Recent News & Accomplishments

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

 2021

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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
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They have been doing research with UMD CS faculty members since they were in high school and middle school, respectively.
Naveen Raman , a junior computer science and mathematics double major at the University of Maryland, and Naveen Durvasula , a sophomore dual-degree student in electrical engineering and computer science and business administration at UC Berkeley who has been conducting computer science research at UMD for five years, were awarded scholarships by the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation . The foundation encourages students to pursue advanced study and research careers in the sciences, engineering and mathematics. Over the last decade, UMD’s nominations yielded 37...  read more
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Program prepares high school students to take AP exams in computer science
This May, thousands of students across the country will put a year’s worth of computer science learning to the test—literally. The Advanced Placement (AP) exams for Computer Science A and Computer Science Principles will determine whether high school students learned enough in their courses this year to receive college credit. “Taking and passing the AP exam offers you a lot of possibilities,” said Priscilla Wu, a senior at Winston Churchill High School in Potomac, Maryland, who will take the AP Computer Science Principles exam in May. “If you have a lot of AP credits, you are able to be more...  read more
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Joel Bartley (B.S. ’00, computer science) turns his lifelong passion for video games into a successful career as a game developer
Some people take on the challenges of video games for fun. For Joel Bartley (B.S. ’00, computer science), it’s a full-time job. Bartley is a lead gameplay programmer for Insomniac Games, an award-winning developer of video games including popular PlayStation franchises like Rachet & Clank, Marvel’s Spider-Man and a host of others sold by the millions all over the world. “One of the things that I really like about working with games is that it’s not like other programming jobs where you mostly work with other programmers and you might also work with the customer or project manager,”...  read more
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Founding chair of UMD’s Department of Computer Science and strong advocate for human rights for scientists worldwide passed away April 9.
Jack Minker, professor emeritus and founding chair of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Maryland, passed away on April 9, 2021. Minker was a pioneer in artificial intelligence, deductive databases, logic programming and nonmonotonic reasoning. He was also an internationally recognized leader in the field of human rights for scientists. Minker joined UMD in 1967 and was among the first members of the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies . He served as the first chair of the Department of Computer Science from 1974 to 1979. “Jack had a vision 50...  read more
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The workshop will run in tandem with Bitcamp, a 36-hour hackathon—held virtually this year—that was initially conceived by UMD students in 2013.
From detecting internet censorship as it occurs to exploring how artificial intelligence is improving smartphone cameras, undergraduates who are typically underrepresented in computing will explore these topics and more this weekend at the University of Maryland. “ Exploration Trail: Research at Bitcamp ”—a three-day workshop aimed specifically toward Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC)—brings together about 50 students from across the U.S. who will engage in meaningful computing research with UMD faculty and students. The event, from April 9 –11, is being held entirely online due to...  read more