Welcome to the

Beckman Institute

The Beckman Institute at Illinois is a world-class interdisciplinary facility devoted to ground-breaking research in the physical sciences, computation, engineering, biology, behavior, cognition, and neuroscience.

Find out more

About the Beckman Institute

The Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology opened in 1989 as one of the first facilities in the world dedicated to interdisciplinary research. The Institute's mission is to foster an interdisciplinary approach to doing leading-edge research in the physical and life sciences, and engineering. The Institute was founded on the premise that reducing the barriers between traditional scientific and technological disciplines can yield the greatest advances. Research is focused broadly around four themes: Biological Intelligence, Human-Computer Intelligent Interaction, Integrative Imaging, and Molecular and Electronic Nanostructures. The 313,000-square foot building was made possible by a gift from Arnold and Mabel Beckman. More than 1,500 faculty, students, and postdoctoral and other associates are actively engaged in research at the Institute.

Research at Beckman

Research at the Beckman Institute is categorized into four broad themes to provide faculty with a loose organizational framework. Beckman's interdisciplinary approach allows areas of study to overlap within the themes. The research themes are:
Biological Intelligence, Human-Computer Intelligent Interaction,
Integrative Imaging, Molecular and Electronic Nanostructures
Scientists work across the themes to both advance our knowledge of science and for real-world applications. Many at Beckman focus on cognitive and brain health, as well as linguistics and language learning studies, which have a beneficial impact on people. Bioimaging work seeks to advance imaging technology and biomedical applications, including in another area of focus, cancer research. Others use bioengineering principles to create new technologies, while Beckman has been home to breakthrough innovations in the fields of electronics and advanced computational methods since it opened.

Research Support Facilities

The Beckman Institute provides researchers state-of-the-art facilities for imaging, microscopy, and scientific visualization that are unparalleled for a campus institute. The Biomedical Imaging Center, Illinois Simulator Laboratory, and the Imaging Technology Group are premier resources for researchers in any field. The Imaging Technology Group was created in 1992 and today is made up of two resources: the Microscopy Suite (for microscopic imaging of specimens) and the Visualization Laboratory (for scientific image and graphics creation and analysis). The Illinois Simulator Laboratory was created in 1995 for experiments in cognition using highly-advanced virtual reality environments. The Biomedical Imaging Center, which became a Beckman resource in 2002, is a unique campus support facility with a variety of magnetic resonance imaging machines, as well ultrasound, optical, and molecular imaging modalities.

World-Class Faculty

Beckman Institute researchers are known throughout the world for pioneering work in areas ranging from electronics and imaging science, to neuroscience and signal processing. There are more than 200 faculty members from nine colleges and 46 departments at the University of Illinois doing research at the Beckman Institute. Beckman Institute faculty members hold chaired professorships in departments throughout the Illinois campus, have been named as fellows of the most prestigious science and engineering academies, won the most coveted awards in science and technology, and led research projects that have had a worldwide impact on science, technology, and human health. They have also been rated as excellent teachers by their students, founded start-up companies, and dedicated their work to advances that improve the world in which we live.

Beckman Fellows and Student Researchers

Beckman Fellows and graduate and undergraduate students contribute greatly to the work that goes on at the Beckman Institute. There are more than 1,000 students (nearly 600 graduate students and more than 440 undergraduates) at Beckman who make a tremendous impact on scientific discoveries and papers. Alumni from Beckman Institute research groups and Fellows programs have gone on to make contributions in academia, business, and government. While there are no classes held at the Institute, learning goes on in laboratories, research groups, and cubicles every day. The Institute's researchers rely on the critical contributions of these students and Beckman Fellows to do the laboratory work, experiments, and reporting of results that make research possible. In addition, the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation funds the Postdoctoral and Graduate Student Fellows programs at the Institute.

University of Illinois

Founded in 1867 as one of the original 37 land-grant institutions of higher learning, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is annually ranked as one of the top public research universities in the country. More than 40,000 students are served by 17 colleges and instructional units at Illinois. There are 15 colleges and schools and seven institutes and centers engaged in research at the University of Illinois. When the Beckman Institute opened in 1989, it brought national attention to Illinois for its innovative, interdisciplinary approach to research. It remains today as what one campus leader called the crown jewel of research at the University. Top-ranked programs at Illinois such as in engineering and psychology contribute many faculty members to Beckman, helping to make it an integral part of research efforts at the University.

Beckman News

Jul 30Greenough Cited in Review of 'Lucy'

TIME – You use a whole lot more than 10 percent of your brain—but a common fallacy that says otherwise is nonetheless the central premise of a new movie, Lucy. “We were a nutritionally marginal species early on,” the late William Greenough, a Beckman original and psychology professor, said in the mid-2000s. “A synapse is a very costly thing to support.”

Read article →

Jul 30Nahrstedt Appointed to Computing Council

CSL – Klara Nahrstedt, Beckman affiliate in the Image Formation and Processing Group at Beckman, and the Ralph and Catherine Fisher Professor of Computer Science at the University of Illinois, is one of six new members selected to the Computing Research Association’s Computing Community Consortium Council.

Read article →

Jul 25Osuagwu Attends Google I/O

Electrical and Computer Engineering – Onyeama Osuagwu, a doctoral student working in Stephen Levinson's Language Acquisition and Robotics Lab, received an invitation to attend Google I/O, an annual event that displays Google's latest technological advances.

Read article →

Videos

How To Make HD Aerial Photos Using a $50 Drone (4 min)

Screenshot taken of this video

Camille Goudeseune shows how he turns low quality videos taken by a cheap toy quadcopter into amazing high-resolution panoramic photographs. Goudeseune is a Computer Systems Analyst at the Beckman Institute's Illinois Simulator Lab at the University of Illinois and an avid radio-controlled aircraft enthusiast. The quadcopter used to create the HD panorama photos in this video is the WLToys V959. To read more about this project, please visit... http://beckman.illinois.edu/news/2014/06/capturing-panoramic-photos-with-a-helicopter

Drone Photography: See What This Toy Quadcopter Can Do

Screenshot taken of this video

Camille Goudeseune shows off how he turns low quality videos taken by a cheap toy helicopter into amazing high-resolution panoramic photographs. Goudeseune turns the video collected by a $45 quadcopter into hundreds of still images that he digitally cleans and stitches together to form a single, stunning aerial panorama. Some of the locations he has captured include botanic gardens, historic downtown Urbana, various cityscapes, and the Beckman Institute quad with the new ECE building construction site. He also uses his flying drones to help researchers quickly identify problem areas in agricultural fields and even hopes to assist cowboys in quickly assessing the health of their cattle. Goudeseune is a Computer Systems Analyst at the Beckman Institute's Illinois Simulator Lab at the University of Illinois and an avid radio-controlled aircraft enthusiast. To read more about this project, please visit... http://beckman.illinois.edu/news/2014/06/capturing-panoramic-photos-with-a-helicopter

Regenerating Plastic: A Closer Look (At This Wolverine-Like Polymer!)

Screenshot taken of this video

A plastic that can regenerate like the X-man Wolverine? Professor Scott White gives more details about how his group creates a regenerating plastic that can heal damage as large as a bullet hole. White is a professor of aerospace engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a member of the Autonomous Materials Systems group at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. To read more about this research, please visit... http://news.illinois.edu/news/14/0508plastic_ScottWhite_JeffryMoore_NancySottos.html To watch the original video about this research, please visit... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rb5v-Hs6800

Regenerating Plastic Grows Back After Damage

Screenshot taken of this video

Professor Scott White discusses the research breakthrough that allows plastic to not only heal, but truly regenerate. Self-healing materials have been around for about a decade. But they have never been able to heal damage much larger than the width of a human hair. But now, White and his colleagues Jeff Moore and Nancy Sottos have developed plastic that can regenerate damage as large as a bullet hole. The plastic regenerates when two chemical channels in the material mix at a damaged area. This reaction forms a gel which fills in the hole and eventually hardens, similar to blood clotting in a wound. White is a professor of aerospace engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a member of the Autonomous Materials Systems group at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. To read more about this research, please visit http://news.illinois.edu/news/14/0508plastic_ScottWhite_JeffryMoore_NancySottos.html

Alpha Waves and the Future of Brain Monitoring

Screenshot taken of this video

Cognitive neuroscientist Kyle Mathewson explains the role alpha waves play in our brains and discusses how portable EEG brain monitors may become an integral part of our daily lives. Mathewson is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Play

Weekly Outlook

  1. All
  2. 31Jul
  3. 01Aug
  4. 02Aug
  5. 03Aug
  6. 04Aug
  7. 05Aug
  8. 06Aug
  9. 07Aug
  10. 08Aug
  11. 09Aug
  12. 10Aug
  13. 11Aug
  14. 12Aug
  1. Beckman Imaging Weekly Journal Club
  2. BRL Seminar and Journal Club
  3. Beckman Imaging Weekly Journal Club
  4. BRL Seminar and Journal Club
  5. Beckman Imaging Weekly Journal Club
  6. Theoretical Computational and Biophysics Group - "Calculation and Visualisation of Hydration Free Energies Using Inhomogeneous Fluid Solvation Theory"
  7. BRL Seminar and Journal Club
  8. Beckman Imaging Weekly Journal Club
  9. Neuroscience Seminar-TBD
  10. BRL Seminar and Journal Club
  11. BRL Seminar and Journal Club
  12. Digital Signal Processing Seminar
  13. Language Processing Brown Bag
  14. Beckman Imaging Weekly Journal Club
  15. Neuroscience Seminar-TBD
  16. BRL Seminar and Journal Club
  17. Digital Signal Processing Seminar
  18. Language Processing Brown Bag
  19. Beckman Imaging Weekly Journal Club
  20. Neuroscience Seminar-TBD
  21. BRL Seminar and Journal Club
  22. iOptics Seminar
  23. Digital Signal Processing Seminar
  24. Beckman Institute Director's Seminar
  25. Language Processing Brown Bag
  26. Beckman Imaging Weekly Journal Club
  27. Neuroscience Seminar-TBD
  28. BRL Seminar and Journal Club
  29. Beckman Institute Graduate Student Seminar
  30. Digital Signal Processing Seminar
  31. Thursdays@12:20 Concert
  32. Language Processing Brown Bag
  33. Beckman Imaging Weekly Journal Club
  34. Neuroscience Seminar-TBD
  35. BRL Seminar and Journal Club
  36. iOptics Seminar
  37. Digital Signal Processing Seminar
  38. Language Processing Brown Bag
  39. Beckman Imaging Weekly Journal Club
  40. Neuroscience Seminar-TBD
  41. BRL Seminar and Journal Club
  1. Meat lasagna with Caesar salad
  2. Chicken bbq on kaiser roll
  3. Mozzarella and tomato on flatbread* (served warm)
  4. Tomato basil bisque*
  5. Greek salad*
  6. Caesar salad
  1. Herb roasted pork loin with smashed potatoes and green beans
  2. Italian beef on baguette
  3. Dill egg salad on wheatberry*
  4. Lobster bisque
  5. Greek salad*
  1. Tortilla crusted tilapia with long grain wild rice and kale salad
  2. Avocado chicken salad on baguette
  3. Whole wheat veggie wrap with boursin cheese*
  4. New England clam chowder
  5. Greek salad*
  6. Kale Salad**