Recent News & Accomplishments
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
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
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
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
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
Invention of the Year nominee could help prevent spread of deepfake media and misinformation.
This article is republished from research.umd.edu It has been said that “seeing is believing,” but in the age of social media, viral videos, and artificial intelligence (AI) technology, can we truly believe what we see on the internet? Computer science researchers at the University of Maryland have invented a “Deepfake Detection Tool” to help answer that question. Advances in computer vision and learning have enabled the creation of sophisticated and convincing forgeries of images and videos known as deepfakes. These falsified media are often used maliciously to spread misinformation or... read more
Troi Williams, visiting UMD as part of prestigious Computing Innovation Fellows program, uses machine learning to predict sensor measurement accuracy in robotic systems.
Robotics systems can make complicated, dangerous and time-consuming tasks easier, such as guiding troops through treacherous terrain or surveying crops. But for these systems to do their job correctly, they must correctly perceive the world around them via sensors. Troi Williams , currently at the University of Maryland as part of the prestigious Computing Innovation (CI) Fellows program, is focusing his research on improving robotic sensing capabilities. Collaborating with UMD faculty and students, Williams uses machine learning algorithms to dynamically predict the bias and uncertainty of a... read more
Amitabh Varshney, professor of computer science and dean of the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences, leads a new multi-institutional center to advance medical innovations and regulatory science for extended reality technologies.
Ultrasound data displayed directly on a patient via augmented reality headsets. Immersive “grand rounds” for medical students and faculty even when they’re in different locations. Virtual reality landscapes matched with classical opera to transport people with painful injuries outside of themselves, reducing the need for potentially addictive opioids. These medical examples of extended reality (XR)—the umbrella term used for technology based in virtual and augmented reality or other immersive media—are already being prototyped or tested in clinical trials. But its widespread use in hospitals... read more
UMD Alum Katherine Calvin is on a mission at NASA
In January 2022, Katherine Calvin (B.S. ’03, mathematics; B.S. ’03, computer science) was named NASA chief scientist and senior climate advisor, tasked with advancing NASA’s entire science portfolio, and climate science in particular, in the years to come. Before taking on this new role at NASA, Calvin spent 14 years as an Earth scientist at the Joint Global Change Research Institute, a partnership between the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the University of Maryland, exploring and analyzing the relationships between human and Earth systems in the context of global climate change... read more
Vishnu Dutt Sharma, advised by Assistant Professor Pratap Tokekar, is one of only 4 graduate students to receive the UMD Graduate School Kulkarni Foundation Summer Research Fellowship for 2022.
Sharma , a University of Maryland third-year doctoral student in the Department of Computer Science, was recently awarded the Kulkarni Graduate Student Summer Research Fellowship. The Kulkarni fellowship is endowed by Dr. Ashok Kulkarni, a distinguished alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT). Together with funding from campus graduate programs, the endowment provides research support for doctoral students at “mid-career” and enables them to take a significant step forward in their research work. A B.Tech. and M.Tech. in Electronics and Electrical Communication Engineering from... read more