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UCI Faculty

Our faculty are innovators who believe in activating your ideas toward real world impact.

Get the best of both worlds with a UCI education.

Our faculty provides students with personalized attention and access to undergraduate research.

UCI professors can show you how.

At UCI, our professors are accomplished visionaries who believe in the power of your ideas. They can help you realize those ideas so you can make a positive change in the world. This one-on-one attention and collaboration is unique to UCI, and nowhere else can you work alongside such bright and impassioned researchers who are making distinctive marks in their field.

Here Are Some of Our Faculty’s Extraordinary Accomplishments.

  • One of the Nation’s Top Change-Makers

    In a ceremony at the White House, President Barack Obama awarded the 2014 National Humanities Medal to Vicki Ruiz, UCI Distinguished Professor of history and Chicano/Latino studies. The Medal recognizes those who have deepened the country’s understanding of humanities and broadened citizens’ engagement with history, literature, languages, philosophy and other such disciplines.

    Ruiz has spent her nearly 40-year academic career – which began with collecting oral testimony from Mexican immigrants who worked in U.S. canning factories – reclaiming the stories of Latinas who fought for civil and labor rights and, in the process, pioneering the field of Chicana/Latina history.

    The soft-spoken historian has written or edited several books, including co-editing the groundbreaking Latinas in the United States: A Historical Encyclopedia. The three-volume set – with more than 600 entries and 300 photographs – documents contributions by Latina women to the economic and cultural development of the U.S.

  • Taking Engineering and STEM Learning to the Next Level

    Gregory Washington recently was re-appointed as dean of The Henry Samueli School of Engineering. While increasing overall enrollment as well as enrollment of underrepresented minority students, Washington established an Office of Access & Inclusion to improve student retention and launched an experiential learning program for first-year students.

    He also secured a $1.8 million National Science Foundation research contract to upgrade first-year programs; opened FABWorks, a space for student makers; and has encouraged student participation in hands-on projects such as the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon and the Hyperloop design competitions. In addition, he spearheaded a $9.5 million gift that established an endowed deanship, a scholarship and a graduate fellowship fund.

    An expert in smart material systems, hybrid electric vehicles and smart electromagnetic systems, Washington is an NSF CAREER Award recipient, a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and vice chair/chair-elect of the Engineering Deans Council.

  • Transforming the School of Biological Sciences

    UCI renamed its School of Biological Sciences to the Francisco J. Ayala School of Biological Sciences in recognition of Dr. Ayala’s vast body of scientific work, international acclaim, and decades of contributions to the school and the campus.

    Ayala’s scientific research focuses on population and evolutionary genetics. He examines related areas that include the origin of species, the genetic diversity of populations, the origin of malaria, the population structure of parasitic protozoa and the molecular clock of evolution. He frequently writes and speaks about the interface between religion and science and on ethics, epistemology, education and the philosophy of biology.

    In 2011, continuing decades of support for various programs at UCI, Ayala pledged $10 million to the biological sciences school, the largest gift ever by a UCI faculty member. He also donated to the campus the entire $1.5 million award from his 2010 Templeton Prize.

  • A Pioneer who Redefined the Meaning of Memories

    Elizabeth Loftus, Distinguished Professor in UCI’s School of Social Ecology and forensic memory expert, is one of only a handful of scientists from around the world elected to the respected National Academy of Sciences. An innovator in false memory research, her work during the past three decades indicates that memory is highly susceptible to distortion and contamination, and that people can be influenced to “remember” familiar or common experiences that did not actually occur.

    Loftus has examined numerous claims of repressed memory in court that have turned out to be highly dubious or false. She also has explored the memories of eyewitnesses whose accounts are sometimes inaccurate and have led to the conviction of innocent people.

    The Review of General Psychology ranked Dr. Loftus among the top 100 psychologists of the 20th century — a list that begins with luminaries B.F. Skinner, Jean Piaget, and Sigmund Freud.

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