A digest of Illinois Computer Science faculty, alumni, and students who are featured in the media.
Fox Business -- C3.ai CEO Tom Siebel is offering employees some of the best education benefits of any company. C3.ai will pay for employees to earn an online master’s degree in computer science from his alma mater, the University of Illinois. Also covered by The Daily Illini.
The News-Gazette -- A commission asked to lay the groundwork for a post-Chief Illiniwek future at the University of Illinois has wrapped up its work. "As we saw with the spring referendum on Alma Otter, the issue of a new mascot is an ongoing one," said Vikram Sardana, a former student senator who just graduated with a computer science degree.
Forbes -- Tom Siebel is announcing that his company, C3.ai, will cover the cost for employees to earn a master’s degree in computer science from his alma mater, the University of Illinois. Those who complete the degree get three more big perks—a $25,000 cash bonus, a guaranteed 15 percent raise and a stock grant. Siebel, 66, got his own master’s in computer science from the highly ranked program at the U of I.
The News-Gazette -- The state budget includes $500 million for the Discovery Partners Institute in Chicago, and the Urbana campus would get $100 million of that. That includes $20 million for an expansion of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications and the Thomas M. Siebel Center for Computer Science; and $15 million for expansion of the Research Park.
WGN Radio -- Symmetric Games CEO Dan Nikolaides (BS CS ’05) talks with WGN radio’s Wintrust Business Lunch about the video gaming industry. "You see a lot more participation by young women. The advent of games on mobile phones, it's ... democratizing."
Yahoo News/NewsBytes -- Professor Sarita Adve makes a list of well-known and accomplished female graduates of the Indian Institutes of Technology. A graduate of IIT-Bombay, Adve, the Richard T. Cheng Professor of Computer Science, is No. 2 on the list.
Science -- Researchers say they have found a new way to give AI a defensive edge against adversarial attacks based on patterns hidden in images. Bo Li, a computer scientist at the University of Illinois who was not involved in the work, says distinguishing apparent features from hidden features is a “useful and good research direction” but also still needs more work.
ChicagoInno -- Champaign-based startup Reconstruct raised a $7.7 million Series A round led by Cultivation Capital. Reconstruct was co-founded by Illinois CS Associate Professor Derek Hoiem. Also covered by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Nature -- Bo Li, a computer scientist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and her co-authors wrote an algorithm that transcribes a full audio clip and, separately, just one portion of it. If the transcription of that single piece doesn’t closely match the corresponding part of the full transcription, the program throws a red flag — the sample might have been compromised.
Smile Politely -- The Espresso Royale coffee shop on campus that closed in May was reportedly the site of a small-but-important piece of computer science history. Illinois CS alum Marc Andreessen has said it's the spot where he had the idea that he could create what would eventually become the Mosaic browser.
Forbes -- Coursera, the seven-year-old online education provider, is worth more than $1 billion, according to CEO Jeff Maggioncalda. Coursera's offerings include 14 online masters degrees in computer science and other disciplines from schools like the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
ChicagoInno -- "Runtime Verification, founded in 2011 and based in Urbana, is building technology that identifies problems in a company’s software. Since launching, Runtime has grown only on revenue made from its business contracts. It now employs a team of 30."
Digit -- Today marks the 26th Anniversary of the 1.0 version of the Mosaic browser. The easiest way to explain Mosaic would be to say that it’s the great grandpappy of the browser you are using to read this story. Launched back in 1993, Mosaic was developed at the University of Illinois.
Geekwire -- Facebook has invested $4.2 million to expand a Northeastern University computer science master’s program that helps people from other fields get into tech to the University of Illinois, Georgia Tech, and Columbia.
C4ISRNET -- After several years in which he turned down similar requests from the Chinese government, Pentagon representatives contacted Tom Siebel in 2015. Like their Chinese counterparts, US officials wanted help with artificial intelligence. Within six months, Siebel's C3 had demonstrated a reduction of as much as 28 percent of unscheduled maintenance events for the E-3 Sentry AWACS aircraft.
Chicago Tribune -- The University of Illinois’ acclaimed College of Engineering has received a record $100 million gift and will be renamed the Grainger College of Engineering. Also covered by The Associated Press, Inside Higher Education,
The News-Gazette/Campus Conversation podcast -- Lecturer Ryan Cunningham appears in an interesting conversation that touched on ethics in CS, how the department’s ethics courses regularly evolve to reflect current events, the impacts of social media, protecting privacy rights, and more. "If we're going to find out what privacy means in the digital age, the thing that we need to do is have a conversation about it."