Engineering at Illinois News News from Engineering at Illinois Taxi GPS data helps researchers study Hurricane Sandy's effect on NYC traffic When Hurricane Sandy struck the east coast in late October 2012, the “superstorm” disrupted traffic in New York City for more than five days, but the evacuation proceeded relatively efficiently with only minor delays. The largest Atlantic hurricane on record, Sandy offered a chance for Illinois researchers to try out a new computational method they developed that promises to help municipalities quantify the resilience of their transportation systems to extreme events using only GPS data from taxis. Celeste Arbogast, CEE Dept. Tue, 21 Oct 2014 00:00:00 CDT CS @ Illinois celebrates 50 years! During the last five decades, the Department of Computer Science at Illinois has produced thousands of creative and driven graduates who have made important contributions to the computing field and to society at large. Collectively, its alumni and faculty have birthed entirely new industries, generated billions of dollars in commerce, created tens of thousands of jobs, and revolutionized the way people communicate, shop, conduct business, and are entertained. This week the CS department is inviting alumni and friends, corporate and campus partners, and current faculty, staff and students to join in a week of celebration. Activities include the Women in Computer Science Fall Student & Alumni Dinner, the 50th Anniversary Celebration, the CS @ ILLINOIS Awards, and Homecoming festivities and football. Fri, 17 Oct 2014 00:00:00 CDT Fostering geospatial discovery and innovation through a national CyberGIS facility Geospatial data—or information that is linked to location and time—can be complex, irregular, and difficult to analyze. The CyberGIS Center for Advanced Digital and Spatial Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign was established to tackle these issues by managing, processing, and visualizing massive and complex geospatial data, while performing associated analysis and simulation. CyberGIS can provide insights to scientists about trends, tipping points, and hidden connections. Fri, 17 Oct 2014 00:00:00 CDT Chicago Innovation Exchange partners with Engineering at Illinois The University of Chicago’s new Chicago Innovation Exchange (CIE), which celebrated its grand opening on October 16, announced a partnership with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s College of Engineering. The CIE, in collaboration with the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, helped foster the relationship, which unites Chicago Booth students and entrepreneurship with top-tier engineering talent and encourages the development and retention of start-ups in Illinois, both in Chicago and Urbana-Champaign. Thu, 16 Oct 2014 00:00:00 CDT Sculpture installed at ECE Workers install John Adduci’s “Diss-Connections,” next to the Wright Street entrance of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Building. The sculpture consists of three simple bronze wire connectors sitting atop twisted stainless steel wires. Adduci, an internationally recognized artist based in Chicago, uses the fluidity of metal to express both movement and stability to outdoor sculpture. Thu, 16 Oct 2014 00:00:00 CDT CS @ Illinois first to offer Data Mining and Cloud Computing specializations on Coursera Coursera and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign announced a pair of computer science specializations, one in data mining and Big Data and one in cloud computing. These targeted sequences of courses will be offered as massive, open online courses (MOOCs). Wed, 15 Oct 2014 00:00:00 CDT 24 Illinois undergrads selected for NCSA internships Wed, 15 Oct 2014 00:00:00 CDT Study reveals optimal particle size for anticancer nanomedicines Nanomedicines consisting of nanoparticles for targeted drug delivery to specific tissues and cells offer new solutions for cancer diagnosis and therapy. Understanding the interdependency of physiochemical properties of nanomedicines, in correlation to their biological responses and functions, is crucial for their further development of as cancer-fighters. In a recent study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, MatSE associate professor Jianjun Cheng and his collaborators systematically evaluated the size-dependent biological profiles of three monodisperse drug-silica nanoconjugates at 20, 50 and 200 nm. Wed, 15 Oct 2014 00:00:00 CDT New imaging may reveal trace metals' role in Alzheimers and Parkinsons NPRE Associate Prof. Ling-Jian Meng’s team is developing a new, non-invasive X-ray imaging technique, called X-ray stimulated emission tomography (XSET), for mapping the distribution of trace metals in mouse brain. The new technology could provide critical information for studying the relation between the presence of trace metals in the brain and certain neural degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, as well as provide a more precise way for image-guided anti-cancer drug delivery and release processes. Tue, 14 Oct 2014 00:00:00 CDT Ruzic Elected as APS Fellow NPRE Prof. David N. Ruzic has been elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society. Ruzic, Bliss Professor of Engineering, has been cited “for major contributions toward the use of lithium as a plasma facing component for fusion applications and understanding of plasma-material interactions through innovative experiments.” Sun, 12 Oct 2014 00:00:00 CDT Geagea to deliver Dean's Distinguished Leadership Lecture on Oct. 22 Joseph C. Geagea, senior vice president of technology, projects and services at Chevron, will deliver the  College of Engineering’s Dean's Distinguished Leadership Lecture on Wednesday, October 22. His presentation, “Meeting our Energy Needs For a Better Tomorrow,” will take place at  4:30 p.m. in Room 1310 at the Yeh Center in Newmark Laboratory. Sat, 11 Oct 2014 00:00:00 CDT U of I chosen for NIH Center of Excellence for Big Data Computing The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will be the home of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Center of Excellence for Big Data Computing, part of a wide-ranging effort to develop new strategies to analyze and leverage the explosion of increasingly complex biomedical data sets, often referred to as Big Data. These NIH multi-institute awards constitute an initial investment of nearly $32 million in fiscal year 2014 by NIH’s Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) initiative to establish 12 centers that will each tackle specific data science challenges. Thu, 9 Oct 2014 09:30:00 CDT New Illinois-Mayo Center Announced to Revolutionize Genomic Data Analysis In 2012, the National Institutes of Health created the Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) initiative to enable efforts to harness the potential of this flood of information.  As part of the first wave of BD2K funding, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Mayo Clinic have now received a $9.34M, 4-year award to create one of several new Centers of Excellence for Big Data Computing. Thu, 9 Oct 2014 00:00:00 CDT Featured on New York Times - Rogers' Wearable Technology Feels Like Skin John A. Rogers, a professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been working for nearly a decade to perfect flexible devices that can be worn on the skin or implanted internally. The health applications are enormous. Over the past year, Mr. Rogers and his team of scientists have been working with patients with Parkinson’s disease to monitor their motions, dermatologists to treat skin diseases, and beauty companies like L’Oréal to develop digital stickers that track skin hydration. Wearable-computer advocates are also giddy about the infinite style possibilities. Thu, 9 Oct 2014 00:00:00 CDT Charged graphene gives DNA a stage to perform molecular gymnastics Thu, 9 Oct 2014 00:00:00 CDT NSF Data Infrastructure Building Blocks grant to accelerate materials-to-device processes Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are seeking to accelerate the technology transfer processes – perhaps by as much as 50 percent – through a new cyber-infrastructure grant funded by the National Science Foundation. The $1.5 million project, funded under the NSF Data Infrastructure Building Blocks (DIBBs) program, will transform materials-to-device processes by creating new data infrastructure that would enable researchers to better collect, curate and correlate scientific data generated during material creation and device fabrication processes. Wed, 8 Oct 2014 00:00:00 CDT Gropp Wins SIAM/ACM CS&E Prize for PETSc Numerical Library CS Professor William Gropp, a Siebel Chair in Computer Science at the University of Illinois, has been awarded the SIAM/ACM prize in Computational Science & Engineering (CS&E) for his work on the Portable, Extensible Toolkit for Scientific Computation (PETSc), a numerical library for the scalable solution of scientific applications modeled by partial differential equations. PETSc “has transformed the way large-scale software libraries are developed, supported, and used within the CS&E community,” according to a SIAM/ACM press release, and its impact “has been felt worldwide.” Kim Gudeman, Coordinated Science Lab Fri, 3 Oct 2014 00:00:00 CDT Bioenergy crops could store more carbon in soil In addition to providing renewable energy, grass crops like switchgrass and miscanthus could store some of the carbon they pull from the atmosphere in the soil, according to a new study by University of Illinois researchers. Led by civil and environmental engineering professor Praveen Kumar, the study compared soil dynamics – the ratio of carbon to nitrogen and microbial activity – of bioenergy crops with that of a standard corn-corn-soybean rotation. They found that in bioenergy crops, a certain threshold of plant matter left in the field after harvest lets much more carbon accumulate in the soil. Thu, 2 Oct 2014 00:00:00 CDT AE3's "Past, Present & Future" event features PLATO inventor Donald L. Bitzer, ECE professor emeritus and co-inventor of PLATO, will be the featured speaker at a special event, “Engineering Education @Illinois: Past, Present & Future!” The free event, sponsored by the Academy for Excellence in Engineering Education (AE3) will take place on Wednesday, October 8, 4:00 p.m., 1005 Beckman Institute. Rick Kubetz, Engineering Communications Office Thu, 2 Oct 2014 00:00:00 CDT Washington Post: Jacobson on Ebola Screening Invited Op Ed article from Sheldon H. Jacobson, a computer science professor in the College of Engineering at Illinois, suggests that airport screenings for Ebola should have the same level of importance as screening for terrorists. "Certainly, implementing the various levels of screening for Ebola will require a delicate balance between public health and personal freedom — similar to the debates that occurred when aviation security was augmented following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Thu, 2 Oct 2014 00:00:00 CDT