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.”

Multiple computing tenure-track and lecturer faculty positions

Multiple Tenure-track Faculty Positions Starting Fall 2016

Computer Science and Electrical Engineering
University of Maryland, Baltimore County


UMBC’s Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering invites applications for three tenure-track Assistant Professor positions to begin in Fall 2016. Exceptionally strong candidates for higher ranks may be considered. Applicants must have or be completing a Ph.D. in a relevant discipline, have demonstrated the ability to pursue a research program, and have a strong commitment to undergraduate and graduate teaching. Candidates will be expected to build and lead a team of student researchers, obtain external research support and teach both graduate and undergraduate courses.

All areas of specialization will be considered, but we are especially interested in candidates in the following areas: information assurance and cybersecurity; mobile, wearable and IoT systems; big data with an emphasis on machine learning, analytics, and high-performance computing; knowledge and database systems; hardware systems and experimental methods in circuits, devices, VLSI, FPGA, and sensors; cyber-physical systems; low-power systems; biomedical and healthcare systems; and methods and tools for hardware-software co-design.

The CSEE department is energetic, research-oriented and multi-disciplinary with programs in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Cybersecurity. Our faculty (34 tenure-track, six teaching and 15 research) enjoy collaboration, working across our specializations as well as with colleagues from other STEM, humanities and the arts departments and external partners. We have 1500 undergraduate CS and CE majors and 400 M.S. and Ph.D. students in our CS, CE, EE and Cybersecurity graduate programs. We have awarded 276 PhDs since our establishment in 1986. Our research supported by a growing and diverse portfolio from government and industrial sponsors with over $5M in yearly research expenditures. We work to help new colleagues be successful by providing startup packages, reduced teaching loads and active mentoring.

UMBC is a dynamic public research university integrating teaching, research and service. As an Honors University, the campus offers academically talented students a strong undergraduate liberal arts foundation that prepares them for graduate and professional study, entry into the workforce, and community service and leadership. UMBC emphasizes science, engineering, information technology, human services and public policy at the graduate level. We are dedicated to cultural and ethnic diversity, social responsibility and lifelong learning. The 2015 US News and World Report Best Colleges report placed UMBC fourth in the Most Innovative National Universities category and sixth in Best Undergraduate Teaching, National Universities. The Chronicle of Higher Education named UMBC as a Great College to Work For, a recognition given to only 86 universities. Our strategic location in the Baltimore-Washington corridor puts us close to many important federal laboratories and agencies and high-tech companies, facilitating interactions, collaboration, and opportunities for sabbaticals and visiting appointments.

UMBC’s campus is located on 500 acres just off I-95 between Baltimore and Washington DC, and less than 10 minutes from the BWI airport and Amtrak station. The campus includes the bwtech@UMBC research and technology park, which has special programs for startups focused on cybersecurity, clean energy, life sciences and training. We are surrounded by one of the greatest concentrations of commercial, cultural and scientific activity in the nation. Located at the head of the Chesapeake Bay, Baltimore has all the advantages of modern, urban living, including professional sports, major art galleries, theaters and a symphony orchestra. The city’s famous Inner Harbor area is an exciting center for entertainment and commerce. The nation’s capital, Washington, DC, is a great tourist attraction with its historical monuments and museums. Just ten minutes from downtown Baltimore and 30 from the D.C. Beltway, UMBC offers easy access to the region’s resources by car or public transportation.

Applicants should submit a cover letter, a brief statement of teaching and research experience and interests, a CV, and three letters of recommendation at Interfolio. Applications received by January 15, 2016 are assured full consideration and those received later will be evaluated as long as the positions remain open. Send questions to and see the CSEE jobs page for more information.

We are committed to inclusive excellence and innovation and welcome applications from women, minorities, veterans, and individuals with disabilities. UMBC is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer.

Professor Gymama Slaughter to speak at 2016 TEDxBaltimore

CSEE Professor Gymama Slaughter will talk about her research on Human Powered Biosensors as part at the 2016 TEDxBaltimore conference in January. The one-day conference will be held at Morgan State University on January 14, 2016 with the theme OUTLIERS: ideas that challenge traditional thinking. She will join about 15 other speakers each sharing an “idea worth spreading” with the expected 1,500 attendees.

Dr. Slaughter’s research focuses on the application of sensor-processor integration, bioelectronics design and theory, optimization methods for physical circuit design, biologically inspired computing (neural networks), and sensor interfacing and wireless networking and communications. You can find out more about the work that she and her students are doing by visiting her Biolectronics Laboratory website.

Ting Zhu receives NSF grant to develop localization and mapping techniques



CSEE professor Ting Zhu received an award from the National Science Foundation to develop improved techniques for identifying a person’s location in dynamically changing environments. The award of $250,000 will support the three-year research project, Real-Time Indoor and Outdoor Simultaneous Localization and Mapping.

Location-based service was ranked number one for the top technology trends by a recent survey in Time magazine, with potential applications in the area of location-based advertising, recommendation, navigation, asset recovery, and gaming. While many companies are working to improve location-based services, most existing indoor and outdoor maps are relatively static. In reality, many indoor and outdoor environments are highly dynamic, raising the need for novel techniques and systems to improve simultaneous localization, mapping, and navigation in modern cities. Moreover, in tasks such as disaster recovery, teams of individuals must cooperate with one another and benefit from accurately knowing their relative positions.

Dr. Zhu’s project introduces a holistic approach for providing real-time, light-weight, and accurate relative positioning to detect peers in both indoor and outdoor environments. The research will advance the development of both the theoretical foundations and practical algorithms for simultaneous localization and mapping.

6th Annual CSEE Welcome Back Picnic, 1-2:30 Wed Sept 9th, 312 University Cntr


The UMBC ACM Student Chapter Committee invites CSEE students, faculty and staff to its sixth annual Welcome Back Picnic. For more information, contact ua20019 at

Hi All,

To the old timers, welcome back to UMBC! Hope you guys had a great summer! To all the new ones, welcome to UMBC! specifically to CSEE!

Before the semester takes its toll, we @ ACM Student Chapter and CSEE department, would like to invite you to our welcome back picnic (= free food).

It’s a opportunity to socialize with everyone and for the faculty and students to meet each other.

What: Sixth annual CSEE Welcome Back Picnic
Who: Limited to CSEE faculty, staff and students
Date: Wednesday, September 9th, 2015
Time: 1:00pm to 2:30pm
Location: University Center, Room 312

So get ready to dig into some good food and conversations. Have an amazing year ahead! Welcome once again,

UMBC ACM Student Chapter Committee and CSEE department

CSEE faculty comment on Ashley Madison data breach


CSEE faculty Anupam Joshi and Rick Forno were interviewed this week by several media outlets on the impact and cybersecurity aspects of the Ashley Madison data breach.

Ashley Madison is a popular website with “more than 33 million members in 46 countries” that provides services “for married men and women looking to have a discreet affair.”  Last month a group claimed to have obtained data about the site’s users and threatened to release it unless the site’s Toronto-based company, Avid Life Media Inc., shut down the service. Earlier in the spring, the company had announced plans for an IPO later in the year. The company called the hacker’s bluff and the group, the Impact Team, released more than 30G of customer data in several dumps this week. Avid Life has confirmed that some of the customer data posted is legitimate.

Professor Joshi, director of the UMBC Center for Cybersecurity and also chair of the CSEE department, was interviewed by ABC2.  In the interview,  he cautioned that data breaches are increasingly becoming part of daily life. “Information is valuable,” he said. “People are after information. No security is perfect and once you marry these things, there is an incentive for someone to spend the right time and effort to steal some information.” He also spoke about users falling into a false sense of security. “Nothing is really secure on the Internet,” he warned. “If you don’t want the thing you’re doing to show up on ABC2 at some point then don’t do it.”

Dr. Forno, Center for Cybersecurity assistant director and head of UMBC Cybersecurity Graduate Program spoke to Beta Boston and TV Newsroom about public reactions as the data breach revealed several government officials as users of the website. “Depending on who you talk to, you’ll get two wildly different opinions on the issue,” he said. “Some people will say, `Well, they broke the law, they hacked into this private company’s computers and stole data.’ Yeah, that’s true. But from the other side, you have to say, were they doing this for a public service?”  He also discussed the incident with South Korea-based radio program “This Morning with Alex Jensen.”

Some material adapted from an Insights article by Achsah Callahan.

CSEE Prof. Curtis Menyuk wins Humboldt Research Award

CSEE professor Curtis Menyuk was recently awarded the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Research Award. This award is a significant honor, and comes with 60,000 euros in funding to support research in with German research collaborators.

The Humbolt Research Award award is given to recognize the lifetime research achievments of academics "whose fundamental discoveries, new theories, or insights have had a significant impact on their own discipline and who are expected to continue producing cutting-edge achievements in the future."

Dr. Menyuk's research is in the field of nonlinear optics and its applications.  His expertise is in theoretical and computational modeling, although much of his work has been in collaboration with experimental groups.  One major reearch achievement is the development of the basic equations that govern light propagation in optical fibers in the presence of nonlinearity, birefringence, and chromatic dispersion.  These equations are the basis for the physical layer modeling of optical fiber communication systems and are used extensively in the telecommunications and photonics industry. 

A second achievment is the development of models for determining the stability and noise response of modelocked lasers and other resonators.  This work is ongoing, but has already had a significant on the design of short-pulse lasers and other resonators.  

A third body of work has been fundamental studies of nonlinear processes in gases and optical fibers.  This theoretical work led to scientifically important experimental work and may lead to new methods for high-energy pulse generation and time transfer in optical fibers.

Dr. Menyuk has authored or co-authored more than 250 archival journal publications, edited three books and he is a co-inventor of six patents.  He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the Optical Society of America, and the IEEE. He is a former UMBC Presidential Research Professor.

Here is what Dr. Menyuk has to say about winning the award:

“I was pleased and honored to receive the Humboldt Research Award, which is one of the world's most prestigious academic awards. Most Nobel prize winners in my field and many members of the national academies have won this award. I have been at UMBC for 30 years, and this award is really a recognition of the collective efforts of my research group and colleagues here at UMBC. I am grateful for Dr. Philip Russell of the Max Planck Institute for Light for nominating me and — what is even more important — for giving my research group at UMBC the opportunity to collaborate with one of the world's great research institutes.”

This is the second major international award Dr. Menyuk has won in the past two years. In 2013, Dr. Menyuk was awarded the IEEE Photonics Society Streifer Award.

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