Recent News & Accomplishments

From Data Analytics to Models: Developing New Tools to Combat COVID-19 through Computing


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This article is republished from Maryland Today Sci-Fi Social Distancing? BY CHRIS CARROLL From meltdowns at Walmart over mask mandates to refusals to stay 6 feet from others at pool parties and political events, the COVID-19 pandemic has underlined something we already knew: People can get prickly when other people call them out for breaking rules. But what about a gentle hint from a robot? With help from National Science Foundation EAGER grant and other funding sources, a team of University of Maryland computing researchers is exploring how autonomous robots whisking smoothly through crowds...  read more
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The University of Maryland has a new four-year undergraduate program that combines art with computer science to prepare students to design and develop immersive media content and tools. The immersive media design (IMD) major is co-taught by art and computer science faculty with expertise in virtual and augmented reality, digital art, projected imagery, computer graphics, 3D modeling, and user interfaces spanning audio, visual and tactile platforms. “The goal is to graduate students who can collaborate effectively across creative and technical boundaries, and will excel in their field, whether...  read more
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A University of Maryland expert in algorithms and high-performance computing has been funded by Google to develop computational techniques to improve contact tracing methods in the wake of COVID-19, research that could ultimately provide fundamental new insights into how epidemics can be controlled. Aravind Srinivasan , a Distinguished University Professor of computer science with an appointment in the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies , is one of the four principal investigators of the $140K project. He is joined by researchers from Princeton University and the...  read more
The University of Maryland’s undergraduate computer science program ranks No. 16 in the nation in the 2021 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges.” The undergraduate program ranks 8th among public universities. In the computer science specialties, UMD ranks 9th in cybersecurity and 16th in artificial intelligence and data analytics/science. This is the first year the publication has ranked computer science undergraduate programs and specialties. “I am thrilled that we are ranked among the nation’s best computer science undergraduate programs,” said Matthias Zwicker, interim...  read more
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Professor Philip Resnik received an NSF grant from the Division of Information and Intelligent Systems for his project titled “ RI: Small: Modeling Co-Decisions: A Computational Framework Using Language and Metadata .” The funded project will develop computational models to help illuminate why and how individuals make similar or different choices, for example legislators in political contexts. The research focuses on going beyond previous factors like party and demographics to analyze similarities and differences in individuals' language, using techniques that identify interpretable, task-...  read more
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Genomic sequencing data can often shed light on a wide array of scientific problems—from treating patients with heart disease and cancer to understanding how certain pathogens can affect plants and animals. Public repositories of genomic data are becoming more commonplace and are growing at an exponential rate. The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), for example, runs the Sequence Read Archive (SRA), a repository that holds raw scientific data for a vast number of scientific experiments conducted using high-throughput sequencing data. While repositories like the SRA are a...  read more
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Associate professor David Van Horn recently received the Most Influential Paper award at the 25th ACM SIGPLAN International Conference on Functional Programming (ICFP), for his paper titled “ Abstracting Abstract Machines .” Coauthored with Matt Might, director of the Hugh Kaul Precision Medicine Institute at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the paper discusses a model of a computer system constructed to allow a detailed and precise analysis of how the computer system works. Van Horn’s paper, published in 2010, describes a derivational approach to abstract interpretation that yields...  read more
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The Department of Computer Science is pleased to welcome our new Victor Basili Fellow for Fall 2020: Michael Coblenz . The Victor Basili Postdoctoral Fellowship Program focuses on supporting young researchers doing work on methods to ensure that software applied to pressing societal problems is trustworthy, reliable, and correct. A PhD in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University, Coblenz’s dissertation focused on user-centered design methods for programming languages. He has created Obsidian, a new programming language for blockchain smart contracts, which integrates a strong, static...  read more
Left to Right- Aniket Bera, Dinesh Manocha (21074)
Assistant Research Professor Aniket Bera and Paul Chrisman Iribe Professor of Computer Science, Dinesh Manocha recently received a grant from the UMD Brain and Behavior Initiative (BBI) for the project titled “Learning Age and Gender Adaptive Gait Motor Control-based Emotion Using Deep Neural Networks and Affective Modeling. ” The project seeks to develop automated AI-based techniques for perceiving human emotions based on kinematic and kinetic variables—that is, based on both the contextual and intrinsic qualities of human motion. The proposed research will examine the role of age and gender...  read more
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Drew Hamilton, a rising junior majoring in Computer Science worked this summer for the Cooperative Institute for Satellite Earth System Studies ( CISESS ) under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) 2020 Young Summer Scholars program ( ). Each year NOAA hosts and mentors early-career scientists as they gain experience in science and technology. Hamilton’s work as an intern focused on experimentation and development of a new prototype data processing and data analysis system. He applied graph database architecture to increase...  read more