A digest of Illinois Computer Science faculty, alumni, and students who are featured in the media.
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.
Diverse Issues In Higher Education -- Nancy Amato was selected head of the Department of Computer Science and an Abel Bliss Professor of Engineering at the University of Illinois. Amato will be the first woman to lead the department.
Smile Politely -- Ajay Shekar is a master's student in Computer Science working on applying machine-learning and deep-learning techniques on medical image datasets. He wants to create a tool that can help predict Parkinson’s Disease.
WAND-TV -- A team of computer science researchers at the University of Illinois, including Assistant Professor Adam Bates, uncovered security flaws in several fitness tracking apps and developed solutions.
The (Champaign) News-Gazette -- Meet Mrinaal Mittal, a University of Illinois senior pursuing degrees in, among other things, computer science, with minors in business and South Asian studies. He has already created several startups. "The best advice I have for others is what my father gave me ... don't be scared to fail."
Health Data Management -- A newly developed tool combines different types of genomic data to predict patients’ responses to therapeutic drugs. The University of Illinois, including CS Professor and Willett Faculty Scholar Saurabh Sinha, worked with the Mayo Clinic to create a Center of Excellence to tap the wealth of information contained in genomic data.
MarketWatch -- A new threat to plant malware on computers comes via CDs sent through the mail, and the story cites a 2016 study conducted by researchers that included some from Illinois CS as evidence that people are surprisingly open to attacks you might not think would work.
betanews -- MIT researcher and Illinois CS alum Mark Klein (MS CS '86, PhD CS '90) says an AI fact-checker remains a long way off. "It's a much bigger problem than being able to parse the words, make a syntax tree, and use the standard Natural Language Processing approaches."
Markets Insider -- Illinois CS alum and Elastos Foundation Chairman Rong Chen (MS CS '87) joins the board of agricultural biotechnology firm Origin Agritech Ltd.
Illinois Innovators podcast -- When you think cybersecurity, you’re probably thinking about measures to keep hackers out of your network. Illinois CS Assistant Professor Adam Bates is focused on next steps, after an attack begins.
Inside Higher Ed -- Coursera is expanding partnerships with traditional universities, this time its first Ivy League degree, at Penn. The degree follows the three master's degrees offered through Coursera by Illinois, where Professor John C. Hart says “people come to this degree for the Illinois brand.
Ad Age -- The magazine revisits the members of its 2006 40-Under-40 list, which included YouTube co-founder and Illinois CS alum Steve Chen.
The News-Gazette -- New "Investment for Growth" grants will provide $5 million for 14 projects at the University of Illinois, among them three that involve CS: the Center for Smart Agriculture, the Illinois Center for Autonomy, and the Illinois Secondary Teacher Education and Computer Science Initiative. Also covered by WAND-TV.
WCIA-TV -- A submarine created by Illinois Computer Science students and other students from the College of Engineering is headed to a national competition. The autonomous submarine will compete in the International Robosub Competition in San Diego.
VentureBeat -- Monk’s Hill Ventures Managing Partner and Illinois CS alum (MS CS '88) Peng Ong writes that he doesn't invest in AI because "the capabilities of AI technology are often over-promised" and an important question is often overlooked: "What problem are they solving?"
The Daily Illini -- Data science is growing rapidly, and some employers are using standardized testing to judge prospective employees’ data-science knowledge. “It’s perfectly fine for employers to have a test,” said John Hart, professor and director of online professional programs in CS.
The Chronicle of Higher Education -- Nancy Amato, a professor of computer science and engineering at Texas A&M University, will become head of computer science and a professor of engineering at the University of Illinois.