Recent News & Accomplishments

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


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University researchers are advancing a concept known as foveated rendering, a computational technique that uses innovative eye-tracking software to replicate natural human eye function in virtual and augmented reality.
Similar to the evolution of the cellphone—from bulky to sleek—virtual and augmented reality hardware is undergoing dramatic changes. Cumbersome VR and AR headsets are now being replaced by lighter, wireless headgear that allows users to more freely experience their real and virtual surroundings. But this new generation of immersive hardware also brings fresh challenges. Since the hardware is wireless, technological advancements are necessary to improve battery capacity. Today’s headsets are also hindered by the longstanding issue of rendering performance—that is, the quality of how a virtual...  read more
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The department is pleased to announce the staff service awardees for Spring 2021: Kate Atchison and Maria Johnson. Assistant Director of MCWIC and I4C, Kate Atchison received the award in recognition of her extensive contributions to our current and future students, including work on the Break Through Tech program, management of the departmental student groups, the expansion of the undergraduate tutoring program & NCWIT Learning Circles, and the extension of the K-12 summer programs. Director of Corporate Partnership Development, Maria Johnson received the award in recognition of her work...  read more
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First class of machine learning and data science professional master’s students graduates from UMD’s Science Academy in May 2021
The University of Maryland’s Science Academy will celebrate its first cohort of students graduating with professional master’s degrees in machine learning and data science at the Spring 2021 Commencement ceremony. The Science Academy, which launched in 2019, offers graduate programs designed specifically for working professionals. “The Science Academy did exactly what I was hoping for,” said one of the graduates, Adam Morra (B.S. ’17, mechanical engineering; M.P.S. ’21, machine learning ). “I was an entry-level data scientist and machine learning engineer, and I was looking to take my career...  read more
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How alumnus Ruvi Kitov built a multimillion-dollar company that’s changing the way large companies manage network security policy
When Ruvi Kitov (B.S. ’97, computer science) was 18 years old, he made one of the biggest decisions of his life: he left his parents’ home in Maryland to join the army—the Israeli army. For someone who spent his early years living with his family in Jerusalem, it felt like the right thing to do at the time. “It was 1991, right after the beginning of the first war in Iraq,” Kitov recalled. “Saddam Hussein was lobbing rockets at Israel and I was here in Maryland feeling sort of helpless, and my sister was there in bomb shelters. It was very surreal and uncomfortable for an Israeli or an ex-...  read more
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Bannan will begin a full-time position as associate algorithm development engineer at tech company Alion Science and Technology upon graduation.
Starting your final semester of college with a job lined up is something most college seniors dream of. For University of Maryland senior computer science major Sam Bannan, that dream is a reality, and he has one major thing to thank for it: an internship. “Applying to an internship early was the best decision I made at UMD,” Bannan said. “I learned so much about the actual field that I wanted to work in that would’ve taken me years after graduation to learn.” Bannan transferred to UMD from the Community College of Baltimore County as a sophomore in fall 2018. During his first week in College...  read more
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The open-source software was described in a paper recently published in the online journal, Frontiers in Microbiology.
In the seafaring world, a binnacle is a wooden stand placed near the ship’s helm that holds important tools and instruments needed to navigate from one point to the next. At the University of Maryland, researchers in the Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (CBCB) have developed their own tool—appropriately called Binnacle —that can help scientists navigate the complex world of microbial genomes. This open-source software was described in a paper, “ Binnacle: Using Scaffolds to Improve the Contiguity and Quality of Metagenomic Bins ,” that was recently published in the online...  read more
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Two faculty members in the Department of Computer Science have each received an Amazon Research Award (ARA) for their proposed projects focused on advanced topic modeling to support the understanding of COVID-19 and discovering and localizing new concepts using dual memory. Philip Resnik , a professor of linguistics with an affiliate appointment in computer science, and Abhinav Shrivastava , an assistant professor of computer science, are among the 101 recently-named ARA award recipients for 2020 that represent 59 universities in 13 countries. Both Resnik and Shrivastava have appointments in...  read more
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First-year Ph.D. student Joy Kitson’s research is focused on developing large-scale epidemic simulations used to model diseases and public health interventions.
A University of Maryland graduate student was recently awarded a fellowship from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to support her work in developing realistic, large-scale simulations that can assist officials dealing with complex events like the current COVID-19 pandemic . Joy Kitson , a first-year doctoral student in computer science, was one of only 32 graduate students in the U.S. to receive a DOE Computational Science Graduate Fellowship this year. The competitive award can last up to four years. It provides an annual stipend of $38,000, payment of all tuition and required fees, and a...  read more
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The UMD Geometric Algorithms for Modeling, Motion and Animation (GAMMA) group led by Distinguished University Professors Ming C. Lin and Dinesh Manocha recently won the “Best Paper” award at the prestigious IEEE VR 2021 conference for their novel work on developing a transformer-based learning method that can simulate emotive human gestures from natural language text inputs. The paper titled “ Text2Gestures: A Transformer-Based Network for Generating Emotive Body Gestures for Emotive Agents ,” was authored by graduate students Uttaran Bhattacharya , Nicholas Rewkowski, Abhishek Banerjee ,...  read more
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(Clockwise from top left in photo) Kianté Brantley, Aya Abdelsalam Ismail, Greg Davis and Marina Knittel each received a fellowship for academic year 2021–2022.
Four graduate students in the Department of Computer Science were just named recipients of the prestigious Ann G. Wylie Dissertation Fellowship. The fellowship provides a $15,000 stipend and other benefits to University of Maryland doctoral candidates who are in the latter stages of writing their dissertations. It is named for Ann Wylie , a professor emerita in geology who has served in numerous roles at the university for almost 50 years, including her current role as interim senior vice president and provost. (Clockwise from top left in photo) Kianté Brantley , Aya Abdelsalam Ismail , Greg...  read more