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News for Alumni and Friends
April 2021
ILLIXR: Illinois Extended Reality Testbed

To achieve the full promise of extended reality (XR) systems, Illinois researchers have launched an open-source testbed and, alongside key industry partners, a new consortium for the broad XR community to come together to accelerate progress in XR systems research, development, and benchmarking.  

“Our end-to-end system can be used by computer architects, system designers, and compiler writers so they can understand how changing one thing in their area affects the user experience,” said Professor Sarita Adve, whose group, including lead researcher Muhammad Huzaifa, has released the Illinois Extended Reality (ILLIXR) testbed. Read the full story 

 Illinois CS professor Girish Chowdhary

Four CS Faculty Honored with College and Campus Awards for Excellence in Research and Instruction

CS faculty Girish Chowdhary, John Hart, Derek Hoiem, and Edgar Solomonik are receiving college- and campus-level awards this spring for their research and instructional accomplishments. Learn more →

 Illinois CS professor Mohammed El-Kebir

El-Kebir's NSF CAREER Award Recognizes His Potential to Further Develop Understanding of Cancerous Tumors

The $500,000 award funds this Illinois CS professor’s next five years of research into single-cell sequencing to “reconstruct a tumor’s evolutionary history at single cell resolution.”
Learn more →

 Illinois CS professor Lingming Zhang

Three 2021 ACM SIGSOFT Award Winners with Ties to Illinois CS

Winners are honored for their contributions to research efforts in the field as well as service to the group and include professor Lingming Zhang, Early Career Research Award; Professor Tao Xie, Distinguished Service Award; and PhD graduate August Shi, Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award. Learn more →

 Illinois CS alumna Drina Yue

Retired Telecom and Payment Industry Exec Drina Yue Wins College Alumni Award

CS and ECE alumna Drina Yue received a 2021 Grainger College of Engineering Alumni Award for Distinguished Service. Yue was cited for outstanding leadership and contributions in the fields of telecommunications and finance. Learn more →

 Illinois CS professor Kris Hauser

$10M ANA Avatar XPRIZE Names Hauser's Project a Semifinalist for Worldwide Robotics Competition

Illinois CS professor Kris Hauser and a nine-person student research group positioned its Tele-Robotic Intelligent Nursing Assistant (TRINA) to deliver nursing, in-home care, tourism and maintenance applications. Learn more →

 Illinois CS alumna Mary McDowell

Meet Mary McDowell

Mary McDowell (BS CS '86) currently serves as President & CEO of Mitel. In this Q&A, she covers subjects important to women in engineering - everything from the lessons she's learned to the advice she gives others starting in engineering. Learn more →


Dronamraju Directs Gift to the Professor and Mentor Who Helped Bridge His Most Meaningful Transition.


Media Coverage


Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia - Finance & VC
In 2017 Ankush Aggarwal (BS CS '16) cofounded Avail Finance, a Bangalore-based fintech that offers loans to blue collar workers who are typically ignored by mainstream banking institutions. During the COVID-19 lockdown, Avail offered interest-free loans to more than 100,000 gig workers who had lost their source of income, helping them tide over the financial stress. Forbes


Jump ARCHES Spring Grants Focus on COVID-19 Solutions
Seven research projects are sharing slightly more than $400,000 in funding through the Jump ARCHES research and development program to address challenges and expand on lessons learned about COVID-19 vaccinations and testing. Illinois CS professor, Jimeng Sun, earned Jump ARCHES support through his project, "Every shot counts: Development of a novel predictive model and toolkit to predict and decrease vaccine-preventable rural COVID-19 deaths."  Yahoo! Finance →


Nation's First Quantum Accelerator, Duality, Launches
Duality, the first accelerator program in the nation that is exclusively dedicated to startup companies focused on quantum science and technology, launched today. The program is led by the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and the Chicago Quantum Exchange. The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) is a founding partner, along with Argonne National Laboratory and P33. Washington Post →


One US Airline is Keeping Middle Seats Open. Here's What Science Says About It.
Delta Air Lines is the only major U.S. airline that continues to block airplane middle seats in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 on its flights. The airline has committed to continue to do so through the end of April. Is this good public health practice or bad business practice? Illinois CS professor Sheldon Jacobson's research provides the answer. USA Today


What’s an Ideal Fix for Illinois Gerrymandering? An Algorithmic Approach
As the Illinois General Assembly begins the process of redistricting, Illinois CS professor Sheldon H. Jacobson argues that computational tools can help serve the best interests of voters by revealing the packing and cracking techniques of gerrymandering. Chicago Tribune →


iCAN Application for Fall 2021 are open.


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 →

Illinois Online Commencement Celebration 

Illinois Online Commencement Celebration
May 15, Noon, Online
The celebration will feature inspiring music, congratulatory messages from the Chancellor, Provost and Deans, and the conferral of degrees by the President of the University of Illinois System. Learn More

CS Virtual Graduation Celebration 

CS Virtual Graduation Celebration!
May 15, 12:30 pm, Online
Congratulations to all CS graduates on the completion of their Illinois degrees! To celebrate, please join us for a Virtual Graduation Celebration. This online event will include the premiere of our celebratory video on YouTube and opportunities to share the moment together and connect via online chat. Save the Date!


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