Special CSL Social Hour, Sept 15, 2017

Do you want to know where you can safely store all your research data, or have you ever wondered what you should do when your Matlab license doesn’t work. We are pleased to have Mark Hart as our guest speaker for this week’s social hour on Friday, Sept 15 at 3:00PM in 301 CSL. Mark will tell us about wide variety of services provided by Engineering IT, to help both graduate student as well as faculty have better research experience.

Bio: Mark Hart has been an IT Professional at Illinois since 2004. In his career, he has worked in areas ranging from healthcare to network security, and this has led him to his current role as Research Technology Facilitator (RTF) for Engineering IT Shared Services. As RTF, Mark serves as an advocate for faculty and researchers, connecting them to the resources they need and helping ensure those researchers have a voice in shaping the services they use. In his role as RTF, Mark has been working with Klara Nahrstedt’s 4CeeD project team, as well as collaborating with NCSA on research computation services. Mark is currently pursuing a masters degree in Information Science with an emphasis on data curation and information management.

CSL Social Hour, Sept 8, 2017

We are glad to have Suryanarayana Sankagiri as our guest speaker for this week’s social hour on Friday, Sept 8 at 3:00PM in 369 CSL. Surya will talk about “Community Detection: A Fresh Perspective“.
Abstract: Community detection is the problem of finding dense subgraphs within a large graph. It arises in the analysis of many different types of networks, be it social networks or citation networks. My research involves the development of a new model for generating graphs with communities, and finding algorithms that work well for this model. The exciting part about this research is that it essentially involves concepts learned in courses like ECE 534

Bio: Surya is a 2nd year graduate student in the ECE department, working with Prof. Bruce Hajek. He is currently working on community detection, a form of unsupervised learning. Apart from communications theory (currently being pursued as theoretical machine learning), he is also interested control theory. He did his undergrad in IIT Bombay, India. In his free time, he enjoys cooking, playing badminton and tennis, and cycling around Champaign.

Inaugural Fall’17 Social Hour, September 1, 2017

Welcome back!! We hope you all had a refreshing break and are rejuvenated to witness yet another riveting series of informal talks at the CSL Social Hour. We would like you to meet the CSL administrative leadership at the inaugural social hour of the semester on Friday, September 1 in 301 CSL. We will have the director of CSL, Dr. Klara Nahrstedt, and other CSL administrative leadership members will discuss CSL organization, planned CSL events, exciting activities for the upcoming academic year, and preview the upcoming CSL academic year. Attendees will learn who is doing what on the administrative side of CSL, what is the administrative support structure in CSL, where and how one can find people, services and resources to help CSL members to be highly successful in research and education.

BioKlara Nahrstedt is the Ralph and Catherine Fisher Full Professor at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Computer Science Department, and the Director of Coordinated Science Laboratory at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Klara Nahrstedt received her BA in mathematics from Humboldt University, Berlin, in 1984, and M.Sc. degree in numerical analysis from the same university in 1985. She was a research scientist in the Institute for Informatik in Berlin until 1990. In 1995 she received her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in the Department of Computer and Information Science. She is the ACM Fellow, IEEE Fellow, and the Member of Leopoldina German National Academy of Sciences.

Join the Social Hour to learn about the people of the administrative infrastructure with whom CSL students, postdocs and faculty interact with and get emails from, and about the CSL place CSL members will spend many hours during the upcoming academic year. And most importantly come, and enjoy food and company of CSL peers, staff and faculty.

Special CSL Social Hour, April 28, 2017

Are you tired of exam preparations or project deadlines and need a refreshing study break? Guess what we have in store for you – another CSL Musical Social Hour!! We are excited to have Alfonso Valdes, Managing Director, Smart Grid Technologies at the Information Trust Institute to perform at this week’s special CSL Social Hour on Friday, April 28 at 3pm in 369 CSL.

Bio: For his day job, Alfonso Valdes manages a portfolio of projects in energy system cyber security for the Information Trust Institute. But his passion is playing a number of string instruments: ukulele, Spanish guitar, Hawaiian guitar, acoustic rock guitar, Baroque mandolin, and bluegrass mandolin. You never know what instrument he will bring, or what he will play. And usually, neither does he. It can be a problem when he brings the bluegrass mandolin to a flamenco gig.

Fun fact: Alfonso has literally been a professional musician and has played live on WILL radio. He sometimes writes his own compositions, too.

Important: The April Video-Of-The-Month submissions are due by noon, Thursday, April 27. The link to upload your videos is:  go.illinois.edu/bestvideo.

Special CSL Social Hour, April 21, 2017

We are very pleased to have a couple of guest speakers, Mr. Tanweer Alam and Mr. Ahmed Sadeque, from the Cricket Club of Illinois (CCI) to talk about the game of Cricket – a tale of 22 yards. This special session will be held in CSL 369 at 3pm on Friday, April 21.

: Tanweer Alam is the Lead Business Intelligence Analyst at the University of Illinois Foundation (UIF). He obtained his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Oklahoma and Master’s from the University of Illinois in Management Information Systems. Prior to working at UIF he has been involved in various research opportunities at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) and the Institute of Government and Public Affairs (IGPA).   He has been part of Cricket Club of Illinois (CCI) for several years and has been involved in promoting the game of Cricket in Urbana-Champaign; on campus as well as local schools and Park Districts. Tanweer continues to work on providing opportunities to those who are interested in learning about cricket and playing opportunities in the local community and regional clubs.


Bio: Ahmed Sadeque is a PhD student in Crop Sciences. His research focuses on unearthing the evolution of mechanism adopted by Palmer amaranth and waterhemp (weeds) for sex-determination. He joined UIUC in August 2010 and holds double MS in Bioinformatics and Molecular Biology.   Ahmed joined Cricket Club of Illinois (CCI) for in 2012 and since then he has actively contributed towards promoting the game of Cricket in the Urbana-Champaign community. He has been part of cricket coaching sessions both on and off campus. Alongside making new friendships, CCI has allowed him to immensely improve his cricketing skills. Over the years, CCI has hosted several competitive tournaments on campus and represented the University in different Midwest Cricket tournaments as well.

Special CSL Social Hour, April 14, 2017

We are very pleased to have Professor Tamer Başar as our guest speaker for this week’s special social hour on Friday, April 14 at 3:00PM in 369 CSL. Prof. Başar will talk about his prime years at CSLevolution of the CSL over several decades and how his research portfolio has evolved in parallel.

Bio: Professor Tamer Başar received B.S.E.E. degree from Robert College, Istanbul, in 1969, and M.S., M.Phil, and Ph.D. degrees in engineering and applied science from Yale University, in 1970, 1971 and 1972, respectively. After stints at Harvard University, Marmara Research Institute (Gebze, Turkey), and Boğaziçi University (Istanbul), he joined the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) in 1981, where he is with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is the Director of the Center for Advanced Study, and carries the academic titles of Swanlund Endowed Chair, Center for Advanced Study Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Professor at the Coordinated Science Laboratory, Professor with the Information Trust Institute, and Affiliate Professor at the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering.

Dr. Başar is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and of the European Academy of Sciences, and is also Fellow of IEEE, IFAC, and SIAM. He has an extensive list of publications in systems, control, communications, and dynamic games, including books on non-cooperative dynamic game theory, robust control, network security, wireless and communication networks, and stochastic networked control. His current research interests include stochastic teams, games, and networks; security; and cyber-physical systems. Among some of the honors and awards he has received are: IEEE Control Systems (Technical Field) Award (2014), Isaacs Award of ISDG (2010), Richard E. Bellman Control Heritage Award of the American Automatic Control Council (2006), Giorgio Quazza Medal of IFAC (2005), Outstanding Service Award of IFAC (2005), Hendrik W. Bode Lecture Prize of the IEEE Control Systems Society (2004), IEEE Millennium Medal (2000, Axelby Outstanding Paper Award (1995), Medal of Science of Turkey (1993), and several honorary doctorates and professorships.

CSL Social Hour, April 7, 2017

Ever wonder how the grid of the future looks like? Well, Alireza Askarian is going to briefly talk about the future grid during this week’s social hour talk on Friday, April 7 at 3pm in 369 CSL.

Bio: Alireza Askarian is a Master’s student in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He obtained his B.Sc. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, Iran. He is working under the supervision of Prof. Srinivasa M. Salapaka on developing novel microgrid control architecture to meet the challenges to grid system reliability, efficiency, and resiliency presented by widespread distributed and stochastic renewable power generation. His long-term goal lies in adoption of key technologies developed by this research for grid system of future.

Special CSL Social Hour, March 31

Welcome back!! We are very pleased to have Professor Ravishankar Iyer as our guest speaker for this week’s special social hour on Friday, March 31 at 3:00PM in 369 CSL. This special session is titled as “Sequences to Systems: Creating the CompGen Engine at Illinois”.

Bio: Professor Ravishankar Iyer is the George and Ann Fisher Distinguished Professor of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He holds joint appointments in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, the Coordinated Science Laboratory (CSL), and the Department of Computer Science. He is an affiliate faculty of the Insititue for Genomic Biology (IGB) and National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). Iyer has led several large successful projects funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), National Science Foundation (NSF), and industry. He currently co-leads the CompGen Initiative at Illinois. Funded by NSF and partnering with industry leaders, hospitals, and research laboratories, CompGen aims to build a new computational platform to address both accuracy and performance issues for a range of genomics applications. Professor Iyer is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). He has received several awards, including the IEEE Emanuel R. Piore Award, and the 2011 Outstanding Contributions award by the Association of Computing Machinery. Professor Iyer is also the recipient of the degree of Doctor Honaris Causa from Toulouse Sabatier University in France.

Important: The Video-of-the-Month is due by 5 pm, Thursday, March 30.  The link to upload your videos is:  go.illinois.edu/bestvideo.

Special Musical Social Hour, March 17

Tired of exams, deadlines, and CSL heating system!! Come and join us for the special CSL Social Hour on Friday March 17, at 3 pm in 369 CSL. Warning: There will be no slides, no equations, no deep learning. Instead there will be us getting together, celebrating the beginning of Spring and live music. We are pleased to have Ardavan Ardeshirilajimi and Parisa Karimi  as our Social hour guests this week. They are going to play classical Persian music pieces with Tar and Kamancheh.

BioArdavan is a PhD candidate in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at UIUC. He received his M.Sc. degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, and his B.Sc. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, Iran. Ardavan is very passionate about Iranian classical music. He has been playing plays Tar and Tonbak, since he was young. Other than music, he is interested in cooking, playing soccer, calligraphy, and ice skating.


BioParisa is a PhD student in the ECE department, at UIUC. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree from Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran, and her master’s degree from Sharif University of technology Tehran, all in Electrical Engineering. Parisa is an experienced Kamancheh player. She is the winner of the best Kamancheh soloist in the youth music festival Tehran, 2015. She is also interested in playing piano, but her true passion lies in music composition.

Special CSL Social Hour, March 10

We are glad to have Dr. Svetlana Sowers, Senior Technology Manager at the Office of Technology Management (OTM), as our guest speaker for this week’s social hour on Friday, March 10 at 3pm in 301 CSL. She will talk about various aspects of managing University IP, including protecting, promoting and licensing IP.

Bio: Dr. Svetlana Sowers is a Senior Technology Manager at the Office of Technology Management at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. She is responsible for technology transfer of software and other copyrightable inventions from across campus. She had helped launch the Ready-to-Sign and Mobile programs at the University of Illinois. Prior to joining the tech transfer community over 5 years ago, Svetlana has worked at Yahoo!, Motorola, and at a local startup. She received her MBA degree from the University of Illinois, and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland in College Park.

See you all on Friday!!