Recent News & Accomplishments
Professor Matthias Zwicker has been appointed chair of the University of Maryland’s Department of Computer Science for a three-year term, effective July 1, 2021. He has been serving as interim chair for the past year. “Matthias stepped up to lead the department during a global pandemic, and he was still able to push the department forward over the past year, due to his administrative expertise and calm temperament,” said Amitabh Varshney , dean of the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences . “Faculty, staff and students strongly supported Matthias’ continued leadership of the... read more
A University of Maryland expert on network security has been chosen to serve on a national forum focused on emerging critical challenges to the nation’s IT infrastructure.
Dave Levin , an assistant professor of computer science and core faculty member in the Maryland Cybersecurity Center , will join 23 other scientists and policy experts serving on the Forum on Cyber Resilience . The forum—managed by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine—brings together scientists, practitioners and policymakers to address a suite of issues related to cyber resilience, including the strength and vitality of the U.S. information and communications infrastructure. Through public meetings, workshops and published reports, the forum disseminates valuable... read more
The Computing Community Consortium Council aims to encourage innovative and high-impact research.
Professor William “Bill” Regli was recently appointed as a member of the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) Council effective July 1, 2021. He joins a group of 5 new members appointed by the Computing Research Association (CRA), in consultation with the National Science Foundation (NSF). The CCC Council is a twenty member consortium bringing together expertise in diverse areas of computing to contribute in leading CCC’s visioning programs, and conceptualise and enable ideas for future computing research. "I'm honored to contribute to CCC and to help advocate for the computing research... read more
Perhaps the most iconic image in evolutionary biology is Charles Darwin's sketch of an evolutionary tree . The illustration highlights Darwin’s transformational idea that the evolutionary relationships among species can be depicted through a branching pattern, a concept known as the Tree of Life. While Darwin primarily relied on the physical characteristics shared by subsets of species to determine an evolutionary tree’s structure, scientists today are using vast amounts of genomic data to reconstruct evolutionary trees—a field known as phylogenetics. Erin Molloy , who joins the University of... read more
The award supports research to improve computational models used to simulate the human perception of auditory signals.
Two spatial audio experts at the University of Maryland were recently awarded $270K in research funding from Facebook Reality Labs —the social media giant’s research and development division focused on virtual and augmented reality software and hardware. Nail Gumerov , a senior research scientist in the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies , and Ramani Duraiswami , a professor of computer science, will use the funding to better model and troubleshoot 2D and 3D audio technologies. Their efforts will be focused on improving mathematical models to calculate the Head... read more
Alumna Aya Soffer’s game-changing success story at IBM
On February 11, 2019, 800 people gathered at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts to witness an event that might have seemed like science fiction 20 years earlier: a debate between world champion debater Harish Natarajan and IBM’s Project Debater, an artificial intelligence (AI) system designed to take on complex topics and compete with humans in a live war of words. Offstage, Aya Soffer (M.S. ’92, Ph.D. ’95, computer science) watched the event unfold like a nervous parent. As vice president for AI tech at IBM, she was a leader on the team that made Project Debater a reality. “I... read more
Computer Science Lecturer received the 2021 Dean’s Outstanding Lecturer Award
When Jose Calderon found out that he was being honored with the 2021 Dean’s Outstanding Lecturer Award from the University of Maryland’s College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences, he was shocked. “I was very flattered and very surprised. I didn’t even know I was being considered for the award,” said Calderon, a lecturer in the Department of Computer Science. The Dean’s Outstanding Lecturer Award is a special award because students nominate lecturers to receive the recognition. The award also comes with a $1,000 prize. “I’m always trying to focus on how I can improve, so to be... read more
The UMD Loop team is one of 12 teams chosen to compete in The Boring Company’s tunnel-boring competition this summer
University of Maryland computer science majors Ritwika Das, Tyler Han and Arjun Vedantham won’t have a boring summer this year. That’s because they will be testing their design, building and tunneling (aka boring) skills in The Boring Company’s “ Not-a-Boring Competition .” “We’re very excited about the competition,” said Das, software lead for UMD’s team, known as UMD Loop . “We normally focus on creating hyperloop pods, but we learned about this competition and thought it would be a great new challenge for the team to tackle.” The UMD Loop team is no stranger to competitions. The team was... read more
CS Ph.D. candidates Soheil Behnezhad and Mahsa Derakhshan met in high school, married and share parallel paths
When Soheil Behnezhad and Mahsa Derakhshan met, it was clear they shared a passion for solving difficult problems. They were 17 years old, attending a camp to compete in the 19th Iranian National Olympiad in Informatics . The two were among 40 youths selected from roughly 10,000 students across the country to participate in the camp. Eight took home gold medals, two of which went to Behnezhad and Derakhshan . Now, 11 years later, they are married and still share a passion for difficult problems. But now, they are solving difficult problems to earn their Ph.D.s in computer science at the... read more
The funding supports efforts to promote diversity and fairness in a variety of pipeline and selection problems that use artificial intelligence.
Two faculty members, one from the University of Maryland and the other from Tulane University, have received funding from Google to promote diversity and fairness in a variety of pipeline and selection problems—including hiring practices, graduate school admissions and customer acquisitions—that rely increasingly on artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms. John Dickerson , an assistant professor of computer science at the University of Maryland, and Nicholas Mattei , an assistant professor of computer science at Tulane, received a $60,000 award as part of the Google Research Scholars program... read more