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

Recent News & Accomplishments

 2022

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Invention of the Year nominee could help prevent spread of deepfake media and misinformation.
This article is republished from research.umd.edu It has been said that “seeing is believing,” but in the age of social media, viral videos, and artificial intelligence (AI) technology, can we truly believe what we see on the internet? Computer science researchers at the University of Maryland have invented a “Deepfake Detection Tool” to help answer that question. Advances in computer vision and learning have enabled the creation of sophisticated and convincing forgeries of images and videos known as deepfakes. These falsified media are often used maliciously to spread misinformation or...  read more
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Troi Williams, visiting UMD as part of prestigious Computing Innovation Fellows program, uses machine learning to predict sensor measurement accuracy in robotic systems.
Robotics systems can make complicated, dangerous and time-consuming tasks easier, such as guiding troops through treacherous terrain or surveying crops. But for these systems to do their job correctly, they must correctly perceive the world around them via sensors. Troi Williams , currently at the University of Maryland as part of the prestigious Computing Innovation (CI) Fellows program, is focusing his research on improving robotic sensing capabilities. Collaborating with UMD faculty and students, Williams uses machine learning algorithms to dynamically predict the bias and uncertainty of a...  read more
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Amitabh Varshney, professor of computer science and dean of the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences, leads a new multi-institutional center to advance medical innovations and regulatory science for extended reality technologies.
Ultrasound data displayed directly on a patient via augmented reality headsets. Immersive “grand rounds” for medical students and faculty even when they’re in different locations. Virtual reality landscapes matched with classical opera to transport people with painful injuries outside of themselves, reducing the need for potentially addictive opioids. These medical examples of extended reality (XR)—the umbrella term used for technology based in virtual and augmented reality or other immersive media—are already being prototyped or tested in clinical trials. But its widespread use in hospitals...  read more
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UMD Alum Katherine Calvin is on a mission at NASA
In January 2022, Katherine Calvin (B.S. ’03, mathematics; B.S. ’03, computer science) was named NASA chief scientist and senior climate advisor, tasked with advancing NASA’s entire science portfolio, and climate science in particular, in the years to come. Before taking on this new role at NASA, Calvin spent 14 years as an Earth scientist at the Joint Global Change Research Institute, a partnership between the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the University of Maryland, exploring and analyzing the relationships between human and Earth systems in the context of global climate change...  read more
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Vishnu Dutt Sharma, advised by Assistant Professor Pratap Tokekar, is one of only 4 graduate students to receive the UMD Graduate School Kulkarni Foundation Summer Research Fellowship for 2022.
Sharma , a University of Maryland third-year doctoral student in the Department of Computer Science, was recently awarded the Kulkarni Graduate Student Summer Research Fellowship. The Kulkarni fellowship is endowed by Dr. Ashok Kulkarni, a distinguished alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT). Together with funding from campus graduate programs, the endowment provides research support for doctoral students at “mid-career” and enables them to take a significant step forward in their research work. A B.Tech. and M.Tech. in Electronics and Electrical Communication Engineering from...  read more
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The online version of the classic board game Diplomacy is serving as a testbed for researchers in the Computational Linguistics and Information Processing Lab (CLIP) to advance artificial intelligence’s ability to negotiate and detect deception. The project is being funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to defend against social engineering attacks , or when a user is manipulated into providing money or sensitive information. It’s estimated that cybercriminals successfully stole $7 billion this way last year, and such attacks can compromise national security. “We’re...  read more
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Mihai Pop , a professor of computer science and the director of the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS), is being recognized for his significant achievements in computational biology and bioinformatics. The International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB) has selected Pop as a Fellow for 2022. He joins 10 other ISCB members who have distinguished themselves through outstanding contributions to the field. ISCB selected Pop for his leadership in the development of algorithms for analyzing metagenomic data, particularly in the context of metagenome...  read more
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The funding supports efforts to advance a randomized testing technique known as “fuzzing,” making it easier to write, debug, and reason about software and its specifications.
Software correctness is becoming increasingly important as our society grows more reliant on computer systems, with even the simplest software errors now having the capacity to inflict devastating financial or security losses. A University of Maryland expert in programming languages is addressing this issue, using funding from the National Science Foundation to advance a randomized testing technique known as “fuzzing,” making it easier to write, debug, and reason about software and its specifications. Leonidas Lampropoulos , an assistant professor of computer science and a core faculty member...  read more
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Former graduate student Soheil Behnezhad was recently announced as the winner of the Charles A. Caramello Distinguished Dissertation Award bestowed by the UMD Graduate School. The award recognizes outstanding original work that makes a significant contribution to the discipline. Behnezhad is the first student from the Department of Computer Science to win this prestigious award since it was established in 2011. His dissertation titled, “ Modern Large-Scale Algorithms for Classical Graph Problems ,” focused on studying modern computational models that capture the challenges of big data...  read more
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With $1.6M in funding from the National Science Foundation and Amazon, University of Maryland faculty are developing algorithms and protocols that can improve the efficiency, reliability and trustworthiness of artificial intelligence systems.
Fully ingrained into our daily lives, artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms can help us shop online, calculate credit scores, navigate vehicles, and for those that run afoul of the law, offer judges criminal sentencing guidelines. But as the use of AI increases exponentially, so does the concern that biased data can result in flawed decisions or prejudiced outcomes. At the University of Maryland, two teams of researchers are helping to eliminate those biases by developing new algorithms and protocols that can improve the efficiency, reliability and trustworthiness of AI systems...  read more

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