COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
UMBC campuses are closed, but courses are now online and employees are working remotely.

Final MDC3 cyber challenge team registration session 9/7

The Maryland Cyber Challenge and Conference (MDC3) will provide an opportunity for students and professionals to network in a fun environment while participating in exciting games and learning about computer safety and cybersecurity skills. MDC3 teams of up to six players will compete in one of three categories: high school, college and university, and industry professionals. High school teams will focus on cyber defense techniques whereas college, university and professional teams will compete in a capture the flag match.

Students must be enrolled at a Maryland high school, college, or university. Professionals’ employers must have an office in Maryland and must be either a company or government agency. This summer’s final free Maryland Cyber Challenge orientation session will be held Thursday, August 25th at UMBC.

  • Professional Session: 4:30 – 5:30pm
  • High School & College Session: 6 – 7pm

Who should attend an orientation session?
Students, parents, teachers, administrators, cybersecurity professionals or anyone who wants to learn more about MDC3.

Why should I attend an orientation session?
To learn more about MDC3, including rules, format, scoring and CyberNEXSâ„¢, the system used during the competition.

Where are the orientation sessions?
The UMBC Technology Center, Main Seminar Room 1450 South Rolling Road Halethorpe, MD 21224

A Google a Day puzzles improve Web searching skills

The three Rs (Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic) were the education basics of generations past, but maybe now we should add a fourth, information Retrieval. We all turn to Web search engines like Bing and Google whenever we need to know something and the technology has revolutionized how we access and even think about information. But how adept are you at using modern search engines?

Google introduced A Google a Day as a daily puzzle to help you improve your search skills.

"A Google a Day is a new daily puzzle that can be solved using your creativity and clever search skills on Google. Questions will be posted every day on and printed on weekdays above the New York Times crossword puzzle. We’ll reveal each puzzle’s answer the next day in the Times and on, along with the search tips and features used to find it.

Just like traditional crossword puzzles, the difficulty of the questions increases over the course of the week, so by Thursday or Friday, even the most seasoned searcher may be stumped." (source)

Here's today's question:

With many people playing, you would expect to find lots of spoilers online as people comment on the daily puzzle on Twitter, Facebook or their blogs. To prevent this, Google's A Google a Day site uses a special interface that "excludes real-time updates and other things that are likely to include spoilers as people post the answers to the puzzle online."

Google is not the first company to think of using Web search games for marketing. Microsoft introduced Club Bing in 2007 to promote its new Bing search engine and now hosts a number of Web search related games on its site.

AAAI grants Dr. desJardins Senior Member status

“I was delighted and honored to be selected as one of the Senior Members who were named in the first year of the Senior Member Program,” says Dr. Marie desJardins, who was recently granted Senior Member Status by the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI). Senior Members, of which there are a maximum of only twenty-five chosen per year, are selected according to their contributions in the field of artificial intelligence, active involvement with AAAI, and endorsements from AAAI Fellows. 

“The mission of AAAI is to serve as a professional organization for the advancement of artificial intelligence techniques,” explains desJardins, who has been an AAAI member since 1987, when she was a graduate student at the University of California: Berkeley. Since then, desJardins has served the organization in a variety of roles including as an AAAI Councillor (2001-2004), AAAI Symposium Associate Chair (2002-2006), and the AAAI Workshop Program Co-Chair (1999-2000), among others. Most recently, she has served on the editorial board of AI Magazine, a quarterly publication of AAAI that features articles highlighting new AI-related research.

In addition, Dr. desJardins has served as chair, co-chair, mentor and/or reviewer of the AAAI Doctoral Consortium every year since 2000. She was a founding member and co-organizer of the AAAI Teaching Forum, now known as the Annual Symposium on Educational Advances in Artificial Intelligence (EAAI). EEAI was established to provide a forum for educators and researchers to discuss teaching techniques that better communicate the principles of AI. This year, Dr. desJardins sent three undergraduate students and one Ph.D. student to the symposium in San Francisco to present a poster entitled "Playing to Program: An Intelligent Programming Tutor for RUR-PLE.”

Microsoft graduate fellowship programs

Microsoft has two generous graduate fellowship programs that are open to full-time students in all three of the core CSEE graduate programs: Computer Science, Computer Engineering and Electrical Engineering. These will provide support starting with the 2012-13 academic year and have application deadlines of October 6, 2011. The nominations come from the University, must be endorsed by the Department chair and at most three students per department can be nominated to each program. The programs are:

If you are interested in being considered, please read the descriptions of the programs, confirm your eligibility, discuss the opportunity with your advisor and inform your graduate director (Prof. Joshi for CS, Prof. Carter for CE and EE) of your interest by September 7. The graduate directors will select nominees by September 12 and inform the students, who will prepare their material by September 30.

AP-Google Journalism and Technology Scholarships

The Associated Press and Google announced a scholarship program to foster digital and new media skills in student journalists. The AP-Google Journalism and Technology Scholarship program will provide $20,000 to six undergraduate or graduate students pursuing or planning to pursue degrees at "the intersection of journalism, computer science and new media during the 2012-2013 academic year."

The program is open to U.S. citizens who are college sophomores or higher with at least one year of full-time undergraduate or graduate study remaining. Applicants must submit a project or concept that explains how his or her strategy moves digital journalism forward. Applications are due by 27 January 2012.

Talk: Smart Grid Demand Response, 4pm Wed 8/17

Demand Response; What is it and
What are the Business Opportunities?

Dr. Bjorn Frogner

4:00pm Wednesday, 17 August 2011
Maryland Clean Energy Technology Incubator
UMBC South Campus

Bjorn will discuss the aspect of the Smart Grid called Demand Response (DR). DR is where the action is in the Smart Grid. Implementation of DR is made possible by the merger of the following two forces.

  • The State of Maryland has set the goal of reducing average electricity consumption by 15% and reducing the peak-to-average consumption by 15%. These two requirements will reduce the peak capacity needs by 30%. The goal is to reach these goals by 2015. This makes DR more valuable than all other renewable energy sources combined for the next five years.
  • Smart Meters are already available in many businesses and they are soon going to be installed in 1.5 million homes in BGE and PEPCO customer residences. These meters will provide two-way communication and data readings from our homes as frequently as every 15 minutes. This provides tremendous opportunities for changes in the way we consume electricity.

These forces will rapidly transform the electric utility industry. DR will make the cost of electricity become a function of supply and demand which will make electricity be like other commodities where the market determines the price. If you are well-informed, you may save money. And, if you are real well-informed, you may be able to see some of the many new business opportunities that are being created by DR.

Bjorn Frogner has a PhD in Nuclear Engineering from University of California at Berkeley. He worked for about 35 years across a broad range of technologies, primarily related to energy and IT, while he lived in Silicon Valley in California. He moved to Annapolis, Maryland, in 2009 and he now works part-time as Entrepreneur-in- Residence at University of Maryland, Baltimore County. His function there is to help startup companies in the clean energy field. He had many years of experience with the electric grid during the 70s and 80s. He has spent significant amount of time during the last 18 months making himself informed about the cyber security for the electric grid.

Mid-Atlantic Student Colloquium on Speech, Language and Learning

If your research involved language processing and/or machine learning you should consider submitting a poster abstract to the Mid-Atlantic Student Colloquium on Speech, Language and Learning.

This is a free, one-day event bringing together faculty, researchers and students from universities in the Mid-Atlantic area working in human language technology and/or machine learning. It is an opportunity for students to present preliminary or completed work and to network with other students, faculty and researchers working in related fields. The event will be held at JHU in Baltimore on Friday 23 September 2011.

Students are encouraged to submit one-page abstracts by Monday, August 15 describing ongoing, planned, or completed research projects, including previously published results and negative results. Submissions and presentations must be made by students or postdocs. See the call for papers for more information.

Accepted submissions will be presented as posters and each will also be given a one-minute presentation during a poster spotlight session. A small number of submissions will be selected to be presented as talks, on the basis of diversity and general interest. Student-led breakout sessions of one hour will also be held to discuss papers on topics of interest and stimulate interaction and discussion.

Faculty Research Profile: Dr. Sergei Nirenburg

Dr. Sergei Nirenburg, professor of computer science and electrical engineering, is a member of the truly smart agents research group (TSA), where he works on building artificial intelligent agents capable of human behavior. Since 2006, Dr. Nireburg has been working on the Maryland Virtual Patient (MVP) Project, a multi-level heterogeneous agent-oriented environment that simulates a doctor-patient relationship by way of a “virtual patient.”

To read more about Dr. Nirenburg’s research pursuits, see his full research profile.

Faculty Research Profile: Dr. Gymama Slaughter

Dr. Gymama Slaughter, assistant professor of computer science and electrical engineering, runs UMBC's Bioelectronics Laboratory (BEL@UMBC), which combines different projects in the areas of electronics, biology, medicine and chemistry. She is currently working on designing a closed-loop system that monitors blood glucose levels and administers insulin to diabetic patients. Dr. Slaughter says that what she desires most is to reduce complications in the lives of diabetic patients and their families. “If I can do that,” she says, “I will count what I do as successful.”

To read more about Dr. Slaughter's research pursuits, see her full research profile.

Faculty Research Profile: Dr. Tim Finin

Dr. Tim Finin, professor of computer science and electrical engineering, specializes in artificial intelligence and has been working on developing smart phones that can guage their user's "context." “What I have always found interesting since I was an Undergraduate was the idea that we could make machines as smart as people,” explains Dr. Finin, whose research involving semantic web technology is directed towards realizing that goal.


To read more about Dr. Finin's research pursuits, see his full research profile.

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