A digest of Illinois Computer Science faculty, alumni, and students who are featured in the media.
The (Duke) Chronicle -- Illinois CS graduate C. David Page (PhD '93), who is now a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will take over in June as chair of Duke University's Department of Biostatistics & Bioinformatics.
The News-Gazette -- Illinois CS Assistant Professor Sibin Mohan is the subject of the News-Gazette's regular feature. He talks about teaching computer science to middle school students, using a curriculum developed in part by Professor Lenny Pitt.
News-Gazette -- Dug the Dog has nothing on Alma. Inspired by the character from the movie "Up," a team of University of Illinois engineering students created their own talking dog for this year's Engineering Open House. The group include Illinois CS student Bliss Chapman.
TVTechnology -- Illinois Computer Science graduate Amit Mathur (BS CS '98) has joined Sinclair Broadcast Group as vice president of product engineering, where he will continue scaling the station group’s digital publishing as well as expanding its suite of digital products and services.
Mashable -- A team from the University of Illinois that includes Illinois CS student Bliss Chapman built an interface that reads the neural responses of Alma, a golden retriever. Those responses are translated into pre-recorded vocal responses. Also in Mahomet Daily.
Resoundingly Human podcast -- Professor Sheldon Jacobson joins the The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences' podcast to talk about the science behind his NCAA basketball bracket generators.
Chicago Sun-Times -- “Not everyone is ready for college right out of high school. I think this is a really great way to show that faculty cares not only about students graduating but also giving opportunities to everyone.” -- Illinois CS junior Jocelyn Collado, a junior who transferred to Illinois from a community college.
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.