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CMNS News - March 2013

Vol. 3, No. 4 March 2013
The College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences
Jayanth Banavar, Dean Mary Kearney, Editor

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


Dean Banavar is pleased to announce the appointment of new department chairs, effective July 1, 2013:

BIOLOGY: Bill Fagan. Fagan's research involves meshing field research with theoretical models to address critical questions in ecology and conservation biology. He believes that ecological theory will be strengthened if it is forced to help solve real-world problems, and that conservation biology involves difficult choices that demand quantitative approaches. Fagan earned his Ph.D. from the University of Washington in 1996.

CHEMISTRY AND BIOCHEMISTRY: Janice Reutt-Robey. Reutt-Robey studies the physical and chemical properties of surfaces (single crystals and supported crystallites) under controlled ultra-high vacuum conditions, with a particular emphasis on how surface structural elements influence surface diffusion and reaction. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1986 and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at AT&T Bell Laboratories in 1988.

ENTOMOLOGY: Leslie Pick. Pick's research seeks to understand how complex organisms develop from simple fertilized eggs and how evolution has utilized a largely conserved set of regulatory genes to generate different types of animals and body plans. She earned her Ph.D. at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY in 1986 and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Basel, Switzerland from 1986 to 1989.

MATHEMATICS: Scott Wolpert. Wolpert, who served as the CMPS Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education from 2001 to 2004 overseeing 4 years of steady progress in undergraduate education, continues to be fascinated by the beauty and intricacy of Riemann surfaces and studies the Weil-Petersson geometry for the Teichmueller space. Wolpert earned his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1976.


Entrepreneurial Approaches to Protecting Highly Endangered Wildlife: Saving Rhinos With Math, Drones & Satellites
Speaker: Thomas Snitch, Ph.D., Chair of the College's Board of Visitors
Date and Time: Thursday, April 11, 3:00pm
Location: 1410 Physics Building, reception following in the G. Forrest Woods Atrium, Chemistry Building
Dr. Thomas Snitch is President of Little Falls Associates, Inc. a consulting firm specializing in solving complex scientific and technological challenges in Asia. Before starting LFA, he served as Senior Staff Director of The National Academy of Sciences. From 1981-87, Dr. Snitch was Senior Advisor for Nuclear and Weapons Control Policy at the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.

How Do we Make ALL Children Smart in STEM?
Speaker: Alan Leshner, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
Date and Time: Wednesday, April 17, 1:30pm
Location: The Prince George's Room, Adele H. Stamp Student Union
The majority of focused US STEM education efforts are directed either toward the "best and brightest" or to those identified early as likely to enter the professional STEM workforce, thus leaving behind the rest of the students. This trend has to be reversed if the US is to remain a world economic leader and if we are to successfully address the many issues facing our society. Dr. Leshner has been Chief Executive Officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and Executive Publisher of the journal Science since December 2001. Before going to AAAS, Dr. Leshner was Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) from 1994-2001.

Maryland in Manhattan: An Evening to Celebrate Alumni & Friends
Date and Time: Wednesday, April 17, 6:30pm for general admission, VIP reception opens at 5:30pm
Location: Tribeca Rooftop, 2 Desbrosses St, NYC
Special wine tasting hosted by international wine judge, writer and educator Robin Kelley O'Connor. Join us for a memorable evening that will raise funds for the tri-state area students' scholarships and Maryland Alumni Association programs. The fourth annual Maryland in Manhattan event will raise funds for important Maryland Alumni Association programs and student scholarships. The evening will feature cuisine by several of New York City's finest restaurants, a variety of spirits, a silent auction and a sweepstakes drawing. RSVP:

ADVANCE Lecture: Age of Networks
Speaker: Dr. Jennifer Chayes, Distinguished Scientist and Managing Director, Microsoft Research New England
Date and Time: April 29, 5:00-6:30pm
Location: 1115 Computer Science Instructional Center
Everywhere we turn these days, we find that networks can be used to describe relevant interactions. In the high tech world, we see the Internet, the World Wide Web, mobile phone networks, and a variety of online social networks. In economics, we are increasingly experiencing both the positive and negative effects of a global networked economy. In epidemiology, we find disease spreading over our ever growing social networks, complicated by mutation of the disease agents. In problems of world health, distribution of limited resources, such as water resources, quickly becomes a problem of finding the optimal network for resource allocation. In biomedical research, we are beginning to understand the structure of gene regulatory networks, with the prospect of using this understanding to manage the many human diseases. Chayes will discuss models and techniques which cut across many disciplinary boundaries.

Maryland Day – Explore Our World
Date and Time: Saturday, April 27, 2013, 10:00am – 4:00pm
Location: College Park campus


Goldwater Scholarships have been awarded to 3 CMNS students who are planning research careers in the sciences, mathematics or computer science. All three winners are Honors College students. The Goldwater Scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,107 students who were nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide.

Fang Cao, Neuroscience, Computer Science
Career Goal: I will pursue a Ph.D. in Neuroscience. I will develop manipulation-ready models of pathogenic neuronal circuits and teach at the university level. A member of the first cohort of our new Integrated Life Sciences Honors Program, and mentored in research by Dan Butts (Biology) and Jeffrey Smith, NIH-National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Stephen Randall, Physics, Mathematics
Career Goal: Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics. Conduct research in high-energy physics and grand unification. Mentored in research by James Gates (Physics) and Douglas C Hamilton (Physics).

Noah Roth Mandell, Physics
Career Goal: Ph.D. in Physics. Conduct research in theoretical and computational plasma physics with direct applications to producing nuclear fusion. Mentored in research by Bill Dorland (Physics) and Drew Baden (Physics).

Mikhail Anisimov (IPST) was elected this year as a foreign member of both the Russian Academy of Engineering and the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences.

Ben Bederson (Computer Science and UMIACS) won a Google Research Award for his project "XParty: Synchronous Peer Learning in MOOCs (extension)." The project will investigate new synchronous, interaction mechanisms to support learning - both in MOOCs and face-to-face in classrooms.

Alberto Bolatto (Astronomy) has been awarded a Humboldt Research Fellowship for Experienced Researchers from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. The Fellowship enables highly-qualified scientists and scholars, who completed their doctorates less than 12 years ago, to spend extended periods of research time (6-18 months) in Germany.

Jon Froehlich and David Jacobs (both Computer Science and UMIACS) won a Google Research Award for "Combining Crowdsourcing and Computer Vision for Street-level Accessibility". They will work on scalable methods for collecting data on street-level accessibility including streets, sidewalks, and building facades by combining crowdsourcing, computer vision, and omnidirectional street imagery (e.g., Google Streetview).

John Bender and Andrew Keane (Graduate Students, Chemistry and Biochemistry) have been selected to attend the 63rd Lindau Nobel Laureates Meeting on Chemistry, Lindau, Germany, June 30-July 5. 37 Nobel Laureates will meet the 625 undergraduate and postgraduate students from 78 countries, and the scientific program, dedicated to the Nobel Prize discipline of chemistry, will comprise lectures, discussion sessions, master classes and panel discussions. For more info:

Leonid Koralov and Konstantina Trivisa (both Mathematics) have been awarded Simons Fellowships in Mathematics which enables research leaves providing time away from classroom teaching and academic administration. The program is intended to increase the opportunity for such leaves and to make leaves more productive by enabling extension of sabbatical leaves from one academic term to a full academic year. Trivisa will use her fellowship to spend her upcoming sabbatical at the University of California, Berkeley (Fall 2013) and École Normale Supérieure de Cachan (Spring 2014). Koralov's plans are not completely set yet but he plans to make several short-term visits to various institutions.

Karin Melnick (Mathematics) has been awarded an NSF Faculty Early Career Development (Career) Award for her proposal "Frontiers of rigidity in pseudo—Riemannian, conformal, and parabolic geometries." The program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers the NSF's most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations. Such activities should build a firm foundation for a lifetime of leadership in integrating education and research.

Sumant Nigam (AOSC and ESSIC) has been named the recipient of a 2013 Distinguished Alumnus Award by the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, in recognition of outstanding achievements.

Katy Rennenkampf (Undergraduate student, Mathematics, English and Economics) has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Indonesia for the 2013-14 academic year. She will pursue a project to learn about Indonesia's recent steps in reforming its mathematics curricula, which involves adoption of "Realistic Mathematics Education" approaches. Rennenkampf, who is a member of the Honors College, has distinguished herself as an Honors Ambassador and as a Maryland Images tour guide, aspires to become a Math educator at the secondary level. Upon her return, she plans to take an assignment as a 'Teach for America Corps' member.


Tom Antonsen (Physics and IREAP), Ed Ott (Physics and IREAP), John Rodgers (IREAP) and Steven Anlage (Physics and Maryland NanoCenter), Office of Naval Research, $110,122, "Wave Chaos Studies for CDE Applications."

Tony Busalacchi (AOSC and ESSIC), NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, $173,234 in additional funding, bringing the total to $5,657,934, "Collaborative Earth System Science Research between NASA/GSFC and UMCP."

Sankar Das Sarma (Physics and JQI), Maryland Procurement Office, $150,000 in additional funding bringing the total award to $750,000, "Condensed Matter Theory Center."

Harold Daume (Computer Science and UMIACS), Johns Hopkins University, $142,041 in additional funding bringing the total award to $415,133, "RI: Medium: Learned Dynamic Prioritization."

Larry Davis (Computer Science and UMIACS), Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), $210,414 in additional funding bringing the total award to $410,798, "E-VERIFY: Open Architecture Image-based W4 Extraction on GPU and Cloud Systems."

Bill Fagan (Biology), NSF, $100,010, "Collaborative Proposal: LTRB Renewal: Impacts of Insect Herbivory on the Pace and Pattern of Primary Successional Change at Mount S. Helens."

Eugenia Kalnay (AOSC and IPST), NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, $112,986 in additional funding bringing the total to $323,624, "An Integrated Carbon Data Assimilation System to Advance Understanding and Predictions of the Carbon Cycle."

Timothy Livengood and Stuart Vogel (both Astronomy), NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, $107,300 in additional funding bringing the total to $210,500, "Variability in Jupiter's Aurora from Multi-decadal Infrared Data."

Katrina Macleod (Biology), NIH-National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, $315,604 in additional funding bringing the total to $1,351,021, "Neural Mechanisms of Sound Intensity Coding."

Howard Milchberg (Physics, IREAP, IPST and Maryland NanoCenter) and Ki-Yong Kim (Physics and Maryland NanoCenter), Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AAFOSR), $313,784, "Extreme Nonlinear Optics of High Intensity Laser Pulse Filamentation in Gases."

John Rodgers (IREAP), Voss Scientific, $165,000 in additional funding bringing the total award to $300,000, "Modeling and Testing of RF/HPM Effects in a Voltage Controlled Oscillator."

Wenxia Song (Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics), Anyu Biomed Inc., $204,000, "Development of New Regulatory DNA Vectors for DNA Vaccine."

Sylvain Veilleux (Astronomy), Smithsonian-Astrophysical Observatory, $133,100, "Quasar Feedback in Action: The Wide-angle Wind of Mrk 231."

Richard Walker (Geology), NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, $200,000, "Isotopic and geochemical Investigations of Siderophile Elements in the Early Solar System."

Stephen Wolniak (Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics), NSF, $234,963, Special Creativity Extension, bringing the total award to $1,043,363, "Translational Patterns During Spermiogenesis in Marsilea."


Twelve (12) UMD Honors College Integrated Life Science students spent their Spring Break at the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center, Topsail, NC to help care for 58 sea turtles currently housed at the facility. Working with 3 of the 7 varieties of turtles – loggerheads, green turtles and the Kemps Ridley turtle – the students fed and washed the turtles and cleaned tanks. The hospital treats a variety of turtle ailments such as flipper amputations caused by fishing line and trap rope entanglements, shell damaged caused by boat collisions, and intestinal impactions caused by ingestion of foreign material such as plastic bags, balloons and fishing lines. The students involved are: Avan Antia, Helen Cheung, Patrick Curry, Maria Gonzalez, Alayna Hendrix, Janet Karanja, Matt Kinnard, Henry Ko, Zeshan Tariq, Eric Zhang, Mike Tzeng and Vivien Xie.

Robert Adler (ESSIC) hosted the third International Workshop of the Global Flood Working Group, March 4-6, which attracted over 60 participants from 8 countries and included representatives from NASA, NOAA, USAID, World Bank, Word Food Program, FM Global and the Red Cross. The workshop topics included near real-time flood extent mapping, flood measurement using passive microwave remote sensing, hydrologic modeling systems for global applications and bridging the gap between science and operations. The event was organized jointly by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, the Dartmouth Flood Observatory and the University of Maryland.

Mike A'Hearn (Astronomy) has been invited to provide written and spoken testimony for the House Committee on Science regarding Near-Earth Objects, April 10. He will be joined by fellow witnesses Ed Lu and Don Yeomans (1970 Ph.D. Astronomy).

Elizabeth Beise (Physics) and Catherine Fenselau (Chemistry and Biochemistry) were 2 of the 5 panelists on the Women Inspiring Innovation Through Imagination: Celebrating Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, March 18. The event was part of the NSF's National Women's History Month observation.

Using NASA's Swift satellite's Ultraviolet/Optical Telescope Dennis Bodewits (Astronomy) and colleagues at the Lowell Observatory, have been able to make initial estimates of the comet ISON's water and dust production and use them to infer the size of its icy nucleus. "...Comet ISON has the potential to be among the brightest comets of the last 50 years, which gives us a rare opportunity to observe its changes in great detail and over an extended period." Media coverage included the Huffington Post, Nature World News,, SpaceDaily, NanoWerk, Universe Today and NBCNews. For more info:

Li-Chuan Chen (ESSIC) and collaborator, Kingtse Mo (NOAA), developed the first application product using the National Multi-Model Ensemble (NMME) forecasts for meteorological drought prediction. The new product has shown higher predictive skill than that based on single-model forecasts and is delivered in real time on NOAA Climate Prediction Center website at

The Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites (CICS), a $15M per annum collaboration between the University and NOAA, led by ESSIC, received an outstanding rating at its mid-term review and has been approved for the submission of a renewal proposal through June 30, 2019.

The conference, "An Open World of Physics: A Celebration of Sankar Das Sarma's Research Career on his 60th Birthday" was held March 16-17 at UMD. Speakers included Nobel Laureates Klaus von Klitzing (Stuttgart, Germany), Bill Phillips (UMD and NIST) and Tony Leggett (UIUC, Illinois).

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

On March 1 ESSIC hosted the International Forum on Environmental and Climate Changes in China, with presentations by Tong Zhu, Peking University; Renyi Zhang, Texas & A&M University; Chungu Lu, National Science Foundation and Zhanqing Li, AOSC and ESSIC. The forum discussed China's hazy weather, climate change, the Tibet glacier melting, and their broad environmental and social implications.

Laveen Kanal (Computer Science) was ranked in the top 10% of most viewed LinkedIn profiles for 2012. Kanal is a Fellow of the IEEE, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) and the International Association of Pattern Recognition (IAPR).

Raj Khera (member and former Chair of the CMNS Board of Visitors and Engineering Alumnus, 1986 B.S. and 1988 M.S. Electrical Engineering) has released a new book entitled "The IT Marketing Crash Course: How to Get Clients for Your Technology Business." The book includes strategies, checklists, examples and action plans that lead to new customers. It is filled with stories from technology business owners and executives who describe how they are generating hundreds of qualified leads through clever marketing tactics.

James Gates (Physics) was featured in AfroAmerican, March edition, discussing his career and his involvement, as a member of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), in creating policies to improve science, technology, engineering and mathematics education (STEM). "...We've got to empower our teachers – many times we find that teachers have not been properly prepared to teach math and science."

William Goldman (Mathematics) was the 2012-2013 Distinguished Visitor to the Department of Mathematics at Oberlin College, March 20. Goldman presented a public lecture entitled "Playing pool on curved surfaces and the wrong way to add fractions."

The Human Computer Interaction Laboratory (HCIL) is among the top 5 contributors of papers and/or notes for the upcoming ACM CHI 2013: Changing Perspectives conference being held in Paris, France, April 27-May 2. The conference is multidisciplinary, drawing from science, engineering and design, with contributions from research and industry in 15 different venues.

Lyle Isaacs and Jeffrey Davis (both Chemistry and Biochemistry and Maryland NanoCenter) are co-organizers of the International Symposium on Macrocyclic and Supramolecular Chemistry (ISMSC-8) to be held in the summer of 2013, the first time this meeting will be held in the U.S. since 2007. The ISMSC conference, which attracts 300-350 participants, brings together leaders in supramolecular chemistry that make contributions to the core areas of chemistry, biological chemistry, nanoscience and materials science. For more info:

Zhanqing Li (AOSC and ESSIC) has been appointed to serve a 4-year term as an editor for the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, a publication of the American Geophysical Union (AGU).

Toshihisa Matsui (ESSIC) was the Goddard Terrestrial Water Cycle Seminar speaker on March 13, 2013 with a seminar entitled "Observed and Simulated High-Resolution Summertime Diurnal Rainfall Rates Over the Conterminous U.S."

Cole Miller (Astronomy) was an invited speaker at the University of Chile's Observatorio Astronomico Nacional, Cerro Calan, March 14, with a topic of "Neutron Stars and Physical Extremes."

The New Journal of Physics has selected the article "On Relating the Genesis of Cosmic Baryons and Dark Matter" by Rabindra Mohapatra (Physics and the Joint Space Institute) and colleague Hooman Davoudiasl (Brookhaven National Laboratory) for inclusion in their "Highlights of 2012" collection. Articles were selected on the basis of referee endorsement, impact and broad appeal.

Raghu Murtugudde (AOSC and ESSIC) provided written testimony in support of climate bill HB1134 that reached the Maryland House of Delegates Environmental Matters Committee, March 6. The bill proposes the creation of a task force to both analyze and create solutions for reducing the impact of the heat island effect on the State. Murtugudde wrote " Any knowledge we gain, and the monitoring and data gathering efforts, are absolutely essential for preparing the State of Maryland for the future of UHI including mitigation efforts and for the most optimal urban growth in the coming years and decades."

Ben Shneiderman (Computer Science and UMIACS) was the featured speaker at the UMD New York City Alumni Event, March 27. Alumni and friends gathered for a reception and private exhibit tour of "We Went Back: Photographs from Europe 1933-1956 by Chim." David "Chim" Seymour was a leading photojournalist in the 1930s-50s, covering political affairs and culture in Europe and the Middle East. Shneiderman, Chim's nephew, discussed his uncle's legacy.

Jonathan Simon (Biology and ECE) was an invited speaker at the Presidential Symposium of the 36th Midwinter Meeting of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology (ARO), February 16-20, Baltimore, MD. Simon's talk was entitled "Cortical Encoding of Auditory Objects at the Cocktail Party." The ARO is the premiere international meeting in auditory neuroscience, typically attracting about 1,500 participants from around the world.


Millard Alexander (Chemistry and Biochemistry and IPST) has published a perspective article in Nature Chemistry, News and Views section, April edition entitled "OH electron, where art thou?" Alexander writes "..The study of the reaction of a ground-state O atom with H2 has previously proved difficult because of its high activation barrier. Now, new experiments have revealed unexpected OH product states; but perhaps there is a simple explanation?"

Research on two-dimensional dichalcognedies conducted by Wenzhong Bao and colleagues was featured in Nature Nanotechnology - Research Highlights, March 5.

Alberto Bolatto (Astronomy) was interviewed by the Voice of Russia, March 15, where he discussed the capabilities of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). Located on the Chajnantor plateau in Northern Chile, the antennas of the ALMA array – fifty-four 12-meter and twelve smaller 7-meter dish antennas – work together as a single telescope. Each antenna collects radiation coming from space and focuses it onto a receiver. The signals from the antennas are then brought together and processed by a specialized supercomputer: the ALMA Correlator. For more info on ALMA:

Susan Clark (JQI) and Physics Graduate Student David Hucul were quoted in an article in Inside Science, March 19 in an article on picking basketball games. The researchers, who work in the lab of Chris Monroe (Physics and JQI), use a phenomenon called superposition. They coax the element ytterbium ion to act somewhat like a coin. Superposition allows the physicists to prepare the ion to have a 50-50 chance of ending up in state A or state B. Media coverage included MSNBC, Scientific American, Reddit and PhysOrg.

Dennis vanEngelsdorp (Entomology) was quoted in ScienceDaily, RedOrbit and PhysOrg, March 4 in articles on recently published research in the Journal of Preventive Veterinary Medicine, February 1. vanEngelsdorp and colleagues studied 80 colonies of honey bees to identify and quantify risk factors associated with annual colony mortality in the eastern U.S. Fifty-six percent of all colonies monitored died during the 10-month study, with the largest risk factor being idiopathic brood disease syndrome. Media coverage included Science Director, Nature World News,Science Codex, Science Daily, PhysOrg and RedOrbit.

John Fourkas (Chemistry and Biochemistry and IPST) was quoted in the Washington Post-Local Living Section, March 21 in an article on high school Advanced Placement courses. "...We do not like to see our students getting short-changed or graduating from our institutions without the best education that they can possibly get."

Victor Galitski (Physics and JQI) was quoted in Physics today, March edition, in an article on MOOCs (massive open online courses). "...Universities may use their MOOCs to attract talented students from other parts of the world."Galitski is an instructor for 'Exploring Quantum Physics,' which debuted on Coursera this month. VP for Research, Pat O'Shea (Electrical & Computer Engineering, IREAP and Physics, and 1982 M.S., 1986 Ph.D. Physics) and President Loh were also quoted in the article.

Simona Giacintucci (Astronomy and JSI), with colleagues, published an article in The Astrophysical Journal, March edition, on their discovery of a giant radio halo in a new, hot, X-ray luminous galaxy cluster recently found by Planck. The radio halo was found using Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope observations at 235MHz and 610MHz, and in the 1.4 GHz data from an NRAO Very Large Array Sky Survey pointing that the researchers reanalyzed. Planck, named after the German physicist Max Planck, is a project of the European Space Agency (ESA), launched on May 14, 2009 with the main goal of studying the Cosmic Microwave Background – the relic radiation from the Big Bang.

Thomas Holtz (Geology) was quoted in Nature News, March 17 in an article on the recent discovery by Zonghe Zhou (Chinese Academy of Sciences-Beijing) et al., of the first fossilized traces of developing egg cells in ancient fossil birds. Holtz was also quoted in NBC News, March 14, on research recently published in Science presenting evidence of leg feathers in five different species of early birds and bird-like dinosaurs.

Research conducted by Myung-Gyu Kang (IREAP) with colleagues at NIST, and published in Nanotechnology, February 15 was covered by the media, including ScienceDaily, Electronics Bulletin and PhysOrg in early March. The researchers built a practical, high-efficiency nanostructured electron source, which could lead to improved microwave communications and radar, and more notably to new and improved X-ray imaging systems for security and health-care applications.

David Inouye (Biology) was quoted on CBS News, March 1, on two recent studies in Science concluding that wild bees seem to be dwindling in the Midwest. Inouye stated that "...domesticated bees are already in trouble, with record high prices for bees to pollinate California almond trees." Media coverage included Business Week, Daily Comet, BlueridgeNow and WTOP.

Dan Lathrop (Physics, Geology, IPST and IREAP) and Jeremy Munday (IREAP and ECE) were quoted in the Washington Post, March 16 in an article on the Sequester and effect on university research funding.

Dan Lathrop (Physics, Geology, IPST and IREAP) and Barbara Brawn-Cinani (IREAP) published a News & Views article in Nature Physics, online March 3, on Dustin Kleckner and William Irvine (James Franck Institute, University of Chicago) creating knotted and linked vortices, producing more topologically complicated linked and knotted rings.

An article written by Frank McDonald (IPST) who died August 31, 2012, and colleague Bill Webber was published in Geophysical Research Letters, online March 20, indicating that Voyager 1 has travelled beyond the influence of the Sun and exited the heliosphere. "..."It appears that [Voyager 1] has exited the main solar modulation region, revealing [hydrogen] and [helium] spectra characteristic of those to be expected in the local interstellar medium." Media coverage included the Los Angeles Times, New York times, The Guardian, Irish Times, Baltimore Sun and The Telegraph-India.

Christopher Monroe (Physics and JQI) with colleague Jungsang Kim (Duke University) published an article in Science, March 8, speculating on ion trap technology as a scalable option for quantum information processing. The article was highlighted on the cover, which portrayed a photograph of a surface trap that was fabricated by Sandia National Labs and used to trap ions at JQI and Duke.

Michael Raupp (Entomology) was interviewed on WTOP, March 22, on 17-year Brood II cicadas, which are predicted to emerge the 2nd or 3rd week in May. The cicadas are expected to swarm from North Carolina to New York and further.

Hanan Samet (Computer Science and UMIACS) was featured in the March edition of Communications of the ACM, Member News section, "Hanan Samet: A Trailblazer in Spatial Databases." Samet was recently presented with the Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award from the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) "...for fundamental contributions to the development of multidimensional spatial data structures and indexing."

Jonathan Simon (Biology and ECE) with colleagues published an article in the March 6 edition of Neuron demonstrating how, in the din of a crowded room, the brain hones in on one speaker to solve this "Cocktail Party" effect. The researchers discovered that brain waves are shaped so that the brain can selectively track the sound patterns from the speaker of interest and, at the same time, exclude competing sounds from other speakers. A better understanding of the Cocktail Party effect could eventually help individuals with a range of deficits such as those associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism and aging. Media coverage included NPR, Science Daily, Medical Daily, Medical Xpress and Red Orbit.

Daphne Soares (Biology), with colleagues, published an article in the Journal of Biology Letters, March 26, on their research showing that at least two species of amblyopsid cavefish, Typhlichthys subterraneus and Amblyopsis spelaea, are partially deaf as well as blind. Media coverage included LiveScience, NBC, Science News and PhysOrg.

V.S. Subrahmanian (Computer Science and UMIACS) was quoted in the Economist, March 30, in an article on the selling of "exploits" – packets of computer code – to hackers and terrorist groups. Subrahmanian likened the transactions to "...selling a gun to a criminal."


Carahsoft Technology Corporation, Craig Abod (1986 B.S. Computer Science) President, is one of four finalists for the Tech Council of Maryland's 25th Anniversary Annual Dinner and Awards Celebration, Government Contracting Firm of the Year category. The event will take place on May 16. In February Carahsoft received the 2013 Gold Stevie Award for the Government Sales Team of the Year at the annual Stevie Awards gala in Las Vegas.

Christine Anderson (1969 B.S. Mathematics) was quoted in Wired, March 13, in an article on Richard Branson, Virgin Galactic and Spaceport America, the world's first commercial spaceport located in New Mexico. Anderson was named Executive Director of the New Mexico Spaceport Authority in 2011. On January 31, 2013 Forbes magazine interviewed Anderson on the facility and how the Spaceport supports STEM education programs in New Mexico schools.

Sergey Brin (1993 B.S. Computer Science and Mathematics) is part of a group of four entrepreneurs and scientists who have established the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences. The award is worth $3 million for each winner. More info:

Mary Ann Esfandiari (1976 B.S. Astronomy) was the keynote speaker at the Women's History Month Cultural Observance, "Women in STEM," that celebrated the success of women in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math, March 14, at the Fort Belvoir Officer's Club. Esfandiari, who is Associate Director, NASA Flight Projects Directorate for the Exploration and Space Communication Division, is responsible for the on-orbit operation and sustaining engineering of the Space Network.

Shravan Goli (1994 M.S. Computer Science) has been named President of Dice Holdings, March 14, and will be responsible for executing the growth strategy for, ClearanceJobs and the Slashdot Media brands. Prior to Dice, Goli served as Chief Executive Officer of which he joined in late 2009 as President.

Jesse Logan (2001 B.S. Biological Science) has been promoted to Vice President at Canback Dangel, a leading management consulting firm leveraging predictive analytics with offices in Mexico, Nairobi, Moscow, Boston, Beijing and Jakarta. Logan, who leads the Consumer Goods and Retail Practice department, previously worked as a microbiology scientist.

Michael Palmer (1987 B.S. Computer Science) and D.J. Patil (2001 Ph.D. Applied Mathematics) were invited speakers at the GigaOM Structure: Data event held on March 20-21 in New York, NY. Palmer's talk was entitled "Improving Your Primary Product with Big Data Insights." He is Head of Innovation at Aetna and leads the Aetna Innovation Labs. Patil, who is Data Scientist in Residence, Greylock Partners, talked about "Big Data Bottlenecks: What we Need to be Aware Of."

Katrin Rudge (1988 B.S. Biological Science, 1992 M.S. MEES), Marine Science Teacher at Riverview High School, has been named Sarasota County's Teacher of the Year for 2013-14. Rudge, director of the RHS Aquascience Program and co-director of the Stars to Starfish Program, organizes lessons in connection with Riverview's learning dock and research vessel.




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