Search Google Appliance

CMNS e-News June 2012

Vol. 2, No. 7
Please submit items to the editor, Mary Kearney.

Contents

Honors and Awards

Neil Gehrels (Astronomy and NASA-GSFC) has been named the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) 2012 Harrie Massey Award recipient for outstanding contributions to the development of space research in which a leadership role is of particular importance. The award will be presented on July 16 during the 39th COSPAR Scientific Assembly, Mysore, India.

Eugenia Kalnay (AOSC, ESSIC and IPST) has been selected as the 2012 Lorenz Lecturer by the Nonlinear Geophysics Focus Group of the American Geophysical Union in recognition of her contributions to Nonlinear Geophysics. The lecture will be delivered at the AGU Fall Meeting, December 3-7, San Francisco, CA.

Sujay Kaushal (Geology and ESSIC) has been awarded the 2012 International Recognition of Professional Excellence (IRPE) prize. The prize honors a young ecologist (not older than 40 years) who has published uniquely independent, original and/or challenging research representing an important scientific breakthrough, and/or who must work under particularly difficult conditions.

Dan Lathrop (Physics, Geology, IREAP and IPST) has been awarded the 2012 Stanley Corrsin Award by the American Physical Society in recognition of “...his striking observations of flow in a quantum fluid including detection of counter-flow that confirmed the two-fluid picture of quantum fluid, observation and characterization of reconnections of quantized vortices, and the discovery of an inverse-cube tail in the velocity distribution of superfluid turbulence.”  The award was established to recognize and encourage a particularly influential contribution to fundamental fluid dynamics.

Alex Neilson, Undergraduate student in Biology, is one of five students selected by the Pat Tillman Foundation as a Tillman Military Scholar for the 2012-2013 academic year. The five Maryland students join a group of 59 scholars (pdf) announced by the Tillman Foundation. Neilson, Petty Officer, Second Class, is a junior at Maryland working to complete his Bachelor's degree in Biology with the goal of attending medical school. He was deployed on two combat missions to Iraq and Afghanistan with Marine reconnaissance platoons. Neilson hopes to work in a trauma center with urgent care patients once he completes his medical degree.

Kerstin Nordstrom (IREAP) has been awarded a Mass Media Fellowship by the AAAS. This highly competitive program strengthens the connections between scientists and journalists by placing advanced science, mathematics and engineering students in newsrooms across the country. The AAAS Fellows use their academic training in the sciences as they research, write and report today's headlines, sharpening their abilities to communicate complex scientific issues to non-specialists. Nordstrom’s placement is at the Raleigh News & Observer.

Patents

Lawrence Sita (Chemistry and Biochemistry) and Wei Zhang (2008 Ph.D. Chemistry), "Process for Preparation of Polyolefins via Living Coordinative Chain Transfer Polymerization."

Contracts/Grants

Millard Alexander (Chemistry and Biochemistry and IPST), NSF, $429,000, "Nonadiabatic and Quantum Effects in Chemical Dynamics."

Norma Andrews (Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics), LeukoSight Inc., $167,394, "Treating EAE with Fc-Dimers."

Kenneth Berg (Mathematics), US National Security Agency/Maryland Procurement Office, $103,200, "Summer Program in Research and Learning (SPIRAL)."

Charon Birkett (ESSIC), NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, $164,417, "The Global Reservoir and Lake Monitor (GRLM): Expansion and Enhancement of Water Height Products."

William Cullen (Physics), Office of Naval Research), $149,193, "Quartz-Sensor AFM/STM System in Ultra-High Vacuum for Graphene Nanostructure Studies."

Larry Davis (Computer Science and UMIACS), Air Force Research Laboratory, $214,948, "E-VERIFY: Constraint Driven Generation of Vision Algorithms on an Elastic Infrastructure."

James Drake (Physics, IPST and IREAP), NSF, $130,000, "Particle Acceleration During Collisionless Magnetic Reconnections."

Douglas Hamilton (Astronomy), NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, $100,563, "Origin and Evolution of Planetary Satellites."

Alan Kaufman (Geology), American Chemical Society, $100,000, "Pressurized Hydraulic Fracturing of the Devonian Marcellus Shale with Liquid CO2: Implications."

Cheng Lee (Chemistry and Biochemistry), NIH-National Institute of General Medical Sciences, $187,500, "Development of Nanoproteomic Technologies."

Moo Hyun Lee (IPST), NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, $112,228, "The BESS Program: Analysis and Interpretation of Antiproton and Light Nuclei Data and Searches for Exotic Matter."

Alice Mignerey (Chemistry and Biochemistry), DOE-Chicago, $275,000 additional funding for extending the period of performance, "Reaction Mechanism Studies of Heavy-Ion Induced Nuclear Reactions" bringing the total award to over $3m.

Howard Milchberg (Physics, IPST and IREAP), DOE-Washington, $227,000, "Application of High Intensity Optical Slow Wave Plasma Structures to Advanced Accelerators."

Martin Vol Moody (Physics), Gedex, $298,147, "Three-axis Superconducting Gravity Gradiometer Research Program."

Herman Sintim (Chemistry and Biochemistry), NSF, $144,000, supplement to "New Chemical Tools to Study c-di-GMP Signaling in Bacteria," bringing the total award, from June 2008, to $750,000.

Konstantina Trivisa (Mathematics and IPST), NSF, $234,665, "On the Dynamics, Structure and Stability of Certain Nonlinear Systems."

Qiuhua Zheng (Astronomy), University of Michigan, $100,000, "Synoptic Numerical Modeling of Artificial Radiation Belt Dynamics."

What's New

A special session recognizing the immense contribution made to the field of high-grade metamorphism and partial melting by Mike Brown (Geology) will be held during the "Granulites & Granulites 2013" conference, January 16-20, 2013, Hyderabad, India. Brown is a keynote speaker at the conference.

The 15th CAPRA Meeting on Radiation Reaction in General Relativity workshop, sponsored by the Center for Scientific Computation And Mathematical Modeling (CSCAMM), the Maryland Center for Fundamental Physics and the Joint Space-Science Institute, was held June 11-15.  Since 1998 CAPRA meetings have been bringing together relativists interested in the problem of radiation reaction in relativity and its application to extreme-mass-ratio inspirals (EMRIs) as astrophysical sources of gravitational waves. The meetings addressed an important open problem in gravitational theory, made particularly relevant by the exciting prospect of directly observing gravitational waves from EMRIs in the near future.  The workshop focused primarily on aspects of the self-force in general relativity, although broader topics related to gravitational-wave physics were also discussed.

The University of Maryland and the Northrop Grumman Corporation will launch a landmark honors program designed to educate a new generation of advanced cybersecurity professionals. The unique program, Advanced Cybersecurity Experience for Students (ACES), will immerse undergraduate students in all aspects of the field to meet growing manpower needs in the nation and the State of Maryland. ACES will engage a highly talented, diverse group of students—majors in computer science, engineering, business, public policy and the social sciences—in an intensive living-learning environment that focuses on the multifaceted aspects of cybersecurity and develops team-building skills. 

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry is hosting the 44th International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO)July 21-30, an annual competition for the world's most talented chemistry students at the secondary school level. Nations around the world send a team of four students, who are tested on their chemistry knowledge and skills in a five-hour laboratory practical and five-hour written theoretical examination. The program is intended to stimulate student interest in chemistry through independent and creative solving of chemical problems. It also aims to promote international contacts in chemistry, friendships between young scientific workers of different nationalities, cooperation among pupils, and exchange of pedagogical and scientific experience in chemistry.

new study by an international team of scientists led by Rita Colwell (Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology and UMIACS) and Claire Fraser (Institute for Genome Sciences (IGS) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine) and CosmosID Inc., College Park, have found two distinct strains of cholera bacteria may have contributed to the 2010 Haitian cholera outbreak. The team published its results June 18, 2012 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The researchers say that the findings of their study, which involved the largest number of isolates sequenced and studied from a single outbreak of cholera, show the critical need for an up-to-date, public genomic database of the strains of Vibrio cholerae bacteria that cause outbreaks of the disease around the world. Such a database could play an important role in efforts to prevent or respond to cholera outbreaks, say the scientists. Media coverage included NPR, Los Angeles times, New Scientist, Science Dox, Genome Web and Vaccine News Daily.

Antonio Busalacchi (AOSC and ESSIC) introduced the debut of a video and booklet from the National Research Council (NRC), June 28, Koshland Science Museum, National Academy of Sciences. The resources, designed to help people understand the science of climate change, are based on a number of NRC reports that represent the consensus of experts who have reviewed hundreds of studies describing many years of accumulating evidence. On May 18 Busalacchi gave a keynote lecture entitled "The Oceans Role in the Coupled Climate System: Challenges and Opportunities for the Future" at the University of Sao Paulo's 3-day conference on The Sea.

Rama Chellappa (UMIACS, ECE and Computer Science) has been appointed Chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), Clark School of Engineering, beginning July 1, 2012. ECE and UMIACS are partners in the UMIACS mission of promoting computing and applications of computing on campus. Chellappa is a UMD Distinguished Faculty Research Fellow and Distinguished Scholar-Teacher.

Michael E. Fisher (Physics and IPST) was an invited speaker at Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, France, May 21, with the colloquium topic of "Counter-Examples – Charms, Cautions, and Cognition." He also gave a course of lectures, May 23-24, entitled "Molecular motors: observations, experiments and theory."

Nick Hadley (Physics) has been re-elected to a third term as the Chair of the US CMS (Compact Muon-Solenoid) Collaboration Board. Hadley will continue to represent and guide the nearly 700 scientists from 49 universities and national laboratories in the United States who are members of the CMS experiment at the LHC. U.S. collaboration members represent about a third of the CMS experiment membership. Under Hadley's leadership, the U.S. collaboration has made and continues to make significant contributions to nearly every aspect of the detector from construction and installation to operation.

Ted Jacobson (Physics) spent the period from January to May, 2012 as a Simons Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara. The visit overlapped with the "Bits, Branes, Black Holes" research program, for which he served as a Scientific Advisor. Jacobson spoke on "Horizon Entropy, Higher Curvature, and Spacetime Equations of State" at the associated conference on Black Holes and Information.

Sujay Kaushal (Geology and ESSIC) gave a plenary lecture at the American Water Resources Association conference, Riparian Ecosystems IV: Advancing Science, Economics and Policy, June 27-29, Denver, CO. Kaushal's talk was entitled "Managing Contaminants along the Global Watershed Continuum: Riparian Zones to Rivers."

Samir Khuller (Computer Science and UMIACS) has been appointed Chair of the Department of Computer Science beginning July 1, 2012. Khuller, a prominent and prolific researcher in the theory of computation, is best known for developing algorithms for solving combinatorial optimization problems. A UMD-Distinguished Scholar-Teacher, Khuller succeeds Larry Davis who has served as Chair since 1999.

Raghu Murtugudde (AOSC and ESSIC) taught a course on Tropical Biological-Physical Interactions at the Indian National Center for Ocean Information Services, Hyderabad, India, June 2-15 and gave an invited talk on ”Optimal Physics for Adding Value to Global Predictions and Projections” at the Indian Institute of Meteorology, India, June 18. On July 23-29, Murtugudde will be a convener at the Integrated Marine Biogeochemistry and Ecosystem Research (IMBER) ClimECO3 Summer School, being held in Ankara, Turkey.  The program will focus on the interface between marine ecosystem biogeochemistry, physical drivers, food webs and socio-economic systems.

Arthur Popper (Biology) presented the plenary talk, “Effects of Sound on Fish and Behavior,” at the National Conference on Engineering and Echohydrology for Fish Passage, June 5 at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Popper is also now serving as one of the core advisors to Discovery of Sound in the Sea (www.dosits.org), an organization directed at teaching about all aspects of underwater sound and bioacoustics of aquatic organisms.

Jonathan Simon (Biology and ECE) has been selected to attend the 10th Annual National Academies Keck Futures Initiative (NAKFI) conference, "The Informed Brain in a Digital World" , November 15-17, Irvine, CA. Futures Conferences are unique, bringing together some of the nation's best and brightest researchers from academic, industrial, and government laboratories to explore and discover interdisciplinary connections in important areas of cutting-edge research. Each year, researchers apply to attend the conference and some 100 outstanding researchers are invited to discuss ideas related to a single cross-disciplinary theme. More information can be found at: http://www.keckfutures.org/about/index.html

Raymond St. Leger (Entomology) was an invited speaker at the Molecular and Cellular Fungal Biology Gordon Research Conference at Holderness School in New Hampshire, June 21. St. Leger’s talk was about his research on transgenic fungal technologies.

In The News

Drake Deming (Astronomy) was quoted in a CNN article, June 6, on the transit of Venus and the Hubble Space Telescope, which couldn't observe the transit because the extreme brightness of the sun would have destroyed the telescope and its instruments. Hubble did observe the effects of the transit on the light from the sun, by looking at the moon. In 2014 the Hubble will observe the transit of the Earth by the reflected light of the sun from Jupiter's surface. Deming pointed out that Earth can be seen transiting the sun from many vantage points throughout the galaxy.

Heather Lynch and William Fagan (both Biology), with colleagues, published an article in Ecology, June edition, on widespread changes in penguin populations on the Antarctic Peninsula. The researchers integrated diverse census data from 70 breeding sites across 31 years in a robust, hierarchical analysis, finding that trends from intensely studied populations may poorly reflect regional dynamics and confuse interpretation of environmental drivers. Their results from integrated analyses confirms that Pygoscelis adeliae (Adelie Penguins) are decreasing at almost all locations on the Antarctic peninsula and also resolves previously contradictory studies and unambiguously establishes that P. Antarctica (Chinstrap Penguins), thought to benefit from decreasing sea ice, are instead declining regionally.

Michael Hicks (Computer Science and UMIACS) was interviewed on Federal News Radio, June 22, where he discussed the importance and potential benefits of the new Advanced Cybersecurity Experience for Students program (see What's New above). He was also quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald and Brisbane Times, June 22, on hackers claiming responsibility for the recent Twitter outage.

David Inouye was quoted and Amy McKinney (both Biology) was mentioned in an article in Red Orbit, June 3 on their recently published article in Ecology on glacier lilies and the broad-tailed hummingbirds. He was interviewed by AAAS, June 22 on the same subject.

Sujay Kaushal (Geology and ESSIC) with colleague Ken Belt (Forest Service-Northern Research Station) were mentioned in PhysOrg and Science Codex, June 14, on their recently published study proposing an expanded view of the complex world of urban water. Their research was published in Urban Ecosystems.

Nikolai Klimov and Suyong Jung (IREAP) with colleagues from the Department of Mechanical Engineering and NIST, published an article in Science, June 22 showing that subjecting graphene to mechanical strain can mimic the effects of magnetic fields and create a quantum dot, an exotic type of semiconductor with a wide range of potential uses in electronic devices. Media coverage included NanoWerk, PhysOrg, Next Big Future, Semiconductor Online and AzoNano.

Sergey Koren (Center for Bioinformatics & Computational Biology and alumnus, 2002 BS, 2005 MS and 2012 Ph.D. Computer Science, advisor Mihai Pop) with colleagues co-authored an article published in Nature Online, June 13, on the sequencing and assembling of the bonobo (Pan paniscus) genome to study its evolutionary relationship with the chimpanzee and human genomes. Koren was part of the team who developed the code and ran the assembler to enable the analysis of this genome. Media coverage included the Los Angeles Times, GenomeWeb, US News & World Report, Red Orbit, Guardian Express, PhysOrg, Forbes, Science Daily, and the Christian Science Monitor.

Stacy McGaugh and Edward Shaya (both Astronomy) were members of a research team that presented their observations with the NSF's Green Bank Telescope indicating that two of our Milky Way's neighbor galaxies may have had a close encounter billions of years ago. The new observations confirm a disputed 2004 discovery of hydrogen gas streaming between the giant Andromeda Galaxy, also known as M31, and the Triangulum Galaxy, or M33. Their findings were presented at the American Astronomical Society's meeting, Anchorage, AK, June 10-14. Media coverage included RedOrbit, MSNBC, CBC, Discovery News, Universe Today and the Epoch Times.

Raghu Murtugudde (AOSC and ESSIC) with Nandini Ramesh (Undergraduate student, Divecha Centre for Climate Change, Indian Institute of Science) published an article in Nature Climate Change, June 24 on their research revealing a previously unrecognized sign of a looming El Nino that can be detected up to 18 months in advance, nine months earlier than current forecasting models allow. Media coverage included Virtual Strategy Magazine, PhysOrg, MarketWatch, ABC Science, International Business Times and Summit County Citizens Voice.

Margaret Palmer (Entomology and SeSync) and Catherine Febria (Entomology) published an article in Science, June 15, Perspective section, on the urgent need for a general framework for assessing ecosystem health.

Johnpierre Paglione (Physics) was interviewed for an article in PhysOrg, June 19, on research conducted by his team (Nicholas P. Butch, Kui Jin, Kevin Kirshenbaum and Richard L. Greene) on anomalous properties of the cuprate material La2-xCexCuO4, or LCCO, concluding that quantum criticality plays a significant role in shaping the anomalous properties of these superconductive materials. Their research article, "Quantum critical scaling at the edge of Fermi liquid stability in a cuprate superconductor," is published ahead of print in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Mihai Pop (Computer Science and UMIACS) played a key role in a consortium of researchers organized by the National Institutes of Health which has, for the first time, mapped the normal microbial make-up of healthy humans. Pop led a team of 25 researchers from UMD --- Bo Liu, Graduate Student, Computer Science, Sergey Koren (CBCB) and Dan Sommer (CBCB) --- the Baylor College of Medicine, Broad Institute, Washington University in St. Louis, J. Craig Venter Institute and Los Alamos National Laboratory in conducting a major step in the microbe gene sequencing process known as metagenomic assembly. Known as the Human Microbiome Project, the researchers released its work in a series of coordinated scientific reports published online, June 13, in Nature and several journals in the Public Library of Science (PLoS). Media coverage included, but is not limited to, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, Sydney Morning Herald, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, NPR, BBC News, Nature, Forbes and MSNBC.

Michael Raupp (Entomology) was interviewed by NBC, June 10, on the best bug repellents to use, including bug repellent clothing. Raupp reminded the audience to get rid of standing water and cleaning blocked gutters. Raupp was also interviewed by WTOP on June 20 on the return of the stink bugs and on June 27 on the West Nile Virus, which has been found in both Fairfax and Prince William counties.

Philip Resnik (UMIACS and Linguistics) was interviewed in Institutional Investor, June 14, for a story on language, artificial intelligence and the stock market. On June 25 he was mentioned in the San Francisco Chronicle on the Converseon launch ofConveyAPI, a new machine-learning based text analytics service that will set the standard for accuracy, precision and understanding the social conversation. Resnik was lead scientist on the three year research and development project.

Gerald Share (Astronomy) was quoted in Wired, June 13, in an article on NASA's FERMI Gamma-ray Space Telescope observation of a long-lasting pulse of gamma rays produced by a massive flare that exploded from the sun's surface in March. Media coverage included Fox News, MSNBC, Space Exploration Network, TG Daily and Space Daily.

Raymond St. Leger (Entomology) was quoted in New Scientist, June 21, in an article called "Murderous fungi feed their insect victims to plants" which described the ability of "the ubiquitous Metarhizium genus to kill insects and carry the nutrients from the corpses into the roots of plants."

Dennis vanEngelsdorp (Entomology) was quoted in a New York Times article, June 18, on bee swarms in New York City. This spring homeless bees have turned up at nearly double the rate of past years, with this year's mild winter, and subsequent earlier flowering of plants and trees, perhaps being a contributing factor.

Erin Wilson and Dan Gruner (both Entomology) were mentioned in a New York Times article, June 5, on field work on a distant kipuka (an "island" of land completely surrounded by one, or more, younger lava flows) in Hawaii. Wilson and Gruner are monitoring insects in the kipuka with, and without, rats.

A research team led by Jun Yan (Physics), Michael Fuhrer (Physics and IREAP) and Dennis Drew (Physics) have developed a new type of hot electron bolometer using bilayer graphene that can detect infrared light. The bolometer can be used in a wide range of applications including airport security screening, medical imaging and studying the structure of the universe through improved telescopes. The team published their findings in Nature Nanotechnology, June 3. Media coverage included Nanotechweb, Vision Systems Design, AZoSensors, Engadget, SciTech Daily, Futurity Research News and Physics World.

Media coverage continued in June for Abderahmen Zoghbi and Christopher Reynolds (both Astronomy) et al., reporting the first detection of reverberation in the iron K band in any active galactic nuclei (AGN). Using data from the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton satellite, the team identified a long-sought X-ray "echo" in the center of the active galaxy, NGC 4151. Coverage included Astronomy News, Space Daily, Astronomy Magazine, Zee News and Space Exploration Network.

Alumni News

Bob Blakley, (1959 M.S. Mathematics and1960 Ph.D. Mathematics), now lives in Austin, Texas. Blakley, who turned 80 in May, retired from Texas AM early in 2011 after forty years as Professor of Mathematics there. He was made a Fellow of the International Association for Cryptologic Research in 2009 for his work in secret sharing, and in 2001 the Queensland University of Technology conferred the degree of Doctor of the University on him for his contributions to Information Science. Blakley would love to hear from his old Physics and Math crewmates at grb@ieee.org.

Justin Cohen (1991 B.S. and 1993 M.S. Physics) has been promoted to Executive Vice President, Managed Services, Partners Consulting, Buena Park, CA. He has overall responsibility for business development, marketing, applications development and support, integration services and infrastructure outsourcing.  Prior to joining the company, he founded and built a software consultancy firm which was acquired by Partners in 2006. Cohen has a background in network engineering, software development, business process reengineering and project management. As well as his degrees from the University of Maryland, he earned an MBA from UCLA-Anderson.

Namita Dhallan (1989 B.S. Computer Science) is Executive V.P. of Product Strategy and Engineering, Deltek, Herndon, Va. Dhallan is responsible for managing market and product strategy for Deltek’s global software and hardware product lines. Prior to Deltek, she served as Chief Product Officer and Group VP-Product Management at JDA Software Group, responsible for corporate product strategy and direction.

Celso Grebogi (1975 M.S. Physics, 1978 Ph.D. Physics, advisor Chuan Liu) has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Fellows are nominated in recognition of outstanding contributions to their field and achievement in public service. Grebogi has also recently been awarded the Senior Fellowship at the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (Germany), elected Honorary Member of the International Physics and Control Society (Russia), became Honorary Adjunct Professor at the Xi’an Jiaotong University (China) and elected a Fellow of the Institute of Physics (UK). He is a Sixth Century Chair Professor and Director, Institute for Complex Systems and Mathematical Biology, University of Aberdeen, Scotland.

Janet Luhmann (1971 M.S., 1974 Ph.D. Astronomy) has been named the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) Space Science Award recipient for outstanding contributions to space science.  Luhmann is a Senior Space Fellow, Space Physics Research Group, University of California, Berkeley. The award will be presented on July 16 during the 39th COSPAR Scientific Assembly, Mysore, India.

Akito Kawahara (2007 M.S., 2010 Ph.D. Entomology, advisor Charles Mitter) is an Assistant Curator at the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, Gainesville following a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Hawaii. Kawahara’s research is focused on the systematics of Lepidoptera, especially the Gracillariidae and Sphingidae. He is especially interested in understanding how transitions in host use and behavior have shaped insect diversity on both islands and continents.

Rafael Navarro-Gonzalez (1989 Ph.D. Biochemistry) has been named the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) and the Indian Space Research Organization’s Vikram Sarabhai Medal recipient for outstanding contributions to space research in developing countries. Navarro-Gonzalez is a professor in geological sciences and astrobiology, Laboratory of Plasma Chemistry and Planetary Studies, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico. The award will be presented on July 16 during the 39th COSPAR Scientific Assembly, Mysore, India.

D.J. Patil (1999 M.A., 2001 Ph.D. Applied Mathematics, advisor James Yorke) was featured in the June 6 edition of Fast Company on his commencement address to our students on May 20. Patil talked about his failures and lessons learned “….The takeaway from this is that tenacity and failure go hand in hand. But what’s most important is how you fail. The best method is to fail fast.”  “The solutions won’t come from debates, they will come through trying, failing quickly, and then trying again with increased resolve.”

Richard Reif (1968 B.S. Zoology) is retiring from his position as CEO of Doylestown Hospital before the end of the year. Reif, who has been with the hospital for more than 23 years, was a founder of one of the oldest physician-hospital organizations in the country – the Bucks County Physician Hospital Alliance. He was a helped create the Bucks County Health Improvement Partnership, CB Cares and the Ann Silverman Community Health Clinic. Prior to joining the Doylestown Hospital in 1989, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer (1987-1989) and Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (1984-1986) of Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.

Kimberly Sellers (1998 M.A. Mathematics, 1998, Dianne O'Leary advisor) has been promoted to tenured associate professor of mathematics and statistics at Georgetown University. Sellers received her Ph.D. from the George Washington University in 2001.

Seva Search, founded by Gurpeet Singh (2003 B.S. Computer Science), Manpreet Singh (2003 B.S. Finance) and Amandeep Bakshi (2007 B.S. Electrical Engineering), launched Seva Call, June 13, in the Washington DC region, its first market. Seva Call finds the right professional by looking at a variety of factors including online ratings and reviews, social reputation and interaction, call analytics and other forms of consumer and business feedback. Seva Call will launch nationwide later this year, and free mobile apps will be available on both the Apple iOS and Google Android platforms in the near future. Media coverage included the Washington Business Journal and the Washington Post.

Charles Steinberg (1980 B.S. Zoology) was featured in the June 5 edition of the Boston Globe. Steinberg, who earned a DDS in 1984, returned to the Red Sox in February 2012 as Senior Adviser to Larry Lucchino the Red Sox president and chief executive. He had left the Red Sox after 5 years (2007) to join the Los Angeles Dodgers, for whom he was Executive Vice President, Public Relations and Marketing before joining the Commissioner of Baseball-Public Affairs in 2010. 

Jim Sung (1992 B.S. Computer Science, 1996 M.S. Engineering) is a Senior Partner at Syncadence, San Diego.  Prior to Syncadence, Sung held senior engineering and line management positions at Hughes Network Systems, PCSI, COM-Solutions, Viadux, and QUALCOMM. Syncadence was founded in 2005 with a team of industry veterans who have an extensive experience in embedded product development for the telecomm and datacomm applications.

Jim Ulvestad (1978 M.S., 1981 Ph.D. Astronomy, advisor Andrew Wilson) was featured in Scientific American, June 13 in an article on his talk at the American Astronomical Society meeting, June 10-14, Anchorage, AK. Ulvestad talked about the decreasing success rate of astronomical sciences proposals, with only 13% of grant applications likely to be approved this year.  Ulvestad is Director of the National Science Foundation’s Division of Astronomical Sciences.

William Wallace (1976 B.S. Biochemistry) was named as one of 97 outstanding mathematics and science teachers receiving the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Winners are selected by a panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians and educators each year. Wallace teaches at the Georgetown Day School in Washington, D.C.