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.

CSEE Prof. Penny Rheingans elected to CRA Board of Directors

CSEE professor Penny Rheingans has been elected to the Computing Research Association (CRA) Board of Directors. She will serve a three year term.


Dr. Rheingans is a Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering and Director of the Center for Women in Technology (CWIT). As CWIT Director, she oversees a scholarship program for undergraduates committed to increasing gender diversity in the technology fields and develops programs to increase the interest and retention of women in technology programs.  She received a Ph.D in Computer Science from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and an AB in Computer Science from Harvard University. Her current research interests include the visualization of predictive models, visualization of data with associated uncertainty, volume rendering, information visualization, perceptual and illustration issues in visualization, non-photorealistic rendering, dynamic and interactive representations and interfaces, and the experimental validation of visualization techniques.

The CRA was founded in 1972 as an association of more than 220 North American academic departments of computer science, computer engineering, and related fields; laboratories and centers in industry, government, and academia engaging in basic computing research; and affiliated professional societies. Its mission is to enhance innovation by joining with industry, government and academia to strengthen research and advanced education in computing. CRA executes this mission by leading the computing research community, informing policymakers and the public, and facilitating the development of strong, diverse talent in the field.

CRA’s Board of Directors is a distinguished group of leaders in computing research drawn from academia and industry. Its members serve on CRA’s standing committees and lead the organization’s responses as new issues affecting computing research arise and evolve.

Prof. Marie desJardins: one of ten AI researchers to follow on Twitter

TechRepublic identified CSEE professor Marie desJardins as one of “10 artificial intelligence researchers to follow on Twitter”. Check out her feed at @mariedj17.

“Want to know what’s happening at the epicenter of artificial intelligence? Follow these 10 AI researchers who make the most of their 140 characters on Twitter.”

Marie desJardins recognized by CRA for Undergraduate Research Mentoring


CSEE professor Marie desJardins has received an Undergraduate Research Faculty Mentoring Award from the Computing Research Association (CRA). The award recognizes faculty who have provided exceptional mentorship, undergraduate research experiences, and, in parallel, guidance on admission and matriculation of undergraduate students to research-focused graduate programs in computing. The award will be presented to Dr. desJardins at the CRA Conference at Snowbird in July.

Dr. desJardins is a professor in UMBC’s Computer Science and Electrical Engineering department and Associate Dean of the College of Engineering and Information Technology. Her research is in the area of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and computer science education. Currently, her research group includes six undergraduates and five graduate students. Since 2005, she has mentored over 70 undergraduate students. At least 29 of them have enrolled in graduate programs in computing, with eight of the 29 having pursued a Ph.D. in computer science.

In announcing the award, the CRA noted that

“Many of the undergraduates Marie has mentored never imagined that they would be involved in research and consider graduate education. Marie’s strategy for working with undergraduate majors involves engaging with students in their first two years and building teams in which her more senior research students (graduate and undergraduate) help train and lead the junior students. She is known for her unconditional support, encouragement, and dedication. She encourages students from underrepresented minorities to get involved with national organizations and programs, including CRA-W, NCWIT, Grace Hopper, IJCAI and AAAI. She stays in touch with her mentees beyond their graduation, and she has helped some to become effective mentors themselves.”

This is the first year for the CRA Undergraduate Research Faculty Mentoring  Award, which was also given to Pieter Abbeel of the University of California, Berkeley and Judy Goldsmith from the University of Kentucky.

Founded in 1972, CRA‘s membership includes more than 200 North American organizations active in computing research: academic departments of computer science and computer engineering, laboratories and centers (industry, government, and academia), and affiliated professional societies (AAAI, ACM, CACS/AIC, IEEE Computer Society, SIAM, USENIX). Its mission is to enhance innovation by joining with industry, government and academia to strengthen research and advanced education in computing. CRA executes this mission by leading the computing research community, informing policymakers and the public, and facilitating the development of strong, diverse talent in the field.

Gymama Slaughter on self-powered, life-saving medical devices at TEDxBaltimore


CSEE professor Gymama Slaughter talked about her research to develop an implantable glucose sensor powered by chemical reactions in the human body at TEDxBaltimore in January. In her work in the UMBC Bioelectronics Laboratory, Slaughter concentrates on how chemical processes occurring naturally in the human body can power medical devices and eliminate the need for batteries in devices like blood glucose monitors. “If we could only remove batteries from the equation,” said Slaughter, “all of a sudden, we would have truly wearable and implantable sensors.”

Read more about her TEDxBaltimore talk here and see is starting at 25:50 in this video.

Rick Forno on SchmooCon 2016 closing panel

This past weekend, Dr. Rick Forno, CYBR GPD and Assistant Director of the UMBC Center for Cybersecurity, joined Dr. Matt Blaze (UPenn), Dr. Jeff Foster (UMCP), and COL (Ph.D) Greg Conti (USMA) on the closing plenary panel for Schmoocon 2016 in Washington, DC.

ShmooCon is an annual east coast hacker convention offering three days of an interesting atmosphere for demonstrating technology exploitation, inventive software and hardware solutions, and open discussions of critical infosec issues.  The first day is a single track of speed talks called One Track Mind.  The next two days bring three tracks:  Build It, Belay It, and Bring It On.

The panel examined the current state of information security programs in academia. Along the way they discussed issues around dealing with administration and the peculiarities of information security, the current state of information security research, attracting and vetting students/faculty, and generally what it’s like to be growing the next generation of information security professionals in a time where academia frequently is placed in the position of “building the bus while going down the road.”

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