Media Coverage

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign's Human Avatar Accelerating the Future of Remote Robotics

January 11, 2022

Engineered Systems -- For more than three years, a team of graduate students led by Illinois CS professor Kris Hauser has progressed through the $10M ANA Avatar XPRIZE. Starting among nearly 80 teams from all around the world, the AVATRINA team worked to showcase their Tele-Robotic Intelligent Nursing Assistant (TRINA) as a platform for deploying human presence to a remote location.

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Industry Experts Team Up to Advance Cybersecurity With AI

December 28, 2021

Health IT Security -- The Digital Transformation Institute (DTI) invited scholars, researchers, and software developers to submit proposals for advancing cybersecurity with artificial intelligence (AI). The DTI is a collaborative research consortium managed by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and the University of California, Berkeley. “Cybersecurity is an existential issue,” Thomas M. Siebel (BA History '75, MBA '83, MS CS '85), chairman and CEO of C3 AI, stated in the announcement. 

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Lessons from LLVM: An SC21 Fireside Chat with Chris Lattner

December 27, 2021

HPC Wire -- Today, the LLVM compiler infrastructure world is essentially inescapable in HPC. But back in the 2000 timeframe, LLVM (low level virtual machine) was just getting its start as a new way of thinking about how to overcome shortcomings in the Java Virtual Machine. At the time, Chris Lattner was a graduate student of Vikram Adve at the University of Illinois.

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Beatles Documentary Get Back Used Custom AI to Strip Unwanted Sound

December 24, 2021

New Scientist (paywall) -- Sixty hours of footage were recorded but most of the audio was captured by a single microphone that picked up the musicians' instruments in a noisy jumble rather than a carefully crafted mix. It also recorded background noise and chatter, which made much of the footage unusable.

The team scoured academic papers on using AI to separate audio sources but realized that none of the previous research would work for a music documentary. They consulted with Paris Smaragdis at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and started to create a neural network called MAL (machine assisted learning) and a set of training data that was higher quality than datasets used in academic experiments.

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Health Experts Urge Air Travelers to Take Precautions to Avoid Omicron

December 23, 2021

CNN -- CNN's Brian Todd reports on air travel and how to do so safely during the pandemic this holiday season. Illinois CS professor Sheldon H. Jacobson clarifies about the types of masks that should be used during air travel.

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Rethinking Your Travel Plans? If You Go, Experts Have 4 Pieces of Advice

December 21, 2021

CNBC -- Flights are booked. Bags are packed. To cancel Christmas travel plans seems unfathomable at this point. But for many, so does the speed at which the omicron variant is spreading. "The riskiest part of air travel is the time before and after flights, not during flights," said Sheldon H. Jacobson with the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

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Historic Supercomputer to be Shut Down

December 20, 2021

WCIA -- The National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois announced on Monday that its Blue Waters supercomputer will be shut down on Dec. 31. “Blue Waters was not just a peak petascale system – it was a true sustained-petascale system, specifically designed to be well-balanced and deliver sustained petascale computing power and productivity across a broad and inclusive gamut of science, engineering and research disciplines,” said NCSA Director and Illinois CS professor William D. Gropp.

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Engineering Student Develops App with Over Two Million Downloads

December 20, 2021

The Daily Illini -- Aryan Nambiar, freshman in Engineering, created the app, Tune Track, which allows users to gain access to specific statistics about their listening habits on Spotify or Apple Music that the apps don’t offer. Nambiar said it’s difficult to balance the intensive workload that comes with majoring in computer science at the University and working for a start-up.

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The Making of Peter Thiel's Networks

December 20, 2021

The New Republic -- This was how, in the summer of 1998, (Peter Thiel) met an important collaborator. Max Levchin—who had graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a computer science degree a few years after Marc Andreessen, the co-founder of Net­scape—was in the habit of finding random classrooms to spend days in. The rest would become Silicon Valley legend. Levchin would go on to develop the fraud detection software that was the core of PayPal. 

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Millions Plan to Travel for Christmas, New Year's as Omicron Spreads

December 17, 2021

The Washington Post -- “Delta gave a body blow to air travel, and now with omicron there’s a great deal of speculation of what it means,” said Sheldon H. Jacobson, a professor of computer science at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign who uses data modeling to analyze the impact of the virus on the aviation system. “Until more data is available, it’s hard to predict.”

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