A digest of Illinois Computer Science faculty, alumni, and students who are featured in the media.
Crain's Chicago Business -- Caterpillar Digital moved into new Chicago offices in September. Like other big companies, Cat is responding to the disruption created by Apple, Amazon and others, and competing with them for tech talent -- something students aren't always aware of. "It doesn't seem like (Caterpillar) would have as much need," said Anushka Bose, a freshman computer science major at the University of Illinois.
The News-Gazette -- Projects to help communities adopt sustainable development strategies and create a statewide pipeline to train computer-science teachers are among those funded in the Discovery Partners Institute's first round of seed grants. The teacher-training program is led in part by Illinois CS Associate Professor Craig Zilles.
The News-Gazette -- With two dozen state-of-the-art classrooms, more than almost any campus building, the four-story building will be used for courses in engineering, math, statistics, computer science, and related courses, all high-demand programs that are in need of more space.
Illinois Innovators podcast -- Gul Agha, professor of computer science and Director of the Open Systems Laboratory at the University of Illinois, joins the program. His widely cited work, "Actors: A Model of Concurrent Computing in Distributed Systems," provided a basis for a number of research projects in concurrent programming. Actor frameworks have been used to program Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook Chat, and more.
The Columbus Dispatch -- Gregg Nigl almost didn’t fill out his March Madness bracket. But now, through 48 games of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, his remains perfect, the last of its kind. The odds of Nigl correctly predicting the final 15 games, though, are about 1 in 32,786, said Sheldon H. Jacobson, a professor of computer science at the University of Illinois.
High Post Hoops -- University of Illinois computer science Professor Sheldon Jacobson has created a women’s tournament bracket simulator. So, want to know what’s likely to happen in the tournament? We ran 100 simulations to get a general sense. Here are the top questions that we can answer, thanks to the simulator.
The News-Gazette -- The paper's regular Wired In feature focuses on PhD student Rizky Wellyanto. He is the CEO and co-founder of Virtision.com, which allows college students to virtually tour apartments they're considering. The article also mentions Assistant Professor Ranjitha Kumar, and his co-founder, CS alum Brandon Chen (BS CS ’18).
Crain's Chicago Business -- Argonne National Laboratory will spend more than $500 million to build the world's fastest supercomputer. The new machine, Aurora, will be the first to operate at exascale. Supercomputers are innovation engines and talent magnets, says Bill Kramer, an Illinois CS professor and senior associate director of the Blue Waters Project at NCSA. NCSA Director Bill Gropp added that "We are confident that Illinois will continue to be a leader in applying advanced computing."
USA Today/The Associated Press -- University of Illinois computer science Professor Sheldon Jacobson has always loved data. He's long had a men's NCAA Tournament bracket simulator. After getting many requests, Jacobson decided to put together the first for the women's tournament. Also published by The New York Times, the Washington Post, ESPN.com, and many others. Video also available at AP Sports' Twitter account.
Chicago Tribune -- Alum and software engineer Jeff Axelrod (Math & CS '94) is running for a position on the Village Board in the Chicago suburb of Wilmette.
Cryptonews -- Celer Network, a startup whose founders include Mo Dong (PhD CS ’17), raised $4 million in less than 18 minutes in a token sale. The company raised $7.46 million in a seed round in April 2018 and another $23.25 million during a private token sale in July 2018.
KoreaBusiness -- Q&A with James Kang (Math & CS, '86), the CTO of the new operator of the Republic of Korea's lottery. "Dong Hang Lottery's newly introduced service in the lottery business utilizes block-chain technology for internet sales and electronic lottery system. Also, this technology has greatly increased the reliability of our system."
Yardbarker -- When you fill out an NCAA Tournament bracket, you’re essentially engaging in educated guesswork. And this, says University of Illinois computer science Professor Sheldon Jacobson, is where analytics can make a difference.
FoxNews.com -- In an opinion piece that he authored, Illinois CS Professor Sheldon Jacobson says that the sophisticated mathematical modeling used to increase the odds of creating a solid NCAA Tournament bracket can also be used to solve the most complex challenges in both industry and government.
The News-Gazette -- "Most of the new positions would be targeted at graduate and professional programs that have fueled enrollment growth. But other hires would aim to reduce high student-faculty ratios in undergraduate areas such as engineering and computer science." Also coverage from The Associated Press.
Deadline Hollywood -- YouTube co-founders Steve Chen, an Illinois CS alumnus, and Chad Hurley will receive the Emmy Award for Lifetime Achievement at the 70th Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards in Las Vegas, Nev., in April. Chen and Hurley founded the company with another Illinois CS alum, Jawed Karim (BS CS '04).
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.