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Gul Agha, professor of computer science and Director of the Open Systems Laboratory at the University of Illinois, joins Illinois Innovators. His widely cited work, "Actors: A Model of Concurrent Computing in Distributed Systems," provided a basis for a number of research projects in concurrent programming. Actor frameworks have been used to program Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook Chat, the British National Health Service Portal, and hundreds of commercial cloud applications. Together with Professor Bill Spencer, he co-directs the Illinois Structural Health Monitoring Group. The project pioneered research applying wireless sensor networks and distributed computing to continuously monitor the structural health of civil infrastructure such as bridges.

Although we’re still a long way from commercial airplanes powered by a combination of fossil fuel and batteries, a recent feasibility study at the University of Illinois explored fuel/battery configurations and the energy lifecycle to learn the tradeoffs needed to yield the greatest reductions in carbon dioxide emissions.

As schools explore ways to encourage more underrepresented students to consider science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors and careers, a team led by researchers at the University of Illinois believes that school counselors and year-round innovative technology experiences are two key factors. The team will use a 3-year, $1.2 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to implement a program in partnership with middle schools and high schools across the state of Illinois and study its effectiveness on the development of technical skills and self-efficacy in students and on the practices of counselors.

Lav Varshney, who leads the Information and Intelligence Group at the University of Illinois, talks about a number of topics related to artificial intelligence. Earlier this year, Professor Varshney led a session on Blockchain and the Scientific Method at the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences annual meeting in Washington. The chief scientist for Ensaras, Inc., he and the company began working with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago to develop a solution to odor complaints near their reservoir system. In 2017, Professor Varshney and his team of researchers received a $50,000 Siebel Energy Institutes seed grant to develop their project “Incentives, Choices and Analytics for Electric Vehicle Fleets in jointly managing Urban Traffic and Smart Grid.”

When the Biomedical Engineering Society team posted the video of their talking dog collar project inspired by Disney-Pixar’s “Up”, they never expected it to go viral.
Before all the media attention began, the team of eight engineering students joined together under their common passion for engineering, teamwork, and —of course— dogs. The College of Engineering sat down with the team’s leadership to talk about how their EOH winning talking dog collar came to be, how it works, and their experience working together on what they love. 

 

In a new study, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have designed and demonstrated a novel type of polymer demonstrating a switchable thermal conductivity controlled by light. The material has the potential to route the conduction of heat on-demand and enable new, smarter, ways to manage heat.

The Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education has named a paper co-authored by Illinois Computer Science Teaching Assistant Professor Geoffrey Herman the top paper in the group’s 50-year history.

William H Sanders, a professor in electrical and computer engineering, was named Herman M. Dieckamp Endowed Chair in Engineering, which took effect on January 1, 2019. The professorship is made possible by a gift from Illinois alumnus Herman Dieckamp, supporting research and scholarly activities related to trustworthy systems, particularly those that protect critical infrastructure.

The nanomanufacturing (nanoMFG) node at Illinois presented its first two-day workshop on February 26-27 at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The workshop focused on data-science enabled advances in nanomanufacturing in nanotechnology to explore future opportunities in nanomanufacturing.

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