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CMNS News - April 2013

Vol. 3, No. 5 April 2013
The College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences
Jayanth Banavar, Dean Mary Kearney, Editor

In Memoriam:
Honors and Awards:
What's New:
In the News:
Alumni News:


Frank Olver, Professor Emeritus, IPST, Mathematics and Faculty Appointee of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, passed away on April 23. His first book, "Asymptotics and Special Functions," published in 1974 by Academic Press, became a standard reference in the fields of asymptotics and special functions. In 2000, a two-volume commemorative collection of selected papers of Olver was published. In appreciation of his work on the Digital Library of Mathematical Functions (NIST), he was awarded the Gold Medal of the US Department of Commerce, the highest honorary award granted by the Department in 2011. More info:


CMNS Graduation Ceremony, Sunday, May 19, 2013, Comcast Center
Procession: 5:10pm
Ceremony: 5:30pm-7:30pm
Speaker: Dr. John C. Mather, Nobel Laureate in Physics, Senior Astrophysicist in the Observational Cosmology Laboratory at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and Adjunct Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland
All Graduates Are Required to RSVP. Tickets are NOT required.

HCIL's 30th Annual Symposium will highlight the cutting-edge research being conducted in the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory at the University of Maryland. The Symposium will take place Wednesday, May 22nd and Thursday, May 23rd with all activities taking place in the Computer Science Instructional Center (CSIC) on the University of Maryland Campus. More info and registration:


The Annual CMNS Spring Academic Festival will be held on May 10, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. in the G. Forrest Woods Atrium, Chemistry Building in recognition and celebration of the outstanding excellence of our faculty, staff and students.

Sankar Das Sarma, the Richard E. Prange Chair in Physics and Distinguished University Professor. The Award recognizes outstanding accomplishments over the previous five years that have had a major impact, and thereby contributed significantly to raising the profile and visibility of the College

Jordan A. Goodman, Professor of Physics. The Award is designed to encourage and recognize significant creative and innovative contributions to the educational experience of undergraduate students.

Aaron Schulman, Ph.D. student, Computer Science.

Ibrahim (Albert) Ades, Department of Biology

Patricia Shields, Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics

Rashmish Kumar Mishra, Department of Physics

Jeffrey Stehr, Department of Atmospheric and Ocean Sciences

Levi Gayatao, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Haydee Hidalgo, Department of Mathematics

Bernadette Gatewood, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science
Sharon Welton, Department of Mathematics

This month, a number of CMNS students have been recognized for their academic achievements:

• Abigail Ahlert (sophomore, AOSC) has been selected as a 2013 Hollings Scholar by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Ahlert has been an active leader and participant in extracurricular activities at UMD. She is a co-founder and president of the American Meteorological Society student chapter at UMD, a writer for the Scientific Terrapin, and a member of the Student Judiciary Board.

• Hai Le (Biological Sciences-Physiology and Neurobiology/Religious Studies, mentored by Anthony Jose, Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics) has been selected as one of UMD's Undergraduate Researchers of the Year. The award will be presented during the opening ceremonies for Undergraduate Research Day, May 1.

• Computer Science and Mathematics seniors Graham Welch (mentor Michelle Hugue, Computer Science) and Luke Valenta (mentor Fawzi Emad, Computer Science) have been chosen as 2013-2014 Philip Merrill Presidential Scholars. Hugue and Emad were named by Welch and Valenta as the faculty mentors who have had the most impact on their academic achievements. This highly selective program recognizes academic excellence in UMD students and the important role that faculty members have as teachers and mentors. Mentors and scholars will be honored at a celebration luncheon on November 5, 2013.

• Michael Warehime (Graduate student, Chemical Physics program) has been awarded one of sixteen Graduate School All-S.T.A.R. Fellowships, 2013-14. These fellowships support and honor graduate students who are both outstanding scholars and outstanding graduate assistants.

• 5 juniors and 58 seniors have been elected to Phi Beta Kappa, spring 2013. Founded in 1776, the Honor Society celebrates and advocates excellence in the liberal arts and sciences. "..Only about 10% of the nation's institutions of higher learning have Phi Beta Kappa chapters."

• 9 students have been awarded NIST Summer Research Fellowships, part of a campus contingent of 43 awardees. Program details:

Catherine Fenselau (Chemistry and Biochemistry) has been included in the list of the 2013 Top 25 Women Professors in Maryland by, in conjunction with partner website The two sites set out to find post-secondary educators who had been recognized recently for excellence in the classroom, on campus and in the community.

James Gates (Physics) has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences in recognition of distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. In January Gates was named a University System of Maryland Regents Professor, and in February President Obama awarded him the National Medal of Science in a White House ceremony.

Eugenia Kalnay (AOSC and IPST) is one of the featured scientists in the InterAmerican Network of Academies of Sciences (IANAS) and IAP publication "Women Scientists in the Americas, Their Inspiring Stories." The book includes interviews with female scientists from 16 IANAS member academies in North, Central, and South America, encouraging students -- particularly young women -- to consider science as a career. Intended for the general public, the book is richly illustrated and produced in both English and Spanish. A National Academies ceremony took place on April 17, marking the release of the book.

Ved Lekic (Geology) is the recipient of the Seismological Society of America's 2013 Charles F. Richter Early Career Award which honors outstanding contributions to the goals of the Society by a member early in her or his career. The Richter award is presented at the annual meeting following the year of the award (2014).

Mary Ann Rankin (Biology and Senior Vice President and Provost) was inducted into the University of Texas-Austin's College of Natural Sciences "Hall of Honor" on April 11 for her many years of distinguished service as Dean. This distinction is the College's highest recognition, awarded upon the recommendation of a panel of faculty members, chairs, and members of the external advisory aboard.

Ben Shneiderman (Computer Science and UMIACS) has been awarded the Graduate Faculty Mentor of the Year Award. The award is intended to recognize outstanding achievement in mentoring by recognizing those faculty members who have made exceptional contributions to students' graduate education and experience. Awardees will be recognized at the Annual Graduate School Fellowships and Award Celebration, May 7.

Konstantin Vinnikov (AOSC) is the recipient of the 2013 CMNS Distinguished Research Scientist Prize. Vinnikov gave the Prize Lecture, "Analysis of Observed Global and Regional Climate Change," on Friday, April 19. The college established the Prize to recognize and celebrate the outstanding research contributions of this important group of faculty. The winner is selected by a committee of research scientists drawn from the college.


Richard Achterberg (Astronomy), NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, $148,378 in additional funding, bringing the total award amount to $424,358, "Zonal Mean Meridional Circulation on Titan and Saturn."

Bob Adler (ESSIC), NOAA, $159,166, "The Global Precipitation Climatology Project Data Products – Transfer to Operations at NCDC."

Hugo Berbery (AOSC and ESSIC) and Luis de Gonkalves (ESSIC), NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, $148,124 in additional funding, bringing the total award amount to $604,920, "Integrating NASA Earth Sciences Research Results into Decision Support Systems for Agriculture and Water Management in South America."

Kenneth Berg (Mathematics), US National Security Agency/Maryland Procurement Office, $105,264 in additional funding, bringing the total award amount to $208,464, "Summer Program in Research and Learning (SPIRAL)."

Hal Daume (Computer Science and UMIACS), Columbia University, $158,583, "E-VERIFY: Discovering and Explaining Technical Emergence through Analysis of the Language and Structure of Scientific Publications (Details)."

Larry Davis (Computer Science and UMIACS), Raytheon Corporation, $350,000, "E-VERIFY: Alladin."

Bill Dorland (Physics and IREAP), Adil Hassam (Physics and IREAP), Jim Drake (Physics, IPST, JSI and IREAP) and Tomoya Tatsuno (IREAP), DOE-Washington, $507,000 in additional funding, bringing the total award amount to $1,701,000, "Maryland Fusion Theory Research Program."

Bonnie Dorr (Computer Science and UMIACS), DARPA-Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, $520,000 in additional funding, bringing the total award amount to $1,040,000, "Intergovernmental Personnel Assignment."

Joseph JaJa (UMIACS, SESYNC and ECE), Maryland Procurement Office, $210,000, "LTS – Program Management Task."

Joseph JaJa (UMIACS, SESYNC and ECE), Maryland Procurement Office, $200,000, "LTS-DO B: Topics in Network Mapping and Measurement."

Joseph JaJa (UMIACS, SESYNC and ECE) and Jonathan Katz (Computer Science and UMIACS), Maryland Procurement Office, $150,000, "LTS-DO C: Network Security: Efficient Protocols for Message Integrity in DTN."

Patrick Kanold (Biology), Johns Hopkins University, $184,270, "Cross-model Regulation of Auditory Cortex Function."

Michael Kelley (Astronomy), NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, $117,000, "Abstract Crystalline Silicates in Comets and Dynamical Mixing of the Disk."

Samir Khuller (Computer Science and UMIACS) and William Gasarch (Computer Science), NSF, $224,491, "REU Site: CAAR: Combinatorial Algorithms Applied Research."

Howard Milchberg (Physics, IREAP, IPST and Maryland NanoCenter) and Ki-Yong Kim (Physics, IREAP and Maryland NanoCenter), Defense Threat Reduction Agency, $316,412 in additional funding, bringing the total award amount to $1,371,080, "Direct Laser-acceleration in Plasma Slow-wave Structures and Application to Gamma-Ray Source for Nuclear Materials Detection."

Howard Milchberg (Physics, IREAP, IPST and Maryland NanoCenter) and Tom Antonsen (Physics and IREAP), DOE-Washington, $260,000 in additional funding, bringing the total award amount to $487,000, "Application of High Intensity Optical Slow Wave Plasma Structures to Advanced Accelerators."

Christopher Monroe (Physics and JQI), Translume Inc., $229,083, "E-VERIFY: Fused Silica Ion Trap Chip with Efficient Optical Collection System for Timekeeping, Sensing, and Emulation."

Lee Mundy (Astronomy), NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, $1,837,313 in additional funding, bringing the total award amount to $28,952,517, "The Goddard Center for Research and Exploration in Space Science and Technology."

Johnpierre Paglione (Physics), NSF, $110,000 in additional funding, bringing the total award amount to $440,000, "Millikelvin Magnetic Field-Angle-Resolved Probe of Quantum Materials."

Mihai Pop (Computer Science, UMIACS and CBCB) and Atif Memon (Computer Science and UMIACS), NIH-National Institute of Allergy and infectious Diseases, $418,778, "Algorithms and Software for the Assembly of Metagenomic Data."

Jonathan Rosenberg (Mathematics), NSF, $118,998 in additional funding, bringing the total award amount to $226,805, "Topology, Noncummutative Geometry, and Mathematical Physics."

Aravind Srinivasan (Computer Science and UMIACS), Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, $294,241 in additional funding, bringing the total award amount to $994,111, "E-VERIFY: Learning and Predicting Ties in Social Networks."

Sergei Sukharev (Biology and Maryland NanoCenter) and Anwar Hug (Maryland Pathogen Research Institute), NIH-National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, $179,080, "The Electrophysiology of Facultative Pathogens.

Eite Tiesinga and Steve Rolston (both Physics and JQI), Army-Research, Development, and Engineering Command, $172,830 in additional funding, bringing the total award amount to $456,285, "Nonlinear Sensing with Collective States of Ultracold Atoms in Optical Lattices."

John Weeks (Physics, Chemistry and Biochemistry and IPST), NSF, $428,000, "Solvation and Structure for Systems with Srong Coulomb Interactions."

Wade Winkler (Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics), NSF, $217,781 in additional funding, bringing the total award amount to 4612,908, "Investigation of Antitermination in Firmicutes."


The High School Physics Olympics was held on April 20, 2013. This annual event features high school teams competing in eight events involving physics theory and experiment. Events included destroying wooden bridges with a hydraulic crusher, construction of devices to project a golf ball accurately onto a target, dropping eggs four stories onto a concrete patio in protection devices made with small amounts of paper and tape, and using a balloon to propel carts made by the students to their maximum range. This year nine (9) teams participated, with the Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School (Team 1) scoring the highest. More information at

CMNS undergraduate teaching and learning activities will be highlighted in four invited presentations at the AAAS August 2013 Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education: Chronicling the Change meeting in Washington, DC. Invited presenters are: Gili Marbach-Ad (Director CMNS Teaching and Learning Center) speaking about the work of our discipline-based teaching and learning center: Joe Reddish (Physics), speaking on the NEXUS project and educational innovations at the interface of physics and biology: Kaci Thompson (Director, CMNS Undergraduate Research and Internship Programs) speaking about the MathBench project and infusing quantitative rigor in the biology curriculum and Ann Smith ( Assistant Dean, Undergraduate Studies) speaking about the Host-Pathogen Interactions faculty learning community.

A group of researchers at the Fraunhofer Center for Experimental Software Engineering has received a NASA Group Achievement Award for their work on software assurance and technology transfer. This is part of NASA's Software Assurance Research Program (SARP). Members who shared in this award included Victor R. Basili (Computer Science and UMIACS) and Marvin Zelkowitz (Computer Science and UMIACS), and adjunct faculty members Mikael Lindvall and Forrest Shull. More information can be found at

ESSIC hosted faculty, scientists, and students from each academic institutional partner of the NOAA Center for Atmospheric Sciences (NCAS), April 25-27. The participants met with NOAA scientists and stakeholders to share research results, discuss project status, and explore opportunities for research-to-operations and research-to-applications. The mission of NCAS (run by Howard University) is to increase the number of highly qualified, well-trained graduates in NOAA-related sciences.

SESYNC invites participants for a two-day short course on Interactive Visualization Tools for Socio-Environmental Data, August 15–16, SESYNC in Annapolis, MD. The goals of the short course are to: introduce participants to interactive information and geospatial visualization principles and tools; provide hands-on experience with a variety of existing applications; and prepare participants to select or design new interactive visualizations. Deadline for application is May 23.

Ben Bederson (Computer Science and UMIACS) has been appointed Special Advisor to the Provost on Technology and Educational Transformation, effective immediately until August 2014. Bederson will lead UMD's efforts, in coordination with the Vice President for Information Technology, to determine the path forward for the broad set of activities that fall under "online and blended learning."

Hector Corrada Bravo (Computer Science and UMIACS) and collaborators recently released "healthvis" – a system to easily produce and share interactive data visualizations commonly used in health applications. A collaboration with the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, healthvis is available at

Bonnie Dorr (Computer Science, UMIACS and Program Manager, DARPA) is the invited speaker at NASA-GSFC's Information Science and Technology Colloquium, May 8, with a topic of "Natural Language Processing: Challenges, Solutions, and Applications."

Sarah Eno (Physics) was the Dean's Distinguished Lecturer, Rowan University's College of Science & Mathematics, April 19, with a topic of "In Search of the Higgs Boson: The LHC and Results from the Energy Frontier."

Jim Gates (Physics), Suvi Gezari (Astronomy and JSI), Carter Hall (Physics) and Eun-Suk Seo (Physics and IPST) were invited speakers at the American Physical Society's April Meeting, April 13-16, Denver, CO. Their talks were entitled, respectively, "Transformation and Opportunity: The Future of the US Research Enterprise – PCAST Report," "Observations of Tidal Disruptions by Black Holes," "Status and Future of Double Beta Decay" and "Current and Future Cosmic Ray Observatories in Space."

Chris Kidd and Joe Munchak (both ESSIC) served as official NASA Precipitation Measurement Mission science experts for members of the social media community as part of the Cherry Blossom Social on April 12, 2013. This event, organized as a joint NASA-Japanese Space Agency (JAXA) activity, provided an opportunity for members of the social media community to learn and tweet, blog etc. about NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and, in particular, the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission.

Atif Memon (Computer Science and UMIACS) will give an invited talk at Apple Headquarters, Palo Alto, CA on May 21, 2013. His audience will include teams that write test automation tools for iOS, executing 10 million tests a month on 600 devices.

Raghu Murtugudde (AOSC and ESSIC) gave an invited talk at the workshop 'Cross-Atlantic Dialogue on Climate Adaptation in Coastal and Mountain Regions' hosted by the Climate Service Center, Hamburg, Germany, April 16-19. Murtugudde's talk was on "Generating Actionable Regional Climate Information."

Derek Richardson (Astronomy) has been selected as an IAS Benjamin Meaker Visiting Professor at the University of Bristol in England. Richardson will visit for one month in the fall with his former graduate student, Zoe Leinhardt (2005 Ph.D. Astronomy), who is an STFC Advanced Research Fellow there. Richardson will present both a general colloquium and a more technical research seminar.

Raj Roy (Physics, IPST and IREAP) and Wendell Hill (Physics, IPST and JQI) are invited speakers at the International School and Workshop: Advanced Computational and Experimental Techniques in Nonlinear Dynamics, Cusco, Peru, May 6-17, with Roy scheduled to give three tutorial lectures and a research talk. Roy was also the speaker at Hope Lutheran Church, Forum on Faith and Science, April 6, with a topic of "Balancing our Checkbooks, Our Lives, and the Scientific Method."

Peter Shawhan (Physics and JQI) was an invited speaker at Towson University, April 26, with a topic of "Tuning in to Gravitational Waves." Earlier, Shawhan and Alessandra Buonanno (also Physics and JSI) hosted a joint meeting of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the Virgo Collaboration, March 18-22, attended by about 275 scientists. LIGO and Virgo are the leading gravitational wave detection projects in the U.S. and Europe, and both are currently installing a new generation of "Advanced" detectors which are expected to start detecting gravitational-wave signals later this decade.

Yudong Tian (ESSIC) was the NASA Goddard Terrestrial Water Cycle Seminar speaker on April 10, with a topic of "Land Surface Microwave Emissivity: Uncertainties, Dynamics and Modeling".

The latest version of the "Bioconductor" project, the premier open-source software system for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology tools, was released on April 4, 2013. It includes three new packages developed at the Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (CBCB). MetagenomeSeq contains tools for finding associations between microbial communities and clinical outcomes in large metagenomic surveys and was developed as a collaboration of the Mihai Pop and Hector Corrada Bravo labs (both Computer Science, UMIACS and CBCB). The other two packages are 'antiProfiles' for creating accurate and robust gene expression signatures in cancer and 'bumphunter' for the discovery of spatial genomic features from high-throughput data. The latter two are developed by the Corrada Bravo lab in collaboration with the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

Bill Phillips (Physics, JQI, IPST and NIST) visited Friends Community School in College Park on Wednesday. April 3, talking to students about his work in techniques of cooling atomic particles.


Michael A'Hearn (Astronomy) was quoted in the Wall Street Journal, April 23, reporting on the Hubble Telescope giving the UMD-led research team their clearest view of Comet ISON. During the week of April 29, while the Hubble still has the comet in view, the UMD team will use the telescope to gather information about ISON's gases. "We want to look for the ratio of the 3 dominant ices, water, frozen carbon monoxide, and frozen carbon dioxide, or dry ice. That can tell us the temperature at which the comet formed, and with that temperature, we can then say where in the solar system it formed." Media coverage included Science Recorder, RedOrbit, Sci-News and the Daily Mail.

BBC News-Science & Environment published an article, April 15, on The High-Altitude Water Cherenkov Observatory (HAWC) gamma-ray telescope capturing its first image – the shadow cast by the Moon as it blocks the light and particles. Jordan Goodman (Physics) is Principal Investigator for the NSF-funded part of HAWC, a facility designed to observe TeV gamma rays and cosmic rays with an instantaneous aperture that covers more than 15% of the sky. The facility is located near Puebla, Mexico.

Media coverage continued for Dennis Bodewits (Astronomy) and NASA's Swift satellite photograph of Comet ISON, released on March 29. Bodewits, lead investigator, with colleagues teamed up with the Lowell Observatory to capture new views of Comet ISON using NASA's Swift satellite. Coverage included RedOrbit, International Business Times-AU, Astronomy Magazine, Science World Report and the French Tribune.

The article "Thermal Conductivity of Supercooled Water" by Graduate student John Biddle (advisor Mikhail Anisimov), Jan Sengers (IPST), Mikhail Anisimov (IPST) and Vincent Holten (Engineering) has been listed by the Journal Club for Condensed Matter Physics as one of the three April "...Selections of Interesting Papers by Distinguished Correspondents." The article, published in Physical Review Letters, April 11, discussed physical reasons for the striking difference between the behavior of thermal conductivity in water near the vapor-liquid and liquid-liquid critical points.

Eric Chapman (Director, MD Cybersecurity Center) was quoted in the Washington Post, April 27 in an article on corporate cybersecurity.

Sankar Das Sarma (Physics and JQI) was quoted in the New Scientist, April 6, in an article on research conducted by Dale Van Harlingen and colleagues at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and published in Physical Review Letters, "Anomalous Modulation of a Zero-Bias Peak in a Hybrid Nanowire-Superconductor Device," March 22. "...This increases our faith that this is indeed the physics of Majorana."

Physics Graduate student Attila Dobi was quoted extensively in a Los Angeles Times article, April 8 on the Large Underground Xenon experiment (LUX) and the start of condensing. LUX is a 350 kg liquid xenon time-projection chamber that aims to directly detect galactic dark matter in an underground laboratory 1 mile under the earth, in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

James Farquhar (Geology and ESSIC) and Graduate student Michael Antonelli, with colleagues, published an article in Nature, April 25, reporting on anomalous sulphur isotope signatures indicating mass-independent fractionation in olivine-hosted sulphides from 20 million year-old ocean island basalts from Mangaia, Polynesia, which have been suggested to sample recycled oceanic crust.

James Gates (Physics) was a guest on 'Midday with Dan Rodricks,' WYPR (88.1), April 8 where he discussed his ideas about the universe, the state of science in the US and his research into space, matter and energy.

The article "When Black Holes Eat Stars" by Suzi Gezari (Astronomy) will be featured on the front cover of the June issue of "Sky and Telescope." Gezari is an expert in time-domain astronomy, a field which focuses on relatively brief events such as flares from the tidal disruption of stars by supermassive black holes.

Christopher Hamilton (Astronomy) led work which identified surprising results in the locations of Jupiter's moon Io's volcanoes. The volcanoes' locations do not correspond to the predictions made by models, which are based on tidal heating of the moon's interior by Jupiter's intense gravitational pull. One proposed explanation is that Io may have a global subsurface magma ocean. Media coverage included Nature World News, Los Angeles Times,, Science World Report, and Huffington Post.

Doug Hamilton (Astronomy) and alumnus Daniel Jontoff-Hutter (2012 Ph.D. Astronomy, advisor Doug Hamilton) are quoted in a feature article of the May 2013 issue of "Sky and Telescope" entitled "Saturn's Amazing Rings" where they discuss the spokes in Saturn's rings and Saturn's giant Phoebe ring.

Thomas Holtz (Geology) was quoted in ABC News and the Edmonton Journal, April 10, in articles on the latest discovery of fossilized dinosaur embryos unearthed in China. "...The latest embryos were not in as pristine condition as the previous find. ..But they have allowed scientists to chart dinosaur growth, which wasn't possible before." Holtz was also interviewed by National Geographic News on the movie "Jurassic Park," and what paleontologists know, 20 years later, about dinosaurs.

Ted Jacobson (Physics and JSI) was quoted in Nature, News Feature, April 4, in an article entitled "Will an astronaut who falls into a black hole be crushed or burned to a crisp?" The article described a conundrum involving black holes and Hawking radiation that is currently rattling the wits of theorists, [since it seems to require giving up cherished principles of either quantum physics or general relativity].

Katrina MacLeod (Biology) and Cynthia Moss (Psychology and Biology) with colleagues published an article in Science, April 19, reporting significant differences between rats' and bats' brain rhythms when certain cells were active in a part of the brain used in memory and navigation. Media coverage included the Boston Globe, The Sacramento Bee, Anchorage Daily News, Wall Street Journal, Baltimore Business Journal and RedOrbit.

William McDonough (Geology) was quoted in Nature, In Focus News, April 4 in a full-page summary of the Neutrino Geosciences Meeting, held in Takayama, Japan, 21-23 March, where KamLAND and Borexino scientists reported seeing geoneutrinos in meaningful quantities. McDonough was an invited speaker at the conference, giving an overview of Geoneutrino Science. He was also quoted in ScienceNews, April 24, in an article on a recently published research by David Draper and Zachary Sharp in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, April 15, on missing chlorine on Earth's surface, suggesting that collisions may have knocked away much of the supply, making it more difficult for complex life to evolve.

Michael Raupp (Entomology) was a guest on WTOP, April 24, April 10 and April 3, where he discussed the emerald ash borer, mosquito season and the Asian Tiger Mosquitoes and how to get rid of ants (in 3 simple steps). On April 6 Raupp was interviewed on NPR about the next brood of cicadas that is ready to emerge on the East Coast – from North Carolina up to the Hudson Valley in NY. Media coverage included Huffington Post, USA Today, CBS News and the Durango Herald.

Derek Richardson (Astronomy) was quoted in The Baltimore Sun, April 27, in a story on UMD's Gamer Symphony Orchestra (100+ members), which will perform at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center on May 4. "...The fact that it's video games appeals to the younger generation," said Richardson, who is the group's faculty advisor, "while the fact that it's orchestral music appeals to all generations." More info at:

Ben Shneiderman (Computer Science and UMIACS) was quoted in Slate magazine, April 15, in an article reprising technology critic Evgeny Morozov's interview at the New America Foundation/Future Tense event. "You're a critic, but you haven't contributed anything. ... It would strengthen your position if you focused on a design project. To create a movement, you need to engage others" said Shneiderman, an audience member. Shneiderman also published an article in The Atlantic, April 23 entitled "Toward an Ecological Model of Research and Development: The choice between basic and applied research is a false one." To read:

Daphne Soares and Hilary Bierman (both Biology) published an article in PLOS One, April 16, reporting on the jumping behavior of the Trinidadian guppy "Poecilia reticulate." While some fish jump to consume non-aquatic food, capture prey, migrate or avoid predators, the researchers propose that the Poecilia reticulate jumping may have evolved for another reason: it allows them to reach all the available habitat in Trinidad's mountain streams, moving away from areas of heavy predation, minimizing competition with one another and keeping the species' genetic variability high. Media coverage included: NBC News, Science News, Science Codex, RedOrbit, LiveScience and CNN. More info:

Dennis vanEngelsdorp (Entomology) was quoted in ScienceNews, April 29, in an article on recently published research in Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences about honeybees collecting pollen nectar from flowers which makes honey with natural detox-boosters that may be missing from commercial bee foods.

Hongbin Yu (ESSIC) was quoted in The Baltimore Sun, April 12 in an article on aerosols reaching North America in greater amounts than previously shown. Yu, et al., published their findings in Science, August 3, 2012, showing that roughly half the aerosols that affect air quality and climate change in North America may be coming from other continents, including Asia, Africa and Europe.


Christine Anderson (1969 B.S. Mathematics) was quoted in and Yahoo! News, in articles on Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic suborbital space plane test flight on April 3 and the passing of the New Mexico Expanded Space Flight Informed Consent Act, which will prevent lawsuit abuse and addresses the risks of spaceflight. The testing of the space plane, and its engine, are in preparation for paying passengers flying to the edge of space.

Bryan Dickinson (2005 B.S. Biochemistry) with his advisor Christopher Chang, University of California, Berkeley, has won the Nobel Laureate Signature Award for Graduate Education in Chemistry for developing and applying new chemical tools to track H2O2 in living organisms. Dickinson and Chang synthesized a series of boronate-caged probes that would fluoresce in the presence of H2O2, using the probes to reveal unexpected roles for H2O2in biology.

Ashutosh Gupta (2012 Ph.D. Physics, advisors Arpita Upadhyaya of Physics and David Levens of the NIH) was co-author on an article published in Nature Structural and Molecular Biology, March edition, entitled "Transcription-dependent Dynamic Supercoiling is a Short-range Genomic Force."

Gene Norman (1985 M.S. AOSC) was featured in the MIT News Magazine, May/June 2013 edition. Prior to being the Chief Meteorologist at a CBS affiliate in Atlanta (200-2012), Norman spent 8 years in the NOAA Space Flight Meteorology Group, Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. He now consults on understanding and mitigating weather risk, blogging at

Heidi Ruffler (2007 M.S. Conservation) travelled to Africa the week of April 16 to meet with Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama, the President of Botswana, to discuss conservation issues. Ruffler is Technical Advisor, Africa and Madagascar Field Division, Conservation International.

Paul Sekhri (1981 B.S. Zoology) has been appointed Group Executive Vice President Global Business Development and Chief Strategy Officer, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, effective June 15. Prior to joining Teva, Sekhri served as Operating Partner and Head Biotech Ops Group at TPG Biotec. He will be based in Israel.

Time Magazine has named Don Yeomans (1967 MS, 1970 Ph.D. Astronomy) one of the 100 most influential people in the world for 2013. His asteroid early warning project "is one of the reasons we can all sleep a little better at night," Time says. At the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Yeomans is a Senior Research Scientist, Supervisor for the Solar System Dynamics Group, and Manager of NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office. For the Deep Impact mission, he was responsible for optimizing the ephemeris of comet Tempel 1 and helping to develop the targeting strategy. He has received 15 NASA Achievement awards including an Exceptional Service Medal and a Space Act Award. Asteroid 2956 was named 2956 YEOMANS to honor his professional achievements.




Astronomy Department – Dr. Stuart Vogel, Chair
Atmospheric and Oceanic Science Department – Dr. James Carton, Chair
Biology Department – Dr. Gerald Wilkinson, Chair
Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics Department – Dr. Norma Andrews, Chair
Chemistry and Biochemistry Department – Dr. Michael Doyle, Chair
Computer Science Department – Dr. Samir Khuller, Chair
Geology Department – Dr. Roberta Rudnick, Chair
Entomology Department– Dr. Charles Mitter, Chair
Mathematics Department – Dr. James Yorke, Chair
Physics Department – Dr. Drew Baden, Chair
CSCAMM – Dr. Eitan Tadmor, Director
ESSIC – Dr. Tony Busalacchi, Director
IPST – Dr. Rajarshi Roy, Director
IREAP – Dr. Thomas Murphy, Director
MPRI – Dr. David Mosser, Director
SESYNC – Dr. Margaret Palmer, Director
UMIACS – Dr. Amitabh Varshney, Director