A digest of Illinois Computer Science faculty, alumni, and students who are featured in the media.
The Daily Dot -- Illinois CS alum Chris Lai is a serial tech entrepreneur. MassVR is his most recent venture. It's a 6,000-square foot warehouse on the northwest side of Chicago. While based on some of the same technology as VR releases from Oculus and HTC, MassVR has a different vision for the future of VR. Think multiplayer VR meets laser tag arena.
Harvest Public Media -- As the number of farm and ranch managers shrinks, there are still more students graduating from ag colleges. Some, like Omkar Manoj Haridas, plan to pursue the kinds of careers that are open to them with new degrees such as the University of Illinois' CS + Crop Science.
The News-Gazette -- "The Drive" is a new movie project from Jewel Ifeguni, a University of Illinois computer science minor, and her startup, YouMatter Studios.
The Daily Illini -- “I personally think that the literacy of the 21st century is going to be able to do meaningful things with data,” Teaching Assistant Professor Wade Fagen-Ulmschneider said. “So I think what we are starting right now will be something that you look back on in 10 years and think, ‘Yeah, everyone needs to know data science, almost like math and reading.’ And that’s the foundation we are setting.”
HPCWire -- National Center For Supercomputing Applications Director and Thomas M. Siebel Chair in Computer Science William Gropp has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Also covered in The Daily Illini.
The Daily Illini -- “I’m really excited. It’s a big honor,” incoming Illinois CS Department Head Nancy Amato said. “It’s also a little bit odd to come back to a place where you (were a) student and then join as the faculty member. It never occurred to me that I’d be able to do that.”
Chicago Tribune -- A story on cybersecurity badges and other efforts by the Girl Scouts to promote STEM fields to girls mentions increases in female enrollment at Illinois Computer Science as a bright spot in the region's technology ecosystem.
WIRED -- “In December 1994, a 23-year-old University of Illinois grad named Marc Andreessen released Netscape 1.0. The web browser featured a protocol called Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), which let both sides of a transaction encrypt personal information. From there, e-commerce began to take off.”
The News-Gazette -- A new teaching facility for the University of Illinois College of Engineering would accommodate 10 to 15 percent enrollment growth in high-demand engineering programs such as computer science, said Mike Devocelle, associate engineering dean for finance and administration. The college turns down thousands of qualified computer science students each year, he said.
The Daily Illini -- Computer science is now combined with a variety of different majors through the CS + X degree program. “CS + X is a recognition that today, computing touches nearly everything, and as a result, the arts, science, business, medicine, and engineering are all changing,” Director of Undergraduate Programs Elsa Gunter said.
The News-Gazette -- The News-Gazette's regular Wired-In feature focuses on Tanay Vardhan, a University of Illinois senior majoring in aerospace engineering who is also an Illinois Computer Science minor. "He's passionate about web development and working on a startup called Turkbox."
CNET -- If baseball cards seem like old hat, here's a new twist: venture capitalist trading cards. Each pack comes with an assortment of five cards, and various iconic investors such as Illinosi CS alum Marc Andreessen are randomly placed in each pack. Also covered by Techcrunch.
EdScoop -- The computer science department at University of Illinois, which was the 2017 NCWIT NEXT Award Grand Prize recipient, used surveys to find out what experiences influenced students’ decisions to enroll. The survey data confirmed the faculty’s initial hunch that personal interactions often convinced women to enroll.
HPC Wire -- As the 30th anniversary SC conference began, HPC Wire profiled the 19 people who have been at all 18 of the conferences. Known as Perennials, they include former NCSA Deputy Director Jim Bottum, Illinois CS graduate Allen Malony (PhD '90), and Illinois CS graduate Kenichi Miura (MS CS ’71, PhD ’73).
The News-Gazette -- Democrats have increased their slim majority on the Champaign County Board. The winners include Illinois Computer Science PhD student and new board member Pranjal Vachaspati.
Fortune -- C3 CEO and Illinois Computer Science graduate Tom Siebel hosts a weekend of events focused on the social implications of A.I., including debate among four experts who have authored books on the subject.
The Associated Press -- The University of Illinois is joining the Chicago Quantum Exchange to explore quantum technology, an emerging field of physics and engineering that involves studying matter and energy at a small scale. Experts believe work in the field could eliminate cybersecurity risks and further pharmaceutical discoveries.
Resoundingly Human podcast -- Illinois CS Professor Sheldon Jacobson appears on the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences' podcast to discus his IMPACT Prize from the group. The prize recognized work by Jacobson and his students that helped transform air-travel security.
Chicago Inno’s 50 on Fire celebration identifies the city’s hottest companies, organizations and people across a variety of categories. The winners, including incoming Illinois CS Department Head Nancy Amato, were announced a few weeks ago. This video shown at the event includes Amato at about 7:35.
The News-Gazette -- The University of Illinois joins the Quantum Computing Exchange and announces the new Illinois Quantum Information Science and Technology Center. Also covered by the Chicago Tribune and ChicagoInno.