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CMNS News - September 2014

Vol. 4, No. 9 September 2014
The College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences
Jayanth Banavar, Dean Mary Kearney, Editor

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


On September 12, the University of Maryland announced a gift of $31 million from Oculus co-founder and CEO and UMD alumnus Brendan Iribe – the largest gift in the university's history. The majority of the gift, $30 million, will help fund construction of the Brendan Iribe Center for Computer Science and Innovation, a new computer science building designed for cutting-edge work in virtual reality, augmented reality, computer vision, robotics and future computing platforms. Oculus chief software architect and co-founder and 2003 UMD computer science graduate Michael Antonov is making a gift of $3.5 million to support construction of the building, and $500,000 will fund scholarships. An additional gift of $3 million from Elizabeth Iribe, Brendan's mother, will establish two endowed chairs in the Department of Computer Science. Media coverage was extensive. Read more.

Help save the bees by supporting UMD crowdfunding project
For several years, beekeepers have experienced high annual colony losses. These losses endanger our food supply because honey bees are responsible for every third bite we eat and their pollination efforts are valued at $15 billion annually. To alert beekeepers of escalating health problems in their hives in real time, University of Maryland researchers are launching a sentinel hive program throughout the state of Maryland. Sentinel hives act as early warning systems by alerting beekeepers of trouble in time for them to intervene prevent further damage to bee colonies. You can help support this project, led by Entomology's Dennis vanEngelsdorp, through the university's new crowdfunding program called Launch UMD until October 22 by visiting Contributions are tax-deductible.

Nobel laureate Klaus von Klitzing has been named the 2014 recipient of the Richard E. Prange Prize and Lectureship in Condensed Matter Theory and Related Areas. Dr. von Klitzing will deliver a public lecture entitled "A New Kilogram in 2018" on October 14 and will also present a Condensed Matter Theory Center and Joint Quantum Institute seminar on Monday, October 13. Read more.

The 20th Annual Shih-I Pai Lecture will be held October 7.
Dr. Johanna M. H. (Anneke) Levelt Sengers, Scientist Emeritus, National Institute of Standards and Technology, will speak about "Pride and Prejudice in Science and Engineering." Read more.
3:00 p.m. Reception, Rotunda, Mathematics Building
4:00 p.m. Lecture, 1412 Physics Building

CMNS Ice Cream Social – Friday, October 17, 2:00-4:00 p.m.
Location: Woods Atrium, Chemistry Building

Save the Date: Bioscience Day 2014 - November 20.
"Scientific Advances in Treating Trauma and Disease"


George Edgar Hauver (1951 M.S. Physics), a retired Aberdeen Proving Ground scientist and amateur photographer, died September 17. Hauver was employed in the Ballistic Research Laboratory, Aberdeen Proving Ground where he worked on armor-related research. He belonged to local photograph clubs and won first place in The Baltimore Sun's A. Aubrey Bodine Memorial Photographic Contest in 1974.


CMNS Faculty will be recognized for their contributions to the University at the Faculty and Staff Convocation being held on Tuesday, October 7, 2014, at 3:00 p.m. in the Memorial Chapel. All members of the University of Maryland family are invited to attend Convocation:

Ann G. Wylie, Geology

James F. Drake, Physics, IPST and IREAP
Sylvester James Gates, Physics
Christopher Jarzynski, Chemistry & Biochemistry and IPST
Dianne P. O'Leary, Computer Science and UMIACS

Sarah C. Eno, Physics
Alan Jay Kaufman, Geology

Steven L. Rolston, Physics

Eugenia Kalnay (AOSC and IPST) is the recipient of the 2015 Joanne Simpson Mentorship Award by the American Meteorological Society (AMS) "...for effectively mentoring many early career scientists, with her unstinting generosity of time and attention in providing advice, encouragement, leadership, and inspiration." Kalnay was also awarded AMS Honorary Membership.

Johnpierre Paglione (Physics) is among 12 scientists nationwide to be awarded a Materials Synthesis Investigator Award, by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, in support of research aimed at discovering novel quantum materials through a combination of exploratory synthesis, high-throughput semi-automated synthesis and data mining. The program is part of the Emergent Phenomena in Quantum Systems initiative, which enables investigators to dedicate substantial effort to discovery-driven research, such as investigative synthesis of new types of quantum materials.

Edward Redish (Physics) has been awarded the 2015 Excellence in Physics Education Award by the American Physical Society (APS) for "... leadership in the use of computers in physics education, applying cognitive research to improve student learning and critical thinking skills, tailoring physics instruction for non-physicists, and guiding the field of physics education research through a period of significant growth." The award will be presented at the APS April meeting in Baltimore, Md., April 11-14, 2015.

AOSC graduate student Travis Sluka has been selected as a Lev Gandin Fellow – the second award made from the Brin Professorship Fund to support graduate students studying data assimilation. Sluka is working with Eugenia Kalnay, Jim Carton and Steve Penny (AOSC) on a project, supported by the Government of India, to develop a strongly coupled global ocean-atmosphere data assimilation.

Edo Waks (IREAP, JQI and ECE) was selected as the winner of the Clark School Junior Faculty Research Award. The award recognizes an exceptional young faculty member (at or below the associate professor rank) for exemplary quality and impact of research.

Entomology graduate student, Britanny West, advisor Maile Neele, has been awarded a 2015 Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship from SeaGrant that will start in February of 2015. These competitive fellowships are awarded to applicants who have an interest in ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources and in the national policy decisions affecting those resources.


Alberto Belloni, Nick Hadley and Sarah Eno (Physics), Fermilab, $100,000 "U.S. CMS Phase 2 Upgrade R&D Subsystem."

Daniel Butts (Biology), NSF, $294,996, "CAREER: Network Modulation of Cortical Neuron Computation."

Kan Cao (Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics), NIH, $222,041, "Identification of Splicing-related Aging Biomarkers."

Russ Dickerson (AOSC and Chemistry & Biochemistry), Da-Lin Zhang (AOSC and CSCAMM), Kayo Ide (AOSC, IPST and CSCAMM), Konstantin Vinnikov (AOSC), Ning Zeng (AOSC and Geology), Ross Salawitch (AOSC, Chemistry & Biochemistry and ESSIC) and Xinrong Ren (AOSC), NIST, $559,868, "Fluxes of Greenhouse Gases in Maryland: FLAGG-MD."

Dmitry Dolgopyat (Mathematics and IPST), NSF, $148,420, "Limit Theorems in Dynamical Systems."

Najib El-Sayed (Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics and UMIACS) and David Mosser (Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics), NIH-National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, $623,093, "Profiling the Leishmania-Macrophage Host Infectome."

Amin Gholampour (Mathematics), NSF, $152,500, "Gromov-Witten and Donaldson-Thomas Theories in Dimensions Two and Three Calculus."

Mohammad Hafezi (JQI, IREAP and ECE), Central Intelligence Agency, $240,000, "Topological Orders in Silicon Photonics."

Mohammad Hafezi (JQI, IREAP and ECE), Air Force Office of Scientific Research, $201,352, "Topological Orders in Silicon Photonics."

Vadim Kaloshin (Mathematics and IPST), NSF, $160,000, "Arnol'd Diffusion, Growth of Sobolev Norms, Spectral Rigidity for Convex Billiards."

Sujay Kaushal (Geology and ESSIC), NSF, $393,547, "Coastal SEES Collaborative Research: Restoration, Redevelopment, Revitalization and Nitrogen in a Coastal Watershed."

Peter Keleher (Computer Science), NSF, $300,000, "Strong Consistency for Personal and Collaborative Object Stores."

Timothy Koeth and Brian Beaudoin (IREAP), NSF, $306,817, "High-intensity Beam Transport Using Nonlinear Optics."

William Lamp, Cerruti Hooks and Galen Dively (Entomology) with Qin Wang (Agriculture), USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture, $244,933, "Risk Assessment for Plant Incorporated Insecticidal Products on Aquatic Invertebrates."

Derrick Lampkin (AOSC), NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, $101,191, "Investigating Structural Controls on Spatio-temporal Distribution of Supra-glacial Lakes on the Greenland Ice Sheet using ICEsat and CryoSat-2."

Robert Michell (Astronomy), NSF, $120,857, "Collaborative Research: PFISR Ion-neutral Observations in the Thermosphere (PINOT)."

Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm and Tony Busalacchi (AOSC and ESSIC), NOAA, $3,485,285 "CICS: Cooperative Agreement Proposal 2014-2019."

Johnpierre Paglione (Physics), Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, $730,000, "Emergent Phenomena in Quantum Systems."

Philip Piccoli and Philip Candela (Geology), NSF, $241,694, "Indium in Magmatic and Hydrothermal Systems."

Sougata Roy (Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics), NIH, $248,974, "Drosophila Tracheal Cytonemes in Long-range FGF Signaling."

Nicholas Schmerr (Geology), NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, $119,495, "Utilizing Morphometric Properties of Craters to Characterize the Seismological Signature of Recent Impact Events on Mars."

Chandra Turpen (Physics), NSF, $154,580, "Collaborative Research: Enhancing Undergraduate STEM Education: Workshops and Learning Communities for Physics and Astronomy Faculty."

Fred Wellstood and Chris Lobb (Physics and JQI), Maryland Procurement Office, $360,000, "Tunable Coupling Networks with Good On-off Ratios for Superconducting Qubits."


The College welcomes new faculty members to the University of Maryland. Brief introductions can be found here.

Russ Dickerson, AOSC and ESSIC, co-chaired the Quadrennial Symposium of the International Commission on Atmospheric Chemistry and Air Pollution (iCACGP) titled "Changing Chemistry in a Changing World" in Natal, Brazil, September 22-26. This symposium was attended by 430 scientists from around the world with a special focus on young scientists from Latin America.

Bill Goldman (Mathematics) gave a mini-course on "Geometric structures on manifolds" at the Summer School and Conference on Finsler Geometry and its Applications, University of the Aegean, Island of Samos, Greece, September 22-30/

Wendell Hill (Physics, IPST and JQI) has been elected Vice Chair of the Executive Committee of the Mid-Atlantic Section of the American Physical Society (APS), effective Jan. 1, 2015. Recently established, the Mid-Atlantic Section has the goal of strengthening the physics community in its region and to aid APS in its mission to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics at the regional level.

James Gates (Physics) delivered the keynote "The Uncertainty of Disbelief" for the Chrysalis Institute's series on Science and Spirituality: Living with Uncertainty, Science Museum of Virginia, September 26.

Wendy Loughlin (Director of Pre-professional Health Programs and Pre-medical Advisor) has been appointed to the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) Advisory Committee on AMCAS (American Medical College Application Service). The Advisory Committee ensures that AMCAS is responsive to the needs of the admissions community and aligned with the AAMC mission, vision, and strategies. She will be one of two health professions advising representatives; the majority of the committee are admissions deans from medical schools. Loughlin was also invited to provide a health professions advisor view on the blog of the American Dental Education website.

As part of the USA Science & Engineering Festival, Cole Miller (Astronomy), Raman Sundrum (Physics) and Dennis vanEngelsdorp (Entomology) are three of "The Nifty Fifty" scientists and engineers who will fan out across the Washington, DC area in the 2014-2015 school year to speak at various middle and high schools about their work and careers.

Catherine Plaisant (UMIACS-HCIL) with Annapolis-based Pulse8 LLC, is one of the 18 teams the Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS) program named in their latest round of funding. Plaisant and Pulse8 will work "to apply HCIL's interactive visualization technology (EventFlow) to Pulse8's healthcare data software to identify patient patterns in data and direct key components of the delivery system to contain cost and improve care."

Roberta Rudnick (Geology) will deliver three talks as the University of California Santa Barbara's Second Annual Crowell Distinguished Lecturer, October 6-8. The lectureship is sponsored by the Department of Earth Science.

Ross Salawitch (AOSC, Chemistry & Biochemistry and ESSIC) was a reviewer for the recently released "Assessment for Decision-Makers" a summary document of the "Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion: 2014." The Executive Summary states "The climate benefits of the Montreal Protocol could be significantly offset by projected emissions of HFCs [hydrofluorocarbons] used to replace ODSs [ozone depleting substances".

Jan Sengers (IPST) gave a keynote lecture on "Nonequilibrium Thermodynamics Revisited" at the XXIX Congreso Nacional de Termodinamica, Mexico, September 1-5. The lecture was dedicated to the memory of Leopoldo S. Garcia-Colin Scherer, who was a prominent statistical physicist in Mexico and a Physics Distinguished Alumnus (1960 Ph.D. Physics).

Kaci Thompson (CMNS) presented a plenary talk at the Teaching is Touching the Future: Academic Teaching Within and Across Disciplines conference held in Bremen, Germany, September 25-26. Her talk was titled "MathBench: Interactive, online modules to enhance quantitative skills in biology students."

Amitabh Varshney (Computer Science and UMIACS) will speak at the Tech Council of Maryland event, "Leveraging Big Data – Innovative Genomic, Imaging, and Health IT Solutions," UM BioPark, Baltimore, October 22.


Hugo Berbery (ESSIC) et al., "Regional Model Simulations of the 2008 Drought in Southern South America Using Consistent Set of Land Surface Properties," Journal of Climate, September 1.

Xinghan Cai, Andrei Sushkov (Physics), Gregory Jenkins (Physics), Jun Yan, H. Dennis Drew, Michael Fuhrer (Physics), Ryan Suess, Mohammad Jadidi, Shanshan Li and Thomas E. Murphy (IREAP), "Sensitive room-temperature terahertz detection via the photothermoelectric effect in graphene," Nature Nanotechnology, September 7 online.

Karen Carleton, Matthew Conte and Thomas Kocher (Biology) et al., "The genomic substrate for adaptive radiation in African cichlid fish," Nature, September 3 online.

Kinlin Chao, Natalia Gorlatova, Edward Eisenstein and Osnat Herzberg (Chemistry & Biochemistry), "Structural Basis for the Binding Specificity of Human RON Receptor Tyrosine Kinase to Macrophage Stimulating Protein," Journal of Biological Chemistry, September 5.

J. T. Dahlin (IREAP), James Drake (Physics, IREAP, and IPST) and Marc Swisdak (IREAP), "The mechanisms of electron heating and acceleration during magnetic reconnection," Physics of Plasmas, September 9 online.

Jonathan Fraine, Drake Deming and Ashlee Wilkins (Astronomy) et al., "Water vapour absorption in the clear atmosphere of a Neptune-sized exoplanet," Nature, September 24 online.

Nail Gumerov (UMIACS) and Ramani Duraiswami (Computer Science and UMIACS), "A Method to Compute Periodic Sums," Journal of Computational Physics, September, 2014.

Lan Jian (Astronomy and NASA), "Ninety degrees pitch angle enhancements of suprathermal electrons associated with interplanetary shocks," Journal of Geophysical Research, September 2 online.

Sujay Kaushal (Geology and ESSIC) et al., "Tracking evolution of urban biogeochemical cycles: past, present, and future," Biogeochemistry, September 9.

Nathan Kraft (Biology et al., "Functional trait space and the latitudinal diversity gradient," PNAS, September 23.

James McFarland and Daniel Butts (Biology) et al., "High-resolution eye tracking using V1 neuron activity," Nature Communications, September 8.

Adriana Munoz (Mathematics) et al., "The coffee genome provides insight into the convergent evolution of caffeine biosynthesis," Science, September 5.

Jun-Dong Park (ESSIC) et al., "Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Ground Validation (GV) Prototype in the Korean Peninsula," Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, September issue.

Marc Swisdak (IREAP) and Natalia Buzulukova (Astronomy and NASA) et al., "Magnetic reconnection, buoyancy, and flapping motions in magnetotail explosions," Journal of Geophysical Research, September 2 online.

Lin Weng and Min Ouyang (Physics) et al., "Hierarchical synthesis of non-centrosymmetric hybrid nanostructures and enabled plasmon-driven photocatalysis," Nature Communications, September 2.

Gerald Wilkinson, Sarah Christianson, George Ru and Wyatt Shell (Biology) et al., "Haldane's Rule is Linked to Extraordinary Sex Ratios and Sperm Length in Stalk-eyed Flies," Genetics, August 27 online.

Peng Xu (Physics) et al., "Thermal mirror buckling in freestanding graphene locally controlled by scanning tunnelling microscopy," Nature Communications, September 17.

Peter Yoon (IPST) et al., "Proton-cyclotron and firehose instabilities in inhomogeneous plasmas," Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, September 23 online.

Peter Yoon (IPST), "Electron kappa distribution and quasi-thermal noise," Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, September 12 online.

Peter Yoon (IPST) et al, "Quasilinear theory of general electromagnetic fluctuations in unmagnetized plasma," Physics of Plasmas, September 2 online.

Yanhua Zhai, Jingyun Fan and Alan Migdall (JQI and NIST) et al., "Direct measurement of sub-wavelength interference using thermal light and photon-number-resolved detection," Applied Physics Letters, September 10 online.

Rong-Hua Zhang (ESSIC) et al., "Variability of Summer Rainfall in Northeast China and Its Connection with Spring Rainfall Variability in the Huang-Huai Region and Indian Ocean SST," Journal of Climate, September 15.


The Advanced Cybersecurity Experience for Students (ACES) program was highlighted in a U.S. News and World Report story, September 9, about colleges and employers teaming up to train students with high-tech skills and experience.

Sankar Das Sarma (Physics and JQI), who has been collaborating with Microsoft's Station Q for a decade was featured in a Microsoft story titled "Station Q: The Quest for a Quantum Future." "...A quantum computer will do things we cannot possibly know now."

Jeffery Davis (Chemistry & Biochemistry) authored a Nature Chemistry, News and Views article, September 22 online, titled "Ion transport: Tipping a cell's ionic balance." The article reviews recently published research showing that synthetic anion transporters can induce cell death in cultured cells, including cancer cell lines.

Astronomy graduate student Jonathan Fraine was quoted in The Washington Post in an article on recently published research (see Journal Articles) about finding water vapor in the atmosphere of the exoplanet HAT-P-11b. "...The great thing is that now we know that clouds aren't blocking all of the light on every single one of these planets." The research was highlighted in Nature News, September 24. Media coverage included Ars Technica, BBC, Christian Science Monitor, Forbes, Guardian, Los Angeles times, National Geographic, Nature News, NBC News, Newsweek and

Lori Feaga and Michael A'Hearn (Astronomy) were quoted in Astronomy magazine, September 5, in an article on Rosetta, the international mission launched by the European Space Agency, and its approach to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Feaga and A'Hearn are co-investigators working with an instrument called Alice, an ultraviolet spectrograph that is sending back the first observations ever made of a comet's surface in far-ultraviolet radiation, which cannot be detected by telescopes that rely on visible light. Media coverage included ECN Magazine, Phys.Org, Science Daily, Space Daily, Spectroscopy Now, Tech Times and Universe Today.

Astronomy graduate student Jonathan Fraine was quoted in The Washington Post, September 24, in an article on a paper co-authored with Drake Deming and graduate student Ashlee Wilkins (Astronomy) (see Journal Articles) about finding water vapor in the atmosphere of the exoplanet HAT-P-11b. "...The great thing is that now we know that clouds aren't blocking all of the light on every single one of these planets." Media coverage included Ars Technica, BBC, Christian Science Monitor, Forbes, Guardian, Los Angeles times, National Geographic, Nature News, NBC News, Newsweek and

Michael Fuhrer (Physics) was quoted in Nature World News, September 8, in an article on recently published research (see Journal Articles) about the development of a sensitive terahertz detector using graphene that could probe below the surface of skin, and perhaps see through walls. Media coverage included Engineering and Technology Magazine, Photonic News, Red Orbit, Spectroscopy NOW and Wireless Design Development.

Research conducted by Physics graduate student Jonathan Hoffman et al. (Ultrahigh transmission optical nanofibers), was highlighted in Nature Photonics, Research Highlights, September 1.

Thomas Holtz (Geology) was quoted in USA Today, September 12, in an article on recently described adaptations of the dinosaur Spinosaurus (Science magazine, September 11) suggesting a semiaquatic lifestyle. "...It really shows that dinosaurian diversity is even broader than we thought it was." He was also quoted in the CBS News, Christian Science Monitor, National Geographic, NBC News, NPR, and NewScientist.

David Inouye (Biology) was profiled in High Country News, in an article titled "Zen and the art of wildflower science," September 2.

Sujay Kaushal (Geology and ESSIC) participated in Science Friday, a radio program broadcast by public radio stations, September 12, in a segment on urban ecosystems, e.g. road salt and dissolving concrete. Kaushal's recently published article (see Journal Articles) was also featured in an NSF Discoveries article, September 10. Media coverage included Wired and Phys.Org.

Ludmilla Kolokolova (Astronomy) was quoted in Astrobiology Magazine, September 25, in an article featuring recently published research (see Journal Articles) presenting results of computer modeling of light scattering by aligned nonspherical particles and particles containing optical active organics.

Research conducted by Karen Lips and by David Inouye (Biology) was featured in the New York Times, September 22, in an article titled "On the Cusp of Climate Change."

William McDonough (Geology) was featured in Symmetry magazine, September issue, in a story on interdisciplinary research. "We help each other understand the other's field. ...We all have a high level of curiosity and drive to answer these questions."

Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm (AOSC and ESSIC), co-authored an op-ed article published in Forbes magazine titled, "When The Well Runs Dry: The Currency Of Water." The article suggests that governments and communities alike must begin to approach water resource management as a cash flow-like commodity, managed in a fiscally responsible manner.

Chris Monroe (Physics and JQI) was quoted in the MIT Technology Review, September 3, in an article on a professor at University of California, Santa Barbara joining Google to establish a quantum computing hardware lab. "...I think this is a great development to have legitimate researchers give it a try."

Mike Raupp (Entomology) was interviewed by WTOP on three subjects this month: how to keep stink bugs out of your home (September 24), what attracts mosquitoes to bite (September 13) and how to get rid of the Asian camel cricket (September 9.)

Steve Rolston (Physics and JQI) was quoted by, September 11, in an article on a team of scientists interacting with artificial atoms using sound. "...The work is an interesting step toward using sound energy in quantum computing." Media coverage included the Huffington Post and Tech Times.

Research conducted by Eytan Ruppin (Computer Science and UMIACS) et al., and published in Cell (August 28) was covered in IEEE Spectrum, September 27. The researchers presented a data-driven computational pipeline for the genome-wide identification of synthetic lethality interactions in cancer by analyzing large volumes of cancer genomic data.

Thomas Snitch (UMIACS) is the author of an op-ed article published on, September 22, about drones being used to stop poaching in Africa. "...I firmly believe that appropriate technology has the capacity to help save Africa's iconic animals. We can use UAVs to help the rhinos and elephants survive the war that we find ourselves in with these poachers." He was quoted extensively in an article in Trajectory magazine, 2014 Issue 3, in a story titled "Wildlife Crimes – Can Intelligence Community Tools and Practices Help Stop Poaching in Africa?"

Callan Bentley (2004 M.S. Geology) will receive the Geological Society of America's Biggs Award for Excellence in Earth Science Teaching at its fall meeting, October 19-22, Vancouver, Canada. The award recognizes innovative and effective teaching of earth science among early career faculty. Bentley is an Assistant Professor of Geology at Northern Virginia Community College's Annandale campus.

Brian Farrell (1991 Ph.D. Entomology) was featured in the Harvard Gazette, September 8. Farrell was appointed Director of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies on July 1 and will work towards strengthening scientific ties between Harvard, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

Jodi Gaeman (2011 M.S. Geology) was mentioned, and her research referenced, in an article about Neptune published in AmericaSpace, September 19. Gaeman, et al., published an article in Icarus (August 2012) on the coupled thermal and structural evolution of Triton, Neptune's moon.

Michael Koss (2011 Ph.D. Astronomy, advisors Richard Mushotzky and Sylvain Veilleux) is an Ambizione Postdoctoral Researcher Fellow at ETH Zurich where he develops new algorithms to study black hole and galaxy growth with the newest telescopes and satellites. Previously he was a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii.

Laura Mersini-Houghton (1997 M.S. Physics) is featured in the October issue of Discover Magazine. Mersini-Houghton, an Associate Professor of Theoretical Physics and Cosmology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, earned her Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2000. Her research focuses on the origins of the universite and the fundamental nature of space and time, dark energy and quantum physics of black holes.

James Olthoff (1985 Ph.D. Physics) has been selected to become the next Director of the Physical Measurement Laboratory (PML), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Olthoff was hired by NIST in 1987, initially performing research related to the physics and chemistry of electrical breakdown in gases of interest to the electric power and semiconductor industries. Since 2010 he has served as Deputy Director of PML and has been responsible for all NIST calibration services. He also serves as the NIST representative to the Board of National Conference of Standards Laboratories International.

Pixelligent, with founder and chief technology officer Gregory Cooper (2000 Ph.D. Physics, advisor John Orloff), announced on September 22 that it was selected for a $1.25 million Department of Energy (DOE) solid-state-lighting award to support the continued development of its OLED lighting application. Pixelligent, and its partner OLEDWorks, were selected as one of only nine awardees nationwide., founded by Gurpeet Singh (2003 B.S. Computer Science), Manpreet Singh (2003 B.S. Finance) and Amandeep Bakshi (2007 B.S. Electrical Engineering) has recently raised $2.6M in new venture funding and hit the 1 million call mark. Talklocal is a local services marketplace that connects consumers to the right local professionals by phone in about 90 seconds.



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