A group of UIUC entreprenurial students and faculty Innovators, cultivators, visionaries, and a talented student body represent the successes within the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s entrepreneurial climate. Alumni, graduates, and undergraduates are not only a part of world-changing programs – these entrepreneurs are leaders in their academic and professional fields.

The University of Illinois is “ranked among the top public universities for producing the most successful entrepreneurs,” according to Forbes. UIUC garners a rich entrepreneurial history in which alumni have committed their ideas to the marketplace and gone on to found some of the most renowned companies to date. Large public companies like YouTube and PayPal find their roots in the halls of UIUC in which two of YouTube’s founders Jawed Karim and Steven Chen earned their bachelor’s degrees in computer science and two of PayPal’s founders Max Levchin and Luke Nosek earned their bachelor’s degrees in computer science and computer engineering respectively.

Other major globally recognized companies include the online anime streaming service Crunchyroll, founded by alumni James Lin, and Tesla that is co-founded by alumni Martin Eberhard who received the 2008 Distinguished Alumni Award and was inducted into the Hall of Fame by Engineering at Illinois.

Among such highly esteemed graduates, the university continues to advance their students beyond the classroom through the support of innovative programs such as Duality – America’s first accelerator dedicated to quantum startups, as well as Chicago Quantum, The University of Chicago, Polsky Center of Entrepreneurship, Argonne National Laboratory, and P33. During a student’s academic career, faculty are also committed to fleshing out students’ ideas into reality by training its scientists and engineers to set their focus beyond academia and recognize the benefits their visions can grant a vibrant ever-changing society.

Read more on the current list of companies founded by the university’s alumni: Illinois Startups | Illinois Entrepreneurship | U of I.

For more information on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s entrepreneurial background: Why The University Of Illinois Is A Top College For Entrepreneurs (forbes.com).

213647At the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, a study co-led by researchers make a rare and striking discovery in deep space.

Led by graduate student Yu-Ching Chen of UIUC and astronomy professors Xin Liu and Yue Shen, the team conducted their research using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope in combination with terrestrial and space-based observatories. The astronomers discovered two quasars that are gravitationally bound by their two galaxies. Their study identifies emerging binary quasar populations and rules out other astronomical explanations using a clear method to detect double quasars that are separated by an obscure distance.

The conception of quasars begins with a supermassive black hole consuming neighboring stars. Gas and debris from the stars spin rapidly into cosmic beams called accretion discs. Before reaching their final destination into the black hole, the debris rotates at unfathomable speeds while being pulled by a celestial body that is billions of times more massive than our sun. Friction in the accretion disc creates heat on a level almost difficult to fully appreciate. This results in a glowing disc that shines more brightly than even some of our galaxy’s brightest stars, which is the impressive quasar that these astronomers captured.

Like a needle-in-a-haystack, according to Professor Yue Shen, the search for this double quasar required the combined power of the Hubble’s sensitivity and the university’s leading researchers in their astronomy department. UIUC is committed to continuing their rich history of astronomical achievements inside the classroom by providing students hands-on experience using real data sets and outside campus in research projects led by students and faculty alike. Much of our universe is still unexplored and there is plenty of room for discoveries. UIUC is a pioneering research institution in observational astronomy, theoretical astrophysics, astronomical imagining, and cosmology. Faculty members have access to world-class facilities including the South Pole Telescope and large survey projects like DES. The university sets a high standard for undergraduate studies, which leads students to advance their academic expertise in year-round research as well as occasional collaborations with astronomy professors.

For more information: https://news.illinois.edu/view/6367/1173956073

readingChicago high school athletes are taking time out of their busy school and sporting schedule to help mentor and promote a love of reading in younger students. They have been giving their time and energy to encourage elementary school students in Englewood to read.

One such student athlete read “Llama Llama Red Pajama” to kindergarten students in Englewood on Wednesday, April 12. The students sat and listened eagerly to the story, while also enjoying a pizza party. This visit was just one in a regular series of commitment from high school athletes to encourage younger students to read.

These mentors are already seeing great results in their young pupils. Teachers say it is very beneficial for the younger students to hear from and look up to the older kids. At Dulles Elementary, many teachers say their students were struggling with their reading before the visits, and now many of them are reading above their grade level. The younger classes compete to have the most reading minutes every month in order to win a prize, such as the pizza party in the kindergarten class.

Back in October, the high school students donated around 3,000 books to Dulles Elementary and each classroom now has their own mini library of books for students to check out and bring home. Reading opens up new worlds to young children, and their older mentors are inspiring a love of learning and reading!

ILIARCHERYThe National Archery in the Schools Program, aimed at improving educational performance among students in grades 4 – 12 through archery, had its Illinois State Tournament March 25 and 26.

Champaign Centennial High School won first place at the tournament, where the team scored 3,400 during the two days.

Champaign Central High School scored 3,390 points putting them in second place and East Dubuque High School finished in third with 3,329.

Edison Middle School in Champaign won first place in the middle school division, scoring 3,332. Jefferson Middle School in Champaign took second place with a score of 3,297 and East Dubuque students took third with a score of 3,250.

In the elementary school division, East Dubuque won first place, scoring 2,844. Next Generation School in Champaign finished second with a score of 2,798 and Armstrong-Potomac in Vermilion County finished third with 2,769.

First place for individual performance was awarded to Shayna Sigh from Champaign Central with a score of 293. Westin Ballantine from East Dubuque High School was the top male score with 289.

The NASP Illinois State Tournament was hosted by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources at Champaign Centennial High School this year. Top finishers qualified for the NASP U.S. Eastern Nationals will be held May 11-13 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Congratulations to all of our student athletes. For the full Illinois State Tournament results, visit the NASP website at https://nasptournaments.org.

CaptureGranny got the degree! Last Sunday a new graduate walked across the stage to receive their diploma that they had waited since 1951 to achieve. This time, however, the graduate happened to be the oldest undergrad recipient in Northern Illinois University’s history – 90 years old. After waiting almost seven decades, Joyce DeFauw of Geneseo received her bachelors of general studies. DeFauw had originally pursued a teaching degree and then home economics. However, after being a few semesters away from graduation, she met her husband and had nine children throughout the years. 

After nine children, including two sets of twins, she had her hands full and decided it would be best to put a hold on her degree. It wasn’t until 2019 that she decided to go back to school to finish the degree she had pursued back in 1951. Due to the pandemic, DeFauw took courses online in order to accelerate the process, using a gifted computer – the first computer she ever owned. The pandemic gave a lot of time for people to consider their education goals, and for DeFauw, she felt it was her time to give it another go.

It was definitely a change for her, but she told a local news station, WREX, that it wasn’t something that she had always planned to finish. DeFauw is one of the few people in their nineties in history to decide to go back and pursue education.

DeFauw always valued education and wanted to remind others that it’s important to never give up on your dream, even if you get sidetracked. She is a reminder that anything is possible if you put your mind to it! The grandmother of 17 and great grandmother of 24 said it was ultimately her family that encouraged her to return to NIU, known then at her time as Northern Illinois State Teachers College. As she put it, “Don’t give up. Even if you do quit, go back. Just hang in there. Keep learning. Keep giving thanks. It’s there for you. Just go for it.”