Crosscutting Research Themes

While our traditional research areas focus on a primary topic, Illinois ECE has identified several areas of opportunity that require collaboration across disciplines. These crosscutting themes draw experts from multiple areas, and across campus, to help solve the most pressing technological challenges of the day.

Data/Information Science and Systems

Information is a pervasive strand that runs through the fabric of our modern society; it is ubiquitous in every facet of our lives, from communication and multimedia systems to health, economics, commerce, policy, and scientific exploration and discovery. Research under this broadly-defined theme spans all aspects of scientific and technological innovations aimed at advancing information utilization.

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Electronics, Plasmonics, and Photonics

Advances in our understanding of the interactions of matter and light and related innovations occurring in the areas of electronics, plasmonics, and photonics have been essential enablers of the information revolution that has been transforming our lives. Electronics have paved the way to the expansion of computing power and subsequent expansions in computational bandwidth and data transport rates, and storage capacities are being fueled by higher frequency plasmonic and photonic devices and channels.

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Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems

Advances in machine learning, high-performance computing, data science, multimodal sensing, and control are coming together to create enormous opportunities for intelligent, autonomous, or semi-autonomous systems. Such artificial intelligence systems are starting to achieve cognitive abilities such as language, attention, and creativity, promising to improve the safety and efficiency of our systems for health care, transportation, manufacturing, innovation, the food pipeline, and urban life.

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Bioelectronics and Bioinformatics

Advances in electromagnetics, microelectronics, nanotechnology, image/signal processing, sensors, computer architecture, and control systems are fueling the genomics revolution, point-of-care medical treatment, personalized medicine, fundamental understanding of the human brain, and advanced medical technologies for creating images of physiology that extend from entire organs down to single molecules within cells.

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Energy is a fundamental theme for investigating the sustainability of human existence and the introduction of new technologies to improve the quality of life on earth. A clear understanding of the issues of energy conversion, storage, delivery, and utilization is critical for innovative contributions to this theme.

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View a list of ECE-related research centers.

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