Recent News & Accomplishments

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

 2021

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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
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The third-year doctoral student in computer science, advised by Dinesh Manocha, was one of only 10 graduate students to receive an Adobe Research Fellowship this year.
A University of Maryland doctoral student in computer science recently received funding from Adobe Research to continue his innovative work in developing systems and devices that can recognize, interpret, process and simulate human actions and emotions . Uttaran Bhattacharya was one of only 10 graduate students in North America to receive an Adobe Research Fellowship for 2021 . The fellowship, starting this August and lasting for one academic year, provides a $10,000 award and an opportunity for an internship at Adobe. Bhattacharya’s research interests are focused on affective computing and...  read more
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Naveen Raman, a junior computer science and mathematics double major who is also a member of the Advanced Cybersecurity Experience for Students in the Honors College, was awarded scholarship by the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation , which encourages students to pursue advanced study and research careers in the sciences, engineering and mathematics. Over the last decade, the university’s nominations yielded 37 scholarships—the second most in the nation behind Stanford University. A UMD computer science major has been named Goldwater Scholar every year since...  read more
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Professor Howard Elman has been reappointed as the director of The Applied Mathematics & Statistics and Scientific Computational Graduate Program (AMSC). A PhD in computer science from Yale University, Elman has been affiliated with the program for several decades and took over as the director in 2018. “I'm delighted to continue in my role as Director of the AMSC program," says Elman. Further he adds “This is an interdisciplinary graduate program that draws on the strengths the University has in Applied Mathematics across campus, with 150 affiliated faculty from 36 units on campus,...  read more
The Maryland Robotics Center’s new MRC Graduate Research Assistantship Program is open to mid-career UMD Ph.D. students whose advisors are members of the Maryland Robotics Center. Each year, the program will provide up to three 12-month graduate research assistantships. The first recipients of this award for the academic year 2021–2022 are: • Kanishka Ganguly, Computer Science Department, advised by Professor Yiannis Aloimonos and Associate Research Scientist Cornelia Fermüller • Usman Fiaz, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, advised by Professor John Baras • Varun Suryan,...  read more
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Pavan Ravindra ’21 becomes the fifth UMD student since 2018 to win the Churchill Scholarship to study at the University of Cambridge. He’s also president of UMD’s Rubik’s Cube Club, having clocked some of the world's fastest times solving it one-handed.
This article is republished from Maryland Today. By Abby Robinson , Photo courtesy: Pavan Ravindra A University of Maryland senior studying biochemistry and computer science is one of only 17 students nationwide awarded a 2021 Winston Churchill Scholarship to pursue a one-year master’s degree at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. Pavan Ravindra—who was named both a Goldwater Scholar and a Merrill Presidential Scholar in 2020—will pursue a Master of Philosophy degree in chemistry after completing his dual degree at Maryland. Five UMD students have received the award since 2018...  read more
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Starting in Fall 2021, the University of Maryland will offer a new undergraduate minor in Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS). With automated systems becoming more central to the STEM industries in which engineering and computer science graduates work, robotics has become a “must-know” field. Robotics courses generate long wait lists and a demand for more classes and sections. The new RAS minor will help meet this rising demand. It will be administered by the Maryland Robotics Center (MRC), part of the Institute for Systems Research within the Clark School of Engineering. The MRC currently...  read more
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Knittel received the ARCS Endowment Fellowship in Computer Science for 2021-22
Algorithms are a part of our daily lives. They’re at work when we search for something online, open our favorite social media app or even look up directions on our phones. But what you might not realize is that these algorithms can be biased. Last fall, Twitter made headlines for how its photo cropping algorithm prioritized white faces over Black ones . In 2019, questions were raised about whether Google’s search algorithm was politically biased against conservatives. Mitigating these types of biases in technology is how University of Maryland computer science Ph.D. student Marina Knittel...  read more