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News for Alumni and Friends
October 2020
William Gropp will serve as the 2022 president of the IEEE Computer Society.

Professor William “Bill” Gropp, the Thomas M. Siebel Chair in Computer Science, has been voted the 2021 President-Elect of the IEEE Computer Society. Gropp, who is the director of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), will serve as IEEE CS president starting in 2022, overseeing programs and operations at the world's preeminent organization for computer science, engineering, and technology. It was also recently announced that Gropp will co-direct the new $17 million Center for Exascale-enabled Scramjet Design (CEESD) at Illinois.

 Robin Kravets

Community Without a Classroom: 'We Will Try Everything We Can to Make a Difference'

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Illinois CS professor Robin Kravets adapted and has found unique ways to engage her students during remote learning. Now, in her first semester as Illinois CS’s Director of Graduate Programs, Kravets is exploring ways to connect with first-year PhD students as they begin their experience in the department. Learn more →

 Geoffrey Herman

Herman's Unconventional Path Unveils Award-Worthy Teaching Skillset

Professor Geoffrey Herman started his career with an experimental position inspiring innovation in teaching in The Grainger College of Engineering. This dedication built a skillset that has earned him the IEEE Education Society's Mac Van Valkenburg Early Career Teaching Award, an honor named after a former Grainger Engineering dean. Learn more →

 Jingbo Shang

Shang's Research Flourishes Under the Right Guidance, Sustains Illinois CS Success in Data Mining

Jingbo Shang (PhD CS '19) has been recognized as the Runner-Up for the 2020 ACM SIGKDD Dissertation Award for his work on constructing and mining heterogeneous information networks. Companies like Tripadvisor have utilized Shang’s open-source code to provide better search results. Learn more →

 Sayantani Basu and Roy Campbell

Basu, Campbell's Machine Learning Model Predicts COVID-19 Spread and Mitigation Strategies

Recent research from PhD student Sayantani Basu and emeritus professor Roy H. Campbell has produced a machine learning model to help predict COVID-19 spread and effects of mitigation strategies. Their paper earned a spot in the journal Chaos, Solitons & Fractals. Learn more →

 Dolores Albarracin and Hari Sundaram

NSF RAPID Grant Examines Social Networks' Ability to Slow COVID-19 Spread

Illinois faculty Dolores Albarracin (Psychology) and Hari Sundaram (Computer Science) are working on a new project that leverages social networks to promote and spread healthy behaviors in the ongoing battle to curtail the coronavirus pandemic. Learn more →

 Thomas M. Siebel Center for Computer Science

CI Fellowships Help Postdoctoral Researchers Launch Academic Careers in Uncertain Economic Times

Deepak Kumar (PhD CS '20), Grace Yen (PhD CS '20), and Kari George have earned 2020 Computing Innovation (CI) Fellowships to conduct postdoctoral research at Stanford, UCSD, and Illinois CS, respectively. Learn more →


Rosu Sharpens Company Vision with Third NASA SBIR Grant

The company that professor Grigore Rosu founded 10 years ago, Runtime Verification, has earned its third grant from NASA's Small Business Innovation Research program. It will check for inconsistencies and odd behaviors in technologies used by NASA where programs are written in the C language. Learn more →

 Sheldon H. Jacobson

Election Analytics Website Presents Merger of Computer and Social Science

For Illinois CS students also interested in politics and policy, working on professor Sheldon H. Jacobson's Election Analytics @ Illinois website presents an opportunity to work on a project that has national implications. Learn more →


UIF now accepts cryptocurrency.


Follow Illinois CS's new public page on LinkedIn!


New $1.2 Billion Foundation for AI and Data Science Selects First President
Vilas Dhar (BS CS '04, BS BioE '04) has been named the inaugural president of the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation, which promotes the ethical use of artificial intelligence and data science for social good.  The Chronicle of Philanthropy


Old McDonald Had a Robot: Can AI Make Farming More Productive and Sustainable?
While it may seem that wealthy nations in the West have plenty to eat, global agriculture faces a big challenge. “We have to be able to feed a population that’s expected to grow by an extra 2 - 2.5 billion people by 2050,” says Vikram Adve, director of the newly created Artificial Intelligence for Future Agricultural Resilience, Management, and Sustainability (AIFARMS) Institute at the Univeristy of Illinois. Science Node →


COVID-19 May Upset the 'Keys to the White House' Prediction
In this op-ed, professor Sheldon H. Jacobson discusses Allan Lichtman's "Keys to the White House" forecasting model, which correctly predicted the 2016 presidential election and is currently predicting a Joe Biden win in 2020. "What this exercise demonstrates is that in spite of large leads in the polls, this election is closer than many wish to acknowledge," concludes Jacobson. The Hill →

 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 →

 Ann Yeung

Women in Computer Science Fall Alumni Banquet
Nov. 12, 5:30-7:00 pm, Online
Join the Women in Computer Science's Fall Alumni Banquet to network and to hear from keynote speaker Ann Yeung (BS Math&CS '99), Chief Technology Officer of Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company, Director of Women Who Code Chicago, and Crain's 40 Under 40 for 2018. RSVP by Nov. 11 →


Deadline is November 5!

The deadline to apply for NCWIT Aspirations is Nov. 5.


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