A digest of Illinois Computer Science faculty, alumni, and students who are featured in the media.
Forbes -- Entrepreneur Tom Siebel has a knack for anticipating megatrends in technology. His latest venture, C3, is focused on AI. He says it will have huge benefits, but says there are major risk factors in privacy and security. “What we saw with Facebook and Cambridge Analytica was just a dress rehearsal.”
The 21st -- WILL's talk show includes a segment on students interning in Congress, among them Ajay Jain, who is majoring in CS + Stats and political science. He is interning for Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi. "Within the first hour and a half ... I all the sudden had to start taking constituent callers, in the middle of the shutdown."
BuiltIn -- AI is poised to have a major effect on environmental issues. Sensors could help make cities more liveable. Such sensors on cars could predict potential traffic problems and optimize the flow of cars. “Years down the road, it will play a really big role,” Professor Klara Nahrstedt said.
Forbes -- AI-based precision medicine combines medicine, biology, statistics, and computing. The most promising research is characterized by collaboration like that of a team that developed a machine-learning algorithm to predict presciptions for depression patients. The team included Illinois CS student Subho S. Banerjee and his advisor, Professor Ravishankar Iyer.
Fast Company -- Fast Company's new podcast, Zero to IPO, focuses on building a company from idea to IPO. The first guest is Illinois CS graduate Marc Andreessen. Listen or read a short Q & A from the interview.
WIRED -- The Allen Institute has designed an AI that can play a game much like the drawing game Pictionary. Illinois CS Professor David Forsyth says software able to understand novel combinations of imagery could help computers venture out into the messiness of the real world.
MIT Technology Review, Science and others -- Researchers at the Allen Institute, led by Illinois CS alum Ali Farhadi (PhD '11), believe Pictionary could push machine intelligence beyond its current limits and have developed a version of the game that pairs a human player with an AI.
The News-Gazette -- About two dozen students have crafted a resolution calling for low-cost school materials from the University of Illinois. Vikram Sardana, a computer science and statistics major, is one of 23 sponsors.
The News-Gazette -- “One of the seven is Nancy Amato, announced last fall as the new head of the highly ranked Department of Computer Science. The award-winning researcher is widely recognized for her work in motion planning in robotics, used in such applications as autonomous driving and manufacturing.”
Daily Illini -- A low grade may be more likely in a challenging course, but Teaching Assistant Professor Wade Fagen-Ulmschneider hopes that doesn't discourage students from taking them. “Recruiters and graduate school admissions (officials) who have looked at a lot of transcripts should know the difficult courses.”
Mobility Lab -- A new study by the University of Illinois and Georgia Tech attaches solid numbers to what seems like common sense. “The results indicate that when more people opt to use public transit ... obesity rate tends to drop,” said Sheldon H. Jacobson, a co-author and professor at Illinois. Also covered by the New York Post.
Nature -- Thousands of academics are looking to the technology industry for research funding and collaboration. “The industry funding does help a lot in the early days,” says Ranjitha Kumar, a computer scientist at the University of Illinois.
Daily Illini -- The College of Education and the Department of Computer Science created the Illinois Secondary Teacher Education and Computer Science Initiative to endorse current high school computer science teachers and certify future teachers. “It’s increasingly clear that people that have computing skills have an advantage in the job market,” said CS Associate Professor Craig Zilles.
Coin Telegraph -- “Bitcoin is the equivalent of Marconi's historic wireless transmission: Bitcoin demonstrated that secure distributed trust is possible. But it came at the cost of poor performance. We are redesigning the full stack of cryptocurrencies in our quest (for) global scalability.” -- ECE Professor Pramod Viswanath, who has an appointment in CS.
IBL News -- Coursera has launched a new vertical called Data Science Academy to help professionals find data science-related courses. Beyond short programs, Coursera hosts two Master’s degrees: the Master in Computer Science in Data Science from the University of Illinois or the Master of Applied Data Science from the University of Michigan.
The News-Gazette -- "I am able to spend the majority of my time working with (primarily undergraduate) students as a result of joining a very new and non-traditional track of the faculty. ... This frees me up to work with students on large, impactful projects, focus on teaching new and innovative courses, and sharing the work we do at Illinois with the broader community."
Deseret News -- New artificial intelligence technology can identify genetic disorders using just a photo of a patient's face, potentially bringing peace of mind to parents of children with rare disorders. "It’s using existing AI technologies on a problem they haven’t been used for before," said David Forsyth, professor of computer science at University of Illinois.
The Daily Illini -- “It’s probably no big secret that there are a lot of opportunities for jobs in (computer science), and some of those jobs could be pretty well paid. A student may not be intuitively interested in (CS), but they may think ‘this is my straight line to a good job..." -- Steve Herzog, Illinois CS Coordinator of Undergraduate Programs.
Crain's Chicago Business -- Rijn Bian, who graduated from UIUC with a computer science degree last month, notes the Chinese government's recent decision to stop funding graduate student scholarships and says, "I believe the number of Chinese students (in the U.S.) will decrease as a result."
The Western Producer -- The weed machine started life as a plant-breeding tool to help researchers in their high throughput phenotyping projects in corn and soybeans. The robot was initially designed to prowl up and down the rows in trial plots of experimental corn and soybean varieties, said University of Illinois researcher Girish Chowdhary.