2022 Celebration of Excellence

2022 Honoring our Students, Faculty, Staff, Alumni, and Donors

Illinois Computer Science students, alumni, and faculty have long been recognized for their leadership contributions to computing and information technology in the classroom, in the research lab, and in industry. We are honored to celebrate these accomplishments, as well as the work of the staff and the generosity of our donors. We are deeply grateful for these contributions and immensely proud of these collective achievements. We are excited to be gathering for an in-person celebration on Tuesday, April 26, 2022. Please join us in recognizing all these stellar accomplishments.


Nancy M. Amato
Head, Department of Computer Science
Abel Bliss Professor of Engineering


Undergraduate Students

Each year, the Department of Computer Science recognizes several outstanding undergraduate students for their academic achievements and leadership contributions in the classroom, research lab, and the community. Many of these scholarships and awards are made possible by generous donations from alumni, friends, and corporate partners, and make a significant difference in supporting students during their academic and career pursuits.

Joaquin is a freshman in the CS program. Currently, she is interested in pursuing research in programming applications in the veterinary medical field. After she finishes her Bachelor's degree, she plans to write programs and design software as part of a medical research team.

Aaron is a third year undergraduate student studying Computer Science. On campus, he has helped teach software design, mentored first year engineers, and helped lead Design for America. He has previously interned for CSG and Arity in the past, and is excited to be working for Flexport in summer 2022.

Drshika is a sophomore in Computer Science and a member of the Hoeft T&M Program. She is a course assistant for CS225 and has been the corporate chair for ACM@UIUC this past year. She will be interning with Microsoft Research this summer.

Felipe Assumpcao is a rising sophomore studying Computer Science. He is a member of Latinos in Computer Science, as well as a research assistant at the Computer Vision and Robotics Laboratory. Felipe will be interning at Node Chronicles in Summer 2021, where he will be working with Blockchain Technology.

Tim is a senior studying mathematics and computer science. He is a member of the Laboratory for Parallel Numerical Algorithms, where he is investigating parallel/distributed graph algorithms with Professor Solomonik. After graduation, Tim will join Aviatrix as a software engineer.

Nishant is a junior at Illinois pursuing a dual degree in Computer Science and Statistics. He is a course assistant for MATH 257, involved in research with the C3SR-URAI program, and will be interning at Meta Summer 2022.

Emmanuel is in his first year of our BS degree program.  At Illinois, he has been a course assistant for CS 124. He will be the Technical Team Chair of the National Society of Black Engineers, and an intern for Motorola Solutions.

Vasu is a junior in Computer Science. At Illinois, she is involved in Hack4Impact as the Tech Director and in the Society of Women Engineers as a co-chair within Community Service. Currently, she is working in motion planning research under Prof. Amato.

Tony is a sophomore double majoring in Computer Science and Statistics. He is a past recipient of the department's "Yunni and Maxine Pao Memorial Scholarship", and he has contributed to an open-source "Operation Code", and will be a software engineer intern at Meta/Facebook this summer 2022.

Ananya is a 2021 Computer Science graduate and current software engineer at Microsoft. She is passionate about mental health advocacy, especially in STEM, and helped create the UIUC Faculty Mental Health Ambassador Program. She has previously been awarded the Fiddler Innovation Prize for her mental health crisis app, Anemone, and has served as a mental health advocate for Mental Health America, Google, and the Federal Government. She also gave a TEDxUIUC talk about her own journey as a college student with mental health.

Libby is a James Scholar first year student in Computer Science at the University of Illinois Urbana- Champaign. She is the Roundtable President of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), where she focuses on bringing together Latinx students in STEM. As a member of the Cancer Scholars cohort, she is learning how to apply computer science to cancer research.

Harsh Deep is a senior in Stat & CS who has dedicated their time here towards helping people. He helped teaching in some form for every semester and summer at UIUC with early sequence classes like CS 125, CS 199: IKP, CS: 199 EMP, CS 225, and CS 277. In addition to office hours, he helped improve their curriculum, written material, held multiple teaching sessions, led and trained newer CAs in 125, provided ideas around course infrastructure and spent long amounts of time finding various bug and security fixes. He also started and ran almost all international office hours during COVID-19.

Xiuhao is a rising senior. At Illinois, he has been a researcher in Forward Data Lab and was a player in Illinois Esports Rainbow Six Siege team.

Rose is in the MS portion of the CS BS/MS joint degree program. She is currently a TA for CS357 and has been an intern at Microsoft.

Yassine is a Freshman in the CS Bachelor's program. He has worked on projects to help his community, with his most prized project being a classroom management app for his local Sunday school teachers in Seattle.

Jaelyn is currently a sophomore in Computer Science. She is involved with WYSE to perform outreach work in STEM for K-12th graders. She is also a member of Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) and enjoys cycling with the Illini Cycling Club.

Foziea is a former US Youth Ambassador to Brazil, CEO and co-founder of T2 Talent, and an undergraduate studying Computer Science at UIUC. In summer 2021, she built an AI algorithm predicting gestational diabetes, and has also built several apps and websites. She is passionate about using technology to improve society, having given a TEDx talk on bias in AI algorithms, serving as founder and President of Effective Altruism at UIUC, and currently interning as a researcher at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications doing work on the implementation of a STEM education program in underrepresented communities state and nationwide.

Jareth is a junior in Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is one of the lead course assistants for CS 233: Computer Architecture. His interests are in cybersecurity and distributed networking.

Zhuofan is a junior pursuing a dual degree in Computer Science and Mathematics and is a James Scholar. At UIUC, she has been a course associate for CS 125 and is a research scholar at Discovery Partners Institute. She is interested in exploring the field of AI and ML.

Pengyue is currently at his 6th semester of his Computer Science + Philosophy Program. He is ready to meet and get to know new friends. He has been a course assitant for CS125, CS241, and is one for CS126. He also won a third place for the mineopoly competition.

Chris is a senior in the BS/MCS joint degree program. He is currently a course assistant for CS 128, and in Summer 2021, he interned at Optiver in Chicago.

Charles is a freshman majoring in Computer Science. He is a recipient of the Channing Brown Scholarship and the Legacy Scholarship. He has done a wide variety of volunteer work, from mentoring children in S.T.E.M related topics, helping the elderly with modern technology, to community work.

Zhengyao is a 4th-year undergraduate student majoring Math & CS. He is excited about how mathematical formalisms can help us improve software quality. His work in formal methods has been published at top conferences such as ASPLOS and CAV.

Rory is a first-year Computer Science student, who is excited to continue to explore and learn the many intricacies of the subject. She has been involved in WCS, ACM, and is currently on the executive board for UIUC's Effective Altruism chapter.

Cristian Ortiz is a second-year James Scholar undergraduate student in CS. He is currently a member organization such as the Chicago Engineer Foundation, iCause, the Ecuadorian Student Association. With his interest in cybersecurity, he hopes to help improve the security industries in developing Latin American countries and continue to empower the undocumented and Hispanic communities in STEM.

Nathan is a James Scholar at Grainger studying Computer Science. His interests are medicine and full-stack development. He developed the new CS 128 course with Dr. Nowak and serves as a senior staff member for the course.

Gauri is a first-year undergraduate student studying Computer Science. She was part of a research team developing a new encryption algorithm for data at rest. This semester, she is working with the LLVM research group on parallelizing the C++ program.

Hao is a freshman pursuing a BS degree program in Computer Science and Linguistics. At Illinois, he is a undergraduate researcher in the Caesar Group and an analyst for 0to1 Consulting. His interests include natural language processing and extended reality.

Allison is a senior majoring in Computer Science. She is Vice President of the Rube Goldberg Society and an active member of Uniting Pride. She is currently working as a data analytics intern at Caterpillar.

Arin is an undergraduate senior in Computer Science. She is interested in pursuing cybersecurity, and has competed in the Department of Energy's CyberForce competition and the Atlantic Council's Cyber 9/12 competition. She has also interned for Argonne National Lab's cybersecurity and energy systems divisions. In addition to her CS work, Arin has been working with the Contextual Engineering Research Group since freshman year, studying the use of sociological information to improve engineering projects, and recently completed her first publication with the group.

Haley is a first year undergraduate student. Previously, she co-founded and managed a Python Club during her senior year of high school. She is active in the service community through APO. She hopes to become a part of Hack4Impact in Fall 2022.

Adarsh is a third year undergraduate in Mathematics and Computer Science. At Illinois, he is a Lead Course Assistant for CS 128. Currently, he is a SWE Intern at Google Cloud and will be a SWE Intern at IMC Trading this Summer.

Ishani is a freshman in Computer Science as well as a James Scholar. She is a project manager for CS196. She was also a project manager and developer for Women in Computer Science and the Graphic Design Chair for the Society of Women Engineers.

Diego is a rising sophomore from Puerto Rico studying Computer Science. He is a James Scholar, a member of ACM's SIGpwny, and  serves as a Course Assistant for CS124.

During his undergraduate studies, Jason has twice served as a course assistant. For CS 126, Jason established a mentorship program for new code moderators to ensure consistent, high-quality grading and feedback. For CS 374, he spearheaded an effort to incorporate autograded PrairieLearn assignments into the course in order to provide students with quicker feedback and better scaffolding. Currently, Jason is completing senior thesis about CS Education (advised by Professor Craig Zilles). After graduating this May, Jason will begin working at Duolingo, where he hopes to continue contributing to the field of CS Education.

Ananya is a senior studying Computer Science and Brain and Cognitive Science. She’s involved with Girls Who Code and is a course assistant for CS 374. She is also a Clare Boothe Luce research scholar. In her free time, she likes to make small stuffed animals for her friends.

Patrick is a sophomore who is interested in machine learning and its applications, such as bioinformatics, computer vision, as well as software development and automation. He is currently working on two research projects, one of which is on understanding the gap in performance between meta-learning and traditional machine learning through a series of synthetic datasets, and another on using various computer vision and machine learning methods to detect pancreatic cancer in both imaging as well as genomic data.

Lou is a junior in Computer Science. At UIUC, she worked as a course assistant for CS 125 for three semesters until switching to CS 374 in fall 2021.

Tianyun is a junior in Computer Science and Economics. She is involved in the student organization Women in CyberSecurity and the ARCANA research group on computer memory architecture. Previously, she served as a course assistant for Introduction to Computer Science (CS 125) and project manager for Freshman Honors course CS 196.


Graduate Students

Each year, the Department of Computer Science recognizes the achievements, leadership, and potential of graduate students who have earned prestigious fellowships and awards. Fellowships offer students the opportunity to focus on their graduate studies and research, while awards recognize the progress or overall excellence toward outstanding research or leadership contributions to the field. Many of these fellowships and awards are made possible by generous donations from alumni, friends, and corporate partners, and make a significant difference in supporting students during their academic and career pursuits.

Mrs. Hend Abdelfattah is an iCAN student, and accountant that has more than 22 years of experience working in accounting and finance. Mrs. Abdelfattah is known for challenging the status quo by introducing and testing new tools and methods of performing her work. She has been exploring the applications of computer science and AI in accounting and financial management to develop a more efficient workflow for her current position. Mrs. Abdelfattah enrolled in many programs to improve her understanding and skills in computer science and programming such as I can, IPL, DE-AVA for Women in Computer Science.

Sid in his second semester of the iCAN program. As a Transportation Engineer by trade, he is very excited to use his new found computing skills to solve problems related to transit and ride sharing while furthering his technical knowledge by applying to Masters program at UIUC.

Garvita Allabadi is a master’s student in the Computer Science Department working with Professor Vikram Adve. Her research is in the area of distributed machine learning and has prior work experience with Microsoft and Amazon.

Mubashir is a first year PhD student who graduated in 2021 from Lahore University of Management Sciences with a BS in Computer Science. He is currently working on improving network representation to enable deeper network analysis.

Arias is improving mobile robot navigation by developing algorithms that consider a robot’s surroundings, experience, and relation to other agents when moving in constrained pedestrian environments such as hospitals, schools, or homes. He recently published a paper outlining a method that enables groups of robots to compute paths and avoid collisions efficiently and a self-supervision
methodology for training data generation, which he developed with researchers from Google Brain. Originally from Bolivia, Arias immigrated to the United States when he was 12 and is passionate about supporting the education and needs of fellow immigrants and Hispanics interested in STEM careers.

Marc is a third year PhD student studying natural language processing (NLP) with Professor Julia Hockenmaier. Prior to joining Illinois, he graduated from Rice University with Bachelor's degrees in Computer Science and Classical Languages, as well as a Master's in Statistics.

Dingyuan recieved his Bachelor's degree from Tsinghua University. Now he is a first year PhD student in computer architecture, working with Professor Josep Torrellas.

Jackie is a second year PhD student in the computer science department. He currently studies social computing, a subset of human-computer interaction (HCI) analyzing the dynamics of online communities, with Prof. Eshwar Chandrasekharan. Jackie completed his undergraduate degree at Carleton College in his home state of Minnesota. During his first year at Illinois, he was a teaching assistant for CS 124, previously known as CS 125, in the fall, spring, and summer. After completing his doctorate, Jackie hopes to become a faculty member teaching the next generation of computer scientists.

Junkun is a first year computer science PhD student. He received his Bachelor's degree from Tsinghua University, and won several gold medals in ACM/ICPC contests. His research interests are in computer vision, artificial intelligence, and he is working with Professor Yuxiong Wang.

Yixin is a first-year Computer Science Ph.D. student at UIUC, advised by Professor Ravi Iyer and working with the DEPEND research group. Before attending UIUC, she obtained her Bachelors degrees in Computer Science and Statistics from UC Berkeley and her Masters degree in Biostatistics from UMich Ann Arbor. Her research interest is in leveraging machine learning to understand and predict disease trajectories and recommend treatments.

Tieh (Daisy) is a first-year MCS student at UIUC. She mentors both the GradSWE & SWE, as well as the WCS Bits and Bytes Mentorship Program. She was also an IEEE Eta Kappa Nu Honor Society Member while she was an undergradaute, and is a member of the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society at UIUC.

Ali is a PhD student interested in Machine Learning, Machine Learning Theory, and Computational Biology. The focus of his research during his MS degree was designing new algorithms to solve problems in Biology, and he has done research and worked at the New York Genome Center and Google.

Shengyu Feng is a second-year M.S. student under the supervision of Professor Hanghang Tong. His research interests span various topics in data mining and machine learning, with a special interest in graph representation learning and structure learning. He will pursue his Ph.D. degree in Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University in Fall 2022.

Morgan received her B.A. in Computer Science at UC Berkeley, and is currently a 3rd year Ph.D. student in the Computers and Education area at the University of Illinois. She was previously awarded the Richard T. Cheng Fellowship and Teacher Ranked as Excellent by the Computer Science Department.

Suyu is a first-year PhD student in Prof. Jiawei Han's Data Mining Group (DMG). She is especially interested in weakly supervised and unsupervised text mining methods. Suyu obtained her B.E. degree from the Department of Electronic Engineering at Tsinghua University in 2021.

Sam is a 2nd year Ph.D. candidate and a Graduate College Fellow. He is working on operating systems for interactive edge systems.

Tyler is a first-year PhD student in SysNet area of Computer Science department. His research interest is in system reliability. 

Shreya is a first year PhD student in the Computer Science Department working with Dr. Girish Chowdhary. She previously earned her Masters in Robotics from the University of Maryland and a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering from India. At UIUC, her research focuses on collaborative multi robot systems.

Mohammed is in the third year of his CS PhD program. He conducts research with Prof. Zilles on how students learn their first programming language by utilizing tools.

Emily is a sixth year PhD candidate studying algorithmic team formation with Prof. Brian Bailey, and has previously been a TA for CS 465: User Interface Design. She earned her B.A. summa cum laude from Knox College in 2016 with a major in CS and a self-designed minor in Renaissance and Medieval Studies. She earned an MS in CS from UIUC in 2019, and was a guest researcher at the National Institute of Standards and Technology from 2018-2020.

Tom is a first-year PhD student who joined UIUC after obtaining a BS in computer science from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He currently works on a joint project with Dr. Lawrence Rauchwerger and the NCSA developing methods of dynamic code generation and load balancing for large-scale simulations.

Silas is a fourth year PhD student in the area of Human Computer Interaction. His wide variety of research interests include user agency in AI systems, music education technology, and genome visualization.

Jiaxin is a fourth-year PhD student working with Prof. Jiawei Han on knowledge-guided text mining from massive text corpora with minimal human supervision. She is also a past recipient of the department's Chirag Foundation Graduate Fellowship.

Stefan works in biological and medical machine learning, and has a background in pure machine learning, pure mathematics, and theoretical physics.

Unnat is a recent graduate from the CS Illinois family. He worked on collaborative embodied agents with Prof. Alex Schwing and Prof. Lana Lazebnik. He's now working as a postdoctoral researcher at Facebook AI Research at their CMU office to push the frontiers of social learning in computer vision and robotics.

Ruta is a PhD student working in Theoretical Cryptography with Professor Khurana. She received her Bachelor's degree in Computer Science and Mathematics from UC Berkeley.

Qinjun is a first-year PhD student in Computer Science advised by Professor Sarita Adve. She received her Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from UW-Madison in 2021. Her research interests lie in the general area of computer architecture and system.

Azhar is a Civil Engineer who is passionate about tech. She is a student of the first cohort of the iCAN (Computer Science Illinois Computing Accelerator for Non-Specialists) program and the recipient of the Facebook iCAN Scholarship. Azhar is a Women in STEM activist who wants to broaden participation of women in engineering and tech industries.

Apostolos Kokolis is a final year PhD student at CS working with prof. Josep Torrellas. His research focuses on non-volatile memory (NVM) technologies and distributed storage systems. In the past, he has worked as an intern for Meta, AMD Research and IMEC Research Institute.

Dr. Wing Lam is an Assistant Professor in the Computer Science department at George Mason University. He obtained his Ph.D. from the Computer Science department at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where he was co-advised by Professors Tao Xie and Darko Marinov. Dr. Lam works on several topics in software engineering, with a focus on software testing. His research improves software dependability by characterizing bugs and developing novel techniques to detect and tame bugs. His techniques have helped detect and fix bugs in open-source projects and have impacted how Microsoft and Tencent developers test their code.

Tiffany is a fourth year PhD student advised by Prof. Hari Sundaram and Prof. Karrie Karahalios. Her research interests lie at the intersection of human-computer interaction, education technology, and artificial intelligence. She is excited to leverage human-centered AI and algorithms to enhance access to quality education.

Ian is a fifth-year PhD student in the Theory and Algorithms Group working with Professor Sheldon Jacobson on graph partitioning with applications to political redistricting. He is an NSF Graduate Fellow, and he earned his bachelor's degree in computer engineering and mathematics from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

Linjian Ma is a third-year PhD student working with Professor Edgar Solomonik, and his main research interests are Numerical Analysis and High-Performance Computing. Previously, he was awarded the Computer Science Gene Golub Fellowship, David Kuck Computational Science & Engineering Scholarship, and Kenichi Miura Award.

Jessica is an iCAN program student with a BS in Finance and Management Information Systems. She intends to pursue a Master's in Computer Science after
completing the program. Her areas of interest are HCI, Software Engineering, and Security.

Maleeha is a 1st year PhD Student in the CS Department. She recently received her bachelor's degree from the Lahore University of Management Sciences. At Illinois, she explores her interests in Systems and Networks.

Yu is a PhD student working with Prof. Jiawei Han. His research is focused on self-supervised, unsupervised and weakly-supervised text mining techniques for organizing and exploring text data. He has published 20+ conference papers and delivered 5 conference tutorials.

Jaron is a third year PhD student, focusing on the intersection of inclusive usable security and machine learning. He frequently collaborates with faculty from the Max Planck Institute. 

Jessica graduated Summa Cum Laude from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in 2021 with a B.S. in Computer Science and minors in Data Science, Math, and Music. She is currently working in the Bretl Research Group. She is fascinated by deep learning and space travel, and writes music in her free time.

Rafae is a second PhD student in the Department of Computer Science. He is advised by Prof. Vikram Adve.

Maria is in her first year of the CS PhD program. She has been working on theoretical computer science, more specifically on quantum cryptography with the wonderful Professor Dakshita Khurana.

Malachi is a fourth year PhD student and works on GPU-accelerated fluid simulations in nekRS. He is also an intern at Sandia National Labs.

Seth Poulsen is a Ph.D. student at University of Illinois Computer Science interested in Computing Education. His current research focuses on improving the teaching and learning of mathematical proofs, specifically using the Proof Blocks tool which he created.

Haoran Qiu is a PhD candidate in Computer Science, working with Professor Ravi Iyer. Before joining UIUC, he obtained his Bachelor's degree at the University of Hong Kong. His research aims to improve the performance and resilience of large-scale systems, such as microservices and serverless computing platforms. His recent research work on applying machine learning to systems management and design was accepted at OSDI 2020, WoSC 2021, and EuroMLSys 2022.

Revanth is a second-year masters and an incoming PhD student. His research is in the field of natural language processing, with prior experience as an artificial intelligence resident at IBM Research in New York.

Jason is a fourth year PhD student. He has received the Yunni & Maxine Pao Memorial Fellowship and two Amazon AWS Education Research Grants. He has recently interned at NVIDIA, Facebook, and Adobe.

Zach is investigating the design of human-centered evaluation metrics for machine learning with Professor Sanmi Koyejo. He has been previously awarded a GEM fellowship, has interned with Google, and is involved in the CS graduate student organization.

Kevin is a 2nd-year Computer Science Ph.D. student in the Data and Information Systems research area. He is broadly interested in information retrieval and is currently investigating the frameworks and theories for question-asking in classrooms.

Margie is a second year student in the Computer Science PhD program. At Illinois, she has participated in programs like the Summer Predoctoral Program, interned at the Lawrence Livermore National Lab, and served as an ambassador for the department helping to recruit students during annual visit days and at NESBE. With her advisors, Gang Wang and Kirill Levchenko, she works on research focused on evaluating the mental and physical efficacy of security and privacy implementations, for which she has earned the 2022 NSF Graduate Research

Ehsan is a PhD candidate in the Department of Computer Science.  At Illinois, he has been a teaching assistant for CS361 and CS441, and his main research is in the areas of deep reinforcement learning and computer vision.

Yasmin is a first year PhD student. She is working with Professor Gagandeep on improving pointer analysis.

Jay is a 2nd year computer science PhD Candidate advised by Prof. Deepak Vasisht. His research work involves wireless signal processing and networking. He was also a past recipient of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.

Wendy is a fourth-year PhD student advised by Prof. Brian Bailey. Her research focuses on leveraging online data for improving team assessment and feedback. She is a past recipient of the department's Computer Science Excellence Fellowship.

Michal is a second year PhD student working with Professors Derek Hoiem and Yuxiong Wang. She is interested in weakly supervised learning in computer vision and has interned at Amazon. Previously, she earned a Bachelors & Masters of Engineering from MIT in Computer Science.

Dimitrios is an assistant professor in the Computer Science Department at Carnegie Mellon University. His research bridges computer architecture and operating systems with a focus on performance, security, and scalability.  He has received several awards for his research including a Facebook Faculty Award in 2021, the joint 2021 ACM SIGARCH & IEEE CS TCCA Outstanding Dissertation award, two ASPLOS Best Paper awards, and two MICRO Top Picks in Computer Architecture. He spent a year with Core Systems at Meta after receiving his PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2020.

Adam is a fifth year Ph.D. student working with Professor Arindam Banerjee on applications of deep learning for remote sensing data. He has spent the past two summers interning with Microsoft Research. He is co-president of the Computer Science Graduate Student Organization and has served on several committees within the CS Department and the College of Engineering.

Jovan is a second year PhD student working with professor Josep Torrellas on the intersection of computer architecture and operating systems. His research focus is in cloud computing and new deployment paradigms, such as microservices and serverless computing. He received BSc degree from University of Belgrade, where he graduated as the best student of the class. He will do his internship with IBM Research this summer.

Xudong is a PhD student in Computer Science, working with Professor Tianyin Xu. His research focuses on improving the reliability of modern cloud systems. Before joining UIUC, he obtained his Bachelor's degree from Nanjing University.

Thymios is a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate working on unsupervised and multi-modal machine perception for audio problems. In the past, he was also been conducting research for Google, MERL and Meta Reality Labs.

Vaibhav is a PhD student in Computer Vision advised by David Forsyth and supported by the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program. His most recent project used neural networks to generate artwork. He previously worked at Pixar Animation Studios, where he was credited on Coco, Incredibles 2, and Toy Story 4. He completed his undergraduate studies at Columbia University in New York.

Yufeng is currently a first year MS student, and has been a teaching assistant for CS 233 for two semesters. He is also working with Professor Charith Mendis on compiler optimizations for machine learning systems.

Zifeng is in the first year of his CS PhD program. His research interests are AI for healthcare and he is working with Prof. Jimeng Sun. He has publications in top-venue AI conferences including ICLR, NeurIPS, AAAI, and WWW. He is the recipient of the PAKDD'21 best student paper award.

Jackson has received his Bachelor's degree from Illinois State University in Math, with a focus in teaching. He is now a part of the iCAN program and intends to pursue his Master's degree in Computer Science. He loves spending time with his friends, working on tough problems, and videogames.

Kim is a student in the iCAN Program. She received a BS from McMurry University and worked as a high school teacher before joining the University of Illinois.

Elaina received her Bachelor's degree in Linguistics from Reed College before joining the 2021-2022 iCAN cohort at Illinois. She plans to continue on to earn a Master's degree in Computer Science with the goal of pursuing a research career in computational linguistics and data science.

Ryan is a first year PhD student working with Prof. Saugata Ghose. He received his Bachelor's in Chemistry and Computer Science and a Master's in Electrical and Computer Engineering both from the University of Rochester. His research interests are in the broad area of computer architecture, with particular emphasis on accelerators and memory systems.

Yiqing is a second-year MSCS student in Prof. Jiawei Han's group. Her research interests mainly focus on data mining and natural language processing. She has worked on several research topics including information extraction, graph-based machine learning, and taxonomy construction. Before studying at UIUC, Yiqing obtained her B.S. from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Chaoqi is a PhD candidate in the Computer Science Department. He finished his MS degree in the same department and won the David J. Kuck Outstanding MS Thesis Awards

Sophia completed her Bachelor's degree in Computer Science here at UIUC. She continues to pursue her research topic by investigating how students learn SQL through identifying unique approaches and challenges students face. She utilizes and optimizes sequence alignment algorithms, tokenization concepts, and clustering algorithms to systematically extract insights in order to provide recommendations for improving education in difficult concepts. She also investigates the effects of teaching modality on collaborative learning. Her first-authored research papers are currently in-submission to education conferences. She is interested in intersecting the Computers & Education, Human-Computer Interaction, and Data areas in her research work.

Yao is a first-year PhD student in Computer Science advised by Professor Josep Torrellas. She received her Bachelor's degree from UW-Madison in 2021. Her primary research interest lies in computer architecture.

Charles is a 1st year Computer Science PhD student studying Natural Language Processing and working with Professor Heng Ji. His interests are mainly in properties of language models and architecture.

Jiyong Yu is a 4th year Ph.D. student major in Computer Science at UIUC. He is advised by Professor Chris Fletcher. Jiyong's research interest lies in secure hardware design, microarchitectural side-channel defenses, and confidential computing. Jiyong has published several papers of high impact at top-tier conferences in computer architecture and security.  Some of Jiyong's publications have also been featured in journals like CACM highlight and IEEE MICRO Top-Picks. Jiyong has won multiple awards, including Best Paper Awards at MICRO'19, Distinguished Paper Award Honorable Mentions at NDSS'19, Intel Hardware Security Academic Award Finalist, CSAW'19 Applied Research Finalists and Microsoft Research PhD Fellowship.

Yu is a third year PhD student advised by Prof. Jiawei Han. He received his M.S. degree from UIUC in 2019 and his B.S. degree from Peking University in 2017. His research interests are text mining and text-rich network mining. He has interned with Microsoft Research Redmond.



Illinois Computer Science faculty includes world-renowned researchers who have changed the face of computer science and rising stars who are disrupting industries and trailblazing new paths in the field. These awards recognize their accomplishments and contributions.



The Department of Computer Science staff provides invaluable support for students, faculty, fellow staff, and the broader campus community to succeed at the highest levels of excellence. The department, college, and campus recognize staff members for their exemplary service and contributions.    



The Department of Computer Science annually recognizes alumni and faculty members who have made professional, technical, educational, or service contributions that bring distinction to themselves, the department, and the university.

2022 Distinguished Academic Achievement Alumni Award
2022 Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award
2022 Early Career Academic Achievement Alumni Award
2022 Distinguished Alumni Service Award
2022 Young Alumni Achievement Award