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With Illinois” Campaign

The “With Illinois” campaign is a campus-wide fundraising effort, with each college on campus setting fundraising goals and priorities.  The entire campus has a $2.25 billion goal; Uni’s ambitious goal is $10 million by the campaign’s end in 2022.

To date, Uni has received more than $8,000,000 in donations and commitments from our alumni, parents, and friends.  Every gift gets us closer to accomplishing our goal, every gift makes an impact! 

Our fundraising priorities aim to address crucial student support, such as fee waivers, and increasing our offerings of hands-on experiences with access to active learning environments and cutting-edge technology.  We are committed to provide funding to retain and recruit leading educators, and make access to professional development opportunities.   With your help, we will upgrade infrastructure through renovation and replacement inside a 100-year-old building. 

In our rapidly changing world, we must look to our alumni and friends to not only hold our position as one of the elite public schools in the U.S., but to accomplish more than ever!

Thank you for making a difference. 

 
 
 
 
 
 

Finals week is almost over and our students, faculty, and staff are looking forward to spending time with their loved ones over the holidays.  We are all looking forward to a sparkling New Year in 2019.  But until then, please make note of some important dates and deadlines.

 

  • The University of Illinois Foundation (UIF) will be closed the following dates:
    • Friday, December 21, at 2:00PM, until December 27
    • December 29-30  
    • January 1, 2019
  • The last day to receive securities electronically in the UIF account for 2018 is December 31, by noon.
  • The last day to process credit card gifts in 2018 is December 31, by midnight.
  • Gifts postmarked by December 31 or before, will be counted as a 2018 calendar gift.

 

Please feel free to contact Marianne Downey, Director of Advancement, at 217-417-4305 if you need any assistance.               

 
 
 
 
 

Uni High Students Work at NCSA Through SPIN Internships

Fourteen Uni High students with internships at NCSA (National Center for Supercomputing Applications) presented their work on various computing-related projects on Monday, December 10.

Internship opportunities were offered to Uni students through a program called SPIN (Students Pushing Innovation). The program emerged through a collaboration between Uni High and NCSA. In their internships, students worked with mentors, graduate students and NCSA faculty, on various projects that utilized computers or computer software. Students also had access to the NCSA’s impressive technology. Edward Kong, a sophomore, was impressed by NCSA’s computers, which he said were “much more powerful than anything I’d ever seen before”.

SPIN came about only after a generous $100,000 donation from David Frankel, a Uni High alumnus from the class of 1976. Marianne Downey, Director of Advancement at Uni, provided some background information on the donation.

“David Frankel, when he was a student here at Uni High, was very involved with the Plato Project, a computer programming project that involved undergraduate students and faculty on campus... he really values that as something special that Uni High offers, an opportunity to interface with all of these amazing resources on the campus, and so he wanted to ensure that it continues to happen and grow, and he knows it takes resources to do that”.

While Frankel’s generous gift provided the funding for SPIN, lots of work was needed to make the program a reality. “Faculty members took the whole summer to plan out who to see, how to engage the students, how to find out what the interests were, and how to develop the curriculum if we did do it” said Downey. After all the organizational work, students applied for internships during September. Fourteen were accepted, and worked on their projects for the next nine weeks. Students typically worked on their projects three times a week. On December 10, the interns presented their work in short “lightning talks” at the NCSA building.

A few NCSA Interns shared their experiences on the project. Edward Kong worked on deep learning, which is “training computers to identify things and images”. Kong’s project wasn’t exactly what he predicted it to be. “It's not as easy as it first seems. A lot of the things I had to do were things I thought were already automated” Kong said. Kong said the internship interested him in computer engineering.

Noah Rebei, another intern, worked with virtual reality: “I’m working with a team of undergraduates, as well as Emi Brown, a junior. We’re basically doing a virtually reality application, which is visualizing molecules in 3D space. It’s molecular structure, electron density, and various other things”. While Noah knew how to program, the internship required him to learn other skills: “I know how to program, but I was introduced to things like Avogadro and Vesta, which are mostly chemistry oriented. Getting used to those and understanding them takes a while, but once you know how to use them it’s pretty nice” he said.

While technology was a large component, Noah’s said his favorite part of the internship was working with a team of undergraduates: “There’s also a team of undergraduates who know a lot about the topic they’re working on, and you can ask them anything and they’ll know the answer. They’re always ready to help. Getting to know them and working on their team was pretty nice” he said.

Robert Nagel worked a professor to reproduce proofs of the four-color-theorem, which says every map can be colored using four colors. He used computers to reproduce the proofs: “Since the proofs were made using the assistance of a computer and a computer program, but they were made a long time ago, the project was basically to get those programs running successfully on modern machines, and check that they still work correctly” he said.

Nagel’s project was not easy, and he received surprising results after getting the code to run: “Eventually we did get the code to run on multiple different machines, and we ran it on five I believe. Three of them crashed, and two ran successfully. But the two that ran successfully produced different output, which is not that great when you’re trying to reproduce something. That’s something we’re trying to work on”.

Click here to view the SPIN Presentation Video

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The artwork to the left was created by Uni High Senior, Adam Rebei. 

“My piece was created using a deep learning algorithm, a computer stylus, and Photoshop. The deep learning algorithm takes a content and a style image and outputs a new image that blends the two together so that the content image is modified in the style of the style image. Finding this style image takes a lot of trial and error because not all of them produce successful or visually appealing images. Once this was done, I used my computer stylus and Photoshop to put the finishing touches and make the final work of art”.

– Adam Rebei ‘19

 
 
 
 
 

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