Karen Carleton and Jonathan Katz Named UMD Distinguished Scholar-Teachers

Awardees received an honorarium and gave a public lecture on their research

Karen Carleton, professor of biology, and Jonathan Katz, professor of computer science with a joint appointment in the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies, were named 2017 University of Maryland Distinguished Scholar-Teachers at the Faculty and Staff Convocation.

Karen Carleton (center) with University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh (left) and University of Maryland Senior Vice President and Provost Mary Ann Rankin (right) receiving her award at the 2017 Convocation. Photo: Lisa Helfert (Click image to download hi-res version.)Carleton is an internationally recognized leader in the field of visual ecology and evolution. She studies the visual biology of fish using integrative techniques such as ecological analysis, physics and genomics. Recently, her research revealed how duplicated genes and gene expression patterns evolved in response to environmental factors in different habitats. Specifically, her laboratory found that fish species in turbid waters, such as the Amazon Basin in South America or Lake Victoria in Africa, may have adapted to the murky light environment, which favors longer wavelengths of light such as red and orange.

In the classroom, Carleton has taught many courses, including BSCI 207: “Principles of Biology III—Organismal Biology” and BSCI 338V: “Biology of Vision.” She has also mentored nine undergraduate students who completed honors thesis research projects in her lab, and she frequently publishes journal articles with students or postdoctoral researchers as first authors.

Carleton earned her Ph.D. in physical chemistry in 1987 from the University of Colorado Boulder. She joined UMD in 2006 as an assistant professor and became associate professor in 2011. She was promoted to professor in 2016.

Jonathan Katz (center) with University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh (left) and University of Maryland Senior Vice President and Provost Mary Ann Rankin (right) receiving his award at the 2017 Convocation. Photo: Lisa Helfert (Click image to download hi-res version.)Katz studies cybersecurity with a focus on data privacy and cryptography. He has developed cryptographic protocols for lightweight devices, “post-quantum” cryptographic schemes that remain secure against quantum computers and protocols that preserve privacy when computing over a distributed network. He serves on the editorial board of multiple journals and is a member of the steering committee for the IEEE Cybersecurity Initiative as well as the Maryland Cybersecurity Council.

A dedicated educator, Katz has taught an “Introduction to Cryptography” course to undergraduate and graduate students on campus and offered a free cryptography course to the public through the online learning platform Coursera. In addition, dozens of universities worldwide use a textbook he co-authored titled “Introduction to Modern Cryptography.”

Katz also places an emphasis on mentoring researchers, having helped three graduate students and nine postdoctoral researchers from his group land tenure-track positions at academic institutions in the U.S. and abroad.

Katz earned his Ph.D. in computer science from Columbia University in 2002. He joined UMD in 2002 as an assistant professor and became associate professor in 2008. In 2013, he was promoted to professor. In the same year, Katz became director of the Maryland Cybersecurity Center. 

The Distinguished Scholar-Teacher Program, established in 1978, honors a small number of faculty members each year who have demonstrated notable success in both scholarship and teaching. Distinguished Scholar-Teachers make a public presentation on a topic within their scholarly discipline and receive an honorarium of $5,000 to support their professional activities.

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Media Relations Contact: Irene Ying, 301-405-5204, zying@umd.edu

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About the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences

The College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences at the University of Maryland educates more than 7,000 future scientific leaders in its undergraduate and graduate programs each year. The college’s 10 departments and more than a dozen interdisciplinary research centers foster scientific discovery with annual sponsored research funding exceeding $150 million.

About the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences

The College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences at the University of Maryland educates more than 9,000 future scientific leaders in its undergraduate and graduate programs each year. The college's 10 departments and six interdisciplinary research centers foster scientific discovery with annual sponsored research funding exceeding $200 million.