New GEOG classes for fall

As fall registration continues, I wanted to draw your attention to two new courses in the Department of Geography and GIS. The first, GEOG 221, Geographies of Global Conflict, will be useful for students interested in international politics and territorial conflicts who are looking for a Social Sciences course at the 200 level. (It’s an upgraded version of GEOG 110, so students who have taken that course cannot receive credit for this one as well.) It’s also cross-listed as GLBL 221.


The second course, GEOG 484, Cities, Crime, and Space, is an extremely timely course. It covers issues of policing, crime mapping, perceptions of safety and crime, disparate experiences of racial and ethnic minorities, and how the spatial structures of U.S. cities influence all of these. Dr. Brian Jefferson’s research is in this field, and students who took this course when it was offered as a topics class had very positive things to say about him and the course.



Julie Cidell


Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies

Department of Geography & GIS

University of Illinois

FAA Academic Affairs: Interesting Courses for Fall 2016

Good morning!

Please share the following course information with interested students. Thanks for your help!

ARTS 445 Special Topics in New Media – PERFORMANCE

A hands on course that will explore performance within the field of New Media. It meets MW 1pm-3:40pm.  The class thrives when there’s a mix – grads and undergrads, students from Art & Design, Dance, Theatre, Music, Landscape Architecture, Computer Science, English.  Students may contact Deke Weaver at for more information.

GCL 220 Frameworks for Health & Wellness: Building Healthy Communities

As an innovative course in Grand Challenge Learning, Frameworks for Building Healthy Communities gathers expert faculty from across campus – all renowned for excellent teaching and research. Students will explore health and wellness across the arts, natural sciences, humanities, and social sciences while earning General Education credit in Cultural Studies and Humanities & the Arts. GCL 220 meets twice per week: on Mondays for a lecture that gathers all students and faculty, and on Wednesdays in seminars of up to 25 students. Through this unique structure, students benefit from the expertise of six different faculty while joining a seminar with one professor and a small network of peers. Registration for GCL 220 includes the lecture as well as enrollment in one of the participating professor’s seminars (for a total of 3 credit hours).



Zelda Gardner
Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Academic Affairs

College of Fine + Applied Arts

Fall 2016 Critical Frameworks: next stage in Grand Challenge Learning!

Grand Challenge Learning

Grow. Connect. Learn.

Dear Advisor,

Hope this finds you well!  We’re writing to remind that that Fall 2016 marks the launch of the next stage in Grand Challenge Learning: our 200-level Critical Frameworks courses on Health, Inequality, and Sustainability.  Any undergraduate student can take these courses and there are no prerequisites.  Each course takes a student one step further toward completing a Grand Challenge Learning pathway while filling at least two General Education requirements! A flyer for the courses is attached.


The Critical Frameworks courses will put students in conversation with award-winning faculty in Anthropology, Art & Design, Biology, Business, Chemistry, Education, Engineering, Geography, Labor Relations, and Literature. Each Frameworks course meets twice per week: first for a lecture that gathers all students and faculty, and next in small seminars. Through this innovative structure, students will benefit from the expertise of several​  faculty while joining one professor’s seminar with a network of peers.  They’ll meet interesting students, hear great lectures, and participate in group projects that they can publish on their own electronic portfolio.

The below links go directly to Course Explorer:


GCL 200/201*: Frameworks for Inequality & Cultural Understanding, T,Th 2-3:20pm

Gen Eds: Humanities & the Arts/US Minority Cultures

(*GCL 201 also meets Advanced Composition)

GCL 210: Frameworks for Sustainability, Energy & the Environment, M,W 3-4:20pm

Gen Eds: Humanities & the Arts/Cultural Studies

GCL 220: Frameworks for Building Healthy Communities, M,W 2-:3:20pm

Gen Eds: Humanities & the Arts/Cultural Studies


To learn more about the Critical Frameworks courses watch our new video, download our flyer, or email


Have a great week!


Lauren M. E. Goodlad
Kathryn Paul Professorial Scholar and Provost Fellow for Undergraduate Education

Professor of English and Criticism, & Interpretive Theory

The Victorian Geopolitical Aesthetic: Realism, Sovereignty & Transnational Experience

Co-Chair, Campus Conversation on Undergraduate Education

608 S. Wright Street
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Urbana, IL  61801

Statistics Seminar – Thursday, April 07, 2016 – Dr. Venu Veeravalli

Statistics Seminar


“Adaptive Sequential Learning”

Dr. Venu Veeravalli: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (ECE, CSL, and ITI)


Date: Thursday, April 07, 2016

Time: 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM

Location: Engineering Hall Room 106B1

Sponsor: Department of Statistics



A framework is introduced for solving a sequence of slowly changing optimization problems, including those arising in regression and classification applications, using optimization algorithms such as stochastic gradient descent (SGD). The optimization problems change slowly in the sense that the minimizers change at either a fixed or bounded rate. A method based on estimates of the change in the minimizers and properties of the optimization algorithm is introduced for adaptively selecting the number of samples needed from the distributions underlying each problem in order to ensure that the excess risk, i.e., the expected gap between the loss achieved by the approximate minimizer produced by the optimization algorithm and the exact minimizer, does not exceed a target level. Experiments with synthetic and real data are used to confirm that this approach performs well.

Making A Major Decision


The Career Center and the Division of General Studies will once again be offering the Making A Major Decision workshop on Wednesday, April 6th from 4pm – 5pm in the Career Center at 715 S. Wright Street. This interactive workshop is designed for students who are interested in learning more about major and career exploration.





Jenni Kotowski

Assistant Director for Admissions – Division of General Studies

University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign

AGED 260 Now Offered Summer Online

*NEW* AGED 260: Introduction to Leadership Studies is now being offered as a summer online course!


Overview of multiple leadership theories and their application to leadership and followership in multiple settings. Students learn and apply leadership theories to enhance their own leadership

and record their growth through a series of surveys, readings, exams and assignments.

This online course will include unique videos, an interactive e-Text, group activities and even a game simulation for one of the eight modules.


  • 8-week Summer Session 2:  June 13 – August 6, 2016.
  • CRN: 36784
  • Meets a Social Science General Education requirement
  • Required course in the Minor in Leadership Studies


If you have students interested in the Leadership Studies Minor, or simply want to take a leadership course in the convenience of an online format, please forward this on to your students.

Contact Lisa Burgoon with any questions or for additional information.





Lisa Burgoon, MS, EdM

Director, Minor in Leadership Studies

College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

290 Illini Union, MC-384

1401 West Green St, Urbana IL 61801

Summer Law Course

Please feel free to share this Summer Law opportunity with your students.


Law 199-A, Best of American Case Law, CRN: 38709

Program Description

“The Best of American Case Law” is a 10-day course, designed to introduce undergraduates and international students to some of the most important and exciting law school cases.

Students will come to understand how the law school classroom works, experience a broad sample of at least 8 different areas of the law, and engage with nationally renowned law faculty as they present some of the most important legal cases. The program aims to enhance students’ ability to think critically and understand case law.


July 18 – 29, 2016
9 AM – 1 PM, daily

Each day will feature 1-2 cases, selected from a wide range of U.S. legal cases. Following class, students will have the opportunity to eat lunch with the professor and learn more about the class and/or law school. Afternoons will be spent engaged in a focused study and briefing of the next day’s cases.


Thank you,


Kelly J. Salefski

Director of Academic Initiatives &

Student Records

University of Illinois College of Law

Study Abroad Workshop: Translating Your Study Abroad Experiences

Employers value international experience!  Are you wondering how to communicate the value of your study abroad experience to potential employers?  Illinois Abroad and The Career Center are teaming up to provide students with tools for incorporating study abroad experiences into a resume, cover letter, and an interview.  Students will leave the workshop with a better idea of what they gained from studying abroad and how to share that experience in a way that is impressive and marketable to employers.  More likely than not, your experience is worth more than just one line on your resume!  Please see the flyer below for more details:



RSVP Today!




Clair Bryan

Specialist for International Projects

Illinois Abroad & Global Exchange

Illinois International Programs

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

112 International Studies Building

910 S. Fifth St. | Champaign, Illinois 61820 | (217) 333-6322

Roundtable discussion on Racism and Antisemitism

A Roundtable Discussion of Racism, Antisemitism….
On Campus and Beyond

Thursday March 31 1092 Lincoln Hall, 5-6:30pm

The Program in Jewish Culture & Society organized this event on the heels of recent racist and antisemitic acts on campus. What proactive steps can we take to foster an environment locally and nationally that discourages such acts and encourages diversity?
Each discussant will speak for 5 minutes so there will be ample time for open conversation Professor Virginia Dominguez, Anthropology, co-moderator.

  • Brett Ashley Kaplan, Director, Program in Jewish Culture & Society, Introduction
  • Erik McDuffie, Professor of African American Studies and History, “The Future in the Present: Transforming the Racial Climate at UIUC.”
  • Stephen Kaufman, Emeritus Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology, “Roadblocks to Diversity”
  • Scott Gendell, Jewish National Fund National Vice-President, supporter of the Program in Jewish Culture & Society, “The
    Convergence of anti-Semitism and anti-Israel Rhetoric on Campus, and Their Goal of Delegitimizing the Jewish State”
  • Sayed Kashua, Visiting Professor in Jewish Studies, “Cinderella”
  • Rabbi Alan Cook, Sinai Temple, “Do We Not All Have One Father? Has Not One God Created Us?”
  • Philip Phillips, Professor of Physics, “From Campus to the Nation: Racist Ideology”
  • Erez Cohen, Director, Hillel, “From Safe Space to Safe Campus”
  • Ruby Mendenhall, Professor of Sociology, African American Studies, Urban and Regional Planning, and Social Work, “The
    Hard Work of Building a Diverse and Inclusive University Community”

Deadline extended! Undergraduate International Area Studies Workshop

Undergraduate International Area Studies Research Workshop

  • Do you have a research paper on an international, global, or regionally focused topic you’d like to develop further?
  • Or are you planning or working on a thesis on a topic involving a foreign country or region?


APPLY today to join the Undergraduate International Area Studies Workshop, May 16-20, 2016


What you’ll get:

  • Close mentoring by an Illinois faculty member and librarians.
  • An insider’s view of scholarly publishing.
  • An introduction to interdisciplinary area studies research, which means,

o   Access to new sources and data from other disciplines to address your research problem,

o   A broader and more diverse perspective on your research,

o   The chance to advance your project and make it appeal to a wider audience,

o   Enhanced research skills and experience with vernacular language sources.

  • The opportunity to produce a better writing sample for grad school or a thesis that stands out from the crowd.


To apply, send the following information and materials to


  • A completed copy of the application cover sheet.
  • Proposal. A description (200-400 words) of the project you will work on at the workshop: title, topic, discipline (history, sociology, literary studies, etc.), methodology if relevant, course original paper was written for and instructor (if you are revising a course paper), major and advisor for thesis (if the project is a thesis project), and an indication of the current state of the project and any ideas for its further development.
  • One letter of recommendation from a professor or instructor (sent directly by the instructor).
  • An unofficial copy of your UIUC transcript.


Deadline extended to: 5 pm CT, Monday, April 4, 2016.


For more information, please see the workshop page.


Co-Sponsored by the Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center, Center for Global Studies, Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies, and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies