Why CS @ ILLINOIS

CS: The Foundation of Modern Life

Computer science underpins just about every aspect of modern life. The arts, sciences, business, medicine, and engineering all benefit from the computational power, modeling, and thinking found in computer science. CS @ ILLINOIS has produced thousands of creative and driven graduates who have made significant contributions to the computing field and to society at large.

Those benefits are why computer scientists are in high demand. The U.S. Department of Labor forecasts "above average" job growth for computer and information technology occupations through 2024. They're also highly paid, with a median wage of $81,430.

With exclusive events like After Hours, lectures from Engineers in Residence, and about 70 other technology talks, corporate days, and sponsored events occurring each year in the Thomas M. Siebel Center for Computer Science alone, CS @ ILLINOIS students get to interact with a ton of companies, from start-ups to household names like Google and Facebook.

CS @ ILLINOIS: A Tradition of Excellence

From the ILLIAC to Blue Waters, OpenMP to MPI, Mosaic to YouTube, and the first vectorizing compilers to LLVM, CS @ ILLINOIS faculty, students, and alumni have long been at the forefront of excellence in computing research and education.  They’ve launched entirely new industries, generated billions of dollars in commerce, created tens of thousands of jobs, and revolutionized the way people communicate, shop, conduct business, and are entertained. 

Companies that have been founded or led by CS @ ILLINOIS graduates are among the biggest names in the high-tech arena, including Match.com, Microsoft, Netscape, PayPal, Siebel Systems, YouTube, and Yelp.

Outstanding Faculty & Research Opportunities

Our dynamic and stimulating research culture covers 9 research areas, with 90 potential faculty advisors in computer science and related fields for our top-five CS graduate program. This means that CS @ ILLINOIS students can find a course or an expert on almost any topic in the discipline. And we haven't even begun to cover the opportunities available in our highly-ranked College of Engineering for interdiscliplinary studies and collaborations.

Our internationally recognized faculty currently includes 29 NSF CAREER Award winners, 15 ACM Fellows, 14 IEEE Fellows, and 8 Sloan Research Fellows. With $34 million in annual research expenditures, our 70 CS faculty members are pioneering virtual reality, creating software to analyze the HIV capsid, investigating the algorithms behind social media, monitoring construction zones with drones, and harnessing the power of the Data Revolution.

Extraordinary Quality of Life

Conveniently centered between Chicago, Indianapolis, and St. Louis, the University of Illinois provides an entertainment and cultural hub on par with the country's leading cities. Our campus community is home to Big 10 Division I sports; marquee theatrical and musical performances; and fantastic health and recreational facilities.  Ranked by Business Insider as one of the best small cities for educated millenials, the cost of living in Champaign-Urbana is 60-77% less than cities like Berkeley, Palo Alto, and Boston, where peer institutions are located. Learn how Champaign-Urbana is a micro-urban center on the rise.

On campus there are over 1,000 student groups that provide a range of activities for social interaction, professional development, mentorship, charity, and fun. HackIllinois, Reflections | Projections, and ChicTech are just a few of the exciting projects and events run by CS students where you can meet interesting people and find your passion.

Vibrant Entreprenuerial Ecosystem

Entrepreneurship is not just about startups, it is also a way of thinking and an approach to solving problems—a catalyst to inspiring the next generation of innovators. This mindset is an important part of our culture and is fully integrated across the curriculum, and is supported in and out of the classroom. That includes resources like the Technology Entrepreneur Center and Research Park, which provide training, support, and experience to help students and faculty become successful entrepreneurs.

Our faculty and students are commercializing technology that provides:

  • A tool to passively learn a foreign language while browsing the web. Thomas Reese (MS CS '15), FlipWord
  • An advanced ability to secure online systems using a novel network verificaiton tool.  Professors Brighten Godfrey & Matthew Caesar, with Dr. Ahmed Khurshid (PhD CS '15), Veriflow Systems
  • Real-time structural health monitoring of bridges and other civil infrastructure. Professor Gul Agha, Embeddor Technologies
  • A visual data analytics platform to improve efficiency and reduce risks in construction. Professor Derek Hoiem, Reconstruct
  • A platform to turn every object into an interactive display.  Dr. Brett Jones (BS CS ’08, MS ’10, PhD ’15), Dr. Kevin Karsch (PhD CS ‘15), and Dr. Raj Sodhi (BS CS ’08, MS ’10, PhD ’15), Lumenous
  • Tools to verify programs as the execute, to improve the safety, reliability, and correctness of software. Professor Grigore Rosu, Runtime Verification