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Illinois Computer Science Alumni Network Launched

6/18/2018 10:50:53 AM Michelle Wellens, Illinois Computer Science

A group of San Francisco Bay Area alumni have launched a new way for Illinois Computer Science graduates to meet, cultivate meaningful connections, share stories and advice, and expand and strengthen the CS Illini network. Initial efforts are being led by five alumni, including: Matthew Dierker (BS CS '15), Nathan Handler (BS CS '15), Sandeep Jain (MS CS '89), Corly Leung (BS CS '16, MS '17), and Kamilah Taylor (MS CS '10).

Chris Lattner (MS CS '02, PhD '05) spoke at the kickoff event for the Illinois CS Alumni Network.
Chris Lattner (MS CS '02, PhD '05) spoke at the kickoff event for the Illinois CS Alumni Network.
On May 16, the Illinois CS Alumni Network (Bay Area) hosted its first event: an informal talk and Q&A with fellow alumnus Chris Lattner (MS CS ’02, PhD ’05), formerly a Senior Director at Apple, and currently a Director with Google Brain. Lattner is best known for his work as a primary author on the LLVM and Clang compilers, and the programming language Swift. He recounted many stories along his life journey thus far, and shared personal and professional insights on lessons learned. In addition, CS alumni had the opportunity to network before and after the informal program.

The event was held at Google in Mountain View, California and sponsored by the Department of Computer Science. Interim CS Department Head Vikram Adve, Director of Advancement Operations Michelle Wellens, and Associate Director of External Relations Cynthia “CJ” Coleman attended the inaugural event to show the Department’s support of this creative new endeavor.

“We’re extremely proud of the initiative that these alumni are showing. We believe there will be tremendous benefit for alumni to interact and support one another in a more informal and ongoing way—and it will complement the more traditional alumni events hosted by the department annually,” said Adve.

The Bay Area Illinois CS Alumni Network has brainstormed ideas for future events, from other alumni talks, to panel discussions and informal meet-ups just for networking, but they welcome additional ideas, hosts, and volunteers, too. There is also an opportunity for Illinois CS Alumni Networks to be established in other cities based on alumni interest and initiative.  The Bay Area CS Network planning group invites fellow alumni to step up: “Our intention is for these events to be ‘for alumni, by alumni’, so please get involved,” said Dierker.

CS alumni can be in touch with the group via email at: