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CITRIS

A student works on a blue Apple laptop in the foreground. A conference table with two seated students is behind her. Blue flatscreen TVs line the walls behind the table.

UC Merced is honored to be home to one of four branches of the prestigious Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS), designed to create information technology solutions for many of the world’s most pressing social, environmental and healthcare problems.

CITRIS was created “to shorten the pipeline” between world-class laboratory research and the creation of start-ups, larger companies and whole industries. CITRIS facilitates partnerships and collaborations among more than 300 faculty members and thousands of students from numerous departments at UC Berkeley, Davis, Merced and Santa Cruz, with industrial researchers from more than 60 corporations.

By leveraging one of the top university systems in the world with highly successful corporate partners and government resources, CITRIS works to find solutions for many of the concerns facing society today. Those include monitoring the environment, finding viable, sustainable energy alternatives, simplifying healthcare delivery and developing secure systems for electronic medical records and remote diagnosis, all of which will ultimately boost economic productivity.

At UC Merced, that means sponsoring the Mobile App Challenge, in which student teams design applications that help real people solve real problems; projects like a smart tiny-home power system; helping program robots to express emotions; precision agriculture; and the digital preservation of a historic California ghost town; as well as working to improve health outcomes and access to cost-effective care through the development and integration of innovative technology in telehealth, sensors, analytics and mobile devices.