Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

To ignite and nurture creative, ethical, scientific minds that advance the human condition.

IMSA Alumnus Appointed to Board of Trustees

AURORA— Governor Rod Blagojevich has appointed Jay Budzik, Ph.D., founder and chief technology officer of Chicago-based MediaRiver (, to the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA) Board of Trustees.   Budzik , a 1995 graduate of IMSA, is co-inventor of MediaRiver’s core product, ClickSurge, leads the company’s research and development efforts, and manages its new innovation and intellectual property portfolio. According to MediaRiver’s website,

ClickSurge reads and understand the contents of a page, and uses that knowledge to find and deliver video, pictures, podcasts, and articles from your website, allowing the right content to reach the right audience at the right time - anywhere on the web, even on social networks, blogs, and other user-generated sites.

Budzik said he is honored to be appointed and looks forward to helping IMSA advance its mission.

“IMSA has been a tremendous influence on me both personally and professionally,” Budzik said.  “As an alumnus, scientist, and entrepreneur, I am a true believer in the many benefits this important institution brings to Illinois, our nation and the world, “he said.  “It is a great honor to be appointed to its board, and I am thrilled to help IMSA advance its mission to nurture the next generation of innovators in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”

Previously, Budzik was the director of software development at Northwestern University’s Center for Technology Commercialization and a research assistant in its Intelligent Information Laboratory. 

He has presented his research to numerous groups including Ford Motor Company, the MIT Media Lab, the International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces and the American Society for Information Science.  His work is widely published on topics ranging from groupware to intelligent agents and has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, the Chicago Sun-Times, WGN-TV and L’Ordinateur Individuel.

Budzik received the 2005 Chicago Innovation Award and his company was recognized as one of the “Cool Vendors in Emerging Trends and Technologies” by Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT), the world's leading information technology research and advisory company.

 As an IMSA student (1993-1995), Budzik evaluated the first web server and browser tools for UNIX platforms at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.

Dr. Max McGee, president of IMSA, said Budzik will be a tremendous asset on the Board because of his knowledge of IMSA and his professional skills and networks.  “Jay has keen insights, a passion for research and entrepreneurship, and a strong commitment to IMSA and the students and teachers we serve,” McGee said.  “The Governor has made an excellent appointment.” 

Budzik earned a B.S. in computer science from The University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in computer science from Northwestern University. 

The internationally recognized Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy® (IMSA) develops creative, ethical leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.  As a teaching and learning laboratory created by the State of Illinois, IMSA enrolls academically talented Illinois students (grades 10-12) in its advanced, residential college preparatory program, and it serves thousands of educators and students in Illinois and beyond through innovative instructional programs that foster imagination and inquiry. IMSA also advances education through research, groundbreaking ventures and strategic partnerships. (