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  News for Alumni and Friends March 2019  

Can An App Teach Violin?

What makes a great hackathon? About 950 students from 43 universities, 100 mentors, snacks, swag, soccer, and open-source rock star Bruce Perens. They all converged at HackIllinois 2019, creating a weekend -- and dozens of projects -- to remember. Read more.




Lenny Pitt joined Illinois Computer Science in 1985 and had a prominent hand in the revolutionary CS + X degree program, the growth of teaching faculty, and the culture of one of the country's leading CS departments.


Research, a widening network of talented alumni, and key roles in major conferences give Professor David Forsyth and Associate Professors Svetlana Lazebnik and Derek Hoiem an influential place in the field of computer vision.


The Illinois CS Teaching Assistant Professor's 2010 paper, chosen best in the group's 50-year history, identified student misconceptions about introductory CS topics and provided instructors with ideas for helping students.


Using system history to judge whether events are normal, Wajih Ul Hassan finds a way to reduce the number of threat alerts that demand attention by 84%. “By looking into this history we can see if this activity is common or suspicious."


Clowder, designed to manage large collections of data now essential to science, is a key part of the 4CeeD framework developed by Illinois CS Professor Klara Nahrstedt. Clowder was developed at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications.



New Media Coverage


AI-based precision medicine combines medicine, biology, statistics, and computing. The most promising research includes collaboration like that of a team that included Illinois CS student Subho S. Banerjee and his advisor, Professor Ravishankar Iyer, and developed an algorithm to predict presciptions for depression patients.

Built In

AI is poised to have a major effect on environmental issues. Sensors could help make cities more liveable. Such sensors on cars could predict potential traffic problems and optimize the flow of cars. “Years down the road, it will play a really big role,” Professor Klara Nahrstedt said.

MIT Technology Review

Researchers at the Allen Institute, led by Illinois CS alumnus Ali Farhadi (PhD '11), believe Pictionary could push machine intelligence beyond its current limits and have developed a version of the game that pairs a human player with an AI.

The News-Gazette

“One of the seven is Nancy Amato, announced last fall as the new head of the highly ranked Department of Computer Science. The award-winning researcher is widely recognized for her work in motion planning in robotics, used in such applications as autonomous driving and manufacturing.”

Daily Illini

A low grade may be more likely in a challenging course, but Teaching Assistant Professor Wade Fagen-Ulmschneider hopes that doesn't discourage students from taking them. “Recruiters and graduate school admissions (officials) who have looked at a lot of transcripts should know the difficult courses.”


Featured Events

March 18, ATA Conference Center, Washington, D.C.

Join Illinois CS Professor Sheldon Jacobson for a discussion on the analytics of NCAA basketball bracketology, winning brackets, and how this modeling is also used to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges.

April 6

Join Chancellor Robert J. Jones at the Computer History Museum for a reception and panel discussion. Panelists include ServiceNow Chief Product Officer Chirantan "CJ" Desai, Varcareum CEO Sanjay Srivastava, and Amazon Lab126 President Greg Zehr.

*Date Change* - April 17

Please join us to welcome new Department Head Nancy Amato and hear about her vision and plans for Illinois CS.  Enjoy refreshments and connect with fellow CS alumni for an evening of networking in Chicago.

May 10-12

The University of Illinois will celebrate the class of 2019 with a full weekend of events for students and their families. Make your plans now. And save the date: the Illinois CS reception is at 11:30 a.m. on May 11.

Bay Area Welcome Receptions for Nancy Amato
June 5 and 6

Bay Area alumni, meet new Department Head Nancy Amato and hear about her vision and plans for Illinois Computer Science. Receptions are planned at Google on June 5 and at Affirm on June 6.

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