A digest of Illinois Computer Science faculty, alumni, and students who are featured in the media.
The News-Gazette -- Members of the Tuscola High School Hack Club attended SAIL— a one-day event to spotlight Computer Science at the University of Illinois (scroll down near the end of the News-Gazette's High School Confidential feature).
The Washington Post -- Escalators in Washington, D.C., Metro stations often break. But that may be a good thing, according to research from Illinois CS Professor Sheldon Jacobson. “When people use public transit, they typically must walk (or) cycle to the stop/station, and on the back end, do the same," Jacobson said via email. “Also, during the transit ride, they may stand (more calories burned)."
The Daily Illini -- After the events of Sept. 11, 2001, the federal government increased airport security and changed the system for screening passengers. In 2011, airports introduced Transportation Security Administration precheck, a process developed with the help of work done by Sheldon Jacobson, a Computer Science professor.
Chicago Sun-Times -- "Gerrymandering has been around since the early days of the Republic, but powerful computers and big data have made the practice much more effective. … Scientists at the University of Illinois proposed a way to take politics out of redistricting by letting a carefully designed algorithm draw the maps," referencing research by Professor Sheldon Jacobson.
KUTV -- Illinois CS Professor Sheldon Jacobson says a security breach at the airport in Salt Lake City a “fairly isolated incident with a bad outcome,” and said one to two airport security breaches happen each month nationwide.
UMKC University News -- Women of color account for roughly 18 percent of the U.S. population, but less than 10 percent of bachelor’s degrees earned in computing, and less than 6 percent of tech leadership positions in Silicon Valley. But change is coming, and one woman leading the charge is software engineer and Illinois CS graduate Kamilah Taylor (MS '10).
Forbes -- Marc Andreessen, the Illinois CS alum whose Netscape browser was a touchstone moment of the digital age, has new take: “The 21st century is the century of disagreeableness,” an era of information overload in which those “disagreeables” will challenge the status quo and create billion-dollar companies.
Israel21c -- Tel Aviv University and Yissum, the tech-transfer company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, are partners with the University of Illinois, University of Chicago and Northwestern University in the new $500 million Discovery Partners Institute, supported by the State of Illinois and the city of Chicago.
Crain's Chicago Business -- Caterpillar Digital moved into new Chicago offices in September. Like other big companies, Cat is responding to the disruption created by Apple, Amazon and others, and competing with them for tech talent -- something students aren't always aware of. "It doesn't seem like (Caterpillar) would have as much need," said Anushka Bose, a freshman computer science major at the University of Illinois.
The News-Gazette -- Projects to help communities adopt sustainable development strategies and create a statewide pipeline to train computer-science teachers are among those funded in the Discovery Partners Institute's first round of seed grants. The teacher-training program is led in part by Illinois CS Associate Professor Craig Zilles.
The News-Gazette -- With two dozen state-of-the-art classrooms, more than almost any campus building, the four-story building will be used for courses in engineering, math, statistics, computer science, and related courses, all high-demand programs that are in need of more space.
Illinois Innovators podcast -- Gul Agha, professor of computer science and Director of the Open Systems Laboratory at the University of Illinois, joins the program. His widely cited work, "Actors: A Model of Concurrent Computing in Distributed Systems," provided a basis for a number of research projects in concurrent programming. Actor frameworks have been used to program Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook Chat, and more.
The Columbus Dispatch -- Gregg Nigl almost didn’t fill out his March Madness bracket. But now, through 48 games of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, his remains perfect, the last of its kind. The odds of Nigl correctly predicting the final 15 games, though, are about 1 in 32,786, said Sheldon H. Jacobson, a professor of computer science at the University of Illinois.
High Post Hoops -- University of Illinois computer science Professor Sheldon Jacobson has created a women’s tournament bracket simulator. So, want to know what’s likely to happen in the tournament? We ran 100 simulations to get a general sense. Here are the top questions that we can answer, thanks to the simulator.
The News-Gazette -- The paper's regular Wired In feature focuses on PhD student Rizky Wellyanto. He is the CEO and co-founder of Virtision.com, which allows college students to virtually tour apartments they're considering. The article also mentions Assistant Professor Ranjitha Kumar, and his co-founder, CS alum Brandon Chen (BS CS ’18).
Crain's Chicago Business -- Argonne National Laboratory will spend more than $500 million to build the world's fastest supercomputer. The new machine, Aurora, will be the first to operate at exascale. Supercomputers are innovation engines and talent magnets, says Bill Kramer, an Illinois CS professor and senior associate director of the Blue Waters Project at NCSA. NCSA Director Bill Gropp added that "We are confident that Illinois will continue to be a leader in applying advanced computing."
USA Today/The Associated Press -- University of Illinois computer science Professor Sheldon Jacobson has always loved data. He's long had a men's NCAA Tournament bracket simulator. After getting many requests, Jacobson decided to put together the first for the women's tournament. Also published by The New York Times, the Washington Post, ESPN.com, and many others. Video also available at AP Sports' Twitter account.
Chicago Tribune -- Alum and software engineer Jeff Axelrod (Math & CS '94) is running for a position on the Village Board in the Chicago suburb of Wilmette.
Cryptonews -- Celer Network, a startup whose founders include Mo Dong (PhD CS ’17), raised $4 million in less than 18 minutes in a token sale. The company raised $7.46 million in a seed round in April 2018 and another $23.25 million during a private token sale in July 2018.
KoreaBusiness -- Q&A with James Kang (Math & CS, '86), the CTO of the new operator of the Republic of Korea's lottery. "Dong Hang Lottery's newly introduced service in the lottery business utilizes block-chain technology for internet sales and electronic lottery system. Also, this technology has greatly increased the reliability of our system."