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.

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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

Jan 05Plan on Attending Beckman Open House

Plan on Attending Beckman Open House

Save the date for the biennial Beckman Open House, Friday, March 13 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., and Saturday, March 14 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Held in conjunction with the Engineering Open House, the Beckman Institute Open House features exhibits highlighting the work taking place at one of the nation’s leading centers for interdisciplinary research. Schools, clubs, and other large groups are welcome.

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Jan 26Smartphone Conducts Lab-Quality Diagnostic Tests

Bioengineering at Illinois – The internal camera of a smartphone can function as a high-resolution laboratory spectrometer to provide measurements that match the sensitivity performance of laboratory instruments for popular analytic tests used in medical diagnostics, food safety, and other applications. This research was led by Brian Cunningham of the Nanoelectronics and Nanomaterials Group.

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Jan 26INSIGHT Enters Second Phase

INSIGHT, a multidisciplinary study to determine what kind of training best improves adaptive reasoning and fluid intelligence, has entered the second phase of the project with funding totaling $13.1 million from the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), under the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

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Jan 21Software Helps Translate Words to Math

Illinois News Bureau – With new software developed at the University of Illinois, led by Beckman part-time faculty member Dan Roth, machines can learn to understand mathematical reasoning expressed in language, which could greatly improve search engines and access to data as well as boost mathematics education.

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Videos

Visit the 2015 Beckman Institute Open House

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Visit the 2015 Beckman Institute Open House on March 13-14! Follow us on Twitter: #BIOH15 WHEN: Friday, March 13, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturday, March 14, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The Beckman Institute Open House is a biennial event, held in conjunction with the University of Illinois College of Engineering Open House. Our open house exhibits highlight the work taking place at one of the nation’s leading centers for interdisciplinary research. Schools, clubs, and other large groups are welcome. WHERE: Beckman Institute, 405 North Mathews Avenue, Urbana, Illinois. The Beckman Institute is located on the University of Illinois campus at the intersection of Mathews and University Avenue. Metered parking is available in the parking deck across from the Institute on Mathews and Goodwin. www.beckman.illinois.edu

Beckman Institute 25th Anniversary Opening Remarks

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Former directors and University of Illinois officials give their personal recollections of the Beckman Institute's founding and twenty-five years of interdisciplinary research. Speakers include: Beckman Institute Director Art Kramer Chancellor Phyllis Wise Provost Ilesanmi Adesida Vice Chancellor for Research Peter Schiffer President Emeritus Stan Ikenberry Chancellor Emeritus Mort Weir Founding Director Theodore Brown Former Director Jiri Jonas Former Director Pierre Wiltzius Former Interim Director Tamer Basar These opening remarks were presented at the 25th Anniversary Symposium at the Beckman Institute on October 10, 2014.

Beckman Institute 25th Anniversary Symposium Opening Remarks

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Former directors and University of Illinois officials discuss their experiences at and personal recollections of the Beckman Institute. Speakers include: Beckman Institute Director Art Kramer Chancellor Phyllis Wise Provost Ilesanmi Adesida Vice Chancellor for Research Peter Schiffer President Emeritus Stan Ikenberry Chancellor Emeritus Mort Weir Founding Director Theodore Brown Former Director Jiri Jonas Former Director Pierre Wiltzius Former Interim Director Tamer Basar These opening remarks for the 25th Anniversary Symposium at the Beckman Institute on October 10, 2014.

Beckman Institute 25th Anniversary Slide Show

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Over the past 25 years, researchers at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois have made advances in neuroscience, materials science, physics, bioengineering, robotics, cognitive science, and many other areas of science and engineering. This slide show presents a few of the historic milestones of the Beckman Institute and some of its recent innovators; which are all highlighted in the new book, "The Beckman Institute at Illinois: A Quarter Century of Building Bridges."

Twin Sister Scientists: Advice for Girls & Women in Science & Engineering

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Twin sisters Patty Jones and Cathy Murphy recall their early experiences making it in the worlds of chemistry and engineering and offer advice to young girls interested in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Cathy Murphy is a professor of Chemistry at the University of Illinois and a member of the Beckman Institute's Nanoelectronics and Nanomaterials group. Patty Jones is a former associate professor of Industrial Engineering at Illinois and the former Deputy Director of Exploration Technology at NASA. She is currently the Associate Director for Research at the Beckman Institute.

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Weekly Outlook

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  10. 05Feb
  11. 06Feb
  12. 07Feb
  13. 08Feb
  14. 09Feb
  1. Neuroscience Seminar-TBD
  2. BRL Seminar and Journal Club
  3. Digital Signal Processing Seminar
  4. Beckman Institute Director's Seminar - "Getting Lost During Navigation: the Unconscious Processes"
  5. Language Processing Brown Bag
  6. SDEP Seminar
  7. Beckman Imaging Weekly Journal Club
  8. Neuroscience Seminar-TBD
  9. BRL Seminar and Journal Club
  10. Beckman Institute Graduate Student Seminar
  11. Digital Signal Processing Seminar
  12. Thursdays@12:20 Concert Featuring A Jazz Duo
  13. Language Processing Brown Bag
  14. 5th Annual Society of Postdoctural Scholars Research Symposium
  15. Beckman Imaging Weekly Journal Club
  16. Neuroscience Seminar-TBD
  17. BRL Seminar and Journal Club
  18. "Physically Grounded Visual Synthesis and Analysis"
  19. Digital Signal Processing Seminar
  20. Language Processing Brown Bag
  21. Neuroscience Seminar-TBD
  22. BRL Seminar and Journal Club
  23. Language Processing Brown Bag
  24. Digital Signal Processing Seminar
  25. Thursdays@12:20 Concert Featuring The Graduate String Quartet
  26. Language Processing Brown Bag
  27. Beckman Imaging Weekly Journal Club
  28. Neuroscience Seminar-TBD
  29. BRL Seminar and Journal Club
  30. Digital Signal Processing Seminar
  31. Beckman Institute Director's Seminar - "The Evolution of Vascular Materials"
  32. Language Processing Brown Bag
  33. Willett and Founder Investiture
  34. Beckman Imaging Weekly Journal Club
  35. Neuroscience Seminar-TBD
  36. BRL Seminar and Journal Club
  37. Digital Signal Processing Seminar
  38. Thursdays@12:20 Concert Featuring The Josh Song Duo
  39. Language Processing Brown Bag
  40. BRL Seminar and Journal Club
  41. Neuroscience Seminar-TBD
  42. Digital Signal Processing Seminar
  43. Language Processing Brown Bag
  44. Beckman Institute Open House
  45. Neuroscience Seminar-TBD
  46. BRL Seminar and Journal Club
  47. Beckman Institute Graduate Student Seminar
  48. Digital Signal Processing Seminar
  49. Thursdays@12:20 Concert Featuring The COLAB
  50. Language Processing Brown Bag
  1. Herb roasted chicken breast with wild rice and mixed greens
  2. ½ lb. mushroom swiss beef burger on kaiser roll
  3. Hummus with pita**
  4. Chicken potato corn chowder
  5. Veggie lentil soup**
  6. Greek salad*
  7. Mixed greens**
  1. Shrimp Creole with red beans and rice
  2. Pesto chicken and provolone on baguette
  3. Mozzarella and tomato on flatbread* (served warm)
  4. Chicken orzo soup
  5. Spinach provolone soup*
  1. Beckman Brunswick stew
  2. Smoked pulled pork on kaiser roll
  3. Baba ganouj with pita**
  4. Ham and bean soup
  5. Broccoli cheese soup*
  6. Greek salad*
  1. Herb roasted pork loin with mashed potatoes and green beans
  2. Chicken bbq on kaiser roll
  3. Dill egg salad on rye or wheat*
  4. New England clam chowder
  5. Tomato Provençal soup**
  6. Greek salad*