Friends of Women's Studies
  • UCDarnet - UC-wide Digital Arts Research Network
  • ACE Chat - Arts, Computation & Engineering

Other topical lists, off-campus

  • STS Grad - Started by the 4S student group, wide ranging list, covering conference & journal CFPs, job opportunities, etc.
  • CHI Announcements - Mostly CFPs for workshops, conferences & journals in CHI & related areas

Browse other mailing lists

How do I print?

General printing is available at:

  • The ICS 2 Third Floor printing labs
  • The Langston Library

Lab printers are meant solely for lab members as those printers are funded by those faculty members.

Setting up a lab printer:

  • gather printer information
    • ip address of printer
    • printer name
    • printer make & model
  • On a Mac
    • Printer Setup > Add Printer.
    • Choose IPP printing & enter the printer's ip address.
    • check appropriate boxes to enable duplex printing, extra tray, etc.
  • On Windows
    • Windows Vista (added by Nadine Amsel, October 2009):
      • Go to Control Panel and choose Printers
      • Use the Add a Printer Wizard
      • Choose Add a network, wireless or Bluetooth printer
      • Choose The printer that I want isn't listed
      • Select Add a printer using a TCP/IP address or hostname
      • Device Type: TCP/IP Device
      • Hostname or IP address: ip address
      • Port name: printer name
      • Keep checked "query the printer and automatically select the driver to use"
      • Option should come up to choose HP LaserJet 4250 PCL 5
      • To make duplex printing default setting: in Printers choose HP LaserJet 4250 PCL 5 > Advanced > Printing Defaults > Finishing > Check Print on Both Sides > Press ok
    • Windows XP
      • Use the Add Printer Wizard and add a "Local printer attached to this computer." Press Next
      • Select "Create new port." Select "Standard TCP/IP Port." Press Next.
      • "Printer Name" is (not the printer name!)
      • Port is the name you want to give this particular connection (a good idea is to use the printer name here)
      • After pressing next, select Custom device type and press the Settings button.
      • A dialog window pops up. Select the LPR protocol.
      • Enter the printer name for the "queue name"
      • Select "LPR Byte Counting Enabled"
      • OK and Next your way through the rest of the wizard.
      • To make duplex printing default setting: in Printers and Faxes, choose the printer you just created > Right Click > Properties > Device Settings > make sure "Duplex Unit (for 2-Sided Printing)" says "Installed" > Press ok
  • On Linux/Ubuntu,
    • System - Administration - Printing - New Printer
    • Choose LPD/LPR Host or Printer
    • Enter as Hostname
    • Enter printer name - Forward
    • Select Make and Model (HP Laserjet 4250)
    • and you should be good to print!
  • CUPS (Common UNIX Printing System)
    • Open http://localhost:631/ in your web browser
    • Click on Add Printer
    • Enter Location, description and name (human-readable)
    • Select LPD/LPR printer
    • Enter lpd://<printer name>
    • Select Make and Model (HP Laserjet 4250 in this case)
    • and you are ready to go!

(Thanks to Karthik for help with Linux printing)

How do I make copies?

  • For self-paying printing (including posters), check out the copy center at the Engineering building.
  • If you are printing for a class and is a TA/reader, get a copy code from the Professor.

How do I setup my homepage on the ICS web server?

ICS Support has a pretty good page on this stuff.

  • FAQ:
  • how to set up your personal page (the
  • Windows users: WinSCP might help you a lot:
    • start WinSCP
    • New
    • host name:
    • all the other parameters by default (port: 22, SFTP)
    • click save, then login
    • enter ICS login, then password
    • right screen: the public_html directory is the same as the (web) directory, index.html is the file people see when arriving on your (web) directory

Ooo! I can get business cards?

  • This page has a form that has the info required to fill out to create the business cards
  • Check with your advisor to get a recharge number (they will know what this is).
  • Suzie Barrows must be informed by the advisor that the student wants to get business cards and she must be provided with this recharge number
  • In many cases you should be able to send all the info in the form above to Suzie and she will take care of the rest.
  • Some days after this you should receive an email from Robert Farmer with a business card proof.
  • Some weeks after your advisor should receive the cards
  • Don't you look official!

Where can I find conference proceedings?

  • Conference proceedings:
    • There are lots of paper copies of proceedings to CHI and CSCW in the LUCI lab. These are people's personal copies, housed centrally for the common good, so please don't walk off with them.
    • If you're logged into the UCI network, either on wireless or wired, you should have access to ACM Digital Library and many other scholarly journals. If you're not on campus, you can use the VPN services to gain access -- go to to get software to set up on a laptop, or use for instant VPN from any web browser.

Conferences to consider

Conference Travel & Funding

  • Ask around on blahblah for roommates and to coordinate travel, airport rides, etc.
  • Travel can be booked through "Connexxus"...
    • If you are already a Connexxus user, you may use this link for your future travel needs: [3]
    • To request access to become a Connexxus user, please send an email to:
    • To learn more about the Connexxus UC Travel Portal, please visit: [4]
    • If you have any questions or need further information, please contact Anna Rager at 949-824-3032 or any of our travel experts: [5]
  • ... or you can book travel on your own and get reimbursed. Sabina and Suzie are your local contacts for more information on how this process works.
  • Your primary source of funding will be your advisor, however, there is minimal support available at the department level, if your advisor is not especially rich in any particular quarter ;) Form for applying for a travel grant is here: [6]

Scholarships and Fellowships

CMU's helpful computer science fellowships page

Even though I'm enrolled in this program I still don't know what 'Informatics' really means. What does it mean at UCI?

  • Welcoming a multiplicity of definitions.....


Questions for foreign students

  • If you are a foreign student and could not find your answers here, you may find it on this page.
  • Also there is the International Center [7] and a Student FAQ [8]

Questions we're still working on:

Back to the Informatics home wiki page