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CMNS News - December 2014 and January 2015

Vol.5, No. 1         December 2014-January 2015
The College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences
Jayanth Banavar, Dean                  Mary Kearney, Editor



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



CMNS College Assembly - All faculty and staff are invited to attend
Friday, February 13, 2015 at 2:00pm
0200 Skinner Hall - The Brian Lyons Computer Science Endowed Scholarship   
The scholarship, established in 2007 in honor of Brian Lyons (1987 B.S. Computer Science), is awarded annually to a computer science major who displays a passion for computer science and another academic discipline or extracurricular activity. Lyons, who died in a September 3, 2007 accident at age 42, enjoyed helping others learn and mentored many people at Number Six Software and around the tech world. Lyons was the CEO and CTO of Number Six Software. 

Matthew Wright has joined CMNS as science writer and media coordinator. Wright comes to us from the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, where he led communications and outreach for U.S. participation in the International Ocean Discovery Program. Prior to this position, he was a science writer at the Communication Partnership for Science and the Sea (COMPASS) and the Carnegie Institution for Science. He brings with him a decade of experience in science writing and communications that spans a wide range of disciplines, including most (if not all) of our CMNS research areas. Wright earned his bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of New Mexico, master’s degree in biology from Arizona State University, and a certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz.



Alfred C. Boyd, Jr. (Chemistry & Biochemistry, Emeritus) passed away on Friday, December 5. Boyd joined the faculty in 1957 after earning his Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from Purdue University. Although he retired in 2003, he continued to teach general chemistry courses until 2006. Boyd established the department’s annual Albertus Magnus Award for Outstanding Teaching Assistant in General Chemistry in 1990, and, for many years he was the master of ceremonies at the college commencement.

John O. Corliss (Biology, Emeritus) died on December 21. Corliss was a distinguished protozoologist who served as chair of the Department of Zoology (now Biology) for 18 years, concentrating on building Maryland’s research reputation in the field of ecology, while not neglecting cell biology. He recruited an internationally recognized group of faculty working with protozoological material. Previously he spent a year as program director of systematic biology at the National Science Foundation, was head of biological sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago circle and spent a decade at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he directed more than 20 graduate students. In his honor, the International Society of Protistologists presents an annual award to a member of the society for an outstanding paper in ciliate systematics.



Odyssey magazine won a Silver Award from CASE District II for the cover of the June 2014 Big Data issue. Loretta Kuo, Dean’s Office, was the creative designer. Judge’s comments included “Certainly innovative and invites readers to their "big data" story in a way that's unexpected and capturing the reader’s attention right away” and “A smart solution which engages the audience to experience the ideas in the article. The award was presented at the annual conference, Washington, D.C., February 1-3.

AOSC graduate student Daniel Anderson was awarded an American Geophysical Union (AGU) Outstanding Paper Award at the Fall 2014 AGU Meeting, San Francisco, December 15-19. The award promotes, recognizes and rewards undergraduate, master’s and Ph.D. students for quality research in the geophysical sciences.

Graduate student team members Soham De and Srijan Kuman (Computer Science) and Zahra Ashktorab (iSchool) were one of four winning teams in the third annual Future of Information Alliance-Deutsch Foundation Seed Grant Competition. Their project, “iAnon: Third Party Application for Cyberbullying detection and Mitigation,” proposes developing a tool that allows do-gooders to send victims of cyberbullying positive and supportive messages.  Jennifer Golbeck (Computer Science and iSchool) and Jessica Vitak (iSchool) were the team’s faculty mentors.

Michael Fisher (IPST) was awarded the Rudranath Capildeo Award for Applied Science and Technology by the Trinidad and Tobago National Institute of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (NIHERST), January 10. The award recognizes nationals for outstanding achievements in science and technology.

AOSC graduate student Andrew Jongeward was awarded an Outstanding Student Poster Presentation Award for his contributions to the 2015 American Meteorology Society’s annual meeting, January 4-8, Phoenix, AZ.

Jonathan Katz (Computer Science and UMIACS) has been awarded a Humboldt Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. The award is granted in recognition of a researcher's entire achievements to date; to academics whose fundamental discoveries, new 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. Katz will collaborate with Michael Backes and Dominique Schroeder at Saarland University, Germany.

Melissa Kenney (ESSIC) was selected by the Scientific Research Society Sigma Xi to receive the 2015 Young Investigator Award. Established in 1996 “to recognize researchers in the early stages of their careers whose outstanding contributions best exemplify the ideals of Sigma Xi,” the award includes the opportunity to present the Young Investigator Award Lecture at the 2015 Sigma Xi Annual Meeting in Kansas City, Missouri.

Computer Science undergraduate student Jeremy Krach was one of over 4,900 participants in the 2014 IBM Master the Mainframe Contest, placing within the top 5 in the country and 3rd overall. The contest, which started in October and ended on December 31, involved learning how to use, maintain and design applications on a mainframe computer. The top 5 winners are given the opportunity to visit IBM's Poughkeepsie headquarters, meeting IBM executives and touring the facilities.

Computer Science graduate students Chang Liu, Hossein Esfandiari, Manish Purohit and Mohammadreza Khani were selected as 2015 Future Faculty Fellows. Recently expanded to include computer science students, the program was launched by the Clark School of Engineering in 2007.

Charles Misner (Physics), with collaborator Stanley Deser (Brandeis), has been awarded the 2015 Einstein Medal by the Albert Einstein Society for “…important contributions to general relativity, in particular the development of the so-called ADM formalism.” In 1959 Richard Arnowitt, Deser and Misner found a way to recast Einstein's equations in a form that allowed hard-won mechanical and electromagnetic intuitions to be applied to gravity. This enabled a computational approach to become a major method for understanding black hole interactions.

Edgar Moctezuma (Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics) has been selected as a 2015 Stamp Service-Learning Faculty Fellow. The Fellows program is sponsored by the Adele H. Stamp Student Union-Center for Campus Life and supported by the Teaching and Learning Transformation Center.

Gregory Nusinovich (IREAP) is the winner of the CMNS Distinguished Research Scientist Award. Nusinovich has distinguished himself as a pioneer in the field of high-power millimeter-wave electromagnetic sources. As the winner of the award, Nusinovich will give a talk on his work this semester at a date to be announced, and receive a plaque and a cash prize.

Herman Sintim (Chemistry & Biochemistry and Maryland NanoCenter) has been awarded a 2015-2016 Sigma Xi Distinguished Lectureship by the Sigma Xi Society. Lecturers “…communicate their insights and excitement to a broad range of scholars and to the community at large.”

Aravind Srinivasan (Computer Science and UMIACS) has been elected a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) for contributions to algorithms, probabilistic methods, and networks.

Peter Yoon (IPST) has been elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society in recognition of his “contributions to fundamental kinetic plasma turbulence theory and for numerous research contributions in magnetospheric, solar, and interplanetary plasmas.”



Alessandra Buonanno (Physics), NSF, $286,563, “In Search of Gravitational Waves: Modeling the Final Moments of Coalescing Compact Binaries.”

Cerruti Hooks, Amanda Buchanan and Guihua Chen (Entomology), USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture, $150,000, “Using Habitat Manipulation to Help Farmers Manage Multiple Pest Complexes in Vegetable Crops.”

Vedran Lekic (Geology), David and Lucile Packard Foundation, $875,000, “Packard Fellowship.”

Christopher Monroe (Physics and JQI), Lockheed Martin, $150,000, “Lockheed Martin-University of Maryland Quantum Engineering Center (QEC).”

Vladimir Manucharyan (Physics and JQI), NSF, $107,920, “Career: Realizing the ultrastrong coupling regime of quantum electrodynamics using high-impedance Josephson superconducting circuits.”

Xiaolei Zou (ESSIC), Mississippi State University, $233,875, “Improving Coastal Precipitation Forecast Through Direct Assimilation of GOES-R ABI Radiance in GSI-NAM/HWRF.”

Xiaolei Zou (ESSIC), Mississippi State University, $106,675, “Improve Gulf Coast Hurricane Forecasts through Direct Assimilation of Satellite Radiance and Retrieval Data.”



The American Physical Society launched the Richard L. Greene Dissertation Award in Experimental Condensed Matter or Materials Physics. The award, established in 2013, honors the scientific and administrative contributions of Richard Greene (Physics) to experimental condensed matter and materials physics. Given annually, the award recognizes doctoral thesis research of exceptional quality and importance in experimental condensed matter or experimental materials physics.

Steve Anlage (Physics) was an invited speaker at the 9th International Symposium on Intrinsic Josephson Effects and THz Plasma Oscillations in High-Tc Superconductors, with a topic of “Coherence and Transparency in rf SQUID Metamaterials,” Kyoto, Japan, December 1. On January 7 he gave an invited talk at The 5th International Conference on Nanophotonics and Metamaterials, Seefeld, Austria, on the same subject.

Jonathan Dinman (Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics) has been invited to join the Editorial Board of the Journal of Biological Chemistry for a five-year term, beginning July 2015.

Keryn Gedan (Biology) is co-editor of the recently published book “Marine Historical Ecology in Conservation: Applying the Past to Manage for the Future.” Published by the University of California Press, December 2014, the book “…highlights the innovative ways that historical ecology can be applied to improve conservation and management efforts in the oceans.”

Michelle Girvan (Physics, IPST and IREAP) has been elected a Member-at-Large of the American Physical Society’s Topical Group on Statistical and Nonlinear Physics.

Evan Golub (Computer Science), with design partners Alex T. and Oliver F. (both age 12) from the Barrie Prep School, won the Future of Information Alliance's "Shaping the Future of Learning" challenge, December 6, for their prototype model of a Google Glass-augmented 3D-printed animal dissection lab.

Kara Hoffman (Physics and JSI) was a plenary speaker at the 225th Meeting of the American Astronomical Society, Seattle, Washington, January 4-8. Hoffman’s talk was titled “The Discovery of High Energy Astrophysical Neutrinos: First Light, New Questions.”

Chris Jarzynski (Chemistry & Biochemistry and IPST) and Sriram Ramaswamy (1977 B.S. Physics) were invited speakers at the 16th Berkeley Mini Stat Mech Meeting, January 9-11.

CMNS Board of Visitors member Sam Malhotra has been appointed Secretary of the Maryland Department of Human Resources, January 16. Malhotra (1981 B.A. Economics) is founder and CEO of Subsystem Technologies, an Arlington, VA based company that provides support to the federal government. In his new position, he will lead Maryland's primary social service provider, which serves over 1 million people annually.

Rabindra Mohapatra (Physics and JSI) presented a plenary talk on "TeV scale lepton number violation and origin of matter" at the conference "Discrete 2014," King's College, London, UK, December 2-7. The meeting was a celebration of 150 years of Maxwell's equation and focused on the role of symmetries in particle physics.

Jan Sengers (IPST) represented the University of Maryland at a special session of the annual symposium of the J.M. Burgers Centre (JMBC) held at the Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands on January 15, honoring Professor Gijs Ooms as Director of JMBC. The title of his presentation was “Gijs Ooms, JMBC, and the University of Maryland.”

Ellen Williams (Physics and IPST) was confirmed as Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy on December 8. The agency was launched in 2009 to advance high-potential, high-impact energy technologies that are too early in development for private-sector investment. Prior to her new DOE appointment, Williams was chief scientist for BP, a position she had held since 2010. She is currently on a leave of absence from UMD.



Michael A’Hearn and Dennis Bodewits (Astronomy) et al., “Dust measurements in the coma of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko inbound to the Sun,” “The morphological diversity of comet 67P/ Churyumov-Gerasimenko” and “On the nucleus structure and activity of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko,” Science, January 23.

Norma Andrews, Patricia Almeida and Matthias Corrotte (Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics) “Damage control: cellular mechanisms of plasma membrane repair,” Trends in Cell Biology, December edition.

Michael Antonelli, Marc Peters, Richard Walker, Joost Hoek (Geology) and James Farquhar (Geology and ESSIC) et al., “Early inner solar system origin for anomalous sulfur isotopes in differentiated protoplanets,” PNAS, December 16.

Ashton Belew and Jonathan Dinman (Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics), “Cell cycle control (and more) by programmed −1 ribosomal frameshifting: implications for disease and therapeutics,” Cell Cycle, January 21 online.

Hugo Berbery (ESSIC and AOSC) et al., “Regional climate modelling in CLARIS-LPB: a concerted approach towards twentyfirst century projections of regional temperature and precipitation over South America,” Climate Dynamics, January edition.

Karen Carleton (Biology) et al., “Ancestral duplications and highly dynamic opsin gene evolution in percomorph fishes,” PNAS, December 29.

Neil Carter (SESYNC) et al., “Impacts of people and tigers on leopard spatiotemporal activity patterns in a global biodiversity hotspot,” Global Ecology and Conservation, January edition.

Charles Delwiche and Bastian Bentlage (Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics) et al., “Evolutionary relatedness does not predict competition and co-occurrence in natural or experimental communities of green algae,” Proceedings of the Royal Society B, December 3.

Michael Foss-Feig (JQI) and Ana Maria Rey (2004 Ph.D. Physics, advisors Charles Clark and Ted Kirkpatrick) et al., “Quantum correlations and entanglement in far-from-equilibrium spin systems,” Physical Review A, December 15.

Murthy Gudipati (IPST and NASA-JPL) et al., “The organic-rich surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko as seen by VIRTIS/Rosetta,” Science, January 23.

Michael Gullans and Jacob Taylor (JQI) et al., “Semiconductor double quantum dot micromaser,” Science, January 16.

Lisa Hoover (MPRI), Brenda Fredricksen and Jonathan Dinman (Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics) et al., "Small molecule inhibitors of Ago2 decrease Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus replication,” Antiviral Research, December 2014.

Yeping Jiang and Richard Greene (Physics) et al., “Charge ordering in the electron-doped superconductor Nd2–xCexCuO4,” Science, January 16.

Chuanli Ju, Bram Van de Poel, Endymion Cooper, James Thierer, Theodore Gibbons, Charles Delwiche and Caren Chang (Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics), Conservation of ethylene as a plant hormone over 450 million years of evolution, Nature Plants, January 8.

Alan Kaufman (Geology and ESSIC) et al., “A unifying model for Neoproterozoic–Palaeozoic exceptional fossil preservation through pyritization and carbonaceous compression,” Nature Communcations, December 17.

Nathan Kraft (Biology) et al., "Plant functional traits and the multidimensional nature of species coexistence," PNAS, January 5.

Amanda Lee, Carlos Castañeda, Yan Wang, David Fushman and Catherine Fenselau (Chemistry & Biochemistry), “Preparing to read the ubiquitin code: a middle-out strategy for characterization of all lysine-linked diubiquitins,” Journal of Mass Spectrometry, December 5.

Katherine Lee, Shaye Storm, Lee Mundy, Peter Teuben, Marc Pound, Demerese Salter and Che-Yu Chen (Astronomy) et al., “Carma Large Area Star Formation Survey: Structure and Kinematics of Dense Gas In Serpens Main,” The Astrophysical Journal, December 20.

Hsiao-Ling Lu and Raymond St. Leger (Entomology) et al., “Construction of a Hypervirulent and Specific Mycoinsecticide for Locust Control,” Nature Scientific Reports, December 5.

Vladimir Manucharyan (Physics) et al., “Probing Johnson noise and ballistic transport in normal metals with a single-spin qubit,” Science Express, January 29.

Timothy McConnochie (Astronomy) et al., “Mars methane detection and variability at Gale crater,” Science, December 16.

Josue Morales-Cifuentes, Theodore Einstein (Physics) and A. Pimpinelli (Physics and Rice University), “How “Hot Precursors” Modify Island Nucleation: A Rate-Equation Model,” Physical Review Letters, December 10.

David Moser (Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics) et al., “Intermediate Monocytes Contribute to Pathologic Immune Response in Leishmania braziliensis Infections,” The Journal of Infectious Diseases, January 15.

Sharmishtha Musalgaonkar, Christine Moomau and Jonathan Dinman (Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics), "Ribosomes in the balance: structural equilibrium ensures translational fidelity and proper gene expression,” Nucleic Acids Research, December 1.

Thomas Newman, Sinead Farrell and David McAdoo (ESSIC) et al., “Assessment of radar-derived snow depth over Arctic sea ice,” Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, December 15.

Rachel Pinker, Xiaolei Niu and Yingtao Ma (AOSC), “Solar heating of the Arctic Ocean in the context of ice-albedo feedback” Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, December 5.

Sougata Roy (Cell Biology & Molecular Chemistry) et al., “Paracrine signaling mediated at cell–cell contacts,” BioEssays, December 5.

Marianna Safronova (JQI) et al., “Michelson–Morley analogue for electrons using trapped ions to test Lorentz symmetry,” Nature, January 29.

Shanta Saha and Richard Greene (Physics) et al., “Experimental demonstration of superconducting critical temperature increase in electromagnetic metamaterials,” Nature Scientific Reports, December 4.

Jay Sau (Physics) et al., “Magnetic field response and chiral symmetry of time-reversal-invariant topological superconductors,” Physical Review B, December 31.

Gerald Share (Astronomy) et al., “Misidentification of the source of a neutron transient detected by MESSENGER on 4 June 2011,” Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, January 12.

Wenxia Song (Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics) et al., “T-cell receptor diversity is selectively skewed in T-cell populations of patients with Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome,” The Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology,” January edition.

Vera Stupina, Anne Simon and Jonathan Dinman (Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics) et al., “Trajectories of the ribosome as a Brownian nanomachine,” PNAS, December 9.

Yigit Subasi (JQI and 2013 Ph.D. Physics, advisor Bei Lok Hu) et al., “Local convertibility of the ground state of the perturbed toric code,” Physical Review B, December 17.

Vicki Toy and Sylvain Veilleux (Astronomy) et al., “J1649+2635: a grand-design spiral with a large double-lobed radio source,” Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, December 11.

Peter Yoon (IPST) et al., “Terrestrial lion roars and non-Maxwellian distribution,” Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, December 27 online.

Ning Zeng (AOSC and ESSIC) and Yutong Pan (AOSC) et al., “Robust assessment of the expansion and retreat of Mediterranean climate in the 21st century,” Nature Scientific Reports, December 2.

Aleksey Zimin (IPST) et al., “Transposable element islands facilitate adaptation to novel environments in an invasive species,” Nature Communications, December 16.



Michael A’Hearn (Astronomy) was quoted in the Huffington Post, December 10, in an article on recently published research from Rosetta’s Rosina mass spectrometer showing that the chemical signature of water found on Comet 67P differs significantly from water on Earth. On December 19 A’Hearn was quoted in a Science article titled “Comet Breakthrough of the Year + People’s Choice.”

Media coverage for research conducted by Michael A’Hearn and Dennis Bodewits (Astronomy) and by Murthy Gudipati (IPST and NASA-JPL) featured in the January 23 special issue of Science dedicated to the Rosetta mission (see Journal Articles) included Astronomy Now, BBC, Christian Science Monitor, Discovery News, NBC News, UPI, The Washington Post, Popular Science and Wired Magazine.

Antonio Busalacchi (AOSC and ESSIC) was interviewed by The Daily Climate, December 30, for an article on wine making and climate change. “…Quality is the big discriminator; climate change will impact the quality of wine in some regions."

Rita Colwell (Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics and UMIACS) was quoted in Live Science, December 16, in an article reporting on a study by Colwell et al. using satellite data to predict cholera outbreaks. The study was presented at the 2014 AGU Fall meeting, December 15-19, San Francisco, CA. “…For the first time, hydrological and climatological data are being incorporated in our understanding of the outbreaks."

Aaron Corcoran (Biology) was featured in an article in The Hearing Review, January 19, on his recently published research that some insects may use a jamming signal to block a bat’s echolocation.

Research conducted by Philip DeShong (Chemistry & Biochemistry) and Daniel Stein (Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics), founders of SD Nanosciences, was featured in Gizmag, January 29. The researchers coat soap bubbles with biomaterials that act as a disguise, thereby tricking the body’s cells into mistaking the capsule for a bacterium, cancer cell or almost any other disease-causing cell. “…We have created a technology platform that allows us to make drug and vaccine delivery vehicles that have previously been very difficult to prepare. If someone provides us with an antigen, it is possible for us to formulate it into a vaccine, purify it and have 1,000 doses ready within 72 hours.” SD Nanosciences was founded to commercialize their drug and vaccine delivery technology.

Russell Dickerson (AOSC) was quoted in an article by CCTV-America, January 29, on warmer ocean waters melting crystallized methane and releasing it into sediment and waters off the course of Washington state. “…For the climate, you want to make absolutely certain that the leakage from everything – from the drilling to the actual combustion – doesn’t exceed three percent.”

Jennifer Golbeck (Computer Science and iSchool) was quoted in PC World, January 12, in an article on recently published research analyzing accessible digital records to predict personality traits.  “…It was such a large base of users [over 58,000], it suggests that what they were able to find wasn’t just a fluke because they had a small amount of data.” Golbeck reviewed the book “The Social Machine Designs for Living Online,” Science, January 2.

Thomas Holtz (Geology) was quoted in a Science News for Students article, December 12, on duck-billed dinosaurs being able to outrun predators. On December 26, Holtz was quoted in an NBC News article on the increased number of dinosaur species discovered in 2014. On January 6, he was quoted in a National Geographic article on the discovery of a group of Utahraptor fossils from a Utah mountain in 2014. The discovery suggested that Utahraptor hunted in packs. “…If the skeletons show some interweaving," with arms and legs tangled together, that would be a good clue" [of pack behavior].”

Xiangdong Ji (Physics) was featured in a Science’s Career Magazine article, December 12, on China’s economic rise, subsequent advances in the sciences and recruiting scholars trained abroad.

Sujay Kaushal (Geology and ESSIC) was quoted in the Capital Gazette, January 2, in an article on the effects of salting roads and sidewalks on urban streams and rivers. “…We need to think about the quantity of chemicals that we apply on roadways and recognize that these chemicals persist in the environment and don't completely wash away.”

Dan Lathrop (Physics, Geology, IPST and IREAP) was quoted in a PNAS article, January 6, on quantum turbulence. “…Our goal is to understand what the rules are that govern the motion in superfluid helium.”

Computer Science graduate student Andrew Miller was quoted in CoinDesk, December 28, in an article on the possibility of using cryptocurrency to improve P2P file sharing. “…One of the innovative things in bitcoin is its use of built-in virtual currency for incentives in its network.”

Raghu Murtugudde (AOSC and ESSIC) authored Live Science op-ed articles in December and January titled “Money Drives Weather Data, But What About Climate?,” “To Cool a Warming Planet, Give Developing Countries a Voice,” and Human Nature May Seal the Planet’s Warming Fate.” On December 25, India Climate Dialogue published his article titled “India needs a solution-based position for Paris summit.”

Luis Orozco (Physics and JQI) was quoted in the New York Times, December 3, in an article on Marguerite Perey, her discovery of the element francium and the subsequent contamination she suffered. “…We make it these days in an accelerator.”

Don Perlis (Computer Science) was quoted in Live Science, December 4, in an article on the development of artificial intelligence. “…The idea of intelligence existing in some form that's not human seems to have a deep hold in the human psyche.”

Ben Shneiderman (Computer Science and UMIACS) was quoted in Deseret News, January 5, in an article on privacy – or the lack thereof. “…The worst cases will be stopped, and Internet benefits will outweigh threats. Premium services that offer more privacy will be valued.”

Thomas Snitch (UMIACS) is the author of an article in The Conversation, January 27, about drones helping to reduce the poaching of rhinos. The article was picked up by, Slate and TechCentral.

Jacob Taylor (JQI and NIST) was quoted in MSN, January 20, in an article on recently published research (see Journal Articles) on building a rice grain-sized microwave laser. “…I consider this to be a really important result for our long-term goal, which is entanglement between quantum bits in semiconductor-based devices.” Media coverage included International Business Times, Red Orbit, Slashdot, Solid State Technology, Tech Times and The Register (UK).

Astronomy graduate student Vicki Toy and Sylvain Veileux (Astronomy) were featured in The Baltimore Sun, January 16, in an article on their recently published research (see Journal Articles), reporting the discovery of a “grand-design spiral galaxy associated with a double-lobed radio source.”

Dennis vanEngelsdorp (Entomology) was quoted in the Huffington Post, December 16, in an article on a study by a Harvard School of Public Health professor linking neonicotinoids and the collapse of honey bee colonies. “…If we took pesticides out of the equation tomorrow, I think there's no doubt we would have reduced colony losses. But even without pesticides, we'd still be seeing significant losses--losses that are unsustainable.”  vanEngelsdorp was also quoted in the Wall Street Journal, January 23, in an article on the falling supply of beekeepers. “…We’re not worried about the bees going extinct. We’re worried about the beekeepers going extinct.”

Amitabh Varshney (Computer Science and UMIACS) and his research were featured in a Forbes article, January 20, on robotics research. “…We examine the different reactions to stimulus then break them down for analysis. We look for patterns of responses that correlate with different emotional states.”

Gerald Wilkinson (Biology) was interviewed for a BBC story on vampire bats, December 18. “…When you catch them they are very agile. They squirm around and if you're not careful you can be bitten very easily."

Research conducted by Computer Science graduate student Yezhou Yang, Cornelia Fermuller (UMIACS) and Yiannis Aloimonos (Computer Science and UMIACS) with a colleague at NICTA, Australia, and presented at the Twenty-Ninth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (January 25-30) was the topic of a Tech Times article, January 3. The researchers developed robotic systems that are able to teach themselves. The robots are able to learn the intricate grasping and manipulation movements required for cooking by watching online cooking videos. Media coverage included CIO, CNET, Computerworld, Fast Company, IT World, NBC, New York Daily News, PC World and USA Today.



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The following alumni have been elected Fellows of the American Physical Society:

Karen Byrum (1985 M.S. Physics), Argonne National Laboratory, for contributions in advancing a complimentary experimental approach for studying dark matter by including cosmic gamma-rays and for contributions in developing new technologies for triggering and photo-detection.

Elizabeth Hays (2004 Ph.D. Physics, advisor Greg Sullivan), NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, for her discovery of high energy gamma-ray flares from the Crab nebula in Fermi data and her major contributions to the success of Fermi.

Ana Maria Rey ((2004 Ph.D. Physics, advisors Charles Clark and Ted Kirkpatrick), University of Colorado, Boulder, for her pioneering research on developing fundamental understanding and control of novel quantum systems and finding applications for a wide range of scientific fields including quantum metrology and emerging interface between AMO, condensed matter, and quantum information science.

Pravin Bhagwat (1995 Ph.D. Computer Science, advisor Satish Tripathi) was featured in the Times of India, December 28. Bhagwat is founder and chief technology officer of Airtight Networks. The company, which offers cloud-managed Wi-Fi access and wireless security solutions, was named one of the leading tech innovators by CRN in November 2014.

George Buchman (1988 Ph.D. Biochemistry) was recently promoted to Vice President of Preclinical Services and Process Development, Paragon Bioservices. Buchman joined Paragon in March 2014 from Chesapeake PERL, where he was CSO and Vice President of Operations. Previously he held positions with Life Technologies and Celera Genomics.

Craig Carlson (1994 Ph.D. Marine Estuarine Environmental Sciences) is the recipient of the 2015 G. Evelyn Hutchinson Award from the Association for Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography for “…accurately mapping variation in dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and linking it to the dynamics of microbial communities.” The award is presented annually in recognition of excellence in any aspect of limnology or oceanography. Carlson is chair of the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology at the University of California Santa Barbara.

Fred Cohen (1982 B.S. Chemistry) was recognized by Super Lawyers Magazine as a Super Lawyer in Family Law for the second consecutive year. Cohen operates a solo law practice in Owings Mills, MD, and will celebrate his 30-year anniversary as an attorney later this year. Cohen earned his J.D. in 1985 from the University of Maryland School of Law.

Brian Cummings (2009 M.S. Chemistry) has been named the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) new resident inspector at the Omaha Public Power District Fort Calhoun Station, Blair, Nebraska. Prior to joining the NRC, Cummings was an officer in the U.S. Navy, serving as ship’s engineer on the submarine USS Bremerton and teaching at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Maria D’Orsogna (1999 M.S. Physics) was an invited speaker at the Analysis Research and Planning for Armenia Foundation, December 11, with a talk titled “A One Woman Story as She Fights Big Oil in Italy: Lessons for Armenia.” D’Orsogna, who earned her Ph.D. from UCLA in 2003, is an Associate Professor, Mathematics Department, California State University at Northridge.

Sorelle Friedler (2010 Ph.D. Computer Science, advisor David Mount) was quoted in an article in, January 26, on students competing in the Tri-Co Hackathon. “…They know how to think about both hacking and other things very well.”

Rajiv Gandhi (2003 Ph.D. Computer Science, advisor Samir Khuller) returned to campus on December 10 to give a talk titled “From Potential to Promise – Developing Scholars one Eureka moment at a time.” Gandhi is an Associate Professor, Department Of Computer Science, Rutgers University-Camden.

Mary Glackin (1982 B.S. Computer Science) joined The Weather Company, January 5, as Senior Vice President of Public-Private Partnerships, overseeing the company’s relationships with members of the weather enterprise, including private sector weather providers and government agencies. Previously Glackin was Deputy Under Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere, NOAA.

Manoel Gomes Mendonça (1997 Ph.D. Computer Science, advisor Victor Basili) was appointed Secretary of Science, Technology and Innovation of his home state of Bahia, Brazil, January 2. Prior to his appointment, Mendonça was a professor at the Federal University of Bahia, where he headed the Fraunhofer Project Center for Software and System Engineering.

Aaron Haeusler (2011 Ph.D. Biochemistry, advisor Jason Kahn) received the 2014 Lawrence Grossman Achievement Award from the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Johns Hopkins University in recognition of excellence in laboratory research. Recently Haeusler was selected for an NIH Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00) award, which is designed to “…facilitate a timely transition from a mentored postdoctoral research position to a stable independent research position with independent NIH or other independent research support at an earlier stage than is currently the norm.”

Wallace Hogsett (2010 Ph.D. AOSC, advisor Da-Lin Zhang) was named Chief Science Officer at Weather Analytics, January 6. Hogsett will lead research and development of new products and intelligence to support business decisions. Previously he served as the Science and Operations Officer at the Weather Prediction Center at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. He joins Stefan Cecelski (2014 Ph.D. AOSC, advisor Da-Lin Zhang) who is the Director of Scientific Modeling at the same company.

Allen Jacques (1975 B.S. Microbiology) joined FusionOps as Vice President, Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Analytics in late 2014, overseeing the company’s pharma business and leading the company’s efforts to introduce new capabilities that address key challenges in the industry. Prior to joining the company, Jacques was Vice President of Network Supply Planning for Pfizer.

W. Scott Jarboe (1992 B.S. Mathematics) has been appointed South Market Retirement Leader by Mercer, January 20. He will focus on ensuring client satisfaction and executing the overall retirement consulting strategy in the market. Jarboe, who has been with Mercer since 1997, is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and a member of the American Academy of Actuaries.

James Kaper (1979 Ph.D. 1979 Microbiology) was appointed Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM). Kaper is currently Professor and Chair of the Department of Microbiology & Immunology at UMSOM where he has been a faculty member since 1981.

Georgette Kiser (1989 B.S. Mathematics) joined The Carlyle Group as Managing Director and Chief Information Officer, January 8. Kiser previously held the position of Vice President and Director of Enterprise Solutions and Capabilities for Services and Technology at T. Rowe Price Group.

Mary Ann Ottinger (1977 Ph.D. Zoology) has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for distinguished contributions to the field of neuroendocrinology. Ottinger is associate Vice President for Research at the University of Houston (UH) and Associate Vice Chancellor for Research for the UH system.

Harshita Saxena (1997 B.S. Biological Sciences and B.A. English) is the co-editor of the book “Basics in Adolescent Medicine: A Practical Manual of Signs, Symptoms and Solutions.” The book, published by World Scientific in May 2014, focuses on the symptoms that bring a teenager to the clinician. Saxena is a pediatrician, board certified in adolescent medicine, at the Walter Reed National Medical Military Center, Bethesda, MD.

Jonathan Tuminaro (2004 Ph.D. Physics, advisor Edward Redish) was elected Director, Litigation Group of Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox P.L.L.C., Washington, D.C., January 8. Tuminaro will focus his practice on patent litigation in the United States district courts, at the International Trade Commission, and at the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

George Waldbusser (2008 Ph.D. MEES) et al. published the article “Saturation-state sensitivity of marine bivalve larvae to ocean acidification,” in Nature Climate Change, December 15. Waldbusser is an Assistant Professor, College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR.





Astronomy Department – Dr. Stuart Vogel, Chair
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Biology Department – Dr. Bill Fagan, Chair
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Chemistry & Biochemistry Department – Dr. Janice Reutt-Robey, Chair
Computer Science Department – Dr. Samir Khuller, Chair
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