2018 UMBC Digital Entertainment Conference

2018 UMBC Digital Entertainment Conference

UMBC’s Game Developers Club will hold its 13th annual Digital Entertainment Conference from 11:00-5:00 on Saturday April 28 in the UMBC Commons. Come learn about the game industry from local game developing companies. High school students, college students, aspiring game developers, and game developers are all welcome.

  • Meet professionals in the game industry
  • Learn the latest in game art, code and technology
  • Network with local game developers

Lunch will be provided. You can park in any A, B, or C lot on UMBC Campus. The closest parking garage is the Commons Parking garage on Commons Drive inside the UMBC Hilltop Circle. If you have any questions, send email to

🗣 talk: Classifying Malware using Data Compression, 12-1 Fri 4/20, ITE229

The UMBC Cyber Defense Lab presents

Classifying Malware using Data Compression

Charles Nicholas, UMBC

12:00–1:00pm Friday, 20 April 2018, ITE 229

Comparing large binary objects can be tricky and expensive. We describe a method for comparing such strings, using ideas form data compression, that is both fast and effective. We present results from experiments applying this method, which we refer to as LZJD, to the areas of malware classification and digital forensics.

Charles Nicholas () earned his B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Michigan – Flint in 1979, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from Ohio State University in 1982 and 1988, respectively. He joined the Computer Science Department at UMBC in 1988. His research interests include electronic document processing, intelligent information systems, and software engineering. In recent years he has focused on the problems of storing and retrieving information from large collections of documents. Intelligent software agents are an important aspect of this work. Host: Alan T. Sherman,

The UMBC Cyber Defense Lab meets biweekly Fridays. All meetings are open to the public.

🤖 talk: Where’s my Robot Butler? 1-2pm Friday 4/13, ITE 231

UMBC ACM Student Chapter Talk

Where’s my Robot Butler?
Robotics, NLP and Robots in Human Environments

Professor Cynthia Matuszek, UMBC

1:00-2:00pm Friday, 13 April 2018, ITE 231, UMBC

As robots become more powerful, capable, and autonomous, they are moving from controlled industrial settings to human-centric spaces such as medical environments, workplaces, and homes. As physical agents, they will soon be able help with entirely new categories of tasks that require intelligence. Before that can happen, though, robots must be able to interact gracefully with people and the noisy, unpredictable world they occupy, an undertaking that requires insight from multiple areas of AI. Useful robots will need to be flexible in dynamic environments with evolving tasks, meaning they must learn from and communicate effectively with people. In this talk, I will describe current research in our lab on combining natural language learning and robotics to build robots people can use in the home.

Dr. Cynthia Matuszek is an assistant professor of computer science and electrical engineering at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Her research occurs at in the intersection of robotics, natural language processing, and machine learning, and their application to human-robot interaction. She works on building robotic systems that non-specialists can instruct, control, and interact with intuitively and naturally. She has published on AI, robotics, machine learning, and human-robot interaction. Matuszek received her Ph.D. in computer science and engineering from the University of Washington.

🗣️ talk: Human Factors in Cyber Security, 12-1 Fri 4/13, ITE 229, UMBC

The UMBC Cyber Defense Lab presents

Human Factors in Cyber Security

Dr. Josiah Dykstra

Cyber Security Researcher, US Department of Defense

12:00–1:00pm Friday, 13 April 2018, ITE 229, UMBC

Humans play many roles in the effectiveness of cyber security. While users are often blamed for security compromises, human strengths and weaknesses also affect people who perform design, implementation, configuration, monitoring, analysis, and response. The fields of human computer interaction generally, and usable security specifically, have drawn attention and research to some aspects of human factors, but many opportunities remain for future work.

In this talk, I describe several of my research projects related to human factors in cyber security. The first was a study of how individual differences affect cyber security behavior, and active follow-on research to predict users who might become victimized. The second was a study of stress and fatigue in security operations centers, including a new survey instrument for collecting data in tactical environments. The third was a research prototype using augmented reality to assist humans in cyber security analysis, and an analysis of preliminary results.

Finally, I will present and invite discussion about a new idea for improving security by making it “disappear.” Despite decades of tools and techniques for secure development, and valiant work at adoption and usability, it is clear that many users cannot or will not avail themselves of appropriate cyber security options. It may be time to rethink the amount of interaction required for most users, and if hands-off, behind-the-scenes cyber defense should be the norm.

Josiah Dykstra serves as a Senior Executive Service government civilian and Subject Matter Expert for Computer Network Operations research in the Laboratory for Telecommunication Sciences within the Research Directorate of the National Security Agency. His research includes human augmentation, cyber risk assessment, and cyber effects. He is an active collaborator with academic, industry, and government researchers around the country. Dykstra earned the PhD degree in computer science at UMBC in 2013 studying under Alan T. Sherman. Dr. Dykstra is the author of the 2016 O’Reilly book, Essential Cybersecurity Science, Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, and winner of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

Host: Alan T. Sherman,

The UMBC Cyber Defense Lab meets biweekly Fridays. All meetings are open to the public.

🗣️ talk: Challenges and pitfalls in big data analysis, 3:30 Thr 4/12 ITE325

CHMPR Distinguished Lecture

Challenges and pitfalls in big data analysis

Yoav Benjamini, Tel Aviv University

3:30-5:00 Thursday, 12 April 2018, ITE 325b, UMBC

I shall warn about the pitfalls resulting from the false assurance that “we have all data at hand”, and discuss the challenges that are not commonly recognised such as the validity and replicability of the analysis results. Examples will be given from our work on the Health Informatics part of the European Human Brain Project, as well as from our studies in neuroscience and genomics.

Yoav Benjamini is the Nathan and Lily Silver Professor of Applied Statistics at the Department of statistics and operations research at Tel Aviv University. He holds B.Sc in physics and mathematics and M.Sc in mathematics from the Hebrew University (1976), and Ph.D in Statistics from Princeton University (1981). He is a member of the Sagol School of Neuroscience, and of the Edmond Safra Bioinformatics Center both at Tel Aviv University. He taught as a visiting professor at Wharton, UC Berkeley and Stanford and is currently visiting Columbia University. Prof. Benjamini is a co-developer of the widely used and cited False Discovery Rate concept and methodology. His current research topics are selective and simultaneous inference, replicability and reproducibility in science, model selection, and data mining. His applied research fields are Biostatistics, Bioinformatics, Animal Behavior and Brain Imaging, and as a member of the European Human Brain Project he is involved in health informatics research. Prof. Benjamini served as the president of the Israel Statistical Association, He received the Israel Prize for research in Statistics and Economics at 2012, and is an elected member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities.

🗣 talk: Mixed Membership Word Embeddings for Computational Social Science, 12pm Thr 4/5

ACM ​Faculty Talk

Mixed Membership Word Embeddings for Computational Social Science

​Dr. James Foulds, Information Systems, UMBC

12:00-1:00pm ​Thursday​,​ 5 ​April​ 2018, ITE​459,​ UMBC

Word embeddings improve the performance of natural language processing (NLP) systems by revealing the hidden structural relationships between words. Despite their success in many applications, word embeddings have seen very little use in computational social science NLP tasks, presumably due to their reliance on big data, and to a lack of interpretability. I propose a probabilistic model-based word embedding method which can recover interpretable embeddings, without big data. The key insight is to leverage mixed membership modeling, in which global representations are shared, but individual entities (i.e., dictionary words) are free to use these representations to uniquely differing degrees. I show how to train the model using a combination of state-of-the-art training techniques for word embeddings and topic models. The experimental results show an improvement in predictive language modeling of up to 63% in MRR over the skip-gram, and demonstrate that the representations are beneficial for supervised learning. I illustrate the interpretability of the models with computational social science case studies on State of the Union addresses and NIPS articles.

James (a.k.a. Jimmy) Foulds is an assistant professor in the Department of Information Systems at UMBC. His research interests are in both applied and foundational machine learning, focusing on probabilistic latent variable models and the inference algorithms to learn them from data. His work aims to promote the practice of latent variable modeling for multidisciplinary research in areas including computational social science and the digital humanities. He earned his Ph.D. in computer science at the University of California, Irvine, and was a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, Santa Cruz, followed by the University of California, San Diego. His master’s and bachelor’s degrees were earned with first class honours at the University of Waikato, New Zealand, where he also contributed to the Weka data mining system.

IBM-UMBC Day, 9-3pm April 6

IBM-UMBC Day, 9am-3pm April 6, 2018

9:00am-3:00pm Friday, 6 April 2018
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Performing Arts and Humanities Building
1000 Hilltop Circle | Baltimore, MD 21250

UMBC is pleased to host the first ever IBM-UMBC Day on Friday, April 6th.

IBM-UMBC Day will create connections and enhance collaboration between UMBC faculty, students, and guests with IBM researchers and thought leaders around topics impacting the future of computing.  Technical talks by IBM and UMBC researchers will include Artificial Intelligence/Watson, Blockchain, Quantum Computing, Internet of Things, Cybersecurity and more. Lunch will be provided, there will be technical demos from IBM and IBM Recruiters will also be present.

Registration no longer required   Please register for the event here.

For questions about the event, please contact Natalie Brianas, Associate Director of Corporate Relations at .

ATTENTION STUDENTS: You do not need to attend the entire day. Please RSVP and participate as you are available. The  IBM Information table will be open from 10:00am-1:00pm in PAHB 124. Career Coaching appointments can be reserved through the UMBC Career Center. We look forward to seeing you there!


*All technical talks will take place in the Concert Hall (PAHB 235).

9:00-9:30 Welcoming Remarks
Keith Bowman, Dean, College of Engineering & Information Technology (COEIT), UMBC
Dave McQueeney, IBM VP of Corporate Technology and Community and Global University Programs
Anupam Joshi, Chair and Professor, Computer Science & Electrical Engineering, UMBC
Yelena Yesha, Distinguished Professor, Computer Science & Electrical Engineering, UMBC
Andy Rindos, IBM Head, RTP Center for Advanced Studies (CAS)

9:30-10:00 Keynote Address: Law, Technology and Public Policy
Michelle Browdy, IBM Senior Vice President of Legal

10:00-10:45 Quantum Computing
Andrew Wack, IBM Q Platform Software Architect, Quantum
Milt Halem, Research Professor, Computer Science & Electrical Engineering, UMBC
Todd Pittman, Professor and Graduate Program Director, Physics, UMBC

10:45-11:25 Cybersecurity
Jeff Crume, IBM Distinguished Engineer, IT Security
Anupam Joshi, Chair and Professor, Computer Science & Electrical Engineering, UMBC

11:30-1:00 Lunch and Networking Break

  • Lunch for Faculty, Staff, and Guests (PAHB 102)
  • Lunch for Students (PAHB 229)
  • Student Research Posters (Lobbies & Atrium)
  • IBM Technical Demos (PAHB 105)
  • IBM Career Coaching & Resume Reviews (PAHB 123)

1:00-1:50 Watson and Cloud
Mac Devine, IBM Fellow and VP of IBM Watson and Cloud Platform
Yelena Yesha, Distinguished Professor, Computer Science & Electrical Engineering, UMBC
Tim Finin,
Professor, Computer Science & Electrical Engineering, UMBC

1:50-2:30 Internet of Things/Cyber-Physical Systems
Tim Hahn, IBM Distinguished Engineer, IoT
Nilanjan Banerjee, Associate Professor, Computer Science & Electrical Engineering, UMBC

2:30-2:55 Blockchain
Roman Vaculin, IBM Research, Blockchain

2:55-3:00 Closing Remarks
Keith Bowman, Dean, College of Engineering & Information Technology (COEIT), UMBC

*The final program will be available at the event.

talk: Cybersecurity as a Team Sport – Understanding Counsel’s Role, 6pm Wed 4/4

The UMBC at Shady Grove Cybersecurity Program Presents

Cybersecurity as a Team Sport – Understanding Counsel’s Role

Allison Bender J.D.

6:00-8:00pm Wednesday, 4 April 2018

The Universities at Shady Grove
Building III (Camille Kendall Academic Center) Room 4230
9636 Gudelsky Drive, Rockville, Maryland 20850

In this presentation by seasoned incident response counsel, Allison Bender, you will gain a risk-informed perspective on the role of counsel in cybersecurity governance and incident response. Also, learn strategies for more effective communication and cooperation with other cybersecurity stakeholders (e.g., IT, IT Security, HR, Communications, business leaders, senior executives and the board); and take away practical tips for prioritizing efforts that help tame the chaos of cybersecurity incident response while maintaining privilege as appropriate.

Allison Bender counsels Fortune 50 companies and startups in a range of industries on cybersecurity and privacy matters in the U.S. and internationally. Drawing from her roots in government, national security, and R&D, she helps clients navigate legal issues associated with emerging technologies and aids clients in strategically managing legal, financial, and reputational cybersecurity risks. Allison translates technical, operational, legal, and policy issues to create practical solutions for clients’ legal challenges. Her cybersecurity and national security preparedness counseling is informed by over 80 incident response efforts. When drafting corporate policies and considering product design options, Allison’s advice is seasoned in the management of breaches involving personal data, intellectual property, payment card information, export controlled technical data, and other regulated information. Her experience also extends to counseling on cybersecurity and national security due diligence in mergers and acquisitions, vendor management, and transactions. From DHS, Allison brings experience in incident response as well as cybersecurity policy, information sharing, liability, and incentives. She was the primary operational legal counsel for the federal response to the Heartbleed vulnerability, the USIS-KeyPoint data breach, and the Healthcare.gov data breach.

Hosts: Dr. Behnam Shariati () and the UMBC Graduate Cybersecurity Association at USG

The UMBC Graduate Cybersecurity Association at USG is an organization created and managed by UMBC Cybersecurity graduate students at Shady Grove. The mission of Cybersecurity Association is to promote the study of Cybersecurity and to raise Cybersecurity awareness and knowledge in the community through panel discussions, conferences, and Cyber competitions. Also, the Cybersecurity Association aspires to create a supportive and positive learning environment in which every member has the opportunity to network, learn, and grow.

🗣 talk: Innovation and Entrepreneurship, 12-1pm Fri, 3/30, ITE237

UMBC ACM Student Chapter Entreprenuership Talk

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Dr. Neil Rothman
Graduate Program Director for Professional Programs in Engineering
12.00-1.00pm Friday,​ 30 ​March 2018, ITE​​237, UMBC

There is a misconception that entrepreneurs only create start-up companies based on a new technology or product idea or that entrepreneurship is risky. We will discuss what entrepreneurship really means and how entrepreneurs can identify opportunities to create value.

Dr. Neil Rothman, Professor of the Practice and Graduate Program Director for Professional Programs in Engineering, came to UMBC as a Lecturer in 2012. Dr. Rothman has a BS in Biomedical Engineering and MS in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from The Johns Hopkins University. Prior to UMBC, Dr. Rothman spent over 30 years in the medical device industry, focused on product development and manufacturing, and held senior technical management positions in organizations from start-ups to large multinationals. He uses his extensive industry experience to provide a professional engineering practice perspective to all of his courses. Most recently, he was the Vice President of Advanced Research and Technology Development at BrainScope Company, Inc., leading the creation of technologies for the diagnosis of traumatic brain injury and other neurological conditions.

Prior to joining BrainScope, Dr. Rothman was the VP of Research and Development for Infinite Biomedical Technologies (IBT), and led the development of EEG based systems for detection of asphyxic brain injury and seizures in critical care applications. Other positions included Project Manager for GE Healthcare’s Maternal and Infant Care Division, VP of Operations for Metasensors (a startup company developing a microfluidic system for respiratory gas analysis), Director of Engineering for IGEN International (manufacturer of systems for high throughput drug screening, food testing, and clinical diagnostics), and Senior VP and Chief Technical Officer for CardioLogic Systems (manufacturer of automated systems for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and cardiac assist). He also held a variety of positions at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory and Black & Decker’s medical products division. Dr. Rothman is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and recently received his 25th patent.

Contact   with questions and follow facebook page http://goo.gl/eoMAbw for event updates

UMBC launches NSF Center for Accelerated Real Time Analytics

UMBC launches Center for Accelerated Real Time Analytics to tackle data-intensive challenges from disease tracking to online privacy


The National Science Foundation (NSF) has selected UMBC to lead a new $3 million research partnership that will deploy next-generation computing hardware to solve major infrastructure challenges. UMBC will launch the Center for Accelerated Real Time Analytics (CARTA) through a five-year grant from the NSF Industry-University Cooperative Research Centers (IUCRC) program, receiving $150,000 in support for each of the next five years. The remaining funds will support collaborative research with partner institutions North Carolina State University; Rutgers University, Newark; and Rutgers University, New Brunswick; and Tel Aviv University. Two affiliated sites at University of California, San Diego, and University of Utah will also participate in the collaboration.

IUCRCs are long-term partnerships among universities, corporations, and government agencies that leverage an initial investment from NSF to catalyze primary support from the public and private sectors. CARTA anticipates the current NSF support will lead to additional public and private sector research funding through agency and industry partners.

Through CARTA, UMBC faculty and students will work on projects tackling concerns of national and global significance. One of the initial projects will integrate massive and diverse data sets—from peer-reviewed publications to live meteorological data to social media posts—to better track the origin and spread of highly infectious diseases worldwide. Another project will focus on cloud data privacy and protection, developing policy-based, semantically-rich approaches that can better ensure that approved users can safely access the data they need, including effectively tracking the provenance of data.

Yelena Yesha, distinguished professor of computer science and electrical engineering, will serve as CARTA director and is the principal investigator on the grant. Yesha will work with UMBC faculty, including Karuna Pande Joshi, assistant professor of information systems, who will serve as the UMBC site director, and Milton Halem, research professor of computer science and electrical engineering, as well as the site directors at the affiliated CARTA institutions.

CARTA will build upon the success of UMBC’s Center for Hybrid Multicore Productivity Research (CHMPR), which was originally established in 2009 to address productivity, performance, and scalability issues in the development of advanced computing technologies applied to concerns of national significance, from genomics to climate change. The new center will expand the scope of the research conducted, while continuing the IUCRC’s mission to grow strong partnerships among academic institutions and corporations.

“CARTA will usher in the era of accelerated real-time analytics by effectively utilizing innovative technologies such as cognitive computing, machine learning, and quantum computing to address our nation’s global competitive challenges in health security, disaster mitigation, and the emerging artificial intelligence revolution,” Yesha explains.

“CARTA brings the talents of students and faculty from seven institutions into a partnership with industry and government agencies that will enable realization of smarter smart systems and more responsive information technologies,” says Keith J. Bowman, dean of UMBC’s College of Engineering and Information Technology. Explaining that this work has the potential to have a dramatic impact, he notes, “Decreasing the barriers to accelerated real-time analytics will foster greater adoption and performance for new data-intensive technologies.”

Adapted from a UMBC News article by Megan Hanks. Photo by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC.

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