January 2022 E-News – AVATRINA New Year, IBM-Illinois Discovery Accelerator Institute, Outstanding Dissertation Award

Robot TRINA in a New Year hat, holding gold balloons, and a celebratory horn.


Cheers to the New Year: Find Inspiration for 2022 with 12 Amazing CS Moments from 2021

As we at Illinois Computer Science paused recently and reflected on 2021, one thing remains clear. In a year of change, the constant here is a spirit of innovation that innately drives our faculty, staff, students, and alumni to push the boundaries of what’s possible in computing.



Nancy M. Amato, Abel Bliss Professor of Engineering and Department Head


  Image of the Bardeen Quad on a sunny day

IBM and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Plan to Launch New Discovery Accelerator Institute

The large-scale collaboration is designed to increase access to technology education and

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Brave Behind Bars: Prison education program focuses on computing skills for women | MIT News

A programming language textbook might not be the first thing you’d expect to see when walking into a correctional facility. 

The creators of the Brave Behind Bars program are hoping to change that. 

Founded in 2020, Brave Behind Bars is a pandemic-born introductory computer science and career-readiness program for incarcerated women, based out of The Educational Justice Institute at MIT (TEJI). It’s taught both online and in-person, and the pilot program brought together 30 women from four correctional facilities across New England to study web design. 

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A pilot program based out of The Educational Justice Institute at MIT,

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Hyundai partners with quantum computer company IonQ for battery development

Quantum computer maker IonQ said that it is partnering with Hyundai to use quantum computers to develop more effective batteries.

The partnership will create a battery chemistry model to simulate the structure and energy of lithium oxide, to help improve the performance, costs, and safety of lithium batteries, IonQ said.

Researchers believe quantum computers could operate millions of times faster than today’s advanced supercomputers, potentially making tasks such as mapping complex molecular structures and chemical reactions much faster.

For that to happen, the quantum computers still need to scale up further, say experts. Despite this, companies, from banks to pharmaceutical

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SRAM acquires cycling computer brand Hammerhead

CHICAGO (BRAIN) — SRAM announced Wednesday the acquisition of cycling computer brand Hammerhead. The transaction was completed Dec. 30.

In a news release announcing the acquisition, SRAM said it will continue to develop the Hammerhead Karoo product line under its portfolio that includes RockShox, Zipp, Time Sport pedals, Truvativ, and Quarq.

The latest Hammerhead GPS head unit, the Karoo 2, hit the market in late 2020, and in the last year, Hammerhead achieved “seven times revenue growth, and their community of riders have clocked over a million hours of gravel, concrete, and trails covered.”

“Hammerhead is an amazing brand with

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ICP Crypto News: A Makeover for Internet Computer Seeks to Get ICP Back on Track

A new year is hoping to provide a fresh start for the Internet Computer (CCC:ICP-USD) network. Despite a disappointing first year for the ICP coin, bulls and backer Dfinity Network aren’t ready to give up yet. In fact, the institution behind the project is calling 2022 “the year for ICP.” Some ICP crypto news is setting the pace for the currency as the new year takes effect. Could a slew of proposals help buoy the struggling coin?

Source: Shutterstock

Internet Computer looked poised to become one of the largest crypto networks in the world upon its launch. Its

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Eckerd computer science professors ‘think outside’ to boost wildlife research – News

That collaboration is on full display at Eckerd College, where two computer science professors are helping to make animal research quicker, easier and more precise. Kelly Debure, Ph.D., professor of computer science, is the driving force behind software used in research on marine mammals and, most recently, Alaskan brown bears.

And Mike Hilton, Ph.D., assistant professor of computer science, has developed software used in research on gopher tortoises and frogs. He has released it as an open source, so other wildlife researchers can work with him.

Over the past 20 years, Debure has supervised scores of Eckerd students who have

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2022 news preview: Quantum computers may finally become useful tools

Google’s Sycamore quantum processor is one of the most advanced

Peter Kneffel/dpa/Alamy

A POWERFUL quantum computer could crack encryption and solve problems that classical machines find impossible. Although no one has yet succeeded in building such a device, recently we have seen a gathering pace of progress – so could 2022 be the year?

At the moment, efforts are focused on an important milestone known as quantum supremacy: the point at which a quantum computer is able to complete a calculation that a classical computer can’t, given a reasonable amount of time.

Google was first to reach

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Y2K22 bug hits Email Security, firewall products

SonicWall has confirmed today that some of its Email Security and firewall products have been hit by the Y2K22 bug, causing message log updates and junk box failures starting with January 1st, 2022.

The company says that email users and administrators will no longer be able to access the junk box or un-junk newly received emails on affected systems.

They will also no longer be able to trace incoming/outgoing emails using the message logs because they’re no longer updated.

On January 2nd, SonicWall deployed updates to North American and European instances of Hosted Email Security, the company’s cloud email security

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Trojanized dnSpy app drops malware cocktail on researchers, devs

Hackers targeted cybersecurity researchers and developers this week in a sophisticated malware campaign distributing a malicious version of the dnSpy .NET application to install cryptocurrency stealers, remote access trojans, and miners.

dnSpy is a popular debugger and .NET assembly editor used to debug, modify, and decompile .NET programs. Cybersecurity researchers commonly use this program when analyzing .NET malware and software.

While the software is no longer actively developed by the initial developers, the original source code and a new actively developed version is available on GitHub to be cloned and modified by anyone.

Malicious dnSpy delivers a cocktail of malware

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Intel Previews NUC 12 Extreme ‘Dragon Canyon’ Mini PC at CES

Intel is bringing 12th generation “Alder Lake” desktop CPUs to a new mini PC in its NUC line. 

The company provided a first look at the product, dubbed the NUC 12 Extreme “Dragon Canyon,” at CES. According to Intel, the new model will arrive some time this quarter. 

In case you’re unfamiliar, the NUC series represents Intel’s effort to create mini PCs. The product line has packed desktop-class CPU power into a small footprint, resulting in powerful hardware that can easily fit in a backpack and later hook up to a monitor. 

For example, last year’s NUC 11 Extreme Kit

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