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  • Sophomore Jason Hempstead uses a 3-D printer in the Illinois Geometry Lab to make solid shapes from plastic.

    X students + 1 subject + 1 room = creative and fun teamwork

    If that’s not the math you remember from school, that’s no surprise. But that’s the math they practice and preach through the Illinois Geometry Lab, a new math department initiative now in its fourth semester.

  • Sophomores in bioengineering Maggie Barbero, left, and Rachel Walker, both members of the World Champion iGEM team, at work in a laboratory in the Institute for Genomic Biology. Their team was the lone undergraduate winner at the international competititon.

    World champions genetically engineer winning design

    Last summer, as most undergraduates spent their vacation traveling to exotic locales or lounging by the pool, one group of students spent their time on campus in an Institute for Genomic Biology lab, reading papers and creating a probiotic pill that could help prevent heart disease."

  • Members of Girls Next Door, the first all-female a cappella group on campus, rehearse the songs in their repertoire.

    Voices in harmony: Student a cappella groups enjoy close-knit community

    Attend a charity fundraiser on the University of Illinois campus, and you might hear one of the many student a cappella groups singing a classic song such as “Blue Skies.” Or you might hear a group at a student event performing a recent Rihanna hit, or singing a blend of Indian and American pop music at the chancellor’s pre-game party on a football Saturday.

  • Photo of U. of I. computer science lecturer Anna Yershova and a student peering through a virtual reality headset.

    Virtual Reality Project

    Have you ever been on the field at Memorial Stadium, standing next to the cheerleaders as they lead an “I-L-L” call-and-response during a football game? Or have you been onstage at Foellinger Great Hall at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts while world-class musicians play?

    With the help of a new interdisciplinary project from students in advertising and computer science, those and a few other quintessential Illinois experiences are just a mouse click – and a pair of virtual reality goggles – away.

  • Nuclear engineering professor Rizwan Uddin, teaching Neutron Diffusion and Transport, created the Virtual Lab after enrollment in the entry-level course in his department swelled to four times the usual enrollment.

    Virtual lab encourages creativity, offers safe place to explore

    Welcome to the virtual lab, a digital re-creation of the nuclear, plasma and radiological engineering (NPRE) undergraduate laboratory. The virtual lab is a detailed first-person video game developed to guide freshmen through basic lab setup and procedure, though it soon could provide a training environment for advanced classes in nuclear engineering and beyond.

  • Paul Diehl, the Henning Larsen Professor of political science, says the new office for undergraduate research that he leads is already seeing tangible results in just a year.

    Undergraduate research office off to good start

    It’s been just a year since the Office of the Provost created the Office of Undergraduate Research and students this fall are already seeing tangible results.

  • Chronic Wasting Disease afflicts white-tailed deer (pictured), mule deer, moose, reindeer and elk.

    Undergrads choose their own adventure in this wildlife research group

    Don’t be fooled by the name, the wildlife and chronic wasting disease research group has a broader mission than you might think. Yes, the research focuses on white-tailed deer, primarily, and on CWD, a baffliing affliction of deer and elk. But for the dozens of undergraduate students who have joined this collaborative effort over the years, the group also is a portal, of sorts, to wide-ranging adventures in research.

  • UI Board of Trustees votes to close Institute of Aviation

    At the July 21 meeting of the UI Board of Trustees on the UIC campus, university trustees voted 6-2 to close the Institute of Aviation and end the undergraduate degree program. The institute, which opened in 1945, will likely close its doors at the end of the 2013-14 school year, after all current students have completed the program.

  • Researchers at the U. of I. found that plants vary a lot in the efficiency with which they uptake carbon dioxide and conserve water. Plant biology professor Andrew Leakey, left, mentored Kevin Wolz, who was an undergraduate at the time he conducted the research. Wolz now holds degrees in civil engineering and biology and is pursuing a doctorate in biology.

    Two undergrads improve plant carbon-cycle models

    In the summer of 2012, two undergraduate students tackled a problem that plant ecology experts had overlooked for 30 years. The students demonstrated that different plant species vary in how they take in carbon dioxide and emit water through stomata, the pores in their leaves. The data boosted the accuracy of mathematical models of carbon and water fluxes through plant leaves by 30 to 60 percent.

  • Undergraduate focus Charles Tucker III, shown here in a study lounge at the Illini Union, is the new vice provost for undergraduate education and innovation.

    Tucker named head of undergraduate education, innovation

    Charles Tucker III, the newly installed vice provost for undergraduate education and innovation, is well aware of the challenges of producing a high-quality undergraduate experience.

  • The Illinois group  from the left, Kristin Wang, Riley Wharton, Jenna Kandah, Anny Chang, Kayla Bell, Cheryl de Guzman and Megan Lee  at the statue of the late 1989 U. of I. alumna Iris Chang in the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall in Nanjing. Changs best-selling book The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II was published in 1997 on the 60th anniversary of the Nanking Massacre.

    Trip to China a welcome new opportunity for future teachers

    The trip that took Bell, Wang and their peers from East Central Illinois to East Asia is part of a new program in the College of Education called the Greater China Initiative, which makes study abroad practicable for undergraduate preservice teachers and provides an opportunity for them to delve into research.

  • Top Dogs

    U of I team designs “bark park”

  • Comparative biosciences professor Matthew Allender, left, makes use of John Ruckers Boykin spaniels, which can sniff out box turtles.

    The Turtle Team: Veterinary students use dogs to study turtles

    They show up in rubber boots and load their backpacks with gear: GPS units, latex gloves and data collection notebooks. The other equipment–calipers, syringes, scales and folding tables–will be used later when the students bring turtles here to their temporary laboratory alongside a park road.

  • Delta Xi Phi sisters Shixin Lan, left, the associate member educator and treasurer of the U. of I. chapter of Delta Xi Phi, and Yesenia Marquez, the chapter president.

    The Greek life was greek to them so they started their own

    Jasmine and Jeniece Baines had no interest in Greek life when they stumbled into the Delta Xi Phi sorority. It happened last fall, when the twin sisters from Country Club Hills, near Chicago, visited a cultural fair at the Illini Union.

  • There is nothing quite like living, learning and studying a historical event in the place where it occurred, said John Vasquez, an expert on war and peace and crisis diplomacy. Its ghosts still walk the streets.

    The Great War: Two courses make conflict meaningful through study abroad and campus expertise

    World War I began in 1914 n the age of biplanes and the Model T – before even radio, much less the Internet. Yet its effects were massive and are still being felt today.

  • Students Dawn Haken, Jos Tuason and Osamu Miyawaki work on assembling and testing solar panels that will provide power for a CubeSat mission slated to launch in the fall.

    Ten…Nine…Eight...

    CubeSat students prepare for launch

  • At right, Catherine Best, a research professor of bioengineering, supervises students, including REU participant Javier de Jesus Astacio, center, who is studying mechanical engineering at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez, and Yujin Lee, an Illinois junior in bioengineering.

    Summer Study: Program provides undergrads with research experience

    This summer, 10 undergraduate students performed research using advanced imaging and microscopy technologies through the Discoveries in Bioimaging Research Experience for Undergraduates.

  • Having both studied overseas, Study Abroad student advisers Bobby Warshaw and Ruchi Tekriwall are able to share their first-hand knowledge with other students considering participating in a U. of I. program.

    Study Abroad's top priority is safety for students

    Students participating in the U. of I.’s Study Abroad program say they were thankful for the comprehensive safety training they received on campus before traveling – and more thankful still they never had to employ it in an emergency situation.

  • Sophomore Colter Wehmeier, an architecture major, said he appreciates the mix of formal education while also being able to expertiment as part of his SPIN internship at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications.

    Students 'SPIN' opportunity with NCSA into internship gold

    Help wanted: On-campus supercomputing behemoth – you know, the place that invented the Web browser – seeks highly motivated student interns to solve some of the world’s most intractable problems.

  • Former Sustainable Student Farm manager Zack Grant harvests the fruits of student labor.

    Students put sustainability on U. of I. map

    The year 2015 will mark a milestone for sustainability at Illinois. This fall, a 5.87-megawatt, 20.8-acre solar farm – now under construction on university farmland – will supply about two percent of the campus’s total electricity needs. This project is the result of a dream and a lot of hard work by many stakeholders – not least among them the Illinois students.

  • Students push for smoke-free campus; planning under way

    The U. of I. student body has spoken, and it says it doesn’t want to inhale secondhand smoke anymore.

  • State Farm interns, from left, seniors Alan Kessler and Eric Adomaitis and junior Tiera Wiegand are among the 25 student interns who perform actuarial work on pricing, predictive modeling and risk management at the insurance giants R & D center in the Research Park on campus.

    Students 'interns in name only' at Fortune 500 company

    For students looking to become the next Nate Silver, or for those who simply like working with numbers but don’t want to become engineers, the U. of I. offers a little-known but highly esteemed major that’s also very much in-demand in the business world.

  • Sophomore Ryan Singh, a finance and management major, was an early recruit to year-old Sudents Consulting for Nonprofit Organizations. Annie Wong, a sophomore in accounting, said her work with SCNO helped her get a global wealth management internship at Merrill Lynch in Peoria this past summer.

    Student consultants aid nonprofits in C-U and beyond

    Students Consulting for Nonprofit Organizations (SCNO) is only 1 year old, yet it already has a worthy list of achievements linked to its name.

  • "The School of Social Work has become my home on campus, and it's nice to share that experience with other students," said senior Anne Coulomb, who is serving her second appointment as a Social Work Ambassador.

    Social Work Ambassadors: Students welcome peers to their field of study

    Social Work Ambassadors promote the School of Social Work programs, courses to students curious about the major and the careers available to alumni with degrees in the field.

  • Smoke-free campus initiative postponed

    The start date for the smoke-free campus initiative has been postponed from this fall to Jan. 1.

  • Oboe major Amelia Lee uses a knife to refine an oboe reed. On the table, her reed case is filled with reeds in various stages of completion.

    Shaving cane: Making music by the micrometer

    Amelia Lee wasn’t sure she wanted to attend the University of Illinois. As a serious oboist, her idea of college was an arts institution such as Oberlin Conservatory or the Manhattan School of Music. Her mother, however, wanted Lee to get a more well-rounded education, and with a top-10 ranked music school, the U. of I. suited them both.

  • Pamela Hochwert, a senior in special education, standing left, and Michelle Bonati, a doctoral student in special education, at a Bens Bells event at Champaign Public Library.

    Service learning project unites special ed students, others

    If curiosity gets the better of the passersby, and they pause to read the card attached to the brightly colored ceramic hearts or hands, they’ll find that the chimes, called Ben’s Bells, are part of a nationwide grassroots movement for spreading kindness. The bells are gifts for whomever happens upon them, but they come with strings attached: Those who pluck the bells from their perches and take them home are volunteering to spread kindness wherever they go.

  • Class crosses Larsbreen Glacier in Svalbard, Norway.

    Science, humanities lure 17 students to the Arctic for summer

    Imagine spending a summer in a place where the summer sun lights the sky for 24 hours, where you can take a long hike on a grand glacier, and where nature’s brilliance greets you at every turn.

  • Alex Tran and Angela Annarino are members of the U. of I. Student Patrol, a team of trained students who provide campus safety services.

    Safety in Numbers: Student Patrol plays dual role as community service, career training

    U. of I. students Alex Tran and Angela Annarino prefer to work in the dark. While their peers are studying, sleeping or unwinding at the end of a long day of class, Tran, from Chicago, Illinois, and Annarino, from Lamont, strap on their work vests and radios. It’s during the night when they are needed the most.

  • Practice made perfect: Men make the women's volleyball team better

    If you visit a women’s volleyball practice you might be surprised to see one or two men on the court. There they are, playing against the women, spiking the ball over the net or jumping high to block a shot. These men are practice players, helping the women hone their skills. The men serve as hitters, blockers, motivators or whatever else the team needs.

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  • Volunteers who helped with the build were encouraged to write uplifting messages on a wall at the park to underscore the importance of physical activity in community members lives.

    Play for Change

    Sport-focused RSO is a Slam Dunk

  • Seniors Liz Reynolds, left, and Colleen Koehler staff the Nutrition Peers booth at the Runners Clinic in the Wellness Center at the Activities and Recreation Center. Their goal is to help studets prepare for the Illinois Marathon.  '

    Peer educators spill the beans on good nutrition

    Whether people are crunched for time or for cash, or they’re overwhelmed by having to grocery shop and cook for themselves for the first time, eating healthy can be a challenge for college students. However, a team of aspiring registered dietitians at Illinois is sharing its expertise to help everyone get passing grades in good nutrition and healthful living.

  • Peer Education Program promotes dialogue on edgy topics

    There’s perhaps nothing more intimidating in a young adult’s life than leaving the comfy confines of the family nest for the first time and venturing off to college. But University of Illinois students can take comfort knowing a well-developed and well-supported network of fellow students – or “peer educators,” as they’re known on campus – are ready and willing to help them navigate the swirling sea of college life.

  • "Africa is a very different environment. Each student will take away something different from that experience, but they all take away something that will in a way change them or enrich their lives."  Alan Hansen, professor of agricultural and biological engineering

    Out of Illinois and into Africa: Study Abroad program takes engineering students out of their element

    Life – and career – lessons can take many forms. For seven UI undergraduates, a hands-on engineering collaboration with peers in South Africa – with weekend excursions to some of the most exotic locales on the planet – offered just about all of them.

  • On the Big Screen

    Screenwriter and Illinois alumnus David Magee wrote the script for "Mary Poppins Returns."

  • Only Connect

    Student groups offer camaraderie, opportunities to lead

  • U. of I. animal sciences students spent nine weeks studying wildlife in Botswana's Okavango Delta and Chobe Enclave Region.

    Okavango Odyssey: Study abroad students study wildlife in Botswana

    It was 6 a.m. and the campers were quietly preparing for the day. Suddenly, a voice called out from the camp manager’s tent.

    “Girls? We’re going to have to wait. I can see a lion from my window.”

  • Oasis Design Project

    University of Illinois students designed a seating area inspired by zen gardens for a major art and design show in Chicago last fall.

  • IMPULSE magazine is a quarterly independent publication first created by students in April 2011.

    Now trending: Pop, politics, fashion, food among the glitz and glam

    You don’t have to look to the runways of New York City to find the hallmarks of high culture and style. Inside IMPULSE magazine, an independent quarterly publication created by U. of I. students, it’s easy to find glamour and glitz in the heart of Champaign-Urbana.

  • Kayla Keehn of Algonquin, Illinois, a senior in business, was one of the students in business professor Eric Neumans human resource management course. She worked with the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District on recruiting a new dentist as part of the Community Learning Lab.

    New program puts knowledge to work solving community needs

    When Morgan Tarter was an undergraduate in the bachelor of social work program, she wanted to work in the addiction and recovery field. But her career aspirations changed after she gained some “real world” experience through service learning.

  • The five-day trip to the Minnesota Twins home base  Target Field  was the capstone experience for students taking a new online course titled Sport and Sustainability, which met during the summer term.

    New Online Course Hits a Home Run: Students pitch sustainability during All-Star Week

    A group of Illinois students joined the Green Team this past summer, volunteering with Major League Baseball and the Natural Resources Defense Council to promote environmental sustainability during MLB’s annual All-Star Week, held July 11-15 in Minneapolis.

  • The design of this classroom, being used by rhetoric professor Cheryl Price, gives students plenty of laptop space and brings them closer together duirng more interactive exercises.

    Neglected classrooms getting much needed renovations

    UI students have access to some of the best professors in the country using the most current data and teaching techniques – but funding challenges have made campus classroom space the final educational frontier.

  • Bird's-eye view of the Miles C Hartley Selections Garden. Lincon Avenue is the top of the photo, the western edge of the Arboretum.

    Nature, culture, education and recreation happily coexist at UI Arboretum

    Gardeners, cross-country runners (and skiers), stressed-out students, soccer players, bug enthusiasts, Japanese tea aficionados, bird watchers, architects and scientists of nearly every stripe find something of value at the UI Arboretum, a vibrant, 57-acre swath of green near the south end of the Urbana-Champaign campus.

  • UI Police Officer James Carter demonstrates one of the new Sentinel transportation devices, which the department started using on the Urbana campus for the first time this fall. UIPD officers are using two Sentinels for basic patrol and crowd-control work, while students will be using them for the Safewalks program.

    More campus patrols, other security measures mean safer campus

    UI Police say the Urbana campus is as peaceful as it has been in years – not because there are fewer bad guys, but because of the implementation of several integrated security upgrades over the past two years.