In The News

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.

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September 2017 media appearances

Computer Science alumnus Max Levchin weighs in on American citizenship

U.S. News & World Report (Sept. 17) -- On Citizenship Day, alunmus Max Levchin, the founder of PayPal, provides an opinion piece reflecting on his decision to seek asylum from the Soviet Union in 1991 and enroll at Illinois and how the path gave him an opportunity to become an entrepreneur. 

Wired In: Deming Chen

News-Gazette (Sept. 17) -- University of Illinois engineering professor Deming Chen talks about the sound detecting device he developed that could help to improve security on college campuses and other places.

Sugarcane-Based Biofuel Could Create Cheaper, More Environmentally-Friendly Jet Fuel

Futurism (Sept. 14) -- Researchers have engineered a lipid-producing sugarcane that can be used to produce renewable jet fuel. “Oil-to-jet is one of the direct and efficient routes to convert bio-based feedstocks to jet fuel,” says Vijay Singh, a professor of agricultural and biological engineering and the director of the Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory at Illinois. 

Spectroscopic "science camera"
Alumnus Divey Gulati from ShipBob talks Amazon in Chicago
University of Illinois Introduces Robot for Plant Breeders, Scientists
Power Grid

Midwest Energy News (Sept. 13) -- The state of Illinois is gearing up for the launch of NextGrid, an 18-month consumer-focused study of critical issues facing the state’s electric utility industry in the future. The Illinois Commerce Commission, a regulatory body, is managing the process, and it was announced in August that the power and energy system area of the electrical and computer engineering department at Illinois will be the lead facilitator.

Congressional redistricting

Innovators Magazine (Sept. 12) -- In the US ‘congressional redistricting’ is often viewed as something politicians tinker with to gain advantage. It happens every 10 years in response to census changes and is carried out by each state legislature. To offer an alternative to human decision making, and its shaky claims to impartiality, a team from the University of Illinois is using algorithms to offer a more robust system. Also: (Sept. 11)

Predicting Sepsis

UPI (Sept. 8) --￿Researchers at Illinois at found that biomarkers in the blood are as effective at predicting sepsis as long-term patient monitoring.￿

Alumni Feiger, Tebbe named Who's Who in Chicago Business

Crain's Chicago Business (Sept. 6) -- Engineering at Illinois alumni Mitchell Feiger (BS, General Engineering, 1980) and Mark Tebbe (BS, Computer Science, 1983) were named to Crain's Chicago Business' List of Who's Who in Chicago Business.

Pitchers catch a bad break at elevation, lose movement on their curveball
Microsoft joins top universities to advance blockchain-based solutions and infrastructure

Newswise (Aug. 31) -- Microsoft & IC3 announced joining the Initiative for Cryptocurrencies and Contracts (IC3), which includes faculty members at Cornell University, Cornell Tech, UC Berkeley, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, and the Technion, along with leading finance and technology companies.

Engineering at Illinois building upgrades

News-Gazette (Sept. 5) -- Two buildings on the engineering campus will get major renovations totaling almost $75 million — including a pedestrian "smart bridge" connecting two civil engineering laboratories — under projects moving ahead at the University of Illinois.

Keeping hackers at bay
Seeing Emergent Physics Behind Evolution

Quanta (Aug. 31) -- Q&A with Nigel Goldenfeld, a professor physics, who applies the physics of condensed matter to understand why evolution was blazingly fast for the earliest life — and then slowed down.

Supercomputing and gerrymandering

Dallas Morning News (Aug. 31) --  Among the new approaches to preventing gerrymandering is a supercomputer algorithm, created at Illinois, that can compare a district to millions of hypothetical alternatives to determine whether the original map is a statistical outlier.

When It Comes to Evolution, Microbes Have to Pick and Choose

Scientific American (Aug. 31) -- To survive hostile environments, an organism often has to acquire new traits. But the rules of evolution appear to restrict how many such characteristics it can optimize at once. In a new study, researchers, led by Seppe Kuehn, a biological physicist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, say they found that some bacteria make a genetic trade-off: the microbes involved were able to develop only one of two new traits and selected the one that best helped them thrive in a given setting.

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