Artificial Intelligence

a snow dragonThe study of systems that behave intelligently, artificial intelligence includes several key areas where our faculty are recognized leaders: computer vision, machine listening, natural language processing, and machine learning.

Computer vision systems can understand images and video, for example, building extensive geometric and physical models of cities from video, or warning construction workers about nearby dangers. Natural language processing systems understand written and spoken language; possibilities include automatic translation of text from one language to another, or understanding text on Wikipedia to produce knowledge about the world. Machine listening systems understand audio signals, with applications like listening for crashes at traffic lights, or transcribing polyphonic music automatically. Crucial to modern artificial intelligence, machine learning methods exploit examples in order to adjust systems to work as effectively as possible.

CS Faculty and Their Research Interests

Margaret Fleck computational linguistics, programming language tools 
David A. Forsyth computer vision, object recognition, scene understanding
Julia Hockenmaier natural language processing, computational linguistics 
Derek Hoiem computer vision, object recognition, spatial understanding, scene interpretation 
Nan Jiang joining fall 2018; reinforcement learning
Bo Li joining fall 2018; secure machine learning
Oluwasanmi Koyejo machine learning, neuroscience, neuroimaging
Steven M. LaValle robotics, motion planning, and virtual reality 
Svetlana Lazebnik computer vision, object recognition, scene interpretation, modeling and organization of  large-scale image collections
Jian Peng machine learning and optimization 
Mark Sammons natural language processing, textual inference
Paris Smaragdis machine listening, signal processing, music information retrieval, and speech and audio analysis 
Matus Telgarsky machine learning theory

Affiliate Faculty

Timothy Bretl, Aerospace Engineering motion planning and control
Roxana Girju, Linguistics computational linguistics
Mani Golparvar-Fard, Civil Engineering computer vision analytics for building and construction performance monitoring
Mark Hasegawa-Johnson, Electrical & Computer Engineering statistical speech technology
Seth Hutchinson, Electrical & Computer Engineering computer vision, robotics   
Kenton McHenry, NCSA cyberinfrastructure for digital preservation, auto-curation, and managing unstructured digital collections 

Adjunct Faculty

Eyal Amir, Parknav machine learning, automatic reasoning
Dan Roth, University of Pennsylvania machine learning, natural language processing, knowledge representation, reasoning 

Artificial Intelligence Research Efforts and Groups

Artificial Intelligence Research News

“Probability and Statistics for Computer Science” touches on big data and machine learning topics that haven't typically been covered in undergraduate classrooms.

Forsyth’s New Textbook Covers Foundational Big Data Concepts

February 19, 2018   “Probability and Statistics for Computer Science” touches on big data and machine learning topics that haven't typically been covered in undergraduate classrooms.
CS Professor David Forsyth

Chinese Cops Are Using Facial-Recognition Sunglasses. Here’s How That Tech Works

February 8, 2018  

Popular Science -- CS Professor David Forsyth talks about AI and computer vision as they are used by these devices -- and about a technological pitfall. 

CS student Shubhankar Agarwal

Wired In: Shubhankar Agarwal

February 4, 2018  

The News-Gazette -- CS student Shubhankar Agarwal talks about the Illinois AUV Team (find out more here: and its work building autonomous submarines. There's also video:

CS Professor Carl Gunter

When You Play This Song Backwards, You Can Hear Satan. Play It Forwards, And It Hijacks Siri, Alexa

January 30, 2018  


The Register -- CS Professor Carl Gunter is interviewed on adversarial attacks on AI systems, in this case tweaking songs slightly to manipulate voice-recognition systems. 

CS Professor Tarek Abdelzaher

Army Takes on Wicked Problems With The Internet Of Battlefield Things

January 30, 2018  

MeriTalk -- Website devoted to government IT news takes a look at CS Professor Tarek Abdelzaher's Army Research Lab project on the Internet of Battlefield Things.