Speakers Announced for College’s 2024 Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony

Alum Katherine Calvin (B.S. ’03, mathematics; B.S. ’03, computer science), NASA chief scientist and senior climate advisor, will be the keynote speaker at the University of Maryland’s College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences 2024 Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony on May 21, 2024. Joshua Kalampanayil (B.S. ’24, computer science) was selected as the student speaker for the ceremony. The ceremony will honor the college's August 2023, December 2023 and May 2024 graduates receiving bachelor's degrees.

Katherine Calvin, Keynote Speaker

Katherine Calvin
Katherine Calvin. Photo courtesy of same. Click image to download hi-res version.

Calvin was appointed as NASA’s chief scientist and senior climate advisor in 2022. As chief scientist, Calvin advises agency leadership on the agency’s science programs and science-related strategic planning and investments. As senior climate advisor, she provides insights and recommendations for the agency’s climate-related science, technology and infrastructure programs.

Since 2008, Calvin has been an Earth scientist at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Joint Global Change Research Institute (JGCRI) in College Park, Maryland. She worked in JGCRI’s Global Change Analysis Model, a system for exploring and analyzing the relationships between human and Earth systems in the context of global climate change. She also worked on the Department of Energy’s Energy Exascale Earth System Model, a system for analyzing the past, present and future state of the Earth system. Her research simulates the interaction between global resources, focusing on the impact of land, water and energy use through an environmental and socioeconomic lens.

Calvin has co-authored over 150 publications. Her recent publications have investigated growing populations against agriculture and water scarcity in the face of climate change.

In July 2023, Calvin was selected as co-chair of Working Group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for the 7th assessment cycle. She has contributed to previous IPCC reports, including two special reports, the Working Group III report and the synthesis report. Calvin also served on a National Academy of Sciences research committee on models of the world, which was commissioned by the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency to create models for interrelated global systems such as economics, politics and the environment. She contributed to the third U.S. National Climate Assessment.

Calvin received her doctorate in management, science, and engineering from Stanford University and bachelor’s degrees in computer science and mathematics from UMD.

Joshua Kalampanayil, Student Speaker

Joshua Kalampanayil photo
Joshua Kalampanayil. Photo courtesy of same.

Kalampanayil is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in computer science and minors in general business and statistics. He completed his honors citation through the University Honors program in spring 2023.

One of Kalampanayil’s biggest passions is working with fellow students, helping them explore and find their potential in the tech field. Throughout his four years at Maryland, he has been a student organizer for the annual Bitcamp and Technica hackathons. Most notably, he was one of the co-executive directors for Bitcamp 2023, leading a team of 80+ undergraduate students to host over 1,000 students for the annual event. He also worked as a peer advisor since fall 2021, assisting current and prospective computer science students and guiding them throughout their academic journey at Maryland.

Above all, Kalampanayil’s greatest enjoyment is teaching. He has been a teaching assistant since fall 2021 for CMSC216 and CMSC330 and has been one of the head teaching assistants for CMSC330 since spring 2023. His love for teaching has not gone unnoticed by students, as he was awarded the Department of Computer Science’s Excellence in Teaching Award as best undergraduate TA.

Outside of the classroom, Kalampanayil is an active volunteer with FIRST Robotics, assisting across multiple roles for FIRST’s FRC program.

Since summer 2021, Kalampanayil interned at Google in both software development and product management roles. Kalampanayil will work at Google as a product manager after graduation and aspires to return to teaching at the higher education level in the future.

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 8,000 future scientific leaders in its undergraduate and graduate programs each year. The college's 10 departments and nine interdisciplinary research centers foster scientific discovery with annual sponsored research funding exceeding $250 million.