UMBC places 7th at Pan-Am Team Chess Championship

UMBC Chess finished seventh overall at the 2016 Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship, held in New Orleans, Louisiana, December 27–30.

The UMBC Chess A team finished in 10th place, with victories over the Texas Tech D team, the University of Oklahoma A team, the Columbia University B team, and the Arizona State University team. The UMBC Chess B team earned wins over the Texas Tech E team, and the University of Minnesota Twin Cities B team, and finished 45th overall.

UMBC’s 2016 A team includes international master Levan Bregadze ‘16, financial economics; grandmaster Tanguy Ringoir ‘19, economics; woman FIDE master Ewa Harazinska ’20, chemistry; and Maor Leker Locker ’20, biological sciences. The UMBC Chess B team includes Dobrynya Konoplev ‘18, computer science and mechanical engineering; Nathan Janus ’20, mathematics; Nathaniel Wong ‘18, Asian studies and political science; Abhilash Puranik ‘17, M.S. computer engineering; and Jeffrey Mich Carr ’19, interdisciplinary studies.

UMBC has participated in the Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship for 26 years, and has won or tied for first place at the Pan-Am Championship ten times. UMBC Chess has also continued on to the President’s Cup—known as the Final Four of College Chess—numerous times, but did not qualify for 2017.

At the 2015 Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship, the UMBC Chess A team finished in 10th place, and the UMBC Chess B team finished 31st overall. Alan Sherman, professor of computer science and electrical engineering, serves as director for UMBC Chess and Joel DeWyer, interim director of The Commons, is business manager.

UMBC Chess made headlines earlier in 2016 when Nazi Paikidze-Barnes, information systems, an alumna of the team, won the 2016 U.S. Women’s Chess Championship held in St. Louis.

Reposted from UMBC News. Image: Members of the UMBC Chess A team before attending the 2016 Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship. Photo by Marlayna Demond ‘11 for UMBC.

Prof. Marie desJardins elected a Member-at-large of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

UMBC CSEE Professor Marie desJardins was elected as a as Member-at-Large of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Professor desJardins will serve a four-year term as one of four AAAS members representing the field of Information, Computing, and Communication. AAAS members-at large are charged with assessing the performance and role of their section in the Association and working to involve its members in AAAS activities and professional interactions.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science is an international non-profit organization dedicated to advancing advance science, engineering, and innovation throughout the world for the benefit of all people. Established in 1848, the AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society, with more than 120,000 members.

UMBC cybersecurity instructor selected for prestigious Brookings Legis Congressional Fellows Program

Diana Parr, adjunct instructor in UMBC’s Cybersecurity Graduate Program, has been selected to participate in the highly competitive Brookings Legis Congressional Fellows Program. The year-long program allows professionals in the public and private sectors to work on Capitol Hill alongside individual members of the U.S. Congress or on a congressional committee to understand the policy-making side of government.

Diana Parr. “I am most excited about the opportunity to work for a member of Congress and to learn how the legislative process flows. It will be a huge time for change on Capitol Hill—a new president and many newly elected officials. I would like to bring my technical knowledge to the Hill as those new officials discuss legislation relating to cybersecurity,” she said.

In addition to her role at UMBC, Parr is a cybersecurity technical leader for the National Security Agency. She anticipates that her work in Congress will focus on cybersecurity education.

“There are many opportunities for new legislation this year to make our nation stronger and safer,” Parr said. “My biggest hope is to build awareness of the need to grow educational opportunities for young people, especially young women, in the growing field of cybersecurity.”

More information about the Brookings Legis Congressional Fellows Program can be found on the Brookings Institution website.

Republished from UMBC News, header image by Robert Lyle Bolton (CC by 2.0), headshot by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC.

talk: Learning to Predict the Future from Unlabeled Data, 1pm Fri 10/28, ITE229, UMBC

The UMBC CSEE Seminar Series Presents

Learning to Predict the Future from Unlabeled Data

Hamed Pirsiavash, CSEE Department, UMBC

1-2pm Friday, 28 October 2016, ITE 229

Anticipating actions and objects before they start or appear is a difficult problem in computer vision with several real-world applications. This task is challenging partly because it requires leveraging extensive knowledge of the world that is difficult to write down. We believe that a promising resource for efficiently learning this knowledge is through readily available unlabeled video. I will talk about our framework that capitalizes on temporal structure in unlabeled video to learn to anticipate human actions and objects. The key idea behind our approach is that we can train deep networks to predict the visual representation of images in the future. I will also talk about our recent work on a Generative Adversarial learNing (GAN) architecture that generates a novel video given the first frame.

Hamed Pirsiavash is an assistant professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) since August 2015. Prior to that, he was a postdoctoral research associate at MIT working with Antonio Torralba. He earned his PhD at the University of California Irvine under the supervision of Deva Ramanan (now at CMU). He performs research in the intersection of computer vision and machine learning.

Organizers: Professors Tulay Adali () and Alan T. Sherman ()

About the CSEE Seminar Series: The UMBC Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering presents technical talks on current significant research projects of broad interest to the Department and the research community. Each talk is free and open to the public. We welcome your feedback and suggestions for future talks.

Prof. Anupam Joshi comments on recent DDoS attack on MPT show

CSEE Prof. Anupam Joshi was interviewed on MPT’s Direct Connection about the recent massive distributed denial of service attack that was launched from a botnet from compromised IoT devices. The attack disrupted access to many popular Internet sites, including Twitter, Netflix, Amazon and PayPal. Dr. Joshi discussed the mechanism that used and what can be done to reduce the risks of similar attacks. He also pointed out that Mirai, the name of one of the software systems used by the attackers, is a Japanese word that means “future” and that this may be a harbinger of things to come.

UMBC’s Anthony Johnson appointed to IEEE Corporate Innovation Award Committee

CSEE Professor Anthony Johnson has been appointed by the IEEE to its Corporate Innovation Award Committee. The IEEE Corporate Innovation Award was established in 1985 to recognize outstanding innovation by an organization in an IEEE field of interest. The recipient must be a corporate, governmental, or academic entity working within the fields of interest to IEEE. Recent recipients include Intel, SanDisk, DARPA, and Applied Materials, Inc.

Dr. Johnson is the director of UMBC’s Center for Advanced Studies in Photonics Research. His research is in the area of ultrafast optics and optoelectronics- the ultrafast photophysics and nonlinear optical properties of bulk, nanoclustered, and quantum well semiconductor structures, untrashort pulse propagation in fibers and high-speed lightwave systems. He is a fellow of IEEE, the Optical Society of America, the American Physical Society, AAAS and the National Society of Black Physicists.

Tim Finin in the shark tank at AFCEA DC’s Cybersecurity Summit


CSEE faculty member Tim Finin was a judge in the Shark Tank event held at the AFCEA-DC’s 7th Annual Cybersecurity Summit on 11 October 2016. The summit is held each year by the DC chapter of AFCEA, the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association.

In the two shark tank session, cyber entrepreneurs presented their ideas to a panel of sharks that included cybersecurity experts from government, industry, academia and the venture capital community. The contestants tried to convince the sharks to choose their cyber technology over the other presentations. Early start-ups, as well as large federal system integrators, were eligible to sign up to present their latest and greatest technologies.

Two contestants were selected as winners, one from each session: Javelin Networks and Dark Cubed.  Videos of the two shark tank panels as well as other sessions are available at Cybersecurity TV.

CSEE lecturers receive grant to reduce academic integrity violations in CS classes

CSEE lecturers Katherine Gibson and Jeremy Dixon received a Hrabowski Fund for Innovation seed grant to study, develop and evaluate ways in which the campus can reduce academic integrity violations in computer science classes.

Their goal is to improve student support for academic integrity practices with a focus on UMBC’s first and second classes in Computer Science, CMSC 201 and CMSC 202. The team will implement an improved system for educating students on class policies that uses aural and visual resources and a mandatory quiz to test comprehension. The new approach will also include developing and promoting supplemental academic opportunities for students struggling with course material.

Established in 2012, the Hrabowski Fund for Innovation supports initiatives to enhance teaching and learning at UMBC, with specific emphasis on innovative approaches to increase student success. The competition is open to all tenured and tenure-track faculty; clinical instructional faculty; and lecturers, instructors and staff with full-time appointments. Proposals for the next round of Innovation Fund grants are due by October 14, 2016.

Prof. Adam Bargteil Elected as ACM SIGGRAPH Director-at-Large

Professor Adam Bargteil was elected to a three-year term as director-at-large for ACM SIGGRAPH, the premier professional organization for computer graphics and interactive techniques.

Dr. Bargteil completed his Ph.D. in computer science at the University of California at Berkeley, where he worked in the Berkeley Computer Animation and Modeling group. Before joining the UMBC CSEE department, he spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow in the Graphics Lab at Carnegie Mellon University and was an assistant professor in the School of Computing at the University of Utah. His primary research interests are in computer graphics and animation, especially using physics-based animation. He is also interested in scientific computing, numerical methods, computational physics, and computational geometry.

SIGGRAPH is a special interest group of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the world’s first and largest computing society. Since its beginning in 1974 as a small group of specialists in a previously unknown discipline, it has evolved to become an international community of researchers, artists, developers, filmmakers, scientists, and business professionals who share an interest in computer graphics and interactive techniques.

As a director-at-large, Professor Bargteil will be part of a nine-person committee charged with steering the organization on its mission to foster and celebrate innovation in computer graphics and interactive techniques. Like all voting members of the ACM SIGGRAPH Executive Committee, directors-at-large are elected by the ACM SIGGRAPH membership.

CSEE's Marc Olano at TEDx Towson: technology is changing the way we perceive reality

Marc Olano

Image: Marc Olano during the opening of the 3D Scanning Room at UMBC. Photo by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC.

CSEE professor Marc Olano talked at TEDx Towson on how technology has changed how we think about reality. “New technology has started blurring the lines between the real and the virtual,” he said at the May 5 event.  He focused on how new 3D technologies have evolved and used examples including 3D graphics, virtual reality, video games and 3D printers. Professor Olano ended his talk pointing out that while he had not mentioned science fiction, “I can feel the world of holodecks and replicators on the horizon.”  Read more about his TEDx talk at UMBC News and watch it on YouTube.

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