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  News for Alumni and Friends September 2020  
 
 
 

Twenty talented new CS faculty.

 
 
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will host two of seven new national AI Institutes recently announced by the NSF and USDA-NIFA. Professor Vikram Adve will lead the AI Institute for Future Agricultural Resilience, Management, and Sustainability. Illinois CS faculty are also contributing to the AI Institute for Molecular Discovery, Synthetic Strategy, and Manufacturing, with professors Jian Peng and Saurabh Sinha leading two of that institute's four research thrusts. Each institute will receive about $20 million over five years. Read More
 
 
 

News

 
 
Engineering Hall 
 

The Grainger College of Engineering’s Illinois Quantum Information Science and Technology Center (IQUIST) and the University of Chicago will co-lead an ambitious program to support quantum education workforce development across the country. Called Q2Work, the program is supported by a three-year, $750,000 award from the National Science Foundation.

 
 
Morgan Fong 
 

Second-year doctoral student Morgan Fong has received a prestigious fellowship from the National Science Foundation, which will support her work examining spatial ability as an indicator for success in STEM fields.

 
 
Tarek Abdelzaher 
 

The rise of social media seems to have been correlated with a rise in social and political polarization. Many theories have tried to explain the phenomenon, but a recent study led by professor Tarek Abdelzaher concludes that the culprit might simply be information overload.

 
 
Siebel Center for Computer Science 
 

Doctoral students Saikat Dutta, Saurabh Jha, Umang Mathur, Cong Simon Xie, and Jiyong Yu have received PhD fellowships from industry sponsors - Facebook, Google, IBM, J.P. Morgan Chase, and Microsoft - which recognize their innovative research and provide generous financial support.

 
 
Grigore Rosu and Lui Sha 
 

In a new project funded by the C3.ai Digital Transformation Institute, professors Lui Sha and Grigore Rosu seek to develop a medical best practice guidance system for severely ill COVID-19 patients in order to help minimize preventable medical errors.

 
 
Matthew Caesar 
 

The Midwest was recently hit with intense storms that left thousands without power for days. Professor Matt Caesar’s latest research is exploring how to get vital Internet connectivity to disaster-stricken areas using drones.

 
 
Fran Allen 
 

With sadness, we note the passing of Frances "Fran" Allen, who made seminal contributions to compilers during her career at IBM Research. Allen, the first woman to win the Turing Award, was recognized by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with an honorary doctorate degree in 2004.

 
 
 

The Rowe Family Scholarship has assisted five excellent CS undergraduates.

 
 
 

New Media Coverage

 
 
 
Chicago Sun-Times

The game changer at the U. of I. is the rapid saliva testing protocol that they developed. This allows thousands of tests to be administered each day, with results within hours. However, whether the students follow the recommended guidelines or not "will make or break the University of Illinois testing and surveillance system," say Sheldon H. Jacobson and Janet A. Jokela in this op-ed.

 
 
 
Bloomberg

“It’s 100% weird to start a full-time job at my parent’s house,” said Surabhi Sonali (BS CS '20). Bloomberg followed several recent Illinois CS graduates to see what it's like to start a professional career from home during a pandemic.

 
 
 
Business Insider

Trala, co-founded by former college roomates Sam Walder and Vishnu Indukuri (CS BS '16), has raised $3.5 million in seed funding to continue work on an app that provides remote violin lessons. Their long-term vision is to democratize music education. 

 
 
 
Star Tribune

“It turns out overall, primarily because of the smaller teams, you could end up having a much safer environment with college basketball than college football. We’re seeing that right now with the WNBA and NBA. You have smaller teams. It’s easier to maintain the integrity of the bubble,” said Illinois CS professor Sheldon H. Jacobson.

 
 
 

Featured Events

 
 
After Hours Logo 
 
 
Sept. 8, 4 - 7 pm
Students: Meet the companies that want to hire you -- online!  This fall's After Hours will be a virtual event hosted on the CareerEco platform.  Register now! 
 
 
r|p logo 
 
 
Sept. 21 - 26

This year's annual technology conference, which includes speakers and representatives from across industry and academia, is going online. For updates about this student-run event, stay tuned to http://reflectionsprojections.org.

 
 
54 logo 
 
 
Oct. 9 - 11

Registration is open for 54, a weekend-long event put on by Founders - Illinois Entrepreneurs, the largest student-run entrepreneurship organization at Illinois. Students from a diverse set of backgrounds come together to work on startup ideas through ideation, prototyping, and pitching to industry representatives.

 
 
 
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