Recent News & Accomplishments

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


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(From left) Leila De Floriani, Catherine Plaisant and Bongshin Lee were recently inducted into the IEEE Visualization Academy.
Three researchers with ties to the Department of Computer Science were recently inducted into the IEEE Visualization Academy, considered one of the highest and most prestigious honors in the field of computer visualization. Leila De Floriani , a professor of geographical sciences with an appointment in the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS), Catherine Plaisant , a senior research scientist in UMIACS, and Bongshin Lee , a senior principal researcher at Microsoft Research, joined 12 other researchers from around the world named to the 2020 cohort of academy...  read more
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A team of researchers demonstrated that popular robotic household vacuum cleaners can be remotely hacked to act as microphones.
The researchers—including Nirupam Roy , an assistant professor in the University of Maryland's Department of Computer Science—collected information from the laser-based navigation system in a vacuum robot and applied signal processing and deep learning techniques to recover speech and identify television programs playing in the same room as the device. The research demonstrates the potential for any device that uses light detection and ranging (Lidar) technology to be manipulated for collecting sound, despite not having a microphone. This work, which is a collaboration with assistant...  read more
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Faculty, staff and students at the University of Maryland have joined a national effort to advance accessibility and educational opportunities for young people interested in computer science via a comprehensive initiative that was announced on Nov. 17 . The Maryland Center for Women in Computing (MCWIC) and the Iribe Initiative for Inclusion and Diversity in Computing (I4C) are two of the 127 organizations involved in CSforALL , a wide-ranging consortium launched in 2016 whose mission is to make computer science an integral part of the educational experience for all K–12 students and teachers...  read more
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A University of Maryland expert in machine learning is being funded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to develop metrics that will bridge the knowledge gap between empirical and certifiable defenses against adversarial attacks. Soheil Feizi, assistant professor of computer science with an appointment in the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS), is principal investigator of $387K two-year project. An adversarial attack involves penetrating machine learning systems in order to make small changes to the input data to confuse the...  read more
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Two faculty members in the Department of Computer Science are part of a new program that supports up-and-coming researchers on the University of Maryland campus.
Marine Carpuat (left in photo), an associate professor of computer science, and Vanessa Frias-Martinez (right), an associate professor in the College of Information Studies (iSchool) who has an affiliate appointment in computer science, are amongst the first group of 18 UMD faculty selected this fall for the Research Leaders Fellow Program . The program, run by the university’s Division of Research, is designed to assist recently-tenured associate professors as they expand their impact in their respective scientific fields, while also providing them with the leadership skills needed to...  read more
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A University of Maryland expert in quantum computing has received an award from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) to develop new methods for protecting cryptographic systems from quantum attacks. Xiaodi Wu , an assistant professor of computer science and a Fellow in the Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science , is one of 36 scientists and engineers to receive funding from the AFOSR Young Investigator Research Program . The program awarded $16.1 million in grants this year to foster creative basic research in science and engineering, enhance early career...  read more
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A University of Maryland expert in machine learning is presenting two papers on how to quickly train aging AI systems to sift through medical and emergency data at a major upcoming conference on natural language processing. Jordan Boyd-Graber , an associate professor of computer science with appointments in the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies , the iSchool, and the Language Science Center, will share the research at the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP). The event is taking place from November 16–20, and will be entirely...  read more
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The Department of Computer Science is pleased to welcome its second Victor Basili Fellow for Fall 2020: Liyi Li . Li earned a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a dissertation focused on programming language semantics, memory models for concurrent programs, and formal verification of compiler correctness. He has been particularly interested in imperative programs operating under so-called relaxed memory models, which afford higher performance, but less intuitive, semantics. Mathematically verifying the correctness of these languages’ programs...  read more
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Judith Dotson (B.S. ’85) cruises the Atlantic on a Navy destroyer and breaks barriers as a woman in the defense field
When Judith (Hogan) Dotson graduated from the University of Maryland in 1985, she never imagined just how far her computer science degree could take her—literally. In the spring of 1986, Dotson found herself cruising in the Atlantic Ocean aboard the USS Hayler, a Navy destroyer, watching massive helicopters take off and land on the deck, eating in the officer’s mess and staying in a cabin so tiny that if she got out of her bunk too quickly she’d hit her head on the “overhead”—the Navy term for ceiling. She’d never experienced anything like it. “It was wild,” she said. “There was that moment...  read more
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How 2020 Ph.D. graduate Brian Brubach found his niche by making his interests in social good, fairness and diversity a part of his research
As a boy growing up in Carroll County, Maryland, Brian Brubach (Ph.D. ’20, computer science) struggled with academics due to a learning disability, but he loved computers. “We had a family computer at home when I was growing up,” Brubach said. “And I was able to kind of explore it on my own and become part of that generation of people who knew more about computers than their parents.” A lot has changed since then. In May 2020, Brubach was awarded a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Maryland and got a job in academia. He’s now in his first year as an assistant professor in the...  read more