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CMNS e-News April 2012

Vol. 2, No. 6
Please submit items to the editor, Mary Kearney.

Contents

In Memoriam

Ruth Davis (1952 M.A. and 1955 Ph.D. Mathematics) died on Wednesday, March 28, 2012. Davis was one of the first women to receive a doctorate in mathematics from Maryland, and helped design some of the earliest computers and satellites. She served as Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Advanced Technology; Assistant Secretary of Energy for Resource Applications and was the first director of the National Center for Biomedical Communications in the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. In 1981, Davis founded her own technology management company, The Pymatuning Group. She served on the University of Maryland's Board of Visitors; the College's Board of Visitors and established the Ruth M. Davis Professorship in Mathematics at the University of Maryland. She was elected to The National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Public Administration, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Davis received UMD's 1993 President's Distinguished Alumna Award, was inducted into UMD's Alumni Association's Hall of Fame in 2000, and in 2004 she was the College's Distinguished Alumna.

Honors and Awards

The Annual CMNS Spring Academic Festival was held on Friday, April 20 in recognition of the outstanding excellence of our faculty and staff:

  • DEAN'S AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING
    David C. Straney, Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics
  • OUTSTANDING LECTURER
    David Buehrle, Physics
  • OUTSTANDING TEACHING ASSISTANT
    Gregory Benjamin, Computer Science
  • THELMA M. WILLIAMS ADVISOR OF THE YEAR
    Katerina Thompson, Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences
  • NON-EXEMPT EMPLOYEE AWARD
    Martha Hopkins, Mathematics
    Margaret Jenkins, Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics
  • EXEMPT EMPLOYEE AWARD
    Dolores Jackson, Chemistry and Biochemistry
    Sonja Junek, Atmospheric and Oceanic Science

The CMNS Board of Visitors has selected the following recipients for their annual awards. The awards are funded by gifts from the Board members:

  • DISTINGUISHED FACULTY AWARD
    James Farquhar (Department of Geology). The Award recognizes outstanding accomplishments over the previous five years that have had a major impact, and thereby contributed significantly to raising the profile and visibility of the College.
  • CREATIVE EDUCATOR AWARD
    Todd J. Cooke (Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics). The Award is designed to encourage and recognize significant creative and innovative contributions to the educational experience of undergraduate students. The Board particularly looks for examples of cross-disciplinary education, collaboration with corporations and institutions outside the university, innovative approaches to education, enrichment of students' educational experience outside the classroom, and the embedding of entrepreneurship as an integral part of students' academic experience.

Robert Adler (ESSIC) was named 2012 Outstanding Alumnus, Atmospheric Science Department, Colorado State University in recognition of his long career in atmospheric research. Adler received the award at a ceremony held by the Engineering College, CSU on April 14.

Ivo Babuska (Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Mathematics) has been awarded the American Mathematical Society's 2012 Steele Prize for Lifetime Achievement "....for his many pioneering advances in the numerical solution of partial differential equations over the last half century. In his work on finite element methods, Babuska has developed and applied mathematics in profound ways to develop, analyze, and validate algorithms which are crucial for computational science and engineering. In so doing, he has helped to define that field and has had a great impact on the modern world." Babuska moved to the University of Texas in 1996 after his retirement from Maryland.

James Gates (Physics) has been elected a member of the prestigious American Philosophical Society (APS). Election to the APS honors extraordinary accomplishments in all fields. The APS is unusual among learned societies because its membership is comprised of top scholars from a wide variety of academic disciplines.

Alex Malozemoff (Graduate student, Computer Science, advisor Jonathan Katz) has been awarded a 2012 National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship. NDSEG Fellowships last for three years and pay for full tuition and all mandatory fees, a monthly stipend, and up to $1,000 a year in medical insurance.

Katherine Manfred (Undergraduate student, Chemistry and Physics), has been named the 2012 Undergraduate Researcher of the Year by the Maryland Center for Undergraduate Research. A member of the John Fourkas group, Katherine works on "using ultrafast optical Kerr Effect (OKE) spectroscopy to relate the intermolecular dynamics of confined and bulk liquids."

Karin Melnick (Mathematics) has been awarded the American Mathematical Society (AMS) Centennial Fellowship. The AMS Centennial Research Fellowship Program makes awards annually to outstanding mathematicians to help further their careers in research.

Hanan Samet (Computer Science and UMIACS) has been awarded the Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award from the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) "...for fundamental contributions to the development of multidimensional spatial data structures and indexing. The Award honors specific theoretical accomplishments that have had a significant and demonstrable effect on the practice of computing. The award will be presented at the ACM Awards Banquet, June 16 in San Francisco, CA.

Kayla Valdes (Graduate student, Biological Sciences-Molecular and Cellular Biology), advisor Kevin McIver) has been awarded an NIH F31 Pre-doctoral Fellowship for the project "Global Genetic Analysis of the Mga Virulence Regulon." The award, over 4 years, totals $168,928.

Laura Weber (Undergraduate student, Biological Sciences) has been awarded a 2012 Young Travel Award. Alumnus Dr. Erik B. Young (1974 B.S. Biochemistry) established the fund to support international travel-study for a group of University of Maryland College Park undergraduates each year. The purpose of the program is to give deserving undergraduate students the opportunity to broaden their international horizons while they hone their academic skills.

Contracts/Grants

John Aloimonos (Computer Science and UMIACS), University of Maryland Foundation, $201,444, "Robots and Language: A Computational Mechanism for Generalisation and Generation of New Behaviors in Robots (POETICON++)."

Anthony Busalacchi (ESSIC and AOSC), NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, $1,014,684, "Collaborative Earth System Science Research between NASA-GSFC and UMCP."

Larry Davis (Computer Science and UMIACS), SET Corporation, $515,210, "E-Verify: Finder."

John Fourkas (Chemistry and Biochemistry), NIST, $950,000 increase in funding bringing the total to $1,420,917, "UMCP/NIST Professional Research Experience Program to Undergraduates, Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Researchers."

Joseph Ja'Ja' (UMIACS, ECE and SeSync), University of California-Davis, $150,000, "Chronopolis."

Timothy Livengood (Astronomy), NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, $103,200, "Variability in Jupiter's Aurora from Multi-Decadal Infrared Data."

Kevin McIver (Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics), NIH-National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Disease, 5-year renewal, $379,020, bringing the total award to $1,895,100, "PRD-containing Virulence Regulators of Pathogenic Streptococci." This is for years 11- 15 of continuous funding.

Doug Oard (UMIACS and CLIS), Johns Hopkins University, $123,865, "(COE) Center of Excellence in Human Language Technology (HLT)."

Elizabeth Quinlan (Biology), NIH, 5-year renewal, $1,800,000, "Synaptic Plasticity in Young Versus Aged Visual Cortex."

Louiqa Raschid (UMIACS and Smith Business School), NSF, $271,839, "Collaborative Research: ABI Development: Methodology for Pattern Creation, Imprint Validation, and Discovery from the Annotated Biological Web."

Christopher Reynolds (Astronomy), NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, $115,626, "Relativistic Astrophysics Around SMBHs: A Suzaku Study of 3C120 and Mrk841."

Jonathan Rosenberg (Mathematics), NSF, $107,807, "Topology, Noncummutative Geometry, and Mathematical Physics."

Anne Simon (Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics), NSF, $595,899, "Analysis of a Ribosome-Binding 3' Translational Enhancer in a Plus-Strand RNA Virus."

Joshua Singer (Biology), NIH-National Eye Institute, $301,270, "Synaptic Transmission in the Rod Pathway of the Mamallian Retina."

Wade Winkler (Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics), University of Texas-Health Science Center at Houston, $152,000, "Mechanism of Gene Regulation by RNA-binding ANTAR Proteins."

What's New

First Annual Maryland Cybersecurity Center Symposium will be held May 15-16, at the Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center, College Park Campus. Drawing on regional experts of national and international acclaim, the Symposium will showcase the latest research, trends, and topics in cybersecurity. The event presents unique opportunities to connect with colleagues across academia, industry, and the state and federal government. Registration is required.  

The Human-Computer Interaction Lab's 29th Annual Symposium will be held on Tuesday, May 22 and Wednesday, May 23, 2012. This year the symposium will consider the future of social media, networks, medical informatics, information visualization, interaction design, children, games, HCI design methods and MORE! Learn more about the HCIL's research at the University through talks, tutorials, workshops, demos and posters. Registration required.

OMICS Day will be held on May 22, Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research (IBBR), UMD Shady Grove campus, Rockville, MD. Revolutionary advances in biotechnologies, especially sequencing technology, has ushered biological research into a new era, with the focus rapidly shifting from single gene/protein to entire genomes and genome-wide networks of genes, proteins, metabolites, and epigenomic modifiers. The unprecedented growth in diverse biological data presents new opportunities as well as challenges that demand multi-disciplinary collaborations between biology, mathematics, statistics, computation and engineering. While numerous UM scientists are already leaders in the computational Omics fields, through this meeting, we hope to build on the existing strengths by fostering new synergistic collaborations and contemplate future directions. Registration is free, but is required. http://www.regonline.com/Register/Checkin.aspx?EventID=1082888

CIRUN cosponsored an all day workshop, April 23, held at UMUC, Lost in Translation: Linking Climate Science to Local Communities in Maryland and the Chesapeake Bay. The workshop, organized by the Maryland SeaGrant program and by the Center for Watershed Protection, focused on improving communication about climate change adaptation among planners and between community leaders and scientists. 

NanoFabulous, a mini exhibition developed by the professors, graduate students, and educators in the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, will help visitors to Baltimore's Port Discovery Children's Museum understand how scientists discover at the nanoscale and create devices from nano-sized building blocks. NanoFabulous will serve as an addition and enhancement to the Museum's current Nano exhibit which features hands-on components that focus on the basics of nanoscience, real world applications of nano, and the societal and ethical implications of this new technology. The exhibit will be displayed at Port Discovery from April 10, 2012 through October 2012. For more information, visit www.portdiscovery.org.

The 7th annual BEES Organismal Biology Day was held on April 16th, at the Nyumburu Cultural Center, campus highlighted by a symposium “Thinking Big: Using Comparative Approaches to Address Evolutionary Questions.” Speakers included Dr. Brian O'Meara, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Dr. Jeffrey W. Shultz, Department of Entomology, University of Maryland, Dr. Ted Schultz, Curator of Hymenoptera (Ants), Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Dr. Stacey DeWitt Smith, School of Biological Sciences, University of Nebraska, Lincoln and Dr. Steven Smith, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Michigan.

The 17th Annual High School Programming Contest was held on April 21. Computer Science hosted the students and their coaches from high schools throughout the Washington DC metropolitan area. The top three winners were: Montgomery Blair High School (Silver Spring, MD); Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (Alexandria, VA) and La Plata High School (La Plata, MD). The 2012 Gannon Prize, given to the school that shows the most improved ranking, was awarded to Poolesville High School (Poolesville, MD). 

The 15th Annual Spring 2012 University of Maryland Physics Olympics was held on Saturday, April 21, 2012. Founded in 1979 teams from high schools in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia compete in eight events to determine the championship school. This year, First place went to Walter Johnson-Team 1 (Bethesda, MD) and 2nd place to Northwest High School (Germantown, MD) and Boonsboro-White Team (Boonsboro, MD).

zeroK Nanotech, founded by Brenton Knuffman and Adam Steele (both IREAP) won first place in the 2012 Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute 75K Business Plan Competition, Graduate Student, Faculty and Researchers category. zeroK Nanotech is developing ion source technologies that enable precise machining, analysis and imaging of materials on nanometer-length scales.

Anthony Busalacchi (ESSIC and AOSC) and Steve Halperin (Mathematics) participated in an Executive Round Table on Climate, Private Sector Engagement, and Strategic Forecasting, April 25-26, in Asheville, NC with participants from the private sector, universities and NOAA. The meeting focused on how U.S. business, and the economy as a whole, could be better prepared for weather and climate changes that may take place in the future.

Rita Colwell (Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics and UMIACS) was the inaugural speaker of the Russell Women in Science Lecture Series: Leadership Beyond the Lab, Mills College, Oakland, CA on April 17. In her address, “A Changing Climate in Human Health: Empowering Women in a Global Society,” Colwell explained how educating women in basic scientific concepts empowers them to take control of their lives and improve the health of their communities. She also discussed the challenges she has personally faced throughout her career as a woman scientist as well as the current state of women working and studying in scientific fields.

Lise Getoor (Computer Science and UMIACS) gave a distinguished lecture at the Capital Region Celebration of Women in Computing (CAPWIC), held in Fredericksburg, VA, April 13-14. CAPWIC 2012 is one of a series of Regional Grace Hopper Celebrations of Women in Computing, bringing together women in computing from all stages of their careers. http://www.capwic.org/index.php. On March 29, Getoor was an invited speaker in the Carnegie Mellon Machine Learning-Google Distinguished Lecture Series.

Bob Hudson (AOSC) was the speaker at the Marquee Lecture Series in Science and Technology April 16, discussing “More Snow in Recent Winters…Global Warming, Fact or Fiction.” Jordan Goodman and Steven Rolston (Physics) gave the February 28 Marquee Lecture entitled “The Future for Global Energy and Climate.” The lecture series features University of Maryland faculty, and explores science and technology in the context of social, economic and ethical issues.

Brian Hunt (Mathematics and IPST), Dan Lathrop (Physics, Geology, IREAP and IPST), Tom Murphy (IREAP and ECE), Rajarshi Roy (Physics, IPST and IREAP), graduate students Caitlin Williams, Aaron Hagerstrom, David Meichle, Jiang Xu (all Physics) and Hien Dao (Chemical Physics) are participating in the Hands-On Research in Complex Systems School, June 17-29, 2012, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China. The Hands-On Research in Complex Systems Schools are designed to introduce graduate students and young faculty from developing countries to table-top scientific research on problems at the frontiers of science. Experiments on physical, chemical, and biological systems are conducted with modern yet inexpensive digital instrumentation, and the laboratory work is complemented by mathematical modeling and data analysis using Matlab.

Chris Kidd (ESSIC) presented his latest work on the merger of multi-source precipitation retrievals at the European Geosciences Union conference, Vienna, Austria, April 22-27. He also judged a number of student posters for an Outstanding Student Poster Award in the atmospheric sciences division. 

Atif Memon (Computer Science and UMIACS) will give an invited talk at the 20th CREST Open Workshop on his work on the oracle issue for automated testing. The workshop is being held at University College London, May 21-22.

Dianne P. O'Leary (Computer Science and UMIACS) was a 2012 Cray Distinguished Speaker, April 2, at the Computer Science and Engineering Department, University of Minnesota where she gave a talk on “Image Restoration from a Machine Learning Perspective.” 

Victoria Pugh (Undergraduate student, Biology-Physiology and Neurobiology and Art Studio) was featured in the Frederick News Post, April 10, particularly her research project on brain neuron regeneration through olfactory stimuli in mice which was published in Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, August 2011 with co-authors Alexia Nunez-Parra and Ricardo Arenda (Biology). After graduation in May, Pugh will start dental school at Columbia University.

Michael Raupp (Entomology) participated in the Wheaton, MD Earth Day celebrations, April 22 at Brookside Gardens by reading from his children’s book, 26 Things That Bug Me.

Raj Roy (Physics, IPST and IREAP) will give an invited talk at the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL on May 2, 2012 on Synchronization in Physical Networks: Chaos, Communication and Chimeras in the Laboratory. He is also giving a talk at the Experimental Chaos Conference, May 16-19, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Hanan Samet (Computer Science and UMIACS) has been selected by ACM to serve as the Founding Editor-in-Chief (EIC) of the new ACM journal titled ACM Transactions on Spatial Algorithms and Systems (TSAS).

Jan V. Sengers (IPST) gave an invited seminar at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, CO on March 29 on "Light scattering and shadowgraph measurements of nonequilibrium fluctuations in fluids".

Katerina Thompson (Dean’s office) is the invited keynote speaker at the Quantitative Skills (QS) in Science Symposium, Sydney, Australia, December 10-11. The QS in Science project promotes and supports strategic change in higher education via the enhancement of learning and teaching in science and mathematics.

Victor Yakovenko (Physics) presented an invited lecture at the Department of Physics, New York University, April 19 and at the New School for Social Research, Economics Department’s Symposium in Honor of Duncan K. Foley, April 20, on Statistical Mechanics of Money, Income, Wealth, and Energy Consumption.

In The News

Irene Barnett and Murthy Gudipati (both IPST), with Antti Lignell of JPL, published an article in The Astrophysical Journal, March edition, reporting on their experiments to determine if organic matter could survive and be detected through remote sensing or in situ explorations of these surfaces, such as water ice-rich Europa. Their experiments addressed the quantification issue at lower electron energies (100 eV-2keV) through rigorous laboratory data analysis obtained using a novel methodology. The team placed organic detector molecules behind ice of varying thickness, then fired an electron gun at them. They measured not only how deeply the electrons themselves traveled, but also the penetration of the photons knocked loose by the electrons -- a secondary effect that other experiments did not track. Media coverage included Space Daily, PhysOrg, Space.com and SiloBreaker.

Dennis Bodewits (Astronomy) was quoted in Space Daily, April 17, in an article on the comet Garrardd. The research team, including Stefan Immler, Michael A'Hearn and Tony Farnham (Astronomy) and NASA Goddard's Wayne Landsman, is tracking the comet which offers a unique opportunity to study a comet both long before and long after it reaches is closet point to the Sun. The team began following the comet, formally designated C/2009 P1, a year ago when it was inbound toward the Sun, but still some 320 million miles away. The comet passed its closest point to the Sun, called its perihelion, in December and was at its closest to Earth in March. Using NASA's Swift satellite, the team plans to study this unusually dust-rich comet, for an equal distance on the outward-bound leg of its new orbit. Amateur astronomers can view the comet through small telescopes for the remainder of the month

Anthony Busalacchi (ESSIC and AOSC) was featured in Climate Central, April 17, regarding his dual life as both a Climate Scientist and a "Certified Specialist of Spirits." The article highlights how Busalacchi has utilized his own expertise and experience to establish a strong inter-connection between the two specializations.

Galen Dively (Entomology) and Michael Raupp (Entomology) were quoted on WTOP and in the Frederick News Post, April 5, on the effects of a mild winter on the bug population, particularly stink bugs.

James Gates (Physics) co-wrote the editorial in Science, March 30 on the second recently released report by the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) entitled "Engage to Excel: Producing One Million Additional College Graduates with Degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics" which focuses on reducing the dropout rate from STEM fields.

Thomas Holtz (Geology) was quoted in ScienceNow, April 4 in a story on the discovery of the largest feathered tyrannosauroid, Yutyrannus huali, from the lower cretaceous Yixian formation of Liaoning Province, China. Media coverage included the National Geographic, Los Angeles Times, Toronto Star, PhysOrg, Washington Post and ScienceNow.

The IceCube Collaboration, spokesperson Greg Sullivan (Physics), published their study in Nature, April 19, saying that a search for neutrinos emitted from 300 gamma ray bursts, unexpectedly found none. Because neutrinos are believed to accompany cosmic ray production, this result contradicts 15 years of predictions and challenges one of the two leading theories for the origin of the highest energy cosmic rays. Sullivan leads the UMD contingent that also includes Kara Hoffman, Jordan Goodman, Erik Blaufuss, Alex Olivas and Henrike Wissing. Graduate and undergraduate students and alumnus Peter Redl (2011 Ph.D. Physics) also made major contributions to the study. Media coverage included, but is not limited to, BBC News, Sky and Telescope, CBS News, The Australian, Epoch Times, Space Daily and Red Orbit.

David Inouye (Biology) was quoted in LiveScience, April 13 in an article on the earlier arrival of spring, the effect on insects, flowers, birds and the human implication of the shifts in seasonal events.

Da Ma, Ben Zhang, James Wittenberg, Peter Zavalij and Lyle Isaacs (all Chemistry and Biochemistry), with Gaya Hettiarachchi, Duc Nguyen, and Volker Briken (all Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics) published an article in Nature Chemistry, April 15 on their research and design of a molecular container that can encapsulate drug molecules and increase their solubility. The new container exhibits low in vitro toxicity in human liver, kidney and monocyte cell lines and can be built from readily available reagents. Media coverage included Chemistry World, Chemspy, Escience News and Silobreaker.

William McDonough (Geology) was featured in the cover article for New Scientist, April 28, entitled "Messengers from the Underworld." The article discussed neutrino detection in the pursuit of understanding the composition, structure and evolution of the Earth. Research being conducted by Geology Graduate Student Yu Huang, using geological and seismic data, was mentioned in the "Inside Sources" section.

Cole Miller (Astronomy) was quoted in MIT News, March 1, about a new thermonuclear burster that, unlike previous bursters, appears to conform to theoretical expectations.

The National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SeSync) was the subject of an article in the Chesapeake Bay Journal, April edition. The Center is designed to help the nation and world create (synthesize) balanced, workable ways to meet human economic and development needs while improving and maintaining the health of the natural systems upon which humans also depend.

Margaret Palmer (Entomology and SeSync) was quoted in the International Business Times, April 3, on her recent trip to Pyongyang, Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) where she attended a conference, sponsored by AAAS, to take stock DPRK's ecological situation, share ideas on how to restore its ecosystems and improve the country's food security.

Jeffrey Shultz (Entomology and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History) was quoted in International Business Times, April 5, in a story on why insects cross their legs when they die.

The New York Times, April 4 and 13, published articles on new apps, featuring, among others, Leafsnap and M-Urgency respectively. Leafsnap helps identify trees when users snap pictures of the leaves and M-Urgency audio and video are streamed to police monitors with your location. Leafsnap was also mentioned in The Star Press, April 3, in a story on garden apps.

Dennis Van Engelsdorp (Entomology) was quoted in Chemical & Engineering News, April 2, in an article on exposing honeybee and bumblebee hives to two common pesticides.

Alumni News

College alumni and friends were among those honored at the annual Alumni Association Awards Gala which took place on April 14:

  • YOUNG ALUMNUS OF THE YEAR
    Eddie Frederick, (2003 B.S. Computer Science, Mathematics)
    Co-Founder, LivingSocial
  • INTERNATIONAL ALUMNUS OF THE YEAR
    Ravi Kuchimanchi (1991 M.S., and 1995 Ph.D. Physics, advisor Rabindra Mohapatra)
    Founder, Association for India's Development
  • CMNS ALUMNUS OF THE YEAR
    John Quinn, (1958 Ph.D. Physics)
    Professor and Willis Lincoln Chair of Excellence, Department of Physics, University of Tennessee
  • HONORARY ALUMNI ASSOCIATION MEMBERS
    Tom and Mary Snitch
    CMNS Board of Visitors Member and Volunteers

Sonify Biosciences LLC, founded by Miriam Boer (2011 Ph.D. Biochemistry, advisor Sergei Sukharev), was one of the winners in the Recent Alumni Category of the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute's (Mtech) 2012 University of Maryland $75K Business Plan Competition. Sonify Biosciences is developing a novel melanoma treatment based on non-chemical, non-ablative ultrasound technology. Student, faculty and recent alumni teams were selected from 91 initial entries and nine finalists, who gave investor presentations to teams of expert judges on April 20.

James Hague (2002 M.S. Astronomy) was a speaker at the April 12 Astronomy Career Paths Seminar "A View to the Hill?" Hague, who is Legislative Assistant to Senator Mark Udall (Colorado), discussed how he transitioned from the graduate program in astronomy at Maryland to a new career as a science staffer on Capitol Hill. Hague answered questions about making that career change, and led a discussion on getting your message across on the Hill.

Kelly O'Quin (2011 Ph.D. BEES, advisor Karen Carleton), has been awarded a University of Maryland Distinguished Dissertation Award for 2011. The Award recognizes original work that makes an unusually significant contribution to the discipline and only four fellowships are awarded annually. The recipients are honored at the Graduate School Annual Awards Ceremony, May 1, 2012, at 3:00 p.m., in the David C. Driskell Center.

Pooja Sankar (2004 M.S. Computer Science) was the subject of an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 1. Sankar is the Founder and CEO of Piazza, a free, online collaboration platform for students and teachers to communicate.

Nam-Sung (Stephen) Woo (1983 Ph.D. Computer Science, advisor Ashok Agrawala) returned to campus April 26 to give a talk entitled "Supercomputer in your hand: history and future direction." Woo is President and General Manger, System LSI Business, Samsung Electronics Device Solutions. Woo joined Samsung Electronics in 2004 as EVP and Head of Mobile Solution Development at its System LSI Business and in 2007 was appointed head of SOC Research and Development. He became General Manager in May 2008 and was promoted to President in December 2010. Prior to joining Samsung Electronics, he served in several senior management positions at Texas Instruments.