Search Google Appliance

CMNS News - April 2015


Vol.5, No. 4         April 2015
The College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences
Jayanth Banavar, Dean                  Mary Kearney, Editor


Honors and Awards:
What’s New:
Journal Articles:
In the News:
Alumni News:


Launch UMD program
The state insect of Maryland—the Baltimore Checkerspot butterfly—only exists in small, isolated areas in the state, mostly in Western Maryland. One of the most vividly colored butterflies with its bright orange, white and black pattern, experts worry that the butterfly, once fairly common, may disappear entirely from the state.UMD entomologists have launched a
crowdfunding campaign to raise $5,000 to help bring the state insect back to College Park. To read more about what they want to do, go here. The team’s crowdfunding campaign runs through May 8.

The Human Computer Interaction Lab’s 32nd Annual Symposium is being held on May 28 in the Computer Science Instructional Center. Faculty and graduate students will present their latest work, including research on medical informatics, information visualization, education, children's technologies, accessibility, social media, and design. To register, please go here.

The Paint Branch Distinguished Lecture in Applied Physics was established and endowed by a generous gift in 2014, with the intention of bringing luminaries in the field of applied physics to speak to our community. A selection committee has been appointed to help identify potential candidates for this lectureship, composed of Jim Drake, Jeremy Munday, Rajarshi Roy and Phil Sprangle, and would welcome suggestions for speakers from all members of the UMD community. Suggestions can be sent to the committee  to

Amitabh Varshney (Computer Science and UMIACS) has been reappointed director of UMIACS for a second five-year term, effective July 1, 2015. Varshney, a noted expert in computer visualization, was elected IEEE Fellow in 2010. He is the director of the NVIDIA/CUDA Center of Excellence at UMD as well as the IEEE Visualization and Graphics Technical Committee.



The annual CMNS Academic Festival was held on May 1 to recognize and celebrate the outstanding excellence of our faculty, staff and students:

Board of Visitors Creative Educator Award
Professor Adam A. Porter, Department of Computer Science and the Institute for Advanced Computer Studies

Board of Visitors Distinguished Faculty Award
Professor David A. O'Brochta, Department of Entomology and the Institute for Bioscience & Biotechnology Research

Board of Visitors Outstanding Graduate Student Award 
Kaitlyn E. Crawford, Chemistry Doctoral Program

Dean’s Outstanding Employee Award (non-exempt)
Diane F. Canter, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
Mary B. Sutton, Department of Physics

Dean’s Outstanding Employee Award (exempt)
B. Suzanne Martin, Department of Geology
William R. Schildknecht, Department of Mathematics

Dean’s Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award
William L. Still, Biological Sciences Program

Dean’s Outstanding Lecturer Award
Joseph Houck, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry

Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching
Denny Gulick, Department of Mathematics

Thelma M. Williams Advisor of the Year Award
Nicole F. Horvath, Integrated Life Sciences, Honors College

Dean's Outstanding Faculty Award
Luis A. Orozco, Department of Physics

Eight current students and recent alumni received prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships, which recognize outstanding graduate students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. Read more here.

Graduate student fellowship recipients:

  • Ruilong Hu, neuroscience and cognitive science
  • Madhvi Venkratraman, biological sciences

Undergraduate student fellowship recipients:

  • Daniel Farias, computer science, mathematics, and electrical engineering; graduate institution: University of California, Berkeley, electrical engineering
  • Michael Mandler, chemistry and biological sciences; graduate institution: Harvard University, organic chemistry
  • Rafael Setra, mathematics and electrical engineering; graduate institution: Stanford University, electrical engineering

Alumni fellowship recipients:

  • Prachi Bagadia (2012 B.S. Biological Sciences, B.A. English), graduate institution: Washington University in St. Louis
  • Joseph Pennington (2012 B.S. Biological Sciences and Biochemistry), graduate institution: Florida State University
  • Rishi Sugla (2013 B.S. Geology), graduate institution: University of California, San Diego and Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Three students recieved Hollings Scholarships from NOAA.  Read more here.

  • Jose Gabriel Almario, biological sciences, is a member of the Integrated Life Sciences honors program.
  • Kelsey Malloy, atmospheric and oceanic science, is a member of the Gemstone program.
  • Jonathan Seibert, atmospheric and oceanic science and computer science, is a member of the Design|Cultures+Creativity honors program.

The 2015 J. Robert Dorfman Prize for Undergraduate Research, being presented at the Undergraduate Honors Reception, May 5, has been awarded to:

  • Stephen Randall, physics. Randall worked in the laboratory of James Gates (Physics) and is co-author on two publications from this work. He is enrolling in the high-energy physics Ph.D. program at the University of California, Berkeley, in the fall.
  • Michael Mandler, chemistry and biological sciences. Mentored in his research by Mike Doyle (Chemistry & Biochemistry) Mandler is co-author on four papers, and is first author on one of them. Recently awarded an NSF Graduate Fellowship, he will attend the Ph.D. program in organic chemistry at Harvard this fall.

Michelle Brooks (Deans Office-Biological Sciences graduate program) has been awarded the inaugural 2015 Outstanding Director of Graduate Studies Award by The Graduate School. The award, recognizing the exceptional contributions made to graduate education, a graduate program and/or the graduate student experience in that program, was presented at the Fellowship and Award Celebration, May 7.

Caren Chang (Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics) was named Fellow of the American Society of Plant Biologists in recognition of her distinguished and long-term contributions to plant biology and service to the Society.

The Office of Technology Transfer’s Annual Invention of the Year awards took place on April 29. Nine nominees were selected based on their potential impact on science, society, and the open market. The three winners, two from CMNS, in the categories of physical sciences, life sciences and information sciences, were selected by a panel of independent judges.

  • Winner - physical sciences category: Sang Bok Lee (Chemistry & Biochemistry), Gary Rubloff (Maryland NanoCenter, IREAP and Engineering) and their research team invented a nanopore battery with high energy density and excellent capacity retention. Read more here.
  • Winner - information sciences category: Min Wu (UMIACS and ECE) and team developed a technology that enables the source verification of a video stream by extracting the electrical network frequency (ENF) signals using a camera that views objects lit with incandescent or fluorescent lighting with a rolling shutter. Read more here.
  • Nominee: Ben Bederson (Computer Science, UMIACS and Provost’s Office) and research team developed a national database of food safety inspections, a system that retrieves and compiles food safety data available online on both federal and state websites. Read more here.
  • Nominee: Alessandro Restelli (JQI) developed a single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD) detection system that is so sensitive that it detects photons that arrive at times well before a readout gate is applied, hence increasing the system’s detection duty cycle. Read more here.

Michael Hicks (Computer Science and UMIACS) was named a University of Maryland Distinguished Scholar-Teacher for 2015-2016. This award honors a small number of faculty members each year who have demonstrated notable success in both scholarship and teaching.

Eugenia Kalnay (AOSC) was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Founded in 1780, the Academy is a leading center for independent policy research. The 197 new members will be inducted at a ceremony at the Academy’s headquarters, Cambridge, MA, October 10.

Zhanqing Li (AOSC and ESSIC) was awarded a Humboldt Research Award by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation of Germany. The award is granted in recognition of researchers whose fundamental discoveries, theories or insights have had a significant impact on their own discipline and who are expected to continue producing cutting-edge achievements in the future. Up to 100 research awards are granted every year.

Undergraduate biological sciences student Eva Morgun, received a German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Study Scholarship to conduct gene therapy research in Germany. Morgun is a member of the Integrated Life Sciences honors program. Read more here.

Visiting graduate student Shah Rashed, working in the laboratory of Anwar Huq (MPRI), received an Outstanding Student Poster award for a project on “Comparative Genomics of Vibrio cholerae O1 prototype El Tor Isolated in Bangladesh,” at the American Society for Microbiology’s General Meeting 2015.

A paper co-authored by computer science graduate student Theodoros Rekatsinas and Lise Getoor (Computer Science) et al. titled “SourceSeer: Forecasting Rare Disease Outbreaks Using Multiple Data Sources” won the Best Paper Award at the SIAM Data Mining Conference, Vancouver, British Columbia, April 30-May 2.

Ben Shneiderman (Computer Science and UMIACS) will receive an honorary doctorate of science degree from Stony Brook University, May 21, for his pioneering work in computer science and human-computer interaction. Read more here.

Ariana Sutton-Grier (ESSIC) was named an “Early Career Fellow” of the Ecological Society of America (ESA). The honorary title is given to a select number of members to recognize and honor early career ESA members for their contributions and potential contributions to the discipline.

Biological sciences graduate student Madhvi Venkratraman was awarded one of five CIC/Smithsonian Institution Fellowships for 2015. Venkratraman’s research (advisor Dan Gruner, Entomology) uses genomic transcriptomics tools to study population history and adaptation in island birds. Her work focuses on three island systems: the California Channel Islands, Malaysian Borneo and the Hawaiian Islands.



Ricardo Araneda (Biology), NIH-National Institute on Aging, $316,104, “The Olfactory Bulb-entorhinal cortex Axis as an Early Biomarker for Alzheimer’s Disease.”

Kan Cao (Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics), Maryland Technology Development, $100,000, “Development of Anti-aging cosmetics using Methylene Blue as an Antioxidant.”

Sankar Das Sarma (Physics and JQI), Maryland Procurement Office, $307,962, “Condensed Matter Theory II.”

Larry Davis (Computer Science and UMIACS) and Lise Getoor (Computer Science), Raytheon Company, $146,792, “Aladdin.”

Bryan Eichhorn (Chemistry & Biochemistry), Defense Threat Reduction Agency, $299,999, “Synthetic and Mechanistic Reactivity Studies of Low Oxidation State Aluminum Clusters and Particles for Energetic and Agent Defeat Applications.”

Sinead Farrell (ESSIC), University of Washington, $134,901, “Evaluating the Climatology, Physical Processes, Data Errors and Model Biases in Snow Depths on Arctic Sea Ice in IceBridge and the CESM.”

Catherine Fenselau (Chemistry & Biochemistry) and Yan Wang (Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics), NIH, $600,000, “Orbitrap Fusion Tandem Mass Spectrometer.”

Alexey Gorshkov (JQI and NIST), Air Force Office of Scientific Research, $150,000, “Engineering Exotic Topological Matter and Complex Entanglement Patterns in Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Systems.”

Michael Hicks, David Van Horn and Elaine Shi (Computer Science and UMIACS), Air Force Research Laboratory, $183,882, “SOUCIS: Sound Over- and Under-approximations of Complexity and Information Security.”

Joseph JaJa (UMIACS, SESYNC and ECE) and Tudor Dumitras (UMIACS, Computer Science and ECE), Maryland Procurement Office, $169,760, “Feature Identification for Streaming Detection of Malware.”

Joseph JaJa (UMIACS, SESYNC and ECE), University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development, $159,962, “Digital Preservation Network (DPN).”

Jonathan Katz and Amitabh Varshney (Computer Science and UMIACS), Maryland Procurement Office, $222,951, “Establishing a Science of Security Research Lablet at the University of Maryland: Task Outside Collaborators-subcontractors.”

Jonathan Katz, Amitabh Varshney (Computer Science and UMIACS) and Tudor Dumitras (UMIACS, Computer Science and ECE), Maryland Procurement Office, $178,250, “Establishing a Science of Security Research Lablet at the University of Maryland: Task Empirical Models for Vulnerability Exploits.”

Jonathan Katz, Amitabh Varshney and V.S. Subrahmanian (Computer Science and UMIACS), Maryland Procurement Office, $151,044, “Establishing a Science of Security Research Lablet at the University of Maryland: Task Human Behavioral and Cyber-vulnerability.”

Jonathan Katz, Amitabh Varshney (Computer Science and UMIACS) and Katie Shilton (iSchool), Maryland Procurement Office, $110,905, “Establishing a Science of Security Research Lablet at the University of Maryland: Task Understanding Developers’ Reasoning about Privacy and Security.”

Daryl Kleist (AOSC), Da-Lin Zhang (AOSC and CSCAMM) and Kayo Ide (AOSC, CSCAMM and IPST), NOAA, $152,713, “Improved tropical Cyclone Initialization for NCEP Operations.”

Xin-Zhong Liang (AOSC and ESSIC), Howard University, $133,000, “CWRF Model Development for Climate Services.”

Jimmy Lin (UMIACS and iSchool), Maryland Procurement Office, $123,832, “Prototyping Search and Analytics for the Web in a Box.”

Wolfgang Losert and Michelle Girvan (Physics, IREAP and IPST), NSF, $444,934, “Collective Rotation Networks in Dense Granular Flow Experiments: Connecting Rotation and Translation Across Scales.”

Christopher Monroe (Physics and JQI), Maryland Procurement Office, $280,000, “Ultrafast Quantum Information Operation with Trapped Ions, version 2.4.”

Stephen Penny (AOSC), Eugenia Kalnay (AOSC and IPST) and James Carton (AOSC), NOAA, $196,050, “An Operational Hybrid 3DVar/EnKF Ocean Assimilation System-NCEP.”

Igor Puchtel (Geology), NSF, $288,109, “Origin and Evolution of Silicate Reservoirs in the Early Earth.”

Edward Redish (Physics), NSF, $249,999, “Understanding and Overcoming Barriers to Using Mathematics in Science.”

Derek Richardson (Astronomy), NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, $132,119, “Asteroids under Stress: Constraining Strength and Evolution through Simulations.”

Efrain Rodriguez (Chemistry & Biochemistry and Maryland NanoCenter), NSF, $125,000, “CAREER: Designing Hund’s Metals from Transition Metal Sulfides.”

Anne Simon (Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics), NSF, $498,857, “Translational Enhancement by tRNA Mimics.”



Computer Science hosted the 25th annual University of Maryland High School Programming Contest on April 18. Thirty-three teams from all over Maryland worked together to solve several challenging problems over a three-hour period. Thomas Jefferson High School won first place, with second through sixth places going to the following teams: Montgomery Blair, Boonsboro, Thomas Wootton, Marriotts Ridge, and Centennial.

Linette Boisvert (ESSIC) presented an invited talk at the European Geosciences Union, Vienna, Austria, April 12-17, titled “Moisture flux increases seen in the Arctic between 2003-2013.”  Earlier this month, Boisvert’s research was featured in a NASA Earth Observatory image of the day post, titled “Arctic Moisture on the Move.”

Rita Colwell (UMIACS) was an invited speaker at Oregon State University, April 21, presenting two lectures, one on breaking down barriers for women in STEM and another on her research on the oceanographic factors that drive cholera epidemics.

David Inouye (Biology) gave a plenary lecture about his research at the 5th Congress of the Mexican Ecological Society, in San Luis Potosí, April 22.

Christopher Jarzynski (Chemistry & Biochemistry and IPST) was an invited speaker at Los Alamos National Laboratory, April 30, with a talk on “Defining work in quantum mechanics: interfering trajectories and decohering heat baths.” While at Los Alamos, he participated in the Center for Nonlinear Studies External Advisor Committee meeting. Jarzynski was also an invited speaker at the Tony and Pat Houghton Conference on Non-Equilibrium Statistical Mechanics, Brown University, Providence, RI, May 4-5.

Vedran Lekic (Geology) was the EarthScope speaker at Montana Tech, University of Montana, April 9, with a topic of “Imaging Tectonic Plates – Structure and Deformation of North America.” EarthScope is a program of the National Science Foundation that deploys thousands of seismic, GPS and other geophysical instruments to study the structure and evolution of the North American continent and the processes that cause earthquakes and volcanic eruption.

Gili Marbach-Ad, Kaci Thompson (Dean’s Office) with Education student Laura Egan, authored the book “A Discipline-based Teaching and Learning Center: A Model for Professional Development,” Springer, published April 14. The book describes “…the design and implementation of a discipline-specific model of professional development: the disciplinary Teaching and Learning Center (TLC). TLC was born from a strong commitment to improving undergraduate science education through supporting the front-line educators who play an essential role in this mission.”

Thomas Newman (ESSIC) recently spent 18 days in Barrow, AK in the field with the Naval Research Laboratory as part of their DISTANCE/Sea ice physics projects. Barrow is located above the Arctic Circle. Newman worked on in situ site selection and the analysis of the airborne snow radar data and participated in the ground campaign which included taking snow pit measurements to see the structure of the snow pack, snow magnaprobe measurements to measure snow depth, and EM31 ground conductivity measurements to derive sea ice thickness.

Eun-Suk Seo (Physics and IPST) presented results from Cosmic Ray Energetics and Mass (CREAM) Experiment at the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) Collaboration meeting, held in Geneva, April 15.



Russ Dickerson (AOSC) et al., “Regional air quality impacts of hydraulic fracturing and shale natural gas activity: Evidence from ambient VOC observations,” Atmospheric Environment, June edition.

Lan Jian (Astronomy) et al., “Low-frequency waves within isolated magnetic clouds and complex structures: STEREO observation,” Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, April 6.

Jacek Klos (Chemistry & Biochemistry) et al., “Surface-hopping trajectories for OH(A2Σ+) + Kr: Extension to the 1A″ state,” Journal of Chemical Physics, April 14.

Tingting Liu, Suvi Gezari and Sebastien Heinis (Astronomy) et al., “A periodically varying luminous quasar at z= 2 from the Pan-STARRS1 medium deep survey: A candidate supermassive black hole binary in the gravitational wave-driven regime,” The Astrophysical Journal Letters, April 20.

Raghu Murtugudde (AOSC and ESSIC) et al., “Strong influence of westerly wind bursts on El Niño diversity,” Nature Geoscience, April 13.

Xiaolei Niu (AOSC and Chinese Academy of Sciences) and Rachel Pinker (AOSC), “An improved methodology for deriving high-resolution surface shortwave radiative fluxes from MODIS in the Arctic region,” Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, March 27.

Gregory Nusinovich (IREAP) et al., “Effect of ion compensation of the beam space charge on gyrotron operation,” Physics of Plasmas, April 24.

Gretchen Peters, Luke Skala, Taylor Pland and Jeffery Davis (Chemistry & Biochemistry) et al., “G4-quartet·M+ borate hydrogels,” JACS, April 14.

Leslie Ries (Biology and SESYNC) et al., “A citizen army for science: Quantifying the contributions of citizen scientists to our understanding of monarch butterfly biology,” BioScience, April edition.

Eric Rosenthal, Nihal Jhajj, Sina Zahedpour, Jared Wahlstrand (IREAP) and Howard Milchberg (Physics, IREAP and ECE), “Sensitivity of propagation and energy deposition in femtosecond filamentation to the nonlinear refractive index,” Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics, April 10.

Marianna Safronova (JQI) et al., “Systematic evaluation of an atomic clock at 2 × 10−18 total uncertainty,” Nature Communications, April 21.

Bahman Sarabi, Aruna Ramanayaka (Physics), Fred Wellstood (Physics and JQI) and Kevin Osborn (JQI) et al., “Cavity quantum electrodynamics using a near-resonance two-level system: Emergence of the Glauber state,” Applied Physics Letters, April 27.

Thomas Smith and Phillip Arkin (ESSIC), “Improved historical analysis of oceanic total precipitable water,” Journal of Climate, April 15.

Ariana Sutton-Grier (ESSIC) et al., “Exploring connections among nature, biodiversity, ecosystem services, and human health and well-being: Opportunities to enhance health and biodiversity conservation,” Ecosystem Services, April 8.

Mathieu Touboul, Igor Puchtel and Richard Walker (Geology), “Tungsten isotopic evidence for disproportional late accretion to the Earth and Moon,” Nature, April 8.

Wenlu Zhu (Geology) et al., “Visco-poroelastic damage model for brittle-ductile failure of porous rocks,” Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, April 14.



Ben Bederson (Computer Science and UMIACS) was quoted in articles in The Daily Record, April 3, and GCN, April 10, on the creation of the largest national database of food safety inspection information. “…Our data robots cover a large number of local jurisdictions across the United States, continuously detecting new data posted by each jurisdiction, and integrating them into a single, standardized and cumulative database.”

Biology graduate student Gerry Carter (advisor, Gerald Wilkinson) was quoted in Science, April 10, in a story on recently published research by scientists from the National Institute of Amazonian Research, Brazil who analyzed droppings from vampire bats to discover exactly what the bats preferred to eat. “…This project that they did was my dream.”

Rita Colwell (UMIACS) was featured in the Albany Democrat-Herald, April 19, in an article on bias toward women in academia and the ADVANCE program. “…The reason we haven’t made progress on these basic issues is that we’re only now beginning to realize that the discrimination or the bias, I should say, is actually … embedded in us.”

Douglas Currie (Physics) was quoted in Laser Focus World, April 28, in an article on the “Lunar Laser Retro Reflector Array for the 21st Century” and Currie’s role in a new retroreflector package. “…The unique characteristics of these high-density electrodeposited gold and silver coatings are critical to a successful development of this experiment to address the fundamental characteristics of the cosmos.”

Drake Deming (Astronomy) was quoted in Techie News, April 13, in an article on NASA releasing the third video celebrating the Hubble Telescope’s 25th anniversary. “…The first detection of an atmosphere of an extrasolar planet was made with Hubble by looking through the transmission of light through the atmosphere and detecting sodium absorption. If you can detect sodium, then you can conceivably detect molecules that are essential to life or indicative of life in the atmosphere of small planets.”

Research conducted by Russ Dickerson (AOSC) et al. (see Journal Articles) was featured in The Baltimore Sun, April 30. The researchers found a spike in ethane levels in the Baltimore-Washington area that could be associated with hydraulic fracturing and shale natural gas operations in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Sinead Farrell (ESSIC) was quoted in LiveScience, April 14, in an article on a recently released image from NASA’s Operation IceBridge mission showing pulses of laser light hitting Arctic sea ice. “…The ethereal image was captured during the first few hours of twilight, and the lack of sunlight at this time revealed this typically invisible feature.” Farrell is a member of the Operation IceBridge team.

Jim Gates (Physics) was quoted in LiveScience, April 13, in an article on the Large Hadron Collider restarting operations, which particles may be found and which are on the list of the “most wanted particles. “… If there are more, that would open up all sorts of new perspectives," said Gates, referring to a Higgs-like particle.

Suvi Gezari (Astronomy) was quoted in Tech Times, April 20, in an article on recently published research (see Journal Articles) showing direct evidence of a pulsing quasar, which may substantiate the existence of black hole binaries. “…We believe we have observed two supermassive black holes in closer proximity than ever before.” The research was also featured in an article in Nature, April 20, with quotes from Cole Miller (Astronomy). “…This merger would be amazing, if we saw it.” The numerical simulations the authors featured were headed by Roman Gold (Physics).

Douglas Gill, David Inouye (Biology) and Sam Droege (1980 B.S. Biological Science) were quoted in a LiveScience article, April 23, on climate change, earlier than normal season changes and the effects on birds and plants.

Computer science and electrical engineering senior Shariq Hashme and Stacey Sickels Locke (Dean’s Office), were quoted in The New York Times, April 6, in an article on Hackathons. Hashme and his team participated in the recent TreeHacks event. “…Sitting in your dorm alone and trying to work on something, you wind up doing things you regret later, like watching a movie or browsing the Internet.”

Thomas Holtz (Geology) was quoted in articles in the Huffington Post, Nature and the Christian Science Monitor, April 29-30, on a newly discovered “bird-like” dinosaur with bat-like wings in Hebei Province, China. He was quoted in Nature, April 10, in an article on recently published research suggesting that the way to tell fossils of male dinosaurs from female dinosaurs may be in the bones near the base of the tail. Media coverage included the Daily Mail. On April 7, Holtz was quoted in an NBC News article on a recent study providing evidence that Brontosaurus is distinct from Apatosaurus and can be reinstates as its own genus. “…But as long as you recognize these as separate species, at least now there is a valid justification to return the species 'excelsus' to the old genus Brontosaurus."

Bruce Kane (JQI) was quoted in Cosmos magazine, April 27, in an article on Australian researchers trying to build a silicon quantum computer. “...I continue to believe that large-scale silicon quantum computing will become a reality, but there is still a long, steep road ahead of us.”

Research on the removal of nitrogen from urban streams conducted by Sujay Kaushal (Geology and ESSIC) and colleagues was featured an article in the Chesapeake Quarterly, April edition.

Jonathan Katz (Computer Science and UMIACS), was quoted in the Christian Science Monitor, April 6, in an article on Heartbleed – the security bug that can give hackers access to encrypted data. “…Patching computers doesn’t cost anything … But having new certificates issued costs money. There has always been some speculation that incomplete fixes were a cost/benefit decision. Customers can’t distinguish between sites that made the proper changes and the ones that didn’t.”

Sustainable development and conservation biology graduate student Robb Krehbiel authored an article for the Missoulian, April 27, on his experience charting the movement of bears and possible sustainable habitats as a summer intern working with Defenders of Wildlife in the Ninemile area, northwest of Missoula, MT.

Research conducted by Yan Li (AOSC), Safa Motesharrei (SESYNC) and Eugenia Kalnay (AOSC and IPST), published last month in Nature Communications on how large-scale deforestation could impact global food production by triggering changes in local climate was featured in Nature World News, April 2.

Bill McDonough (Geology) was quoted in the Smithsonian magazine, April 15, in an article on recently published studies on the creation of the Earth’s magnetic shield. “…I put this idea at well below the 50 percent chance of being right.”

Raghu Murtugudde (AOSC and ESSIC) was quoted in The Baltimore Sun, April 15, in an article on his recently published research (see Journal Articles) suggesting that prolonged wind bursts originating in the western Pacific have a strong effect on whether an El Niño event will occur and how severe it is likely to be. He also authored an Op-ed article in LiveScience, April 3, titled “5 Resources Nations Need to Survive a Warming World.” The article was picked up by Yahoo News.

Biological sciences undergraduate Katherine Perez was featured in a blog by the National Council of La Raza, April 15, about her journey from Colombia, South America to Maryland. The story was picked up by the Huffington Post.

Mike Raupp (Entomology) was interviewed by WTOP, April 27, on the emerald ash borer and infested ash trees and on April 3 he talked about wood eating termites, the damage they can cause and what to do if you detect an infestation in your home.

Computer science graduate student Andrew Ruef was quoted in a Vice article titled “The Rise of the Hackbots,” April 17. “…If you wanted to take the human obsolesce, ‘robots are here to steal our future’ view of the world, Cyber Grand Challenge is here to put hackers out of work.”

Elaine Shi (Computer Science and UMIACS) was quoted in an MIT News article, April 23, on MIT researchers creating a system for defending against memory-access attacks. “…This is groundbreaking work.”

Tom Snitch (UMIACS) and his work using drones to help reduce the poaching of rhinos were featured by NBC and BBC, April 4. The research was also featured in the AFK Insider, Fox News and the New York Observer. A video, by the Associated Press, can be viewed here.  “…By using science, math, and satellites and drones — maybe we have a chance to save some of these animals.”

Ian Spielman (JQI and NIST) authored a Science Perspective article, April 10, on research published in the same edition. “…Langen et al. have shown that cold-atom experiments can be used to study the thermodynamics of systems with internal constraints and can provide the understanding required to predict the outcome of an experiment.”

Entomology graduate student Chris Taylor, Galen Dively and Mike Raupp (Entomology) were quoted in a CBS story, April 6, on their need for stink bugs to continue their research. “…This is a great opportunity to collect insects and help us supplement our colony by getting lots of bugs to do our studies.”

Barbara Thorne (Entomology) was interviewed by the Sun-Sentinel, April 28, for a segment on conehead termite nests being destroyed in Dania Beach, FL. “…It eats almost everything. Houses, agriculture, dead wood from living trees. So we really want to stop them.”

Dennis vanEngelsdorp (Entomology) was quoted in articles in US News & World Report and Voice of America, April 22, on recently published research on a popular pesticide, known as neonicotinoids, and its effect on the wild bee population. On April 15, he was quoted in a Time article on the continuing high death rates of bee colonies.

Richard Walker (Geology) was quoted in a Discovery News article, April 8, on recently published research (see Journal Articles) reconciling the “giant impact” model of the moon’s formation with the unexpectedly similar isotopic “fingerprints” of the moon and Earth. “The small, but significant, difference in the tungsten isotopic composition between Earth and the Moon perfectly corresponds to the different amounts of material gathered by Earth and the moon post-impact.” Media coverage included BBC, CBS, National Geographic, Red Orbit and the Washington Post.

VisiSonics, a UMD spinout that enables realistic 3D audio for music, movies and gaming in standard headphones, was featured in an article in Backchannel, April 22. VisiSonics’ management team includes Ramani Duraiswami, President and CEO (Computer Science and UMIACS), graduate student Adam O’Donovan, CTO and VP (2005 B.S. Computer Science, 2006 B.S. Physics) and Bill Strum, VP of Business Development (1972 M.S. Computer Science).

Ellen Williams (Physics, IPST and Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy) was interviewed in Innovation, April edition, in an article titled “What Is ARPA-E Up to Now?”  On April 1, she was mentioned in Scientific American, in an article on ARPA-E, its history and impact.



Connect with UMD Science:Web| Twitter| Facebook| LinkedIn

In recognition of their many accomplishments, the 2015 Distinguished Alumni Awards were presented on April 10. Read more here.

Robert (Bob) Hanisch (1978 M.S. and 1981 Ph.D. Astronomy), Director, NIST Office of Data and Informatics.

David DeWitt (1992 M.S. and 1994 Ph.D. Meteorology), Director, NOAA Climate Prediction Center.

Julius Hyatt (1980 B.S. Zoology), Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, Maryland Center for Oral Surgery and Dental Implants.

Stefanie Vogel (1972 B.S. and 1977 Ph.D. Microbiology), Professor, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology.

Brian Crawford (1976 B.S. Biochemistry), President, Publications Division, American Chemical Society.

Shayan Zadeh (2002 M.S. Computer Science), Co-founder Zoosk and Gear Zero.

Wayne White (1980 B.S. Entomology), Vice President and Director of Technical Services, American Pest Management.

Phil Piccoli (1992 Ph.D. Geology), Senior Research Scientist, Department of Geology, UMD.

Georgette Kiser (1989 B.S. Mathematics), Managing Director and Chief Information Officer, Carlyle Group.

Jordan Goodman (1973 B.S., 1975 M.S. and 1978 Ph.D. Physics), Professor, Department of Physics, UMD.

Todd Beal (1986 B.S. Chemistry) was named director of quality and food safety for Allen Harim, a chicken processing company. Previously Beal was Director of food safety and quality assurance at Hain Pure Protein, York, PA.

Amanda Bender (2011 B.S. Geology and B.A. German) was featured in the Daily Journal, April 13, in an article on a STEM workshop with a “Big Bang Theory” theme at the Mineral Area College, Park Hills, MO. Bender is a biogeochemistry graduate student at Washington University in St. Louis.

George Buchman (1988 Ph.D. Biochemistry) is an invited speaker at the Atlantic Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics Summit, “Formal and Informal Models for Regional Synergy in Vaccine Development” panel session, being held in Bethesda, MD, May 7-8.  Buchman is vice president, pre-clinical services and process development of Paragon Bioservices.

Ori Eyal (1995 B.S. Computer Science) was interviewed by ValueWalk for the Harvest Interview Series, April 21. Eyal is founder and managing partner of Emerging Value Capital Management LLC.

Robert Fischell (1953 M.S. Physics) and his invention, SpringTMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation) treatment system device for migraine sufferers, were featured in The Baltimore Sun, April 24.

Raef Haggag (2005 B.S. Computer Science) was featured in the Jakarta Post, April 5. Haggag, a singer-songwriter, recently released a solo album titled “The Path” that chronicles his journey as an American Muslim. “…People are looking for positive, clean, high quality music and this is something I hope my album can bring.”

Joe Haldeman (1967 B.S. Astronomy) was interviewed by, April 20, on his book “The Forever War” published in 2009. Currently an adjunct professor at MIT, Haldeman, a combat engineer in Vietnam, has written 14 books.

John Hsu (1997 Ph.D. Chemistry) was hired by Schiff Hardin LLP as a partner in its intellectual property group located in Washington, D.C. Hsu has represented generic drug manufacturers in patent litigation before trial and appellate courts. Hsu earned his law degree from the University of Maryland School of Law.

Judith Iriarte-Gross (1981 B.S., 1984 M.S. Chemistry) was featured in the Daily News Journal, April 26, spotlighting her career encouraging women to pursue STEM careers. Iriarte-Gross is a professor of chemistry at Middle Tennessee State University.

Samir Kaul (1997 M.S. Biochemistry) returned to campus April 28 to present a talk titled “Entrepreneurial Roller Coasters,” for UMD’s 30 Days of EnTERPreneurship. Kaul is a founding general partner at the venture capital firm Khosla Ventures, where he focuses on sustainability investing including food and agriculture.

John Mulchaey (1994 Ph.D. Astronomy) was appointed the Crawford H. Greenewalt Director of the Carnegie Observatories. “…His scientific expertise, his judgment about how to foster scientific education and projects, and his leadership experience will be crucial for launching Carnegie into the next era of astronomical research. He has been heavily involved in planning the Giant Magellan Telescope, which will be built on our land in Chile, and will continue to be a key coordinator for GMT research as it comes on line in the next decade.”

Poojay Sankar (2004 M.S. Computer Science) provided commentary in Fortune magazine, April 20, on bias against female computer science majors. She is the founder and CEO of Piazza, an online collaboration platform for students and teachers to communicate.

Kanwal Singh (1986 B.S. Physics) was named Dean of the Sarah Lawrence College, a liberal arts college located in Bronxville/Yonkers, NY. Singh earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the University of California, Berkeley.

The documentary “Islands of Creation” featuring research conducted in the Solomon Islands by Albert Uy (2000 Ph.D. Biological Science) premiered at the University of Miami, April 23. The one-hour film is scheduled to be aired on the Smithsonian Channel in July. Uy is the Aresty Chair in Tropical Ecology, University of Miami.


Astronomy Department – Dr. Stuart Vogel, Chair
Atmospheric and Oceanic Science Department – Dr. James Carton, Chair
Biology Department – Dr. Bill Fagan, Chair
Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics Department – Dr. Jonathan Dinman, Chair
Chemistry & Biochemistry Department – Dr. Janice Reutt-Robey, Chair
Computer Science Department – Dr. Samir Khuller, Chair
Entomology Department– Dr. Leslie Pick, Chair
Geology Department – Dr. Roberta Rudnick, Chair
Mathematics Department – Dr. Scott Wolpert, Chair
Physics Department – Dr. Drew Baden, Chair
CSCAMM – Dr. Eitan Tadmor, Director
ESSIC – Dr. Tony Busalacchi, Director
IPST – Dr. Christopher Jarzynski, Director
IREAP – Dr. Thomas Murphy, Director
MPRI – Dr. David Mosser, Director
SESYNC – Dr. Margaret Palmer, Director
UMIACS – Dr. Amitabh Varshney, Director