The University of Illinois began life as the Illinois Industrial University, located in the city of Urbana. Although the original intention of lawmakers and the preference of many state residents was for the new school to concentrate on vocational training, the university’s first president, John Milton Gregory, wisely insisted on offering a full spectrum of liberal arts and science courses.
With time, the university grew considerably, causing the original campus to spread across the dividing line between Urbana and its sister city of Champaign, to the west. That is why the flagship campus of the University of Illinois System is now officially known as the “University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign” to distinguish it from two other satellite campuses—one in Chicago and the other in the state capital of Springfield—that were incorporated into the System in 1913 and 1995, respectively.
Illinois has long been particularly known for its emphasis on the natural sciences and engineering, notably information and computer engineering. This can be seen in the fact that a number of semi-independent scientific research institutes have grown up on or near the main campus, including the Illinois Applied Research Institute, the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, and the National Center for Superconducting Applications.
The latter center’s location here is explained by the fact that it was a trio of Illinois physicists—John Bardeen, Leon Cooper, and John Schrieffer—whose collaboration on what is now known as “BCS theory” in their honor, provided the first deep theoretical understanding of the phenomenon of superconductivity.
Practical applications of all of this cutting-edge research at Illinois are not neglected, either. The university also houses the Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership, as well as a Research Park, which gives space to more than 120 private companies employing some 2100 students and full-time researchers. Both of these centers help to make the University of Illinois a technology hub, as much for startups as for established corporations’ R & D operations.
Illinois has some 30 Nobel Prize–winners to its credit, including:
Physiology or Medicine
Other noteworthy Illinois-connected people include:
What does this school look for?
Median SAT Score
Median ACT Score
How much does it cost to attend?
Averages for 10 years after enrolling
What's it like to attend this school?
Full time on-campus stats
Where will you be attending?
601 E John Street,
City Crime Rates
33 per 100k
7 per 100k
Our answer to this is to show you the disciplines in which a school's faculty and alumni have had the highest historical influence. A school may be influential in a discipline even if they do not offer degrees in that area. We've organized two lists to show where they are influential and offer corresponding degrees, and where they are influential through scholarship although they don't offer degrees in the disciplines.
Who are University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign's Most influential alumni?
University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign's most influential alumni faculty include professors and professionals in the fields of Engineering, Computer Science, and Communications. University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign’s most academically influential people include Roger Ebert, Marc Andreessen, and Jack Welch.
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