A digest of Illinois Computer Science faculty, alumni, and students who are featured in the media.
Daily Illini -- A low grade may be more likely in a challenging course, but Teaching Assistant Professor Wade Fagen-Ulmschneider hopes that doesn't discourage students from taking them. “Recruiters and graduate school admissions (officials) who have looked at a lot of transcripts should know the difficult courses.”
Mobility Lab -- A new study by the University of Illinois and Georgia Tech attaches solid numbers to what seems like common sense. “The results indicate that when more people opt to use public transit ... obesity rate tends to drop,” said Sheldon H. Jacobson, a co-author and professor at Illinois. Also covered by the New York Post.
Nature -- Thousands of academics are looking to the technology industry for research funding and collaboration. “The industry funding does help a lot in the early days,” says Ranjitha Kumar, a computer scientist at the University of Illinois.
Daily Illini -- The College of Education and the Department of Computer Science created the Illinois Secondary Teacher Education and Computer Science Initiative to endorse current high school computer science teachers and certify future teachers. “It’s increasingly clear that people that have computing skills have an advantage in the job market,” said CS Associate Professor Craig Zilles.
Coin Telegraph -- “Bitcoin is the equivalent of Marconi's historic wireless transmission: Bitcoin demonstrated that secure distributed trust is possible. But it came at the cost of poor performance. We are redesigning the full stack of cryptocurrencies in our quest (for) global scalability.” -- ECE Professor Pramod Viswanath, who has an appointment in CS.
IBL News -- Coursera has launched a new vertical called Data Science Academy to help professionals find data science-related courses. Beyond short programs, Coursera hosts two Master’s degrees: the Master in Computer Science in Data Science from the University of Illinois or the Master of Applied Data Science from the University of Michigan.
The News-Gazette -- "I am able to spend the majority of my time working with (primarily undergraduate) students as a result of joining a very new and non-traditional track of the faculty. ... This frees me up to work with students on large, impactful projects, focus on teaching new and innovative courses, and sharing the work we do at Illinois with the broader community."
Deseret News -- New artificial intelligence technology can identify genetic disorders using just a photo of a patient's face, potentially bringing peace of mind to parents of children with rare disorders. "It’s using existing AI technologies on a problem they haven’t been used for before," said David Forsyth, professor of computer science at University of Illinois.
The Daily Illini -- “It’s probably no big secret that there are a lot of opportunities for jobs in (computer science), and some of those jobs could be pretty well paid. A student may not be intuitively interested in (CS), but they may think ‘this is my straight line to a good job..." -- Steve Herzog, Illinois CS Coordinator of Undergraduate Programs.
Crain's Chicago Business -- Rijn Bian, who graduated from UIUC with a computer science degree last month, notes the Chinese government's recent decision to stop funding graduate student scholarships and says, "I believe the number of Chinese students (in the U.S.) will decrease as a result."
The Western Producer -- The weed machine started life as a plant-breeding tool to help researchers in their high throughput phenotyping projects in corn and soybeans. The robot was initially designed to prowl up and down the rows in trial plots of experimental corn and soybean varieties, said University of Illinois researcher Girish Chowdhary.
WDWS Radio -- "The real issue is not so much the current projects. It's the impact this is going to have on those (federal) agencies to review projects, to make awards, to keep things going." -- National Center for Supercomputing Applications Director and Illinois CS Professor Bill Gropp.
AdWeek -- Silicon Valley has always had sky-high ambitions—and the flameouts to match. Below, we examine the fate of three of the original dot-com boom’s most prominent companies: Netscape (the creation, in part, of Marc Andreessen), Pixelon and theglobe.com (subscription required).
BBC -- The BBC's weekly The Boss series profiles a different business leader from around the world. This week, it's Therese Tucker, CEO and founder of BlackLine and an Illinois CS graduate (BS Math & CS '84).
HACKADAY -- "We were excited to see Jeff Erickson is publishing his algorithms book distilled from teaching at the University of Illinois. ... There are worse places to learn about algorithms than UIUC; they have a long history in both real and fictional computing."
UploadVR -- "I think AR has tons of potential applications, both at work and at home. … I think VR is going to be like 1000 times bigger. In the valley right now this is a very contrarian view."
ChicagoInno -- A startup born at the University of Illinois has built technology that identifies problems in a company’s software, and it’s helping some of the biggest players in aerospace, automotive and blockchain with their code. Professor Grigore Rosu's Runtime Verification has developed tools to improve the safety and reliability of software systems.
EdScoop -- The University of Illinois has launched a five-year initiative to address the workforce gap in high school computer science educators. The Illinois Secondary Teacher Education and Computer Science initiative, which includes Associated Department Head Lenny Pitt and Associate Professor Craig Zilles, begins development this year.
NewscityStage -- No. 6: Michael and Mona Heath see more theater than you—330 shows in 2018 alone. If their name sounds familiar, it’s because you’ve seen it in the back of a program ... or, in their highest-profile project to date, the Den Theatre’s Heath Main Stage. Yes, they are those Heaths.
PLATO Gave Us The First Digital Public Forum -- And The First Time A President Threatened To Censor Online SpeechJanuary 2, 2019
Slate -- During Watergate, Illinois graduate students Valarie Lamont and Stuart Umpleby explored ways that PLATO might be used as a digital public commons for civic discussion. It didn’t take long for both the National Science Foundation and the Pentagon to track down and call Don Bitzer, the founder of PLATO, to tell him that its funding had been threatened by the White House.