Two scientists in protective suits stand next to a piece of equipment with a large lens

NASA, Dept. of Energy grant prestigious research awards to UMBC physics Ph.D. students

Noah Sienkiewicz, the NASA recipient, says UMBC’s partnerships with the agency helped set him up for success. “I’ve gotten to be more exposed to actual NASA work, and sit in meetings with NASA officials,” he says. “So, as far as the childhood dream of ‘I want to work for NASA,’ I feel like it’s been a great stepping stone to doing that.” Continue reading NASA, Dept. of Energy grant prestigious research awards to UMBC physics Ph.D. students

UMBC’s Anthony Johnson, pulse laser innovator, elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Being elected as a member of the Academy is one of the highest honors a scholar can receive. Founded in 1780, its members, who come from every field of study, “examine new ideas [and] address issues of importance to the nation and the world.” Anthony Johnson has spent his career dedicated equally to creative applications of ultrashort pulse lasers and to teaching and mentorship. Continue reading UMBC’s Anthony Johnson, pulse laser innovator, elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

UMBC students set new record in prestigious Goldwater Scholarships for STEM research

Four UMBC students have been named 2021-2022 Goldwater Scholars, setting a new university record for the most Retrievers to earn this prestigious undergraduate award in a single year. “The impact that these students will have in their respective fields is immense, and they are ready for the challenge,” says April Householder, director of undergraduate research and prestigious scholarships. Continue reading UMBC students set new record in prestigious Goldwater Scholarships for STEM research

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URCAD 2021 showcases creativity, resilience of UMBC student researchers

Due to the constraints of COVID, student researchers have become even more creative in using technology not just to display their research, but to pursue their research at a time when in-person interviews, fieldwork, and traditional performances aren’t possible. Students learned to do interviews online and navigated lab research within physical distancing guidelines. They also responded to the pandemic by examining the changes in society and in themselves. Continue reading URCAD 2021 showcases creativity, resilience of UMBC student researchers

UMBC’s Anthony Johnson honored for decades of research, mentorship, service

Anthony Johnson has received the Stephen D. Fantone Distinguished Service Award from the Optical Society. His long-term commitment to optics includes major research achievements, dedicated mentoring to students from all backgrounds, and leadership roles in several professional organizations. Continue reading UMBC’s Anthony Johnson honored for decades of research, mentorship, service

Quantum computing, but even faster? UMBC researchers explore the possibilities with new NSF grant

Quantum computers have the potential to revolutionize communications, cybersecurity, and more. But as Sebastian Deffner notes, “Even quantum computing has shortcomings.” Deffner and Nathan Myers will explore ways to work around some of quantum computing’s limits with a new NSF grant. And in the process, they just might redefine the fundamental laws of physics. Continue reading Quantum computing, but even faster? UMBC researchers explore the possibilities with new NSF grant

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NASA awards UMBC team $1.4M to develop AI that improves how computers process climate data from satellites

“Now we have so much raw data. So how do we analyze it? How do we make it useful for the research community?” asks Jianwu Wang. As data archives balloon, the capabilities of artificial intelligence are rapidly increasing. There is also an urgent need to understand Earth’s systems as they shift due to climate change. All of these factors drove Wang and his collaborators to find ways to help researchers access satellite data much faster. Continue reading NASA awards UMBC team $1.4M to develop AI that improves how computers process climate data from satellites

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Support comes full circle: When students become mentors

“I love to help people succeed, so for me, if others have put time into my career and my future, I feel that it’s only right to reciprocate that love to other students,” says Cherie Tebah ’20. She and other UMBC students have found ways to support their classmates while still pursuing their own degrees. Continue reading Support comes full circle: When students become mentors

Two scientists in protective suits stand next to a piece of equipment with a large lens

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 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

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

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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 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 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

UMBC ranks among top 150 U.S. universities in federal research funding

The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently released its latest Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) survey, including UMBC among the top 150 U.S. universities in federal research and development expenditures for fiscal year 2017. Continue reading UMBC ranks among top 150 U.S. universities in federal research funding

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, 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

New UMBC initiative celebrates exceptional faculty dedication to teaching and scholarship

UMBC’s Office of the Provost has launched a university-wide initiative to celebrate faculty who go above and beyond as educators, scholars, and leaders on campus and in their fields. This initiative strives to highlight tenure-track junior faculty, lecturers, and adjunct, research, and clinical faculty whose work is essential to UMBC’s success. Continue reading New UMBC initiative celebrates exceptional faculty dedication to teaching and scholarship

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

Congrats, Class of 2018! UMBC celebrates students making history.

UMBC students have rewritten the record books in 2018. With graduation around the corner, and our soon-to-be new Retriever alumni preparing for graduate school, careers, and research around the world, we reflect on all they have achieved. Continue reading Congrats, Class of 2018! UMBC celebrates students making history.

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 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 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

UMBC students take flight to study weather, pollution in multi-institution initiative

Handling in-flight challenges on the spot showed the students “how the science gets done in real life,” Brian Carroll says. The flight experience met the initiative’s goal to provide experiential learning opportunities to expand students’ perspectives. Continue reading UMBC students take flight to study weather, pollution in multi-institution initiative