Special Interest Group on Artificial Intelligence

Association of Computing Machinery

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


2013 | January 27

Despite the lack of updates to this page, SIGArt is still active. For information on our meetings and projects, see the links to the right. We are hoping to update this website more frequently in the future.

Our current plans are to continue work throughout this semester on our existing projects (the quadcopter and the speech recognition/synthesis representation), and to demonstrate the quadcopter at this year's Engineering Open House.

2011 | March 31

Congratulations to everyone for their work on the 'SIGArt Multi-Touch Gesture Recognition' exhibit that received first place in the judging category: "Theme: Defining the Future" at the Engineering Open House this past month! The plaque was obtained and is currently now sitting above the main doorway to the ACM offices in Siebel. To view the poster that was displayed at EOH, follow this link. Now that EOH is over though, the next large task is the documentation process of the project, and this is primarily what we will be working on in the coming weeks. Touching up of the project demo as well as future work will also be explored.

2011 | March 6

Although updates to this page has been sparse, that does not mean that SIGArt has been without activity this past year. Quite the opposite in fact, but with updates noted in the wiki as opposed to this main page. In particular, we've been steadily making progress on a Multi-touch Gesture Recognition application on the Tacchi Table generously provided for use by SIGMusic. To describe the project briefly, we take in finger input through the TUIO protocol from the Tacchi Table, transform it into an orientation free representation and segment it into meaningful chunks for classification through an HMM. For more information on this, simply visit our wiki page on Gesture Recognition following this link. Also visit us at Engineering Open House on March 11-12 in the Siebel Center Atrium.

2010 | April 25

We are currently in the process of cranking out the research paper for the Undergraduate Research Journal. It is titled: SIGArt Wikipedia Knowledge Extractor. We'll be detailing the implementation of our project as well as providing a discussion of the potential applications and possible future work. Keep and eye out for it in the next issue of the URJ! We would like to give a special thanks to Juan Mansilla for his involvement with this project.

2010 | March 14

Hello SIGArt,

I know we haven't sent out too many emails recently, but we did indeed have an EOH exhibit. We couldn't get the server up and running on a lab machine in time, but we did recover the files and presented a local version on my laptop. It was quite successful, and managed to capture the interest of a number of visitors. Compared to what we put up last year, we've made a lot of progress in the past few months, thanks largely to our work in the summer and the week following up to EOH. A large thanks to Bobak, Abhishek and Felix for staying up with us the night before EOH to ensure we put up a good showing.

At present, we plan to work a bit more on the Wikipedia Knowledge project, and submit a paper on the system for the Undergraduate Research Journal. We'd also like to have a poster ready by April 2nd for the Undergraduate Research Symposium. The Symposium is on April 26th, but posters and abstracts are due April 2nd. If we are to present at the Undergrad Research Symposium, we'd like to improve our system a bit too, at least as far as the Question - Answering goes.

Finally, we are ending our term as chairs, and handing over the reigns to Felix Wang and Bobak Hadidi. We've had a good time leading this group, and have learned a lot from projects, meetings and the people who we've met. We'll continue to attend meetings till the end of the semester.

Signing off as chairs for the last time,
Nikhil Johri and Darin Pantley.

2010 | February 28

We now have access to the new computer, but it's missing several software packages that our project requires to run. We're currently waiting to hear back on getting them installed.

2010 | February 21

We have been sending out emails in lieu of posting on here the past several weeks. Given that it has been roughly a month since the last update on this website, it's about time for another. We were able to recover virtually everything from the hard drive that died in our old server. We have also been allocated a new computer to host our project on, although we do not yet have access to it. As soon as we gain access to the computer we'll be preparing for Engineering Open House.

2010 | January 25

The computer that was hosting our project seems to have experienced a hard drive failure. A couple mini projects based on our core code were on there with no other backups. We will be attempting to recover them from the computer, but they are probably permanently gone at this point. The core files necessary to run our project are safe on another computer (SVN), so we hope to get that back up and running sometime, assuming we find a computer suitable for the task.

2010 | January 22

Hello all,

Hope you had a good break. We will resume out weekly SigArt meetings this Sunday at 7 pm in 0224 Siebel Center. We will not be meeting on Thursdays this semester.

Engineering Open House is 2 months away and we need to get to work on our project. Currently, our machine is down and progress has been slow, though we do have a very simple Question Answering system in place, as well as an Image Labeller based on the facts of the Wikipedia Knowledgebase. We will explain what these are and how they work in the meeting this week, and hopefully will be able to give a demo (assuming the machine is alive by then).

Finally, if you are a new member, please come to the meeting this Sunday - we will give a brief overview of what we have so far and what our goals are for EOH.

SigArt Chair

2009 | November 9

Yesterday's meeting went well. We decided to add a level of first-order logic to our data. This will allow us to do simple reasoning by chaining facts together.

2009 | November 8

A few meetings have passed, and a handful of emails. We're currently planning to finish up our current project by the end of the semester. Everyone is busy this time of year, so we're planning meetings by email. Our next meeting is tonight at 7:00. Contact us if you need details.

2009 | September 17

After last week's boring Python crash course, this week's attendence was pretty poor. If you couldn't make it to this week's meeting, take a look at the meetings page for the slides.


Today's presentation was a broad overview of the very specific A.I. topics our project covers. We talked about fact extraction, our database API, and possible improvements to the querying front end.


In terms of what to expect at future meetings, we're considering having bi-weekly talks on A.I. topics, with meetings more related to our project in between.

2009 | September 10

Here are some SVN and Python cheat sheets. We also highly recommend the Learn Python in 10 minutes tutorial.

2009 | September 6

We had our first meeting of the Fall 2009 semester last Thursday. The slides from it are available on the meetings page. Stay tuned for next week's meeting topic. It will be a tutorial over something basic.

2009 | August 25

We're currently recruiting people interested in artificial intelligence. Come to the ACM Open House on Tuesday September 1st at 6:00 PM to learn more and get involved.

2009 | July 17

The Knowledge Extraction project is progressing well. Version 0.1 was completed last night. Come to our meeting this Sunday to help plan for version 0.2!

2009 | July 5

Our third dinner meeting was today. We discussed the logical flow of data from input (Simple Wikipedia) to output (SQL database). Expectations for version 0.1 were also discussed. Here's a new wiki page for it.

2009 | June 28

If you're on our mailing list, you know we had our first summer meeting last week. The second one is today, at 7:00 PM. We're meeting at Noodles & Company. The discussion will be focused around ontologies, Wikipedia, and how to best start coding.

2009 | May 9

We'll be sending out an email mid-June to let everyone know when and where our first summer meeting will be. If you're going to be in the area, stay tuned. Until then, good luck with finals and enjoy the summer weather.

2009 | May 6

The SVN directory ("inference") for the new project is now live. We're done meeting for the spring semester, but several members will be in the area over the summer, so we anticipate adding files to the SVN before SIGART officially starts up again for the fall semester.

2009 | April 19

Our Sunday meeting went well. Attendence was low, but ideas were plentiful. The wiki page for our new project, a networked inference engine, is now online.

2009 | April 17

We're meeting, as usual, this Sunday. Everyone who shows up to the meeting will have the opportunity to contribute ideas towards our next project (to be announced). We're hoping to utilize the pros and cons of our experience building the instant messenger bot to create something that learns. More details will be posted here eventually once we narrow the project down to something tangible.

2009 | April 5

At today's meeting we reviewed our EOH project, the instant messaging bot. We discussed how the bot worked, what went right, and what went wrong. For those of you that are interested in NLP (natural language processing), you may want to take a look at the CS 498JH slides. This meeting set the trajectory for our future meetings, as we'll need to decide which projects we want to tackle next and who will be available to work on them. Note that prior AI knowledge is not a requirement for working on a project. Most of our members started with zero prior experience and still contributed significantly to ongoing projects.

2009 | March 26

Many people enjoyed chatting with our instant messaging bot at Engineering Open House. It wasn't particularly convincing, but it did manage to stay on topic (a bit too well sometimes) and learn new things. Those who participated in building the bot learned a lot and we look forward to using the experience we gained to continue this project in the future.

2009 | February 15

Our instant messaging bot now holds primitive conversations. Success is mixed, with some replies from the bot being fragments and some being logical replies.

2009 | February 4

Work continues on the instant messaging bot. A primitive version now exists on the SVN to help members get a jump-start in implementing their own bot ideas. The stock price predictor has stalled, due to a lack of manpower.

2008 | November 9

We spent the beginning of the meeting discussing the format of the instant messenger bot's internal graphs that it will use for storing data. Near the end we skimmed the stock predictor code and explained what our current code does.

2008 | November 3

The SIGART Wiki page is live now. It's tied to the SVN repository, so you can easily browse the code. We can use the Wiki to share ideas and document our progress. Feel free to contribute. That's why we have it.

2008 | November 2

We've updated the projects page. It now has information on how to access the SVN repository.

2008 | October 21:

Permissions have been transferred from last year's chair to this year's chairs. Now we can update this site and set up SVN access for our current projects.