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CMNS News - March 2014

Vol. 4, No. 3 March 2014
The College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences
Jayanth Banavar, Dean Mary Kearney, Editor

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


Lockheed Martin and UMD are partnering to develop an integrated quantum computing platform that has the potential to enhance fields ranging from drug discovery and communications to logistics. The Memorandum of Understanding, establishing the Quantum Engineering Center, was signed on March 5. More info at:

Jonathan Dinman has been appointed Interim Chair of the Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics, beginning on July 1, 2014. Dinman, who has been with CBMG since 2002, came to us from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Dinman's research is on virology, ribosome structure/function relationships, and regulation of gene expression. He is currently the Founding Editor and Editor-in-Chief of "Virus, Adaptation and Treatment," and is on the Editorial Boards of "Nucleic Acids Research" and "Translation."

Maryland Day 2014 – Inspiration. Boldness. Curiosity. Passion.
Saturday, April 26, 10:00am-4:00pm, College Park
One-day open house of 450 educational, family-friendly and interactive events.


Three CMNS students were among the 283 Barry Goldwater Scholars selected from 1,166 students nominated nationally this year. A fourth student was recognized as an honorable mention. The students, who are all members of the UMD Honors College, plan to pursue doctoral degrees in their areas of study.

Geoffrey Ji, Physics, Mathematics, Economics, Computer Science
Michael D. Mandler, Chemistry, Biological Science
Rafael G. Setra, Mathematics, Electrical Engineering
Honorable mention: Daniel A. Farias, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Mathematics

Margaret Gratian, a junior majoring in computer science and mathematics, and Leah Xu, sophomore computer engineering major, received cybersecurity scholarships provided by ManTech International Corporation. ManTech is one of the first corporate partners to join forces with the Maryland Cybersecurity Center (MC2), the multidisciplinary research and education center supported by the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences, the A. James Clark School of Engineering and UMIACS.

Hanan Samet (Computer Science and UMIACS) has been elected Fellow of the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS) in recognition of being an "internationally eminent scholar in the theory and development of spatial data structures." The UCGIS Fellows program, created in 2010, celebrates the "..extraordinary record of achievements of individuals in a variety of spatial disciplines and communities of practice that use spatial information."

Daphne Soares (Biology) has been elected a Fellow of Wings WorldQuest, an organization "...dedicated to recognizing and supporting visionary women who are advancing scientific inquiry and environmental conservation and to sharing their stories and knowledge to inspire a new generation of explorers, problem-solvers and environmental stewards."


Rama Chellappa (UMIACS, ECE and Computer Science) and Larry Davis (Computer Science and UMIACS), Air Force Research Laboratory, $170,720 in additional funding bringing the total award to $249,889, "Visual Fingerprint as a Novel Modality for Mobile Active Authentication."

Thomas Cohen, Paulo Bedaque, Stephen Wallace and Xiangdong Ji (Physics), DOE-Chicago, $638,000, "Theoretical Studies in Hadronic and Nuclear Physics."

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

Russell Dickerson (AOSC and Chemistry & Biochemistry), Maryland Department of the Environment, $240,000, "Air Pollution in Maryland – RAMMPP FY2014."

James Farquhar (Geology and ESSIC), NSF, $130,142, "Sulfur Isotope Studies of Sulfide Oxidation."

Catherine Fenselau (Chemistry & Biochemistry) and David Fushman (Chemistry & Biochemistry and UMIACS), NIH-National Institute of General Medical Sciences, $288,829, "Ubiquitinated Proteins in Exosomes of Immune Suppressive Myeloid Cells."

Giovanni Forni (Mathematics), The Simons Foundation, $130,561, "Simons Foundation Fellowship."

William Goldman (Mathematics), The Simons Foundation, $132,000, "Geometric Structures on Surfaces."

Mohammad Hajiaghayi (Computer Science and UMIACS), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, $124,678 in additional funding bringing the total award to $479,995, "Efficient Algorithmic Frameworks via Structural Graph Theory."

Vedran Lekic (Geology), NSF, $151,629, "CAREER: Seismic Imaging of Large-scale Structure in the Lithosphere and the Core-mantle Boundary Region."

Christopher Monroe (Physics and JQI), Duke University, $310,000 in additional funding bringing the total award to $2,203,731, "Modular Universal Scalable Ion-tap Quantum Computer (MusiQC)."

Jeanpierre Paglione (Physics), NSF, $110,000 in additional funding bringing the total award to $550,000, "Millikelvin Magnetic Field-Angle-Resolved Probe of Quantum Materials."

Donald Perlis, Dana Nau (Computer Science and UMIACS) and Michael Cox (UMIACS), Office of Naval Research, $150,000 in additional funding bringing the total award to $765,000, "Self-tasking and Learning Under Crisis."

Mihai Pop and Atif Memon (Computer Science and UMIACS), NIH-National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, $435,034 in additional funding bringing the total award to $872,425, "Algorithms and Software for the Assembly of Metagenomic Data."

James Purtilo (Computer Science), Office of Naval Research, $134,293 in additional funding bringing the total award to $566,236, "Improved Cyber Security via Decentralized Intrusion Detection and Dynamic Reconfiguration."

Eun-Suk Seo (Physics and IPST), NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, $179,107 in additional funding bringing the total award to $3,430,554, "Approaching the Cosmic Ray Knee with the CREAM Balloon-borne Experiment."

Amitabh Varshney (Computer Science and UMIACS), Maryland Procurement Office, $107,199, "E-VERIFY: LTS DO 0010: The Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science (QISC).


The latest "US News and World Report" graduate school rankings place 13 CMNS programs and disciplines within the top 25:

Computer Science – 15th
Artificial Intelligence: 16
Programming Language: 13
Systems: 13

Mathematics – 17th
Applied Mathematics: 10

Physics – 14th
Atomic/Molecular/Optical : 6
Condensed Matter: 10
Cosmology/Relativity/Gravity: 13
Plasma Physics: 3
Quantum Physics: 8

Geochemistry: 7th

Computer Science hosted the 24th annual University of Maryland High School Programming Contest on Saturday, March 1st, 2014. Twenty-eight teams of D.C. area high school students gathered to use their programming and problem solving skills to solve several "Despicable Me" themed programming problems. Contest Directors Amol Deshpande and Chau-Wen Tseng, as well as faculty members Evan Golub, Mohammad Hajiaghayi and Dave Mount, and graduate student Saeed Seddhighin, devised challenges for the teams of four high school students to solve. Student submissions were judged on correctness, followed by speed of submission. The top 3 winners were: Thomas Jefferson High School, Montgomery Blair High School and Poolesville High School.

Steven Anlage (Physics) gave an invited talk "Wave and Quantum Chaos," at the UK EPSRC Metamaterials Retreat in Chamonix, France, 20 March, 2014.

Erik Bergmann (Graduate student, Entomology) won first place in the M.S. student competition for oral presentations at the Eastern Branch of the Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting, Williamsburg, VA, March 15-18.

Antonio Busalacchi (AOSC and ESSIC) was a featured speaker at the "From Grains to Grapes: Environmental Intelligence and the U.S. Agriculture Sector," event held at the Senate Capitol Visitors Center, March 25. The event was hosted by the Alliance for Earth Observations & Wine America.

Rita Colwell (CBMG and UMIACS) was an invited speaker at the University of Notre Dame, Forum on Women in Leadership, March 19. Colwell's talk was on "Oceans, Climate, and Human Health: The Cholera Paradigm."

Sinead Farrell (ESSIC) was interviewed and appeared on the video "Global Warming: The Dangers of Melting Ice Caps," produced by students of Eastern Middle School (Silver Spring). The video won second place in the middle school division of the C-Span StudentCam 2014 contest, an annual documentary competition with this year's theme being "A Message to the U.S. Congress – What's the most important issue the U.S. congress should consider in 2014?" To view:

David Inouye (Biology) was the 2014 Special Guest at the 61st annual meeting of the Ecological Society of Japan, held in Hiroshima 22-25 March. He co-organized a symposium on Plant-pollinator interactions at the community scale, and spoke about "Pollination research and pollinator conservation in North America."

Brian Lovett (Graduate student, Entomology) delivered an invited presentation entitled "Enhancing and Capitalizing on the Genetic Toolkit of Entomophatogenic Fungi" at the North Central Branch Entomology Society of America conference, Des Moines, Iowa, March 9.

Sumant Nigam (AOSC) was appointed Chair of the Climate Variability and Change Committee of the American Meteorological Society for a 3-year term.

Johnpierre Paglione (Physics) was appointed an Associate for the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR). CIFAR brings together a network of nearly 400 researchers to focus on important questions with the potential to improve human health and the environment, transform technology, build strong societies, understand human culture and even chart the universe. He will serve as an Associate of the Quantum Materials research program. Paglione was an invited speaker in the DCMP session, "SmB6: A Possible Topological Kondo Insulator" at the American Physical Society, March Meeting, Denver 2014, with a talk entitled "Hybridization Gap, Metallic Surface States and Quantum Transport in Samarium Hexaboride."

Arthur Popper (Biology) was invited to be the U.S. representative at the United Nations Secretariat for the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) expert workshop on Underwater Noise and its Impacts on Marine and Coastal Biodiversity that took place in London, UK. Popper presented two overview presentations, one on effects of underwater sound on biodiversity and the other on a gap analysis of what is known and not known about the subject. He also served as rapporteur for the meeting.

Computer Science faculty member Adam Porter's 8-week MOOC, "Programming Mobile Applications for Android Handheld Systems" is the second largest course (with 210,000 students registered at any given time) to ever run on Coursera. First of a series of courses and a capstone project created in conjunction with Vanderbilt University, it will be offered as a Coursera specialization. This is the first ever trans-institution MOOC offering. Porter will be sharing his MOOC experiences while speaking at the Coursera Partners Conference and presenting a paper on MOOCs at the 36th Annual International Conference on Software Engineering.

Michael Raupp (Entomology) was the keynote speaker at the Oklahoma Invasive Species Conference, Oklahoma City, March 25; gave 3 invited presentations at the Eastern Branch of the Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting, Williamsburg, VA, March 15-18 and 2 at the Michigan Green Industries Conference, Detroit, March 5.

Philip Resnik (UMIACS and Linguistics) was a featured panelist at the eclectic South by Southwest conference and festival, an annual music, film and emerging technology event held each spring in Austin, Texas. Resnik, joined by other experts in a panel discussion titled "Putting a Real-Time Face on Polling" on March 8, discussed his research in computational approaches to social science, including recent research on big data and sentiment analysis.

Victor Yakovenko (Physics and JQI) gave an econophysics colloquium and a condensed matter seminar at the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, March 20-21. Earlier he gave a colloquium about his econophysics work at the Physics Department, American University, Washington DC.


Paulo Bedaque (Physics) and Graduate student Srimoyee Sen, "Neutrino emissivity from Goldstone boson decay in magnetized neutron matter, Physical Review C, March 31.

Hilary Bierman and Catherine Carr (Biology) with colleagues the University of Colorado Medical School, University of Massachusetts Lowell and University of Southern Denmark, "Biophysics of directional hearing in the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)," Journal of Experimental Biology, April 2014 edition.

Graduate students Dan Campbell, Ryan Price, Andrika Putra with Brandon M. Anderson (JQI), Subhadeep. De (JQI) and Ian Spielman (Physics and JQI), "Quenched binary Bose-Einstein condensates: Spin-domain formation and coarsening," Physical Review A, March 24.

Thomas Cohen and Naoki Yamamoto (Physics), "New critical point for QCD in a magnetic field," Physical Review D, March 23.

Thomas Cohen (Physics) and Richard Lebed of Arizona State, "Tetraquarks with exotic flavor quantum numbers at large Nc in QCD(AS)," Physical Review D, March 16.

Karen Lips (Biology) and Nicholas Caruso (2011 M.S. Biology) with colleagues from the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Clemson University and Iowa State University, "Widespread rapid reductions in body size of adult salamanders in response to climate change," Global Change Biology, March 25.

Sankar Das Sarma (Physics) with E.H. Hwang (Sungkyunkwan University), Short-range disorder effects on electronic transport in two-dimensional semiconductor structures, Physical Review B, March 27.

Jonathan Dinman (Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics) with alumnus Sergey Sulima (2013 Ph.D. CBMG), Graduate student Vivek Advani and colleagues from the University of Texas at Austin and Katholieke Universiteit Leuven ( Belgium), "Bypass of the pre-60S ribosomal quality control as a pathway to oncogenesis," PNAS early online edition.

Graduate student Graziella DiRenzo with Karen Lips (Biology) and colleagues from Arizona State University and Cornell, "Fungal Infection Intensity and Zoospore Output of Atelopus zeteki, a Potential Acute Chytrid Supershedder," PLOS One, March 27.

Dmitry Efimkin (Physics) and V. Galitski (Physics and JQI), "Self-consistent theory of ferromagnetism on the surface of a topological insulator," Physical Review B, March 24.

Victor Galitski (Physics and JQI) with colleagues, "Spiral antiferromagnets beyond the spin-wave approximation: Frustrated XY and Heisenberg models on the honeycomb lattice," Physical Review B, March 18.

Graduate student Julia Greenfield with Osnat Herzberg (Chemistry & Biochemistry) and colleagues from the Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research, "Crystal Structure of ORF210 from E. coli 0157:H1 Phage CBA120 (TSP1), a Putative Tailspike Protein," PLOS One, March 26.

Alexey Gorshkov (JQI) et al., "Beyond the Spin Model Approximation for Ramsey Spectroscopy," Physical Review Letters, March 25.

Daniel Gruner (Entomology) et al., "Herbivores and nutrients control grassland plant diversity via light limitation," Nature, March 9 online.

Michael Hinczewski (IPST) and David Thirumalai (Chemistry & Biochemistry and IPST) with Changbong Hyeon of the Korea Institute for Advanced Studies, "Evidence of Disorder in Biological Molecules from Single Molecule Pulling Experiments, Physical Review Letters, March 31.

Vincent Holten (IPST) and Mikhail Anisimov (IPST and Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering) with colleagues from Princeton University and St. Francis Xavier University, "Two-state thermodynamics of the ST2 model for supercooled water," The Journal of Chemical Physics, March 10.

David Inouye and Amy Iler (Biology) with Paul CaraDonna, The Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, "Shifts in flowering phenology reshape a subalpine plant community," PNAS, March 17.

Ted Jacobson (Physics and JSI) wotj Alejandro Satz, "On the renormalization of the Gibbons-Hawking boundary term," Physical Review D, March 16.

Alejandro Lobos (JQI) with colleagues Marcelo Romero (INTEC-CONICET-UNL, Argentina) and Armando Aligia (Comision Nacional de Energia Atomica, Argentina, "Spectral evolution of the SU(4) Kondo effect from the single impurity to the two-dimensional limit,"Physical Review B, March 9.

David Meichle (Physics graduate student), Dan Lathrop (Physics, Geology, IPST and IREAP) with colleagues Enrico Fonda (Universita degli Studi di Trieste, Italy), Nicholas Quellette (Yale) and Sahand Hormoz (Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, UC-Santa Barbara) Direct observation of Kelvin waves excited by quantized vortex reconnection, PNAS, week of March 24.

Roberto Franeschini (Physics) and Rabindra Mohapatra (Physics and JSI), "Radiatively induced type II seesaw models and vectorlike 5/3 charge quarks," Physical Review D, March 16.

Graduate student Juraj Radić , Stefan Natu (JQI) and Victor Galitski (Physics and JQI), "Spectral evolution of the SU(4) Kondo effect from the single impurity to the two-dimensional limit Interaction-Tuned Dynamical Transitions in a Rashba Spin-Orbit-Coupled Fermi Gas," Physical Review Letters, March 5.

Graduate student Thomas Rensink with Tom Antonsen (Physics and IREAP), John Palastro (IREAP) and D. F. Gordon (Naval Research Lab), "Model for atomic dielectric response in strong, time-dependent laser fields," Physical Review A, March 13.

Efrain Rodriguez (Chemistry & Biochemistry and JSI) et al., "Weak spin interactions in Mott insulating La2O2Fe2OSe2," Physical Review B, March 9.

Nicholas Schmerr (Geology) with colleagues from the University of California, Los Angeles, Changes in Seismic Anisotropy Shed Light on the Nature of the Gutenberg Discontinuity, Science, March 14.

Physics Graduate student Andrea Taracchini with Alessandra Buonanno and Tanja Hinderer (Physics and JSI), Yi Pan (JSI) and colleagues, "Effective-one-body model for black-hole binaries with generic mass ratios and spins," Physical Review D, March 12.

Yi Pan (JSI), Alessandra Buonanno (Physics and JSI) and Physics Graduate student Andrea Taracchini with colleagues, "Stability of nonspinning effective-one-body model in approximating two-body dynamics and gravitational-wave emission," Physics Review D, March 4.

Christopher Taylor, Peter Coffey, Bridget DeLay and Galen Dively (Entomology), "The Importance of Gut Symbionts in the Development of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, Halyomorpha halys (Stål)", PLOS One, March 5.

Jacob Taylor (JQI and NIST) with colleagues from the University of Copenhagen and the Technical University of Denmark, "Optical detection of radio waves through a nanomechanical transducer," Nature, March 6.

Xin Wang (Physics) and Sankar Das Sarma (Physics and JQI) with Rajdeep Sensarma of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, "Ferromagnetic response of a "high-temperature" quantum antiferromagnet," Physical Review B, March 31.

Astronomy Graduate student Ashlee Wilkins with Drake Deming (Astronomy and NASA) et al., "The Emergent 1.1-1.7 Μm Spectrum Of The Exoplanet Corot-2b As Measured Using The Hubble Space Telescope," The Astrophysical Journal, March 10.

Genevieve Wright (Biology and ISR), Gerald Wilkinson (Biology) with ISR colleagues Chen Chiu and Wei Xian and Cynthia Moss (ISR and Psychology), "Social Calls predict Foraging Success in Big Brown Bats," Current Biology, online now.

IPST faculty Aleksey Zimin, Guillaume Marcais, Michael Roberts and James Yorke (Mathematics, Physics and IPST), with colleagues from the University of California, Davis, Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute and The Johns Hopkins University, "Sequencing and Assembly of the 22-Gb Loblolly Pine Genome," Genetics, March 2014.


Antonio Busalacchi (AOSC and ESSIC) was featured in a recent Bloomberg Business Week article (March 28) regarding the effects of climate change on the Bordeaux wine-producing region.

James Gates (Physics) was profiled in the March 27 edition of the Baltimore Sun, with Jogesh Pati (Physics) quoted. The article talked about his work on the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and his appointment to the Maryland State Board of Education (2009-2013). Gates is recognized for his outstanding contributions to the popularization of science and the promotion of science education and science careers to young people.

Nick Hadley (Physics) was quoted in The Baltimore Sun, March 19, in a story on the documentary "Particle Fever" – a film on the search for the Higgs boson produced by a Johns Hopkins physicist. "...It captured some of the way we work and the excitement of everything."

Shariq Hashme (Undergraduate student, Computer Science and Electrical Engineering) was interviewed on NPR-All Things Considered program, March 19, about 'Hackathons.' Hashme is president and co-founder of Terrapin Hackers, a dynamic group of over 150 Computer Science, Engineering and other students from the University of Maryland. The team claimed first place in the Major League Hacker Standings, November 2013.

Jeff Hollingsworth (Computer Science and UMIACS) was interviewed on March 6th, 2014 by the HPCwire Soundbite podcast, on the "Experiencing HPC for Undergraduates Program" that he, and fellow faculty member Alan Sussman, launched to attract more undergraduate students to the field of high performance computing. "The goal of this program is to help talented students understand what HPC is about and see all of the exciting things that are going on in the field," says Hollingsworth.

Thomas Holtz (Geology) was quoted in the March 19 edition of National Geographic on the discovery of three well preserved skeletons of "Anzu wyliei", an oviraptorosaur, recovered from the Hall Creek formation of North and South Dakota. "...We didn't have a way to get a coherent picture of these animals until now." Holtz was also quoted in a National Geographic article on "Torvosaurus gurney" – a recent discovery from the Lourinha Formation in Portugal, March 5.

Research conducted by David Inouye and Amy Iler (Biology) and Paul CaraDonna of The Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory (see above in Journal Articles) has seen wide media coverage. Their research reported that wildflower blooms in plots outside Crested Butte, CO show that more than two-thirds of alpine flowers have changed their blooming patterns in response to climate change. Media coverage included the Christian Science Monitor, Nature World News, Science World Report, Science Codex and the French Tribune.

Paul Julienne (Physics and JQI) authored a Nature News & Views article, March 27, discussing the paper by Frisch et al. entitled "Quantum chaos in ultracold collisions of gas-phase erbium atoms." "...The results offer the prospect of exploring new avenues of ultracold physics and chemistry using complex atomic and molecular species."

Alan Kaufman (Geology) authored a Nature Geoscience/News and Views article, March 23, discussing research conducted by Planavsky, et al. (Nature Geoscience), suggesting that oxygenic photosynthesis evolved at least 3 billion years ago.

Research conducted by Dan Lathrop et al., and published in PNAS (see Journal Articles above) was the subject of articles in Red Orbit, R&D Magazine, Science360 and Nanowerk. The researchers directly observed the emission of Kelvin waves from quantized vortex reconnection; characterize one event in detail, using dimensionless similarity coordinates, and compare it with several theories and, finally, gave evidence for other examples of wavelike behavior in their system.

Ved Lekic (Geology) appeared on CNN, March 14, discussing a sea floor event (seismic) off the coast of Malaysia and whether or not it was caused by the missing Malaysian airline. "..I would suspect this is not in fact due to the impact of a plane on the sea surface, and is more likely to be a seismic event possibly located on this western side from the stations, and not in the vicinity of where the plan actually lost contact."

Research conducted by Karen Lips (Biology) et al., (see Journal Articles above) reporting that wild salamanders living in some of North America's best salamander habitat are getting smaller as their surroundings get warmer and drier, forcing them to burn more energy in a changing climate, was the subject of a Nature-News article, March 26 and a National Geographic Daily News item, March 27. Other media coverage included, NBC News, Des Moines Register, Tech Times, Iowa State Daily, Franchise Herald and Environmental Leader.

In a recent experiment, published in the February 26 edition of Physical Review X, Howard Milchberg (Physics and IREAP) and his colleagues in the intense laser-matter interactions group demonstrated that femtosecond filaments can set up an extended and robust thermal waveguide structure in air with a lifetime of several milliseconds, making possible the very-long-range guiding and distant projection of high-energy laser pulses and high-average power beams. The research was highlighted in Nature Optics and Nature Research Highlights (March 13). Media coverage included: APS Viewpoint, Physics Today (March edition), Le Monde (March 18) and Science News (March 5).

Chris Monroe (Physics and JQI) was quoted in the Washington Post, March 16, in a story on the Lockheed Martin partnership with UMD to develop next generation quantum computers.

An article discussing the paper HANDY, written by Applied Mathematics Graduate student Safa Motesharrei, Jorge Rivas (University of Minnesota) and Eugenia Kalnay (AOSC and ESSIC) on societal collapses and the impact of both inequality and excessive depletion of Nature, was written and published by Nafeez Ahmed in The Guardian. The paper will be published in the Journal of Ecological Economics, April 1. Media coverage included NPR, Reddit, The Washington Times, Houston Chronicle, WTVM, Daily Mail (UK) and CNET.

Science news outlet and research aggregate LiveScience, has published an Op-ed article adapted from a recent blog post by Raghu Murtugudde (AOSC and ESSIC), March 15. The post appeared in the LiveScience "Expert Voices" section, which invites authorities on science and technology to provide insight into current events. On March 28 Murtugudde appeared on CNN discussing Indian Ocean currents and the Malaysian Air Flight 370.

Kerstin Nordstrom (Physics) was quoted in the Los Angeles Times, March 5, in an article on the creation of an undersea digging robot "more efficient than commercial digging devices." The UMD and MIT research team modeled the RoboCam on the Atlantic razor clam. "...The idea was just to trust that nature has designed a good way to do this."

Margaret Palmer (Entomology and SESYNC) et al., published an article in Science-Policy Forum, March 7, on temporary waterways and the importance of policies to protect them. "Why Should We Care About Temporary Waterways."

Michael Raupp (Entomology) was quoted in an article in the Washington Post on the effect of the cold winter on stinkbugs, "...Winter's blow to the pests is more like a reprieve." He was interviewed on the same subject by WYPR (Baltimore), March 17 and the Kojo Nnamdi Show, March 26. Raupp was also quoted in The Gazette, March 20, in a story on a University Park teenager who maintained a habitat for Eastern Hercules beetle larvae while undergoing metamorphosis. Entomology Today, March 25, wrote on research conducted by Raupp, Chris Sargent and Holly Martinson (Entomology) on the effectiveness, or lack thereof, of stink bug pheromone-baited traps. Their research will be published in the April edition of Environmental Entomology.

Voice of America interviewed Thomas Snitch (UMIACS) on his work fighting animal poachers in Africa, a broadcast March 6. To view: . Earlier he delivered a presentation at the International Monitoring, Control and Surveillance Network's Fourth Global Fisheries Enforcement Conference on "The Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to Combat Global Illegal Fishing," San Jose, Costa Rica.

Research conducted by Genevieve Wright (Biology) et al. (see Journal Articles above) found that male big brown bats can produce a special sound, called a "frequency-modulated bout" (FMB), that tells other bats with whom they are foraging to keep away from their prey. Wright was quoted and their findings reported in the International Science Times, Scientific American, the Japan Times and Nature World News.

Research conducted by IPST faculty Aleksey Zimin, Guillaume Marcais, Michael Roberts and James Yorke (Mathematics, Physics and IPST) et al., and published in the March edition of Genetics (see Journal Articles above) on the sequencing and assembly of the loblolly pine genome was extensively covered in the media including: NBC News, Capital Press, R&D Magazine, Nature World News, Genome Web, Science 2.0, Christian Science Monitor, Tech Times and Red Orbit.


Oculus VR, a company led in part by three UMD alumni, Chief Software Architect Michael Antonov (2001 B.S. Computer Science), the late Andrew Reisse (2001 B.S. Computer Science and Mathematics) and Chief Executive Officer Brendan Iribe, was bought by Facebook, March 25. Iribe and Antonov are visiting campus on April 4 to deliver an invited presentation. The company is also sponsoring the April 4-5 Bitcamp (, a 36 hour creative coding marathon challenging hundreds of teams from across the country to turn an idea into a product, with Iribe delivering the keynote.

Veena Katikineni (2012 B.S. Biological Science) with partner Alejandra Leyton of Tulane University, won a "Scientists Without Borders" Open Innovation Challenge for ideas to increase awareness and utilization of mental health services for depression and anxiety disorders among patients in developing countries. Their idea, Mhealth for Mental Health, proposes using SMS text messaging services to directly supply relevant information to depressed/anxious individuals, the community at large, as well as friends and family, with the hope that members will refer one another to the service. Katikineni is currently attending the University of Maryland School of Medicine. More information can be found at:

Simon Levin (1964 Ph.D. Mathematics, advisor Monroe Martin) was awarded the 2014 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement "..for his research revealing the complexity of, and relationships between, species and ecosystems. His work has been fundamental in the crafting of environmental policies and advancing the study of complex ecosystems – the myriad relationships and interactions in nature."

D.J. Patil (2001 Ph.D. Applied Mathematics, advisor James Yorke), Vice President, Product of RelatelQ, is listed in the World Economic Forum's 2014 class of Young Global Leaders. The World Economic Forum, founded in 1971, is "an International Institution committed to improving the state of the world through public-private cooperation." To view the 2014 class:

Lura Powell (1972 B.S. and 1978 Ph.D. Chemistry) has been appointed to the Washington State University Board of Regents. Powell was director of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) before serving as president and CEO of Advanced Imaging Technologies. Previously she directed the Advanced Technology Program at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Aaron Schulman (2013 Ph.D. Computer Science, advisor Neil Spring) was recently awarded the SIGCOMM Doctoral Dissertation Award for Outstanding Ph.D. Thesis in Computer Networking and Data Communication for his dissertation, "Observing and Improving the Reliability of Internet Last-mile Links." His dissertation ..."provides the first observation of fundamental factors that limit the reliability of
the Internet's critical last-mile infrastructure and presents improvements
to mitigate the effects of these factors." Schulman is now a postdoc at Stanford University where he is continuing his work in networked systems.

Daniele Struppa (1981 Ph.D. Mathematics, advisor Carlos Berenstein) has been named "presidential designate" at Chapman University, Orange, CA. Struppa joined Chapman as chancellor in 2006. Previously he had been Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, George Mason University.

Shayan Zadeh (2002 M.S. Computer Science) and Alex Mehr (2003 Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering) co-founders of ZOOSK, a romantic social network, are listed in Forbes magazine's "Up-And-Comers: Entrepreneurs Who Want to Find you Love." Launched in 2007, Zoosk's awards include a 2012 Effie Award for Advertising and 2010 iDate Award "Best Up and Coming Dating Site."




Astronomy Department – Dr. Stuart Vogel, Chair
Atmospheric and Oceanic Science Department – Dr. James Carton, Chair
Biology Department – Dr. Bill Fagan, Chair
CBMG Department – Dr. Norma Andrews, Chair
Chemistry & Biochemistry Department – Dr. Janice Reutt-Robey, Chair
Computer Science Department – Dr. Samir Khuller, Chair
Geology Department – Dr. Roberta Rudnick, Chair
Entomology Department– Dr. Leslie Pick, 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. Rajarshi Roy, Director
IREAP – Dr. Thomas Murphy, Director
MPRI – Dr. David Mosser, Director
SESYNC – Dr. Margaret Palmer, Director
UMIACS – Dr. Amitabh Varshney, Director