blog posts He receives grant to improve performance of deep learning models Jan 19, 2022 10:30 am0 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. WILL at 100: Looking Back on A Century of Broadcasting Jan 12, 2022 10:00 am0 views URBANA – 2022 marks the 100-year anniversary of WILL-AM, the oldest component of Illinois Public Media. The University of Illinois launched the station at a time when the idea of using radio to reach a mass audience was new and cutting edge. There was no FM radio or TV, no internet or social media. The first trans-Atlantic telephone call was five years away. ECE alumnus wins prestigious IEEE Edison Medal Jan 10, 2022 10:15 am0 views Illinois ECE alumnus Alan Bovik (BS CompE '80, MSEE '82, PhD '84) was recently honored with the IEEE Edison Medal "for pioneering high-impact scientific and engineering contributions leading to the perceptually optimized global streaming and sharing of visual media.” New sleep state classification method combines deep learning with WFCI Jan 7, 2022 1:00 pm0 views Innovation can come from curiosity. Other times, it comes from necessity. This time, new sleep study research from the Computational Imaging Science Laboratory, led by bioengineering department head and HCESC researcher Mark A. Anastasio, came from a mix of both. A paper on that research, in collaboration with Washington University in St. Louis, was recently published in the Journal of Neuroscience Methods. Models predict optimal airplane seating for reduced viral transmission Jan 5, 2022 10:00 am0 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — As airline ticket sales have soared during the holiday season and the omicron variant causes surges of COVID-19 cases, a new University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign study may help passengers and airlines reduce risk of COVID-19 transmission by optimally seating passengers to minimize potential virus spread. One tool, many purposes: Nuclear system simulation platform repurposed to fast-track soft robots Dec 17, 2021 12:30 pm0 views Sometimes, a well-known tool in one field can be repurposed and impact a different field completely unexpectedly. Such is the case for Yang Zhang, who goes by Y Z, an associate professor of nuclear, plasma, and radiological engineering, electrical and computer engineering, and Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, and Kevin Wandke, a PhD student in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. They recently developed and released a hyperplastic materials multiphysics simulation platform, Kraken, based on MOOSE (Multiphysics Object-Oriented Simulation Environment) from Idaho National Laboratory, for the simulation and control of soft robots. The methods are detailed in their recently published paper “MOOSE-Based Finite Element Hyperelastic Modeling for Soft Robot Simulations.” New model accurately describes COVID-19 waves and plateaus: adding random nature of social activity to traditional model, graphs match waves and plateaus of regional U.S. data Dec 15, 2021 9:00 am0 views A team of scientists has developed an epidemiological model that encompasses the randomness and dynamic variability of individual social interactions, as well as individual differences in the size of social networks. The team reports that this newly accounted-for random dynamic factor will always produce waves or plateaus of infections—like those seen throughout the pandemic—whether or not the model also accounts for individuals’ changing their social behavior based on knowledge of current infection rates. The new model, which builds on the team’s earlier findings published in April of this year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is validated against empirical data taken from four U.S. regions prior to the introduction of COVID-19 vaccines. The model further tells us that COVID-19 may be here to stay—it shows a clear path for it to become endemic in the global population, much like the common cold or the flu. ECE researchers part of $25 million grid-integration technology consortium Dec 13, 2021 10:45 am0 views Illinois ECE Professor Alejandro Dominguez-Garcia and Research Engineer Olaolu Ajala are part of a $25 million Department of Energy-funded consortium that is addressing the reliability challenges involved in integrating more solar and wind energy onto the nation’s electric grid. The Universal Interoperability for Grid-Forming Inverters (UNIFI) consortium brings together leading researchers from more than 40 university, industry, and utility organizations to evaluate and design grid-forming inverter solutions that will enable the seamless integration of inverter-based renewable resources while ensuring the grid’s stability and reliability. New Project to help scientists mitigate risks of environmental pollutants Dec 10, 2021 9:30 am0 views In addition to killing insects and weeds, pesticides can be toxic to the environment and harmful to human health. A new project led by Associate Professor Dong Wang and Huichun Zhang, Frank H. Neff Professor of Civil Engineering at Case Western Reserve University, will help scientists mitigate the environmental and ecological risks of pollutants such as pesticides and develop remediation strategies for cleaner water, soil, and air. The researchers have received a three-year, $402,773 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant for their project, "Machine Learning Modeling for the Reactivity of Organic Contaminants in Engineered and Natural Environments." Liang elected NAI fellow Dec 8, 2021 9:30 am0 views Zhi-Pei Liang, a professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s Grainger College of Engineering, was elected fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. Liang is being honored for his “highly prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on the quality of life, economic development, and welfare of society,” according to the academy. Election to NAI Fellow status is the highest professional distinction accorded solely to academic inventors. Kindratenko Named Director of the Center for Artificial Intelligence Innovation at NCSA Dec 6, 2021 9:45 am0 views The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Illinois ECE Adjunct Associate Professor Volodymyr Kindratenko as Director of the Center for Artificial Intelligence Innovation (CAII). In this new role, he will be responsible for providing the overall leadership, oversight, and management of the center, including developing partnerships and projects at regional and national levels, and overseeing day-to-day operations. Dr. Kindratenko will also be fostering and actively participating in a vigorous research program, with responsibilities for which he is especially adept thanks to his prior experience. Elizabeth Goldschmidt: creating quantum memories Dec 3, 2021 9:15 am0 views By taking advantage of traits that are accessible only at the level of the individual particles, scientists are developing fundamentally new, powerful ways of sending and receiving messages: as quantum communication. The payoff is expected to be next-level: networks that are invulnerable to attack and vastly stronger connections between high-performance computers — this could enable solutions to the world’s most intractable problems. Researchers such as Elizabeth Goldschmidt, an assistant professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, are developing all manner of maneuvers for managing photons as quantum carriers of information. O'Brien selected to receive Acoustical Society of America's highest research award Dec 1, 2021 12:45 pm0 views During his 46-year Illinois ECE faculty career, William D O'Brien, Jr. has conducted pioneering research that enhances the imaging safety of ultrasound for expectant mothers and their babies. He has also compiled a formidable body of work on applying quantitative ultrasound to diagnosing fatty liver disease and improving the ability to determine the risk of pre-term births. On December 1, 2021, he will receive the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) Silver Medal in Biomedical Acoustics for contributions to ultrasound bioeffects, dosimetry, and quantitative tissue characterization. The Silver Medal is the highest research award in medical and biomedical acoustics conferred by ASA. Bose proposes risk-sensitive design to address uncertainty in electric markets Nov 29, 2021 9:00 am0 views Power production from green energy resources such as wind and solar is uncertain because no one controls when the wind blows, or the sun shines. As the government pushes for more wind and solar to be integrated into the nation’s electric grids, there’s a growing need to alter grid operations to accommodate uncertainties in their energy supply. Diamonds are forever: scientists develop microscopic calibration tool with fluorescent nanodiamonds Nov 24, 2021 9:15 am0 views In collaboration with industry partners, researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign including Illinois ECE Professor Stephen Allen Boppart, Abel Bliss Professor of Engineering, are using microscopic nanodiamonds to calibrate and assess the performance of high-powered microscopes. Their longevity and durability make the tiny “first-aid kits” more than up to the task. AI in Cancer Research: Tumor Phylogenetics Nov 22, 2021 11:45 am0 views Artificial intelligence is often employed in the field of cancer genomics, where bits of DNA sequencing data must be identified and further analyzed with statistical, evolutional, and probabilistic models. “Off-the-shelf” computing tools are useful for many cancer researchers, but Mohammed El-Kebir, Illinois CS professor and Cancer Center at Illinois (CCIL) scientist, is taking these AI applications a step further. Bubbling up: Previously hidden environmental impact of bursting bubbles exposed in new study Nov 19, 2021 10:45 am0 views Bubbles are common in nature and can form when ocean waves break and when raindrops impact surfaces. When bubbles burst, they send tiny jets of water and other materials into the air. A new study from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign examines how the interplay between bubble surfaces and water that contains organic materials contributes to the transport of aerosolized organic materials – some of which are linked to the spread of disease or contamination – into the atmosphere. Six Illinois scientists rank among world's most influential Nov 17, 2021 3:00 pm0 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Six faculty members at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have been named to the 2021 Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers list. The list recognizes researchers who demonstrated significant influence in their chosen field or fields through the publication of multiple highly cited papers during the last decade. Their names are drawn from the publications that rank in the top 1% by citations for field and publication year in the Web of Science citation index. UIUC researchers to develop new interconnect as important step in enabling quantum networks Nov 15, 2021 10:45 am0 views In the future, there may be a “quantum Internet” that comprises a network of quantum devices that enable security, privacy, and processing capabilities that are not possible with today’s Internet. It’s just one of the technological triumphs that could eventually be achieved if several scientific challenges are solved. Among them is the development of efficient and robust quantum interconnects, which are the quantum version of the “wires” that serve as the nervous system for electronic devices. These wires would be used to transmit the quantum information that serves as the foundation of these future applications. However, creating good interconnects for quantum systems has proven to be difficult. Shomorony earns prestigious NSF career award to better understand genomic data problems Nov 12, 2021 3:15 pm0 views An expert in applying information theory to computational biology, ECE Assistant Professor Ilan Shomorony is developing new algorithms to analyze genomic data while ensuring their accuracy. Many of the techniques he develops assemble the genomes of species that haven’t been sequenced before, including plants, bacteria, viruses, and the human gut microbiome. ECE PhD students among top researches invited to 2021 MIT EECS Rising Stars Workshop Nov 10, 2021 12:45 pm0 views Illinois ECE doctoral researchers Mei-Yun Lin, Srilakshmi Pattabiraman, and Yamuna Phal were among the 89 invited young women engineers and computer scientists worldwide who participated in the MIT EECS Rising Stars 2021 academic workshop held virtually October 14-15. For its ninth year, Rising Stars provided graduate students and post-docs with historically marginalized or underrepresented genders with opportunities for mentoring and practical information they need to launch and sustain a successful academic career in electrical engineering, computer science, and artificial intelligence and decision-making. New method to predict stress at atomic scale Nov 8, 2021 9:45 am2 views The amount of stress a material can withstand before it cracks is critical information when designing aircraft, spacecraft, and other structures. Aerospace engineers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign used machine learning for the first time to predict stress in copper at the atomic scale. UIUC faculty sweep 2021 MICRO Test of Time Awards Nov 5, 2021 1:00 pm2 views The University of Illinois swept the MICRO 2021 Test of Time Awards this year, with UIUC faculty authoring both of two papers that were recognized this year. CSL’s Nam Sung Kim and Rakesh Kumar received the award, presented by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), which “recognizes the most influential papers published in prior sessions of the International Symposium on Microarchitecture, each of whom have had significant impact in the field,” according to the SIGMICRO website. Each year, the award is given to 1-3 influential MICRO papers whose influence is still felt 18-22 years after its initial publication. AE Ph.D. student interns at NASA JPL on Pony-Express-inspired project Nov 3, 2021 12:00 pm0 views Alex Pascarella is working on a mission concept that will retrieve data from Mars more efficiently. It’s called the Solar System Pony Express, named for a postal service that operated in 1860 between the Midwest and the West Coast using relayed horse-mounted riders—only this express uses a network of satellites. Soltanaghai is ready to build off of N2Women's Rising Stars recognition Nov 1, 2021 11:00 am0 views First year Illinois CS faculty member, Elahe Soltanaghai, likes to emphasize the word “rising” when speaking about her inclusion as one of the 10 women in N2Women’s Rising Stars in Computer Networking and Communications list this fall. New project helps people who are blind safeguard private visual content Oct 29, 2021 3:45 pm0 views People who are blind take pictures and videos and share them with others but face a unique challenge—they cannot independently review their pictures and videos to identify unnecessary private or sensitive content. A set of new algorithmic and interactive techniques being developed by researchers at the iSchool and partner institutions will empower people who are blind to independently safeguard private information in their pictures and videos. University of Illinois researchers are part of a $15M institute developing real-time artificial intelligence to accelerate discovery in data-driven science Oct 27, 2021 12:30 pm0 views The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced its launch of the $15M Accelerated AI Algorithms for Data-Driven Discovery (A3D3) Institute, as part of its $75M investment in five new Harnessing the Data Revolution Institutes across the U.S. Researchers at the new Institutes will tackle some of society’s most pressing fundamental questions at the frontiers of science and engineering. The primary mission of the A3D3 Institute is to lead a paradigm shift in the application of real-time artificial intelligence at scale to advance scientific knowledge and accelerate discovery. Researchers in Software Engineering Share Expertise to Deliver Excellence Oct 25, 2021 9:45 am0 views After 16 years as a faculty member, Professor Darko Marinov can point to several reasons for the success of Illinois CS software engineering researchers. Not a single reason is more important, though, than the people who surround him in the offices and classrooms at the Thomas M. Siebel Center for Computer Science. New photonic chip for isolating light may be key to miniaturizing quantum devices Oct 22, 2021 8:45 am1 views Light offers an irreplaceable way to interact with our universe. It can travel across galactic distances and collide with our atmosphere, creating a shower of particles that tell a story of past astronomical events. Here on earth, controlling light lets us send data from one side of the planet to the other. Given its broad utility, it’s no surprise that light plays a critical role in enabling 21st century quantum information applications. Self-annealing photon detector brings global quantum internet one step closer to feasibility Oct 20, 2021 1:15 pm4 views On Tuesday, October 12, at 6 a.m. CDT, a quantum communications experiment was launched into low orbit around Earth from the International Space Station (ISS). A collaborative experiment of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and the University of Waterloo, CAPSat (Cool Annealing Payload Satellite) contains single-photon detectors, which can be used as receivers for unhackable quantum communications. New journal article examines vaccination misinformation on social media Oct 18, 2021 9:30 am0 views Research conducted by Assistant Professor Jessie Chin's Adaptive Cognition and Interaction Design Lab (ACTION) provided the foundation for an article recently published in the high-impact Journal of Medical Internet Research. PhD student Tre Tomaszewski is the first author on the peer-reviewed article, "Identifying False Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine Information and Corresponding Risk Perceptions from Twitter: Advanced Predictive Models." Pass the salt: machine learning accelerates molten salt simulations for nuclear power applications Oct 15, 2021 9:15 am8 views Researchers used machine learning to perform accelerated simulations of the physico-chemical properties of molten salt FLiNaK. Their framework can help characterize and screen other molten salts and determine which are ideal to use in an advanced nuclear reactor. NSF funds research into computer vision tactics that aspire to pace AI development, democratize new solutions Oct 13, 2021 12:45 pm0 views A team of three researchers between Illinois Computer Science and Electrical & Computer Engineering believe that now is the time to use computer vision tactics to help pace the next development in artificial intelligence. The National Science Foundation agrees, which is why this group – led by Fulton Watson Copp Chair in Computer Science David Forsyth – recently earned a $1.2 million grant for the next four years. Fellow CS professor Yuxiong Wang and ECE professor Alexander Schwing join Forsyth on the project, entitled “Creating Knowledge with All-Novel-Class Computer Vision.” Nahrstedt to Shake off zoom-fatigue with augmented-reality system for virtual meetings Oct 11, 2021 10:30 am0 views The COVID-19 pandemic has forced hundreds of millions of people to interact with each other over online videoconferencing systems instead of meeting face-to-face—and no one would deny that tools like Zoom have made the pandemic far easier to cope with. However, such services provide only an unnatural-seeming meeting environment that emphasizes participants’ isolation and potentially leaves them feeling marginalized, unseen, uncomfortable, and less able to focus, resulting in less productive conversations. Noble named MacArthur Fellow Oct 8, 2021 11:00 am0 views Internet studies and digital media scholar Safiya Noble (MS/LIS '09, PhD '12) has been named a 2021 MacArthur Fellow by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Noble, an associate professor in the Department of Gender Studies and African American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), is among 25 fellows who will each receive $625,000 in unrestricted support over the next five years. Smartphone Motion Sensors could be used to listen to your phone conversations Oct 6, 2021 1:15 pm4 views Track this: A relatively simple device in your smartphone that counts steps, among other things, also has the capacity to be used as a listening device, according to researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Deep-learning algorithm aims to accelerate protein engineering Oct 4, 2021 12:00 pm0 views Proteins are the molecular machines of all living cells and have been exploited for use in many applications, including therapeutics and industrial catalysts. To overcome the limitations of naturally occurring proteins, protein engineering is used to improve protein characteristics such as stability and functionality. In a new study, researchers demonstrate a machine learning algorithm that accelerates the protein engineering process. The study is reported in the journal Nature Communications. Researchers use deep learning to enhance cancer diagnostic tools Oct 1, 2021 10:45 am0 views Yi “Edwin” Sun, a Ph.D. candidate in electrical and computer engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and member of the Beckman Institute’s Biophotonics Imaging Laboratory headed by Stephen Boppart, explored how deep learning methods can make polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography, or PS-OCT, more cost-effective and better equipped to diagnose cancer in biological tissues Is the future of agriculture digital? Sep 29, 2021 1:15 pm0 views With colleagues at several institutions, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign crop sciences professor Stephen Moose will lead the development of a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center for Research on Programmable Plant Systems. With $25 million in newly announced funding, the center “will create an Internet of Living Things to learn the intimate biological language of plants and their associated organisms.” Moose spoke with News Bureau life sciences editor Diana Yates about this new initiative. DNA sensor quickly determines whether viruses are infectious Sep 27, 2021 10:30 am0 views A new sensor can detect not only whether a virus is present, but whether it’s infectious – an important distinction for containing viral spread. Researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and collaborators developed the sensor, which integrates specially designed DNA fragments and nanopore sensing, to target and detect infectious viruses in minutes without the need to pre-treat samples. They demonstrated the sensor’s power with two key viruses that cause infections worldwide: the human adenovirus and the virus that causes COVID-19. Abdelzaher Leading $5.8M DARPA effort to understand how people respond to influence messaging Sep 24, 2021 2:15 pm0 views There’s no end to the variety of bizarre rumors circulating about COVID-19 vaccines: recipients’ bodies become magnetized, perhaps, or connected to 5G signals. Many assume that such tales are cooked up by eccentrics, but some of the rumor-mongering has more sinister origins. In August 2021, for example, Facebook uncovered a huge, Russia-based anti-vaccination campaign, in which hundreds of fake accounts were working in coordination to spread the belief that people who received the AstraZeneca vaccine were being tainted by injected chimpanzee tissue. Such misinformation campaigns have become a worrisome feature of the modern threat landscape, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has just awarded $5.8 million to a team, led by CSL’s Tarek Abdelzaher, that will work to characterize how different foreign populations respond to influence campaigns as a first step towards development of effective countermeasures. Shaping our shared digital destiny Sep 22, 2021 8:00 am0 views Vilas Dhar is an optimist. Where a cynic sees pitfalls, he champions technology’s capacity to advance the interests of even the most vulnerable populations. Where a fatalist accepts that we’re hurtling toward more inequality, he envisions generations of new technologists trained to promote justice. Where the blinkered miss opportunity, he embraces the idea that technology is integral to tomorrow’s nonprofits and that nonprofits are integral to tomorrow’s tech. Wang receives grant to integrate AI and human intelligence in disaster scene assessment Sep 20, 2021 10:00 am0 views In the event of a natural disaster like Hurricane Ida, artificial intelligence (AI) may be used to assess damage, using imagery reports to identify the severity of flooded areas. Using AI in disaster scene assessment has its limitations, however, and input from the people affected is needed, in order to get a better picture. A new project being led by Associate Professor Dong Wang will explore the power of human intelligence to address the failures of existing AI schemes in disaster damage assessment applications and boost the performance of the system. Wang has received a three-year, $499,786 National Science Foundation (NSF) Human-Centered Computing (HCC) grant for his new project, "DeepCrowd: A Crowd-assisted Deep Learning-based Disaster Scene Assessment System with Active Human-AI Interactions." Beckman team merges microscopy and AI to develop fast, accurate COVID test Sep 17, 2021 5:45 pm0 views Researchers at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology combined label-free microscopic imaging with artificial intelligence to quickly detect and classify SARS-CoV-2. U of I Engineering Professor Appointed to US Department of Energy Leadership Role May 10, 2021 4:00 pm0 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Kathryn D. Huff, a professor of nuclear, plasma and radiological engineering in the Grainger College of Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, has accepted an appointment to a senior leadership position in the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Nuclear Energy. ECE Student Wins 2021 Beckman Institute Graduate Fellowships May 5, 2021 4:15 pm3 views Seven Illinois graduate students have been awarded 2021 Beckman Institute Graduate Fellowships. The program offers University of Illinois graduate students at the MA, MS, or PhD level the opportunity to pursue interdisciplinary research at the institute. Illinois ECE graduate student Rong "Ronny" Guo was one of the seven recipients of the fellowship. Undergraduate Research Experience Leads to Job Opportunities at Sandia National Labs May 3, 2021 9:45 pm5 views ECE juniors Alyssa Bradshaw and Adia Radecka, who are members of an all-undergraduate engineering research team, recently presented their work on biocompatible actuators at RoboSoft 2021, a major IEEE international conference on soft robotics. Haran Helps Students Create New RSO Illinois Air Shuttle Apr 26, 2021 6:00 pm1 views Illinois ECE Professor Kiruba Sivasubramaniam Haran is helping a group of students create a new RSO called Illini Air Shuttle. This organization aims to develop affordable, safe, zero emission, rapid transport between Champaign-Urbana and Chicago. Harley Earns Clemson Award from the Society For Biomaterials Apr 23, 2021 9:45 pm2 views The Society For Biomaterials (SFB) has awarded the 2021 Clemson Award for Basic Research to chemical and biomolecular engineering professor Brendan Harley for his advances to regenerate tissues with biomaterials. The award will be presented at the virtual SFB 2021 Annual Meeting held April 20 – 23, 2021.