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Distinguished Alumni Panel

Event Type
Social/Informal Event
University of Illinois
2405 Siebel Center for Computer Science
Apr 21, 2023   12:00   1:30
Hannah Gorrie
Originating Calendar
Computer Science Department Events Calendar

Please join us on Friday, April 21st at 12:00 PM in 2405 Thomas M. Siebel Center for Computer Science for the Distinguished Alumni Panel! Joining us will be this year's CS Alumni Award winners Pen-Chung Yew, Lavanya Iyer, Ankush Aggarwal, and Hanna Hajishirzi, who will engage in a Q&A panel led by CS student leadership. Lunch from Papa Del's Pizza will be provided.

Meet our panel:

Pen-Chung Yew earned his PhD from the Illinois Computer Science Department in 1981, and is a Professor of the Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota at Twin Cities, after serving as faculty member in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and an Associate Director of the Center for Supercomputing Research and Development (CSRD) at UIUC. His research areas cover computer architectures and compilers targeting current and future generation of secure and high-performance parallel systems. He was one of the main system designers for the Cedar system built at CSRD in 1980’s.

Lavanya Iyer is a Scrum Master and Lead Full Stack Web Developer at JP Morgan Chase in the Downtown Seattle office. Lavanya graduated from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign  in May 2014 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science and Minor in Leadership Studies. Outside of her schoolwork at Illinois, she held multiple leadership positions, such as President of Women in Computer Science, Webmaster Assistant for Society of Women Engineers, Web Designer for Engineering Council, and the CS Ambassador for Engineering Student Alumni Ambassadors. She represented CS@Illinois at an ECE-CS UIUC alumni reception during Spring Break 2013 and spoke about her experiences at Illinois. She also represented the National Center for Women in Technology (NCWIT) as an Aspirations Awards winner and ambassador during the 2014 NCWIT Summit on Women and IT. At the summit, she spoke about CS outreach at Illinois, through the department and through Women in Computer Science, and helped prepare for summit events. 

Ankush Aggarwal is  a start-up enthusiast, is the Chief Business Officer at Ola. He graduated with his B.S. in Computer Science at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 2016. He is actively involved in Ola’s businesses and leads multiple functions across ride hailing, Ola Electric and Ola Financial Services. He is responsible for Ola Electric’s rapidly growing D2C sales and service network across the country. In his role, he spearheads the Go To Market (GTM) Strategy including and not limited to sales, fulfillment, vehicle deliveries and overall retail infrastructure. Ola Electric has grown to be India’s largest EV company by revenue and  has sold ~200,000 2W’s in a period spanning just over a year. Ankush also heads Ola Electric’s International business as the company plans to expand its presence in international markets including LATAM, ASEAN and EU regions. He also leads Ola Financial Services (OFS) wherein he is working towards expanding the company’s portfolio in financial services including insurance, lending and online payments. 

Hanna Hajishirzi is a Torode Family Associate Professor in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington and a Senior Research Manager at the Allen Institute for AI. Her research spans different areas in NLP and AI, focusing on developing general-purpose machine learning algorithms that can solve diverse NLP tasks. Applications for these algorithms include question answering, representation learning, green AI, knowledge extraction, and conversational dialogue. Honors include the NSF CAREER Award, Sloan Fellowship, Allen Distinguished Investigator Award, Intel rising star award, best paper and honorable mention awards, and several industry research faculty awards. Hanna received her PhD from University of Illinois and spent a year as a postdoc at Disney Research and CMU. 

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