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CMNS News - March 2015


Vol.5, No. 3         March 2015
The College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences
Jayanth Banavar, Dean                  Mary Kearney, Editor



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



John Horváth (Mathematics Emeritus) died on March 12 at the age of 90. Horváth’s distinguished career spanned the whole transition from the early years of analysis in the first half of the 20th century to modern mathematics as we know it today. He held positions at CNRS in Paris and at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogota before settling at Maryland in 1957. Horváth served for 15 years as an associate editor of the Journal of Mathematical Analysis and Applications. In 1998, he was elected to the Mathematics Section of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and also received an honorary doctoral degree from the Universidad de los Andes in Colombia. Although he retired from UMD in 1994, he remained active and continued publishing until very recently. Some of his reminiscences of the early years of the Mathematics department can be read here.

Gene (Eugene) Rasmusson (AOSC Emeritus), a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a University of Maryland Research Professor, died March 22. He is best known for his pioneering study of the observed structure of ocean-atmosphere variations in the tropical Pacific that underpin what is now popularly known as El Niño. Rasmusson was honored with the Victor Starr Lectureship at MIT, the George Benton Lectureship at Johns Hopkins, and the Robert Horton Lectureship at the American Meteorological Society (AMS). He received the Jule Charney award from the AMS in 1989. He was a Fellow of the AMS, American Geophysical Union, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a National Associate of the National Academy of Sciences in 2003. Memorial contributions may be made to the Eugene Rasmusson Endowed Fellowship or the Eugene Rasmusson Lectures at UMD. Checks can be sent to CMNS Dean’s Office, 2300 Symons Hall, made out to UMCPF, and with the fund designated in the “For” line.



 William E. "Brit" Kirwan (Mathematics), chancellor of the University System of Maryland, received the 2015 Circle of Discovery award from the University of Maryland's College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences. He was honored with the award "for his service to the mathematics community, the State of Maryland and the nation as a recognized authority on critical issues in higher education including diversity, access, affordability, economic impact, college athletics reform and gender equity." Read more here.

Maryland Day 2015
April 25, 10:00am-4:00pm
CMNS events listed here.

As part of UMD's 30 Days of EnTERPreneurship, Samir Kaul (1997 M.S. Biochemistry) will present "Entrepreneurial Roller Coasters" on April 28, 2015 in the Physical Sciences Complex lobby. Please RSVP at

CMNS Academic Festival 2015
Friday, May 1, 2015 - 2:00pm
James Yorke Math Rotunda, Math Building
Join us for the presentation of this year's Staff Service Awards.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) renewed its support for the Joint Quantum Institute’s (JQI) Physics Frontier Center with a new five-year grant. JQI is a partnership between the University of Maryland and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), with support from the Laboratory for Physical Sciences. Established in 2008 with a five-year, $12.5 million grant, JQI’s Physics Frontier Center supports researchers in atomic and condensed matter physics. The center also hosts physics public outreach programs, including a hands-on summer program for high school students. William Phillips (Physics, IPST, JQI and NIST) and Luis Orozco (Physics and JQI) co-direct the center, which is one of 10 in the country. Read more here.

CMNS has two crowdfunding projects in this round of the Launch UMD program that need your help. The crowdfunding campaigns run through April 7. You can support the teams at any time by visiting Contributions are tax-deductible.

1. Chemistry and biochemistry undergraduates are raising $6,000 to send 10 students to attend the 250th American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition in Boston, Mass., in August 2015. At the conference, they’ll be able to hear about new scientific discoveries, present and discuss their research findings, and network with other chemists. Learn more about this project by visiting

2. The UMD Observatory, the Graduate Resources Advancing Diversity with Maryland Astronomy and Physics (GRAD-MAP) team and the AstroTerps are raising $5,000 to purchase two all-sky cameras that will explore the sky 24/7/365, with a 180-degree field-of-view. The cameras will stream over the Internet real-time images of the moon, planets, stars, meteors, clouds, precipitation, lightning, rainbows, the horizon line, the Milky Way and more. The images will also be saved for later examination and use in scientific research by faculty members and students into weather patterns, auroras and light pollution. With multiple all-sky cameras in close vicinity, astronomers can track the speed and direction of meteors, clouds, storms and other skyward events. Learn more about this project by visiting


PATENTS (January through March 2015):

Bill Arbaugh (Computer Science and UMIACS) et al., Patent Number 8,955,104, “Method and system for monitoring system memory integrity.”

Christian Long (IREAP) et al., Patent Number 8,943,611, “Probe module, method for making and use of same.”

Herman Sintim (Chemistry & Biochemistry) and Jacqueline Smith (2011 Ph.D. Chemistry), Patent Number 8,952,192, “Phosphorylated and branched dihydroxy-pentane-dione (DPD) analogs as quorum sensing inhibitors in bacteria.”

Miao Yu (Maryland NanoCenter and ENG), Hyungdae Bae (ENG) et al., Patent Number 8,966,988, “Ultra-miniature fiber-optic pressure sensor system and method of fabrication.”



Three CMNS graduate students have been named Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Scholars. The students will attend a reception at the National Academy of Sciences headquarters, Washington, D.C., October 15.

Adam Greeley (AOSC). Greeley uses airborne green laser altimeters to measure surface elevations of glaciers, ice sheets and sea ice to quantify the uncertainty in elevation measurements from scattering green light in snow and ice.

Rachel Lee (Physics). Lee uses physics techniques to measure the collective migration of cells and the dynamics of collectively migrating cells to determine how cancer cells spread throughout the body.

Deepali Sengupta (NACS). Sengupta examines the mechanisms of synaptic loss and recovery in the aging visual system, and develops novel tools for experimental tracking of functionally active synapses.

Three CMNS students were among the 260 Barry Goldwater Scholars selected from a field of 1,206 students nominated nationally this year..The students, who are all members of the UMD Honors College, plan to pursue doctoral degrees in their areas of study. Read more about the students here.

Shane Falcinelli, Biological Sciences. Mentored by Voker Briken (Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics)

Nathan Ng, Physics, Mathematics, Economics. Mentored by Paulo Bedaque, Bill Dorland and Victor Galitski (Physics)

Iowis Zhu, Biological Sciences and Biochemistry. Mentored by Jason Kahn (Chemistry & Biochemistry)

Steven Anlage (Physics) is co-author of a paper that won the 2015 Alan Berman Research Publication Award at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC. The paper, “Nonlinear Electromagnetic Time Reversal in an Open Semireverberant System,” was published in Physical Review Applied, December 2014, and describes collaborative work to create time-reversed wave collapse at the location of a passive nonlinear object located in a lossy enclosure.

Matthew Bielec, an ESSIC/CICS-MD High School Research Assistant working with Scott Rudlosky (ESSIC and NOAA) was recently honored with several science awards: first prize in Earth and Planetary Science at the Greenbelt Eleanor Roosevelt High School Science Fair, second place in the same category at the 67th Annual Prince George's Area Science Fair, NOAA's 2015 “Taking the Pulse of the Planet Award,” the American Meteorological Society Certificate of Outstanding Achievement, and First Place from the Geological Society of Washington.

Computer Science graduate student Snigdha Chaturvedi (advisor Hal Daume) has been awarded a 2015 IBM Ph.D. Fellowship. The fellowships honor exceptional students worldwide who “have an interest in solving problems that are important to IBM and fundamental to innovation.” Chaturvedi’s research focuses on making computers read and understand text using latent variable modeling.

Michael Hoffman Winer, a Montgomery Blair high school student mentored by Victor Galitski (Physics and JQI) won the First Place Medal of Distinction for Innovation at the 2015 Intel Science Talent Search. The Intel STS is the nation's most prestigious pre-college science competition. Only 40 finalists were chosen from 300 semifinalists. The three first-place Medal of Distinction awards were presented to students who showed exceptional scientific potential in three categories: Basic Research, Global Good, and Innovation.

Raymond Johnson (Mathematics Emeritus) was one of fourteen individuals named as recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM). Johnson was cited for guiding “…many minority students, at his home institution and across the nation, to complete degrees in mathematics, which has notoriously low retention rates.”  The mentors will receive their awards at a ceremony in the White House later this year.

Paul Julienne (JQI and NIST) is the recipient of the 2015 William F. Meggers Award from The Optical Society. Julienne’s citation recognizes his "seminal contributions to precision photoassociation and magnetic-Feshbach spectroscopy of ultracold atoms, and the application of these techniques to the formation of cold polar molecules."

The Best Paper Award was presented to Chang Liu, Austin Harris, Martin Maas, Michael Hicks, Mohit Tiwari and Elaine Shi (Computer Science) for “GhostRider: A Hardware-Software System for Memory Trace Oblivious Computation” at the 20th International Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems, Istanbul, Turkey, March 18.

Geology graduate student Alex Lopatka was awarded a 2015 NSF East Asia and Pacific Summer Institute (EAPSI) grant. Lopatka will be based at the National Institute of Water and Atmosphere in Auckland, New Zealand, where he will sample 500-1,000 year old fossil corals he collected from Aitutaki (Southern Cook Islands) in June-July 2013, for stable isotope analyses at the Paleoclimate CoLaboratory. His research will help give paleoclimatic context for archaeological evidence of Polynesian societal changes during the past millennium.

Board of Visitors member Anne Hale Miglarese was this year’s recipient of the Distinguished Alumna Award by the University of South Carolina’s College of Arts and Sciences, March 20. Miglarese is president and CEO of PlanetiQ, a Maryland-based company that will launch the first commercial constellation of weather satellites.

Brandon Ng, a senior majoring in Chemistry and participating in the College Park Scholars Science and Global Change program, has been awarded a 2015-16 Fulbright U.S. Student Grant to study in Israel. Ng will investigate the use of nanotechnology to treat multiple myeloma. After returning from his Fulbright year abroad, Ng intends to pursue a Ph.D. in drug development and delivery. His career goal is to work in the pharmaceutical industry developing cancer therapy drugs.

Eitan Tadmor (Mathematics and CSCAMM) has been awarded the 2015 Peter Henrici Prize. The prize is awarded jointly by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) and ETH Zürich every four years. The selection committee cited Tadmor for “original, broad and fundamental contributions to the applied and numerical analysis of nonlinear differential equations and their applications in areas such as fluid dynamics, image processing and social dynamics.” The prize will be awarded at the International Congress of Industrial and Applied Mathematics, Beijing, China on August 10-14.

BEES graduate student Juannan Zhou, co-advised by Michele Dudash, Charlie Fenster and Liz Zimmer (Biology), has been awarded an NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant (DDIG). The title of his proposal is “Examining sexually conflicting selection mediated by pollinating seed predator Hadena ectypa on floral design of hermaphroditic plant Silene stellata.”  An ADVANCE grant to the same team, along with Jian-Jian Ren (Mathematics) to help with the statistical analyses, provided the funds for the preliminary data for Zhou’s proposal to be competitive for funding.



Drake Deming (Astronomy), Cal Tech Jet Propulsion Lab, $156,700, “E-VERIFY: Eclipses of New Giant Exoplanets.”

John Fourkas (Chemistry & Biochemistry and IPST), NSF, $482,211, “Nonlinear Optical and Simulation Studies of Perturbed Liquids.”

David Fushman (Chemistry & Biochemistry and UMIACS), LifeSensors, $225,227, “Characterize Linkage-specific Receptors for Polyubiquitin-binding Proteins.”

Suvi Gezari (Astronomy and JSI), NSF, $808,004, “CAREER: Probing the Demographics of Supermassive Black Holes with Time-domain Observations of Tidal Disruption Events.”

Simona Giacintucci (Astronomy and JSI), Smithsonian-Astrophysical Observatory, $114,999, “Why do Some Cluster Cool Cores Become Particle Accelerators?”

Christopher Hain (ESSIC), NOAA, $140,000, “Enhancing NCEP GFS Forecasts via Assimilating Satellite Soil Moisture and Snow Observations.”

William Lau (ESSIC), Battelle Memorial Institute, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, $104,038, “Advanced Modeling and Analysis of Asian Monsoon Climate Processes.”

Zhanqing Li (AOSC and ESSIC), NOAA, $192,885, “Evaluating the Impact of Cloud-aerosol-precipitation Interaction (CAPI) Schemes on Rainfall Forecast in the NGGPS.”

Derek Richardson (Astronomy), NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, $390,286, “Asteroids under Stress: Constraining Strength and Evolution through Simulations.”

Roald Sagdeev (Physics and IPST), NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, $150,000, “Lunar Exploration Neutron Detector (LEND).”

Ann Simon (Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics), NIH, $222,637, “New Paradigms for Ribosome Recoding in (+) Strand Viruses.”

Jonathan Simon (Biology and ECE), NIH-National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, $1.5M, “Auditory Scene Analysis and Temporal Cortical Computations.”

Phillip Sprangle (IREAP), Office of Naval Research, $137,000, “Remote Atmospheric Optical Mangetometry.”

Eitan Tadmor (CSCAMM, Mathematics and IPST), Office of Naval Research, $112,047, “Modeling, Analysis and Novel Computational Algorithms for Nonlinear Convection and Self-organized Dynamics.”

Xiaolei Zou (ESSIC), NOAA, $288,875, “Improved Satellite Data Assimilation and Vortex Initialization for Hurricane Forecast using HWRF.”



The High Altitude Water Cherenkov (HAWC) Gamma-Ray Observatory, located 13,500 feet above sea level on the slopes of Mexico’s Volcán Sierra Negra, is the newest tool available to visualize the supernovae, neutron star collisions and active galactic nuclei and learn more about the nature of high-energy radiation. Construction is now complete on HAWC’s 300th and final detector tank, and the observatory will soon begin collecting data at full capacity. This milestone was marked with an inaugural event at the observatory on March 19-20. The project is a joint collaboration between the United States and Mexico, with Jordan Goodman (Physics) leading a team of UMD physicists that has managed construction of the observatory since 2011. Read more here.

The Beijige Meteorological Museum, Nanjing, China presented UMD ESSIC/CICS-MD produced “ClimateBits” videos at a World Meteorological Day event, March 23. ClimateBits videos feature earth sciences educational material packaged for presentation via the “Science on a Sphere” animated globe program, installed in more than 100 museums and visitors centers around the world. Although the museum provided its own audio translations, video developer Stephanie Schollaert Uz (ESSIC) is planning to offer translated versions of ClimateBits videos using narrators who speak Mandarin.

Steven Anlage (Physics) is co-organizing a conference on the quantum mechanical properties of artificially structured materials known as metamaterials. The “Quantum Metamaterials 2015 Workshop” will be held on the island of Spetses in Greece during June of 2015. Anlage is organizing the conference with colleagues from Greece, Germany and the UK.

Ted Einstein (Physics) was an invited speaker at the International Max Planck Research School for Functional Interfaces in Physics and Chemistry “Micro to Macro,” Castle Ringberg, Germany with a topic of “Organic Molecules on Substrates with 2D Metallic States: Formation and Impact of Submonolayer Patterns.” He also gave a seminar at the University of Cologne on “Generalized Wigner Surmise in the Nanoworld and the Real World: Applications to Stepped Surfaces, Submonolayer Islands, Metro Stations, and Landkreise/Arrondissements” and another at the Technical University of Munich on “Aspects of Adsorbed Organic Molecules: Universal Island-Related Distributions and Remarkable Superlattice Patterns.”

Bill Goldman (Mathematics) is co-organizing a special semester at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley, California on "Dynamics of Moduli Spaces of Geometric Structures." He recently gave an MSRI-Evans Colloquium to introduce the program at the Institute to the Mathematics Department at UC Berkeley. Members of the audience included several undergraduate math majors from Maryland who are currently pursuing doctoral degrees at UC Berkeley.

Raghu Murtugudde (AOSC and ESSIC) will teach the course “An Introduction to the Blue Ocean” at the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services, Hyderabad, India, June 1-12. The course is organized by the International Training Centre for Operational Oceanography.

Anand Ramanathan (ESSIC) provided an internet-based talk to students in Klang, Malaysia. Speaking over Google Hangout, Ramanathan addressed students regarding NASA’s earth science programs, the role of CO2 in climate change, and his work on CO2 remote sensing

Mike Raupp (Entomology) was a speaker at the Rutgers Master Gardeners of Mercer County symposium, Princeton, NJ, March 21. Raupp’s session was titled “How Bugs Make the World go Around.”

Peter Shawhan (Physics and JSI) was elected Vice Chair of the Executive Committee for the American Physical Society's Topical Group on Gravitation. He will advance to Chair-Elect in 2016 and Chair in 2017.



Andriy Anishkin (Biology) et al., “L596–W733 bond between the start of the S4–S5 linker and the TRP box stabilizes the closed state of TRPV4 channel,” PNAS, March 17.

Zackaria Chacko and Christopher Verhaaren (Physics) et al., “Colorless top partners, a 125 GeV Higgs boson, and the limits on naturalness,” Physical Review D, March 9.

Andrew Childs (Computer Science and UMIACS) et al., ”Simulating Hamiltonian Dynamics with a Truncated Taylor Series,” Physical Review Letters, March 3.

Michael Coplan (IPST), Alexander Kowler (Chemistry & Biochemistry) and Charles Clark (Physics, IPST, JQI and NIST) et al., “Demonstration of neutron detection utilizing open cell foam and noble gas scintillation,” Applied Physics Letters, March 4.

Galen Dively, Michael Embrey (Entomology) and David Hawthorne (Entomology and SESYNC) et al., “Assessment of Chronic Sublethal Effects of Imidacloprid on Honey Bee Colony Health,” PLOS One, March 18.

Victor Galitski (Physics and JQI) et al., “Long range p-wave proximity effect into a disordered metal,” Physical Review B, March 30.

Sriram Ganeshan and Sankar Das Sarma (Physics and JQI), “Constructing a Weyl semimetal by stacking one-dimensional topological phases,” Physical Review B, March 30.

Hoi-Yin Hui, Philip Brydon, Jay Sau, Sumanta Tewari and Sankar Das Sarma (Physics and JQI), “Majorana fermions in ferromagnetic chains on the surface of bulk spin-orbit coupled s-wave superconductors,” Nature: Scientific Reports, March 6.

Matt Landreman (IREAP), Thomas Antonsen and William Dorland (Physics and IREAP), “Universal Instability for Wavelengths below the Ion Larmor Scale,” Physical Review Letters, March 4.

Xiaopeng Li (Physics) et al., “Spontaneous Quantum Hall Effect in an Atomic Spinor Bose-Fermi Mixture,” Physical Review Letters, March 27.

Yan Li (AOSC), Safa Motesharrei (SESYNC) and Eugenia Kalnay (AOSC and IPST) et al., “Local cooling and warming effects of forests based on satellite observations,” Nature Communications, March 31.

Yili Li, Brian Pierce, Qian Wang, Thomas Fuerst, and Roy Mariuzza (Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics), et al., “Structural Basis for Penetration of the Glycan Shield of Hepatitis C Virus E2 Glycoprotein by a Broadly Neutralizing Human Antibody,” The Journal of Biological Chemistry, March 3.

Gili Ad-Marbach and Kaci Thompson (CMNS) et al., ”Science Teaching Beliefs and Reported Approaches Within a Research University: Perspectives from Faculty, Graduate Students, and Undergraduates,” International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, March 11.

Art Popper (Biology) et al., “Information gaps in understanding the effects of noise on fishes and invertebrates,” Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, March edition.

Chad Ropp, Sanghee Nah, John Fourkas (Chemistry & Biochemistry), Zachary Cummins, Benjamin Shapiro (Engineering) and Edo Waks (JQI, IREAP, ECE and NIST), “Nanoscale probing of image-dipole interactions in a metallic nanostructure,” Nature Communications, March 19.

Nicholas Schmerr (Geology) et al., “Toward a mineral physics reference model for the Moon’s core,” PNAS, March 31.

Paul Syers, Dohun Kim, Michael Fuhrer and Johnpierre Paglione (Physics), “Tuning Bulk and Surface Conduction in the Proposed Topological Kondo Insulator SmB6,” Physical Review Letters, March 3.

Francesco Tombesi (Astronomy and NASA), Marcio Meléndez (Astronomy), Sylvain Veilleux and Chris Reynolds (Astronomy and JSI) et al., “Wind from the black-hole accretion disk driving a molecular outflow in an active galaxy,” Nature, March 25. This article was featured on the cover.

Arati Ramesh and Wade Winkler (Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics) et al., “Bacterial Riboswitches Cooperatively Bind Ni2+ or Co2+ Ions and Control Expression of Heavy Metal Transporters,” Molecular Cell, March 19.

Pengpeng Wang (Physics) et al., “Well-Constructed Single-Layer Molybdenum Disulfide Nanorose Cross-Linked by Three Dimensional-Reduced Graphene Oxide Network for Superior Water Splitting and Lithium Storage Property,” Nature: Scientific Reports, March 4.



Undergraduate computer science student Gregory Bekher was interviewed by NBC, March 22, for a story on cybersecurity and CyberPatriot, a program training the next generation of cyber defenders.  Bekher is a student in the Advanced Cybersecurity Experience for Students honors program, launched in fall 2013 and an intern with Northrop Grumman.

Galen Dively (Entomology) and his research team were featured in a CBS article, March 28, describing their need for stink bugs. “…If you have a large stink bug population in your home or office or school, our lab would really appreciate you capturing the little critters.”  He was quoted in an NBC News article, March 18, on recently published research (see Journal Articles) providing the first field-based evidence that the common insecticide imidacloprid does not significantly harm honey bee colony health at real-world dosage levels, and thus is not the sole cause of colony declines. “…Imidacloprid is the most widely used insecticide in the world. It’s not restricted because it is very safe—an order of magnitude safer than organophosphates.”  Media coverage included The Baltimore Sun, Bloomberg, Entomology Today, and The Guardian.

Jordan Goodman (Physics) was interviewed by Voice of America, March 30, on the completion of the High Altitude Cherenkov Gamma-Ray Observatory. “…They are [the] highest-energy light so they let us understand where the highest energy particles in the universe come from. So our idea is to build this observatory to give us a wide field view of the sky at the highest energies.” Media coverage included Reuters.

Celso Grebogi (1975 M.S. and 1978 Ph.D. Physics), Ed Ott (Physics and IREAP) and Jim Yorke (Mathematics, Physics and IPST) were mentioned in an article in Quanta Magazine, March 10, on recently published research (Physics Review Letters, February 6) on the pulsations of the star KIC 5520878. “…Then in 1984, mathematicians led by Celso Grebogi, Edward Ott and James Yorke of the University of Maryland in College Park discovered an unexpected new category of objects — strange attractors shaped not by chaos but by irrationality.”

David Inouye (Biology Emeritus) was quoted in the Smithsonian magazine, March 6, in an article on the best places to see wildflowers and climate change. “…You have these different species responding to different environmental cues, so you can be looking at the effects of snow pack and temperature and precipitation and gain insight into the whole community."  Inouye also co-authored a guest editorial, “The next century of ESA publications,” for Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, March issue.

Sujay Kaushal (Geology) was interviewed by WTOP, March 10, for a story on runoff from the salt and chemicals used to clear roads and sidewalks of snow and ice. “…Even though it’s melting, the road salt stays in the environment for a very long time.”

Jonathan Katz (Computer Science and UMIACS) was quoted in The Hill, March 11, in an article on the recovery of Hillary Clinton’s emails. “…A lot of times if you don’t delete things properly, you can still recover them potentially after the fact.” Katz was quoted in a Discovery news article, March 12, on wearable technology and how secure they are. “…You have to distinguish between companies that store data locally and companies that are explicitly storing data and running data mining of their own.”

Recently published research by William Lau (ESSIC) et al. and published in PNAS, February 23, was the topic of a PNAS Commentary, March 9, by Rong Fu, University of Texas.

Karen Lips (Biology) was featured in the New York Times, March 21, in a blog on biologists and conservationists urging President Obama’s Administration to prevent the arrival and spread of the fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, from entering the United States via imported salamanders.

Raghu Murtugudde (AOSC and ESSIC) authored a Live Science op-ed article titled “Will We Combat Global Warming, Despite Our Nature?” March 5. The article was picked up by Yahoo News.

James Purtilo (Computer Science) was quoted in a Fox News article, March 5, on a project by a Google research team ranking websites based on how factual the website information is as opposed to website popularity. “…It could make it more difficult for bright young people to bring about the next revolution in science. After all, most of today's established science came about because someone challenged the herd mentality of yesterday.”

Michael Raupp (Entomology) was quoted in a WTOP article, March 27, on ants entering homes and possible solutions.

Ben Shneiderman (Computer Science and UMIACS) was quoted in the New York Times, March 31, in an article on patient access to their own medical records. “…The problem is that you have institutions whose business models do not favor sharing information, either with other hospitals or patients.”

Thomas Snitch (UMIACS) and his work determining the best routes for surveillance with drones were featured in EE Times, March 27. He was quoted in the Huffington Post, March 25, in an article on using drone technology to battle the illegal wildlife trade. “…We don't necessarily look for poachers, but we really need to know where the animals are. With this knowledge, we can fly UAVs in the African night sky with infrared cameras to alert us to where the poachers are coming from to attack the prey." He was mentioned in a TakePart article, March 9, on drones eliminating the poaching of rhinoceroses over the last 6 months in Hluhluwe Imfolozi Park, South Africa.

Francesco Tombesi (Astronomy and NASA) and Sylvain Veilleux (Astronomy and JSI) were quoted in the Washington Post, March 25, in an article on recently published research (see Journal Articles) that provides the first observational evidence that a supermassive black hole at the center of a large galaxy can power huge molecular outflows from deep inside the galaxy’s core. “…This indicates that when we think about galaxies and super massive black holes, we are in some ways thinking of the same thing … One goes with the other -- almost like an atom with electrons around it. You can't consider one without the other."    Media coverage included CNET, NBC News, Science and

Dennis vanEngelsdorp (Entomology) was quoted in the Capital Press, March 25, in an article on honey production and colony losses. “…We’re not afraid bees will go extinct, but we’re afraid commercial beekeepers will go out of business.”

Sara Via (Biology and Entomology) authored an opinion article in the Baltimore Sun, March 13, on the Maryland Governor’s attempt at changing regulations that limit toxic emissions.

Richard Walker (Geology) was quoted in an article in Tech Times, March 3, on recently published research suggesting that powerful collisions between the young Earth and iron-rich objects within the solar system may have resulted in significant amounts of iron vapor.  “…This [study] is a pretty good way of explaining how they got here and why they're not located 2900 kilometers below your feet in the core.”

The late Joseph Weber (Physics) was mentioned in a Science feature, March 3, on the LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory). “…Still, Weber’s efforts triggered the development of LIGO.”

Ellen Williams (Physics and IPST) was featured in E&E News, March 11, and Scientific American, March 2. Williams was recently named Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy.

Media coverage continues for research conducted by Hongbin Yu (ESSIC and NASA) et al. on the fertilizing role of African dust in the Amazon rainforest. New coverage includes the Epoch Times, Telegraph, Voice of America and Vox.



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Maryland in Manhattan
Thursday, April 23
Gotham Hall, 1356 Broadway
VIP Reception: 5:30pm – General Admission: 6:30pm

The Kirwan Mathematics Festival, held on March 10, included alumni speakers Charles Fefferman (1966 B.S. Mathematics and recipient of the 2004 UMD President’s Distinguished Alumnus Award) and Edward Saff (1968 Ph.D. Mathematics, advisor John Walsh). Fefferman is a professor of mathematics at Princeton University and Saff is a professor of mathematics at Vanderbilt University.

Sam Bleecker (1969 M.S. Chemical Physics) was the Featured Artist of the Month at Doemestic, Chatham Township, NJ, beginning on March 19. His art exhibit will include his abstract Quantum Chaos series that “…strives to illustrate the quirky nature of subatomic space using unexpected materials.”

Arati Dasgupta (1973 B.S., 1976 M.S. and 1983 Ph.D. Physics) was awarded Fellowship to the Washington Academy of Sciences for “…outstanding achievements and contributions in the field of plasma physics.” Research conducted by Dasgupta, who works at the Naval Research Laboratory’s Radiation Hydrodynamics Branch of the Plasma Physics Division, “…has led to improved understanding of the important atomic processes relevant to Z-pinch plasma radiation sources, which are laboratory sources of intense x-rays. Her most important contributions in this investigation are detailed calculations of the ionization structure and the radiation generated in the Z facility at the Sandia National Laboratories.”

Susan Drymala (2009 B.S. Geology), with co-authors, published an article in Nature Scientific Reports, March 19, titled “Early crocodylomorph increases top tier predator diversity during rise of dinosaurs.” Drymala is a master’s student in the department of biological sciences, North Carolina State University.

Bill Fahrbach (2002 B.S. Mathematics and B.A. Economics) was appointed Vice President, Financial Planning and Analysis of Marathon Data Systems, March 19. Previously Fahrbach was chief financial officer at Mobile Commons.

Aliza Licht (1996 B.S. Biological Sciences), Senior Vice President Global Communications, Donna Karan International, is the author of the book “Leave Your Mark.” The book, published by Grand Central Publishing and to be released May 5, gives personal and professional guidance to people beginning their career. Recently Licht was featured in Terp magazine.

DJ Patil (2001 Ph.D. Applied Mathematics, advisor James Yorke) was featured in the Washington Post, March 29, in his new role as chief data scientist in residence for the White House.

Michael Shay (1998 Ph.D. Physics, advisor Jim Drake) returned to campus as the Plasma Seminar speaker, March 25, with a topic of “Plasma Heating during Magnetic Reconnection.” Shay is a Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Delaware, where he studies plasma physics using analytical theory and massively parallel computer simulations.

Andrew Sears (1993 Ph.D. Computer Science, advisor Ben Shneiderman) was named Penn State’s Dean of the College of Information Sciences and Technology, effective July 11. “…I can’t wait to begin working with the faculty, staff and students to build on the very strong foundation established by my predecessors.”  Currently Sears is Dean of the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Science at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Paul So (1995 Ph.D. Physics, advisor Ed Ott) returned to campus, March 12, as the invited speaker for the Applied Dynamics Seminar, with a topic of "Modulation of complex collective behaviors in a network of theta neurons by synaptic diversity.” So, a theoretical physicist specializing in nonlinear dynamics, is a faculty member in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Center for Neural Dynamics at the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study, George Mason University.

Michael Taylor (1999 Ph.D. Meteorology, advisor James Carton) presented the 2015 GraceKennedy Foundation Lecture at the Jamaica Pegasus, Kingston, Jamaica, March 10. Taylor, who is Director of the Climate Studies Group at the University of the West Indies-Mona, spoke on “Why Climate Demands Change.” The annual lectures are presented with the “…objective of initiating public debate at all levels of society and to create awareness of issues that are integral to the sustainable development of the nation.”

On January 15, a SpaceX Dragon rocket took the Cloud Aerosol Transport System (CATS) LIDAR to the International Space Station. The project, led by Matt McGill (NASA) and a team that includes John Yorks (2014 Ph.D. AOSC 2014, advisors Russell Dickerson and Matt McGill), will measure cloud and aerosol properties to improve our understanding of meteorology, natural hazards such as volcanoes and air quality. To date the team has processed almost 500 L1B files (calibrated backscatter) and CATS has fired 12 billion laser shots.





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