In The News Archive

This monthly summary includes excerpts from Illinois in the News, a daily service provided by the University of Illinois News Bureau and other media search tools. This collection of recent stories focuses on engineering topics and faculty contacted for their expertise by print and broadcast reporters around the world.

Emotional posting

The Washington Post (Feb. 16) – Choose an emotion instead of just a like, and your friends get a better sense of how you feel about their posts. But doing so also tells Facebook something about you. And that is one big reason Ben Grosser, an artist and a professor of art and design at Illinois who describes his work as “writing software in order to investigate the social effects of software,” made an extension that randomizes what you tell Facebook about how you’re feeling.

AI music (Feb. 16) – Artificial intelligence-composed music is not a new phenomenon, by any means. The Illiac Suite, a string-quartet piece that American composers Lejaren Hiller and Leonard Isaacson created in 1957 using an early computer at Illinois, is widely considered the first computer-assisted composition.

Embedded sensors for sports

Science Daily (Feb. 16) -- In an effort to make big data analytics more accessible for the sports industry, researchers have utilized IoT devices -- low-cost sensors and radios -- that can be embedded into sports equipment (e.g., balls, rackets, and shoes), as well as in wearable devices. Also: R&D Magazine (Rockaway, N.J., Feb. 16).

Digital signage

Campus Technology (Chatsworth, Calif., Feb. 15) – Over a decade ago, digital signage services at Illinois began with the construction of two new campus buildings. In what could be described as a federation of growing digital signage networks, the university currently hosts 24 major units, with more than 350 digital signs covering dozens of campus buildings.

ThinkChicago: Emmanuel recruits at Illinois

Chicago Inno (Feb. 15) -- Late in 2015, a group of tech leaders convened at Chicago-headquartered Gogo and promised to take a trip down to the U. of I. The objective: extending the city’s ThinkChicago initiative to showcase Chicago’s technology startups, with the hope that students will take up jobs here instead of fleeing to the coasts after graduation.


Tagging cancer cells

Medical News Today (Brighton, United Kingdom, Feb. 15) – By hijacking a cancer cell’s own metabolism, researchers have found a way to tag and target elusive cancers with small-molecule sugars. This opens treatment pathways for cancers that are not responsive to conventional targeted antibodies, such as triple-negative breast cancer. Led by Jianjun Cheng, a Hans Thurnauer Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois, researchers at Illinois and collaborators in China published their findings in the journal Nature Chemical Biology. Also: Phys.Org (Feb. 14), Chemical and Engineering News (Washington, D.C., Feb. 15), Science Daily (Feb. 15), ScienceBlog (Feb. 15), Science 360 (NSF, Feb. 16).

DIY bio-bots

Phys.Org (Feb. 13) -- For the past several years, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have been developing a class of walking "bio-bots" powered by muscle cells and controlled with electrical and optical pulses. Now, Rashid Bashir's research group is sharing the recipe for the current generation of bio-bots. Their how-to paper is the cover article in Nature Protocols. Also: ScienceBlog (Feb. 10), Controlled Environments (Feb. 13), R&D Magazine (Rockaway, N.J., Feb. 13), I-Connect007 (Feb. 13), Electronics 360 (Feb. 13), (blog, Feb. 14), The Indian Express (Feb. 14), 3D Printing Industry (Feb. 14), Digital Trends (Feb. 16).

Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Chicago Business Journal (Feb. 13) – After a century of being one of the only major universities without a medical school, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is finally getting one. The twist? The school is being conceived as an engineering-based school of medicine.

Luminescence switchable carbon nanodots

Phys.Org (Feb. 13) -- Tiny carbon dots have, for the first time, been applied to intracellular imaging and tracking of drug delivery involving various optical and vibrational spectroscopic-based techniques such as fluorescence, Raman, and hyperspectral imaging. Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have demonstrated, for the first time, that photo luminescent carbon nanoparticles can exhibit reversible switching of their optical properties in cancer cells. Also: Science Daily (Feb. 13), ScienceBlog (Feb. 13).

Bracketology (Feb. 13) – How hard is it to pick the perfect March Madness bracket? DePaul University professor of mathematics Jeffrey Bergen says the chance of someone filling out a perfect bracket is 1 in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808. Arash Khatibi, a graduate adviser at Illinois, worked with professors Sheldon H. Jacobson and Douglas M. King to crunch numbers similar to Bergen’s.

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