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Brad Petersen
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2052 ECE Building
306 N. Wright Street
Urbana, IL 61801
Phone: (217) 244-6376
bradp@illinois.edu

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ECE grad student Theodoros Tsiligkaridis first to use new electronic thesis deposit

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By Charlie Johnson, ECE ILLINOIS
February 4, 2010

  • Theodoros Tsiligkaridis was the first student to submit a thesis using the Graduate College's new Electronic Thesis or Dissertation (ETD) system.
  • The work quickly becomes available on the Illinois Digital Environment for Access to Learning and Scholarship (IDEALS), an electronic database of research.
  • Tsiligkaridis experienced no difficulty in using the new system.

Graduate education is now paperless.

No, that does not mean that students don’t have to write thesis papers. But, it does mean graduate students submitting master’s theses and doctoral dissertations may now file their work electronically through the Graduate College’s new Electronic Thesis  or Dissertation (ETD) system. ETD, which went online October 5, was designed by the Graduate College to be a more convenient option for students submitting theses by cutting down on the printing, travel, and postage costs of submitting one’s thesis or dissertation.

“Basically, it’s just a new option for our students. Before, submitting a thesis usually meant a lot of paper and a lot of trips in and out of Coble Hall,” said Thesis Coordinator, Mark Zulauf. “We think this is a more convenient and less time-consuming option.”

The Graduate College advertised the ETD system as a new option for students for the Fall 2009 semester.
The Graduate College advertised the ETD system as a new option for students for the Fall 2009 semester.

The new electronic option also makes it easier to make the student’s work available on the Illinois Digital Environment for Access to Learning and Scholarship (IDEALS) where graduate research can be accessed and downloaded around the world by the academic community and through search engines. IDEALS recently celebrated its one millionth download, which came from the Arabian nation of Qatar.

ETD is a long time coming for the Illinois Graduate College, where discussions of an electronic submission system had been going on for close to a decade. Before going online for student use, a pilot ETD system was put in place with help from students from ECE and the Graduate School of Library and Information Science who submitted their theses for the May 2009 graduation period. Feedback was collected from these students and the system was tweaked before becoming available campus wide in October.

“A lot of time and effort went into giving the notion that the development and submission process was easy,” said Zulauf. “A lot of effort went into ensuring that things would run smoothly once in went up.”

Theodoros Tsiligkaridis
Theodoros Tsiligkaridis

And it appears the hard work has paid off. ECE grad student Theodoros Tsiligkaridis was the very first student to submit his master’s thesis electronically, and according to him, everything went smooth as silk.

“To be honest, I didn’t know that submitting electronically was a new way to do things. It just seemed like the most convenient way to do it. The whole thing just took a couple of clicks,” said Tsiligkaridis. “I was surprised to hear that I was the first ECE and first Illinois student to submit the thesis electronically. I guess I can always have that to remember!”

Tsiligkaridis’s thesis, entitled “Fast Peak-Power Reduction for MIMO-OFDM Systems with Diversity,” focused on developing fast algorithms for reducing peak-power in multi-antenna coded communications systems, without sacrificing error rate or bandwidth. Tsiligkaridis is continuing his graduate studies by pursuing a PhD in signal processing.

“The old way took a lot longer. It could take 10-12 months to get your work completed and then someone could only find it in a card catalog,” said Assistant Dean of the Graduate College, Rebecca Bryant. “This way, our students’ research is available faster, more broadly, and has a far greater impact right away.”

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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