Abel Bliss Professorship in Engineering

The Bliss Professor of Engineering is the result of a bequest from the late Helen Eva Bliss in memory of her father, Abel Bliss Jr. Miss Bliss graduated from the University of Illinois in 1911 with a degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences. Early in her career, she taught engineering at a Shreveport, Louisiana, high school, and later did clerical work with the Bureau of Aircraft Production in Washington, D.C. From 1936 until her retirement in 1962, she worked for the Washington law firm of Ivins, Phillips & Barker as an executive secretary.

Abel Bliss Jr., entered the University in 1872 to study civil engineering, but was forced to leave the University before completing his degree. In June of 1874, the University granted him a partial certificate in civil engineering. His business ventures included agriculture and real estate, and by 1929, he was a partner in the land development and oil production company of Bliss & Wetherbee. Mr. Bliss died in the mid-1930s. A portion of the Bliss bequest went to support the Grainger Engineering Library and Information Center Endowment as well as other projects for “advancing the scholastic activities of the School of Engineering.”

 

Faculty: Deming Chen

Dr. Deming Chen obtained his BS in computer science from University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1995, and his MS and PhD in computer science from University of California at Los Angeles in 2001 and 2005 respectively. He worked as a software engineer between 1995-1999 and 2001-2002. He joined the ECE department of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2005 and has been a full professor in the same department since 2015. He is a research professor in the Coordinated Science Laboratory and an affiliate professor in the CS department. His current research interests include system-level and high-level synthesis, machine learning algorithms and acceleration, GPU and reconfigurable computing, computational genomics, and hardware security. He has given more than 110 invited talks sharing these research results worldwide.

Dr. Chen is a technical committee member for a series of top conferences and symposia on EDA, FPGA, low-power design, and VLSI systems design. He has also served as General or TPC Chair, Track Chair, Session Chair, Panelist, Panel Organizer, or Moderator for these conferences. He is or has been an associated editor for IEEE TCAD, ACM TODAES, IEEE TVLSI, ACM TRETS, IEEE TCAS-I and TCAS-II, IET Cyber-Physical Systems, JCSC, and JOLPE. He obtained the Achievement Award for Excellent Teamwork from Aplus Design Technologies in 2001, the Arnold O. Beckman Research Award from UIUC in 2007, the NSF CAREER Award in 2008, and nine Best Paper Awards. He is included in the List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent in 2008 and 2017. He received the ACM SIGDA Outstanding New Faculty Award in 2010, and IBM Faculty Award in 2014 and 2015. In 2017 and 2019 respectively, he led a team to win the first place of DAC International System Design Contest. He has given a series of Keynote or Plenary speeches at various conferences. He is the Donald Biggar Willett Faculty Scholar and Abel Bliss Professor of College of Engineering, an IEEE Fellow, an ACM Distinguished Speaker, and the Editor-in-Chief of ACM Transactions on Reconfigurable Technology and Systems (TRETS).

Dr. Chen was involved in several startup companies. He implemented his published algorithm on CPLD technology mapping when he was a software engineer in Aplus Design Technologies, Inc. in 2001, and the software was exclusively licensed by Altera and distributed to many customers of Altera worldwide. He is one of the inventors of the xPilot High Level Synthesis package developed at UCLA, which was licensed to AutoESL Design Technologies, Inc. Aplus was acquired by Magma in 2003, and AutoESL was acquired by Xilinx in 2011. He has also served as a consultant for several leading semiconductor companies.

In 2016, he co-founded a startup, Inspirit IoT, Inc., for design, acceleration and deployment of machine learning solutions targeting the IoT industry. He is currently the Chairman of the Board and the Interim CTO of the company. Inspirit IoT recently received an NSF SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) Award from the US government.