Sheldon Howard Jacobson Ph.D.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


In the News (2017)

(22 December 2017) Experts: Atlanta blackout a lesson for other airports (David Wickert, Atlanta Journal-Constitution) reports commentary by Sheldon H. Jacobson on the vulnerabilities at airports after the Atlanta Hartsfield power outage. 

(18 December 2017) Chicago ‘prepared’ for outage like at Atlanta airport, officials say (Marni Pyke, Chicago Daily Herald) reports commentary by Sheldon H. Jacobson on the Atlanta Hartsfield power outage. 

(30 October 2017) Letter: Has the TSA spread itself too thin? which appeared in the Chicago Tribune (Voice of the People), discusses the recently implemented enhanced airport checkpoint screening procedures for food.

(23 October 2017) Letter: Build on the Readmission of Airport Travelers, which appeared in the Wall Street Journal, argues that allowing non-flyers beyond the security checkpoint could provide an added incentive for enrollment in TSA Precheck©.


(18 October 2017) Mass killings happen randomly, yet rate has remained steady, study finds, based on the paper, “Random Acts of Violence? Examining Probabilistic Independence of the Temporal Distribution of Mass Murders in the United States,” which will appear in Victims and Violence.  See also Study Finds Mass Killings Not On The Rise Over Past Decade (TV Report) (Nancy Harty, CBS Chicago, 18 October 2017), Mass killings in the US happen randomly - but at a steady rate for the last 10 years, study finds (Cheyenne Macdonald, Daily Mail (UK), 18 October 2017), U.S. Mass Killings Occurring at 'Uniform' Rate, Say Scientists (Peter Hess, Inverse, 18 October 2017), Mass Killings are not Becoming More Common (John Hinderaker, Powerline, 18 October 2017), Despite Vegas and Media Narrative, Mass Killings Aren’t on the Rise “The data doesn’t lie.” (Trey Sanchez, Truth Revolt, 18 October 2017), Mass Shootings are Not on the Rise, Study Shows (S. Noble, Independent Sentinel, 18 October 2017), New Study Says Mass Murders are Not on the Rise in the U.S. (Warner Todd Huston, American News 24/7, 18 October 2017), Study finds no spike in mass killings over past decade (Nikki McGee, Fox Illinois, 18 October 2017), The One Figure You Probably Haven’t Heard About Mass Shootings (Jazz Shaw, Hot Air, 19 October 2017), Mass killings rate steady over past decade, but totally random (Seth Augenstine, Forensic Magazine, 19 October 2017),  Research Finds Mass Killings Are Not on the Rise (Police Magazine, 19 October 2017), Study: Despite More Coverage, Mass Killings Not Occurring More Often (Matt Masterson, Chicago Tonight, WTTW, 19 October 2017), U.S. Mass Killing Occurring at a ‘Uniform’ Rate (ACM Tech News, 19 October 2017), Mass killings happen randomly, yet rate has remained steady, study finds (Victoria Ritter, Gears of Biz, 20 October 2017), Study Says Mass Killings are Hard to Predict (Security Magazine, 23 October 2017), New Research Can Help First Responders (Grant Stinchfield, NRATV, 24 October 2017), Comprehensive data shows mass shootings in America have risen sharply (The Hill, 31 October 2017).


(3 October 2017) Algorithms Supercharged Gerrymandering. We Should Use Them to Fix it (Daniel Oberhaus, Motherboard) reports commentary by Sheldon H. Jacobson on his algorithm research related to political redistricting.  See also Can Algorithms Put a Stop to Political Gerrymandering? (Emily Moon, Pacific Standard, 4 October 2017).


(11 September 2017) Study: Congressional redistricting less contentious when resolved using computer algorithm,  based on the paper “The Geo-Graph in Practice: Creating United States Congressional Districts from Census Blocks,” which will appear in Computational Optimization and its Applications.  See also It is time to set political boundaries (Innovators Magazine, 12 September 2017), New Algorithm Makes Congressional Redistricting More Equitable to Constituents (Sioban Treacy, Electronics 360, 13 September 2017), Computer Algorithm Can Draw Congressional District Lines Without Bias (Priya Dalal, 27 September 2017,  North Carolina Journal of Law and Technology), Incorporating “Geo-Graphs” into Redistricting: How a  New Computer Algorithm Could Stop Partisan Gerrymandering, (Caroline Martin, 28 January 2019,  North Carolina Journal of Law and Technology).


(5 September 2017) “Halting the Erosion of State Support for Higher Education,” Op-Ed, Insider Higher Ed.


(27 June 2017) Sheldon H. Jacobson was a guest on Top of Mind with Julie Rose on BYU Radio, discussing the proposed laptop ban on flights from Europe.


(30 May 2017)  Laptop ban not extended to flights from Europe, but options ‘still on the table’ (Stephen Loiaconi, Sinclair Broadcast Group) reports commentary by Sheldon H. Jacobson on the laptop ban on flights from Europe.


(17 May 2017) Would a laptop and tablet ban enhance air travel security? University of Illinois News Bureau Expert Viewpoint. See also Asian Campus Tribune, 30 June 2017.

(16 May 2017) Study: Higher mass transit use is associated with lower obesity rates based on the paper “Analyzing the impact of public transit usage on obesity,” which appeared in the Preventive Medicine (Volume 99, pages 264-268). See also Higher mass transit use linked with lower obesity rates (Amy Wallace, United Press International, 17 May 2017), Mass transit linked to lower obesity rates in study (Mary Caffrey, American Journal of Managed Care, 17 May 2017), What Scientists Found about Losing Weight and Obesity after Observing how People use Public Transportation (Harold Mandel, EmaxHealth, 17 May 2017), Using Public Transportation reduced obesity and makes people healthier  (Mihai Andrei, ZMEScience, 17 May 2017), All Aboard! Next Stop, Less Obesity (Tom Jacobs, Pacific Standard Magazine, 17 May 2017), MTA can help you lose weight (Ariel Scotti, New York Daily News, 17 May 2017), Using mass transit leads to drop in obesity rates, study finds (Christopher Maynard, Consumer Affairs, 17 May 2017), Investing in mass transit helps communities lower their obesity rates, study suggests (Susan Perry, MinnPost, 18 May 2017), The MTA can help you lose weight (John Daniels, The Informer, 17 May 2017), Higher mass transit use linked with lower obesity rates (Charmaine Lamabao, NewsLine, 18 May 2017), Mass transit use correlates with obesity rates (Todd Gleason, Illinois Public Media News, WILL-AM 580, 19 May 2017), Green Bay students get a free ride | Our view, (Green Bay Press-Gazette, 20 May 2017), Community investment in transit can lower obesity rates, (Missouri Public Transit Association, 26 May 2017).

(20 April 2017) Traditional polling methods not adding up (Charlotte Collins, Daily Illini) quotes Sheldon H. Jacobson on the limitations of polling data and what the future may bring in this domain.

(12 April 2017) Letter: How to avoid getting bumped from a flight, which appeared in the Chicago Tribune (Voice of the People), discusses what travelers can do to avoid being involuntarily bumped from a flight.

(11 April 2017) United CEO apologizes again; passenger still in hospital as family thanks public (Marni Pyke, Chicago Sun Times) quotes Sheldon H. Jacobson on circumstances under which passengers can be removed from flights.

(9 April 2017) Hawaii’s use of armed private guards at airports draws new scrutiny (Rob Perez, Honolulu Star Advertiser) quotes Sheldon H. Jacobson on the use of armed private security guards at the Honolulu airport.

(21 March 2017) What to know about the new airline electronics bans (CBC News Canada) quotes Sheldon H. Jacobson on the US Department of Homeland Security requirement that large electronic devices be stowed in checked luggage for flights originating in certain countries in the Middle East and Northern Africa.  See also Here’s Why the U.S. Is Banning Larger Electronics on Some Overseas Flights (Katie Reilly, Time),  Why the airline 'electronics ban' may not be discrimination (Patrick Reilly, Christian Science Monitor), Clamping down on carry-on devices (CBC News Canada), and two interviews on BBC World News.


(15 March 2017) Moose and B-Sox talk with Sheldon H. Jacobson about Bracketodds and the Science behind March Madness (Lazer 103.3, Des Moines, IA).


(14 March 2017) 2017 NCAA Tournament: Stats facts to know to fill out a March Madness bracket (Matt Norlander, CBS Sports) quotes statistics computed at Bracketodds.


(12 March 2017)  March Madness Bracket 2017: Betting Advice, Historical Trends and Predictions (Paul Kasabian, Bleacher Report) features data analysis from Bracketodds. 


(12 March 2017) How to hack your March Madness bracket to win (Samuel Anderson, Best Life) features tips from Bracketodds


(12 March 2017) For Northwestern, first taste of March Madness will always be the Sweetest (Chicago Tribune) featured data taken from Bracketodds.


(8 March 2017) Obesity’s hefty price tag (Beth Baker, Politico) quotes fuel consumption attributed to obesity, as reported in Jacobson and King (2009).


(7 March 2017) Can data analytics help you fill out a March madness bracket? A Minute with Sheldon H. Jacobson, University of Illinois Professor of Computer Science.


(2 March 2017) Bracket expert: Illini are in (Matt Daniels, Champaign News Gazette).  See also Bracketology: NCAA tournament hopes are still up in the air (8 March 2017, Matt Daniels, Champaign News Gazette). 


(21 February 2017) TSA Investigating Security Breach at JFK Airport (CBS This Morning, New York, NY).  See also Impact of Airport Attacks on Security (WRBL CBS, Columbus, OH).


(17 February 2017) TSA reasons for tightening TSA Precheck access remain unclear (Travel Weekly, Robert Silk) quotes Sheldon H. Jacobson on recent change to reduce the number of non-PreCheck vetted passengers through expedited screening lanes.


(13 February 2017) March Madness Bracket Challenge: How Hard is it to Pick a Perfect Bracket? (Janie Harris, features the web site bracketodds.


(1 February 2017) Frequent fliers without PreCheck moving to slow lane: TSA (Mary Wisniewski, Chicago Tribune).


(6 January 2017) How Secure are our Airports? Invited Op-ed, CNN Opinion.  See also Circa News (7 January 2017).


Last Updated: 2 May 2019