Search Google Appliance

CMNS e-News - December 2012 - January 2013

Vol. 3, No. 2
Please submit items to the editor, Mary Kearney.

Contents

Announcements

President Obama has named James Gates (Physics) as one of this year’s recipients of the National Medal of Science. The National Medal of Science and the National Medal of Technology and Innovation are the highest honors bestowed by the United States Government upon scientists, engineers, and inventors. Awarded annually, the Medal recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to science and engineering. This year’s 12 Medal of Science and 11 Medal of Technology and Innovation awardees received their awards at a White House ceremony on February 1 - listen to audio from the ceremony here. Gates has also been appointed to the position of University System of Maryland (USM) Regents Professor in recognition of his international achievements in the field of physics, service to the university and the citizens of Maryland and serving as ambassador for both the university and the field of physics.

NASA has awarded a $36 million cooperative funding agreement to the University of Maryland to continue collaborative research in the field of earth systems science. The five-year agreement funds an already established partnership between NASA’s Earth Sciences Division, located at the Goddard Space Flight Center (GFSC), and the university’s Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center (ESSIC) to study and forecast impacts of the Earth’s connected systems on global and regional environment, weather and climate. The agreement will continue to give GFSC’s Earth Sciences Division access to ESSIC’s academic and research faculty, students and its collaboration with NOAA, including ESSIC’s partnership with NOAA’s National Center for Weather and Climate Prediction in the University of Maryland M Square Research Park and the Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites (CICS).

“The Day I Said ‘Nyet!’ to Gorbachev… and Other Life Tales of a Famous Soviet Scientist”
Date and Time: Thursday, February 7, 8:30pm-10:00pm
Location: 2103 Inn and Conference Center, 3501 University Blvd. East, Hyattsville, MD
Distinguished University of Maryland Professor Roald Z. Sagdeev will discuss “The Day I Said ‘Nyet!’ to Gorbachev… and Other Life Tales of a Famous Soviet Scientist” with journalist Daniel Zwerdling, an award-winning correspondent and investigative journalist with National Public Radio. Sagdeev ran the Soviet space program and advised Soviet leaders on the nuclear arms race. He’ll talk about love, communism, physics and the end of the Soviet Union. The interview, which is free and open to the public, is part of the "Sagdeev at 80" symposium sponsored by the University of Maryland Department of Physics and the Eisenhower Institute. For further information, please contact Nick Hammer (nshammer@umd.edu or 301.405.5946).

Heather Dewar has joined CMNS as a science writer/media coordinator. Heather comes to us from the national headquarters of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service where she was the media manager for the Service's largest branch. Heather was responsible for social media strategy and policy; she wrote in-depth reports and articles and coordinated the multi-media promotion of events. Prior to her stint at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Heather was an award winning journalist who worked for various news organizations such as the Baltimore Sun, Knight Ridder Newspapers, the Miami Herald, and the Miami News. She has a B.A. in English literature from Harvard College and a Masters in science writing from Johns Hopkins University.

Honors and Awards

One of 17 teams representing UMD won 2nd place in the 2013 Windward Code Wars, a day-long competition that gathers students from top universities around the world to analyze a programming problem, create a solution and pit their skills against each other. "String Theory," a team of Computer Science and Computer Engineering freshmen, included Eric Jeney, Brendan Rowan, Daniel Sun, Matt Bender and Kevin Harrison. Code Wars was created and is run by Windward Studios and is sponsored by Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, JetBrains and Morgan Stanley.

Larry Davis (Computer Science and UMIACS) has been elected as a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) “for contributions to image processing and computer vision.” The Fellows Program was established by Council in 1993 to recognize and honor outstanding ACM members for their achievements in computer science and information technology and for their significant contributions to the mission of the ACM. The ACM Fellows serve as distinguished colleagues to whom the ACM and its members look for guidance and leadership as the world of information technology evolves.

Michael Folmer (ESSIC) was recognized by the NASA Short-term Prediction Research and Transition Center (SPoRT) "for outstanding efforts to integrate experimental data into a National Center or Weather Forecast Office operations," December 2012. SPoRT is a NASA project to transition unique observations and research capabilities to the operational weather community to improve short-term forecasts on a regional scale.

Computer Science Graduate Student Huimin Guo (advisor Larry Davis) won the Best Student Paper Award at the Asian Conference on Computer Vision, 2012:  Huimin Guo, Zhuolin Jiang and Larry S. Davis, "Discriminative Dictionary Learning with Pairwise Constraints". http://www.umiacs.umd.edu/~zhuolin/Publications/DDLPairWise.pdf

Howard Milchberg (Physics, ECE, IPST and IREAP) was named a 2012 Fellow of the Optical Society of America in recognition of his efforts in advancing the field of optics.

Hanan Samet (Computer Science and UMIACS) received a "best paper" award at the 1st ACM SIGSPATIAL International Workshop on Mobile Geographic Information Systems. The paper, entitled "Duking it out at the smartphone mobile app mapping API Corral: Apple, Google, and the competition," discussed the various smartphone mapping platforms with a specific comparison of Apple Maps (iOS6) and Google Maps (Android and iOS5). Samet was recently presented with 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.

Peter Teuben (Astronomy) has been named Chair of the Advisory Committee for the Astrophysics Source Code Library (ASCL). The ASCL is a free, online reference library for source codes that have been used to generate results for refereed astronomy or astrophysics journal articles. This is expected to be a tremendous resource for the Astronomy field.

Astronomy Undergraduate Student Steffi Yen won a Chambliss Honorable Mention for the poster she presented at the American Astronomical Society meeting, January 6-10, 2013, Long Beach, CA. Yen's research was on damped Lyman-alpha galaxies conducted during her REU internship in Hawaii, summer 2012. The awards are given by the American Astronomical Society to recognize exemplary research by undergraduate and graduate students who present at one of the poster sessions at the meetings of the AAS.

Contracts/Grants

Michael A'Hearn (Astronomy), NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, $491,800 increase in funding bringing the total award to $3,127,253, "Small Bodies Node (SBN) of NASA's Planetary Data Systems (PDS)."

Anthony Busalacchi (AOSC and ESSIC), NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, $273,127 increase in funding bringing the total award to $1,154,633, "Collaborative Earth System Science Research between NASA/GSFC and UMD."

Anthony Busalacchi (AOSC and ESSIC) and Mathew Sapiano (ESSIC), NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, $131,310 in additional funding bringing the total to $659,680, "Spatio-temporal Variability and Error Structure of Sea Surface Salinity in the Tropics."

James Carton (AOSC and ESSIC) and Semyon Grodsky (AOSC), NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, $153,613 increase in funding bringing the total award to $302,410, "Mesoscale Eddies & their Role in Regulation of High Salinity Pools in the Subtropical Gyres."

Michael Cox (UMIACS), Office of Naval Research, $112,500 increase in funding bringing the total award to $312,500, "A Metacognitive, Integrated Dual-cycle Architecture for Self-regulated Autonomy."

Wojciech Czaja, John Benedetto and Morgan McLean (all Mathematics), Defense Threat Reduction Agency, $349,328, "Methodologies for Autonomous Radiological and Multi-mode Information Collection."

Sankar Das Sarma (Physics and JQI), Niels Bohr Institute, $578,250, "Multi-Qubit."

Larry Davis (Computer Science and UMIACS), Air Force Research Laboratory, $225,354 increase in funding bringing the total to $440,302, "E-VERIFY: Constraint Driven Generation of Vision Algorithms on an Elastic Infrastructure."

Larry Davis (Computer Science and UMIACS) and Isaac Weiss (UMIACS), Air Force Research Laboratory, $250,528 increase in funding bringing the total to $489,637, "Dual Hierarchical Graph Method for Object Indexing and Recognition."

Howard Elman (Computer Science and UMIACS), DOE-Office of Science, $250,000, "Fast Computational Algorithms for Partial Differential Equations and Uncertainty Quantification."

Lori Feaga (Astronomy), NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, $107,992 increase in funding bringing the total award to $442,403, "Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS) Mission Operations."

Catherine Fenselau and Sangbok Lee (Chemistry and Biochemistry), NIH-National Institute of General Medical Sciences, $325,573 increase in funding bringing the total to $1,028,251, "Plasma Membrane Proteins in Myeloid-derived Suppressor Cells."

Michael Fuhrer (Physics and IREAP), Sankar Das Sarma (Physics and JQI) and William Cullen (Physics), Office of Naval Research, $350,000 in additional funding bringing the total to $3,433,334, "Tailoring Electronic Properties of Graphene at the Nanoscale."

David Fushman (Chemistry and Biochemistry and UMIACS), NIH-National Institute of General Medical Sciences, $265,676 increase in funding bringing the total to $560,871, "Solution Structure and Dynamics of Polyubiquitin Chains."

Richard Greene, Ichiro Takeuchi and Johnpierre Paglione (Physics), Air Force Office of Scientific Research, $1,000,000 increase in funding bringing the total to $4,600,000, "Empirical Search for New Superconductors."

Douglas Hamilton (Physics), The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, $120,000, "Cassini."

Cerruti Hooks and Galen Dively (both Entomology), Rutgers, $112,711, "Organic Management of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug."

Paul Julienne and Sankar Das Sarma (both Physics and JQI), Air Force Office of Scientific Research, $311,699 increase in funding bringing the total amount to $2,857,579, "Ultracode Polar Molecules: New Phases of Matter for Quantum Information and Quantum Control."

June Kwak (Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics), NSF, $255,261, "Molecular Genetic Dissection of Calcium Signaling in Plants."

Kevin McIver (Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics), NIH-National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, $254,677 in additional funding bringing the total to $540,487, "Analysis of Mga from the Group A Streptococcus."

Amy Mullin (Chemistry and Biochemistry), DOE-Chicago, $160,000 increase in funding bringing the total to $709,615, "Dynamics of Activated Molecules."

Lee Mundy (Astronomy), NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, $757,936 increase in funding bringing the total to $26,534,010, "The Goddard Center for Research and Exploration in Space Science and Technology."

Doug Oard (UMIACS and CLIS), IBM, $654,760 in additional funds, bringing the total to $1,287,030, "Evaluation and Translation Techniques in Support of DARPA BOLT Program Activity A."

Edward Ott (Physics and IREAP) and Michelle Girvan (Physics, IPST and IREAP), Army Research Office, $100,000 additional funding bringing the total to $190,500, "The Role of Network Structure in the Dynamics of Discrete State Systems."

Paul Paukstelis (Chemistry and Biochemistry), NSF, $100,000 increase in funding bringing the total to $200,000, "CAREER: Non-canonical Base Pairs for the Construction and Application of DNA Crystals."

Rachel Pinker (AOSC), NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, $152,854, "Integration of Satellite Products of Radiative Fluxes in Support of Hydrological Modeling."

Mihai Pop (Computer Science and UMIACS), University of Maryland-Baltimore, $162,179 additional funds bringing the total award to $453,925, "Metagenomics-based Discovery of New Viral Pathogens Causing Diarrheal Disease."

Eun-Suk Seo (Physics and IPST), NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, $500,000 in additional funding bringing the total to $2,621,608, "Approaching the Cosmic Ray Knee with the CREAM Balloon-borne Experiment."

Eun-Suk Seo (Physics and IPST), NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, $116,446 in additional funding bringing the total to $771,101, "Cosmic Ray Secondaries and Dark Matter."

Jeffrey Shultz and Leslie Pick (both Entomology), NSF, $280,000 increase in funding bringing the total award to $750,000, "Rapid Hox Gene Evolution and the Arthropod Body Plan."

Joshua Singer (Biology), NIH-National Eye Institute, $302,690 in additional funding bringing the total to $610,195, "CRCNS: Biophysical Properties of Parallel Neural Circuits Serving Night Vision."

Ian Spielman (Physics and JQI), Army Research Office, $320,205 in additional funding bringing the total to $1,295,642, "MURI: Atomtronics: Material and Device Physics of Quantum Gases."

Neil Spring (Computer Science and UMIACS), Naval Research Laboratory, $139,362, "Path Assured, Instrumented Mesh Communication Substrate."

Daniel Stein (Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics), NIH-National Institute of Allergy and infectious Diseases, $198,471 in additional funding bringing the total to $1,112,267, "Genetic Variation in Genes Involved in Neisseria Gonorrhoeae LOS Biosynthesis."

Greg Sullivan (Physics), University of Wisconsin-Madison, $350,000 increase in funding bringing the total award to $1,729,219, "IceCube Neutrino Observatory Maintenance and Operations."

Arpita Upadhyaya (Physics and IPST), NSF, $114,453 increase in funding bringing the total to $264,688, "Collaborative Research: Regulation of Cellular Mechanics by Crosslinked Actin Networks."

Sylvain Veilleux (Astronomy), Cal Tech Jet Propulsion Lab, $100,000 increase in funding bringing the total award to $250,000, "Cycle 2 Herschel Studies of Galactic Winds."

Fred Wellstood (Physics), Neocera, $167,847 increase in funding bringing the total to $636,778, "E-VERIFY: Magnetic Field Imaging for Stacked Chip 3D Fault Isolation."

Peter Yoon (IPST), NSF, $100,000, "Study of Solar Energetic Electrons."

James Yorke (Mathematics, Physics and IPST), Johns Hopkins University, $307,930, "Loblolly Pine Genome Project."

Wenlu Zhu (Geology), DOE-Washington, $120,261 increase in funding bringing the total to $571,719, "Collaborative Research: Evolution of Pore Structure and Permeability of Rocks Under Hydrothermal Conditions."

What's New

CyberSTEM camp is a one-week commuter summer program at the University of Maryland, College Park for middle school (incoming 7th and 8th grade) girls who are interested in the growing field of cybersecurity. This 5 day experience provides hands-on activities focused on STEM and cybersecurity topics. Attendees will learn and apply basic concepts of programming, forensics, cryptography, and program management from a series of gaming, modeling, and simulation activities, which explore the interconnections of science, math, technology, and computers. This camp will be held on July 22-26, 2013. Application and information: http://cyber.umd.edu/education.

Cyber Defense Training Camp is an intermediate level 7 day summer program for high school men and women (rising juniors and seniors). Students will live on campus for one week (Sunday-Saturday) at the University of Maryland, College Park and expand their knowledge of cybersecurity. Topics include Operating Systems, System Administration, Networking, and Programming. Technical experience is recommended, including Cisco Academy, and/or Java programming. This camp will be held on July 7-13, 2013. Application and information: http://cyber.umd.edu/education.

Victor Basili (Professor Emeritus, Computer Science and UMIACS) was elected Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board for the Software Validation and Verification Laboratory at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT), University of Luxembourg, Duchy of Luxembourg. His five year appointment began on January 22, 2013. Basili gave the SnT distinguished lecture, "Improving Software Engineering methods, techniques, and tools through application," at the University of Luxembourg, January 23.

Tony Busalacchi (AOSC and ESSIC) has been elected as the Chair-Elect of the AAAS Section on Atmospheric and Hydrospheric Sciences, beginning February 19, 2013. The Section Chair serves a three-year term — in the first year as Chair-Elect, in the second year as Chair and in the third year as Retiring Chair.

Sinead Farrell (ESSIC) chaired, and ESSIC hosted, a meeting on January 18, 2013 to discuss current and emerging cryospheric research opportunities at the University of Maryland. Over 35 UMD, NOAA, and NASA scientists attended the half-day meeting. A follow-up meeting will be planned at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in the near future.

Lise Getoor (Computer Science and UMIACS) gave an invited tutorial on December 3 at The Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS) Foundation, one of the top-tier machine learning conferences. There were over 400 attendees at the tutorial. More information.

Michelle Girvan (Physics and IPST) and Dan Lathrop (Physics, Geology, IPST and IREAP) gave invited talks at Dynamics Days US 2013, January 3-6, University of Colorado at Boulder. Ed Ott (Physics and IREAP) was an Organizing Committee member.

Jeff Hollingsworth (Computer Science and UMIACS) was selected by the Computing Research Association (CRA) for the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) Leadership in Science Policy Institute (LiSPI) in Washington, D.C. The LiSPI is intended to educate computing researchers on how science policy in the U.S. is formulated and how our government works. A 2-day workshop is scheduled for April 11-12 in Washington, D.C. For more details about the workshop, please visit: http://cra.org/ccc/spi.

David Inouye (Biology) was a presenter at the American Geophysical Union conference, "When Winter Changes: Hydrological, Ecological, and Biogeochemical Responses" session, held December 3-7 in San Francisco. Inouye's presentation was on glacier lilies and the broad-tailed hummingbirds being out of sync.

Melissa Kenney (ESSIC) is a lead author of the Decision Support chapter in the 3rd National Climate Assessment synthesis report, a draft of which was released for public comment on January 14, 2013 by the National Climate Assessment Development and Advisory Committee.

Scientific American named Leafsnap as one of the top 10 apps for smartphones and tablets, December 25. Leafsnap, developed by David Jacobs (Computer Science and UMIACS), Peter Belhumeur of Columbia University and John Kress of the Smithsonian-National Museum of Natural History, is a free mobile app that uses visual recognition software to help identify tree species from photographs of their leaves.

Mark Moretto, a student at Briarcliff High School in New York who has been working with Mike A'Hearn and Lori Feaga (both Astronomy) has been selected as a semi-finalist for the Intel Science Talent Search (Intel STS), "the nation's most prestigious pre-college science competition." Moretto's project is entitled "Deep Impact Spectral Observations of Naturally Occurring Mini-Outbursts." There are 300 Intel STS semi-finalists nationwide, each receiving a $1000 award for outstanding research. The finalists, determined within the next few weeks, will attend the Intel Science Talent Institute and undergo further judging in March, sharing $630,000 in awards.

Raghu Murtugudde (AOSC and ESSIC) gave invited talks on "Optimal Physics for Actionable Climate Information," at the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Goa, India (NIO), January 2 and "Do we really understand ENSO?" on January 3. On January 6 he talked about "From the Big Bang to the Cooperative Species" at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune.

Zhihong Nie (Chemistry and Biochemistry) gave an invited talk on "Self-assembly of polymer-inorganic nanoparticle hybrids" at DuPont Central Research and Development, December 11, 2012.

A symposium recognizing the lifetime contributions to Fish Bioacoustics and the Hearing Sciences by Arthur Popper (Biology) and Richard Fay (Loyola University Chicago), will be held May 25 at the Mote Marine Lab, Sarasota, Florida. The meeting will feature talks on a wide range of topics, including those that review the historical contributions of Popper and Fay to the field of fish bioacoustics and talks that trace their academic heritage in terms of both research and the training of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. More information.

Physics World's compilation of the year's biggest discoveries included the work of several UMD physicists. The highest-rated discovery was that of the Higgs particle reported by the ATLAS and CMS collaborations at CERN. Professors Drew Baden, Sarah Eno, Nick Hadley and Andris Skuja are all collaborators on CMS, and have made significant contributions in the building, running, and analysis of the data. Professor Alberto Belloni will join the department from ATLAS in January, and will become the fifth faculty member on CMS, an international collaboration. More information.

Louiqa Raschid (Computer Science and UMIACS) is the founding director of the Sahana Software Foundation (SSF), a world leading disaster information management product that was used to support Occupy Sandy – a volunteer effort to bring assistance to some of the devastated NY/NJ communities. Raschid was recently appointed editor in chief for ACM Journal of Data and Information Quality.

Philip Resnik (Linguistics and UMIACS), partnered with Frank N. Magid Associates to take a comprehensive, real-time look at how consumers engage with the Super Bowl (February 3), and its advertising. The research will use React Lab's innovative mobile technology – developed at the University of Maryland – to measure how engaged viewers are, their reaction to the Super Bowl and its commercials, and if they plan to buy any of the products advertised. Read more.

Peter Shawhan (Physics) has been appointed to the Editorial Board of the journal "Classical and Quantum Gravity," published by the Institute of Physics (IOP). Shawhan is working on the project Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) which is designed to detect gravitational waves coming from distant astrophysical objects such as black holes, neutron stars, cosmic strings, or the core of a massive star when it collapses and creates a supernova.

Ben Shneiderman (Computer Science and UMIACS) and Jennifer Golbeck (Information Studies and Computer Science) are featured in an Oracle Health Sciences Institute video about UMD research that is helping medical professionals analyze millions of patient records. This powerful data visualization tool is called EventFlow. Watch the video.

Paula Shrewsbury (Entomology) has been elected President of the Entomological Society of America-Eastern Branch beginning March 2014.

V.S. Subrahmanian (Computer Science and UMIACS) gave a keynote address at the Computer Society of India’s Annual Convention in Kolkata on December 1; was an invited speaker at the Dutch National Police's conference on Knowledge and Models in The Hague (December 2012); served as a member of the US-India Strategic Dialogue (January 2013) and gave a public lecture at the Aspen Institute in Delhi (January 2013) on how IT could be used for global counter-terrorism. Subrahmanian highlighted results and policy suggestions from his recent book analyzing the terrorist group "Lashkar-e-Taiba" that carried out the 2008 Mumbai attacks. This work was discussed by top policy makers from multiple countries. Subrahmanian was recently appointed to the Board of Reviewing Editors of Science magazine.

David Thirumalai (Chemistry and Biochemistry and IPST) has been appointed a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Statistical Physics (JSP), for a period of three years, from 2013-2015.

Sam Zbarsky, a Montgomery Blair high school student mentored by Samir Khuller (Computer Science and UMIACS), has advanced as a finalist in the 2013 Intel Science Talent Search. The Intel STS is the nation's most prestigious pre-college science competition. Only 40 finalists were chosen from 300 semifinalists. See the list of all finalists.

In The News

Francisco Becerra, Jingyun Fan and Alan Migdall (all JQI and NIST), with colleagues, published an article in Nature Photonics (online) January 6, demonstrating the first quantum receiver that un conditionally discriminates four nonorthogonal coherent states with error probabilities below the standard quantum limit. Their receiver achieves error rates four times lower than is possible with any ideal conventional receiver with perfect detection efficiency.

The eighth installment of the UMD-produced video news program, "TerpVision," features a segment on the newly opened NOAA Center for Weather and Climate Prediction (NCWCP) at the M-Square Research Park, with commentary by Antonio Busalacchi (AOSC and ESSIC). The report provides an overview of the technology and resources available at the new NCWCP facility, the types of research it will support, and how its proximity to the UMD campus and M-Square organizations like ESSIC will facilitate collaborative research.

Michael Cummings (Biology and UMIACS), with colleagues, published an article in PNAS (online before print December 17) reporting the discovery of genetic loci associated with drug-resistant malaria.

James Farquhar (Geology and ESSIC) was mentioned in Earth & Climate, December 10 in an article on research conducted with John Jamieson (2005 M.S. Geology) and colleagues and published (advance online) in Nature, December 2. Their analysis of sulfide ore deposits from one of the world's richest base-metal mines (Kidd Creek, Ontario, Canada) confirms that oxygen levels were extremely low on Earth 2.7 billion years ago, but also shows that microbes were actively feeding on sulfate in the ocean and influencing seawater chemistry during that geological time period.

Brenda Fredericksen (CBMG), Graduate Student Katherine Hussmann (BISI) and colleagues published an article in the Journal of Virology (online December 26, 2012). Their work compared the ability of pathogenic and nonpathogenic strains of West Nile virus (WNV) to replication in neurons, astrocytes, and microvascular endothelial cells, which comprise the neurovascular unit within the central nervous system. They demonstrated that nonpathogenic strains replicated in and traversed brain microvascular endothelial cells as efficiently as pathogenic strains. Likewise, similar levels of replication were detected in neurons. In contrast, replication of a nonpathogenic strain of WNV was delayed and reduced in astrocytes. Further characterization of WNV replication indicated that the reduced susceptibility of astrocytes to nonpathogenic strains was due to a combination of factors, including a delay in synthesis of the viral antigenome and a reduced ability to spread from cell-to-cell. Their work suggests that astrocytes may regulate WNV spread within the CNS, and therefore represent an attractive target for ameliorating WNV-induced neuropathology.

James Gates (Physics) was featured in The Washington Post, January 31 in an article pertaining to his recent selection as a recipient of the National Medal of Science as well as being named the University System of Maryland Regents Professor. The article, biographical in nature, included quotes from Chancellor Kirwan, Drew Baden (Physics Chair) and John P. Holdren, President Obama's science and technology advisor.

Thomas Holtz (Geology) was quoted in The Detroit News, December 3, in an article on a team of scientists who came up with a different age for the Grand Canyon's western section, which challenged conventional wisdom.

David Inouye (Biology) was quoted in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, January 16, on research conducted by Stanley Temple (University of Wisconsin-Madison) which analyzed long-term flowering records on dozens of species kept by Henry D. Thoreau beginning in 1852 and Aldo Leopold (beginning in 1935).

Paul Julienne (JQI and NIST) published a Nature News and Views article on low temperature physics, December 19. Julienne's article referred to research conducted by Stuhl et al. describing a breakthrough in molecular cooling and published in the same edition (page 396).

Daniel Kirk-Davidoff (AOSC) published a News & Views article in Nature Climate Change, February 2013 edition, on recent studies on the effect of wind turbines on the wind.

Dan Lathrop (Physics, Geology, IPST and IREAP) appeared on the Discovery Channel-Canada, Daily Planet program, December 4, where he described his research project on the Earth's magnetic field: the MHD Turbulence and Dynamos" project. Watch the video.

Research undertaken by a group led by Wendell Hill (Physics, IPST and JQI) – Graduate Student Jeffrey Lee, Undergraduate Student Brian McIlvain and Chris Lobb (Physics and JQI) – and published in Nature Scientific Reports (DOI: 10.1038/srep01034) shows that atom capacitance is analogous to capacitance in an electronic circuit, the atomic resistance is analogous to the ballistic, or Sharvin resistance, and the atomic inductance is analogous to kinetic inductance.  The team constructed, using a thermal sample of laser-cooled rubidium atoms, a neutral-atom circuit analogous to an electronic capacitor discharged through a resistor. 

Ron Lipsman (Professor Emeritus, Mathematics) published an Opinion essay on the nature and behavior of mathematicians and, in particular, their social manifestations and economic motivations in Notices of the American Mathematical Society, December issue.

Brett Morris (Undergraduate Student, Astronomy), with Drake Deming (Astronomy) and Avi Mandell (NASA-GSFC) recently had a first-author paper accepted in Astrophysical Journal Letters on Kepler observations of planet-induced stellar gravity darkening in the Hat-P-7b exoplanet system.  The work was picked up by Science magazine (Science Now-ScienceShot), January 31.

Raghu Murtugudde (AOSC and ESSIC) was featured in The Hindu, January 29, in an article on his talk, "Big history: from big-bang to the cooperative species," to students at the Jawaharlal Nehru National College of Engineering, Shimoga. Murtugudde also wrote an article for FundaMatics, the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay Alumni Magazine, January 2013 issue, on climate change needing an "elephant whisperer" – to educate, inform and motivate people to act in a comprehensive manner, to encourage changes in lifestyles by providing solutions for everything, e.g. from how to minimize energy consumption to saving water as we brush our teeth.

Margaret Palmer (Entomology and SeSync) was interviewed by NPR, "The Story," December 12, describing her 2012 AAAS-sponsored trip to North Korea where she attended a conference to take stock of DPRK's ecological situation, share ideas on how to restore its ecosystems and improve the country's food security. Palmer, along with 14 other international scholars, met with 85 North Koreans to discuss ecological restoration options for that country. Listen to the interview.

Research and experiments conducted in the Center for Nanophysics and Advanced Materials (CNAM) by the teams of Johnpierre Paglione and Richard Greene (both Physics) were highlighted in Nature News, December 11 and Scientific American, December 12. The experiments, using a technique called point-contact spectroscopy, explored the nature of the Kondo insulator SmB6 and found that the material indeed hosts an unusual metallic surface state as predicted by Victor Galitski (Physics and JQI) and colleagues in 2009, even though the bulk of the material becomes insulating upon cooling.

Michael Raupp (Entomology) was interviewed on WTOP, January 8, on the possibility that the region will see a bigger crop of stink bugs in 2013.

Eric Rosenberg (Computer Science Undergraduate Student) was interviewed by the Washington Examiner, January 11, on a new Smartphone app created by Rosenberg and four friends. The app, Route Rider, helps people predict when university shuttle buses will come to local bus stops.

V.S. Subrahmanian (Computer Science and UMIACS), Aaron Mannes (UMIACS), Amy Sliva (2011 Ph.D. Computer Science), Jana Shakarian (UMIACS) and John Dickerson (Slate Magazine) published "Computational Analysis of Terrorist Groups: Lashkar-e-Taiba," the first book to do a comprehensive analysis of the behavior of terrorist groups and suggest mitigation policies using computational methods. With a foreword by former CIA Director Jim Woolsey and accolades from former Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell, Mumbai Stock Exchange head S. Ramadorai, and others, the book is already having a significant impact on international security circles in the US, India, and EU. More info on the book.

Research conducted by Ondrej Sramek, William McDonough and Vedran Lekic (all Geology) and colleagues was reported in Nature, Research Highlights, December 20. The researchers presented a plan for making measurements of neutrinos at two or more points in the Pacific Ocean to discriminate between different models of Earth's mantle architecture. Their research will be published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters.

Richard Walker and Igor Puchtel (both Geology) with colleagues, published an article in Science, December 21 on the radar-enabled recovery of the Sutter's Mill meteorite (April 2012) in El Dorado County CA. Analysis of the meteorite revealed it is a regolith breccias composed of CM (Mighei)-type carbonaceous chondrite and highly reduced xenolithic materials, exhibiting considerable diversity of mineralogy, petrography, and isotope and organic chemistry, resulting from a complex formation history of the parent body surface.

Katie Willis (Graduate Student, Biology), Catherine Carr (Biology) and colleagues, published an article in PLoS One, January 2013 edition, on research conducted on how turtles hear in different environments. The team took MRI and CT scans of the inner ears of most extant turtle families, as well as some extinct species. Their data supported the hypothesis of an aquatic origin for turtles, and that in every case these relatively large, air-filled sacks inside the skull resonated, or vibrated, more powerfully underwater, where sound waves travel more quickly than in air.

Alumni News

Stay Connected: College Alumni Association Chapter / Change of Address / CMNS Alumni Facebook Group / CMNS LinkedIn / Subscribe to CMNS Monthly e-Newsletter

Steven Armentrout (1994 Ph.D. Computer Science, advisor Jim Reggia), President and CEO of Parabon was quoted extensively in the media on researchers at Parabon NanoLabs developing a new approach for drug development that could drastically reduce the time required to create and test medications. "...What differentiates our nanotechnology from others is our ability to rapidly, and precisely, specify the placement of every atom in a compound that we design." The new technology, "Parabon EssemblixTM Drug Development Platform," uses a simple 'drag and drop' computer interface to assemble compounds atom by atom. On December 28 The Huffington Post listed the technology as one of "the 7 Best Inventions of 2012." The research was supported by a NSF Small Business Innovation Research grant, with Armentrout named the Principal Investigator. Media coverage included Wired, Aiken Leader, ExtremeTech, Pharmbiz, The Verge and io9. More information.

Dave Baggett (1992 B.S. Computer Science and Linguistics) was quoted in TechCrunch, December 27, in an article on Inky, his new email software company. Prior to founding Inky, Baggett co-founded ITA Software, and was instrumental in developing and licensing to Sony one of the first games for the Sony PlayStation, the highly successful Crash Bandicoot. For more information on Inky, a cloud-enabled desktop app, go to: http://inky.com/

Sergey Brin (1993 B.S. Computer Science and Mathematics) was the subject of an article in Mobiledia, December 10. Also mentioned were his parents, retired Mathematics Professor Michael Brin and retired NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center researcher Eugenia Brin. Read the article.

David Bushman (1987 M.S. and 1989 Ph.D. Entomology) was unanimously selected as the ninth president of Bridgewater College, VA beginning June 1, 2013. Bushman was the founding dean of the School of Natural Science and Mathematics, Mount St. Mary's University, since 2009. Prior to Mount St. Mary's he served as president of Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, N.C.

Allison Coffin (2005 Ph.D. Biology) has been named one of two co-series editors to the Springer Handbook of Auditory Research series by Art Popper (Biology) and his co-editor Richard Fay (Marine Biological Laboratory). The series, which enters its 21st year in 2013 and will see the publication of a very exciting and unique 50th volume, has been highly successful in bringing together the state-of-the-art knowledge in auditory neuroscience for the past 20 years. Coffin, an Assistant Professor of Neuroscience at Washington State University (Vancouver campus), has her own NIH-funded lab investigating the regeneration of sensory cells in zebrafish. Joseph Sisneros of the University of Washington is the second editor named.

Matt Disney (1997 B.S. Chemistry) is the recipient of the 2013 ACS Eli Lilly Award in Biological Chemistry for outstanding research in biological chemistry of unusual merit and independence of thought and originality. Disney, who earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Rochester, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry, Scripps Research Institute, Florida. More info.

Samuel Hammerman (1984 B.S. Zoology) was named Chief Medical Officer for Select Medical's division of 110 long-term acute care hospitals. Hammerman, who earned his M.D. from the Medical University of South Carolina, will continue to serve as a member of Select Medical's National Medical Advisory Board.

Simon Kasif (1983 M.S. and 1984 Ph.D. Computer Science, advisor Jack Minker), currently a professor at Boston University, was elected a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE).  Professor Kasif will be inducted to AIMBE in February 2013.  A participant in the Human Genome Consortium that produced the first public draft of the human genome, he is a co-founder of the Center for Advanced Genomic Technology (CAGT) with Charles DeLisi, co-founder of Combrex: Computational Bridges To Experiments Project with Rich Roberts and Martin Steffen (combrex.bu.edu), and a member of the I2B2 Center (Informatics for Integrating Biology and Bedside).

Randy Ribler (1980 B.S. Computer Science) was selected by the Vietnam Education Foundation as one of nine American professors to teach at Vietnamese universities as part of the Foundation's US Faculty Scholar Program. As a Fulbright Scholar, Ribler taught at the Vietnam National University (Hanoi) in 2006. Ribler, who earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Virginia Tech in 1997, is Professor and Chair of the Department of Computer Science at Lynchburg College.

Kartik Sheth (1997 M.S. and 2001 Ph.D. Astronomy, advisor Stuart Vogel) was featured in an NSF "Science Nation" report on the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile.  Sheth is an astronomer with the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in Charlottesville, VA, and is part of the team preparing ALMA for operation.  ALMA consists of 66 radio telescopes observing at millimeter and sub-millimeter wavelengths and is the most powerful array of its type in the world.  It will be fully operational in March.

Clay Siegall (1982 B.S. Zoology) has been appointed as an outside director to Mirna Therapeutics' Board of Directors. Siegall is President, CEO and chairman of the Board of Directors of Seattle Genetics and was the subject of an article in the October 2012 issue of Odyssey, the College's bi-annual publication.

James Wigand (1978 B.S. Zoology), Director-FDIC Office of Complex Financial Institutions, was the speaker at the Women in Housing and Finance "2013 Regulators Reception," January 15 in Washington, DC. Wigand offered observations on the FDIC's initial efforts to supervise the nation's largest financial institutions and plan for resolution should such an institution be placed into receivership. Wigand earned an MBA from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.