News and Events

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

Recent News & Accomplishments

 2022

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More than two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, the persistent virus continues to rear its ugly head, with the U.S. now nearing one million COVID-related deaths. While vaccines have proven effective in decreasing COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations, administering the vaccines continues to be a challenge—both in terms of convincing skeptical individuals to get vaccinated, and in providing easy and equitable access to vaccination sites. New research between the University of Maryland and the University of Virginia (UVA) is working to address the latter, with experts from both institutions...  read more
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Niall Williams, co-advised by Distinguished University Professor Dinesh Manocha & Affiliate Assistant Research Professor Aniket Bera, is one of only 4 graduate students to receive the Honorable Mention, Best Paper award at the 2022 IEEE VR conference.
Williams, a University of Maryland third year doctoral student in the Department of Computer Science, was recently recognized with an Honorable Mention, Best Paper award at the prestigious 2022 IEEE VR conference for his cutting edge work on developing a novel metric to analyze the similarity between physical and virtual environments for natural walking in virtual reality. The IEEE Conference on Virtual Reality is a globally renowned top conference for presenting and publishing breakthrough innovative research work in the broad areas of virtual, augmented, and mixed reality (VR/AR/XR). The...  read more
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A multi-institutional team that includes Associate Professor Rob Patro (left in photo) and Ph.D. student Dongze He (right) has released a toolkit for the efficient processing of single-cell and single-nucleus RNA sequencing data.
Rapid improvements in cell sequencing technologies in the last decade have provided clinicians and scientists with many valuable insights— from better treatment options for patients with heart disease and cancer to a much deeper understanding of how certain pathogens can affect plants and animals. In particular, the exponential growth of high-throughput single-cell and single-nucleus RNA-sequencing technologies (collectively, single-cell transcriptomics technologies) have produced a wealth of new data. In fact, single-cell transcriptomic data constitutes the most ubiquitous components of...  read more
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Experts from the University of Maryland and the University of Virginia are developing sophisticated algorithms that can help health care officials determine the best locations to place vaccination sites.
More than two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, the persistent virus continues to rear its ugly head, with the U.S. now nearing one million COVID-related deaths. While vaccines have proven effective in decreasing COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations, administering the vaccines continues to be a challenge—both in terms of convincing skeptical individuals to get vaccinated, and in providing easy and equitable access to vaccination sites. New research between the University of Maryland and the University of Virginia (UVA) is working to address the latter, with experts from both institutions...  read more
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A pioneering researcher of bias in machine learning has joined the University of Maryland’s Computational and Linguistics and Information Processing (CLIP) Lab for two years as a visiting scholar. Jieyu Zhao , who graduated with her doctorate in computer science from the University of California at Los Angeles last December, comes to UMD as a Computing Innovation Fellow, a prestigious postdoctoral program supported by the National Science Foundation. She is working with Hal Daumé III, a professor of computer science with joint appointments in the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced...  read more
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Testudo, twists and turns on Paul Capriolo’s (B.S. ’06, computer science) path to tech success
Some people know they’re destined for a future in computer science from the moment they sit down at a keyboard for the first time. Paul Capriolo (B.S. ’06, computer science) is not one of those people. “I wasn’t drawn to computers as a kid, I wasn’t into the culture at an early age,” he said. “I was around 14 when our family got our first computer and I used it for games and stuff, but how it worked, how to build programs to make it do what I wanted, that didn’t even cross my mind as a possibility, it never even entered my brain.” But as Capriolo will tell you, a “lightbulb moment” in his...  read more
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Delante Desouza’s (B.S. ‘16, computer science) fast break to a starring role in new HBO series about the L.A. Lakers
Delante Desouza (B.S. ’16, computer science) can still hardly believe he made the jump from digital marketing specialist to a starring role in the new HBO series about the Los Angeles Lakers. “It almost doesn’t still feel real to me, and I know that’s crazy to say after two years on this project,” Desouza said. “It just feels like I’m that same kid who was in CMSC 131 walking to class at UMD.” Desouza—who pursued acting as a hobby during his years at Maryland—plays legendary shooting guard Michael Cooper in Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty. The 10-episode series chronicling the...  read more
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A predictive algorithm developed by University of Maryland machine learning researchers to improve Facebook’s notification system for blood donations prompted 5% more people to roll up their sleeves in a test last year—an increase that could mean 140 million more lifesaving donations worldwide if applied to all of the social media platform’s 2.8 billion users. Their results are detailed in a working paper presented at the Association for Computing Machinery’s Conference on Economics and Computation. “This is a successful step in better aligning the global supply and demand of blood,” said co-...  read more
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Funding will support the use of synthetic datasets to improve the accuracy machine learning methods.
The article is republished from ECE Distinguished University Professor Dinesh Manocha received a 2022 Verisk AI Faculty Research Award. The award funding will support the generation and use of synthetic datasets to improve the accuracy of machine learning methods. These synthetic datasets can be combined with real-world datasets for training the neural networks. Manocha is the Paul Chrisman Iribe Professor of Computer Science and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) and is affiliated with both the Institute for Systems Research and the Maryland Robotics Center and co-leads...  read more
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Break Through Tech DC at UMD facilitates its first Sprinternship™ program with 15 companies and 58 undergraduates.
When Veda Singireddy began her first year as a computer science major at the University of Maryland in fall 2021, she wasn’t sure what her path forward would be. But after completing Break Through Tech’s Sprinternship™ program in January 2022, she entered the spring semester with a new outlook on her studies—and a summer internship offer. Launched at UMD in March 2021 to propel more students who identify as women and non-binary into tech careers, Break Through Tech facilitated its first Sprinternship program over winter break. First- and second-year computing students spent three weeks...  read more

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