Seminars, Lectures, Workshops, and Conferences

A variety of seminars, lectures, workshops, and conferences attract distinguished visitors to the university. These visits enhance the learning environment and afford an opportunity for faculty and students to interact with outstanding research scientists and engineers from other institutions.


The Departmental Graduate Colloquium meets on Thursdays at 4:00 p.m. in the ECE Building’s Grainger Auditorium. These seminars generally presented by visitors to the Department or by university faculty are intended to be accessible to all graduate students in the Department, and thus afford an excellent opportunity to obtain overviews of a wide variety of topics in electrical and computer engineering. Attendance at these seminars fulfills the requirements for the zero-credit ECE 500 seminar course that must be taken by all graduate students while in residence.

Most research groups in the Department sponsor seminars on more specialized topics. Visitors, faculty, and students present their recent research results in these seminars. Beginning graduate students who are exploring possible thesis topics or who are unsure of their research interests should attend several different research seminars in order to gain an appreciation of the research interests of the group. Some of the research seminars have been formalized as ECE 590 - Seminar in Special Topics offerings for one-quarter-unit credit. However, all seminars are open to all graduate students, and registration in ECE 590 is not required in order to attend.

The weekly ECE Calendar of Events lists the various seminars in which the ECE Graduate Faculty are involved. There are also many other seminars sponsored by other departments, laboratories, centers, and institutes that are of interest to ECE faculty and students. Information about these is available online at MY ECE Portal or the ECE home page and from the offices of these other units and is also posted on various bulletin boards in the Department.


In alternate years, the Tykociner Memorial Lecture is given in memory of the late Professor Joseph Tykocinski Tykociner, who was a member of the Departmental faculty from 1921 to 1948, and is best known for his invention of sound-on-film and his demonstration of it in 1922.

The Donald B. Gillies Lecture in Computer Science is given annually in memory of the late Professor Gillies who was among the first mathematicians to become involved in the field of computers.

The Robert T. Chien Memorial Distinguished Lecture is given each semester in memory of the late Professor Chien, who was a pioneer in the development of error-control coding systems. Professor Chien was a member of the Departmental faculty from 1964 until his untimely death in 1983. He also served as the Director of the Coordinated Science Laboratory from 1972 onward.

The Arnold O. Beckman Lecture on Science and Innovation highlights the connections between basic research and new technologies that benefit society. Established in 1982, the lecture honors Illinois alumnus Arnold O. Beckman, a scientist, inventor, industrialist and philanthropist.

MillerComm, a program of lectures and other cultural events, is sponsored by the University's George A. Miller Lecture Committee. Named in honor of the late Professor Miller of the Department of Mathematics, the program is administered by the Center for Advanced Study, and is instrumental in bringing internationally recognized lecturers, performers and visiting scholars to this campus.


Departmental faculty are involved in several industrial affiliation programs which are intended to cultivate closer ties between industry and groups of faculty in common areas of research. These industrial affiliation programs sponsor annual workshops where industrial scientists, faculty, and graduate students present their research results. The workshops are held on the University campus each spring. The workshops of the Physical Electronics Affiliates Program, the Communications, Electromagnetics, Propagation, and Signal Processing Affiliates Program, and the Illinois Computer Affiliates Program are held in parallel sessions in April while the Power Affiliates Program workshop is held in May.


Three annual conferences sponsored by the Department are held at Allerton House, the University's conference center located near Monticello, 26 miles southwest of the campus.

Jointly with the Coordinated Science Laboratory, the Department sponsors the Allerton Conference on Communication, Control, and Computing that is held each Fall. Papers presented at the conference describe new results in communication systems, information theory and coding, detection and estimation, stochastic processes, communication networks, control systems, adaptive control, optimization, dynamic games, large-scale systems, robotics and automation, manufacturing systems, digital signal and image processing, combinatorial and geometric algorithms, computational complexity, parallel and distributed computation, VLSI algorithms, testing, and fault-tolerant computing. These papers are published in the conference proceedings. A plenary lecture by a prominent investigator is a special feature of the conference.

Jointly with the Rome Air Development Center of the U.S. Air Force Systems Command, the Department sponsors the Symposium on Antenna Applications in the Fall. Papers describing antennas and related systems are presented at the symposium. A poster session is presented by graduate students doing research on electromagnetics and related topics. A keynote paper and a special presentation by a prominent researcher are highlights of the symposium.

The Conference for Ultrasonics in Biophysics and Bioengineering each June is devoted to a single topic of ultrasonic biophysics and bioengineering, and the program is arranged to promote in-depth discussion of that topic. Each of the five three-and-one-half hour sessions has only two invited speakers. Total meeting attendance is limited to about 50 individuals who all have expertise in the area of the meeting topic. Past topics have included: lithotripsy, cavitation, exposimetry, quantitative imaging, bioeffects, biophysics of heating, Doppler and signal processing, attenuation, tissue characterization, scattering, imaging and reconstruction, and relaxation phenomena.