A digest of Illinois Computer Science faculty, alumni, and students who are featured in the media.
CNBC -- Tom Siebel, C3 IoT chairman and CEO and a graduate of Illinois Computer Science, discuss the prospects for regulation of tech and social media companies.
Study: Men Outnumber Women Nearly 2-to-1 In STEM Roles On TV, Movies, Which May Discourage Girls From Tech CareersSeptember 27, 2018
Chicago Tribune -- Nancy Amato was in graduate school when “The X-Files” was a staple. Now Amato is set to become the first woman to head the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois. She says she was probably influenced by both real-life role models in science and those on TV and in movies. The story also was carried by Phys.org and The Virginian-Pilot.
U.S. News & World Report -- "There are ample opportunities for cross-disciplinary study, such as with the programs in agricultural and consumer economics or interdisciplinary health sciences. In a recently developed set of degrees called CS + X, students explore computer science through the lens of another subject, such as chemistry, linguistics or music."
Mises Wire -- "When you are sitting in a car, you are doing nothing, so your body is burning the least amount of energy possible. And if you are eating food in your car, it becomes even worse." -- Professor Sheldon H. Jacobson, in a column that cites a paper he co-authored in 2011.
Pasadena Now -- The National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy have announced new funding awards for quantum-related research. Co-PIs include Illinois CS Assistant Professor Edgar Solomonik.
Forbes -- “Virtual nurses add value by allowing doctors and nurses to do their jobs more efficiently by handling workflow communications tasks [for them]. A lot of those tasks could be automated." -- Adam Odessky (BS CS '00), co-founder and CEO of Sense.ly.
No Suits, No Resumes: Chicago Companies Go Beyond Career Fairs To Woo Next Generation Of Tech TalentSeptember 20, 2018
Chicago Tribune -- The interview process is not enough to sway Illinois CS junior Joseph Sieger to accept a job. Students like him are in high demand. In the search for tech talent, Chicago companies woo students with trips or even treats like coffee and doughnuts to compete with Google and Facebook. "They have to do multiple different things to get their branding in front of the students,” department Director of External Relations Cynthia J. Coleman said.
Chicago Inno -- Incoming Department Head Nancy Amato and Farmers Fridge -- whose CTO is Rajesh Karmani (PhD CS '13) -- were both part of Chicago Inno's annual 50 on Fire list of people and companies influencing the direction of the Chicago-area tech scene.
Inside Higher Ed -- Much of the action with alternative credentials and pathways is occurring with online graduate programs. The University of Illinois is at the forefront of this experimentation. Faculty members teach the online courses with equal rigor to the parallel campus-based version, according to Illinois CS Professor John C. Hart. (Report is behind a pay wall, key excerpts available here).
LinkedIn -- Lending startup Affirm comes in at No. 24 on LinkedIn's list of Top 50 Startups. Illinois CS alum Max Levchin (BS CS '97) is the CEO and co-founder of San Francisco-based Affirm.
Design Taxi -- In 10 years Google Chrome has risen to become the most popular web browser. In celebrating the milestone, Google teased a surprise slated to arrive soon. "I'm so excited to share the @googlechrome 10th birthday update... COMING THIS WEEK!," Illinois CS alum and Google Chrome Engineering Director Parisa Tabriz said via her Twitter account.
Variety -- Tech companies keep algorithms secret for competitive reasons, but that has led to alternative -- often incorrect -- explanations of how they work. A study by U. of Illinois researchers, including CS Professor Karrie Karahalios, found that Facebook users often develop their own “folk theories” about how it curates its newsfeed.
Popular Science -- “The machines are all over subscribed,” Bill Gropp, Illinois CS Professor and director of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, says as work starts for what will be the next, fastest supercomputer, Frontera. Illinois' Blue Waters has been used to do things like model an enormous EF-5 tornado and to produce maps of Alaska.
Ars Technica -- The success of Internet of Things devices such as Amazon's Echo and Google Home has created opportunities for developers, but, according to research by Profs. Adam Bates and Michael Bailey from the University of Illinois, also the potential to exploit some of the idiosyncrasies of voice-recognition machine-learning systems for malicious purposes.
Crain's Chicago Business -- "The Department of Computer Science isn’t moving to Chicago. We’re not creating a fourth campus. We’re creating something new and innovative," said Bill Sanders, a University of Illinois Engineering professor and the new interim director of the Discovery Partners Institute.
The (Champaign) News-Gazette -- If you use a fitness tracker and post workouts online, you may be sharing the location of your home. University of Illinois computer science professor Adam Bates says, “Everyone is becoming much more aware of the privacy risks on social networks. But no one is talking about fitness networks."
Boston Magazine -- Asher Dale has good reasons to be happy. For one, he’s celebrating the release of his first app, based on the “Three Good Things” method (originally published in 2017).
The Daily Illini -- Tens of millions of users post their running, walking or biking routes online through Strava, a fitness-tracking app, while using a privacy feature they believe would hide their home address. However, their locations could be revealed by a geometry problem so simple a high school freshman could solve it, said Adam Bates, professor in Computer Science.
Computing -- Blockchain-based smart contracts present a unique risk, and companies should be wary of deploying them, according to CS Professor Grigore Rosu. "There are two big problems ... The code is public so you can work out how to attack it. Secondly, once you have a smart contract - that's it. It deploys and you cannot change it."
TECH IN ASIA -- “I don’t know why, but I asked myself this question very early on: What is the purpose of my life? What can I do that will be meaningful? I realized that I’m a tech geek but I also like to work with people and build things like companies and teams," said Monk's Hill Ventures Managing Partner and Illinois CS graduate Peng Ong.