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  News for Alumni and Friends June 2020  

Richard T. Cheng Professor Sarita Adve

Starting in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences “honors excellence and convenes leaders from every field of human endeavor to examine new ideas.” Sarita Adve, the Richard T. Cheng Professor in Computer Science, is honored to be among the members of the Academy's 2020 class. Read More


Adam Bates and Carl Gunter 

What does the lifecycle of smart home technology look like? Profs. Adam Bates and Carl Gunter are part of a 10-person interdisciplinary research team seeking answers to that question. Their new project is being funded by a $10 million grant from NSF to provide a more secure, private experience for consumers.

Jian Peng and Mohammed El-Kebir 

Profs. Mohammed El-Kebir and Jian Peng have led the "first comprehensive analysis at a large scale that attempts to identify genomic signatures of SARS-CoV-2 strains that occur within and across individual hosts." They have found evidence of the coexistence of distinct strains within infected COVID-19 patients.

C3.ai DTI logo 

The C3.ai Digital Transformation Institute has awarded $5.4 million to accelerate AI research in order to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic. In total, 26 projects will receive funding, including those led by Profs. Nancy Amato, Sanmi Koyejo, and Lui Sha.

Thomas M. Siebel Center for Computer Science 

There are big, systemic issues that we cannot address alone, but there are also things we can do individually. Learn about the resources being shared by The Grainger College of Engineering and the creation of an Anti-Racism Task Force led by Prof. Tandy Warnow.

Illinois CS wordmark 

ACM Special Interest Groups have honored Illinois CS alumni Silu Huang and Mengjia Yan with honorable mentions and incoming assistant professor Deepak Vasisht with an award in recognition of their recent doctoral dissertations. 

Dimitrios Skarlatos 

A team of Illinois CS researchers has earned a prestigious distinction and now seeks a commercial outlet for work that reduces virtual memory address translation overhead by an average of 40 percent compared to conventional radix page tables.

ICPC World Finals Team 

For the 11th time in the past 12 years, an Illinois team has qualified for the International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) World Finals. Must Pass team members Yen-Hsiang Chang, Zihan Wang, and Zhuolin Yang will travel to Moscow in June 2021 to participate in the rescheduled event.

New certificate for non-CS bachelor's degree holders!

The Illinois Computing Accelerator for Non-specialists (iCAN) is a new one-year program for non-computer science college graduates who are interested in a high-tech computing career or pursuing a graduate degree in computer science. Specifically designed coursework in computing fundamentals is coupled with individualized attention from world-class faculty, plus academic and career mentoring.


New Media Coverage

MIT Technology Review

For the past 20 years, this list of innovators highlights some of the “possible directions that technology will take in the coming decade.” Illinois CS professor Bo Li made the list this year through research efforts to make AI safer “by devising new ways to fool” it.

The Hill

In this Op-Ed, Illinois CS professor Sheldon H. Jacobson and acting regional dean of the College of Medicine Janet A. Jokela discuss the need to define, mitigate, and manage the risks caused by COVID-19 as universities make plans to open for the fall.

CBS This Morning

Vice President Mike Pence urged state leaders to attribute the spike in new cases to the “magnitude of the increase in testing.” Illinois CS professor Wade Fagen-Ulmschneider, who has been tracking coronavirus data with his 91-DIVOC visualization project, indicates the “number of positive cases we’re seeing in those regions is actually increasing at a rate far exceeding the number of tests increasing.”

The New York Times

To reduce COVID-19 risks, Illinois CS professor Sheldon H. Jacobson "suggested an automated, biometric identification system for PreCheck-vetted passengers. To reduce interactions between agents and travelers, he also suggested that the T.S.A. direct certain passengers into PreCheck lines, adding new lines, if necessary, to enforce social distancing."

Communications of the ACM Blog

Illinois CS professor and director of Onramp Programs Tiffani Williams argues that universities should stop using the term “underrepresented minority” (URM).


In the eighth annual Disruptor 50 list, CNBC identifies private companies whose breakthroughs are influencing business and market competition at an accelerated pace. Two companies headed by Illinois CS alumni are included on the list: Affirm (Max Levchin) and C3.ai (Thomas M. Siebel).


Featured Events

Illinois CS wordmark 
Virtual After Hours
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.  Save the date! 
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.

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