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News for Alumni and Friends
November 2021
Two Illinois CS professor, Tiffani Williams on the left and Wade Fagen-Ulmschneider on the right, appear on an orange and blue graphic.

Tiffani Williams, Wade Fagen-Ulmschneider to Address Inclusivity and Education Innovation in New Roles

Illinois CS Teaching Professor and Director of Onramp Programs, Tiffani Williams, recently took on a role with The Grainger College of Engineering as a Dean’s Fellow in Inclusion, Belonging and Engagement - where she will improve upon the inclusivity of computing and engineering education. Meanwhile, Wade Fagen-Ulmschneider, a Teaching Associate Professor at Illinois CS, begins as a Faculty Fellow with the Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning (CITL) - focusing on educational accessibility.
  Illinois CS professor emeritus Sanjay Kale

After 19 Years, Kale Still Enjoys Student and Collaborator Engagement with Charm++ Workshop

Following the 19th annual Charm++ Workshop in October, Illinois CS research professor & Paul and Cynthia Saylor Professor Emeritus Laxmikant (Sanjay) V. Kale points to student passion, collaborator engagement as factors of workshop’s success. Learn more →

  Aspire group of students standing and kneeling in a post during a pitch in front of a whiteboard.

Collaborative Student Group Aspires to Remove Barriers to STEM Education

Illinois CS undergraduate major Ayesha Kazi paired with Bioengineering undergraduate Mona Jawad and a team of peers on a game called ASL Aspire, which helps young students with hearing impairments better understand STEM vocabulary. Learn more →

  Illinois CS professor Indranil Gupta

'Immigrant Computer Scientist' Podcast Shares Human Stories of Immigrants Who Have Shaped the Computing Landscape

Thirteen episodes in, Illinois CS professor Indranil Gupta finds pride in presenting a podcast designed to enlighten others of the surprising, uplifting, and extraordinary experiences of his colleagues and peers. Learn more →

  Illinois CS professor Deepak Vasisht

Vasisht's Alma Mater Honors Him as a Graduate of the Last Decade

Receiving the GOLD Award from the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi caused a mixture of emotions for Illinois CS professor Deepak Vasisht. He couldn’t help but feel a bit surprised, but the most prominent feeling ended up being validation of his work in wireless networks and the Internet of Things (IoT). Learn more →

  Illinois CS professor Mohammed El-Kebir

AI in Cancer Research: Tumor Phylogenetics

Artificial intelligence is employed in cancer genomics, where DNA sequencing data must be identified and further analyzed. “Off-the-shelf” computing tools are useful for many cancer researchers, but Mohammed El-Kebir, Illinois CS professor and Cancer Center at Illinois (CCIL) scientist, takes these applications a step further. Learn more →

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Media Coverage


Tech Disputes at Rittenhouse Trial Not New Issue for Courts
The sparring experts in the Rittenhouse case used different software and methods in those programs to enlarge images supporting their testimony. Each method has drawbacks but any means of enlarging an image requires adding pixels, said David Forsyth, a professor of computer science at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. But there is “no way” that any means of enlarging a photograph will “create structures, objects, people, handguns,” said Forsyth, who isn’t involved in the case. The Associated Press


Facebook's Algorithm Is Broken. We Collected Some Suggestions On How To Fix It.
While Facebook does offer quite a lot of user control options, studies have shown most users are unaware of how they work, and there’s not an intuitive way for users to signal dissatisfaction with content, said Karrie Karahalios, a computer science professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign who has studied user experience with Facebook. FiveThirtyEight →


The Future of Money with Max Levchin and Eswar Prasad
Christina Passariello of The Washington Post speaks with Affirm CEO Max Levchin (BS CS '97) and Cornell University professor and author Eswar Prasad about the evolution of the financial industry and implications for payments security. The Washington Post


In Conversation With Max Levchin
Affirm co-founder and CEO, Max Levchin (BS CS '97) talked to Bloomberg’s Sonali Basak about the future of payments, buy now pay later, and the crypto economy. Bloomberg →


Big Hires, Big Money and a D.C. Blitz: A Bold Plan to Dominate Crypto
From its inception in 2009, Andreessen Horowitz has trumpeted a different approach to venture capital ... It was a philosophy rooted in personal experience. At 22, as a recent graduate in computer science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Mr. Andreessen helped create Netscape, the first popular web browser, in 1994.
The New York Times →


Why Remap Illinois When the Redrawn Map is Even Worse?
The Illinois remapping committee posted a blatantly gerrymandered Illinois congressional map on Oct. 15. Our research group scored the map across multiple fairness metrics and found all but one clearly indicating gerrymandering, writes Illinois CS professor Sheldon H. Jacobson. Daily Herald →


Loom and the Rise of Asynchronous Video
One startup has reached unicorn status …  making asynchronous video the norm: Loom, a platform used to quickly record videos for work. According to Protocol, the company was founded in 2015 by Joe Thomas, Vinay Hiremath (former Illinois CS student), and Shahed Khan and has since: onboarded 14m+ users; raised $160 million at a $1.53 billion valuation; hosted 100+ million “looms." The Hustle


Missed Opportunity: What You Lost by Not Investing in Bitcoin or Real Estate [5-Year Analysis]
As many of the people reading about home prices and Bitcoin can attest, regret can truly sting. "Really, cryptocurrencies don't have to become fully mainstream to be very impactful and important. It's enough for them to fulfill some important use cases for people who really need it!" said Andrew Miller, Illinois CS affiliate faculty member. Point2


UI Student Gets Full-Time Offer from Apple Years in Advance
Jinda Han, graduate student in The Grainger College of Engineering, was a professional opera singer in his youth. Eventually, he found a passion for computer science. Now, Han is working for Apple. The Daily Illini


UI Professor Builds New Computer Science Project, Seeks Students to Aid in Development
Geoffrey Challen, Teaching Associate Professor with Illinois CS, created a course website as a resource for students learning how to code. Now, he leads a new project where students are creating a communal website in which they can add and learn from valuable information. The Daily Illini →


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 →

Female student at graduation ceremony  

Grainger College of Engineering Convocation
December 18, 2021 at 10 am
We are planning for an in-person ceremony in December. Kindly note that the COVID-19 situation remains fluid and plans may change in the interest of public health.
More information

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