A digest of Illinois Computer Science faculty, alumni, and students who are featured in the media.
Forbes -- Coursera, the seven-year-old online education provider, is worth more than $1 billion, according to CEO Jeff Maggioncalda. Coursera's offerings include 14 online masters degrees in computer science and other disciplines from schools like the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
ChicagoInno -- "Runtime Verification, founded in 2011 and based in Urbana, is building technology that identifies problems in a company’s software. Since launching, Runtime has grown only on revenue made from its business contracts. It now employs a team of 30."
Digit -- Today marks the 26th Anniversary of the 1.0 version of the Mosaic browser. The easiest way to explain Mosaic would be to say that it’s the great grandpappy of the browser you are using to read this story. Launched back in 1993, Mosaic was developed at the University of Illinois.
Geekwire -- Facebook has invested $4.2 million to expand a Northeastern University computer science master’s program that helps people from other fields get into tech to the University of Illinois, Georgia Tech, and Columbia.
C4ISRNET -- After several years in which he turned down similar requests from the Chinese government, Pentagon representatives contacted Tom Siebel in 2015. Like their Chinese counterparts, US officials wanted help with artificial intelligence. Within six months, Siebel's C3 had demonstrated a reduction of as much as 28 percent of unscheduled maintenance events for the E-3 Sentry AWACS aircraft.
Chicago Tribune -- The University of Illinois’ acclaimed College of Engineering has received a record $100 million gift and will be renamed the Grainger College of Engineering. Also covered by The Associated Press, Inside Higher Education,
The News-Gazette/Campus Conversation podcast -- Lecturer Ryan Cunningham appears in an interesting conversation that touched on ethics in CS, how the department’s ethics courses regularly evolve to reflect current events, the impacts of social media, protecting privacy rights, and more. "If we're going to find out what privacy means in the digital age, the thing that we need to do is have a conversation about it."
The News-Gazette -- Members of the Tuscola High School Hack Club attended SAIL— a one-day event to spotlight Computer Science at the University of Illinois (scroll down near the end of the News-Gazette's High School Confidential feature).
The Washington Post -- Escalators in Washington, D.C., Metro stations often break. But that may be a good thing, according to research from Illinois CS Professor Sheldon Jacobson. “When people use public transit, they typically must walk (or) cycle to the stop/station, and on the back end, do the same," Jacobson said via email. “Also, during the transit ride, they may stand (more calories burned)."
The Daily Illini -- After the events of Sept. 11, 2001, the federal government increased airport security and changed the system for screening passengers. In 2011, airports introduced Transportation Security Administration precheck, a process developed with the help of work done by Sheldon Jacobson, a Computer Science professor.
Chicago Sun-Times -- "Gerrymandering has been around since the early days of the Republic, but powerful computers and big data have made the practice much more effective. … Scientists at the University of Illinois proposed a way to take politics out of redistricting by letting a carefully designed algorithm draw the maps," referencing research by Professor Sheldon Jacobson.
KUTV -- Illinois CS Professor Sheldon Jacobson says a security breach at the airport in Salt Lake City a “fairly isolated incident with a bad outcome,” and said one to two airport security breaches happen each month nationwide.
UMKC University News -- Women of color account for roughly 18 percent of the U.S. population, but less than 10 percent of bachelor’s degrees earned in computing, and less than 6 percent of tech leadership positions in Silicon Valley. But change is coming, and one woman leading the charge is software engineer and Illinois CS graduate Kamilah Taylor (MS '10).
Forbes -- Marc Andreessen, the Illinois CS alum whose Netscape browser was a touchstone moment of the digital age, has new take: “The 21st century is the century of disagreeableness,” an era of information overload in which those “disagreeables” will challenge the status quo and create billion-dollar companies.
Israel21c -- Tel Aviv University and Yissum, the tech-transfer company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, are partners with the University of Illinois, University of Chicago and Northwestern University in the new $500 million Discovery Partners Institute, supported by the State of Illinois and the city of Chicago.
Crain's Chicago Business -- Caterpillar Digital moved into new Chicago offices in September. Like other big companies, Cat is responding to the disruption created by Apple, Amazon and others, and competing with them for tech talent -- something students aren't always aware of. "It doesn't seem like (Caterpillar) would have as much need," said Anushka Bose, a freshman computer science major at the University of Illinois.
The News-Gazette -- Projects to help communities adopt sustainable development strategies and create a statewide pipeline to train computer-science teachers are among those funded in the Discovery Partners Institute's first round of seed grants. The teacher-training program is led in part by Illinois CS Associate Professor Craig Zilles.