CloudCamp Baltimore, 6-10pm Wed Mar 9, 2011

Cloud Camp Baltimore

There will be a free CloudCamp meeting in Baltimore from 6:000pm to 10:00pm Wednesday March 9th at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront. Cloudcamps are participants-driven unconferences where users of Cloud Computing technologies meet to network and share ideas, experiences, challenges and solutions. The event is free but participants are asked to register to ensure there is enough food and refreshments. Here is the current, tentative schedule:

6:00pm – Registration & Networking (food/drink)
6:30pm – Opening Introductions
6:45pm – Lightning Talks (5 minutes each)
7:30pm – Unpanel
8:00pm – Organize Unconference
8:15pm – Unconference Breakout Session Round 1
9:00pm – Unconference Breakout Session Round 2
9:45pm – Wrap-up
10:00pm – Find somewhere for post-event networking

Contact the organizers if you are interested in giving a five minute lightning talk or lead breakout session.

Spring Dissertation House for Ph.D. students. Apply by March 4

Students at the UMBC Dissertation House

UMBC will host a two day “Pre-Spring Break Dissertation House” on Friday, March 11 and Saturday, March 12, 2011. Breakfast, lunch, and a snack will be served daily. This Dissertation House session will be held in lieu of the annual Dissertation House and Community Building Retreats at Coolfont and Rocky Gap. The event will take place from 9:00am to 5:00pm in the UMBC Commons.

At Dissertation House, Ph.D. students from Maryland’s research campuses learn the skills of thesis-writing success. During the immersive twice-yearly four-day program, a group of about twenty graduate students share experiences, set transparent goals, and map out ways to get to the finish line of the doctoral dissertation.

Interested Ph.D. students should follow the application guidelines and apply by Friday, 4 March 4 2011. For more information see the Dissertation House Blog.

Computer Engineering Open House, 11:30-12:50 March 2, ITE 456

UMBC Computer Engineering open house meeting

Current and prospective undergraduate Computer Engineering majors are invited to an informal open house meeting from 11:30am to 12:50pm on Wednesday, March 2nd in ITE 456. CSEE chairman Gary Carter and CMPE faculty will present information on the undergraduate program and its tracks and courses as well as offer academic and career advice. There will be ample time for questions, feedback, comments and discussion. Lunch will be provided.

We are also recruiting current majors for a student advisory panel to review the CMPE program and courses. To volunteer for the panel, please attend the meeting or contact the CMPE undergraduate program director, Professor Curtis Menyuk (menyuk at

Talk: Prediction markets for fun, feedback and the future, 10am Thr 3/17, ITE 456

Prediction Market for the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election (Iowa Electonic Markets, 2008)

Computer Science and Electrical Engineering
University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Prediction Markets for Fun, Feedback and the Future

Dr. Sanmay Das
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

10:00-11:00am Thursday 17 March 2011
room 456 ITE, UMBC

Prediction markets, when they work well, solve a fundamental problem: how to aggregate individual beliefs into a meaningful quantitative estimate of the probability that a given event will occur. They also provide incentives for people to disseminate privately-held information. I will describe one way to help these markets work better: incorporating a learning agent who provides liquidity, called a market maker. Along the way, the design of this agent raises and solves some fundamental problems in reinforcement learning and Bayesian reasoning. I will also discuss the deployment of this market-making agent in two different settings with human participants. One of these settings is a novel experiment for comparing market structures. Another one, the RPI Instructor Rating Market, allows students to trade on the ratings their professors will receive, thus providing dynamic feedback to instructors on the progress of their classes; we find that market prices are, in fact, better than past ratings at predicting future ratings.

Joint work with Aseem Brahma, Mithun Chakraborty, Allen Lavoie, Malik Magdon-Ismail, and Yonatan Naamad.

Sanmay Das is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He received his Ph.D (2006) and S.M. (2003) degrees from MIT, where he was a student of Tomaso Poggio and Andrew Lo. Prior to that, he received his A.B. in Computer Science from Harvard College (2001). His research focuses on learning in social and economic systems. He has received an NSF CAREER award, is co-author on a paper nominated for the AAMAS Best Student Paper award, and has served as program co-chair for AMMA and workshops chair for the ACM EC conference.

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Undergraduate research award applications due March 3

UMBC Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Day

The deadline for Undergraduate Research Award applications is Thursday, March 3. URAs provide up to $1,500 to undergraduate students to support their research or creative work with a UMBC faculty mentor on an original project. Students of all years and disciplines are invited to apply, as long as they will continue at UMBC long enough to complete the proposed work.

A student’s application requires a letter of support from the faculty mentor indicating knowledge of the student and his or her abilities as well as support of the project. The letter can further explain the importance of the work, the appropriate preparation of the student, and the feasibility of the work. The mentor’s commitment to working with the student must be included. For more information and to apply visit the URA page or contact Janet McGlynn (mcglynn at

Related: Undergraduate research award applications due March 3

Intern and coop opportunities at NSA

The National Security Agency has an active internship and coop program in which many UMBC students take part.

Visit the National Security Agency to learn about intern and cooperative education positions, 9:15am – 3:00pm on Friday, March 11, 2011.

Challenge the unknown. Solve the impossible. And at NSA, it's about protecting the Nation. A career at NSA offers the opportunity to work with the best, shape the course of the world, and secure your own future. As a college undergrad, you can gain the experience you need while working toward your degree. And you'll get to experience first-hand what life at NSA is really like. Participate in this Shriver on the Road Visit to learn about the internship and co-op programs offered by the NSA.

The core mission of the NSA is to protect U.S. national security systems and to produce foreign signals intelligence information. NSA would like to invite students who meet the following requirements:

  • Must be a U.S. citizen
  • Must be eligible to be granted a security clearance
  • Must be a freshman or sophomore
  • Must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Must be majoring in Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, or Math

The Agenda for the Visit will include the following:

  • Tour of the National Cryptologic Museum
  • Free Lunch (Pizza, Cookies, Soda, etc)
  • Internship and Cooperative Education Information Session
  • NSA Intern/Co-op Meet and Greet
  • Security Awareness Presentation
  • Q and A Session

To participate: RSVP via UMBCcworks under Events (workshops) and send your resume to Casey Miller at The Shriver Center at UMBC, email: cmille1 at

Croom: State of Cyber Security in 2011, 2/23

Charles Croom, of Lockheed Martin will talk about "The State of Cyber Security 2011" at the UMBC Visionaries in IT Forum at 8:00am on Wednesday, February 23rd at the BWI Airport Marriott. The event is free but registration requested.

Croom joined Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Solutions as Vice President of Cyber Security Solutions in October of 2008. In this capacity, he shapes the corporation’s cyber security strategy with insight from his 35 years of distinguished service, leadership, and technology experience from the U.S. Air Force. He co-chaired a National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee Task Force on “Strengthening Government and Private Sector Collaboration” which issued a May 2009 report recommending that the President direct the establishment of a Joint Coordinating Center. He currently serves on the Boards of the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the Internet Security Alliance (ISA).

Croom retired as a U.S. Air Force Lieutenant General, Director of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), and the Commander of the Joint Task Force for Global Network Operations in September 2008. While at DISA, he led a worldwide organization of more than 6,600 military and civilian personnel to serve the information technology and telecommunications needs of the President, Secretary of Defense, Joint Chiefs of Staff, combatant commanders, and other Department of Defense stakeholders.

Metareasoning in Adaptive Systems, 1pm Fri 3/4, ITE227 UMBC

Metareasoning in Adaptive Systems, 1pm Fri 3/4, ITE227 UMBC

Computer Science and Electrical Engineering
University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Metareasoning in Adaptive Systems

Dr. Joshua Jones
University of Maryland, Baltimore County

1:00-2:15pm Friday, 4 March 2011, ITE 227, UMBC

Metareasoning, or reasoning about reasoning, is a process by which a system explicitly accesses (monitors and/or controls) its own reasoning. It is a widely held belief in AI that metareasoning is a cruicial part of human-level intelligence, and it could be considered part of consciousness. In this talk I will avoid such philosophical claims, and instead focus on some more practical applications of metareasoning in software systems that learn and adapt in changing environments. Specifically, I will give an overview of the basic metareasoning architecture and then discuss three systems: Augur, a classification system; GAIA, an adaptive game-playing system; and MCL, a general-purpose metareasoning shell.

Dr. Joshua Jones is a a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where he works on a number of projects with the CORAL and MAPLE labs. These include the development of novel techniques for grammar induction, learning of branching lexicographic preference models, metareasoning in a robotics domain using the Meta-Cognitive Loop (MCL) reasoning system and applications of machine learning methods in medical and financial domains.

Dr. Jones earned his PhD in May 2010 at the Georgia Institute of Technology, as a member of the Design Intelligence Laboratory led by Ashok Goel. His primary research interest is in the area of Artificial Intelligence. He works mostly on learning, which his dissertation viewed as a result of metareasoning — where changes to an agent's knowledge or processes are produced by a deliberative process of agent introspection (self-diagnosis) and self-repair. His dissertation research involved designing both reasoning processes capable of such learning, and knowledge representations capable of supporting those reasoning processes, all of which are implemented in a system called Augur. Augur is also integrated with several statistical machine learning algorithms, and as such, the work is in part intended to establish a bridge between machine learning and knowledge-based approaches to AI.

Update: Slides from Metareasoning in Adaptive Systems, Fri 3/4/2011, UMBC

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UMBC GAIM cited as one of the top game design programs

Scene from the Jumper game developed by UMBC students.

Professor Marc Olano notes that UMBC's GAIM program was identified by Princeton review as one of the "Top 50 Undergraduate Game Design Programs".

"I don’t know how I missed this, but UMBC made the Princeton Review’s list of the top 50 undergraduate game design programs. Now I might split hairs and say that we really focus on game development more than design, much as there’s a distinction between being an actor and being a director, but I certainly won’t complain about making the list!"

Dessert & Discussion with Marc Olano, 6:30pm Thr 2/24, UC 310

From Pong to Halo: The Making of a Game

Marc Olano, 6:30-8:00pm Thursday, 24 February 2011, UC 310

UMBC CSEE Professor Marc OlanoSure you know how to play video games, but have you ever wondered what goes into creating one? Gaming is a multi-billion dollar, world-wide industry and there are increasing opportunities for new ideas. With the growing popularity of web-based and downloadable games, it is becoming easier for independent game designers to be successful. Think you’ve got what it takes? Then put down that controller and join us for a behind the scenes look at game development.

The Dessert and Discussion series engages alumni and outstanding UMBC faculty in dialogue about contemporary social issues and research interested in an informal, intimate environment. Light refreshments, dessert and coffee will be provided for each discussion. You may register for one or more of the following discussions below. *Please note that space is limited to 30 participants per discussion.

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