Recent News & Accomplishments


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AlphaLabs, Athenus, Mindgrasp and Shellter will be the first cohort of companies to join the student startup accelerator.
The Mokhtarzada Hatchery announced today the first four teams that will join the student startup accelerator. The 2021-22 teams—selected for their ideas that target interesting problems with focus and passion—are AlphaLabs, Athenus, Mindgrasp and Shellter. “The entire panel was very impressed with the applicants to our inaugural program,” said Idris Mokhtarzada. “It was very difficult to narrow down to just four companies, and we chose the companies who we thought would benefit most from the program.” The Mokhtarzada Hatchery was launched in 2021 to help University of Maryland students...  read more
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In addition to Varshney, the XRAC steering committee includes senior-level executives from tech giants Facebook, Microsoft, Accenture and Google.
A leading expert in immersive technologies from the University of Maryland has been selected to serve on a steering committee for a national advisory council dedicated to advancing policy and practical considerations involving virtual, augmented and mixed reality—collectively known as “extended reality” (XR) technologies. Amitabh Varshney , interim vice president for research and dean of the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences , joins former government officials and other specialists from academia and industry on a steering committee for the Future of XR Advisory Council (...  read more
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Two Ph.D. graduates from the Department of Computer Science have just been honored for the excellence of their research and scholarship. Nitin J. Sanket (left in photo) and Soheil Behnezhad (right) are this year’s recipients of the Larry S. Davis Doctoral Dissertation Award, which recognizes outstanding dissertations that convey excellence in technical depth, significance, potential impact and presentation quality. The award is named for Larry S. Davis , a Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of computer science who served as chair of the department from 1999–2012 and founding director...  read more
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Rob Patro , an associate professor of computer science at the University of Maryland, was part of a team recently honored with the prestigious Allen Newell Award for Research Excellence . The award is from Carnegie Mellon University’s (CMU) School of Computer Science. It recognizes outstanding work from current or former CMU researchers that epitomizes the scientific philosophy of Allen Newell, a computer scientist and pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence who died in 1992. Newell firmly believed that “ good science responds to real phenomena or real problems.” Patro, who also has...  read more
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The Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science (QuICS)—a research powerhouse focused on quantum computation, quantum communication and quantum cryptography—recently received a renewal of federal funding from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The interdisciplinary center, launched in 2014 as a partnership between the University of Maryland and NIST, is expected to receive up to $12.2 million over the next five years. The funding will sustain and advance the mission of QuICS, with UMD faculty members in computer science and physics working side-by-side...  read more
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Leila De Floriani , an affiliate professor of computer science who also has an appointment in the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies , has been elected to serve as an IEEE Division VIII Delegate/Director. Pending acceptance by the IEEE Board of Directors at the organization’s annual meeting in November, De Floriani will hold the leadership position for three years: a one-year term as director-elect, followed by a two-year term as division director. Division Delegate/Directors provide senior leadership for IEEE, which is the world’s largest professional association...  read more
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A University of Maryland-led team of researchers recently won an Internet Defense Prize for a paper that uncovered a unique form of distributed denial-of-service attack. The prize—funded by Facebook in partnership with the USENIX Association —celebrates security research contributions to the protection and defense of the internet. The researchers received the third-place prize—which amounts to $40K—for their work discussed in “ Weaponizing Middleboxes for TCP Reflected Amplification .” The paper details their discovery that firewalls and other kinds of network-based “middleboxes”—the...  read more
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The Mokhtarzada brothers’ startup success story comes home with a new student venture incubator at UMD
Idris Mokhtarzada (B.S. ’10, computer science) took his first computer science class at the University of Maryland before he even started high school. He and his older brother Haroon (B.A. ’01, economics) still get a kick out of telling the story. “In the summer after middle school, my mom actually put me into Computer Science 100 or 101 at Maryland,” Idris recalled. “She got permission from the dean who basically said, ‘He can audit the class as long as the professor is fine with it.’ The teacher said it was ok, so there I was, this little kid sitting in the class surrounded by older...  read more
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Michelle Mazurek, an associate professor of computer science and an expert in human-centered security and privacy, is the newest director of the Maryland Cybersecurity Center (MC2). She now leads numerous successful programs and partnerships established by the center’s prior directors— Charalampos “Babis” Papamanthou , Jonathan Katz and Michael Hicks —and is developing new ideas and initiatives of her own. “Our biggest strength has always been the diverse range of high-quality research conducted by our talented faculty, postdocs and graduate students. I would like to build on this to increase...  read more
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A University of Maryland expert on quantum computing is part of a multi-institutional team awarded $7.5 million by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to understand and create an efficient quantum random access memory (QRAM) architecture. Xiaodi Wu , an assistant professor of computer science with an appointment in the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies , is collaborating with researchers from Yale University and the University of Chicago on the five-year project. Their work is funded by a grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) through the...  read more