Interactions with other Departments and Institutes


The mission of UMIACS (University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies) is to foster and enhance interdisciplinary research and education in computing across the College Park campus. Since its inception, UMIACS has played a major role at the University of Maryland in building strong interdisciplinary research programs, cutting-edge computing infrastructure, and long-term partnerships with national and international research centers. The Institute's programs are led by distinguished researchers, many of whom hold joint appointments in strong academic units such as Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Linguistics, Geography, Philosophy, Business, Education, and College of Information Studies.


Since computing is at the core of all the Institute's activities, UMIACS has a uniquely close relationship with the Department of Computer Science. The synergistic environment provided by UMIACS enables innovative collaborations between the Computer Science faculty and other faculty on campus. These collaborations form the basis for several major research programs which are conducted through the various UMIACS laboratories, each lab being directed by a group of faculty and having its unique computing infrastructure. These laboratories provide a significant amount of support to our the Department in the form of funding for student salaries, equipment, and infrastructure for management of projects, employing undergraduates, and advising PhD. students toward the completion of their degree in the CS program. The key UMIACS laboratories are described below.


The Computational Linguistics and Information Processing (CLIP) Laboratory promotes research in machine translation, multi-lingual information retrieval, information mediation, and natural language translation. CLIP consists of two main entities: The Natural Language Group and the Database Group. The natural language group focuses on several areas of broadscale multilingual processing, e.g., machine translation, scalable translingual document detection, and cross-language information retrieval. The database group focuses on architectures for wide area computation with heterogeneous information servers, e.g., scientific discovery from biomolecular data sources. The Laboratory is co-directed by Bonnie J. Dorr, of the Computer Science Department, Louiqa Raschid of the Smith School of Business, and Amy S. Weinberg of the Linguistics Department. Other CLIP PI's are Philip Resnik (Linguistics) and Doug Oard (CLIS). Collectively, CLIP PI's have advised and graduated 4 CS PhD's, 4 CS Masters, and 9 CS honors students.


The Human-Computer Interaction Lab (HCIL) at the University of Maryland conducts research on advanced user interfaces and their development processes. Interdisciplinary research teams study the entire technology development life-cycle which includes the initial technology design, implementation issues, and evaluation of user performance. Currently, HCIL researchers are investigating new approaches to: information visualization, interfaces for digital libraries, multimedia resources for learning communities, zooming user interfaces (ZUIs), technology design methods with and for children, and instruments for evaluating user interface technologies. The Laboratory is directed by Ben Bederson of the Computer Science Department. Other HCIL PI's are Allison Druin (Education), Francois Guimbretiere (Computer Science), Jim Hendler (Computer Science), Kent Norman (Psychology), Doug Oard (CLIS), Gary Rubloff (Engineering), and Ben Shneiderman (Computer Science). HCIL PI's have collectively advised and graduated 7 CS PhDs, 5 CS Masters, and 2 CS Honors students.


The Language and Media (LAMP) Laboratory focuses on several areas of broadscale processing of natural language, e.g., document and video analysis, information access, machine translation, scalable translingual document detection, and cross-language information retrieval. Within these areas, the media analysis group focuses on providing tools and techniques for access to large heterogeneous databases of multimedia information objects. Researchers working in document and video analysis have developed a number of prototype systems ranging from analysis of handwriting to compression to recognition of logos. Most recently, LAMP researchers have focused on automatic access to information sources by addressing issues involved in initial processing, organization, manipulation and retrieval. The Laboratory is co-directed by David Doermann (UMIACS) and Amy Weinberg (Linguistics). Other LAMP PI's are Daniel DeMenthon, Bonnie Dorr, Huiping Li, Doug Oard, and Philip Resnik. LAMP PI's have collectively advised and graduated 3 CS PhDs, 5 CS Masters, and at least 6 CS Honors students.


The Keck Laboratory for the Analysis of Visual Motion was established in 1997 through a grant from the Keck Foundation. The Laboratory serves as the basis for exploration of fundamental problems in the recovery of three dimensional models of human movements. The research conducted in the Keck Laboratory makes use of dynamic graphical representations of human movement and human manipulation of physical objects. It studies computer vision algorithms that analyze synchronized videos of activities obtained from multiple, calibrated viewpoints containing a combination of conventional and simulated biological sensors. These algorithms employ three dimensional geometric models of human body shape and of the geometry of the objects being manipulated, along with prior knowledge of the task to be performed and the physical objects involved in the task. Keck is directed by Larry Davis (Computer Science) and recently graduated 2 CS PhD’s who investigated the use of three dimensional models to recover the time-varying articulation of a person in action.


The Distributed Systems Software Laboratory (DSSL) provides a collection of UNIX systems for conducting systems research. It consists of a collection of personal computers, 2-4 multi-processors (using AMD, PowerIII, and MIPS processors), an easily re-configurable collection of Ethernet switches, and high speed networks (such as Myrinet). Projects using lab resources include Active Harmony (a system for building runtime adaptable programs), Dyninst (a runtime binary editing tools), MoteFS (a remote filesystem running over untrusted wide-area networks), NICE (a cooperative framework for scalably implementing distributed applications over the Internet), and TerraDIR (a distributed peer-to-peer directory protocol).


The Graphics and Visual Informatics Laboratory (GVIL) was established in 2000 to promote research and education in computer graphics, scientific visualization, and virtual environments. The mission of GVIL is to improve the efficiency and usability of visual computing applications in science, engineering, and medicine. The scope of this laboratory's research covers design of algorithms and data structures for reconciling realism and interactivity for very large graphics datasets, rapid access to distributed graphics datasets across memory and network hierarchies, and study of the influence of heterogeneous display and rendering devices over the visual computing pipeline. The activities of the laboratory involve development of visual computing tools and technologies to support the following research-driving applications: protein folding and rational drug design, navigation and interaction with mechanical CAD datasets, and ubiquitous access to distributed three-dimensional graphics datasets. GVIL is directed by Amitabh Varshney (Computer Science) who is currently advising 6 CS PhD students. GVIL has graduated 3 honors CS students.


The Perceptual Interfaces and Reality Laboratory (PIRL) is investigating perceptual Interfaces for extending human computer interaction to use all modalities of human perception. Current research efforts are focused on including vision, audition, and touch in the process. The goal of perceptual reality is to create virtual and augmented versions of the world, that are perceptually identical to the human with the real world. The goal of creating perceptual user interfaces is to allow humans to have natural means of interacting with computers, appliances and devices using voice, sounds, gestures, and touch. PIRL researchers are also focused on the creation of prosthetic devices for the vision and hearing impaired, by mapping inputs from one modality into equivalent ones in another, so that computationally augmented input streams can be created with extra content from the missing modality. PIRL is directed by Ramani Duraiswami (UMIACS). Other PIRl PI's are Larry Davis (Computer Science), Nail Gumerov (UMIACS), Yaser Yacoob (UMIACS), and David Harwood (UMIACS). PIRL PI's have collectively advised and graduated 2 CS PhDs, 1 CS Masters, and 1 CS Honors student.


Fraunhofer Center for Experimental Software Engineering, Maryland

In Germany, the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft is a society of 55 applied research institutes with a staff of 11,000 employees. Each institute works with government and corporate clients and specializes in a specific technology including electronics, materials, lasers, and computing. Seven of the institutes have a presence in the United States as divisions of the non-profit company Fraunhofer USA. The Fraunhofer Center, Maryland was started by Computer Science professors Victor Basili and Marvin Zelkowitz and is affiliated with the Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering in Kaiserslautern, Germany. The Kaiserlautern Institute director Dr. Dieter Rombach is a former professor in the Computer Science Department of the University of

Maryland. The Center occupies about 5,000 square feet of space just south of the campus in College Park. The Fraunhofer Center currently has 12 full-time and 5 part-time employees (including several university faculty) and several students and visitors work there. Dr. Basili is the Executive Director, Dr. Zelkowitz the Chief Scientist, and Dr. Frank Herman the managing Director.


Fraunhofer USA and the University of Maryland work cooperatively on software engineering research issues. The center is partially supported by base funding (approximately 27% of 2002 funding comes from the state of Maryland and the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft in Germany). The remainder comes from various contracts and grants that the Center must secure. As both a research and business strategy, the Center and the Experimental Software Engineering Group of the Department work cooperatively on many projects. Weekly group meetings are held with University graduate students and faculty and Fraunhofer scientists jointly discussing research activities. Many joint projects have been funded, with the Fraunhofer Center usually a subcontractor to the University. The Center was a participant in the Department's NASA Software Engineering Laboratory from 1999 through 2001, as well as being a current participant in both the Center for Empirically Based Software Engineering (CeBASE) NSF ITR and the NASA Ames Research Center funded High Dependability Computing Program (HDCP) grants. The HDCP grant is a 5-year program, with the Department and the Center subcontractors to Carnegie Mellon University.


The Center complements and extends the core competencies of the University's software engineering group. Measurement, experimentation, experience factory software development, COTS development, and reading and inspection technologies are all core competencies of both the University and Center. In addition the Center is developing expertise in knowledge management and agile development. The Center works with a variety of international corporations, including Boeing, Motorola, Daimler Chrysler, Nokia, and ABB, as well as many smaller companies in Maryland.


The strategy of the Center and Department working together provides opportunities, especially in software engineering, that would be difficult to accomplish solely in a university. Software engineering needs large laboratories, which in this context are software development projects within the industrial or government sector. The Center provides the means to provide on-site staff and the means to work on projects over many years that is difficult to do with university students, and the Department provides a basic research focus that is difficult to maintain within a corporate setting. For example, one Center project for the US Army is looking at deployment in 2008 and the HDCP grant is looking at the next NASA Mars mission in 2010. These would both be difficult to work on solely in a University context.


MIND Laboratory

The Maryland Information and Network Dynamics (MIND) Laboratory was established to provide a focal point for defining, developing, evaluating, and deploying new information technologies through innovative methods. By collaborating with industry and federal agencies, the MIND Lab works to invent new ways of meeting technological challenges by addressing key research issues in the fields of education and information technology. Fujitsu Laboratories of America is a Founding Partner of the MIND Lab and has established their east coast laboratory in College Park. The Aerospace Corporation, Lockheed Martin Advanced Technologies Laboratory, and Koolspan, LLC have joined as Affiliate Partners.


The MIND Lab brings together a world-class group of researchers from the University of Maryland's Department of Computer Science to work with industrial leaders who are facing the challenges of explosive user-demand for immediate access to broader, more sophisticated and integrated information services. Drs. Ashok Agrawala, A. Udaya Shankar, and Bobby Bhattacharjee work on technological issues related to networking and pervasive computing. Dr. James Hendler is the MIND Lab's semantic web expert, and Dr. William Arbaugh focuses on security. Other faculty members in the Department also share their expertise as new projects are defined. The MIND Lab employs several graduate students in the Department of Computer Science. This experience gives the students critical real-world experience with some of the world's most dynamic companies. The MIND Lab has graduated 4 PhDs, 2 MS students, and 2 BS Honors students from the Department of Computer Science and continues to fund 7 graduate students who are working toward their degrees.


The MIND Lab is a joint effort between the Department of Computer Sciences and the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS). The MIND Lab initially received start-up funds from both for this venture. Dr. Ashok Agrawala, Director of the MIND Lab, has been a faculty member in the Department of Computer Science for thirty-one years.


Applied Mathematics and Scientific Computation Program

The Program in Applied Mathematics and Scientific Computation (AMSC) is an interdisciplinary program that offers Ph.D. and M.S. degrees as well as a post-baccalaureate Certificate in Scientific Computation. The program is a reorganized version of what had previously been the

Applied Mathematics program, reflecting an increased emphasis within the program on computational techniques in science and mathematics. Graduate students can pursue degrees in either of two tracks: a concentration in Applied Mathematics, which combines a foundation in mathematics together with advanced study and research in an area of application; or a concentration in Scientific Computation, in which students are trained in the use of computational techniques and associated information technology with correspondingly less emphasis on formal mathematical methods.


The program has 120 faculty members from nineteen departments and Institutes. Thirty-three members of the CMSC faculty are affiliated with the program. The members of the Numerical Analysis and Scientific Computing Field Committee (Elman, O'Leary and Stewart) are actively involved in most aspects, including direction of PhD students (six completed their degree in the past five years) and MS students; helping in the design of the Scientific Computing curriculum; teaching courses, including new graduate courses in Scientific Computing (AMSC/CMSC 660-661) and Computer Organization and Scientific Computing (AMSC/CMSC 662); directing of projects for AMSC 663-664, a new required independent study course; writing and grading of the Numerical Analysis qualifying exam; serving on the Graduate Committee on Applied Mathematics, which s responsible for evaluating student thesis prospectuses and performance on comprehensive exams; and erving on committees for related programs, such as the search committee for the CSCAMM director.


Other computer science faculty play a lesser but still significant role in AMSC, most notably through advising of students. For example, Jim Reggia is typically advising one AMSC doctoral student, Larry Davis (in collaboration with Ramani Duraiswami from UMIACS) currently has several advisees, and Bonnie Dorr has had two advisees in the last five years (one current).

Several faculty also occasionally serve on students' advisory committees.


Institute for Systems Research (ISR)

ISR was formed in 1985 as a joint venture between the University of Maryland and Harvard University, as an interdisciplinary National Science Foundation (NSF) Engineering Research Center with the specific mission of conducting systems research. Since 1985, ISR's vision has evolved from one concerned with computer-aided tools for design of automation and information processing systems to its current broader concern with the integrated design for control of complex engineering systems that have control and communication systems as subsystems.

ISR is an acknowledged leader in the integrated design for control of complex engineering systems. It has linked 11 departments at the University of Maryland and Harvard University.

In eight years, over 100 companies have benefited from participation in ISR programs, and 16 internationally renowned research organizations have established formal exchange agreements with ISR. In 1992, the state of Maryland recognized the unique contribution of ISR by designating it a permanent institute of the University of Maryland and renewing its financial commitment to the Institute. ISR occupies 27,000 square feet of space in facilities at the University, which provides space for eight constituent and five affiliated laboratories. A sixth affiliated laboratory is located at Harvard University.


One of the ways in which ISR fosters interdisciplinary research is that all ISR faculty appointments are joint with various academic departments. The following CS faculty have affiliations with ISR, either as joint appointments or affiliate appointments: James A. Hendler, Nicholas Roussopoulos, Ben Shneiderman, V.S. Subrahmanian, and Dana S. Nau. Through ISR, CS faculty have worked on joint research and educational projects with faculty from Mathematics, Business, and nearly all of the departments in the School of Engineering. Several of these projects have been quite successful in terms of their visibility and impact.


In addition to its cross-disciplinary research programs, ISR has a cross-disciplinary educational program. Several of our faculty have supervised MS students in ISR's systems engineering graduate program. ISR administers the Gemstone program, a cross-disciplinary undergraduate honors program, and several CS faculty have supervised groups of Gemstone students in multi-year cross-disciplinary educational projects (see Undergraduate Education section above).


Neuroscience and Cognitive Science Program

The Neuroscience and Cognitive Science (NACS) Program at UMCP is a multi-disciplinary program that offers research and training opportunities in neuroscience, cognitive neuroscience and computational neuroscience. The program involves not only faculty on the UMCP campus, but also on two other University of Maryland campuses (Baltimore City and Baltimore County). Not only does the NACS program offer graduate training leading to a Ph.D. degree, but it also helps to coordinate cross-disciplinary research (e.g., via its colloquium series). Students getting a PhD in the NACS program have access to a broad range of core graduate courses (e.g., Introduction to Neuroscience, Cognitive Neuroscience, Computational Neuroscience). Each student selects a ``home department" and may take courses in that department to complete program requirements. For example, some NACS students have taken CMSC 727: Neural Modeling for this purpose. At present several faculty in Computer Science are active members of this program (Dorr, Hendler, Perlis, Reggia and Smith), and occasionally serve as the primary PhD advisor for the computationally-oriented students. Further information about this program can be found at the NACS web page: