Two DTI researchers were elected to the 2024 class of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences announced on Wednesday, April 24. Of 250 new members across many disciplines elected to this high honor, Nancy M. Amato of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Alberto Luigi Sangiovanni-Vincentelli of the University of California, Berkeley, were both named for their contributions to the field of computer science.

“We honor these artists, scholars, scientists, and leaders in the public, non-profit, and private sectors for their accomplishments and for the curiosity, creativity, and courage required to reach new heights,” said David Oxtoby, President of the Academy, in the press release announcing the new members. “We invite these exceptional individuals to join in the Academy’s work to address serious challenges and advance the common good.”

Read the announcement, “Honoring Excellence, Inviting Involvement: 2024 Member Announcement.”

See and search the list of new members, “2024 New Members.”

The Grainger College of Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign announced on Tuesday, April 24, the launch of a new school, to be named the Siebel School of Computing and Data Science, in honor of the “transformative” $50 million gift from Thomas M. Siebel, a UIUC alumnus and CEO of C3 AI.

The School is designed to pioneer advancements at the intersection of computing and data science, addressing complex challenges and driving innovation across various fields.

“The establishment of the Siebel School of Computing and Data Science exemplifies the University of Illinois’s dedication to pushing the boundaries of knowledge and fostering collaborative solutions to global challenges,” said Rashid Bashir, Dean of Grainger Engineering.

“The C3.aI Digital Transformation Institute is looking forward to continuing to push the boundaries of AI in collaboration with the new school,” says Rayadurgam Srikant, Fredric G. and Elizabeth H. Nearing Endowed Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Grainger and Co-Director of the Digital Transformation Institute, established in 2020 by a partnership of C3 AI, Microsoft, and six leading research universities.

Read the full story on the Grainger Engineering website: “University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Announces the Siebel School of Computing and Data Science.

Venture Beat: Back in February 2023, a small team of researchers at the University of Chicago studying under computer science professor Ben Zhao released Glaze, a free software tool that uses machine learning to subtly alter the pixels of an artwork provided by a user, changing the way its style is perceived by any AI art generator models that scrape and train on said artworks.

Many artists flocked to the tool, with more than 740,000 downloads of it by summer of 2023, as well as the team’s hit follow-up open source program, Nightshade, which seeks to “poison” AI models training on artists’ works without consent.

Now, more than a year later, the University of Chicago Glaze Project team is back with a new version of their first offering: Glaze 2, which they say is faster for artists to use and provides more protection for them against newer AI models including Stable Diffusion XL, an open source text-to-image model that users can fine-tune to emulate a specific artist’s or artists style.

“Computation speed up is significant,” wrote Glaze Project team leader Ben Zhao, in an email to VentureBeat. “It generally means Glaze 2 runs nearly twice as fast as Glaze 1.1. Some older GPUs go from 4 mins to 2 mins per image. Others go from 50 seconds to 30 seconds per image.”

“In addition to Glaze2.0, we are working on a project extending Glaze-like protection to short videos and animations,” posted the Glaze Project team from their account on X.

Ben Zhao is a cybersecurity researcher for the Digital Transformation Institute.

Read the full story, “Glaze 2: new version of anti-AI scraping tool for artists launches, video defense planned.”

Graphic: VentureBeat made with OpenAI DALL-E 3

Three DTI Principal Investigators were named to Clarivate’s 2023 list of the World’s Most Highly Cited Researchers. A total of 6,849 individual researchers from institutions in 67 countries were named this year.

Gerbrand Ceder of the University of California, Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, was named for cross-field research, as was Kaiyu Guan of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and HabiTerre, Inc. H. Vincent Poor of Princeton University was among only 238 on this year’s list who were named in two fields, computer science and engineering. Poor has made the Most Highly Cited list each year since 2015.

Read the Clarviate press release here.

The DTI Generative AI Workshop to be held October 25-27 will be live-streamed through DTI’s YouTube channel, organizers have announced.

The event, to be hosted at NCSA HQ at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, will feature leading AI experts speaking on the emergence of GenAI, its fundamental science, societal applications, and ethical use.

For program, see the GenAI Workshop page.

September 6, 2023

National experts in artificial intelligence from leading research universities, along with top industry leaders, will be among the speakers featured in an upcoming three-day workshop on Generative AI hosted by the Digital Transformation Institute.

The goal of the workshop, to be held October 25-27 at NCSA headquarters at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, is to discuss the fundamental science and technology behind the myriad of tools collectively known as Generative AI, as well as to discuss their societal applications and challenges.

According to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign organizers, “The emergence of publicly available products such as ChatGPT, Bard, Dall-E, and Stable Diffusion has the potential to enhance human productivity dramatically while also posing important questions regarding their ethical use in society.”

The full list of speakers is below. For the program and registration information, see the GenAI workshop page.


  • Misha Belkin, University of California, San Diego
  • Stevie Chancellor, University of Minnesota
  • Ed Delp, Purdue University
  • Shalini De Mello, NVIDIA
  • David Forsyth, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • Abhinav Gupta, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Tatsunori (Tatsu) Hashimoto, Stanford University
  • Julia Hockenmaier, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • Karrie Karahalios, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • Jian Ma, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Morteza Mardani, NVIDIA
  • Henrik Ohlsson, C3 AI
  • Hao Peng, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • Max Raginsky, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • Greg Shacknarovich, Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago
  • Alex Schwing, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • Shenlong Wang, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • Yuxiong Wang, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • Ben Zhao, University of Chicago

June 27, 2023

The Digital Transformation Institute announces a new fall workshop on Generative AI. The deep dive into this powerful new technology will be held October 25-27, 2023 at NCSA Headquarters on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Generative AI refers to a wide variety of artificial intelligence and machine learning tools capable of producing content such as images, videos, text, and computer programs. The emergence of publicly available products such as ChatGPT, Bard, Dall-E, and Stable Diffusion has the potential to enhance human productivity dramatically, while also posing important questions regarding their ethical use in society.

The goal of the workshop is to bring together experts to discuss the fundamental science and technology behind the myriad of tools collectively known as Generative AI as well as to discuss their societal applications and challenges.

Watch for more information announcing workshop speakers, program, and registration.

June 1, 2023 DTI COVID-19 PI Nancy Amato, Abel Bliss Professor of Engineering and Head of the Computer Science Department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, was awarded the Inaugural Robotics Medal from MassRobotics, a nonprofit innovation hub based in Boston. Amato was awarded for her contributions to the field, notably for research on the algorithmic foundations of motion planning, computational biology, computational geometry, and parallel computing.

According to MassRobotics, the Robotics Medal is the world’s first major prize to recognize the wide-ranging impact of female researchers focusing on the development of robotics around the globe. The Robotics Medal is awarded to a woman-identifying student/faculty nominated professor in robotics to recognize their impactful contributions to the field and includes a $50K prize awarded to the individual.

Read more here.

Amato pictured second from right, with Rising Star awardee Alyssa Pierson of Boston University, second from left.

May 10, 2023

A new five-year agreement brings two leading American and Swedish universities together even closer to address some of the most pressing technological challenges facing the U.S. and Europe.

University of California, Berkeley and KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden met in Berkeley on May 10 to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that calls for expanded educational and research exchanges across a wide range of technological fields, including computer science, biotechnology, chemistry, mechanical engineering and basic scientific exploration.

The agreement aims to extend the historically close cooperation between the two universities. It was signed by KTH President Anders Söderholm and UC Berkeley Vice Provost for Academic Planning Lisa Alvarez-Cohen at the culmination of a two-day innovation conference in San Francisco organized by KTH. The conference explored opportunities for collaboration to address society’s toughest challenges, bringing together American and Swedish leaders from the private, public and academic sectors — including faculty from UC Berkeley.

The event at UC Berkeley included panels in which researchers from UC Berkeley and KTH, as well as officials from the City of Stockholm, discussed skills for the future and digital transformation and AI to address societal challenges.

In the MoU, the two universities agree to expand opportunities for research and education that strengthen each university’s work toward a more sustainable society and innovative solutions for the future.

Söderholm says the agreement marks a new chapter in a partnership between institutions that share important values, yet offer each other unique perspectives that will define the future.

“California and Sweden are thousands of miles apart, but when it comes to our commitments to sustainable societal development and digital transformation, we are very much on the same page. This agreement is one way our respective universities can build on the importance of U.S.-Swedish relations,” Söderholm says. “Our students and researchers will benefit with new networks that reach more people and have wider influence.”

“We are excited about expanding our connection to KTH to advance innovation in the interest of society, to support researchers, and to increase global opportunities for our students,” says Claire Tomlin, Chair of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley. “This collaboration is sure to bring us closer to a more sustainable future.”

Highlights of the agreement may include:

  • Joint research projects, joint conferences, workshops, symposia, seminars and training programs of mutual interest
  • Pursuit of avenues for exchange of researchers which may include faculty, graduate students, and postdoctoral scholars
  • Pursuit of avenues for student exchange
  • Exchange of academic publications and other information

About KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Since its founding in 1827, KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm has become one of Europe’s leading technical and engineering universities, as well as a key centre of intellectual talent and innovation.

KTH works with industry and society in the pursuit of sustainable solutions to some of humanity’s greatest challenges: climate change, future energy supply, urbanisation and quality of life for the rapidly-growing elderly population. We are addressing these with world leading, high-impact research and education in natural sciences and all branches of engineering, as well as in architecture, industrial management, urban planning, history and philosophy.

KTH is Sweden’s largest technical research and learning institution and home to students, researchers and faculty from around the world.


About the University of California, Berkeley

Founded in 1868, the University of California, Berkeley is the flagship of the ten-campus UC system, the world’s premier public university system. UC Berkeley is a research powerhouse, with 26 Nobel Prize winners among its faculty and 35 alumni winners. Berkeley’s College of Engineering is consistently ranked among the top engineering schools in the nation and the world by many measures.

Berkeley Engineering aims to transform the lives of students by preparing them to become successful leaders and innovators for positive change; to expand knowledge and create transformative technology through original research to tackle the world’s biggest challenges; and to work toward a transformed society, in which all members can thrive, through service to government, industry, and the engineering professions.