blog posts Illinois astronomers help capture first image of Milky Way's black hole May 13, 2022 8:00 am0 views A team of University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign researchers led by physics and astronomy professor Charles Gammie is part of a large international collaboration that unveiled the first image of the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way. This result provides evidence that the object is indeed a black hole and yields valuable clues about the workings of such giants, which researchers think reside at the center of most galaxies. ECE professor serves machine learning theory community as co-chair of premier conference May 11, 2022 9:15 am0 views Working at the intersection of control theory and machine learning, ECE Associate Professor Max Raginsky explores fundamental questions about how to design complex systems that automatically learn to perform various tasks better on the basis of experience despite changing requirements and environments. His research results have applications in electronic circuit design automation, autonomous systems, and artificial intelligence. This past year, Maxim Raginsky was appointed co-chair of the premier international conference on machine learning theory and artificial intelligence. The 35th annual Conference on Learning Theory (COLT) is scheduled to be held July 2-5, 2022, in London. Engineering professor Nancy Sottos elected to National Academy of Sciences May 9, 2022 10:00 am0 views University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign materials science and engineering professor Nancy Sottos has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest professional honors a scientist can receive. She is among 120 members and 30 international members elected this year to recognize their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Center for Advanced Electronics through Machine Learning (CAEML) receives Phase II funding from NSF May 6, 2022 12:00 pm1 views The Center for Advanced Electronics through Machine Learning (CAEML), which has been funded as a Phase I IUCRC by the National Science Foundation since 2017, has just received funding from NSF to proceed with a second five-year phase. Phase II research will officially kick off on August 1, 2022. AEML’s research vision is to apply machine learning to the design of optimized microelectronic circuits and systems, thereby increasing the efficiency of electronic design automation (EDA) and resulting in reduced design cycle time and radically improved reliability. Automated synthesis allows for discovery of unexpected charge transport behavior in organic molecules May 4, 2022 1:45 pm0 views A cross-disciplinary UIUC team has demonstrated a major breakthrough in using automated synthesis to discover new molecules for organic electronics applications. The technology that enabled the discovery relies on an automated platform for rapid molecular synthesis at scale—which is a game-changer in the field of organic electronics and beyond. Using automated synthesis, the team was able to rapidly scan through a library of molecules with precisely defined structures, thereby uncovering, via single-molecule characterization experiments, a new mechanism for high conductance. The work was just reported in Nature Communications and is the first major result to emerge from the Molecule Maker Lab, which is located in the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Spacecraft navigation uses x-rays from dead stars May 2, 2022 10:00 am0 views The remnants of a collapsed neutron star, called a pulsar, are magnetically charged and spinning anywhere from one rotation per second to hundreds of rotations per second. These celestial bodies, each 12 to 15 miles in diameter, generate light in the x-ray wavelength range. Researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign developed a new way spacecraft can use signals from multiple pulsars to navigate in deep space. Artificial intelligence produces a recipe for lower-carbon concrete Apr 29, 2022 11:30 am7 views Concrete is the most popular building material in the world, and we use between 10 and 30 billion tons each year. But the price of that progress is a cost to the environment: Cement, an essential ingredient in concrete, is responsible for 8 percent of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Enter the power of artificial intelligence. Researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Meta, and concrete supplier, Ozinga, partnered on discovering better concrete formulas using AI. The early-stage results found the AI-powered formulas reduce the carbon footprint of the concrete by 40% while maintaining strength and durability. Meta tested the formulas on multiple structures at the company’s DeKalb data center, namely the floor slabs of the guardhouse and construction management team’s temporary offices. New approach improves systematic reviews of scientific literature Apr 27, 2022 12:00 pm0 views Professor Catherine Blake and Jodi A. Flaws, professor of comparative biosciences at the University of Illinois, have developed an automated approach that moves beyond the retrieval of relevant literature to the extraction step of the information synthesis process. In a recent study of cell death and proliferation—two fundamental hallmarks of cancer—they demonstrate how simply counting the number of outcomes shows a very different picture than focusing on how key outcomes have changed. An NSF Expedition in Computing: Mind in vitro - Computing with Living Neurons Apr 25, 2022 10:45 am1 views The National Science Foundation awarded a 7-year, $15 million project to a multi-university team led by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). The resulting ground-breaking and path-finding research, entitled “Mind in vitro - Computing with Living Neurons,” will imagine computers and robots that are human designed, but living. Godfrey's Team Designs a Parallel Internet with Speed-of-Light Latencies Apr 22, 2022 1:00 pm0 views About eight years ago, Illinois Computer Science professor Brighten Godfrey and collaborators formed a research team to dramatically increase the speed of the internet. At its core, Godfrey and this team believed they could develop an internet with close to speed-of-light latency. Their idea represented not just an improvement to internet performance, but an overhaul to the way it operates and how it is built. Portable, point-of-care COVID-19 test discerns alpha variant from earlier strains Apr 20, 2022 9:00 am1 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — A point-of-care COVID-19 test developed by researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign can now detect and differentiate the alpha variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus from earlier strains in saliva samples. $7.5M DOD MURI award to explore creation of qubits based on Majorana zero modes Apr 18, 2022 11:15 am4 views IQUIST’s Angela Kou will analyze proposed materials and investigate qubits’ limitations. Qubits lie at the heart of quantum computing—and they aren’t all the same. The quantum successor to classical computing’s bits, they can be created in a variety of ways that have yet to be fully explored. The chosen approach matters, because it has implications for how robust the resulting qubit will be and how well it will perform. Natural Language Processing Apr 15, 2022 2:30 pm6 views Natural language processing represents an emerging opportunity for AI researchers looking to improve the construction industry — and industry in general. Professor Julia Hockenmaier, an NLP expert and Grainger Engineer since 2007, explains how natural language processing will impact construction and other fields. Beckman postdoctoral fellows address cancer research, medical imaging grand challenges Apr 13, 2022 3:30 pm0 views With diverse skillsets and a broad range of experience, the six researchers who make up the 2022 post-doctoral cohort seek to transform how we diagnose, monitor, and treat conditions like colorectal and breast cancer, brain tumors and traumatic brain injuries, osteoarthritis, and Alzheimer's disease. Their innovative projects are a product of creative computation, state-of-the-art imaging technology, and interdisciplinary collaborations on campus and in the community. Grad students Kim, Day push past comfort zones to win AI Hackathon in Molecular Dynamics Apr 11, 2022 11:30 am1 views URBANA — Seonghwan Kim and Kastan Day, MatSE and Computer Science graduate students, are two of the challenge I winners from the week-long Artificial Intelligence, or AI, Hackathon in Molecular Dynamics held earlier in January. Their task? Predicting randomly sequenced copolymer properties. The graduate students’ takeaway? Collaborating with peers of different fields and skillsets to solve real-world problems. Method for diagnosing PIR sensor failures could cut back unnecessary smart building expenses Apr 8, 2022 3:00 pm0 views You've probably used an automatic paper towel dispenser before, or walked into a room and the lights turned on automatically. That's because of Passive Infra-Red (PIR) sensors. You also more than likely know the frustration of waving your hands inside of a room that suddenly goes dark or standing in front of an automatic door that refuses to open. The sensor failed. But the question is why, and can it be fixed, or does it need to be replaced? Illinois Researchers Make Deseret Alphabet Texts Available for Study Apr 6, 2022 11:00 am0 views Two University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign researchers are developing resources for studying the Deseret Alphabet, which was created by the Mormons and used briefly in the 19th century. Linguistics professor Ryan Shosted and Illinois Computer Science professor Neal Davis created the Illinois Deseret Consortium to make available online searchable transcriptions of texts written in Deseret for researchers to study and also to help people rediscover the alphabet. iSchool Alumni play instrumental role in saving Ukrainian cultural heritage online Apr 4, 2022 11:00 am3 views As the tragic scenes of war in the Ukraine unfold on TV, computer, and cellphone screens across the world, people wonder what they can do to help the besieged country. iSchool alumni are among those working to make a difference by capturing Ukrainian museum and library websites, digital exhibits, text corpora, and open access publications in order to preserve Ukraine's cultural heritage. Quinn Dombrowski (MS/LIS '09), academic technology specialist in the Library and the Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages at Stanford University, is co-organizing the initiative Saving Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Online (SUCHO) with Anna Kijas of Tufts University and Sebastian Majstorovic of the Austrian Center for Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage. Soltanaghai's 'Millimetro' Delivers a Low Power, High Accuracy Tag that Can Improve Applications Ranging from Autonomous Driving to the Metaverse Apr 1, 2022 2:15 pm2 views Beginning in 2020, before joining Illinois CS, first-year professor Elahe Soltanaghai overcame several challenges to continue researching and developing Millimetro as a postdoctoral researcher at Carnegie Mellon University. The product introduces what she describes as “an ultra-low-power tag” developed “in the context of autonomous driving to efficiently localize roadside infrastructure such as lane markers and road signs, even if obscured from view, where visual sensing fails.” Quantum All-Star: Dakshita Khurana Mar 30, 2022 12:00 pm0 views As the new world of quantum information science comes into being, it’s showing enormous potential to solve old challenges in novel ways—and cybersecurity is one realm in which quantum promises to shake things up in a big way. Partly through serendipity, IQUIST’s Dakshita Khurana has suddenly found herself exploring an especially exciting piece of that fast-developing scene: quantum cryptography. Mind the gap: Beckman researchers measure electron transport through space Mar 28, 2022 10:45 am0 views Beckman researchers designed a molecular system to measure how electrical current leaps across the gaps between molecules. Their findings enable new opportunities to design and control organic electronic devices like batteries. Collaborative Work Pairs Wireless Networking, Machine Learning Experts to Improve Upon 5G, 6G Performance Mar 25, 2022 11:30 am0 views Two years ago, Illinois Computer Science professors Deepak Vasisht and Gagandeep Singh along with first-year PhD student Zikun Liu began collaborating to solve a critical bottleneck hindering the performance of 5G/6G wireless systems. Concretely, they focused on MIMO – or multiple-input and multiple-output – which is a method for multiplying the capacity of a radio link using multiple transmission and receiving antennas to exploit multipath propagation. MIMO is an essential component for 5G, because of its ability to improve the quality of service and support multiple data streams simultaneously. However, for real-world MIMO deployments, there remains a critical bottleneck – estimating the downlink wireless channel from each antenna on the base station to every client device. Cancer Center at Illinois program leader develops fast, low-cost blood test for detecting early-stage liver cancer Mar 23, 2022 10:00 am0 views Cancer Center at Illinois and Mount Sinai researchers have developed a low-cost, portable, point-of-care technology capable of diagnosing early-stage liver cancer within 30 minutes. The study, led by Brian Cunningham, Cancer Center at Illinois program leader and professor of electrical and computer engineering, and Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology (IGB) postdoctoral fellow Bin Zhao, uses a toaster-sized device comprised of a red LED light, microscope objective, and webcam to detect gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) that attach to target RNA. SoTeRiA Laboratory awarded grant to establish research hub Mar 21, 2022 11:30 am0 views A proposal led by NPRE’s Socio-Technical Risk Analysis (SoTeRiA) Research Laboratory has been selected for the Grainger College of Engineering’s Strategic Research Initiatives Phase I Award. The project is entitled “Establishing a Risk-Informed Validation Research Hub.” This first-of-its-kind research hub encompasses the full spectrum of risk analysis including advanced physics-human-organization simulations that are integrated with innovative risk assessment and risk-informed validation methodologies and equipped with a regulatory-accredited testing facility. The proposed hub will support the nuclear industry and regulatory agency with the deployment of new technologies. Illinois student utilizing nanoparticles for better cancer imaging, treatment Mar 16, 2022 10:30 am1 views Urbana, Ill. – Opeyemi Arogundade, Tissue Microenvironment (TiME) program trainee and student in Cancer Center at Illinois (CCIL) scientist, Andrew Smith’s, lab, is applying his academic background in physics to cancer research and improving the penetration of nanoparticles into tissue to obtain three-dimensional images. Researchers explore wireless charging of pacemakers, internal medical devices via wearable metasurface Mar 14, 2022 11:45 am3 views Some of the organs in your body could malfunction quite a bit without ruining your life—but your heart isn't one of them: if it has problems, effective treatments are critical. Medical devices, such as pacemakers, can prevent a person's heartbeat from becoming too slow, or correct an irregular heartbeat. Unfortunately, the devices’ batteries don't last forever, meaning that surgery is eventually needed to replace either the device or its batteries. Researchers explore potential building blocks for Quantum Internet Mar 11, 2022 11:00 am0 views We already have the Internet. You're using it right now to transfer information across a vast network. But there's another network that researchers want to eventually build: a Quantum Internet. A group of researchers -- including the IQUIST’s. CSL’s, and ECE's Eric Chitambar, in connection with the Argonne National Laboratory -- were awarded a grant from the Department of Energy to work on what could be the building blocks to make that idea a reality by experimenting with scalable entanglement distribution in quantum networks along multiple nodes. New approach to flexible robotics and metamaterials design mimics nature, encourages sustainability Mar 9, 2022 10:00 am0 views A new study challenges the conventional approach to designing soft robotics and a class of materials called metamaterials by utilizing the power of computer algorithms. Researchers from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Technical University of Denmark can now build multimaterial structures without dependence on human intuition or trial-and-error to produce highly efficient actuators and energy absorbers that mimic designs found in nature. FAIR Guidelines Set the Tone for Data Accessibility and Reusability Mar 7, 2022 10:00 am4 views Researchers from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign collaborate with various institutions across the country to make data exchange and artificial intelligence tools more FAIR – findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable. Expanded alphabet, precise sequencing make DNA the next data storage solution Mar 4, 2022 11:30 am0 views Adding seven new letters to DNA’s molecular alphabet and developing a precise readout method enabled Illinois researchers to transform the double helix into a robust, sustainable data storage platform fit for the Information Age. New children's book on botanical farming features AI-generated art Mar 2, 2022 11:45 am19 views The potential for creating artworks with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) has been attracting increasing interest. In February, CSL predoctoral scholar Alayt Issak and her advisor, Lav Varshney, published a children’s book on which they collaborated, Young McDonald Had a Botanical Farm, whose illustrations were created by Issak using AI tools. Smaragdis Lends His Research Talents to the Benefit of Beatlemania Feb 28, 2022 11:15 am1 views For Peter Smaragdis, what’s followed is a career in academia that centered his Artificial Intelligence research on the question: What does it mean to take a stream of sound and then break it down into its individual components? This key interest paced his Masters, PhD and postdoctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It fueled his academic career here and as a research scientist with Adobe Research. It provided opportunity to become an IEEE Fellow in 2015 and the IEEE chair of the Audio and Acoustic Signal Processing Technical Committee. And it helped him produce widely published research and more than 40 patents. Through it all, nothing he’s accomplished has been more “mind-bending” than the recent work he completed with a team of engineers to boost the audio quality of director Peter Jackson’s recent documentary titled “The Beatles: Get Back.” Illinois, IBM Ready to Push the Boundaries of What's Possible in Computing Feb 25, 2022 10:45 am1 views 18 Illinois CS faculty are involved in research projects through the new IBM-Illinois Discovery Accelerator Institute that will further advance technology spanning the hybrid cloud and AI, materials discovery and quantum computing. Elizabeth Goldschmidt receives NSF CAREER Award Feb 23, 2022 11:30 am0 views Illinois Physics Assistant Professor Elizabeth Goldschmidt has been selected for a 2022 National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award. This prestigious award recognizes outstanding junior faculty who excel in both research and education and who have the potential to become lifetime leaders in their respective fields. Goldschmidt is an experimentalist specializing in quantum optics for applications in quantum information and quantum networking. Advanced Imaging, AI distinguish healthy from injured cells Feb 21, 2022 10:15 am0 views Beckman researchers use artificial intelligence and advanced imaging to distinguish healthy cells from injured cells. Groundbreaking research from the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign can determine the state of a cell without the limitations inherent to some current methods. Jump ARCHES Funding Provides an Excellent Opportunity to Merge CS Research with Real-World Applications Feb 18, 2022 2:30 pm0 views For two Illinois Computer Science professors – Gang Wang and Yuxiong Wang – newly funded projects through the Jump ARCHES research and development program offer up a powerful opportunity for real-world applications through collaborative research. Bayram wins prestigious ARPA-E OPEN grant to develop novel green LEDs Feb 16, 2022 11:30 am0 views Imagine you’re part of a nomadic band of early humans, frequently on the move in pursuit of needed resources. Your survival may depend on whether someone’s eye can pick out tiny specks of green on the horizon—telltale signs of the presence of life and water. It isn’t an easy way to live, but a hidden power gives you a leg up: the human visual system has evolved to amplify the color green. Former MatSE postdoc Young Min Song develops novel silk-based digital security device Feb 14, 2022 9:45 am1 views The global hike in consumerism comes with its own share of problems—counterfeit goods and cyberattacks. Although digital security systems help us combat many of these adverse situations, hundreds of security breaches occur every single year. Former MatSE at Illinois postdoc and current Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology professor Young Min Song created a physical unclonable function made of silk fibers to ease authenticity efforts. New Seizure-Monitoring Baseball Cap Innovated by CARLE ILLINOIS STUDENTS Feb 11, 2022 11:00 am1 views A new seizure-monitoring baseball cap could help doctors diagnose patients with epilepsy more quickly and comprehensively. The innovation is called Epicap. It uses a small video camera built into the visor of the cap, to allow doctors to begin monitoring patients when seizures are suspected, rather than wait until they occur and are discovered in a traditional inpatient setting. Fletcher, Torrellas Included in Intel's New Resilient Architectures and Robust Electronics Multi-University Research Center Feb 9, 2022 10:45 am1 views Intel Labs' University Research & Collaboration Office (URC) is pleased to announce the opening of a new multi-university research center called Resilient Architectures and Robust Electronics (RARE). The center will focus on assessing and improving the resiliency, reliability, and security of Intel® hardware and software, including the security of Intel® silicon integrated circuits. In addition, all research will be made public to the general semiconductor industry. Popescu recievces 2022 SPIE Dennis Gabor Award in Diffractive Optics Feb 7, 2022 10:45 am1 views The SPIE Dennis Gabor Award in Diffractive Optics recognizes outstanding accomplishments in diffractive wavefront technologies, especially those that further the development of holography and metrology applications. Gabriel Popescu is a leading force in the emerging field of quantitative phase imaging (QPI), a form of label-free imaging which combines holography and optical microscopy. Protecting dark and quiet skies from satellite constellation interference Feb 4, 2022 10:00 am0 views If you’ve ever tried to star gaze in a residential or urban area, you know that a streetlight or even the lights from a nearby town can greatly interfere with your ability to identify Orion’s Belt and see a rare comet or other celestial bodies. But what is more of a disappointment for us is a cosmic disruption for scientists and others in the space industry. Gruev discusses implications of polarization techonology Feb 2, 2022 11:30 am0 views IMAGINE A CAMERA that's mounted on your car being able to identify black ice on the road, giving you a heads-up before you drive over it. Or a cell phone camera that can tell whether a lesion on your skin is possibly cancerous. Or the ability for Face ID to work even when you have a face mask on. These are all possibilities Metalenz is touting with its new PolarEyes polarization technology. (WIRED Magazine) Alumnus Nanavati leads team ensuring seamless communication with newest and most powerful space telescope Jan 31, 2022 11:45 am1 views More than 25 years in the making, the James Webb Space Telescope ("Webb") blasted into space recently on a one-million-mile journey to reveal the origins of our Universe while capturing the formation of stars and planets in distant galaxies—some of which may be capable of sustaining life. While much of the attention was focused on the launch site in French Guiana that day, Illinois ECE alumnus Shashvat Nanavati (BSEE '13) and his communications subsystem team were nearly 3,000 miles away in the Mission Operations Center (MOC) in Baltimore, MD, ensuring that critical communications with the NASA-funded satellite were occurring properly. Hu earns prestigious NSF CAREER award to merge control theory and machine learning Jan 28, 2022 11:30 am0 views For more than 50 years, control theory has guided the creation of sophisticated mathematical tools that underpin modern safety-critical and dynamic systems like commercial aircraft and nuclear power plants. More recently, machine learning algorithms have harnessed the power of massive amounts of data to enable computers to recognize a visual scene, understand written text, or perform an action in the real world. HathiTrust Research Center receives NEH support for open research tools Jan 26, 2022 10:45 am0 views The HathiTrust Research Center (HTRC), cohosted by the iSchool at Illinois and the Luddy School of Informatics at Indiana University, has received a $325,000 Digital Humanities Advancement Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. One of 15 awarded nationwide, this grant will support the development of a new set of visualizations, analytical tools, and infrastructure to enable users to interact more directly with the rich data extracted from the HathiTrust Digital Library’s collection of more than 17.5 million digitized volumes. New label-free detection technique digitally counts intact SARS-CoV-2 virus particles in saliva or exhaled breath Jan 24, 2022 11:45 am1 views As health and research institutions continue to rapidly develop new methodologies for detecting SARS-CoV-2, researchers from the Holonyak Micro & Nanotechnology Laboratory have found themselves at both forefronts of discovery and featured on the cover of the Journal of the American Chemical Society with their paper: Label-free Digital Detection of Intact Virions by Enhanced Scattering Microscopy. Carle Illinois Machine Learning System for EEG Analysis Wins IEEE Honors Jan 21, 2022 12:00 pm3 views A new machine learning system developed by a Carle Illinois College of Medicine student could unlock the vast amounts of untapped data found in a common neurological test. The team recently won ‘best paper’ honors at the 2021 IEEE Signal Processing in Medicine and Biology Symposium for their publication describing the new system to analyze and classify data from patient EEG tests for use by both clinicians treating patients and researchers seeking out new discoveries. He receives grant to improve performance of deep learning models Jan 19, 2022 10:30 am3 views Associate Professor Jingrui He has been awarded a two-year, $149,921 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to improve the performance of deep learning models. For her project, "Weakly Supervised Graph Neural Networks," she will focus on the lack of labeled data in Graph Neural Networks (GNNs), a deep learning method designed to perform inference on data described by graphs. Investigating Medical Imaging Hallucinations Jan 14, 2022 11:00 am0 views Researchers at the Beckman Institute developed a framework for understanding errors that can arise due to algorithmic bias in computed imaging systems, like MRI or CT, and may contribute to patient misdiagnosis. Their work provides insight into the factors that cause these so-called hallucinations.