blog posts 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 am6 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 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.