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Brad Petersen
Director of
Communications
1066 ECE Building
306 N. Wright Street
Urbana, IL 61801
Phone: (217) 244-6376
bradp@illinois.edu

Contact Info

Meg Dickinson
Communications Specialist
1068 ECE Building
306 N. Wright Street
Urbana, IL 61801
Phone: (217) 300-6664
megd@illinois.edu

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Alumnus Bob Johnson: brigadier general, electrical engineer and polo player at 89

Alumnus Bob Johnson: brigadier general, electrical engineer and polo player at 89

Alumnus Bob Johnson (BSEE '38) served in the pacific theatre of the Second World War, reached the rank of brigadier general, worked as an electrical engineer, and played competitive polo until the age of 87.

Information Trust Institute to expand across Illinois campus

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By Roxana Ryan, ECE Illinois
July 9, 2007

  • Prof. William H. Sanders plans to expand his mission to improve the trustworthiness of large-scale systems across campus.
  • Illinois' Information Trust Institute brings together faculty, graduate student researchers, and industry partners to conduct foundational and applied research to enable the creation of critical applications and cyber infrastructures.
  • Sanders aims to improve large-scale systems such as health care technology, agriculture systems, air transportation, and emergency response systems.

The University of Illinois Information Trust Institute, directed by ECE Professor William H. Sanders, has taken a major step forward, announcing plans to expand across campus its mission to improve the trustworthiness of large-scale systems that are critical to society, such as health care systems and technology, agriculture systems, air transportation systems and emergency response systems.

William H. Sanders
William H. Sanders

ITI brings together faculty, graduate student researchers, and industry partners to conduct foundational and applied research to enable the creation of critical applications and cyber infrastructures. In doing so, ITI is creating computer systems, software, and networks that society can depend on to be secure, correct, safe, private, and survivable.

At an ITI member retreat in May, Sanders announced that ITI is now moving to the campus level to embrace every field of research that relates to its mission. As Sanders stated, the institute is becoming "broader in terms of applications, but also broader in what we mean by trust."

He explained that ITI is no longer concentrating simply on the quality of "plumbing" through which data flows, but also on the quality of information that enters the pipeline as input, and on the confidence of human users in the information that exits the pipeline as output. "To address applications with global societal implications, we must bring top talent together from units across campus," he added.

His comments were echoed by Illinois Vice Provost Ruth Watkins. "ITI is ideally positioned to make advancements to positively impact societal needs, as prioritized in the campus strategic plan," she said. "The campus believes ITI is a model of what can happen when committed, innovative faculty from across campus come together. ITI is a central part of the campus plan, and the campus is behind ITI 110%."

The retreat included a panel discussion on "Societal Systems Trust" that included faculty leaders from engineering, applied health sciences, law, agricultural and biological engineering, and business. Breakout sessions addressed the broad implications of trusted systems, including discussions on ways to respond to human needs, societal impacts of trusted technology, and the challenges of building trustworthy systems. More than 20 ECE faculty members participated, playing a major role in the discussion. ECE Professor David Nicol moderated the panel discussion and ECE Professor Wen-mei Hwu moderated the discussion on building trustworthy information systems.

To learn more about ITI, visit www.iti.illinois.edu.

Editor's note: media inquiries should be directed to Brad Petersen, Director of Communications, at bradp@illinois.edu or (217) 244-6376.

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