UMBC Cyber Dawgs win Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition

Over the weekend, the UMBC Cyber Dawgs took first place in the Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition, which was held virtually. Now, they head to the national competition. “We are so proud of our team, and their ability to work together as a team under such extraordinary conditions,” says faculty advisor Charles Nicholas. Continue reading UMBC Cyber Dawgs win Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition

UMBC’s Tagide deCarvalho wins Olympus Image of the Year contest with striking portrait of a “water bear”

“I knew the moment I saw this colorful specimen that it was going to be a remarkable image,” Tagide deCarvalho says. “I love sharing the fascinating things I see in the microscope with other people.” Continue reading UMBC’s Tagide deCarvalho wins Olympus Image of the Year contest with striking portrait of a “water bear”

UMBC researchers offer knowledge, innovation during the time of COVID-19

At a time when information and misinformation are coming at us from all directions, and everyone is looking for answers, UMBC researchers are stepping up. They’re working hard to answer pressing questions about COVID-19 and sharing their expertise to help the public stay healthy and make informed decisions. Continue reading UMBC researchers offer knowledge, innovation during the time of COVID-19

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UMBC leads research team to study COVID-19-related discrimination against Chinese Americans

The researchers will collect data on public opinion, the social climate, and the experiences of Chinese-American families. They seek to capture the current moment and make it possible for future researchers to study this phenomenon in the longer term. Continue reading UMBC leads research team to study COVID-19-related discrimination against Chinese Americans

International team led by UMBC identifies new bird species in the South Pacific

“Even in this well-studied group of birds, that’s been a textbook example since 1942, we did not really know what the units of biodiversity were,” says Kevin Omland. He and postdoc Anna Kearns have now contributed significant new research to help answer that question, and their findings have major conservation implications. Continue reading International team led by UMBC identifies new bird species in the South Pacific

UMBC once again ranks among the top 150 universities in federal research funding

The Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) survey aggregates federal research and development expenditures for fiscal year 2018. The survey data combines total funding from all federal agencies and also provides information on research funding from non-federal and non-governmental sources.  Continue reading UMBC once again ranks among the top 150 universities in federal research funding

UMBC’s Suzanne Ostrand-Rosenberg recognized for 40-year career advancing cancer immunotherapy

After 41 years at UMBC, Suzanne Ostrand-Rosenberg, professor emerita of biological sciences, retired in August 2018 and moved to Utah to enjoy the mountains with her spouse. But she couldn’t stay away from her research and mentoring for long. “I just can’t quit it,” Rosenberg says. “I realized I really did not want to stop.” Continue reading UMBC’s Suzanne Ostrand-Rosenberg recognized for 40-year career advancing cancer immunotherapy

Sensing an opportunity to improve wind energy: Maryland Innovation Initiative and bwtech help UMBC faculty commercialize their research

Wind turbines are massive. UMBC engineer Soobum Lee thinks about their size as an enormous opportunity and also a challenge. Today, sensors used to maintain turbines need their batteries replaced every two years, a challenge when they are on blades hundreds of feet in the air. Lee came up with a novel solution and received state and university support to make it a reality. Continue reading Sensing an opportunity to improve wind energy: Maryland Innovation Initiative and bwtech help UMBC faculty commercialize their research

Wearable sensors and infrared cameras: Introducing UMBC’s User Studies Lab

“This lab enables us to harness the precise study of movement and perception, which will open up doors of collaborations across many different disciplines that are interested in its study. Collaborative work through this lab will bring us closer in our joint pursuit of knowledge of human behavior and interaction with and through technology,” says Vandana Janeja, interim chair of information systems. Continue reading Wearable sensors and infrared cameras: Introducing UMBC’s User Studies Lab

The Carnegie Foundation honors UMBC as a leading community-engaged university

“Carnegie’s definition of community engagement emphasizes the importance of reciprocity and mutual benefits in the partnerships that are created,” explains Michele Wolff, director of the Shriver Center. “Shriver Center programs ask us to think about how we can make our partnerships more authentic, to effectively meet the needs of all involved. In this way, the longstanding approach of the Shriver Center also reflects the Carnegie Foundation’s principles of reciprocity and mutuality.” Continue reading The Carnegie Foundation honors UMBC as a leading community-engaged university

U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence selects UMBC Training Centers to design a cyber curriculum for soldiers

The U.S. Army recently selected UMBC Training Centers as the sole recipient of an award to develop a novel cybersecurity curriculum for soldiers. UMBC was the only recipient selected, explains Kent Malwitz, president of UMBC Training Centers. This relatively rare move by the Army affirms the quality of UMBC Training Centers’ proposal and existing programs.  Continue reading U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence selects UMBC Training Centers to design a cyber curriculum for soldiers

Teaching among trees: Field research project grows UMBC partnership with community colleges

“It’s a great example of the relationships we’re building with the community colleges,” Sarah Jewett says. “What I love about this program is that it utilizes curricular infrastructure that’s in place at the community colleges, and networks and research expertise here at UMBC. We’re really drawing on the assets at both institutions to make this work.” Continue reading Teaching among trees: Field research project grows UMBC partnership with community colleges

UMBC’s Jiaqi Gong receives $1M NIH grant for wearable sensor to help breast cancer survivors maintain complex medication schedules

The goal of the project is to design an intelligent, wearable sensor system for breast cancer survivors to help them more closely follow their prescribed medication routine. “We will focus on understanding the links between environmental, personal, and behavioral contexts of medication-taking behavior,” Gong says. Continue reading UMBC’s Jiaqi Gong receives $1M NIH grant for wearable sensor to help breast cancer survivors maintain complex medication schedules

UMBC’s Pelton and Daniel are developing light-driven chips to enable super-fast computing

Physicist Matt Pelton and chemist Marie-Christine Daniel are both engaged in photonics research, which is “the idea of using light—photons—to do information processing instead of using electrons like you do in electronics,” explains Pelton. The work poses challenges, but if Daniel, Pelton, and their students succeed, they’ll be setting the stage for a revolution in computing. Continue reading UMBC’s Pelton and Daniel are developing light-driven chips to enable super-fast computing

UMBC researchers work to support first responders through NSF-funded stress-response technology

Through a $370,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, UMBC researchers are using a wristband to collect stress level information from first responders during simulations that mimic on-call situations. They are developing a visual display system to aid first responders in understanding and reflecting on how they react to stressful situations.  Continue reading UMBC researchers work to support first responders through NSF-funded stress-response technology

UMBC receives NSF support to enhance data science courses, research, and student experiences

Data science has rapidly grown at UMBC, and faculty are now working to enhance data science courses, research, and student experiences. The goal is to ensure they are inclusive, empowering, and effective in preparing students to tackle the urgent problems our society is working to solve, and can scale up to meet student and workforce demands. Continue reading UMBC receives NSF support to enhance data science courses, research, and student experiences

UMBC’s Lisa Kelly receives NSF grant to develop a safer, greener chemical production method

“The approach that we propose will induce chemical reactions that would otherwise need a lot of harsh reagents and organic solvents, and just a lot of nasty stuff,” Lisa Kelly says. “This is a greener route.” The technique could support efforts from drug development to synthetic materials production. Continue reading UMBC’s Lisa Kelly receives NSF grant to develop a safer, greener chemical production method

UMBC students confront ethical challenges through new computing curriculum

“We want to capitalize on this curiosity and diversity of perspectives,” says Helena Mentis. “Alongside technical skill development, every week we want to introduce challenges around ethics, equality, human behavior, and societal impact, reiterating that a fundamental component of development is thinking through implications.”  Continue reading UMBC students confront ethical challenges through new computing curriculum

Team led by UMBC’s Mehdi Benna is the first to map a planet’s global wind patterns, and they weren’t Earth’s

The research was made possible by “a clever reengineering in flight of how to operate the spacecraft and the instrument,” Mehdi Benna says. “And by doing both—the spacecraft doing something it was not designed to do, and the instrument doing something it was not designed to do—we made the wind measurements possible.” Continue reading Team led by UMBC’s Mehdi Benna is the first to map a planet’s global wind patterns, and they weren’t Earth’s

UMBC broadens international learning opportunities: Stories from five continents

“It is one thing for international partners to hear how UMBC is diverse and inclusive, it is another to actually see how it works in person,” reflects Rashed. “The success of this program, one we hope to continue, depends on the continued committed of the entire campus to the preparation of teachers from all over the world. This is where the real-life implementation of diversity and inclusion is invaluable.” Continue reading UMBC broadens international learning opportunities: Stories from five continents

UMBC’s Aaron Smith examines molecular role of iron in human health with $1.5M in new grants

“Metals open up the toolbox for the protein to be able to accomplish so much more,” Aaron Smith says. His new NSF and NIH funding will allow Smith’s lab to increase understanding of how one metal, iron, is involved in adding molecules to proteins after they are made. This process can significantly change a protein’s function and play a role in disease. By focusing at the molecular level, “We think that we fit in very nicely in this research space,” Smith says. “We’re filling a niche that remains really uncovered at this point.” Continue reading UMBC’s Aaron Smith examines molecular role of iron in human health with $1.5M in new grants

We have liftoff! UMBC-developed mini satellite launched into space to study climate, air quality

“As an engineer, I’m looking to develop technology that can make the science happen,” says Dominik Cieslak. That’s exactly what Cieslak and the rest of the team have accomplished with their cubesat, HARP. When it is released from the International Space Station in about a month, it will collect new kinds of information about clouds and tiny particles in the atmosphere to increase our understanding of climate and air quality. Continue reading We have liftoff! UMBC-developed mini satellite launched into space to study climate, air quality

UMBC expands offerings at The Universities at Shady Grove to grow Maryland’s STEM workforce

The new Biomedical Sciences and Engineering Facility at The Universities at Shady Grove is a big piece of the expansion. “This building symbolizes an opportunity to bring the disciplines together to address societal problems,” Annica Wayman says, “and to discover how they can work together to address the biggest challenges.” With state-of-the-art scientific equipment and ample opportunity for interaction among students, faculty, and biotech professionals, the facility will enhance programming at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Continue reading UMBC expands offerings at The Universities at Shady Grove to grow Maryland’s STEM workforce

UMBC spotlights the power of collaboration and community in opening of new science building, GRIT-X talks

“Already there are research teams working in this building on such complex issues as age-related disease, environmental degradation, and health disparities,” says Dean Bill LaCourse. Solutions to our most complex challenges “are found through a convergence of talent and effort,” bringing together the perspectives of people from different fields and backgrounds. This is what the new building is designed to achieve. Continue reading UMBC spotlights the power of collaboration and community in opening of new science building, GRIT-X talks

MHEC selects UMBC’s Jordan Troutman, who bridges technology and policy, as student commissioner

Jordan Troutman has been selected to be the student commissioner for the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC). He’s a computer science and mathematics major passionate about applying his work at the intersection of technology and policy to improve society.  Continue reading MHEC selects UMBC’s Jordan Troutman, who bridges technology and policy, as student commissioner

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UMBC receives $2.8M from NSF for master’s program to prepare a diverse environmental science workforce

“The primary mission of UMBC is inclusive excellence, and our program applies that mission to the environmental sciences,” says Tamra Mendelson. “Our main objectives are to bring a diversity of backgrounds to the environmental workforce and to improve the way that scientific research is applied to environmental problems.” Continue reading UMBC receives $2.8M from NSF for master’s program to prepare a diverse environmental science workforce

New UMBC study shows powerful effects of road salt and urban infrastructure on waterways

The relationship between urbanization and water chemistry was “more complex than we thought,” Matthew Baker says. Overall, though, he says, “We need to pay closer attention to the materials we’re using in and on infrastructure,” and “we definitely have to lower the amount of road salt we’ve been applying,” to keep our local ecosystems healthy. Continue reading New UMBC study shows powerful effects of road salt and urban infrastructure on waterways

Spacecraft and planet

UMBC’s Sander Goossens determines structure of Mercury’s core as part of NASA team

Sander Goossens and his team used their new analysis “to see if there was anything we could say about the planet’s deep interior that people hadn’t been able to say before.” There was: The team discovered the percentage of the planet’s core that was solid versus molten, which provides clues to the evolution process for Mercury and other planets. Continue reading UMBC’s Sander Goossens determines structure of Mercury’s core as part of NASA team

National Institute on Aging funds UMBC’s Erin Green to investigate how cells do “quality control” as we age

The project will explore the function of an enzyme called Set6, about which little is known. Erin Green hopes to “break open a broader understanding in the field of what its role is, especially in the context of protein quality control,” which could inform pharmaceutical development for treatment of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.  Continue reading National Institute on Aging funds UMBC’s Erin Green to investigate how cells do “quality control” as we age

UMBC’s Minjoung Kyoung to help develop first 4D map of a cell’s metabolic pathways

“I’ve always been interested in how proteins are working in the real system, in real time, in real action,” Minjoung Kyoung says. She’ll get to explore those dynamics with funding from a new five-year, $1.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. The pathways she’s studying are relevant to some of the most pervasive diseases in the country. “My dream is to be able to predict disease before symptoms occur,” she shares. “That would be the best.” Continue reading UMBC’s Minjoung Kyoung to help develop first 4D map of a cell’s metabolic pathways

UMBC’s Lee Blaney and federal, state partners publish landmark study on contaminants in the Chesapeake Bay

UMBC’s Lee Blaney and research partners have published a landmark study on contaminants of emerging concern in the Chesapeake Bay that quantifies concentrations of antibiotics, estrogenic hormones, and UV-filters in multiple locations of the Bay. The work highlights the importance of understanding how previously unexamined chemicals impact the environment. Continue reading UMBC’s Lee Blaney and federal, state partners publish landmark study on contaminants in the Chesapeake Bay

Open spaces nurture open minds in UMBC’s new Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building

“When you share a kitchenette with a biologist, a chemist, an engineer and somebody from public policy, it’s inevitable that new things will brew,” says Greg Szeto, who is moving in to the ILSB with the new Translational Center for Age-Related Disease and Disparities. The ILSB “is a total game-changer for me,” adds Chris Hawn. With its state-of-the-art instrumentation, “There are protocols where I can get ‘level unlocked.’ It just opens things up for me and my students.” Continue reading Open spaces nurture open minds in UMBC’s new Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building

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