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CMNS News - May 2013

Vol. 3, No. 6 May 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:


The following faculty members have been promoted:

  • Wojciech Czaja, Professor, Department of Mathematics
  • Hal Daume, Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science
  • Michele Dudash, Professor, Department of Biology
  • Lise Getoor, Professor, Department of Computer Science
  • Michelle Girvan, Associate Professor, Department of Physics
  • Daniel Gruner, Associate Professor, Department of Entomology
  • Michael Hicks, Professor, Department of Computer Science
  • Cerruti Hooks, Associate Professor, Department of Entomology
  • Jonathan Katz, Professor, Department of Computer Science
  • Sujay Kaushal, Associate professor, Department of Geology
  • Sang Bok Lee, Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Johnpierre Paglione, Associate Professor, Department of Physics

Sarah Penniston-Dorland, Associate Professor, Department of Geology

The following faculty members have been awarded the title of Distinguished University Professor:

  • Raymond St. Leger, Department of Entomology
  • Hanan Samet, Department of Computer Science and UMIACS
  • Ben Shneiderman, Department of Computer Science and UMIACS

As CMNS continues to grow its development operation, Steve Silipigni has been promoted to the position of Senior Director of Development and Regional Programs. He has built our Alumni Association Chapter from non-existence five years ago to one of the most active on campus. Silipigni, who has raised five and six figure gifts as a major gift officer, will be transitioning his alumni relations duties over to a new staff person we hope to add in the next few months. He will be traveling more as we seek to raise major gifts and build robust CMNS alumni communities in our targeted regional areas.

Tara Burke will be joining Eric Chapman in the corporate relations team as an Assistant Director, effective July 1. Burke, an alumna (1992 B.S. Zoology), will be working mostly on Computer Science and UMIACS corporate engagement, providing a much needed boost to our corporate engagement efforts.

Stacey Locke has joined the CMNS Development team as the Senior Director of Development and Leadership Gifts as of May 1st. After close to a year at Central Major Gifts, we are delighted that she will be bringing her considerable talents and experience to our efforts. As Stacey had worked for many years at Anne Arundel Community College serving many scientific units there, including cyber security, this is a move that is well suited for her and us.

The Maryland NanoCenter invites participants for short-courses on Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Focus Ion Beam (FIB) and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) that will held during the summer break, June 11 through July 19, 2013, at the NISP Lab, NanoCenter. These short courses provide an introduction to SEM, FIB and TEM, both theory and hands-on practice, for anyone with little or no prior experience. For information on registration and fees:

Approaches to Enhancing Cross-disciplinary Collaboration in a Large Climate Change & Agriculture Project
Speaker: Dr. Sanford Eigenbrode, University of Idaho
Date and Time: Wednesday, June 5, 12 noon
Location: SESYNC, 1 Park Place, Suite 300, Annapolis, MD
This talk will describe how we are integrating the Toolbox-based workshop into Regional Approaches to Climate Change (REACCH), a $20 million, five-year USDA NIFA AGFRI CAP project with an overarching goal of enhancing the sustainability of cereal production systems of northern Idaho, north central Oregon, and eastern Washington under ongoing and projected climate change.


The Maryland Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) team, comprising Drew Baden, Alberto Belloni, Sarah Eno, Nick Hadley and Andris Skuja (all Physics) and their collaborators have been awarded the 2013 EPS High Energy and Particle Physics Prize for the discovery of a Higgs Boson, as predicted by the Brout-Englert-Hiss mechanism. The prize will be awarded during the EPS HEP 2013 conference in Stockholm on July 22. It is highly unusual for a prize to be awarded to a large collaboration.

Graduate student Che-Yu Chen (Astronomy) has won a NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship (NESSF). This supports her thesis work with Eve Ostriker on "Ambipolar Diffusion and Turbulence in the Formation and Evolution of Rotating Prestellar Cores." Only nine (9) applications were accepted in the Astrophysics division.

Victor Galitski (Physics and JQI) has been awarded a Simons Foundation Investigator grant, entailing a million-dollar unrestricted research fund to be used over a ten-year period. One example of his recent work is to show how one can take a conventional semiconductor and endow it with topological properties without subjecting the material to extreme environmental conditions or fundamentally changing its solid state structure. More info at:

Ted Jacobson (Physics and JSI) and Raman Sundrum (Physics) have been appointed Distinguished Visiting Research Chairs (DVRCs) at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, Waterloo, Canada. DVRCs spend extended periods each year doing research at the Institute, enabling them to be part of Perimeter's scientific community while retaining permanent positions at their home institutions.

C. David Levermore (Mathematics and IPST) and James Yorke (Mathematics, Physics and IPST) have been elected Fellows of the Society for industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM): Levermore for his contributions to the understanding of how large-scale behaviors emerge from dynamics or structures on small-scales and Yorke for his contributions to the understanding and application of chaotic dynamics. More information can be found at

Raymond St. Leger (Entomology) has been elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology. Fellows of the Academy are elected in recognition of their records of scientific achievement and original contributions that have advanced microbiology.

Graduate student Rachel Tennant (Sustainable Development & Conservation Biology) has been awarded the first annual Distinguished Graduate Student Award for Community Development "in recognition of her work toward community development and for exemplifying a new generation of student leaders from the University of Maryland, College Park." Tennant was the developer and co-founder of the Public Health Garden by Eppley Recreation Center, which is now part teaching garden with the Institute of Applied Agriculture and part community garden. In addition to her work on greening the UMD campus, she has served as Assistant Director for the PUAF study abroad course to Peru (Sustainable Development, Democracy, and Human Rights in Peru) for the last two years and has worked with various Peruvian partners and AGNR to develop a new undergraduate study abroad course to be offered next Spring.


Lori Feaga (Astronomy), NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, $120,000 in additional funding for Year 3 of the 4-year grant award, bringing the total for year 3 to $131,592, "Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS) Mission Operations."

Jon Froehlich and David Jacobs (both Computer Science and UMIACS), NSF, $1,196,034, "HCC: Medium: Combining Crowdsourcing and Computer Vision for Street-level Accessibility."

Michael Fuhrer (Physics, Maryland NanoCenter and IREAP), Sankar Das Sarma (Physics and JQI) and William Cullen (Physics), Office of Naval Research, $350,000 in additional funding bringing the total award to $3,783,334, "Tailoring Electronic Properties of Graphene at the Nanoscale."

Michael Fuhrer and Richard Greene (both Physics and Maryland NanoCenter), NSF, $125,000 in additional funding bringing the total award amount to $375,000, "Surface Modification of Dirac Materials."

Victor Galitski (Physics and JQI), The Simons Foundation, $660,000, "Investigators in Mathematics, Physics, and Theoretical Computer Science."

Lyle Isaacs (Chemistry and Biochemistry and Maryland NanoCenter) and Volker Briken (Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics), NIH-National Cancer Institute, $338,812, "Acyclic Cucurbit[n]uril Molecular Containers for Drug Solubilization and Delivery."

Joseph JaJa (UMIACS, SESYNC and ECE) and Gang Qu (ECE), Maryland Procurement Office, $146,698, "E-VERIFY: LTS-DO 0006: Toward Energy Efficient Trusted DTN."

Joseph JaJa (UMIACS, SESYNC and ECE), Raj Roy (Physics, IPST and IREAP) and Tom Murphy (IREAP and ECE), Maryland Procurement Office, $169,417, LTS-DO 0005: Ultra Fast Optical Random Number Generation from Quantum Optics to Chaos."

Joseph JaJa (UMIACS, SESYNC and ECE) and Edo Waks (IREAP, JQI, Maryland NanoCenter and ECE), Maryland Procurement Office, $175,143, "E-VERIFY: LTS DO 0005, Telecom, Wavelength Integrated Quantum Optical Circuits for Secure Quantum Communication."

Joseph JaJa (UMIACS, SESYNC and ECE), Jeffrey Foster (Computer Science and UMIACS) and Michael Hicks (Computer Science and UMIACS), Maryland Procurement Office, $185,310, "LTS-DO 005: Protecting Against Malware on Android."

Joseph JaJa (UMIACS, SESYNC and ECE) with Michel Cukier (ECE and EMNE), Maryland Procurement Office, $194,844, "E-VERIFY: LTS DO 008: Network Flow Based Intrusion Detection System."

Joseph JaJa (UMIACS, SESYNC and ECE), Samrat Bhattacharjee (Computer Science and UMIACS) with Mark Shayman and Richard La (both ECE), Maryland Procurement Office, $266,819, "E-VERIFY; LTS DO I: Design Decision Tree for Different MIMO Scenarios."

Eugenia Kalnay (AOSC and IPST), Kayo Ide (AOSC, CSCAMM, IPST), Takemasa Miyoshi (AOSC) and Tim McConnochie (AOSC), NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, $357,789 in additional funding bringing the total award amount to $970,535, "Mars Data Assimilation and Reanalysis."

Patrick Kanold (Biology), NIH-National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, $317,640 in additional funding bringing the total award amount to $1,735,441, "Neuronal Circuits and Plasticity of Neonatal Auditory Cortex."

David Mosser (Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics) and Najib El-Sayed (Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics and UMIACS), NIH-National Institute of General Medical Sciences, $288,800, "Regulatory Macrophages and the Host Inflammatory Response."

Lee Mundy (Astronomy), NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, $657,677 in additional funding bringing the total award amount to $29,589,268, "The Goddard Center for Research and Exploration in Space Science and Technology."

Min Ouyang (Physics and Maryland NanoCenter), NSF, $150,000, "Understanding a Few Nanoscale Light-Matter-Spin Interactions by Combining Ultrafast Optical Spectroscopy and Colloidal Quantum Functional Materials."

James Purtilo (Computer Science), Office of Naval Research, $100,000 in additional funding bringing the total award amount to $281,943, "Improved Cyber Security Via Decentralized Intrusion Detection and Dynamic Reconfiguration."

Roberta Rudnick, Richard Gaschnig and William McDonough (all Geology), NSF, $226,004, "Constraining the Secular Compositional Evolution of the Upper Continental Crust Using Ancient Glacial Deposits and Creation of an Upper Crustal Reference Suite."

Surjalal Sharma (Astronomy), University of Maryland-Baltimore County, $115,501 in additional funding bringing the total award amount to $183,000, "GPHI-Goddard Planetary Heliophysics Institute."

Ben Shneiderman and Catherine Plaisant-Schwenn (both Computer Science and UMIACS), University of Texas-Houston, $187,820 in additional funding bringing the total award amount to $792,440, "RECOVERY: Cognitive Information Design and Visualization for the National Center for Cognitive Informatics and Decision Making in Healthcare."

Aravind Srinivasan (Computer Science and UMIACS), Jennifer Golbeck (Information Studies and Computer Science) and Lise Getoor (Computer Science and UMIACS), Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, $294,241, "Learning and Predicting Ties in Social Networks."

V.S. Subrahmanian (Computer Science and UMIACS), Army-Research, Development, and Engineering Command, $100,000 in additional funding bringing the total award amount to $2,745,993, "E-VERIFY: ADEN: Anomaly Detection Engine for Networks."

Devarajan Thirumalai (Chemistry and Biochemistry and IPST), NSF, $103,185 in additional funding bringing the total award amount to $202,570, "Physics of Living Systems Network at the University of Maryland."

Devarajan Thirumalai (Chemistry and Biochemistry and IPST), NSF, $287,528 in additional funding bringing the total award amount to $1,369,898, "Topics in Protein Folding and Dynamics."

Konstantina Trivisa (Mathematics), The Simons Foundation, $132,000, "On the Dynamics of Flid Motion. Applications in Biology, Ecology and Biotechnology."

Richard Walker, Igor Puchtel, Michael Brown, Roberta Rudnick and Sarah Penniston-Dorland (all Geology), NSF, $325,000, "Acquisition of a State-of-the-Art Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometer."

Kai Yang (AOSC), NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, $135,000 in additional funding bringing the total award amount to $337,915, "Continuation of Long-term Sulfur Dioxide EDR with the NPP Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite Nadir Mapper (OMPS)."

James Yorke (Math, Physics, IPST), Johns Hopkins University, $290,101 in additional funding bringing the total award amount to $598,031, "Loblolly Pine Genome Project."

Alexey Zimin (IPST), J. Craig Venter Institute, $152,000, "De Novo Assembly of Salmon Genome from Mixed Sanger/Illumina/PacBio Data."


The annual Burgers Program/Johns Hopkins Center for Environmental and Applied Fluid Mechanics/George Washington University fluids group research symposium was held on May 21. Speakers included Min Xu (AOSC and ESSIC), Daisuke Hotta (AOSC and ESSIC), Kerstin Nordstrom (IREAP), and Graduate student John Biddle (IPST). The symposium, which alternates venues each year, showcases the work of graduate students and post-docs from the three institutions.

Steven Anlage (Physics and Maryland NanoCenter) gave an invited talk, "Nonlinear Time-Reversal in a Wave Chaotic System," at the 6th Workshop on Quantum Chaos and Localisation Phenomena, Warsaw, Poland, 25 May, 2013.

Michael Fisher (Physics and IPST) was the inaugural Distinguished UIC Physics Department James S. Kouvel Lecture Series speaker, University of Illinois at Chicago, April 24 with a topic of "Pictures, Models, Approximations, and Reality: Phase Transitions and the Role of Theory and Experiment. Fisher and Kouvel's joint paper (Kouvel & MEF, Phys Rev 136 (1964) A1626-A1632), which earned over 400 citations, in the magnetism of nickel, reanalyzing data from 1926, changed the way that that magnetism in the vicinity of the Curie point was viewed. Fisher was recently named an Emeritus Board Member of the Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI) after two decades or more serving as an active Board Member.

Jim Gates (Physics) was the Commencement Speaker at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University, Brooklyn, NY on May 23. Gates was awarded an Honorary Doctoral degree.

Jordan Goodman (Physics) was a speaker at the IceCube Particle Astrophysics Symposium-IPA2013, Madison, WI, May 13-15, with a topic of "Results from Milagro and Status of HAWC." An article on the results presented at the Symposium was published in BBC News, May 15.

Biophysics Graduate Student Deborah Hemingway was a member of one of the finalist teams, CellTrace, at the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute inaugural UMD Business Model Challenge, May 1. The CellTrace team is developing an automated data extraction software program designed for researchers in the life sciences.

The book, Complete Dinosaur, co-edited by Tom Holtz (Geology) has been selected by the American Association of University Presses (AAUP) as one of the "Best of the Best for 2013." Holtz was also the author of several chapters in the book.

Zhongchi Liu (Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics) participated in the Coalition for National Science Funding's 19th Annual Exhibition and Reception "Investments in STEM Research and Education: Fueling American Innovation," May 7, Rayburn House, Washington, DC. The event draws more than 300 attendees, including members of Congress and representatives from the White House as well as other policymaking and research agencies. Liu exhibited "The Making of the Fruit: Molecular Studies of Strawberry Fruit Formation."

Arthur Popper (Biology) is an invited speaker at the Sound in the Sea: Recent Discoveries and Applications symposium to be held on the 10th anniversary of the Discovery of Sound in the Sea (DOSITS) project. The symposium will be held during the 2013 International Congress on Acoustics (ICA), June 2-7, Montreal, Canada with Popper's presentation entitled "Sound Speculations: A Fish Tail." First reported in the December-January 2013 edition of the News, a symposium recognizing Richard Fay (Loyola University Chicago) and Popper's lifetime contributions to Fish Bioacoustics and the Hearing Sciences was held May 25 at the Mote Marine Lab, Sarasota, Florida.

React Labs, founded by Phil Resnik (Linguistics and UMIACS), has been awarded $100K in funding from the Maryland Innovation Initiative (MII). The company offers a mobile application that allows a very large number of participants to register their moment-by-moment reactions to live and televised events. MII promotes the commercialization of research conducted at five qualifying Maryland universities.

Heven Sze and Caren Chang (Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics) served as chair and co-chair of the 14th Annual Plant Biology Mini-symposium held on campus on May 23 with about 100 participants, including undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, faculty and scientists. This annual 1-day meeting features junior scientists as well as established investigators who reveal new insights in plant biology using innovative methods and approaches. Eleven invited speakers talked about diverse topics, including the mechanisms of plant immunity, fruit and tree development, hormone and stress signaling and novel tools for functional genomics. More information on speakers, organizers and topics can be found at


Francisco Becerra, Boris Glebov, Jingyun Fan, Alan Migdall (all JQI and NIST), with colleagues Marcelo Da Cunha Pereira (NIST and Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais) and Sae Woo Nam (NIST) published an article in Optic Letters, May 15 reporting an experimental demonstration of symmetric, single-spatial-mode, single-photon heralding efficiency of 84% for a type-II spontaneous parametric down conversion process. The experiment establishes a new record for heralding efficiency for a pair of entangled photons.

William McDonough (Geology) was quoted in ScienceNews, online April 24, print edition June 1 edition, on recently published research by David Draper and Zachary Sharp in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, April 15, on missing chlorine on Earth's surface, suggesting that collisions may have knocked away much of the supply, making it more difficult for complex life to evolve. In 1995 McDonough had suggested that chlorine was dragged to Earth's center by iron, nickel and other metals that formed the planet's core. "I wasn't happy with putting it in the core" says McDonough.

Jim Gates (Physics) was interviewed on C-SPAN, May 19 where he discussed science education, string theory and the process by which a scientist is nominated and selected for the National Medal of Science, the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government upon scientists, engineers, and inventors.

Andrew Harris (Astronomy), with colleagues, published an article in Nature, May 22 reporting on multi-wavelength high-resolution observations of a rare merger of two massive submillimeter bright galaxies at z = 2.3. The researchers concluded that gas-rich major galaxy mergers with intense star formation can form the most massive elliptical galaxies by z ≈ 1.5.

David Inouye (Biology) was quoted in the Huffington Post, May 2, on the disappearance of honeybees since 2006 (see Dennis vanEngelsdorp news item). "It's not a simple situation. If it were one factor we would have identified it by now" said Inouye, who was not part of the report. Other media coverage included the Japan Times and CNY Central.

Vince Lee (CBMG) and Graduate student Kevin Roelofs published a collaborative project with Angelika Grundling, et al., Imperial College of London entitled "Systematic identification of conserved bacterial c-di-AMP receptor proteins" in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS-online before print, May 13). The paper, for the first time, reveals the bacterial receptors for a novel signaling molecule called cyclic-di-AMP. Utilizing an approach developed in Lee's lab called differential radial capillary action of ligand assay (DRaCALA), the researchers systematically screened the genes of Staphylococcus aureus, an important human pathogen. They identified four c-di-AMP proteins that are involved in potassium homeostasis and central metabolism. These newly identified proteins can serve as targets for novel therapeutic intervention for important human pathogens.

Dan Lathrop (Physics, Geology, IPST and IREAP) was interviewed for an article in Science News, May 18 edition, on laboratory dynamos attempting to generate magnetic fields. The goals of Lathrop's three meter geodynamo experiment include creating a homogeneous, Earth-like dynamo in the lab and demonstrating a self-generating magnetic field in an unconstrained flow. "...Every one second in our experiment mimics 5,000 years of Earth's history. In a few hours, I can deliver millions of years of high-quality data."

Karen Lips (Biology) wrote a blog for Scientific American, May 15, "What if there is no Happy Ending? Science Communication as a Path to Change." The post was part of a series from scientists involved in the journey from science outreach to meaningful engagement, with their reactions, reflections and personal experiences. Lips also contributed an article to LiveScience's Expert Voices: Op-ed & Insights, May 30 on the importance of population studies. Since 1998 Lips' team of researchers has conducted their annual census of amphibians and reptiles in Parque Nacional Omar Torrijos, Panama.

An article originally published in The Astrophysical Journal, October 2012, and co-authored by Neal Miller (Astronomy), with J.J. Condon, W.D. Cotton et al., has been receiving media attention recently. Using the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) the researchers, for the first time, identified discrete sources that account for nearly all the radio waves coming from distant galaxies. Media coverage includes Astronomy Magazine (May 1), PhysOrg, ScienceDaily, Science News Online and Laser Focus World.

Christopher Monroe (Physics and JQI) was interviewed by NPR, May 22 on the Google and NASA partnership to build a Quantum Artificial intelligence Lab using D-Wave Systems quantum computer. Monroe was also quoted in Next Big Future, May 20, in an article on the same subject "....Given the dearth of publishing from the group, it's hard to know from all the details whether what they're observing is a quantum phenomenon."

Christopher Monroe (Physics and JQI) with R. Islam (2012 Ph.D. Physics), Graduate students Crystal Senko, Simcha Korenblit, Jake Smith, Aaron Lee and colleagues W.C. Campbell, Emily Edwards, C.-C. J. Wang and J. K. Freericks, published an article in Science, May 3. The research team engineered frustrated antiferromagnetic interactions between spins stored in a crystal of up to 16 trapped 171Yb+ atoms, controlling the amount of frustration by continuously tuning the range of interaction and directly measuring spin correlation functions and their coherent dynamics. This prototypical quantum simulation points the way toward a new probe of frustrated quantum magnetism and perhaps the design of new quantum materials.

Laurent Montesi (Geology) published an editorial in ScienceXpress, Perspectives, May 30, on a study published in Science, by Melosh (Purdue University) et al. on the development of a computer model for the origin of mascons (Mass Concentrations) using NASA's twin Grail probes. Montesi was subsequently quoted in LiveScience, "...Now that we know something about the interior of the moon, we can tweak this model to study mascons and thermal conditions on other planets."

The emergence of the 17th year cicada brood continues to be covered in the media with Michael Raupp and William Lamp (both Entomology) being interviewed on cicada behavior and reproduction. Coverage includes, but is not limited to, the Baltimore Sun, WAMU, WTOP, NBC, Toronto Star, ScienceNews, Herald Mail, WJLA and ABC.

Chris Reynolds (Astronomy) was quoted in PhysicsWorld, May 13, in an article on recently published work by Tony Piro, California Institute of Technology on the observational signature of some massive stars producing stellar mass black holes upon death. Reynolds said "that there is currently a huge degree of uncertainty about black-hole formation, both in terms of the kind of stars that will form black holes, as well as the nature of the formation event – gamma-ray burst versus supernova versus unnova."

Ed Shaya (Astronomy) and Adjunct Professor Stacy McGaugh are co-authors on a Nature article (May 8) that describes radio observations which expand our understanding of seven large clouds of hydrogen gas between our neighboring Andromeda and Triangulum Galaxies. The distribution of the clouds suggests that they are condensing from a diffuse filament of material held together by dark matter. The story was described in an NRAO press release and has been picked up in various media outlets, including Sky and Telescope,, Huffington Post and Science Daily.

Board of Visitors (CMNS) member Tom Snitch was quoted in The Telegraph, May 27 on the use of drones to track rhino poachers in South Africa. "...We can put all these variables into the computer and come out with algorithms. You can't fly over the whole park but by creating this mathematical model, you can fly over the hot spots and when you see people coming 2 ½ kilometers out, you have time to get your rangers in position." Snitch is a mathematical modeler and former arms advisor to President Ronald Regan working with the UN's Wildlife Enforcement Monitoring System.

Media coverage continued for Dennis vanEngelsdorp (Entomology) who directs the Bee Informed Partnership and led a team of eleven researchers in the latest preliminary annual survey conducted by the Partnership, "Honey Bee Colony Losses in the United States, Winter 2012-2013". Coverage included Wall Street Journal, NBC, Time, NPR, The Guardian, Huffington Post, CNBC and PhysOrg. For more information on the report: VanEngelsdorp was also quoted in Science, News Focus, May 10, in an article on pesticides, particularly clothianidin which is one of the most toxic agro-chemicals for honey bees, and how dangerous the chemicals are to honeybees and other pollinators.

Elizabeth Warner (Astronomy) was interviewed by WUSA9, May 11, on a "ring of fire" or "annular" solar eclipse event in Australia. "The moon in its orbit is sometimes closer and sometimes further away from the Earth. This time, the moon was further away, and looked smaller than the sun. And it didn't completely block the sun's disk."


Date and Time: August 10, 2013, 5:30a.m.-Noon
A morning of fishing on the Chesapeake Bay. We'll be going out with Bunky's Charter Boats from Solomon's Island, right in the middle of the peak fishing season for spot, croaker, trout, bluefish, white perch, Spanish mackerel, and rockfish. The day will start early at 5:30 am with continental breakfast on the dock, then at 6 am it's out on the water. Feel free to bring your own gear, but rods, tackle, and bait will be available on the boats. We return to shore at noon, where Bunky's staff will clean your catch while you enjoy lunch. More information at:*2_*2_*2_lna_PENDING_*2

Antony Casalena (2005 B.S. Computer Science) was interviewed by FoxBusiness, May 13, on how and why he created his own company, Squarespace. The company, now nine years old, employees 125 people and is located in New York.

John Degnan (1970 M.S. and 1979 Ph.D. Physics, advisor Carroll Alley) will be the Invited Speaker at the opening session of the 18th International Laser Ranging Workshop in Japan in November. In 1964, Degnan was a junior member of the NASA team at Goddard Space Flight Center that first succeeded in detecting laser pulses reflected off artificial satellites. He later went on to head up NASA's Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) Program and founded the International Laser Ranging Service (ILRS) in 1998. The title of his invited talk will be "The Impact of SLR Technology Innovations on Modern Science".

Rajibul Islam (2012 Ph.D. Physics, advisor Chris Monroe) has been awarded a University of Maryland Distinguished Dissertation Award for his thesis work on quantum magnetism with ions in Chris Monroe's Trapped Ion Quantum Information group. The Award recognizes original work that makes an unusually significant contribution to the discipline. Islam is now a Postdoctoral researcher at the Greiner lab, Department of Physics, Harvard.

Jenna Jadin (2009 Ph.D. Behavior, Ecology, Evolution and Systematics) was quoted in The Telegraph, May 19 in a story on "Swarmageddon," the 17 year emergence of cicadas. Jadin is the author of an online recipe book "Cicada-Licious" which she wrote while a graduate student. The book includes recipes for El Chriper Tacos, Banana Cicada bread and Cica-delicious Pizza. She was also interviewed by WUSA9 and CBS, and quoted in the National Geographic, CBS, Daily Mail and the International Business times. Jadin is an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow, USDA.

Jack Kustanowitz (2005 M.S. Computer Science) is founder and Principal, MountainPass Technology, Chevy Chase, MD. The company provides consulting and services for companies who need to create products on the web and on mobile devices, either in place of or in conjunction with an in-house technology department. Previously Kustanowitz led teams charged with creating user-facing web sites, e.g. jdeal and, and worked on NPR Music and News apps. While at UMD, he conducted research at the Human-Computer Interaction Lab.

Louis Licamele (2006 M.S. and 2012 Ph.D. Computer Science, advisor Lise Getoor) is Head of Informatics at Vanda Pharmaceuticals, overseeing the bioinformatics, clinical data management, statistics and IT functions. Licamele, whose thesis title was "Knowledge Discovery from Gene Expression Data: Novel Methods for Similarity Search, Signature Detection, and Confounder Correction," helped set up the core informatics services at Vanda in 2003. Vanda was named the Life Science Firm of the Year by the Tech Council of Maryland at the 2013 TEC Awards, May 16.

Phillip Marucha (1974 B.S. Biochemistry) has been named the new Dean of the Oregon Health & Science University's School of Dentistry. Prior to accepting the position, Marucha held the position of Associate Dean for Research and Director of Graduate Studies for the University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Dentistry. He earned his doctor of dental medicine degree, a certificate in periodontology and Ph.D. in immunology from the University of Connecticut.

Jeffrey Mechanic (1981 B.S. Zoology) was elected President of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists at its 22nd Annual Scientific and Clinical Congress, Phoenix, May 4. Mechanick, a Clinical Professor of Medicine and Director of Metabolic Support in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and bone at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, stated "...As President of the American Association of clinical Endocrinologists, I will lead our organization's efforts to advance technological, educational, and practice management imperatives to better serve our patients."

Matthew Rainey (1985 B.S. Physics) is Director of the Innovation Division at the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva, where he is responsible for matters relating to innovation policy and infrastructure, SMEs (small-to-medium enterprises) and other IP rights holders, universities and technology transfer issues and processes. Rainey joined WIPO in February 2012 after nearly thirty years of IP law practice in both large and small companies and law firms in the United States and Munich.

Stefanie Vogel (1972 B.S. and 1977 Ph.D. Microbiology), Professor of Microbiology and Immunology and Medicine, University of Maryland, Baltimore co-authored a report in Nature, online May 1, reporting that therapeutic administration of Eritoran – a synthetic TLR4 antagonist – blocks influenza-induced lethality in mice. Media coverage included New Scientist, NBC News and Science Now.

Rakesh Vohra (1985 Ph.D. Applied Mathematics, advisor Saul Gass) has been named Penn State's 15th Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor, effective August 1. Vohra will be appointed the George A. Weiss and Lydia Bravo Weiss University Professor, with a joint appointment with the Department of Economics and the Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering. As well as his Ph.D., Vohra holds an M.Sc. in Operational Research from the London School of Economics and a B.Sc. in Mathematics from University College, London.

David Xue (1992 M.S. Computer Science) has been named a senior associate by Duane Morris' Palo Alto, CA office, May 14. Xue, who received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences from the University of California-Berkeley, earned his J.D. in 2007 from the University of San Francisco School of Law. He was recognized by the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction with an Excellence for the Future Award for his achievement in the study of Venture Capital Law. In 2006 the State Intellectual property Office of China presented him with the Outstanding Chinese Patent Award.



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