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CMNS News - July 2014

Vol. 4, No. 7 July 2014
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:


Irving Kipnis (Chemistry & Biochemistry) died on August 4. Dr. Kipnis had a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry and directed the operations of the lower division laboratories and taught in the Science in the Evening Program. Dr. Kipnis performed many services in his Department, including the training of new instructors, interfacing with the Department of Environmental Safety (DES) and serving as a Compliance Officer. Deeply involved in departmental outreach programs such as the Maryland Science Olympiad, Chemathon, and Outward Bound, Dr. Kipnis volunteered his time and energy to ensure their success. He had a profound influence on undergraduate and prospective students. Services were held at Sol Levinson & Bros., Inc., August 6, with interment at Beth El Memorial Park, Randallstown.


Wolfgang Losert (Physics, IPST and IREAP) has been appointed Interim Associate Dean for Research in the College effective July 1, 2014. As a member of the Nonlinear Dynamics Group, Losert's research focuses on discovering emergent dynamic properties of complex systems at the interface of physics and biology, with a special emphasis on cancer biology. He chairs the Division of Biological Physics of the American Physical Society, and is part of a trans-university initiative of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (called NEXUS) that is developing new science and math courses for biology majors and pre-health care students that can serve as a national model. He helped initiate and now leads the Partnership for Cancer Technology, which provides UMD faculty and graduate students the opportunity to tackle pressing problems in cancer research in collaboration with National Cancer Institute experts

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A new crowdfunding effort at UMD could provide the funding you need!
Launch UMD began in April with a pilot round of five crowdfunding projects, all of which met and exceeded their fundraising goals. The application deadline for the Fall 2014 round of (~10) projects is August 15, 2014. Applications are available here: The project begins in the late fall and takes place over 45 days—15 days to get ramped up, followed by a 30-day campaign. For specific questions and more details, please contact Abby Robinson, 301-405-5845, or visit


Three CMNS faculty members are recipients of the 2014 UMD and Baltimore (UMB) joint Research and Innovation Seed Grant Program awards:

Kan Cao (Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics) and Joseph Stains (Orthopaedics/UMB), will study osteoporosis in patients with progeria, a rare disorder that causes premature aging. Patients with the disease experience a high incidence of fractures.

Jonathan Simon (Biology, ECE and ISR) and Elliot Hong (Psychiatry/UMB), will examine auditory neurophysiological dysfunctions, including hallucinations, observed in individuals with schizophrenia.

Kevin McIver and Yoann LeBreton (Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics) and Mark Shirtliff, (Dentistry/UMB), will combine two next-generation sequencing approaches to identify genes that contribute to severe invasive Group A Streptococcus disease.

Millard Alexander (Chemistry & Biochemistry and IPST) has been elected to membership in the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science (IAQMS). Alexander's research focuses on non-adiabatic effects in molecular collisions, in weakly bound complexes and in molecular photodissociation. The IAQMS promotes research and international collaboration related to the application of quantum theory to chemistry and chemical physics.

Alan Kaufman (Geology) has been named a University of Maryland Distinguished Scholar-Teacher. Kaufman's research focuses on the determination of changes in the isotopic composition of the oceans through time, by the geochemical analysis of stratigraphic suites of sedimentary carbonate and shale.

Zhanqing Li (AOSC and ESSIC) has been elected a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). Nominated Fellows must have attained acknowledged eminence in the Earth and space sciences. Primary criteria for evaluation in scientific eminence are major breakthrough/discovery and paradigm shift. This designation is conferred upon not more than 0.1% of all AGU members in any given year.


Steven Anlage (Physics), NSF, $358,972, "A Novel Gap Spectroscopy Tool and Discovery of New Nodal Superconductors."

Philip DeShong (Chemistry & Biochemistry), STMD-Maryland Technology Development Corporation, $150,000, "Functionalized Catanionic Surfactant Vesicles (FCSVs): A Platform for Vaccine Development."

Bill Dorland, Adil Hassam (Physics and IREAP), Jim Drake (Physics, IREAP and IPST) and Tom Antonsen (Physics, ENG and IREAP), DOE-Chicago, $507,000, "Maryland Fusion Theory Research Program."

Bryan Eichhorn (Chemistry & Biochemistry), Office of Naval Research, $125,000, "In situ Optical Studies of High Temperature Solid Oxide Electrochemical Cells."

Lyle Isaacs (Chemistry & Biochemistry), NSF, $154,000, "Synthesis and Applications of Cucurbit(n)uril-type Receptors."

Christopher Jarzynski (Chemistry & Biochemistry and IPST), Lockheed Martin, $129,250, "Non-equilibrium Approaches to Adiabatic Quantum Computing."

Dan Lathrop (Physics, Geology, IPST and IREAP), NSF, $565,033, "Characterization of Superfluid Helium Dynamics Using Nanoparticles."

Paul Lett (Physics and NIST), NSF, $120,000, "Imaging with Quantum Illumination Techniques."

Christopher Reynolds (Astronomy), The Simons Foundation, $115,639, "The Plasma Physics of the Intracluster Medium."

Lawrence Sita (Chemistry & Biochemistry), NSF, $517,000, "Catalytic Metal-mediated Small Molecule Fixation."

David Thirumalai (Chemistry & Biochemistry and IPST), NSF, $797,637, "Topics in Protein and RNA Folding Dynamics."

Francesco Tombesi (Astronomy), Smithsonian-Astrophysical Observatory, $159,078, "Unifying X-ray Winds in Radio galaxies with Chandra HETG."


In partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) announced the "Data to Motivate Synthesis" Program for early career scientists and researchers at the agriculture, environment, and social nexus to identify and understand the factors that influence food systems resilience to climate change. The program, launched in support of the White House's Climate Data Initiative, builds on efforts to leverage the federal government's extensive, freely available climate-relevant data resources to stimulate innovation and private-sector entrepreneurship in support of national climate change preparedness. For more information: .
The university held its first Lightning Safety Awareness reporters' workshop on June 24, 2014, raising awareness about lighting safety both for people and for building structures through multiple presentations, panel discussions, and a Lightning 101 class. Hosted by ESSIC, the workshop highlighted discussions on lightning signatures, insurance policies, and useful statistical information.

The University of Maryland will continue to lead the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) supported Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites (CICS) for the next five years, following a renewal of the existing cooperative agreement for the period July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2019. Initiated in May 2009, this partnership between NOAA, University of Maryland, North Carolina State, and 17 other institutions is one of the largest research consortiums in the country, both in funding and number of organizations involved. CICS-MD is housed in ESSIC.

Several new asteroids have been named in honor of their discoverers, with two Astronomy faculty and one Astronomy alumnus honored:

(9529) Protopapa: Silvia Protopapa. Her research focuses on the properties of ice and refractory elements present in comets and on the surfaces of Kuiper Belt objects.

(9530) Kelleymichael: Mike Kelley. Kelley has contributed to an improved understanding of the size, structure, and mineralogy of comet dust through both telescopic measurements and dynamical models.

(25053)Matthewknight: Matthew Knight (2008 Ph.D. Astronomy, advisor Michael A'Hearn), is an astronomer at the Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, Arizona. Knight has studied many aspects of cometary dynamics and their physical properties over multiple wavelengths to improve understanding of sun-grazing comets and fragmenting comets.

Li-Chuan Chen (ESSIC) was elected Chair of the American Society of Civil Engineers' (ASCE) Risk, Uncertainty and Probabilistic Approaches Committee (RUPAC) during the 2014 World Environmental and Water Resources Congress, Portland, Oregon. RUPAC is a standing technical committee under the ASCE Environmental and Water Resources Institute.

Ramani Duraiswami (Computer Science and UMIACS) lectured on advanced techniques for computational modeling of large particle systems at the summer school on Dynamics of Dispersed Systems, June 22-28, 2014. The school/workshop was hosted by the Russian Academy of Sciences, Bashkir State University, near Ufa in Russia.

David Inouye (Biology) has been appointed to the National Academy of Sciences' roundtable on Public Interfaces of the Life Sciences. The roundtable is a " to facilitate on-going discussion and information exchange among life scientists engaged in research, social scientists who study science communication, and professional communication practitioners." More information can be found at:

Melissa Kenney (ESSIC and NOAA) will receive the Water Resources Research Journal 2013 "Editor's Choice Award" for years of multidisciplinary work to consider cost effective coastal restoration options in the Mississippi River delta. The selection is based on technical significance, novelty, originality, presentation, and broader implications of the publication. The winning article was: Cost analysis of water and sediment diversions to optimize land building in the Mississippi River delta.

Computer Science graduate student Vahid Liaghat (advisor Mohammad Hajiaghayi) received a 2014 Google Ph.D. Fellowship in Market Algorithms. The fellowship program supports Ph.D. students in computer science or closely related fields and reflects the company's commitment to building strong relations with the global academic community.

Arthur Popper (Biology) and 14 colleagues from around the world are the authors of "Sound Exposure Guidelines for Fishes and Sea Turtles." The monograph, published by Springer and the ASA Press, is a Technical Report for the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The guidelines are focused on providing necessary information for regulation of human activities that produce underwater noise, such as pile driving used in construction of off-shore wind farms and seismic air guns used in off-shore exploration for oil and gas. Popper was an invited discussant at a workshop on "Effects of human activities on Northern Right Whales" that took place at Duke University in mid-June.

Computer science faculty member Adam Porter's MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) "Programming Mobile Applications for Android Handheld Systems," was listed as the second most popular course for professionals on Coursera. An introduction to the design and implementation of applications for handheld systems, the MOOC is part of a larger sequence of specialization courses called Mobile Cloud computing with Android.

Anand Ramanathan (ESSIC and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center) will participate in ASCENDS (Active Sensing of CO2 Emissions over Nights, Days and Seasons) 2014 field campaign, measuring CO2 over the continental US. The field campaign will take place aboard a NASA DC-8 aircraft and includes the first-of-its-kind measurements of terrestrial CO2 fluxes over forests, cropland and urban areas.

Stephanie Uz (ESSIC) delivered an air-quality presentation to the Smithsonian Science Education Academy for Teachers. The talk was presented through the "Science on a Sphere" interactive global display system, which uses computers and video projectors to display planetary data onto an animated globe.


Mathieu Almeida (Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology) et al., "Identification and Assembly of Genomes and Genetic Elements in Complex Metagenomic Samples without using Reference Genomes," Nature Biotechnology, July 6 online.

Ronald-Louis Ballouz and Derek C. Richardson (Astronomy) with Stephen Schwartz and Patrick Michel (Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur), "Rotation-dependent Catastrophic Disruption of Gravitational Aggregates," The Astrophysical Journal, July 10.

Jayanth Banavar (Physics) et al., "Information-Based Fitness and the Emergence of Criticality in Living Systems," PNAS, July 15.

Wenzhong Bao, Xinghan Cai, Dohun Kim, H. Dennis Drew and Michael Fuhrer (Physics), Dakang Ma, Yunlu Xu and Jeremy Munday (IREAP) et al., "Approaching the Limits of Transparency and Conductivity in Graphitic Materials Through Lithium Intercalation," Nature Communications, July 1.

Ashton Belew, Arturas Meskauskas, Sharmishtha Musalgaonkar, Vivek Advani, Sergey Sulima and Jonathan Dinman (Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics) et al., "Ribosomal Frameshifting In The CCR5 Mrna Is Regulated By Mirnas And The NMD Pathway," Nature, July 9.

Sebastian Deffner (Chemistry & Biochemistry), "Optimal Control of a Qubit in an Optical Cavity," Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics, July 4.

Drake Deming (Astronomy) et al., "The 4.5 μm Full-orbit Phase Curve of the Hot Jupiter HD 209458b," The Astrophysical Journal, July 20.

Drake Deming (Astronomy) et al., H20 Abundances in the Atmospheres of Three Hot Jupiters," The Astrophysical Journal Letters, July 24 online.

Michael Foss-Feig (JQI and NIST) et al., "Two-particle Quantum Interference in Tunnel-Coupled Optical Tweezers," Science, July 18.

Daniel Goldberg and Russell Dickerson (AOSC) et al., "Impact of Bay-breeze Circulations on Surface Air Quality and Boundary Layer Export," Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, July 2014.

Douglas C. Hamilton (Physics) et al., "Suprathermal Magnetospheric Minor Ions Heavier than Water at Saturn: Discovery of 28M+ Seasonal Variations," Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, July 25 online.

Wade Henning (Astronomy and NASA) with Terry Hurford (NASA), "Tidal Heating in Multilayered Terrestrial Exoplanets," The Astrophysical Journal, July 1.

Michael Hinczewski (IPST) and David Thirumalai (Chemistry & Biochemistry and IPST) et al., "Sequence-resolved Free energy Profiles of Stress-bearing Vimentin Intermediate Filaments," PNAS, July 21 online.

Andrew Keane, Brendan Yonke, Masakazu Hirotsu, Peter Zavalij and Lawrence Sita (Chemistry & Biochemistry), "Fine-Tuning the Energy Barrier for Metal-mediated Dinitrogen N≡N Bond Cleavage," Journal of the American Chemical Society, June 24.

Melissa Kenney (ESSIC) et al., "From Global Change Science to Action with Social Sciences," Nature Climate Change, July 30 online.

Abby Kula, Michele Dudash and Charlie Fenster (Biology) et al., "Interactions between a Pollinating Seed Predator and its Host Plant: the Role of Environmental Context within a Population," Ecology and Evolution, July 2014.

Anil Kumar (ESSIC and NASA) et al., "Assessing Impacts of Integrating MODIS Vegetation Data in the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model Coupled to Two Different Canopy-resistance Approaches," Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, June edition.

Christopher Lougher, Maria Tzortziou (ESSIC and NASA) and Russell Dickerson (AOSC) et al., "Impact of Bay-breeze Circulations on Surface Air Quality and Boundary Layer Export," Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, July edition.

Carlos Machado (Biology) et al., "The Genome Sequence of African Rice (Oryza glaberrima) and Evidence for Independent Domestication," Nature Genetics, July 27 online.

Gennady Milikh (Astronomy) et al., "Model of Blue Jet Formation and Propagation in the Nonuniform Atmosphere," Journal of Geophysical Research, July 16 online.

Amir Najmi, Gennady Milikh (Astronomy) and Dennis Papadopoulos (Astronomy and Physics), "Generation and Detection of Super Small Striations by F region HF heating," Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, July 31 online.

Ed Ott (Physics and IREAP) with Takashi Nishikawa (Northwestern University), "Controlling Systems that Drift through a Tipping Point," Chaos, July 9 online.

Mihai Pop, Hector Corrada Bravo (Computer Science and UMIACS), Joseph Paulson, Irina Astrovskaya (CBCB) et al., "Diarrhea in Young Children from Low-Income Countries Leads to Large-Scale Alterations in Intestinal Microbiota Composition," Genome Biology, June 27.

Philip Richerme, Zhe-Xuan Gong, Aaron Lee, Crystal Senko, Jacob Smith, Michael Foss-Feig, Alexey V. Gorshkov and Christopher Monroe (Physics, JQI and NIST) with Spyridon Michalakis (California Institute of Technology), "Non-local Propagation of Correlations in Quantum Systems with Long-range Interactions," Nature, July 9.

Eric Rosenthal, Nihal Jhajj, Jared Wahlstrand (IREAP) and Howard Milchberg (Physics, ECE and IREAP), "Collection of Remote Optical Signals by Air Waveguides," Optica, July 22.

Bitan Roy (Physics) with Vladimir Jiricic (Utrecht University), "Strain-induced Time-reversal Odd Superconductivity in Graphene," Physical Review B, July 30.

Marianna Safronova (JQI and University of Delaware) et al., "Highly Charged Ions for Atomic Clocks, Quantum Information, and Search for α Variation," Physical Review Letters, July 16.

Margaret Seeley-Fallen, Lisa Liu, Melanie Shapiro and Wenxia Song (Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics), Arpita Upadhyaya (Physics and IPST) et al., "Actin-binding Protein 1 Links B-cell Antigen Receptors to Negative Signaling Pathways," PNAS, July 8.

Crystal Senko, Jake Smith, Phil Richerme, Aaron Lee, and Christopher Monroe (Physics and JQI), with W.C. Campbell of UCLA, "Coherent Imaging Spectroscopy of a Quantum Many-body Spin System," Science, July 25.

Gavin Woodruff (2013 Ph.D. Biology) and Eric Haag (Biology) et al., "Intense Sperm-Mediated Sexual Conflict Promotes Reproductive Isolation in Caenorhabditis Nematodes," PLOS Biology, July 29.

Brendan Yonke, Jonathan Reeds, Philip Fontaine, Peter Zavalij and Lawrence Sita (Chemistry & Biochemistry), "Catalytic Production of Isocyanates via Orthogonal Atom and Group Transfers Employing a Shared Formal Group 6 M(II)/M(IC) Redox Cycle," Organometallics, June 26.

Abderahmen Zoghbi, Christopher Reynolds (Astronomy and JSI) and Anne Lohfink (Astronomy) et al., "Observations of MCG-5-23-16 with Suzaku, XMM-Newton and NUSTAR: Disk Tomography and Compton Hump Reverberation," The Astrophysical Journal, July 1.


Steven Anlage (Physics) authored an APS Physics Viewpoint article "Magnetic Hose Keeps Fields from Spreading," June 23.

Drake Deming (Astronomy) was quoted in Tech Times, July 26, in an article on recently published research (see Journal Articles) showing very low levels of water vapor in the atmospheres of three planets. "...There are so many things that we still don't know about exoplanets, so this opens up a new chapter in understanding how planets and solar systems form." Media coverage included Forbes, the Los Angeles Times, Space Daily and Tech Times.

Russ Dickerson (AOSC and Chemistry & Biochemistry) was quoted in Tech Times, June 27, in an article on the improvement in U.S. air quality. "...NASA measurements of air quality have value to the people with the authority to control emissions and develop policy." Dickerson is involved with the NASA Discover-AQ mission, a four-year project to improve the use of satellites to monitor air quality for public health and environmental benefit. Coverage included CBS, Nature World News, New Republic and Science World Report.

Jonathan Dinman (Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics) was quoted in the Medical Daily, July 9, in an article on recently published research (see Journal Articles) by his team of researchers on their discovery that some human genes have an alternate set of operating instructions written into their protein-making machinery. "...This has useful implications in situations where you want to shut down the immune response in one part of the body but not in another, or shut down one facet of the immune response. It could lead to very specific therapies without side effects." Coverage included Medical News Today, Science Daily, Chromatography Techniques and Phys.Org.

Eric Haag (Biology) was quoted in the Huffington Post, July 31, in an article on the consequence of female nematode worms that mated with worms of different species – sterilization and death (see Journal Articles). Media coverage included the Los Angeles Times, National Geographic, New Scientist, Popular Science, The Verge, Wired (UK) and The Washington Post.

Wade Henning (Astronomy) was quoted in Red Orbit, July 10, in a story featuring a study (see Journal Articles) by Henning and Terry Hurford (NASA-Goddard) published in The Astrophysical Journal. The researchers developed a computer model showing how friction may help distant Earth-sized planets survive dangerous orbits. "...We found some unexpected good news for planets in vulnerable orbits. It turns out these planets will often experience just enough friction to move them out of harm's way and into safer, more-circular orbits more quickly than previously predicted." Media coverage included Austrian Tribune, Science 2.0 and Universe Today.

Michael Hicks (Computer Science and UMIACS) was featured June 30 on the Silver Bullet Security Podcast. In the episode, Hicks discussed the recent Programming Language Design and Implementation conference, type safety, closure, dynamic languages, the role cryptography plays in security, and more.

Media coverage continues for David Jacobs (Computer Science) and Birdsnap – a lively and interactive website and iphone app that uses facial recognition and pattern matching to identify different types of birds – have been the subject of recent articles including The Washington Post, WTOP, Science 2.0, and Science News.

Jason Kahn (Chemistry & Biochemistry) discussed the paper "Mechanical Properties of Base-modified DNA are not Strictly Determined by Base Stacking or Electrostatic Interactions" in Biophysical Journal, New and Notable section, "DNA, Flexibly Flexible," July 2014 edition.

Karen Lips (Biology) was quoted in a National Geographic article on a fungus, Batrachochtyrium dendrobatidis (Bd), July 10. The fungus, which has wiped out dozens of species of frogs and amphibians and endangered hundreds more, was recently found in Madagascar. Lips was also quoted in an Associated Press article, June 29, on Appalachian salamanders shrinking in size. Coverage included The Washington Post, French Tribune, the Examiner, CTV Montreal, Science World Report and the Houston Chronicle.

Howard Milchberg (Physics, ECE and IREAP) was quoted in New Scientist, July 22, in an article on his team's recently published research (see Journal Articles). Milchberg and co-authors reported using an "air waveguide" to enhance light signals collected from distant sources. These air waveguides could have many applications, including long-range laser communications, detecting pollution in the atmosphere, making high-resolution topographic maps and laser weapons. Media coverage included CBC, Discovery News, The Engineer, Gizmag, Gizmodo, Photonics, Slashdot, Smithsonian and Wired (UK).

Cole Miller (Astronomy) was quoted in a July 16 Nature News article on a major upgrade to LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory), making it the most sensitive of several gravitational-wave detectors around the world. Consisting of two widely separated installations, Louisiana and Washington, LIGO is operated as a single observatory. Researchers hope to find evidence of gravitational waves – ripples in the fabric of space and time produced by violent cosmic events, e.g. supernova explosions or the collision of two black holes.

Raghu Murtugudde (AOSC and ESSIC) contributed an article to LiveScience's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights, July 30, on human ingenuity responding to climate change. "...It is only a matter of time before nano solar cells produced from 3D printing will deliver wearable clothing and technology that will allow us to travel in our driverless cars on solar roadways in our smart cities with no negative impacts on the environment."

David O'Brochta (Entomology) was quoted in Inside Science, June 27, in an article on recently published research by scientists at the Heinrich Heine University Duesseldorf who have developed protocol to create transgenic bees by injecting new genetic material into bee embryos. "...The nurse bees that take care of the eggs need to be able to recognize the eggs as being okay, or they won't take care of them."

Research conducted by Ed Ott (Physics and IREAP) and colleague Takashi Nishikawa and published in Chaos (see Journal Articles) was featured in Physics Today, July online edition.

Jan Plane (Computer Science) was quoted in The Washington Post, Lifestyle section, July 18, in an article on a summer camp called iD Tech. "Technology is [everywhere] in our society. "...Whatever field they are going to go into, having some knowledge of technology is going to make a difference."

Mihai Pop (Computer Science and UMIACS) was quoted in Science 2.0 in an article on recently published research (see Journal Articles) by Pop, Héctor Corrada Bravo (Computer Science and UMIACS), their research team in CBCB and colleagues from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Their study identified microorganisms that may trigger diarrheal disease and others that may protect against it. Media coverage included Science Daily, BioPortfolio, Medical News Today, Silicon India, Business Standard and Deccan Chronicle.

Mike Raupp (Entomology) was interviewed by PBS, July 23, for a segment on the mosquito-borne Chikungunya virus, which has been transmitted within the United States for the first time.

Philip Resnik (Computer Science, UMIACS and Linguistics) was featured in a July 15 Wall Street Journal article analyzing how the tone of oral arguments has become friendlier in cases that have come before the Supreme Court since Chief Justice John Roberts was appointed in 2005. Resnik was also a guest on NPR's Kojo Nnamdi Show, July 15, where he discussed sentiment analysis – teaching computers to understand sarcasm.

Derek Richardson (Astronomy) was quoted in Nature News feature, July 3, in an article about how the discovery of thousands of star systems different from our own has astronomers searching for a new theory on planetary formation.

Scott Rudlosky (ESSIC and NOAA) co-authored an article with The Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang, July 8, about the phenomenon of "a bolt from the blue" lightning strike. He was also interviewed by NBC4 during Lightning Safety Awareness Week (June 22-28), when he discussed improvements in weather forecasting from the DC Lightning Mapping Array.

Ross Salawitch (AOSC, Chemistry & Biochemistry and ESSIC) was quoted in the July 17 edition of Scientific American in an article on a research project, involving 40 researchers, to understand how Earth's atmosphere uses its own version of a chimney. The researchers visited a sparsely populated area near Guam that is known as the "global chimney," using three high-tech aircraft to collect air samples. "The data collected during these missions will stand as benchmarks for testing how well the tropics are represented in computer simulations and in forecasts of future climate." Read more here:

Herman Sintim (Chemistry & Biochemistry and Maryland NanoCenter), was quoted in a Nature technology feature article on bacterial infections and the interdisciplinary research being conducted to "undermine" or "interfere" with the microbe's communication, July 23 online.

Thomas Snitch (UMIACS and Chair of the College's Board of Visitors) and his work using drones to discouraging poaching in Kenya were featured in the Sierra Club Magazine, July 18 online. Snitch, who recently joined Waypoint Global Strategies, applied a mathematical forecasting model he developed for use by the military in Iraq and Afghanistan to program the drones.

Predictive modeling research by V.S. Subrahmanian (Computer Science and UMIACS), Francesca Spezzano and Aaron Mannes—all in the Laboratory for Computational Cultural Dynamics (LCCD)—was featured in an article in Defense One, July 29, a publication focused on defense and national security issues. A paper on their findings will be published in the August 2014 issue of Communications of the ACM.

Dennis vanEngelsdorp (Entomology) was a guest on NPR's Science Friday, July 11, discussing neonicotinoids pesticides and their link to declining populations of some insect-eating birds and bee colonies.


Mustafa Bilgic (2010 Ph.D. Computer Science, advisor Lise Getoor), received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award for his proposal titled "Active Learning through Rich and Transparent Actions." His project focuses on how active learning can potentially minimize the costs, time and effort that is involved with annotating machine models. Bilgic is an assistant professor of computer science at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Jacob Devlin (2009 M.S. Computer Science) won the best long paper award from the Association of Computational Linguistics for his co-authored paper titled "Fast and Robust Neural Network Joint Models for Statistical Machine Translation." Devlin is currently a natural language processing (NLP) research scientist at BBN Technologies.

Rao Kambhampati (1989 Ph.D. Computer Science, advisor Jim Hendler) has been named President Elect of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence. He will serve as the president from 2016-18. Kambhampati is professor of computer science and engineering at Arizona State University.

Simon Levin (1964 Ph.D. Mathematics, advisor Monroe Martin) published an article in PNAS, July 22, "Public Goods in Relation to Competition, Cooperation, and Spite." Levin is the George M. Moffett Professor of Biology, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University.

Willie May (1977 Ph.D. Chemistry) has been nominated by President Obama for the position of Under Secretary for Standards and Technology, Department of Commerce. May currently serves as the acting director of NIST. May is a member of the College's Board of Visitors.

Saket Navlakha (2010 Ph.D. Computer Science, advisor Carl Kingsford) joined the Salk Center for Integrative Biology as an assistant professor. Navlakha develops algorithms to predict and understand the dynamics and structure of signaling pathways, the evolution of molecular and cellular networks, and the resilience of biological systems in the face of perturbations. He plans to develop collaborations with biologists to create biological network analyses that bridge theoretical computer science and systems biology.

Forrest W. Nutter (1976 B.S. Botany) received the 2014 Outstanding Teaching Award from Iowa State University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in recognition of his interactive software training programs for plant disease epidemiology and his numerous teaching publications. Nutter's teaching software programs are currently being used in more than 80 universities and 25 countries worldwide and he is the author of more than 130 research publications.

SevaCall, launched by Gurpeet Singh (2003 B.S. Computer Science), Manpreet Singh (2003 B.S. Finance) and Amandeep Bakshi (2007 B.S. Electrical Engineering) in 2012, was featured by Arlington Now, July 14. The company, currently developing a mobile app with voice-based technology, finds the right professional by looking at a variety of factors including online ratings and reviews, social reputation and interaction, call analytics and other forms of consumer and business feedback.



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