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.

Q&A with physics professor Nadya Mason

News-Gazette (Feb. 22) -- On Thursdays throughout the semester, staff writer Adalberto Toledo will book an appointment with a UI professor. Today: physics Professor NADYA MASON, director of the new Materials Research Science and Engineering Center.

Amazon wristbands could track workers' hand movements Tribune (Feb. 20) -- Amazon’s new wristbands that track hand movements could give employers a fine-tuned understanding of how workers’ hands are moving, what’s working in the warehouse and what isn’t, says Romit Roy Choudhury, a professor of computer engineering at Illinois. “Putting the wrong box in a particular place can have cascading effects,” he says. “Being able to track these things and give an alert on your wrist saying that you put it in the wrong place, I think, is very important.”

A case for cryptocurrencies

The Statesman (Feb. 21) -- Rakesh Kumar, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Illinois, writes about the rise of cryptocurrencies.

Researchers hope to unlock the secrets of graphene using HPC

Scientific American (Feb. 21) --  Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are using the Blue Waters supercomputer to research the potential applications of graphene - including nanoscale electronics and electrical DNA sequencing.

Three UI professors earn $65,000 research fellowship grants

News-Gazette (Feb. 17) -- The UI announced that Ying Diao and two other professors — Qian Chen and Pinshane Huang, both in materials science and engineering — received research fellowship grants from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Each professor, along with their team of graduate students and post-doctoral scholars, will get $65,000, to be used over two years.

University of Illinois Selects Projects for $11M Investment

U.S. News and World Report (Feb. 17) -- The University of Illinois has selected its first 17 "investment for growth" projects that are designed to boost its income and enhance the university's academic mission. Some of the projects will include an engineering teaching center and a partnership that will allow high school students in China to take courses at the university online. Other projects were already available like the online "iMBA" program, which launched in 2016. Ellinger said those programs that show promise will likely be expanded.


Genetic screen of soil microbes uncovers novel antibiotics

Chemical and Engineering News (February 15) -- Bacteria have long been a prolific source of potentially therapeutic natural products, but only about 1 percent of bacteria can be grown in the lab. Researchers report the discovery of a new class of antibiotics called malacidins that bypasses the need to culture bacteria. “It will take many years to develop malacidins into new antibiotics, even in the best scenario,” says Huimin Zhao, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at Illinois who was not involved in the study.

Diamondbacks on track to unveil humidor in 2018

AZ Central (Feb. 14) -- University of Illinois physics professor emeritus Alan Nathan estimated last year in a study published online by The Hardball Times that the Diamondbacks' humidor could make an even bigger impact than at Coors Field, in part because the average relative humidity in Phoenix is far lower than in Denver.


Motherboard (Feb. 15) -- Andrew Miller, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Illinois, recently used measurements from a radioactive piece of the core of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor to create random numbers used as part of a cryptographic key that can be used by those using Zcash, a cryptocurrency.

U of I team studying spread of information on social media

Seattle Times (Feb. 12) -- University of Illinois researchers are using a $4 million grant to study how information moves across social media, affecting people’s beliefs and shaping events. Computer Science Professor Tarek Abdelzaher (TAR’-ek AHB’-del-zah-hair) is leading a team that received a five-year grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Also: Telegraph-Herald (Feb. 11), NPR (Feb. 12)

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