Recent News & Accomplishments


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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
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A University of Maryland expert in natural language processing has been recognized by the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL) for a paper he co-authored 10 years ago that uses computer vision to produce descriptions of images. Hal Daumé III, a professor of computer science with joint appointments in the Language Science Center and the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies , was part of a team honored with the ACL Test of Time Award. This prestigious honor recognizes up to four papers each year for their long-lasting impact on the field of natural language...  read more
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Two genomics experts who completed their doctoral training at the University of Maryland’s Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (CBCB) were just named to TIME magazine’s annual list of 100 most influential people for their landmark work completing the sequencing of the human genome. Michael Schatz, a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Computer Science and Biology at Johns Hopkins University (JHU), and Adam Phillippy , a bioinformatician at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), were recognized for leading an international team in achieving the feat that...  read more
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Faculty, postdocs and students in the Maryland Cybersecurity Center (MC2) are presenting three papers at the 43rd IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy , held this year from May 23–26 in San Francisco while also being streamed online in a hybrid format. The topics covered by the MC2 researchers involve security education, online protection for at-risk users, and “blocklisting”—a computer security protocol that lists items in a set that may require quarantine, exclusion or additional security scans. “These papers show a broad range of MC2 work dealing with important real-world issues in...  read more
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Computer Science alumnus Edward “Joe” Ridge (B.S. ’06) serves as UMIACS’ senior IT operations manager, handling tough technical problems with supercomputers to fielding questions from student staff members who are learning on the job.
As the senior IT operations manager for the University of Maryland Institute of Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS), Computer Science alumnus Edward “Joe” Ridge has multiple tasks to handle each day—from tough technical problems with supercomputers to fielding questions from student staff members who are learning on the job. It’s a chaotic, yet choreographed, dance that Ridge has been doing for more than 25 years as he’s risen through the ranks of UMIACS’ technical staff. “I’ve worn a lot of different hats in my time here,” he jokes. Ridge started working for UMIACS in 1996 as a student during...  read more