Global Game Jam, UMBC, 26-28 January 2018

Global Game Jam at UMBC

For the 10th(!) year in a row, UMBC is the Baltimore host site for the Global Game Jam!

Where: Engineering (ENG) building on the UMBC campus
When: 5 PM January 26 – 5 PM January 28, 2018
Cost: Free, but advance registration is required (register at

What is a Game Jam?

In a game jam, participants come together to make a video game. Each participant joins a small team at the jam, and over a couple of day period creates a new, unique and creative video game according to the rules of the jam.

Game Jams are a great way to meet other developers, beef up your resume, or just learn what it takes to make a game. Teams need designers who can come up with a creative game idea according to the jam constraints, artists, programmers and testers, so there is something to do for participants at all levels of experience.

So what is the Global Game Jam?

The Global Game Jam takes place in the same 48 hours all over the world! The first year there were 53 host sites in the US, Canada, Brazil, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Belgium, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Norway, Scotland, Spain, Turkey, Wales, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. Last year had hundreds of host sites across the world.

The Global Game Jam will start 5 PM local time Friday, January 26th and end 5 PM local time Sunday, January 28th, 2018. All participants in the Global Game Jam will be constrained by the same theme and set of rules. After the theme is announced, participants will have the chance to brainstorm game ideas and pitch them to other participants to form development teams. After a couple of mad days of game development, all the games are demoed and submitted to the global game jam site.

Even if you don’t participate, you can track the action on twitter #ggj18 and #umbcggj, and try out the game submissions after the event is over.

For the full list of sites, more Global Game Jam information, and information on the keynote speaker and other exciting developments, be sure to visit the main Global Game Jam site.

UMBC Site Information

The UMBC Global Game Jam site will close from 11 PM to 7 AM each Friday and Saturday night. Non-local participants should plan accordingly.

We’ll have a mix of computers and development platforms:

  • Windows
  • Mac
  • WiFi (with your own laptop)

These have a mix of the following software (not all software on all platforms)

  • Visual Studio
  • Unity
  • Unreal Engine
  • Maya
  • NVIDIA PhysX
  • Adobe Creative Suite

What you should bring

Yourself. Your creativity.

Don’t come with a pre-planned team. Teams will be formed on-site after the game pitches are made. Also, don’t bring pre-made content (art, code, sounds, etc.) that is not publically available. The idea is not to see how well you anticipate the constraints, it is to see what each team can create during the Jam!

UMBC faculty, alumni and partners discuss cybersecurity and industry challenges


UMBC faculty, alumni and corporate partners discuss cybersecurity and industry challenges

Cybersecurity is regularly a headliner in the news, especially when personal information stored online has been compromised, whether through a breach, hack, or threat. On Thursday, December 7, UMBC hosted experts from industry and academia at the National Press Club to discuss the cyber challenges professionals face, and how those groups can work together to prepare future generations of cybersecurity professionals.

Scott Shane, a reporter with The New York Times, led the discussion with five panelists representing industry, small business, and higher education. “I think it’s fair to say the internet was built without adequate attention to security,” stated Shane, who writes about cyber and information attacks regularly. “It’s almost like somebody who starts a bank with branches all over the world, and after it’s up and running and has millions of account holders, suddenly starts to think about safes, locks on the doors and bulletproof glass. I think that’s sort of the stage that we’re at right now.”

UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski and Anupam Joshi, professor and chair of computer science and electrical engineering, and director of the Center for Cybersecurity at UMBC, were joined by alumni and partners who have been working on the challenge of educating the workforce together. Hrabowski explained that there are currently about 350,000 unfilled cybersecurity jobs, and that number is expected to continue to grow. By 2021, it is anticipated that there will be approximately three million job openings in cyber-related fields.

Over the course of his professional career, Nigel Faulkner, chief technology officer at T. Rowe Price, has experienced the emergence of technology and many changes. “As the CTO of a medium-large company, cyber is a defensive investment for us. The best thing that can happen is nothing happens,” Faulkner said, adding that he is always thinking about whether the company is investing enough, doing the right thing, and making the right connections in the industry to keep clients’ information safe.

As president and founder of TCecure, LLC, and cybersecurity academic innovation officer for University System of Maryland (USM), Tina Williams ’02, computer science, shared the importance of building security into technology from the beginning, rather than adding these features on at the “tail end of a development cycle.” Not only does her company handle security, they also monitor threats and risks that can compromise the technology’s health. In her role at USM, Williams represents the system as a whole to integrate academia and academic research, relationships, and resources into what’s taking place nationally, at the Federally Funded Research and Development Centers.

As head of UMBC’s Center for Cybersecurity, Joshi explained that UMBC is combating these national challenges by partnering with industry and government leaders to conduct research that addresses specific real-world needs that benefit both. Collaborative relationships, such as UMBC’s work with Northrop Grumman and T. Rowe Price, is one way that UMBC is working to cultivate the next generation of cybersecurity talent.

As an alumna of UMBC and a current employee at Northrop Grumman, Lauren Mazzoli ’15, computer science and mathematics, M.S. ’17, computer science, a systems engineer in the Future Technical Leaders Program at Northrop Grumman, discussed her experience in the Cyber Scholars Program. The Cyber Scholars Program works to increase the participation of women and underrepresented minorities in the field. Mazzoli explained that her experience at UMBC, in the Cyber Scholars Program, and working alongside mentors on and off-campus led her to be involved with continuing to encourage women to pursue careers in cybersecurity. “For me it’s been a product of the relationship between academia and industry, that have allowed me to find my own career path, and at the same time help others find theirs,” she explained, noting her passion for helping students consider careers in cybersecurity and related fields.

“We know there’s a huge workforce that we need and we can’t fill that pipeline. So yes, we need more women, yes, we need students of all backgrounds, but we need diversity of thought, experience, education, and problem-solving skills,” said Mazzoli, adding that it is important for students to know from a young age that cybersecurity is a field they can pursue.

Adapted from a UMBC News article article written by Megan Hanks Photo by Abnet Shiferaw ’11, visual arts.

National Press Club Event: Rise to Dominance of Cybersecurity Challenges


National Press Club Event: Rise to Dominance of Cybersecurity Challenges

Join UMBC and industry and government experts for a panel on how cybersecurity touches our everyday lives and how journalists can engage a wide range of readers in cybersecurity news. This panel will touch on topics ranging from online commerce to national conversations about security leaks. It will also explore how to best prepare the next generation of cybersecurity leaders to effectively tackle the challenges we are facing.

Thursday, 7 December 2017, 4:00-6:00pm
National Press Club, Washington, D.C.
Light refreshments will be served.

Registration by December 4 preferred.

Moderator: New York Times reporter Scott Shane

Featured panelists include:

  • Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, UMBC President
  • Nigel Faulkner, CIO, T. Rowe Price
  • Anupam Joshi, Director, UMBC Center for Cybersecurity; Professor and Chair, Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering
  • Lauren Mazzoli ’15, M.S ’17, Systems Engineer, Future Technical Leaders Program, Northrop Grumman Corporation
  • Tina Williams ’02, President, TCecure, LLC; Cybersecurity Academic Innovation Officer for University System of Maryland

Contact Candace Dodson-Reed at with questions.

talk: Brief Introduction to Creative AI Applications and Common Network Architectures, 1pm Fri 12/1

ACM Student Chapter

A Brief Introduction to Creative AI Applications and Common Network Architectures

Hang Gao, Ph.D. student, UMBC
1:00-2:00pm Friday, 1 December 2017, ITE 217, UMBC

Recent advance and success in artificial intelligence technologies, e.g., deep learning, has drawn heavy investment from both universities and industries, leading to the emergence of many applications and ideas that may deeply change our everyday’s life in the future.

This talk aims at sharing my knowledge about some inspiring cross domain AI applications in various areas. Among them, many are potential intelligent solutions to real-life issues. We will also give a brief introduction to some common networks, e.g., CNN and RNN, that are widely used as components of some much more complicated architectures.

Follow the ACM Student Chapter Facebook page for event updates and contact with any questions.

talk: Jim Kurose (NSF) An Expanding and Expansive View of Computing, 1pm Mon 11/20

Distinguished Lecture

An Expanding and Expansive View of Computing

Jim Kurose

Assistant Director, National Science Foundation
Directorate of Computer and Information Science and Engineering

1:00-2:15pm Monday, 20 November 2017, ITE325b, UMBC

Advances in computer and information science and engineering are providing unprecedented opportunities for research and education.  My talk will begin with an overview of CISE activities and programs at the National Science Foundation and include a discussion of current trends that are shaping the future of our discipline.  I will also discuss the opportunities as well as the challenges that lay ahead for our community and for CISE.

Dr. Kurose is on leave from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he is a  Distinguished Professor in the College of Information and Computer Sciences.  He has served in a number of administrative roles at UMass and has been a Visiting Scientist at IBM Research; INRIA; Institut EURECOM; the University of Paris; the Laboratory for Information, Network and Communication Sciences; and Technicolor Research Labs.

His research interests include network protocols and architecture, network measurement, sensor networks, multimedia communication, and modeling and performance evaluation.  Dr. Kurose has served on many national and international advisory boards and panels and has received numerous awards for his research and teaching.  With Keith Ross, he is the co-author of the textbook, Computer Networking, a top down approach (6th edition) published by Addison-Wesley/Pearson.

Dr. Kurose received his Ph.D. in computer science from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in physics from Wesleyan University.  He is a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE).

talk: A Practitioner’s Introduction to Deep Learning, 1pm Fri 11/17

ACM Tech Talk Series

​A Practitioner’s Introduction to Deep Learning

​Ashwin Kumar Ganesan, PhD student

1:00-2:00pm Friday, 17 November 2017​, ITE325, UMBC

In recent years, Deep Neural Networks have been highly successful at performing a number of tasks in computer vision, natural language processing and artificial intelligence in general. The remarkable performance gains have led to universities and industries investing heavily in this space. This investment creates a thriving open source ecosystem of tools & libraries that aid the design of new architectures, algorithm research as well as data collection.

This talk (and hands-on session) introduce people to some of the basics of machine learning, neural networks and discusses some of the popular neural network architectures. We take a dive into one of the popular libraries, Tensorflow, and an associated abstraction library Keras.

To participate in the hands-on aspects of the workshop, bring a laptop computer with Python installed and install the following libraries using pip.  For windows or (any other OS) consider doing an installation of anaconda that has all the necessary libraries.

  • numpy, scipy & scikit-learn
  • tensorflow / tensoflow-gpu (The first one is the GPU version)
  • matplotlib for visualizations (if necessary)
  • jupyter & ipython (We will use python2.7 in our experiments)

Following are helpful links:

Contact Nisha Pillai (NPillai1 at with any questions regarding this event.

talk: Winning NCCDC, and its practicality in the real world, 12pm 11/3, ITE231

The UMBC Cyber Defense Lab presents

Winning NCCDC, and its practicality in the real world

Bryan Vanek, CSEE, UMBC

12:00noon–1pm Friday, 3 November 2017, ITE 231

The National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (NCCDC) takes place every year and gives students an environment where they can develop understanding and operational competency in managing and protecting corporate network infrastructure and business information systems. Competitors participate as the blue team, and try to protect their machines from being infiltrated by the red team, while simultaneously keeping critical services up and running in order for a mock business to stay up and running. After an immense amount of preparation and strife, the UMBC Cyber Defense Team took home its first national title for the competition this year. But what exactly did the team do to prepare for this competition? What exactly happened at the different stages of the competition? And just how practical are these situations in the real world? One of the winning team members will be covering these questions in this week’s CDL, so we hope to see you there!

Bryan Vanek is a UMBC undergraduate computer science major and mathematics minor. In addition to being one of the winning team members for NCCDC, he is currently serving as the president for the UMBC Cyber Defense Team, and is a CWIT T-SITE scholar. He currently works at Interclypse Inc. as a security engineer and software developer, and has had multiple internships and jobs dealing with aspects of computer development and security. Most recently he has completed his second internship at the Department of Defense  in the Summer Internship Program for Information Assurance. Upon graduation he will be returning to the DoD as a member of the Computer Network Operations development Program.

Host: Alan T. Sherman,

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative: Career & Internship Info. Session & TechTalk, 5:30-7:15 Wed 11/1

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative- Career & Internship Information Session & TechTalk

Advancing Human Potential and Promoting Equal Opportunity

5:30-7:15pm  Wednesday, 1 November 2017,  Albin O. Kuhn Library, 7th Floor

Join representatives from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to learn about career and intern opportunities and listen to a technical talk by Jeremy Freeman, James Wang and Elizabeth Caley. Open to undergraduate and graduate students from all majors with a focus or interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math).

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, founded by Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan in December 2015, is dedicated to advancing human potential and promoting equal opportunity. We believe technology can help accelerate discovery and scale solutions to facilitate social change. We support science and technology that will help make it possible to cure, prevent, or manage all diseases by the end of the century.

We’re hiring data scientists, software engineers, biologists, designers and more. See for all the current positions. Internships will be posted shortly.

5:30 PM: CZI Overview & Career and Intern Opportunities

6:00 PM: TechTalk

  • Jeremy Freeman, Manager Computational Biology
  • James Wang, Director of Engineering, and
  • Elizabeth Caley, Chief of Staff, META: AI for Science

7:00 PM: Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Meet & Great (open networking)
Join us to hear about some of the projects underway to help accelerate scientific progress by bringing together scientists and engineers:

  • Overview of Chan Zuckerberg Science — our goals and what we do to bring tools and platforms to scientists
  • The Chan Zuckerberg Biohub — how an independent nonprofit research center brings together scientists, engineers, and data scientists to make fundamental discoveries and develop new technologies for the scientific community
  • Scientific Knowledge — the products, projects, and collaborations that help accelerate the sharing and awareness of scientific knowledge for researchers

IEEE Fall 2017 Arduino Workshop and Halloween Social, 5-7 Fri 10/27

IEEE Fall 2017 Arduino Workshop and Halloween Social, 5-7 Fri 10/27

The UMBC Student Branch of IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) will host a Halloween Social at 5-7:00pm Friday, 27 October 2017 in ITE 233. This is a fun event where attendees can build and take home electronic Halloween decorations. The Halloween Workshop will take place from 5pm to 7pm, and they will be giving out candies, Arduinos and various electronic equipment on a first come, first serve basis. If you would like to participate, please register here.

IEEE is the world’s largest professional association for the advancement of technology. The UMBC graduate and undergraduate student members share technical interests rooted in electrical and computer sciences, engineering and related disciplines. ​At their meetings and events, they present and promote current research trends at UMBC and elsewhere, host skills workshops, and provide our members the opportunity to expand their network of contacts.

talk: Bill Fisher (NCCOE) on IoT Security @ USG 10/30 6-8PM

The UMBC Cybersecurity program at USG Speaker Series Presents

The Internet of Things (IoT)

With speaker

William (Bill) Fisher, NCCoE Security Engineer

Building III – Room 4230 (Universities @ Shady Grove Campus)

Monday, October 30th 6:00-8:00 pm

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the inevitable result of years of Moore’s law – compact, cheap, chip platforms that can take ordinarily house hold items and make them data generating and collection devices that users can manage with their smart phone, web browser or their favorite automation platform. Physical proximity is no longer needed for things like cameras, door locks or thermostats. Instead users remotely access all of these “things” while on the go, even sharing some of their favorite things with friends and family, who need not own the thing, but simply be granted access through a web portal or mobile application. Like many technology trends before it, the IoT has brought great innovation but also great security challenges. These challenges go beyond standards and technology to economic and market forces that hinder security best practices, even for some of the most basic cyber hygiene. Join Bill Fisher of the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence for a presentation on these challenges and basic mitigations organizations can put into place to help alleviate the risk that the IoT devices pose to consumers and the enterprise.

Speaker Bio:

Bill Fisher is a security engineer at the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE). In this role, he is responsible for leading a team of engineers that work collaboratively with industry partners to address cybersecurity business challenges facing the nation. He leads the center’s Attribute Based Access Control (ABAC) project, Mobile Application Single Sign On (SSO) for the Public Safety and First Responder Sector, and is part of the ITL Cybersecurity for IoT program. Prior to his work at the NCCoE, Mr. Fisher was a program security advisor for the System High Corporation in support of the Network Security Deployment division at the Department of Homeland Security. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from American University and a master’s degree in cybersecurity from Johns Hopkins University.

Host: Dr. Behnam Shariati () and UMBC Graduate Cybersecurity Association at USG

1 2 3 23