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Illinois, A*STAR open landmark digital sciences research center in Singapore


Kim Gudeman

In a landmark collaboration with the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has opened its first research center outside of the United States at Singapore’s Fusionopolis.

A*STAR Chairman Lim Chuan Poh and Chancellor Richard Herman at a ceremony for the opening of the new center.
A*STAR Chairman Lim Chuan Poh and Chancellor Richard Herman at a ceremony for the opening of the new center.
A*STAR Chairman Lim Chuan Poh and Chancellor Richard Herman at a ceremony for the opening of the new center.

The Advanced Digital Sciences Center will draw from the University’s top-ranked engineering resources, including highly regarded electrical and computer engineering, computer science and supercomputing programs. ADSC will be focused on breakthrough innovations in information technology that are expected to have a major impact in transforming human beings’ utilization of information technology.

"A world-class university should be open and engaged with the world," said Illinois Chancellor Richard Herman. "Our research center at Singapore will allow us to deliver University of Illinois education and degrees to a whole new contingent of students."

The center’s signature project will be the Human Sixth Sense Programme – research to develop information technology infrastructure and human-machine interfaces that will enable humans to interact naturally with the digital world, giving them the information they want, when, where and how they need it. The program will enable computers to have a “sixth sense” about the type of information users are seeking. For example, a financial analysis might integrate news from a newscast in a foreign country into financial models back in the home office without jeopardizing the confidential nature of those models.

Technology innovations at ADSC are expected to attract industry partners and lead to a self-supporting group of economic spin-offs. UI Singapore Research, a limited liability company authorized earlier this year, will administer the ADSC.

About Computing at Illinois

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is among the world’s top computing and IT research universities. Innovations include Mosaic, the web browser credited with popularizing the World Wide Web, and plasma technology, among other notable achievements. Currently, Illinois and its partners are building Blue Waters, a sustained-petaflop supercomputer that is many times more powerful than the current resources available for non-classified scientific research. Many famous Illinois alumni have left their mark on IT as well, including YouTube co-founders Javed Karim and Steve Chen; Microsoft's Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie, who also created Lotus Notes; Max Levchin, co-founder and CTO for PayPal; Tom Siebel, founder of Siebel Systems (now Oracle's Siebel CRM, the premier customer relationship software); and Jerry Sanders, co-founder and long-time CEO of semi-conductor manufacturer Advanced Micro Devices.

About A*STAR:

A*STAR is Singapore's lead agency for fostering world-class scientific research and talent. A*STAR actively nurtures public sector research and development in biomedical sciences, physical sciences and engineering, with a particular focus on fields essential to Singapore's manufacturing industry and new growth industries. It oversees 22 research institutes, consortia and centers, and supports extramural research with the universities, hospital research centers and other local and international partners. A*STAR also sends scholars for undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral training at universities.