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Faculty Research Profile: Dr. Yelena Yesha

Dr. Yelena Yesha is the Associate Director of the National Science Foundation's Center for Hybrid Multicore Productivity and Research (CHMPR) and the site director of the Multicore Computational Center (MC2), and has been doing exciting research with cloud computing through the centers.

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

Faculty Research Profile: Dr. Curtis Menyuk

Dr. Curtis Menyuk, professor of computer science and electrical engineering, specializes in the theory and simulation of opitcal and photonic systems. A member of UMBC's Computational Photonics Laboratory, he is currently interested in short-pulse lasers and time and frequency transfer networks. "One of the central themes in my career has been an interest in solitons,” says Dr. Menyuk who first became interested in lasers in the early eighties while doing collaborative research with Linn Mollenauer.

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

Faculty Research Profile: Dr. Tülay Adali

Dr. Tülay Adali, professor of computer science and electrical engineering, specializes in statistical signal processing.Since 1992, Dr. Adali has been the director of the Machine Learning for Signal Processing Lab (MLSP-Lab) at UMBC. Currently, she has been working on diagnosing schizophrenia by analyzing functional MRI and other medical imaging data.


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

Maryland's cybersecurity portfolio

The Washington Post had a recent story on how Maryland is positioning itself to take advantage of increased interest in cybersecurity, Maryland sees its moment in cybersecurity. The article discusses the cybersecurity incubator in UMBC’s research Park.

“The state has had no trouble attracting well-known contractors — many of whom are based in Northern Virginia. McLean-based Science Applications International Corp., for instance, has touted the cyber center it built near Fort Meade, while Northrop Grumman — soon to be based in Falls Church — has established a cybersecurity incubator program with the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, whose campus is 10 miles from Fort Meade.

Ellen Hemmerly is trying to bring the pieces together as executive director of bwtech@UMBC, a research and technology park on UMBC’s campus that is home to incubator and entrepreneurial training programs.

The incubator started in 1989 with a focus on life sciences but saw an increased emphasis on dot-com companies in the early 2000s. Now, cyber companies are springing up; the campus is home to more than 20.

Five Directions, a cybersecurity start-up founded by William Arbaugh, is one of them. Arbaugh, who spent time at the Pentagon and the National Security Agency, sold his first company to Microsoft in 2008. Now using bwtech’s provided office space to host Five Directions, he said Maryland is increasingly developing an environment that supports start-ups.”

Six hottest IT jobs

CIO magazine has an article that identifies what they think are the the six hottest new IT jobs. They used an admittedly unscientific method of reviewing listing on IT job sites and talking to IT executives to find the types of jobs with good growth potential and are resistant to outsourcing and economic downturns.

“IT job seekers have real reason to hope. No fewer than 10,000 IT jobs were added to payrolls in May alone, according to the Bureau of Labor statistics, reflecting a steady month-over-month increase since January. And in a June survey by the IT jobs site, 65 percent of hiring managers and recruiters said they will hire more tech professionals in the second half of 2011 than in the previous six months.”

Their six are:

  • Business architect
  • Data scientist
  • Social media architect
  • Mobile technology expert
  • Enterprise mobile developer
  • Cloud architect

While won’t find required courses on most of these in a standard undergraduate program, doing well in any of them needs the foundation you will receive. These include programming, software engineering, statistics, systems, computer architecture, algorithms, databases, etc. UMBC does offer electives that give students the skills that will make students more competitive for these jobs, such as mobile computing, parallel programming, service oriented architectures, machine learning, data mining, security, web technology, etc.

Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future results. Your mileage may vary.

Clinical-Genomic Analysis for Disease Prediction, MS defense

MS Thesis Defense

Clinical-Genomic Analysis for Disease Prediction

Darshana Dalvi

10:00am 6 July 2011, ITE 346

Recent advances in genomic research have generated vast amounts of information that can help identify individuals who differ in their susceptibility to a particular disease or response to a specific treatment. This information may offer solutions for the treatment of complex chronic diseases that are influenced by a wide array of factors. This vast amount of information brings critical challenges in applying advanced technology to synthesize clinical-genomic patient data. Synthesizing this information is necessary to derive the knowledge that would empower physicians to provide personalized care with the best possible therapeutic interventions.

We used statistical methods and data mining approaches to understand clinical-genomic risk factors that differentiate Type II Diabetes cases from healthy controls. We investigated whether inclusion of genomic risk factors in conjunction with clinical information improves classification accuracy. We also demonstrate how a biased and an unbiased method for selection of risk associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) effect clustering along with clinical information. We determined the optimal method based on its clustering performance.

Committee members:

  • Dr. Yelena Yesha (Chair)
  • Dr. Michael Grasso
  • Dr. Yaacov Yesha
  • Dr. Milton Halem

Talk: Passive House; what is it and how does it work?

Passive House; what is it and how does it work?

Brian Uher, ECORE Living

4:00pm Wednesday 20 July 2011
MD Clean Energy Technology Incubator, UMBC South Campus

Brian Uher will discuss the engineering and design principles behind Passive House – a rigorous building performance standard that ECORE Living is deploying in the Mid-Atlantic region.

The term passive house (Passivhaus in German) refers to the rigorous, voluntary, Passivhaus standard for energy efficiency in a building. It results in very low (<80%) energy requirements for space heating or cooling. Any building can be constructed to the standard. Passive design is not an attachment or supplement to architectural design, but a design process that is integrated with architectural design. Although it is mostly applied to new buildings, it has also been used for retrofits. As of August 2010, there were approximately 25,000 such certified structures of all types in Europe, while in the United States there were only 13. ECORE Living is in negotiations with several developers in the DC and Baltimore areas for initial implementation in this region.

Brian Uher is a co-founder of ECORE Living, LLC, a subsidiary of ECORE Ventures. He has developed methods for incorporating return-on-investment with standard energy modeling and auditing techniques to quantify and extend the value of intelligently applied sustainable building techniques, including market projections and capital project analyses. Brian has spoken widely to the real estate and development communities with a focus on a market-based approach to selling green and high performance building. He is currently working on several deep retrofit projects and is developing Passive House optimization strategies for East Coast row houses that will be deployed at scale in 2011 and 2012.

Brian is a LEED accredited professional, HERS/RESNET certified, BPI analyst and envelope professional and taught the Green Remodeling course for the Washington DC chapter of National Association of the Remodeling Industry. He is also a certified Passive House Consultant (residential and commercial standards), the most rigorous performance standard available today. He holds a masters degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering and the Wharton School of Management, holds a master's of science degree in molecular biology from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Chicago.


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Khan Academy does Computer Science

The Khan Academy is starting to publish a series of short instructional videos on computer science topics. The Introduction to Programming and Computer Science category currently has just 18 videos and these are all on basic programming topics in Python.

Salman Khan's popular Khan Academy site has more than 2100 short videos covering "everything from arithmetic to physics, finance, and history." The Academy is a not-for-profit organization that describes itself this way.

"The Khan Academy is an organization on a mission. We're a not-for-profit with the goal of changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education to anyone anywhere. All of the site's resources are available to anyone. It doesn't matter if you are a student, teacher, home-schooler, principal, adult returning to the classroom after 20 years, or a friendly alien just trying to get a leg up in earthly biology. The Khan Academy's materials and resources are available to you completely free of charge."

Most of these videos are done by Salman Khan himself and CS in one of the topics he knows the most about, having BS and MS degrees from MIT in computer science (as well as Mathematics and EE). An example of one of the new CS videos is this six-minute one on writing a factorial function using recursion.

These videos won't replace traditional ways of learning computer science, but they can be helpful. I hope to incorporate some of them in the undergraduate courses I teach.

Dr. desJardins promoted to full professor

The CSEE Department wishes to extend its congratulations to Dr. Marie desJardins for her recent promotion from associate professor to full professor. Dr. desJardins began teaching at UMBC in 2001 as an assistant professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, and since then has taught courses in areas such as artificial intelligence, multi-agent systems and computer programming. As director of the Multi-agent, Planning and Learning lab (MAPLE) at UMBC, Dr. desJardins works with students to find AI solutions to real world problems. In addition to teaching, Dr. desJardins has actively been pursuing research in the areas of multi-agent systems, machine learning, and planning.

Throughout her decade-long career at UMBC, Dr. desJardins has been an active member of several university organizations and committees. From 2008 to 2010, she served as the Undergraduate Program Director for the Computer Science program. Currently, she is a member of the CSEE Executive Committee, the UMBC Faculty Affairs Committee and the CWIT Internal Advisory Board. Dr. desJardin’s numerous contributions to the CSEE Department, whether through teaching, research or committee involvement, have not been overlooked and the Department is confident that she will excel as she takes on her new role this July.

To learn more about Dr. desJardins’ research pursuits, read her research profile.

Faculty Research Profile: Dr. Marc Olano

Dr. Marc Olano is the director of the Computer Science and Electrical Engineering Department's Game Development Track and has been pursuing research in computer graphics and computer hardware for more than twenty years. Currently, he is working at Firaxis Games on texture compression for the Civilization V video game and collaborating with Dr. Erle Ellis of the Geography and Environmental Systems Department on a project dubbed Ecosynth.

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

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