NSF grants UMBC and community college partners $1.4M to innovate science education

At its core, this partnership and others “are about building relationships, better communication, and building a community that benefits the students, the faculty, and the institutions,” Dean Bill LaCourse says. “The idea is to make a bigger tent, and not work as two institutions, but as one.” Continue reading NSF grants UMBC and community college partners $1.4M to innovate science education

UMBC and community colleges collaborate to boost transfer student success in STEM

“I was really interested in looking at transfer from an asset-based perspective,” says UMBC’s Sarah Jewett. “Transfer students bring so many experiences and talents to this campus, just like every other student, and I think those strengths need to be recognized and tapped.” Continue reading UMBC and community colleges collaborate to boost transfer student success in STEM

Third annual UMBC GRIT-X talks highlight thought-provoking ideas, experiences, and discoveries

Artists, scientists, and social change agents from across UMBC presented the third annual GRIT-X talks on October 13, sharing their ideas and perspectives on stage in UMBC’s Dance Cube. “All our talks gave a different facet, a different beam of … Continue reading Third annual UMBC GRIT-X talks highlight thought-provoking ideas, experiences, and discoveries

UMBC researchers develop new method to address deep-seated biases in science, starting with birds

“We’re really hoping this new method is going to address some issues with what kinds of data get published,” says Evangeline Rose, first author on a new paper. This paper “is part of an amazing drumbeat that’s building up in the scientific community,” Kevin Omland says. “There’s a broader problem with the scientific method that’s being increasingly acknowledged, and the test we’ve developed can at least play a small role, and I hope a big role, in addressing it.” Continue reading UMBC researchers develop new method to address deep-seated biases in science, starting with birds

UMBC’s Sebastian Deffner receives FQXi support for pioneering work to define laws of the universe

On the heels of a pioneering paper earlier this year, Deffner is off and running to help generate “a better, more concise understanding of the universe,” he says. He recognizes, however, that the journey will be a marathon, not a sprint. While it may take decades to complete this work, Deffner says, “Sometimes you have to take a risk and follow the dream.” Continue reading UMBC’s Sebastian Deffner receives FQXi support for pioneering work to define laws of the universe

UMBC physicist Can Ataca developing quicker, cheaper way to create novel, one-atom-thick materials

“We can predict a material’s properties before experimentalists can even synthesize it,” says Can Ataca. The new methods his lab is developing will make those predictions many times more accurate, supporting other scientists in their efforts to develop materials for applications from solar cells to gas masks. Continue reading UMBC physicist Can Ataca developing quicker, cheaper way to create novel, one-atom-thick materials

UMBC’s Rachel Brewster investigates cellular survival to improve the preservation of organs for transplant

Following clue after clue, Brewster’s lab is on a mission to enable new methods that would allow organs to last longer and travel farther to those in need. NIH has rewarded the lab’s noteworthy progress toward that end with a $400,000, two-year Exploratory Research Award to continue the work. Continue reading UMBC’s Rachel Brewster investigates cellular survival to improve the preservation of organs for transplant

South Africa to Colorado: Summer research helps UMBC STEM BUILD students chart their course

Traveling far from home for an immersive research experience can be transformational for an undergraduate. Living and working in a completely new environment, with new colleagues, can be intimidating, but it also offers powerful opportunities for growth. Five STEM BUILD students from UMBC took that plunge this summer, and all made lasting memories that will inform their paths forward. Continue reading South Africa to Colorado: Summer research helps UMBC STEM BUILD students chart their course

UMBC, NASA, and partners mount intensive Chesapeake Bay air-quality study

“My favorite part of this project is giving the students hands-on experience,” says Ruben Delgado. “They get to contribute to the process from start to finish.” Delgado is the UMBC lead on the project, in partnership with the NASA lead John Sullivan, Ph.D. ’15, atmospheric physics. Continue reading UMBC, NASA, and partners mount intensive Chesapeake Bay air-quality study

UMBC’s Matthew Baker teams up with Chesapeake Conservancy to create detailed stream maps

“If we want to understand how what we do on the landscape influences stream integrity and downstream health in places like the Chesapeake Bay,” says Matthew Baker, “then being able to map the connections between human activities on the land and the circulatory waters system that delivers their effects to the Bay is paramount.” Continue reading UMBC’s Matthew Baker teams up with Chesapeake Conservancy to create detailed stream maps

UMBC’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fest 2018 spotlights talents of emerging scientists

More than 30 faculty mentors, 120+ undergrad and high school students, and dozens more attendees celebrated the students’ achievements at the conclusion of their summer research experiences. “The experience helped us to think like scientists,” says Olufolake Majekodunmi ’21. Continue reading UMBC’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fest 2018 spotlights talents of emerging scientists

UMBC’s BUILD a Bridge to STEM internship offers students a transformative research experience

“I think the greatest thing about this experience was how we were treated as equals,” shared Zulekha Karachiwalla, a sophomore at Howard Community College. “It’s been challenging in a way that’s made us better scientists,” added Rahaf Alhabashi, also a sophomore at HCC. Continue reading UMBC’s BUILD a Bridge to STEM internship offers students a transformative research experience

UMBC astronomer Kenji Hamaguchi confirms binary star system produces cosmic rays

Producing cosmic rays, which also happens following a supernova, requires that particles be accelerated nearly to the speed of light. “We found that the accelerated particles are really energetic, which is much more than we expected from this star,” says Kenji Hamaguchi, the lead author on the study. Continue reading UMBC astronomer Kenji Hamaguchi confirms binary star system produces cosmic rays

UMBC and University of Limpopo partner to grow research and exchange opportunities

On June 12, leaders from UMBC and the University of Limpopo in South Africa formalized commitments to collaborate through joint research as well as faculty and student exchanges. UMBC has steadily grown its international partnerships with universities in Germany, Japan, Portugal, Peru, and other nations around the globe. This is the first such agreement between UMBC and a university in Africa. Continue reading UMBC and University of Limpopo partner to grow research and exchange opportunities

UMBC’s Eileen Meyer explains how big data is changing astronomy research

Recent research discovered thousands of black holes near the center of the Milky Way “by digging through old, long-archived data,” writes Eileen Meyer. “Astronomers are gathering an exponentially greater amount of data every day—so much that it will take years to uncover all the hidden signals buried in the archives.” Continue reading UMBC’s Eileen Meyer explains how big data is changing astronomy research

UMBC’s Songon An discovers new molecular mechanism likely involved in cancer cell metastasis

For the first time, An and his students have determined a function of a particular signaling pathway associated with metastasis. “Looking at this metabolic switch—which pathways are in use during metastasis versus when the cell is attached—may be where our research goes in the future,” says An. Continue reading UMBC’s Songon An discovers new molecular mechanism likely involved in cancer cell metastasis

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program honors 18 UMBC students and alumni

The large number of honorees “shows the quality of student we have here at UMBC and what they’re doing,” says Keith Harmon, director of the Meyerhoff Scholars Program. “It also shows the quality of their research experiences at UMBC, and the commitment of the faculty to mentoring these students as undergraduates.” Continue reading NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program honors 18 UMBC students and alumni

Jamshaid Shahir pursues research at the interface of math and biology through Ph.D. at UNC-Chapel Hill

“My time at UMBC has made me more resilient, learning from failure and overcoming it,” says Shahir. “I believe UMBC promotes a healthy balance between cooperation and competition that has motivated me to push myself harder, allowing me to grow as an aspiring scientist and a young adult.” Continue reading Jamshaid Shahir pursues research at the interface of math and biology through Ph.D. at UNC-Chapel Hill

Daniel Morris to pursue microbiology Ph.D. at Penn without losing sight of love for the arts

From theatre productions to HIV research, Daniel Morris has taken advantage of the breadth of opportunities UMBC offers. “Being involved with performing and social student groups helped me to appreciate the value of being a well-rounded individual,” he says. Continue reading Daniel Morris to pursue microbiology Ph.D. at Penn without losing sight of love for the arts

UMBC’s 40th Graduate Research Conference to focus on communication and collaboration

“GRC gives graduate students training on how to ace professional conferences in the field, and by participating, students practice how to communicate their research in an accessible way,” says Morgan Bunting, a gerontology Ph.D. student and member of the GRC planning committee. “It’s also just a wonderful way to engage the community and learn what amazing work is going on in the Graduate School.” Continue reading UMBC’s 40th Graduate Research Conference to focus on communication and collaboration

UMBC physicist Sebastian Deffner lays groundwork to better understand birth of the universe

Sebastian Deffner and co-author Anthony Bartolotta are extending thermodynamics, a fundamental pillar of physics, into uncharted territory by developing a way to describe microscopic systems with extremely high energy—just like the universe at the start of the Big Bang—for the first time. “There’s a lot we have to do next,” says Deffner. Continue reading UMBC physicist Sebastian Deffner lays groundwork to better understand birth of the universe

UMBC’s Chris Swan featured in The Atlantic for transforming vacant lots in Baltimore

While working in the city comes with challenges, Chris Swan hopes to discover a Goldilocks concoction of plants that tolerate the poor soil found in vacant lots, attract native pollinators, and reduce runoff of contaminant-laced water into the Chesapeake Bay. Continue reading UMBC’s Chris Swan featured in The Atlantic for transforming vacant lots in Baltimore

UMBC physicists develop cost-saving tech for detecting gravitational waves and other applications

Thomas Smith and Yanhua Shih are hoping their new research will bring about a sea change in the physics community, and encourage even the most traditional physicists that quantum interference applies in optics experiments using non-laser light. “It should change the whole picture,” says Shih. The work has implications for both fundamental physics and immediate applications. Continue reading UMBC physicists develop cost-saving tech for detecting gravitational waves and other applications

UMBC scientist opens a “new chapter for biochemistry” with $1.5 million NIH grant to study sugar metabolism

“I’m hoping that in the future many people will be working in this area of cellular biochemistry, studying many metabolic enzymes in living cells,” says Songon An, whose work is on the leading edge of “the next stage in biochemistry.” Continue reading UMBC scientist opens a “new chapter for biochemistry” with $1.5 million NIH grant to study sugar metabolism

UMBC space scientist further confirms Einstein’s theory through new solar research

To address such big ideas, “You need the solar system as your laboratory,” says Sander Goossens. NASA’s MESSENGER satellite collected data during its years orbiting Mercury that enabled the research team to answer questions about the Sun’s interior processes and our fundamental understanding of gravity. Continue reading UMBC space scientist further confirms Einstein’s theory through new solar research

UMBC’s Sebastian Deffner explains how the “quantum speed limit” may put brakes on quantum computers

People have pinned their hopes on quantum computers for the next leap forward in computing technology, “but my recent research has revealed that quantum computers will have limits of their own,” writes Sebastian Deffner, “and has suggested ways to figure out what those limits are.” Continue reading UMBC’s Sebastian Deffner explains how the “quantum speed limit” may put brakes on quantum computers

UMBC physicists’ finding has potential to springboard quantum computing to major advances

The new finding “is attacking the bugaboo of this whole class of possible quantum computers,” says Jason Kestner. And yet, like so much in science, the finding “is something we stumbled across almost by accident,” says Michael Wolfe ’17. Continue reading UMBC physicists’ finding has potential to springboard quantum computing to major advances