Wind, solar, and…flutter? UMBC’s Justin Webster is using math to move this emerging tech forward

“There’s no such thing as free energy, but there are lots of situations where there’s ambient energy available,” like a flapping flag, Justin Webster says. “You just have to find an efficient mechanism for turning it into meaningful, useful energy.” That’s what Webster and colleagues from Duke and Carnegie Mellon hope to help make happen with their new grant from the NSF. Continue reading Wind, solar, and…flutter? UMBC’s Justin Webster is using math to move this emerging tech forward

NASA and DoE fund UMBC’s Zhibo Zhang to pursue ambitious atmospheric research

“You can look at the data and you see discrepancies between the climate models and the observations,” says graduate student Kylie Hoffman. “Some of it we can explain, and some of it we can’t. Identifying the discrepancies and being able to modify the climate models to be more accurate down the road is very important.” Multiple projects in Zhibo Zhang’s lab are helping labs all over the world address questions like this. Continue reading NASA and DoE fund UMBC’s Zhibo Zhang to pursue ambitious atmospheric research

UMBC’s Stephen Freeland receives Trotter Prize for pioneering origins-of-life research

Freeland’s research has always centered on how and why living things evolved a system of genetic coding, which has taken him from biology to astrobiology and has inevitably led him to grapple with one of the big questions many people ask themselves: “Where do we come from?” Continue reading UMBC’s Stephen Freeland receives Trotter Prize for pioneering origins-of-life research

UMBC’s Qianqian Song receives FINESST Fellowship from NASA for research on dust clouds and climate

“When I visited UMBC, I felt like everyone knows each other and supports each other in the physics department,” Song remembers. “That’s why I chose here.” Now, she’s rising to become a leader in the field of dust aerosols, which play a role in climate change. Continue reading UMBC’s Qianqian Song receives FINESST Fellowship from NASA for research on dust clouds and climate

UMBC’s Tom Cronin, mantis shrimp vision expert, receives international Rank Prize for Optoelectronics

The mantis shrimp visual system “is just extraordinarily strange,” says Tom Cronin. His study of this remarkable system alongside colleague and co-winner Justin Marshall over the last 30 years has led to applications such as guided breast cancer surgery and detection of otherwise camouflaged objects, among others. Continue reading UMBC’s Tom Cronin, mantis shrimp vision expert, receives international Rank Prize for Optoelectronics

Leadership Montgomery recognizes UMBC’s Annica Wayman and Sunil Dasgupta

Wayman and Dasgupta are the first members of the UMBC community to be selected since the program’s inception in 1990, an indication of UMBC’s growing presence in Montgomery County through the Universities at Shady Grove. Christopher Steele shares, “These two remarkable leaders perfectly reflect the fact that UMBC offers its very best to Montgomery County.” Continue reading Leadership Montgomery recognizes UMBC’s Annica Wayman and Sunil Dasgupta

Phage Hunters: Popular UMBC research program opens doors to biotech careers

“All the techniques we learned in Phage Hunters directly translate to the work we do in the lab on a daily basis,” says Anna Kawa ’18. “Being on the cutting edge of biotech is really exciting,” adds Viet Dang ’18. “Just being right there, potentially changing history, is really exciting.” Continue reading Phage Hunters: Popular UMBC research program opens doors to biotech careers

CNMS celebrates a year of growth in partnerships to support student success

“The college has laid the foundation, and now is really in a strong position for growth,” says Dean Bill LaCourse. “It’s all about paying attention to the people and their needs,” he explains, so faculty, staff, and students can do their best work and create a thriving community together. Continue reading CNMS celebrates a year of growth in partnerships to support student success

UMBC’s Jeff Leips receives NIH grant to explore how genes affect immune system function as we age

With this new NIH grant, Jeff Leips says, “Ideally, I want to understand the mechanisms—what goes wrong with age and immunity? Once we know that, the next question is whether we can find ways to try to ameliorate the effects of aging on those traits.” Continue reading UMBC’s Jeff Leips receives NIH grant to explore how genes affect immune system function as we age

UMBC’s Sarah Stellwagen first in world to sequence genes for spider glue

Sequencing spider glue genes is like, “picking a needle from a haystack,” says UMBC postdoc Sarah Stellwagen. She is the lead author of a new G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics article on sequencing two spider glue genes for the first time. They’re massive — the largest has a coding sequence over 42,000 bases long. Continue reading UMBC’s Sarah Stellwagen first in world to sequence genes for spider glue

UMBC’s Glenn Wolfe develops new method to gauge atmosphere’s ability to clear methane, a potent greenhouse gas

“Hydroxyl radicals control the lifetime of nearly every reactive gas,” including methane, explains Glenn Wolfe. However, “globally, we don’t have a way to directly measure them.” His new research puts scientists on the path to changing that, and toward improving global climate models. Continue reading UMBC’s Glenn Wolfe develops new method to gauge atmosphere’s ability to clear methane, a potent greenhouse gas

Festive COEIT Celebration honors achievement, service, and community

The COEIT Celebration has quickly become a defining annual event for the community of faculty, staff, and students in UMBC’s College of Engineering and Information Technology (COEIT). The celebration showcases the achievements of COEIT’s numerous highly active student organizations. It’s also an opportunity for community members to reflect on the year and to honor those whose work has been essential to the College’s impact and growth. Continue reading Festive COEIT Celebration honors achievement, service, and community

Pitch perfect: 2019 Cangialosi Business Innovation Competition standouts

UMBC’s annual Cangialosi Business Innovation Competition is a Shark Tank-style event for students who are serious about starting companies to solve real challenges. Ahead of the competition, each team is paired an industry mentor who provides professional advice and learns about tools at UMBC that can support their business ideas. Continue reading Pitch perfect: 2019 Cangialosi Business Innovation Competition standouts

UMBC makes intro computing courses available to students in any major through X + Computing pilot

Computing and coding skills are becoming integral to many jobs and industries, but students outside of computing disciplines are not always exposed to these fundamentals. UMBC is working to change that with new learning pathways for non-computer science majors. Continue reading UMBC makes intro computing courses available to students in any major through X + Computing pilot

Fourteen UMBC students and recent alumni receive Fulbright awards, setting new record

Since 1970, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program has chosen more than 70 UMBC students and recent alumni to represent the United States through conducting research, teaching English, or pursuing graduate studies internationally. This year’s recipients will pursue Fulbright experiences in Rwanda, Malaysia, Colombia, Uzbekistan, and more. Continue reading Fourteen UMBC students and recent alumni receive Fulbright awards, setting new record

UMBC’s newest grads share what inspired their unique paths

When students come to UMBC, they bring with them life experiences that shape the program they choose, the mentors they find, the research questions they ask, and the communities they build on campus. Here, five UMBC students earning their degrees this month share experiences that shaped their paths. Continue reading UMBC’s newest grads share what inspired their unique paths

University president hugs undergraduate commencement speaker in congratulations following her remarks, while colleagues clap, all in graduation attire.

UMBC Meyerhoff Scholars replications at Penn State, UNC show notable success in first four years

“These findings confirm that Meyerhoff-like programs and student outcomes can be achieved elsewhere, even at institutions very different from UMBC,” says Michael Summers. “It is my hope that this initial effort has laid the groundwork for partnership expansion with an even broader range of institutions.”   Continue reading UMBC Meyerhoff Scholars replications at Penn State, UNC show notable success in first four years

“Researching” to “researcher”: UMBC students share why mentoring is the key

Mechanical engineering major Karla Negrete was drawn to Deepa Madan’s lab after she took a course about the chemical and physical aspects of materials. “Dr. Madan has been a mentor to me in many ways,” Negrete reflects, “but the most important has been her ability to believe in me and stand behind me.” Continue reading “Researching” to “researcher”: UMBC students share why mentoring is the key

UMBC labs share four essentials for undergraduate research success

#1: Developing scientist identity. For example, in Ruben Delgado’s lab, “Every undergraduate has a project that they can define when they first start and then fine tune it as they move along,” says Meredith Sperling ’19. “Graduate students and Ruben are great at providing guidance, pointing out possible pitfalls, etc., but at the end of the day it’s really our research and where we want to take it.” Continue reading UMBC labs share four essentials for undergraduate research success

Women wearing protective clothing works in a lab with faculty mentors blurred in the foreground.

UMBC’s Meyerhoff Scholars model heads to UC Berkeley and UCSD through a $6.9M investment from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

“It is truly thrilling to think about the national and global impact the Meyerhoff Scholars Program will have through partnerships like this,” says UMBC’s Michael Summers. “By working together we can help shape the future of our national Ph.D. pipeline, with inclusive excellence as a core shared value of our work.” Continue reading UMBC’s Meyerhoff Scholars model heads to UC Berkeley and UCSD through a $6.9M investment from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Biology graduate students from UMBC earn national honors for unique aquatic research

Whether wading in a cold stream or in the lab, mentors who foster independent thinking balanced with guidance—for research and for life—make the difference for UMBC graduate students on the national and international stage. A close-knit graduate student community adds a level of support that helps students succeed. Continue reading Biology graduate students from UMBC earn national honors for unique aquatic research

UMBC’s Bradley Arnold develops laser-based technology to safely and quickly detect IEDs and other hazards in combat zones

You’re a U.S. soldier, motoring across the desert at 60 miles an hour in an Army truck. Suddenly, a red light flashes on your dashboard—an instrument has detected traces of explosive material on the road surface ahead. You divert around the hazard and continue safely toward your destination. “There is currently nothing available to do this at this speed,” says Bradley Arnold. But that could soon change. Continue reading UMBC’s Bradley Arnold develops laser-based technology to safely and quickly detect IEDs and other hazards in combat zones

Alex Sestok, Ph.D. student in chemistry, at GRC 2018. Photo by Marlayna Demond '11 for UMBC.

New GEARS symposium offers professional development opportunities to grad students across disciplines

“We want to provide an avenue for people to learn skills that they’re not going to get in the classroom or the lab,” says Alex Rittle, Ph.D. student in geography and environmental systems and chair of the GEARS planning committee. Continue reading New GEARS symposium offers professional development opportunities to grad students across disciplines

UMBC recognizes Renetta Tull for transformative leadership advancing diversity in STEM

Renetta Tull has worked with students, faculty, and staff across UMBC and the University System of Maryland to increase diversity in STEM disciplines for over a decade. At the end of March, Tull will begin a new role as vice chancellor for diversity, equity, and inclusion at UC Davis. Continue reading UMBC recognizes Renetta Tull for transformative leadership advancing diversity in STEM

An infant's hand. Photo by Limor Zellermayer on Unsplash.com.

Class project to clinical trials: UMBC’s affordable infant incubator wins Global Health Research Award

Govind Rao and his students have developed a cardboard incubator to support premature babies in communities with limited resources, and in remote areas that do not have access to medical facilities. The inexpensive, easily constructed devices are poised to make a major impact. Continue reading Class project to clinical trials: UMBC’s affordable infant incubator wins Global Health Research Award

Letitia Dzirasa to serve as Baltimore City health commissioner

“As I’ve grown in my career, I’ve begun to understand just how blessed I was to be afforded the opportunity to attend college and pursue my dreams,” Letitia Dzirasa ’03 says. “As I was fortunate, it is my responsibility to reach back and help others, especially those most under-resourced.” Continue reading Letitia Dzirasa to serve as Baltimore City health commissioner

UMBC connects insightful students with growing companies through the Maryland Technology Internship Program

MTIP launched in fall 2018 to increase the number of paid technical internships in the state by providing financial assistance to businesses, as well as state and local agencies, to hire more interns. Continue reading UMBC connects insightful students with growing companies through the Maryland Technology Internship Program

UMBC scientists tackle persistent hurdles in the aquaculture industry with new NOAA grant

The grant will support efforts to optimize an innovative procedure for growing fish that can’t reproduce. “Everybody has been looking for another way to develop reproductively sterile fish,” Yonathan Zohar says. Sterile fish produce higher-quality meat and can’t breed with local populations if they escape from net pens. Continue reading UMBC scientists tackle persistent hurdles in the aquaculture industry with new NOAA grant

UMBC’s Ivan Erill finds resistance to modern drug in ancient bacteria

“The drug you design ten years from now may already be obsolete,” Ivan Erill says. In a new study in Frontiers in Microbiology, Erill and colleagues describe how bacteria that existed hundreds of millions of years ago were already resistant to an antibacterial drug not invented until the 1930s. Continue reading UMBC’s Ivan Erill finds resistance to modern drug in ancient bacteria