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.

Illini baseball team not in ￿Dark Ages￿ when it comes to analytics

News-Gazette (April 24) -- Two weeks ago, just before an Illinois baseball team practice, Charlie Young was on the roof of the Illinois Field press box, fiddling around with the small box mounted on a tripod that the Illini baseball team hopes will revolutionize its data collection and use of advanced analytics. The Illinois baseball team's data analytics program is still in its infancy. Young, a sophomore studying computer science and astronomy, works with Wells, who played baseball for Champaign Central and Knox College, and Illinois emeritus professor Alan Nathan, who is well-known for his studies in the physics of baseball.

Graphene origami as a mechanically tunable plasmonic structure for infrared detection

Science Daily (April 24) -- Researchers at the University of Illinois have successfully developed a tunable infrared filter made from graphene, which would allow a solider to change the frequency of a filter simply by controlled mechanical deformation of the filter (i.e., graphene origami), and not by replacing the substance on the goggles used to filter a particular spectrum of colors.

Why the drop in home runs in 2018?

Denver Post (April 20) -- Major League Baseball’s home run rate, which has been on a precipitous climb since the middle of 2015, is down in 2018. Alan Nathan, professor emeritus of physics at Illinois and a leading expert on the physics of baseball, cautions against jumping to conclusions. This year’s decline in homers “might be due to the unusually cold weather,” Nathan says. 

An innovation lab based at the University of Illinois is playing a role in the firms' crypto efforts

Business Insider (April 20) -- Secretive Chicago-based trading firm Jump Trading and venture capital investor Jump Capital are behind a lab at the U. of I. that’s a key part of their cryptocurrency efforts. Jump Labs, which has been in existence for a few years but hasn’t yet been reported on, brings in personnel from Jump Trading and Jump Capital, students, professors and postdoctorals to work on cutting-edge research for Jump and its portfolio companies. 

Mantis shrimp may unlock secret to underwater GPS

Minneapolis Tribune (April 20) -- Leave it to the multitalented mantis shrimp to unlock the secret to underwater GPS. Two years ago, Viktor Gruev mimicked its bulging eyes to create a camera able to record polarized light and better detect some cancers. Gruev, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Illinois, used that same technology to develop a method of underwater global positioning.

NASA helps students launch satellite into space

WCIA (April 19) -- NASA is helping UI engineering students launch a million dollar satellite. They're hoping this innovative technology will pave the way for the future in science. Their hard work is about to make it into space. The CubeSail satellite has been almost ten years in the making. 

Experts Recommend Composite Materials to Fulfill Infrastructure Needs

Transport Topics (April 19) -- Using composite materials in construction could help offset the country’s multitrillion-dollar infrastructure deficit, according to various engineering experts who testified April 18 before a House subcommittee on research and technology. David Lange, a professor of engineering at Illinois, recommended policy that would more closely consider performance specifications.

You Won￿t Believe What Could Be Growing in Your Tap Water

Reader's Digest (April 18) -- U. of I. researchers recently found bacteria in tap water can actually proliferate if a faucet has gone unused for a few days.

Data and Sports

Chicago Tribune (April 17) -- Sheldon Jacobson, a professor of computer science at Illinois, says the technology that Stats, a company which gathers data from sporting events around the world for more than 650 customers, is working on would find new value in sports data that are already out there. “It’s the artificial intelligence that realizes the potential of the data,” he says. “What Stats is really monetizing is the information the data contains.”

Night of the Living Bacteria: How GPUs Aid Fight Against Zombie-Like Bugs

NVIDIA (April 17) -- Using supercomputer simulations and laboratory experiments, researchers at Illinois and the University of Munich discovered why staph bacteria – the leading cause of health care-related infections – can be so tough to beat. Their work could point the way to new treatments for now-invincible bacterial foes.

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