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News for Alumni and Friends
June 2021
Mohammed El-Kebir, Michael A. Forbes, Sanmi Koyejo, and Bo Li have recently received NSF CAREER Awards.

Mohammed El-Kebir, Michael A. Forbes, Sanmi Koyejo, and Bo Li (l-r) have each been selected to receive Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) Awards from the National Science Foundation this year. These awards, which are given in support of early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education, will support research about cancer genomics, computer science theory, probabilistic machine learning models for neuroscience, and robust machine learning.  

 Illinois CS professor Sarita Adve

CS CARES Committee Sends a Clear Signal that Illinois CS Takes its Values Seriously

Eleven CS faculty and students became the first CARES committee in an academic department, now providing an empathetic resource for any member of the department who encounters behavior that deviates from the CS Values and Code of Conduct.  Learn more →

 Grigore Rosu

Runtime Verification Raises $5.3 Million to Advance Blockchain Security

Runtime Verification, a startup founded in 2010 by Illinois CS professor Grigore Rosu, has raised $5.3 million in a funding round led by IOSG Ventures. The company uses runtime verification-based techniques to conduct security audits on virtual machines and smart contracts. Learn more →

 Illinois CS professor Sanmi Koyejo headshot

Sanmi Koyejo Honored with 2021 Skip Ellis Early Career Award

The Skip Ellis Early Career Award, presented by the CRA-WP, honors the late Illinois CS alumnus Clarence “Skip” Ellis (CS PhD '69), who was the first African-American to earn a PhD in computer science and the first African-American to be elected a Fellow of the ACM. Learn more →

 Illinois CS PhD student Manling Li

Manling Li Produces Award-Winning Event Schema Research with Adviser and Mentor Heng Ji

Now in her third year of the Illinois CS PhD program, Manling Li produced an event graph schema model that predicts future events through several applications alongside her mentor and PhD adviser, Heng Ji. Learn more →

 Illinois CS professor Saurabh Sinha

New Microscope Discovery Combines AI to Detect Disease Earlier, Improve Treatment

A newly developed laser source and microscope are helping researchers better understand and search for biomarkers indicative of cancer and other diseases, offering new promise for early detection and treatment plans. Learn more →

 Illinois CS professor Klara Nahrstedt

Nahrstedt and Team Create Sensing and Edge-Based Cyber-Infrastructure to Maintain Ultra-Clean Labs

When new technology and products using sensitive materials are being designed and developed, it is essential that the environment is clean. One product that requires such an environment is semiconductor devices, used in a wide range of electronics. Learn more →

 Illinois CS student Aniket Shirke and professor Matt Caesar

CS, CSL Alum Shares Advice From Unique Student Experience

Like several other CSL students, Aniket Shirke recently graduated with a master's degree in computer science. Unlike the other students, Shirke’s experience at Illinois involved building computer vision systems for farms and learning how to properly hold a piglet. Learn more →

 Illinois CS professor Arindam Banerjee

Illinois CS Professors Earn C3.ai Digital Transformation Institute Grants in AI for Energy and Climate Security

Arindam Banerjee and Jian Peng became part of C3.ai DTI’s $4.4 million effort to fund 21 projects advancing breakthrough AI research for the energy sector. C3.ai DTI issued this call for proposals in February and received 52 submissions. Learn more →

 CE student YiFei Zhu

A Passion for Operating Systems: An Illinois Undergraduate's Contributions to Linux

Recent computer engineering graduate YiFei Zhu (BS CE '21) has parlayed his knowledge and skills into impactful contributions to Linux with the help of Illinois CS professors Tianyin Xu and Josep Torrellas. Learn more →

iCAN Application for Fall 2021 are open.

Tiffani L. Williams, Illinois CS Director of Onramp Programs and Teaching Professor, explains who should consider the Illinois Computing Accelerator for Non-specialists (iCAN). If you know of a college graduate who is considering a career transition into computing, please share this video! Need-based scholarships are available for Illinois residents. Applications for iCAN's Fall 2021 cohort are due July 23.


Media Coverage


Tableau's New CEO Mark Nelson on Life Inside Salesforce, and the Company's Future in Seattle
Mark Nelson (MS CS '85) was named Tableau Software CEO in March, leading the Seattle-based company as part of Salesforce. He fills a vacancy created by the departure of his predecessor, Adam Selipsky, to become the new Amazon Web Services CEO. Geekwire →


Why Entrepreneur Sudha K Varadarajan Feels Tech is the Ideal Field for a Woman
Sudha K Varadarajan’s career spans several decades. The co-founder and CTO of Skava, which pioneered mobile commerce technologies for the world’s largest retailers, recently founded asynchronous audio social media platform Swell. In the late 90s, she did an MS in Computer Science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. HerStory →


Telecommunications Industry Leader Writes Novels About Abuses of Science and Technology
Thomas J J Starr, a telecommunications engineer living in Chicago's northwest suburbs, has published his third novel, "Retrograde." The story for his first novel, "Virtual Vengeance," occurred to Starr while he was thinking about breakthrough computer research performed at the University of Illinois where he earned his master's degree in Computer Science. Daily Herald


Researchers Open-Source Benchmarks Measuring Quality of AI-generated Code
As computers become ubiquitous, the demand for quality code draws an ever-growing number of aspiring programmers to the profession. After years of study to become proficient at coding, experts learn to convert abstracts into concrete, executable programs. But what if AI could do the same? VentureBeat →


Q&A: Facebook's New Chief in Seattle on 23 Years at Microsoft and the Future of Engineering Centers
Rajeev Rajan first came to the Seattle area as a Microsoft intern in 1994, and ended up staying with the company for 23 years. Four years into a new career at Facebook, Rajan is working to bring other engineers to the region to continue to grow the social media giant’s sizable hub of more than 7,000 employees. GeekWire →


Guest Commentary | Illinoisans Deserve Better When it Comes to Redistricting
Illinois CS professor Sheldon Jacobson provides analysis and commentary about the new district maps created by the Illinois Redistricting Committee and signed into law earlier this month. "Gerrymandering is not a Democrat or Republican problem, it is an ethical problem," writes Jacobson. The News-Gazette


Featured Events

Illinois logo. 

Illinois Computer Science Speaker Series
Check the calendar for upcoming speakers!
The Illinois Computer Science Speaker Series brings prominent leaders and experts to campus to share their ideas and promote conversations about important challenges and topics in the discipline. Join us online: talks are virtual this year!  View the Calendar →

Thomas M. Siebel Center for Computer Science 

Illinois Computer Science Teaching Workshop
Aug. 10-11, 2021, Online
Did the pandemic transform your teaching? Faculty and students are invited to discuss best practices and new ideas for teaching college-level computer science at this inaugural workshop. To register and submit a presentation, visit the workshop's website

This year's Reflections | Projection Conference is scheduled for September 20-25. 

Reflections | Projections: Tech for Good
Sept. 20-25, 2021, Hybrid
This year's annual tech conference, including speakers and representatives from across industry and academia, is planned to be in-person with opportunities to attend events virtually. Learn more about this student-run event by completing the interest form or visiting the website.


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