Search Google Appliance

CMNS e-News September 2012

Vol. 2, No. 10
Please submit items to the editor, Mary Kearney.



18th Annual Shi-I Pai Lecture and 60th Anniversary of IPST
Date: October 2, 2012
2:30pm-3:20pm – Reception, Math Rotunda
3:40pm-3:55pm – Historical Review of IPST, 1412 Physics Lecture Hall, Distinguished University Professor James Yorke
4:00pm – Lecture, Professor Sir Michael Berry, Melville Wills Professor of Physics, University of Bristol, "Hamilton's Diabolical Singularity." 1412 Physics Lecture Hall.

Richard E. Prange Prize and Lecture
Speaker: Andre Geim, University of Manchester, "Random Walk to Graphene."
Date and Time: October 16, 4:00pm-5:00pm
Location: 1410 John Toll Physics Building
Nobel Laureate Andre Geim, University of Manchester, UK, has been named the 2012 recipient of the Richard E. Prange Prize and Lectureship in Condensed Matter Theory and Related Areas. He was awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in physics with Konstantin Novoselov "for groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene." The Prange Prize, established by the UMD Department of Physics and Condensed Matter Theory Center (CMTC), honors the late Professor Richard Prange, whose distinguished professorial career at Maryland spanned four decades (1961-2000).

Ice Cream Social and Alumni Festival (see Alumni News for Departmental Distinguished Alumni)
Date and Time: October 19, 3:00pm—5:00pm
Location: G. Forrest Woods Atrium, Chemistry Building

Celebrating Michael E. Fisher
Date: October 26-27, 2012
Location: Tawes Fine Arts Building, UMD, College Park
The College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences and IPST are pleased to invite colleagues and friends of Michael E. Fisher to celebrate his life-time achievements in physics, chemistry, mathematics, and biophysics. Registration is required.

Bioscience Day – Understanding Life
Date and Time: Thursday, November 27, 11:00am-6:00pm (Registration begins at 10:30am)
Location: Grand Ballroom, Stamp Student Union
Bioscience Research & Technology Review Day is a special annual event that features research talks, presentations, mini-symposia, and demonstrations by University of Maryland scientists. The program provides a unique opportunity for executives and professionals in industry and government to: discover the most recent advances in bioscience and biotechnology at the University of Maryland; promote the potential for academic-industry-government collaboration; meet University scientists and interact with graduate student researchers; network with colleagues who share an interest in the promotion of bioscience and the bioscience industry and recruit employees and investigate job opportunities. The program includes the Dr. Erik B. & Mrs. Joyce D.C. Young Lecture "On Growth and Form – A Physical Basis for Morphogenesis" by L. Mahadevan, Lola England de Valpine Professor of Applied Mathematics and Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Core Member, Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard University. For more information, visit:

Honors and Awards

CMNS Faculty will be recognized for their contributions to the University at the Faculty and Staff Convocation being held on October 9, 3:00pm, in the Memorial Chapel:

    Robert Infantino, Associate Dean, Undergraduate Education
    Roy Mariuzza, Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics
    Elizabeth Beise, Physics
    Abolhassan Jawahery, Physics

Ori Lieberman (Undergraduate student, mentored by Vincent Lee, Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics) is a 2012 award recipient of the American Society for Microbiology's Undergraduate Research Fellowship. This fellowship is aimed at highly competitive students who wish to pursue graduate careers in microbiology.

Jacob Taylor (Physics and JQI), was named one of nine winners of this year's Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals for "....making pioneering scientific discoveries that in time could lead to significant advances in health care, communications, computing and technology." Taylor was presented with the Call to Service Medal by the non-profit Partnership for Public Service at a ceremony in Washington DC on September 13.

Amitabh Varshney (Computer Science and UMIACS) and his graduate student, Cheuk Yiu Ip, in collaboration with Joseph JaJa (UMIACS), have won the Best Scientific Visualization Paper Award that will be presented at the IEEE VisWeek Conference, October 14-19, in Seattle. IEEE VisWeek is the largest and most prestigious visualization conference attracting close to 1,000 attendees. Their paper, "Hierarchical Exploration of Volumes Using Multilevel Segmentation of the Intensity-Gradient Histograms," presents an intelligent interface that facilitates interactive and meaningful exploration of volumes that arise in a number of application domains including biomedicine.

Katherine Watter (Graduate student, Geology) presented a poster, "Effect of Temperature and Fluid Saturation on the Yielding Behavior of Carbonate Rocks" (by H. Lisabeth, K. Watter and W. Zhu), winning the 1st place Best Student Poster Award at the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) 2012 Annual Convention & Exhibition, September 16-19, Long Beach, CA. Watter worked on part of this project as her undergraduate senior thesis.


Bob Adler (ESSIC), NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, $174,385, "Real-time Global Flood Analyses Using Satellite Rainfall and Hydrological Models."

Antonio Busalacchi (AOSC and ESSIC), Eric Hackert (UMIACS), Ragu Murtugudde (AOSC and ESSIC) and Rong-Hua Zhang (AOSC and ESSIC), NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, $184,213, "Application of Scatterometry, Satellite Sea Surface Temperature, and Altimetry Measurements to Improved Understanding and Prediction of Indo-Pacific Coupled Variability."

Michael Cox (UMIACS), Dana Nau (Computer Science and UMIACS) and Donald Perlis (Computer Science and UMIACS), Army Research Office, $200,000, "The Metacognitive Loop and Learning Goal States."

David Doermann (UMIACS) and Larry Davis (Computer Science and UMIACS), NSF, $300,000, "EAGER: Large Scale Document Image Triage, Indexing and Retrieval."

David Doermann (UMIACS) and Larry Davis (Computer Science and UMIACS), NSF, $214,195, "EAGER: Video Analytics in Large Heterogeneous Repositories."

Michael Doyle (Chemistry and Biochemistry), NIH-National Institute of General Medical Sciences, additional $294,030 funding bringing the total award to $1,469,505, "Chiral Catalysts for Enantioselective Synthesis."

Brian Eichhorn (Chemistry and Biochemistry), Defense Threat Reduction Agency, $1,039,447, "Next Generation Energetic Materials: New Clusters, Cluster Hydrides and Metastable Alloys of Aluminum in Very Low Oxidation States."

Bill Fagan (Biology), NSF, $250,000, "Collaborative Proposal: Spatial Spread of Stage-structured Populations."

Nick Feamster (Computer Science and UMIACS), NSF, $185,000, "EAGER: Characterizing and Exposing Bias in Social and Mainstream Media."

Nick Feamster (Computer Science and UMIACS), NSF, $283,175, "Collaborative Research: Optimizing Network Support for Cloud Services: From Short-term Measurements to Long-term Planning."

Cornelia Fermuller (UMIACS) with Shihab Shamma and Timothy Horiuchi (both ECE) NSF, $345,000, "CREATIV: Signals to Symbols: From Bio-inspired Hardware to Cognitive Systems."

Victor Galitskiy (Physics), DOE-Chicago, $103,000, "Theory of Fluctuations in Superconductors."

Lise Getoor (Computer Science and UMIACS), NSF, $500,000, "A Theoretical Framework for Practical Entity Resolution in Network Data."

Sridhar Hannenhalli (Computer Science and UMIACS), NIH-National Institute of General Medical Sciences, $348,965, "Conundrums in Transcriptional Regulation."

Daniel Gruner (Entomology), NSF, $258,662, "Dimensions: Collaborative Research: A Community Level Approach to Understanding Speciation in Hawaiian Lineages."

Samir Khuller (Computer Science and UMIACS), NSF, $350,000, "Small: Efficient Data Management Algorithms."

Cheng Lee (Chemistry & Biochemistry), NIH-National Cancer Institute, $221,524 additional funding bringing the total award to $638,798, "CITP-Based Selective Tissue Proteome Enrichment."

Philip Resnik (Computer Science and UMIACS), NSF, $164,413, "Collaborative Research: Data-driven, Computational Models for Discovery and Analysis of Framing."

Hanan Samet (Computer Science and UMIACS), NSF, $499,742, "IIS: Small: Issues with the Management of Geo-multimedia Data."

Ian Spielman (Physics), Army Research Office, $104,728, "MURI: Atomtronics: Material and Device Physics of Quantum Gases."

David Thirumalai (Chemistry and Biochemistry and IPST), NSF, $119,385, "Physics of Living Systems Network at the University of Maryland."

William Walters (Chemistry and Biochemistry), DOE-Chicago, $118,440, additional funding bringing the total award to $2,592,614, "Nuclear Structure Research."

Arpita Upadhyaya (Physics, IREAP and IPST) and Garegin Papoian (Chemistry and Biochemistry and IPST), NSF, $150,000, "Physical Aspects of Lymphocyte Activation."

Dennis vanEngelsdorp (Entomology), USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture, $1,618,048, "The Bee Informed Partnership."

Dennis vanEngelsdorp (Entomology), USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture, $120,579, "The Bee Informed Partnership."

What's New

UMD plans to offer four courses, 2 from CMNS, free this spring via Cousera – the international platform that hosts Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Charles Clark and Victor Galitski (both Physics) will present “Exploring Quantum Physics” and Nick Feamster (Computer Science and UMIACS) will present “Software Defined Networking.” For more information on these free courses: 

Robert Adler (ESSIC) gave the keynote address in a session on Hydrological Modeling and Land Surface Processes at the 2012 EUMETSAT Meteorological Satellite Conference in Sopot, Poland, September 3-7. The talk was entitled: "Global flood estimation using satellite precipitation observations and hydrological models".

Steven Anlage (Physics) has recently completed a sabbatical year at the Physikalisches Institut and Center for Functional Nanostructures at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Karlsruhe, Germany. During this year he gave a number of invited talks at conferences in Europe and North America, including “Measurements of the Anisotropic Nonlinear Meissner Effect in Unconventional Superconductors,” invited talk, Institute for Solid State Physics, Chernogolovka, Russia, August, 2012: “Physics and Applications of Superconducting Metamaterials,” invited talk, Moscow University of Science and Technology, Moscow, Russia, August, 2012: “Some Applications of Wave Chaos,” invited lecture at the Summer School Propagation D'ondes En Milieux Complexes, at the Institut d'Etudes Scientifiques de Cargèse, in Corsica France, August, 2012 and “Understanding the Properties of Complex Enclosures Through Wave Chaos,” invited lecture at the Summer School Propagation D'ondes En Milieux Complexes, at the Institut d'Etudes Scientifiques de Cargèse, in Corsica France, August, 2012.

Amy Brown (Entomology) gave a symposium talk on her ongoing collaborative research effort, “Impacts of PPE Safety Outreach,” at The First International Symposium on PPE for Agricultural Pesticide Operators, August 6-7, Campinas, Brazil. The symposium was hosted by Instituto Agronomico, Sao Paulo, and represented a coordinated effort to develop research directions to protect workers from pesticide exposures in Latin America, Europe, and the US.

Rita Colwell (UMIACS and Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology) was a panelist at The Kavli Prize Science Forum, “Science and Global Health: The Role of Basic Science,” September 3, University of Oslo, Norway.  Held during The Kavli Prize Week, the Forum is a new biennial international forum meeting to facilitate high-level, global discussion of major topics on science and science policy, and the Kavli Prize Symposia. Full program and webcast:

David Inouye (Biology) visited Changchun Normal University in September to give a series of lectures, and meet with faculty and graduate students about research. He also gave a talk at Northeast Normal University, and visited field research sites in the Changbai Mountain Reserve near North Korea.

Jim Gates (Physics) will deliver the opening address at the inaugural E.E. Just symposium, Dartmouth University on September 27. The program aims to stimulate interest in science and technology in the Dartmouth community, particularly among underrepresented groups.  

Ted Jacobson (Physics) was a speaker at the Forty Years of Black Hole Thermodynamics workshop, Jerusalem, September 3-7, with a topic of “Horizon Entropy, Higher Curvature, and Spacetime Equations of State.” At the Peyresq 17 meeting in France, August 23-30, he spoke on "Creation of the Universe:  a Work in Progress," and at the Workshop on Effective Gravity in Fluids and Superfluids in Trieste, his topic was "Trans-Planckian Terrains of Spacetime and its Analogs."

Chris Kidd (ESSIC) gave the plenary presentation entitled “Measuring Global Precipitation: Present and Future Challenges” at the 2012 European Meteorological Satellite (EUMETSAT) conference in Sopot, Poland, September 3-7. Kidd also chaired the conference session on precipitation and presented a paper “The Global Precipitation Measurement Mission:  Hydrological Applications.”

Chris Monroe (Physics and JQI) was an invited speaker at the 2nd European Conference on Trapped Ions, Obergurgl, Austria, September 10-14 with a topic of “Quantum Networks of Ions.” Conference themes included precision measurements and fundamental physics, frequency standards, quantum optics, quantum information, trap technology, spectroscopic techniques, and molecular ions and chemical reactions.

Jan V. Sengers (IPST) will be a guest of honor, with John Reppy and Harry Swinney, at the 108th Statistical Mechanics Conference, Rutgers University, December 16-18, 2012.  For more information and list of speakers:

Newly Hired Tenure/Tenure-Track Faculty Members (2011-2012)

Department of Astronomy
L. Drake Deming, Professor, is a planetary scientist and infrared astronomer. His research has focused on infrared observations of stellar and planetary atmospheres, including planets in our solar system as well as planets orbiting other stars (extrasolar planets). Most recently Deming was Senior Scientist for NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center's Exoplanet Studies.

Suvi Gezari, Assistant Professor, is an expert in time-domain astrophysics, and her research interests include active galactic nuclei, the demographics and evolution of supermassive black holes, and the tidal disruption of stars by black holes. She was most recently a Hubble Fellow working at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Gezari earned her Ph.D. from Columbia University.

Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science
Xin-Zhong Liang, Professor, with a joint appointment in ESSIC. Liang received his Ph.D. in Atmospheric Sciences from the Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing. Liang's team recently released a regional climate model Fe. 17 called the Climate-Weather Research Forecasting Model (CWRF), a significant extension of the original Weather Research Forecasting Model (WRF). The model facilitates the use of an optimized physics ensemble approach to improve weather forecast or climate prediction and their impacts on terrestrial hydrology, coastal oceans, crop growth, air quality, water quality and ecosystems.

Department of Biology
Nathan Kraft, Assistant Professor, studies the ecological and evolutionary forces that structure communities, particularly plant systems. Projects in his lab integrate aspects of community ecology, biogeography, ecophysiology, and phylogenetics. Recent projects have centered on the forests of lowland Amazonia and annual plant communities in California. In addition to a focus on species coexistence, research also addresses plant responses to climate change, the distribution of diversity at broad spatial scales, and the assembly of regional biotas. Dr. Kraft earned his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley and did postdoctoral research at the University of British Columbia's Biodiversity Research Centre.

Joshua Singer, Assistant Professor, is a neurophysiologist who studies a retinal microcircuit that is critical for night vision in mammals. This circuit transfers the output of rod photoreceptors to ganglion cells, the output cells of the retina. The goal of his research is to understand how the physiological properties of the components allow the circuit to transfer rod photoreceptor output to ganglion cells with the fidelity necessary for vision when photons are scarce and few rods are activated. Dr. Singer earned his Ph.D. from the University of Washington and did postdoctoral research at the NIH.

Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics
Antony Jose, Assistant Professor, earned his Ph.D. at Yale University and was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University. Jose's research aims at understanding mechanisms of RNA transport between animal cells.

Wade Winkler, Associate Professor, is a leader in the field of RNA-based regulation of gene expression in bacteria. Formerly at University of Texas Southwestern, Winkler earned his Ph.D. at The Ohio State University, and did postdoctoral research at Yale University.

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Zhihong Nie, Assistant Professor. Nie's research interests include the synthesis, fabrication, and self-assembly of functional nanostructures for the development of renewable energy. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Toronto, Canada and was a NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University.

Efrain Rodriguez, Assistant Professor. His research interests include materials and solid state chemistry; inorganic materials, synthesis and characterization of transition metal (TM) compounds including oxides, chalcogenides and pnictides; preparation of metastable materials for energy applications via chemie douce, or soft chemical, methods; functional TM compounds with properties such as magnetic, electronic, and mixed conductivity (ionic and electrical) and advanced characterization of compounds including X-ray and neutron diffraction coupled with magnetization and electrical transport measurements. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of California, Santa Barbara and was an NRC Postdoctoral Fellow at NIST Center for Neutron Research.

Department of Computer Science
Elaine Shi, Assistant Professor, with a joint appointment in UMIACS. Shi's research spans computer security, privacy, and applied cryptography. Her research approach combines cryptography with practical system design and implementation. She has worked on computation on encrypted data, privacy-preserving data mining, systems security, sensor network security, vehicular network security, usable authentication, secure storage systems, and data mining. She was part of the team that won the IJCNN/Kaggle Social Network Challenge on data mining. She obtained her Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University.

Nick Feamster, Darnell-Kanal Associate Professor of Computer Science, with a joint appointment in UMIACS. Feamster's research spans computer networking and systems security, including network routing protocols, network operations, systems and network security, and anonymous communication systems. Feamster received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from MIT.

Jon Froehlich, Assistant Professor, with a joint appointment in UMIACS. Froehlich's research focuses on building and studying interactive technology that addresses high value social issues such as environmental sustainability, computer accessibility, and healthcare. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Washington with a focus on Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp).

Department of Geology
Vedran (Ved) Lekic, Assistant Professor. A seismologist, Lekic's research focuses on developing and implementing new techniques for imaging structures within the Earth's mantle, including full waveform modeling and describing and quantifying the relationship between deep processes and structures and surface tectonics on global and regional scales. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley and was a postdoctoral researcher at Brown University.

Department of Mathematics
Yuan Liao, Assistant Professor. Liao received his Ph.D. in Statistics from Northwestern University and was a postdoctoral associate at Princeton University. He works on problems of high-dimensional modeling and Bayesian statistics.

Jian-Jian Ren, Professor. Ren received her Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Her work is in mathematical statistics, especially the analysis of censored data.

Yanir Rubinstein, Associate Professor. Rubinstein received his Ph.D. from MIT and was a postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University. Rubinstein works on geometric analysis and the geometry of Kähler manifolds.

Christian Zickert, Assistant Professor. Zickert works on geometry/topology and algebraic K-theory. He received his Ph.D. from Columbia University.

Department of Physics
Jonathan McKinney, Assistant Professor. McKinney received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research interests focus on High-energy astrophysics, non-relativistic and relativistic jets, black hole and neutron star accretion, general relativistic perturbation theory and numerical relativity, plasma physics, plasma and MHD instabilities, pulsar emission, non-thermal emission, gamma-ray bursts, galaxy/galaxy cluster evolution, AGN feedback, stellar and planetary internal magnetic fields and magnetospheres.

In The News

Gerry Carter (Graduate student, Biology, advisor Gerald Wilkinson) was featured in The Scientist, September 2012. Carter produced a video, submitting it to a new website which solicits donations (crowdfunding) for research through the Internet. Carter's research focuses on reciprocal altruism in vampire bats.

Eric Chapman (Associate Director, Maryland Cybersecurity Center) was quoted in The Washington Post, September 8, in an article on the White House draft of a preliminary executive order aimed at strengthening the nation's computer systems against attacked. The story was picked up by The Daily Herald and the San Antonio Express.

Eugenie Clark (Professor Emerita, Biology) was mentioned in The New York Times, September 24, in an article on tagging sharks off Cape Cod to follow their movements in real-time online. The first shark tagged, known as Genie, is a Carcharodon carcharias (great white shark) weighing in at 2,292 pounds and is 14 feet 8 inches long. To honor the founder of Mote Marine Laboratories, Dr. Greg Skomal chose to name Genie after Eugenie Clark, who became known as "the shark lady," and started studying sharks in the 1950s. "She's a very special lady who inspired us all." says Skomal. You can follow Genie at

Research conducted by Sankar Das Sarma with colleagues Xin Wang, Lev Bishop, J.P. Kestner, Edwin Barnes and Kai Sun (all Physics), and published in Nature Communications, August 14, was the subject of articles in R&D Magazine, Nanowerk, PhysOrg and Physics News, September 10-12. Their original article discussed quantum computing, which depends on the parts of a quantum system remaining coherent long enough for the computation to be performed, and proposed a scheme that should be helpful in sustaining coherence by carefully making mid-calculation corrections.

Jonathan Dinman (Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics) is editor and author of the book "Biophysical Approaches to Translational Control of Gene Expression" recently published by Springer. The book consists of up-to-date and comprehensive reviews of research and relevant new imaging and structural approaches; addresses major advances in researching cell's molecular machinery through analytical, computational and imaging methods; and focuses on developing biophysical approaches to studying control of gene expression at the translational level.

Sarah Eno (Physics) was noted in the September 2012 Washingtonian magazine, in a column called "Guest List ‐ A monthly roundup of people we'd like to have over for drinks, food and conversation." Eno, who was first on the list, was described as "part of a team of University of Maryland scientists working on the complicated machinery that recently discovered the Higgs boson."

The online journal Astrobiology published an article citing the work of Saswata Hier-Majumdar (Geology and CSCAMM), Jodi Gaeman (2009 B.S. and 2011 M.S. Geology) and James Roberts (JHU-APL) on a possible subsurface ocean in Neptune's moon, Triton (previously reported in the May 2012 edition of CMNS News). The journal also discussed the impact of this research on extraterrestrial life. Media coverage included Huffington Post, NBC News, SpaceDaily, Yahoo News, Tehran Times, Universe Today, PhysOrg and CBS.

Art Popper (Biology) was featured in Science, September 14, with an introduction of "...Arthur Popper took a detour on his way to a class on New York University's campus in the Bronx that set him on a course to become the godfather of fish hearing." A bioacoustics pioneer, his research lab has recently focused on applying fish bioacoustics to more applied questions that examine the effects of human-generated (anthropogenic) sound on fish. Popper, who is preparing to retire in June 2013, is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences and one of the world's pioneers in understanding how fish perceive and respond to sound.

Michael Raupp (Entomology) was quoted on, September 29 in an article on the increase in the spider population this year.

Steven Salzberg (Computer Science and UMIACS) was mentioned in The Atlantic, September 11, in an article on acupuncture. The article referred to his quote in The Atlantic in July/August 2011 on integrative, or alternative, medicine.

Media coverage continues for Daphne Soares (Biology) and colleagues, on their recently published article in Current Biology, August 21 on their research of a blind 7-centimeter-long catfish, Astroblepus pholeter, in a cave in Ecuador. The catfish relies on teeth that stick out of its body to sense the water flow around it. Coverage included the Huffington Post, PhysOrg, Geekosystem, the Diamondback and CisiionWire.

A study by V.S. Subrahmanian (Computer Science and UMIACS) with his team at the Laboratory for Computational Cultural Dynamics and presented at the International Symposium on Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Washington DC, September 10, was covered by The Baltimore Sun, MarketWatch, Rediff and Co.Exist. Their study "....used sophisticated data mining algorithms to learn temporal probabilistic rules as well as new algorithms to automatically suggest set policies, which are sets of actions that should, and should not, be taken in order to elicit a desired behavior." According to the study, effectively reducing the likelihood and intensity of attacks by the LeT requires a cocktail of actions including fostering dissent with LeT, hampering the organization's ability to conduct communication campaigns or provide social services, and disrupting the links between LeT and other Islamist terror groups.

Victor Yakovenko (Physics) was quoted in R&D Magazine and PhysOrg, September 26, in an article on a Purdue University physicist, Leonid Rokhinson, who, with his team, observed evidence of long-sought Majorana fermions that could unleash the potential of fault-tolerant quantum computing.

Alumni News

Alumni Festival and Ice Cream Social: In recognition of their many accomplishments, the 2012 Distinguished Alumni Awards will be presented on Friday, October 19, 3:00-5:00pm, G. Forrest Woods Atrium, Chemistry Building.

    Joseph A. Nuth, 1975 B.S. Astronomy and Chemistry, 1977 M.S. Chemistry and 1982 Ph.D. Chemistry, Head, Astro-chemistry Branch, NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center.
    Curtis D. Mobley, 1977 Ph.D. Meteorology, Vice President and Senior Scientist, Sequoia Scientific.
    Teresa A. McTigue, 1984 B.S. Zoology, Supervisory Ecologist, NOAA.
    Tobin J. Marks, 1966 B.S. Chemistry, Vladimir N. Ipatieff Professor of Catalytic Chemistry, Northwestern University.
    S. Cenk Sahinalp, 1997 Ph.D. Computer Science, Professor of Computing Science, Simon Fraser University.
    Robert E. Menzer, 1962 M.S. Entomology. Menzer was the founding director of the MEES program and remains an active supporter.
    C. Scott Southworth, 1993 M.S. Geology, U.S. Geological Survey.
    Robert F. Brammer, 1970 M.A. and 1972 Ph.D. Mathematics, President and CEO, Brammer Technology.
    William R. Bandy, 1974 Ph.D. Physics, President and Founder, Innurvation.

The Alumni Association has partnered with Talent Marks to bring to our alumni a series of 9 monthly career focused webinars, free and open to all alumni, and with a different focus each month. For more information:

Chris Broderick (1996 B.S. Mathematics and Aerospace Engineering) joined the Acronis executive team as Senior Vice President-Mobility Solutions following the acquisition of GroupLogic by Acronis, September 2012. Broderick joined GroupLogic as Chief Executive Officer in March 2010, responsible for leading the company's strategic growth, and operational initiatives to ensure the company delivered competitive, high value software solutions for its customers and its partners. Prior to joining GroupLogic, he was CEO of CoreStreet, a firm specializing in converged security software, which was acquired by ActivIdentity in December of 2009.

Gregory Cooper (2000 Ph.D. Physics), Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Pixelligent Technologies, has been selected as one of the Daily Record's 2012 Innovator of the Year winners. The company, which is an innovator in manufacturing nanocrystal additives for the electronics, semiconductor and industrial markets, has expanded its manufacturing facility footprint to include more than 13,000 square feet and has increased its workforce 150%.

The AngelMed Guardian System, the invention of Robert Fischell (1953 M.S. Physics) was the subjects of a Greenville News article, September 8. The inventor of lifetime pacemaker batteries, medical stents and implantable insulin pumps, Fischell holds more than 200 patents.

Terry Chase Hazell (1993 B.S. Biological Sciences) was quoted in The Statesman, September 13, in an article on the Texas State University program, RampCorp – a training program for would-be women entrepreneurs. Hazell is the Director.

Berend Jonker (1981 M.S. and 1983 Ph.D. Physics), Senior Scientist for Magnetoelectronics at the Naval Research Laboratory, is the recipient of the 2011 Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Senior Professional. Recipients of this prestigious award are strong leaders, professionals, and scientists who achieve results and consistently demonstrate strength, integrity, industry and a relentless commitment to excellence in public service. Jonker is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Vacuum Science and Technology Society.

Pooja Sankar (2004 M.S. Computer Science) was quoted in The New York Times article "Online Mentors to Guide women Into the Sciences," September 16. Sankar is the Founder and CEO of Piazza, a free, online collaboration platform for students and teachers to communicate.

Rob Sherwood (1999 B.S. and 2008 Ph.D. Computer Science, advisor Samrat Bhattacharjee) has been appointed the chair of the Open Networking Foundation's (ONF) new Architecture and Framework Working Group (ArchWG). The Group will map out the scope of SDN in terms of architecture and framework for OpenFlow and other components. Sherwood is Principal Architect at Big Switch Networks.

Kimberly Weaver (1990 M.S. and 1993 Ph.D. Astronomy, advisor Richard Mushotzky) was featured in the West Virginia Public Broadcasting program "Inspiring West Virginians" – a series featuring personal stories of West Virginians who have made significant contributions in science, technology, engineering, mathematics or business. Christopher Reynolds (Astronomy) was interviewed for the program, which was aired on September 13 on West Virginia Public Radio.