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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January 2018 media appearances

Researchers Discover Organic Shape-Shifting Crystals

Interesting Engineering (Jan. 27) -- At the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign, biomolecular engineering Professor Ying Diao and Graduate student Hyunjong Chung have discovered a mechanism that has the be profound ability to generate shape memory phenomena in organic crystals used in plastic electronics. Plastic electronics paired with shape memory material could bring about advancements in medical electronics as well as consumer electronic devices. 

Renewed measurements of muon￿s magnetism could open door to new physics

Brinkwire (Jan. 26) -- Next week, physicists will pick up an old quest for new physics. A team of 190 researchers at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in Batavia, Illinois, will begin measuring to exquisite precision the magnetism of a fleeting particle called the muon. They hope to firm up tantalizing hints from an earlier incarnation of the experiment, which suggested that the particle is ever so slightly more magnetic than predicted by the prevailing standard model of particle physics. Other charged particles could also sample this unseen zoo, says Aida El-Khadra, a theorist at the University of Illinois in Urbana. But, she adds, “The muon hits the sweet spot of being light enough to be long-lived and heavy enough to be sensitive to new physics.”

Scientists pioneer use of deep learning for real-time gravitational wave discovery

Phys.org (Jan. 26) -- Scientists at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), located at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, have pioneered the use of GPU-accelerated deep learning for rapid detection and characterization of gravitational waves. This new approach will enable astronomers to study gravitational waves using minimal computational resources, reducing time to discovery and increasing the scientific reach of gravitational wave astrophysics. 

 

Renewed measurements of muon's magnetism could open door to new physics

Science (Jan. 25) -- Next week, physicists will pick up an old quest for new physics. A team of 190 researchers at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in Batavia, Illinois, will begin measuring to exquisite precision the magnetism of a fleeting particle called the muon. Because the muon can emit and reabsorb any particle, its magnetism tallies all possible particles—even new ones too massive for the LHC to make. Other charged particles could also sample this unseen zoo, says Aida El-Khadra, a theorist at the University of Illinois in Urbana. But, she adds, "The muon hits the sweet spot of being light enough to be long-lived and heavy enough to be sensitive to new physics."

DARPA wants to build an image search engine out of DNA

Wired (Jan. 24) -- The federal Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has begun investing millions in discovering radical, nonbinary ways to work with data. “Molecules offer a very different approach to ‘computing’ than the 0s and 1s of our existing digital systems,” says Anne Fischer, the program manager for DARPA’s Molecular Informatics program, which has so far awarded $15.3 million to projects at Harvard University, Brown University, the U. of I. and the University of Washington. 

When Bitcoins Vanish, Can You Get Them Back?

HowStuffWorks (Jan. 24) -- One big technical issue with storing your bitcoin on online exchanges is that they don’t give you a copy of your private key, explains Andrew Miller, a cryptocurrency and computer security researcher and professor of electrical and computer engineering at Illinois. That can mean your bitcoin can be stolen or lost forever.

Physics professor's startup raises additional $1 million to complete a series a round for $2M.

PR Web (Jan. 24) -- Inprentus was founded in June 2012 by University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign physics professor Peter Abbamonte to commercialize an innovative, dual-atomic microscope scribing technology, which is a technique for carrying out nano-scale lithography via mechanical deformation of metallic surfaces. Also: FinSMEs (Jan. 24)

Interview: Marcin Kleczynski, Malwarebytes

Info Security Magainze (Jan. 24) -- Marcin Kleczynski developed the product that would become Malwarebytes, all whilst he was a student at the University of Illinois.

U of I Researcher Recognized with ACM Fellowship for Contributions to Parallel Programming

HPC Wire (Jan. 23) -- Laxmikant “Sanjay” Kale, a professor of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a NCSA Faculty Affiliate, was named to the the 2017 class of fellows from the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the scientific computing community’s largest society.

Sound waves improve optical communication

CEMag (Jan. 23) -- University of Illinois researchers have demonstrated that sound waves can be used to produce ultraminiature optical diodes that are tiny enough to fit onto a computer chip. These devices, called optical isolators, may help solve major data capacity and system size challenges for photonic integrated circuits, the light-based equivalent of electronic circuits, which are used for computing and communications.

Watch this bottle freeze in the blink of an eye

Live Science (Jan. 17) --￿A way-cool clip posted on social media shows the strange phenomenon of a ￿snap freeze,￿ a bottle of spring water rapidly freezing from top to bottom when shaken after being left outside in cold weather. Crystallization of water into ice requires a home base and won￿t happen if the water is pure enough, according to the U. of I. Physics Van outreach program.

(Physics) Voyage into the dark sector: A hidden world of particles awaits.

Symmetry (Jan. 16) -- We don’t need extra dimensions or parallel universes to have an alternate reality superimposed right on top of our own. Invisible matter is everywhere. For example, take neutrinos generated by the sun, says Jessie Shelton, a theorist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who works on dark sector physics. “We are constantly bombarded with neutrinos, but they pass right through us. They share the same space as our atoms but almost never interact.”

Wired In: Iwona Jasiuk

News-Gazette (Jan. 14) -- Each week, staff writer Paul Wood chats with a high-tech entrepreneur. This week, meet IWONA JASIUK, a professor in the University of Illinois Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering and part-time faculty member at the Beckman Institute's 3D Micro and Nanosystems group. She might save your bones.

Dark energy survey publicly releases first three years of data

Space Daily (Jan. 12) -- At a special session held during the American Astronomical Society meeting in Washington, D.C., scientists on the Dark Energy Survey announced the public release of their first three years of data. The release includes information on about 400 million astronomical objects, including distant galaxies billions of light years away. Images from the Dark Energy Camera, one of the most powerful digital imaging devices in existence used by the survey, are processed by a team at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at Illinois.

Stats resolve "kill the winner" paradox

Cosmos (Jan. 5) -- New research at Illinois holds the possibility of solving a known problem in ecology called the “biodiversity paradox,” in which if two species occupy the same ecological niche, one should win out over the other, and result in a decrease in biodiversity. But that theory is disproven by the actual biodiversity observed in nature. Chi Xue and Nigel Goldenfeld of the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology at Illinois have developed a mathematical model that more realistically extends and refines the “Kill the Winner” model. Also: Inverse (Jan. 5)

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