UIC’s computer science department ranked No. 26 ‘most innovative’

artistic view of computer circuit

Computer science at the University of Illinois at Chicago was ranked #26 on a list of the 50 most innovative computer science departments in the U.S. by Computer Science Degree HUB, an online information source on accredited computer science degree programs.

The ranking cites UIC’s exploration of computer science subfields from artificial intelligence and parallel algorithms to data mining and multimedia communication. The HUB made special mention of UIC’s research centers, which include the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, the Computational Population Biology Laboratory and the Electronic Visualization Laboratory.

The ranking quotes the Huffington Post on the Electronic Visualization Laboratory’s 2012 launch of the CAVE2, a next-generation virtual reality interface utilizing both 2-D and 3-D technology, as “bringing science fiction closer to reality.”

Two other Chicago-area computer science departments made the list: Northwestern University at #40 and the University of Chicago at #21. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology was the #1 most innovative department.

The HUB took into consideration other, existing rankings of universities and computer science departments, then evaluated departments for innovation based on state-of-the-art technology; advanced research facilities and centers; faculty awards; pioneering or entrepreneurial alumni; groundbreaking research or technological contributions; and unconventional approaches.

UIC computer science has 500 undergraduate majors, 150 master’s students and 100 pre-doctoral students. Five of its faculty have won UIC’s top teaching prize. Research programs include artificial intelligence, databases and information systems, data mining, visualization and virtual reality, cyber security and distributed computing and networking, and together attract more than $6 million in research funding each year.

“Computer science remains an outstanding major for these difficult times,” said Robert Sloan, UIC professor and head of computer science. “Our graduates continue to find excellent jobs, and equally important, computer science empowers you to do good — to connect technology to your world.”

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