blog posts Pass the salt: machine learning accelerates molten salt simulations for nuclear power applications Oct 15, 2021 9:15 am0 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 pm2 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 pm4 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. ECE Faculty Receive 2021 Jump Arches Grants Apr 19, 2021 5:15 pm0 views Seven research projects are sharing slightly more than $400,000 in funding through the Jump ARCHES research and development program to address challenges and expand on lessons learned about COVID-19 vaccinations and testing. The Jump ARCHES program is a partnership between OSF HealthCare and the Grainger College of Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (U of I) and its College of Medicine in Peoria. Illinois ECE Assistant Professors Subhonmesh Bose and Suma Pallathadka Bhat are two of the recipients of the Jump ARCHES grant. The Mystery Behind an Empty Television Channel Apr 14, 2021 8:00 pm0 views A recent article in Vice explores a 20th-century mystery involving former faculty members from Illinois ECE and the groundbreaking radio telescope they built in Central Illinois. The article highlights the mystery as to why Channel 37 was an empty block of static in most parts of the world during the 20th centuiry and how former Illinois ECE faculty member George Swenson's groundbreaking research contributed to that mystery. Modeling Radiation Key Component to Landing Safely on Mars Apr 12, 2021 6:00 pm0 views In 2015, AE Professor Marco Panesi received a NASA Early Career Faculty award to study radiation in the back shell of entry capsules. On February 18, 2021, we witnessed his research findings in action as Perseverance landed safely on Mars. $10M Ana Avatar Xprize Names Hauser's Project a Semifinalist for Worldwide Robotics Competition Apr 7, 2021 10:45 pm0 views Illinois CS professor Kris Hauser’s team of graduate students will continue working toward the $10M ANA Avatar XPRIZE – a large-scale global incentive competition – after earning one of 38 semifinalist selections. Illinois ECE Alumna Oversees NASA's Ingenuity Helicopter Mission Apr 5, 2021 10:30 pm0 views Illinois ECE alumna MiMi Aung (BSEE '88, MS '90) is overseeing the operations for NASA's Ingenuity helicopter, which recently landed on Mars along with the Perseverance Rover. Once the helicopter detaches, it will conduct several test flights on the surface, marking the first powered flights on another planet. Choudhury Comments on Future of Remote Work in the Wall Street Journal Apr 2, 2021 5:15 pm0 views With the COVID-19 pandemic turning remote work into the new norm, the laptop has become the key focus of work-from-home technology. However, this heavy reliance on the laptop has brought light to several significant issues ranging from sound quality to security and privacy. In a recent article from The Wall Street Journal, several experts came together to discuss what developments are and should be coming for the improvement of remote work. Illinois ECE Professor Romit Roy Choudhury, W.J. "Jerry" Sanders III - Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. Scholar in Electrical and Computer Engineering, is one of the experts who provided commentary on filtering background noise in remote work settings. Mitra Publishes New Textbook on Verification Techniques Mar 31, 2021 10:00 pm0 views Reflecting on his father’s habit of regularly penning newspaper articles, plays, and stories, Illinois ECE professor Sayan Mitra ascribes his writing to, perhaps, a familial trait. Also inspired by the work of some of his fellow ECE faculty, and taking a detour from his usual research productivity, Mitra used 2019-2020 to finish writing his textbook. Sauer Receives IEEE Power & Energy Society Lifetime Achievement Award Mar 29, 2021 11:00 pm0 views Peter Sauer, Grainger Chair Emeritus Professor of Electrical Engineering, was recently awarded the 2020 IEEE Power & Energy Society Lifetime Achievement Awardfor his exceptional career-long contributions to power systems modeling and dynamic analysis, and for leadership in power engineering education. Six Illinois ECE Faculty Members Receive NSF Career Awards Mar 26, 2021 3:45 pm0 views Six Illinois ECE faculty members have recently been named recipients of NSF CAREER Awards. The NSF CAREER Award is a prestigious award in support of early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in both research and education and can advance the mission of their respective department or organization. Cunningham Develops Microscope Technique To Detect Individual Viruses For Power Rapid Diagnostics Mar 22, 2021 6:00 pm0 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — A fast, low-cost technique to see and count viruses or proteins from a sample in real time, without any chemicals or dyes, could underpin a new class of devices for rapid diagnostics and viral load monitoring, including HIV and the virus that causes COVID-19 Safer Illinois Software Team Presents at Two Conferences Mar 17, 2021 11:15 pm0 views The Safer Illinois application, designed in part by Illinois ECE researchers, has been crucial to the University of Illinois’ ongoing efforts to keep students, faculty, and staff safe amid the coronavirus pandemic. In the future, all the data collected by the app will need to be encrypted and analyzed with the user’s permission. A team of researchers and students are currently developing an infrastructure called RokWall, which could help protect user data, while making the most of the information. The research was recently presented at two conferences the last week in February. New Research Looks To Combat SCN Through Neuroscience Mar 10, 2021 10:00 pm0 views Lurking in more than 99% of soybean fields across the Midwest is a worm capable of feeding on and damaging entire crops. Millions of dollars have been spent trying to combat these destructive pests through the development of resistant soybean plants, but after decades of successful use, those solutions have begun to fail. Once again, soybean production is in trouble, and Illinois ECE researchers are being forced back to the drawing board, but this time they are looking to attack the nematode from within. Prof. Jian-Ming Jin awarded ECE’s Distinguished Educator Award for his excellence in electromagnetics education Mar 8, 2021 7:30 pm0 views Jian-Ming Jin, the Y. T. Lo Endowed Chair Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Director of the Electromagnetics Laboratory and Center for Computational Electromagnetics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Executive Dean of the Zhejiang University-University of Illinois Joint Institute focusing on engineering education, is a 2020 recipient of the University of Michigan ECE Distinguished Educator Award. This award is the highest recognition granted by ECE to its alumni in academia and recognizes those who have made a significant and lasting impact in education. Song and Mayo Clinic Researchers Awarded $2.2M DOD Grant for Breast Cancer Imaging Study Feb 26, 2021 7:30 pm0 views Four in ten* patients screened for breast cancer are at a higher risk of misdiagnosis due to the presence of dense breast tissue. Traditional mammography cannot reliably diagnose the disease in these patients, sometimes even with the help of supplemental screening. Carle Illinois Welcomes Haran and Oelze Feb 19, 2021 3:15 pm7 views Eight faculty from The Grainger College of Engineering have joined Carle Illinois College of Medicine with Health Innovation Professor appointments including Illinois ECE professors Kiruba Sivasubramaniam Haran and Michael L Oelze. The new faculty deliver on Carle Illinois’ strategy to leverage the University of Illinois’ exceptional faculty to serve as agents of change in medical education, innovation, and research at the world’s first engineering-based college of medicine. ACM Recognized Meseguer, Tong for Contributions to the Computing Field Feb 13, 2021 12:00 am0 views Two Illinois CS faculty recently earned recognition by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society, for achievements in computing. Prof. Yurii Vlasov Elected to National Academy of Engineering Feb 10, 2021 7:00 pm2 views Yurii A Vlasov, Founder Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering. He is recognized for his contributions to the development and commercialization of silicon photonics for optical data communications. Illinois ECE Researchers Publish Article Describing Illinois Rapidvent Emergency Ventilator Feb 8, 2021 5:15 pm0 views The design, testing, and validation of the Illinois RapidVent emergency ventilator has been published in the journal Plos One. The article, “Emergency Ventilator for COVID-19,” with contributions by multiple Illinois ECE researchers, is the first of its kind to report such details about an emergency ventilator that was designed, prototyped, and tested at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. 'Shot in the Dark' Provides a Path Toward Collaborative Research That Better Predicts COVID-19 Severity Feb 1, 2021 9:30 pm0 views The radiologist for DuPage Medical Group only knew Forsyth as a leading expert in Artificial Intelligence. Their lack of a relationship didn't undo the excitement he had to form a collaborative research effort, though. His goal was to guide medical imaging in a new direction, one that could offset a few growing trends in this country’s healthcare system. Kim Honored as ACM Fellow for Work on Power-Efficient Computing Jan 29, 2021 11:45 pm0 views Illinois ECE Professor Nam Sung Kim has been named a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the world's largest educational and scientific computing society. He is honored "for contribution to design and modeling of power-efficient computer architectures." TOYOTA Research Institute Launches Collaboration With Illinois, Other Academic Institutions Jan 27, 2021 8:00 pm0 views The Toyota Research Institute (TRI) announced today that it has selected 13 additional academic institutions to participate in the next five year phase of its collaborative research program. These universities join MIT, Stanford and the University of Michigan which have worked with TRI over the last five years to expand the body of research into artificial intelligence (AI) with the goal of amplifying the human experience. Cunningham Leads Team to Create Fast, Cheap, and Accessible Covid-19 Antibody Test Jan 22, 2021 1:45 pm8 views As the numbers of those infected with COVID-19 has continued to climb, the desperate need for a vaccine was apparent. Even now with the invention and administration of several COVID-19 vaccinations, the question remains: How effective are these vaccines? HMNTL students Congnyu Che, Weijing Wang, and Nantao Li, also members of the ECE Nanosensors Group, along with Postdoctoral Researcher Bin Zhao and Illinois ECE Professor Brian T Cunningham have recently been published in Talanta journal for the development of a cost efficient COVID-19 antibody test. CSL Professors Research Group Testing, Statistical Analysis of Covid-19 Jan 15, 2021 9:00 pm2 views Most of the United States has become fairly intimately acquainted with COVID-19 testing – be it by spit, nasal swab, or blood. While this type of individual work has been effective in identifying cases, CSL professors Venugopal Veeravalli and Lav Varshney are seeking to improve the efficiency of these tests and determine how to quickly detect changes in the distribution of disease prevalence data through their research project, "Efficient Strategies for Pandemic Monitoring and Recovery." Illinois ECE Graduate Student Wins Prestigious IEEE Awards Jan 13, 2021 6:45 pm0 views Illinois ECE graduate student Megan Culler recently won the 2019 IEEE-USA Jim Watson Student Professional Awareness Achievement Award, recognizing IEEE members who volunteer to share their professional experiences with students and encourage active, lifelong IEEE membership. This award was first established in 2011, but this is the first year that a student has been selected as the recipient. Making AI Robust and Bringing It to the Edge Jan 6, 2021 12:00 pm0 views Enhancing so-called edge devices, such as cell phones, smart watches, and other IoT devices, with artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities is a major goal for researchers in both industry and academia. These devices generate huge volumes of sensory data from their built-in sensors in the form of cameras, microphones, gyroscopes, and other technology. Processing all this data is challenging due to the limited computational resources and constrained energy supply of edge devices. A team led by Illinois ECE Professor Naresh R Shanbhag, Jack S. Kilby Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is working to improve the energy efficiency and functionality of these devices. Driggs-Campbell Leads Research Effort with USDA NIFA Grant to Increase Autonomy in Agricultural Robots Dec 21, 2020 10:30 pm0 views Illinois ECE Assistant Professor Katherine Rose Driggs-Campbell is leading a team of Grainger Engineering researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign who recently received a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to develop software tools to make programming fleets of agbots easier while providing tools for runtime monitoring. The team is also developing the interaction modules to make the agbots more intuitive to use by addressing human behavior modeling and planning. Popescu Develops New Method Using Artificial Intelligence to Study Live Cells Dec 18, 2020 8:45 pm2 views Researchers led by Illinois ECE Professor Gabriel Popescu at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign have developed a new technique that combines label-free imaging with artificial intelligence to visualize unlabeled live cells over a prolonged time. This technique has potential applications in studying cell viability and pathology. Waldrop Leads $75 Million NASA Mission to Investigate Earth's Atmosphere Dec 16, 2020 8:30 pm8 views Lara Waldrop, Illinois ECE Assistant Professor and Y. T. Lo Fellow in Electrical and Computer Engineering, has been selected by NASA to develop a Solar Terrestrial Probes (STP) Science Mission of Opportunity, budgeted for $75 million. Her mission, titled “Global Lyman-alpha Imager of the Dynamic Exosphere”, or “GLIDE” for short, was chosen for implementation after a competitive selection process and is expected to be launched in 2025. Computational method provides faster high-resolution mass spectrometry imaging Dec 11, 2020 4:45 pm0 views A new computational mass spectrometry imaging method enables researchers to achieve high mass resolution and high spatial resolution for biological samples while providing data sets exponentially faster. Illinois ECE Research Define Earable Computing: A New Research Area in the Making Dec 9, 2020 2:30 pm0 views A team of Illinois ECE researchers are defining a new sub-area of mobile technology that they call “earable computing.” The SyNRG team (Systems and Networking Research Group) believes that earphones will be the next significant milestone in wearable devices, and that new hardware, software, and apps will all run on this platform. Bayram and Feng Awarded Defense University Research Instrumentation Program Grants Dec 7, 2020 8:15 pm0 views The Department of Defense has awarded Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP) grants to six University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign professors - two of whom are Illinois ECE faculty members. Illinois ECE Associate Professor Can Bayramand Research Professor Milton Feng, Nick Holonyak, Jr., Endowed Chair Emeritus in Electrical and Computer Engineering, were among the recipients of the grants. The grants were made to 85 institutions for 2021. Grainger Engineering Earns Six Defense University Research Instrumentation Program Grants Dec 4, 2020 5:30 pm2 views The Department of Defense has awarded Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP) grants to six University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign professors - all of whom are Grainger Engineering faculty or affiliates. Grants were made to 85 institutions for 2021.