Recent News & Accomplishments

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

 2022

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Mokhtarzada Hatchery team Quandry’s wild ride to startup success
Ryan Downing and Bryan Houlton aren’t the kind of guys who shy away from taking a risk. “My philosophy is kind of like this,” explained Houlton, who just completed his sophomore year as a computer science major at the University of Maryland. “If I’m going to take a big risk and start something, now is the time.” Last fall, Houlton and Downing went all-in on the risky business of tech entrepreneurship. They created the quantitative finance platform Quandry and got a running start thanks to the Department of Computer Science’s Mokhtarzada Hatchery incubator for student tech ventures. From day...  read more
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He was honored for outstanding contributions to mentoring and teaching students from different, often non-traditional backgrounds.
University of Maryland alum Rajiv Gandhi (Ph.D. ’03, computer science; advisor: Samir Khuller) received the 2022 SIGACT Distinguished Service Award for outstanding contributions to mentoring and teaching a large number of high-school and undergraduate students from many different, often non-traditional backgrounds—empowering them to achieve substantially in theoretical computer science and to take an appreciation for theoretical computer science into their other computing endeavors. Gandhi, a professor of computer science at Rutgers University-Camden, established the Program in Algorithmic...  read more
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Mihai Pop, a professor of computer science noted for his scientific research and advocacy for equality and inclusion in academia, has been reappointed as director of the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS) for a three-year term, effective July 1, 2022. As director, Pop will continue to provide leadership to 76 UMIACS faculty members and almost 200 graduate students from eight departments across the UMD campus, as well as two-dozen administrative and technical staff that support the institute’s research, innovation and outreach. Pop has served as director of...  read more
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As computer architectures advance, the software must be redesigned to utilize its full power. Modern computer platforms achieve the most efficient results by breaking down computational tasks into smaller pieces that can be executed in parallel. These parallel algorithms far out-perform programs that can solve problems only one step at a time. Laxman Dhulipala , who will begin July 1 as an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science, says the overarching goal of his research is to design, analyze and implement parallel algorithms that are faster and more efficient. He...  read more
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In the digital age of information overload, recommender systems have emerged as a tool to provide users with suggestions tailored to their needs. These systems tell us who to follow on social media, what music to listen to, which products to buy, and more. A major challenge that limits the effectiveness of this collaborative filtering is called the sparsity problem. This happens when the system’s transactional or feedback data is too sparse and insufficient to identify similar interests. That’s where Bahar Asgari comes in. Focused on computer architecture, Asgari is an expert at optimizing...  read more
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Three assistant professors with dual appointments in the Department of Computer Science and the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies have been promoted in recognition of their ongoing excellence in research, scholarship and outreach. Pratap Tokekar , John Dickerson and Abhinav Bhatele are associate professors with tenure, effective this summer. “The entire department is incredibly proud of Pratap's, John's, and Abhinav's achievements", says Matthias Zwicker, Chair of the Computer Science Department. “Their excellence in research, teaching, and mentoring is recognized...  read more
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Niall Williams, co-advised by Distinguished University Professor Dinesh Manocha & Affiliate Assistant Research Professor Aniket Bera received the Link Foundation fellowship in Modeling, Simulation, and Training.
Williams, a University of Maryland third-year doctoral student in the Department of Computer Science, was just named the recipient of the prestigious Link Foundation fellowship in Modeling, Simulation, and Training in recognition of his cutting-edge research and publications in the field of augmented and virtual reality. The Link Foundation Modeling, Simulation, and Training Fellowship Program was established in 1991 to encourage and support doctoral students for advanced-level research in modeling, simulation, and training. The fellowship focuses on disseminating the results of that research...  read more
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Two faculty members in the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies have each received an Amazon Research Award of $80K in research funding and $20K in Amazon Web Services promotional credits, totaling $100K. Tudor Dumitraș (right in photo), an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, will use the funding to continue his work measuring the effectiveness of malware detectors that employ machine learning. Pratap Tokekar , an associate professor of computer science, will continue developing algorithms to advance teams of autonomous robots. Dumitraș says...  read more
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A team of researchers including the Computer Science/UMIACS Professor Ramani Duraiswami , Associate Chair for Graduate Education received a 2022 Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) award from the Department of Defense. The project titled, “Learning to mine a soundscape,” is led by a University of Maryland alum, Mounya Elhilali , who is currently a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Johns Hopkins University (JHU). Professor Shihab Shamma from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Institute for Systems Research is also...  read more
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Jan Plane leaves a 30-year legacy of building computing programs and promoting diversity
In the late 1990s, Rwanda was in a state of rebuilding and healing after civil war and genocide devastated the country. Among other economic revitalization initiatives, the University of Rwanda received 20 Unix-based computers through a USAID grant. But the university couldn’t find anyone who knew how to use them. That’s when Kelly Wong , the grant’s principal investigator, reached out to his colleague Jan Plane , who was an instructor in the University of Maryland’s Department of Computer Science at the time. Little did he know then the enormous impact that Plane, who retired from UMD this...  read more