Matthew Landen ’17, B.S. in Computer Science & Mathematics, recognized by UMBC

Matthew Landen, peer mentor, pursues security-focused computer science Ph.D.

UMBC’s class of 2017 is graduating this week and UMBC News has provides that highlight examples of the very capable and accomplished new graduates. Matthew Landen, who received a B.S. in both Computer Science and Mathematics, is one of them.

Matthew Landen
B.S., Computer Science and Mathematics
Summa Cum Laude
Hometown: Ellicott City, Maryland
Plans: Ph.D., Georgia Tech

UMBC has taught me the value of and need for collaboration. The world is currently faced with complex problems which cannot be solved by one individual.

Matthew Landen (front row, far right) after a performance with UMBC’s Musical Theatre Club; photo courtesy of Landen.

In his time at UMBC, Meyerhoff Scholar Matthew Landen has excelled in the classroom, the lab, the theatre, and the boardroom.

Landen has pursued several research opportunities, presenting at Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Day and, most recently, working in the Multi-Agent Planning & Learning (MAPLE) lab led by Marie desJardins, associate dean of the College of Engineering and Information Technology and professor of computer science and electrical engineering. There he was particularly known for helping his peers understand complex concepts.

Landen also worked with students as a teaching fellow for Computing 101, and regularly volunteered to hold extra study sessions for students to support their success. In fall 2016, he became the head teaching fellow for the course, and worked closely with Stacy Branham, lecturer of information systems, to lead class activities, grade assignments, and answer students’ questions.

Landen’s exceptional work led to his induction into the Phi Kappa Phi honors society, and he recently received a highly prestigious and competitive graduate research fellowship from the National Science Foundation.

Beyond excelling as a student, peer mentor, and researcher, Landen has been actively involved in UMBC’s Musical Theatre Club for each fall showcase performance and each spring musical during his four years on campus. He has also served as webmaster for UMBC’s Student Government Association, collaborating with fellow computing students to design websites to help SGA stay organized, transparent, and effective as the primary governance body for UMBC undergraduates.

Landen will pursue his Ph.D. in computer science at Georgia Tech, with a focus on intelligent security systems.

Adapted from an article on UMBC News. Portrait by Marlayna Demond ‘11 for UMBC.

CyberCorps SFS students to meet at UMBC, Friday May 26

CyberCorps SFS Spring Meeting at UMBC

9am-1pm, Friday, 26 May 26 2017, ITE 456, UMBC
open to the public

Six CyberCorps Scholarship for Service (SFS) students from Montgomery College and Prince George’s Community College will present their results solving IT security problems for their county governments. In spring 2017, these students worked collaboratively in a special applied research course at their school to help their county government. In fall 2017, these students will transfer to UMBC to complete their four-year degrees. This activity is part of a pioneering program centered at UMBC to extend SFS scholarships to community college students.

This summer, these students will join forces with SFS scholars at UMBC to work collaboratively on an applied research problem involving analysis of a policy and set of scripts that enable machine owners at UMBC to lower the UMBC firewall on their machines.

09:00  light refreshments
09:30  Introduction, Alan T. Sherman, UMBC
09:35  Report from Montgomery College, Joe Roundy and students
10:40  Report from Prince George’s Community College, Casey W. O’Brien and students
11:45  Introducing the summer research study problem, Jack Suess and Damian Doyle, UMBC Division of Information Technology
12:00  lunch and informal discussions
13:00  adjourn

CyberCorps: Scholarship For Service (SFS) is a unique program designed to increase and strengthen the cadre of federal information assurance professionals that protect the government’s critical information infrastructure. This program provides scholarships that may fully fund the typical costs incurred by full-time students while attending a participating institution, including tuition and education and related fees. Additionally, participants receive stipends of $22,500 for undergraduate students and $34,000 for graduate students. The scholarships are funded through grants awarded by the National Science Foundation.

Host: Alan T. Sherman () is a professor of computer science and Director of the UMBC Center for Information Security and Assurance (CISA), which center is responsible for UMBC’s designation as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education and Cyber Defense Research.

Joe Roundy is the Cybersecurity Program Manager at Montgomery College, Germantown.

Casey W. O’Brien is Executive Director and Principal Investigator of the National CyberWatch Center, Prince George’s Community College.

Support for this event is provided in part by the National Science Foundation under SFS Grant 1241576.

Virtual Reality Design for Science student projects, 12-1:30 Wed. 5/10, ITE 201b


Everyone is invited to see presentations and demonstrations of  six class projects done by the 17 students in CMSC 491/691, Virtual Reality Design for Science, taught by CSEE Professor Jian Chen this spring.  The demonstrations and presentations will take place 12:00-1:30pm Wednesday, 10 May 2017 in the π² Immersive Hybrid Reality Lab located in room 201b in the ITE building. Join us in this new adventure to explore ideas and foster interaction and interdisciplinary science. Pizza will be provided.

  • Utilizing VR simulations to study the effect of food labeling on college students meal choices, by Elsie, Kristina, and Michael
  • Integrating spatial-and-non-spatial approaches for interactive quantum physics data analyses, by Henan, John, and Nick
  • Analyzing the benefits of immersion for environmental research, by Caroline, James, and Peter
  • CPR training effectiveness, by Joey, Justin, and Zach
  • Quantitative measurement of cosmological pollution visualization, by Kyle, Pratik, and Vineet
  • Memorable mobile-VR-based campus tour, by Abhinav and Vincent

Support for this new course was provided by an award from the UMBC Hrabowski Fund for Innovation to CSEE Professors Jian Chen, Marc Olano and Adam Bargteil.  The project-oriented class introduces students to the use of hybrid reality displays, 3D modeling, visualization and fabrication to conduct and analyze scientific research. The new course embraces the university’s goal of advancing interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research activity.

The UMBC π² Immersive Hybrid Reality Lab is funded by a $360,000 NSF award, with additional support from Next Century Corporation. In the lab, users wear 3D glasses with sensors attached to them and operate handheld controls that allow them to sensorially immerse themselves in data, which appears on dozens of high-resolution screens that are precisely aligned to work together. Users control the data by manipulating it in the space around them. The user’s body is fairly stationary, but the brain thinks the body is moving within the virtual world. The lab brings together tools “that will allow humans and the computer to augment each other,” notes Dr. Chen.

UMBC CyberDawgs win 2017 National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition

The UMBC CyberDawgs team receiving the first place trophy at the 2017 National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition finals event. Pictured from left to right: Bryan Vanek, Jacob Rust, Anh Ho, Professor Charles Nicholas, Christian Beam, Justin Wright, Chris Gardner, Seamus Burke and Zack Orndorff

The UMBC CyberDawgs team took first place at the finals of the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (NCCDC).  The CyberDawgs had won the Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition earlier in the spring, earning the team an invitation to compete in the final ten national championship match held April 13-15 at the University of Texas, San Antonio.  This is UMBC’s second trip to the NCCDC finals – two years ago in their first visit the CyberDawgs came in fourth.

The National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition has been held annually since 2005 and focuses on the operational aspect of managing and protecting an existing network infrastructure. Teams are scored on their ability to detect and respond to outside threats, maintain availability of existing services such as mail servers and web servers, respond to business requests such as the addition or removal of additional services, and balance security needs against business needs.

This year more than 230 schools participated at the state and regional level with winners of the ten regional competitions faceing off in San Antonio. In addition to UMBC, this year’s finalists included teams from the University of Tulsa (2nd Place), Brigham Young University (3rd place), DePaul University, the University of Washington, California State University Northridge, Rochester Institute of Technology, Montana Tech, University of South Alabama, and University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

The CyberDawgs is a group of UMBC students who share a common interest in computer and network security.  The group is advised by UMBC faculty Charles Nicholas and Richard Forno. See the CyberDawgs Web site for information on their activities and how to get involved.

Congratulations to the UMBC CyberDawgs!!!

UMBC Cyberdawgs compete in 2017 Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition finals

The UMBC CyberDawgs are at the University of Texas, San Antonio competing in the national two-day finals event for the Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC) that takes place April 13-14. The CybrDawgs took first place in the Mid-Atlantic regional finals two weeks ago which qualified them for the finals this week. This is UMBC’s second trip to the CCDC national finals – two years ago in their first visit the CyberDawgs came in fourth.

The CyberDawgs is a group of UMBC students who share a common interest in computer and network security.  The group is advised by UMBC faculty Charles Nicholas and Richard Forno. See the CyberDawgs Web site for information on their activities and how to get involved.

Good luck to the CyberDawgs!!!

UMBC Grand Challenge Scholars Program

UMBC Grand Challenge Scholars Program

Engaging students in problems that matter

Reviewing applications beginning April 1, 2017

Do you want to help solve important problems facing society? Would you like to join and be part of a vibrant interdisciplinary community? Do you want to be recognized by the National Academy of Engineering for your contributions? Apply to the GCSP program and become a Grand Challenge Scholar!  Open to all UMBC majors.

What are the NAE Grand Challenges?

Fourteen broad problems facing society in sustainability, health, security, and knowledge
Solutions will require interdisciplinary teams and years of sustained effort

What does a UMBC Grand Challenge Scholar do?

Design a personalized program
Explore a selected Grand Challenge through five program areas: research, interdisciplinarity, entrepreneurship, global perspectives and service
Receive formal designation as an NAE Grand Challenge Scholar at graduation

What are the program requirements?

Three one-credit GCSP seminars (GCSP 301, 302, 401)
GC-related experiences in the five program areas, such as coursework, study abroad, internships and mentored research

How and when do I apply?

Apply online at the GCSP website. Applications after April 1 are subject to program capacity
Submit your transcript, short essay answers, two references and optionally a letter of support
Designed for students completing their sophomore year, but all students may apply
✔ Contact GCSP Director Professor Marie desJardins at with any questions

Recruiting UMBC Students for the Grand Challenge Scholars Program , Fri. 2/17


UMBC undergraduates interested in the Grand Challenge Scholars Program are encouraged to attend a symposium and recruiting event at 1:00pm on Friday, February 17.

The Grand Challenge Scholars Program is a program for undergraduates in all majors who are interested in thinking about big problems facing society, and how to solve them from broad, multidisciplinary perspectives. Students select one of 14 Grand Challenges identified by the National Academy Engineering, and work within the cohort of Grand Challenge Scholars to identify and pursue experiences related to their Grand Challenge in five program areas: research, interdisciplinary, entrepreneurship, global, and service.

To launch the upcoming spring application period for UMBC students entering the program, there will be a Grand Challenge Symposium on February 17, 2017, from 1-2:30 pm on the 7th floor of the Library. The symposium will feature 14 UMBC faculty members who will give two minute “mini-talks” on their research as it relates to the 14 Grand Challenges. The event will also showcase some of the work of the current Grand Challenge Scholars, and we will offer light refreshments.

Students who are interested in applying to the Grand Challenge Scholars Program are especially encouraged to attend, as are faculty and staff who have an interest in any of the Grand Challenges or would simply like to learn more about the program. More information about the program is available on the UMBC Grand Challenge Scholars Program Web site and applications are due on April 1.

Course instructors or TAs can arrange for a program representative come to their class to share information about the program by contacting Prof. or .

Please RSVP for the event, follow the Grad Challenges MyUMBC group and contact if you have any questions or comments about the program.

Capital Area Women in Computing Celebration, 2/24-25

The Capital Area Women in Computing Celebration, sponsored by ACM-W, will be held at Georgetown University on Friday, February 24th and Saturday, February 25.

The celebration will bring together women at the high school, undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels to promote the recruitment, retention, and progression of women in computing fields.

The cost of student attendance is modest: $50 with shared hotel room, or $25 without hotel. Scholarships are available as well.

To get more information and to register, visit the CAPWIC 2017 Web site.

Reasons to Attend

  • Share your work and ideas with your peers and experts during the poster session, flash talk, or technical short.
  • Be inspired. Meet technical women like you and celebrate your accomplishments together.
  • Hear success stories of technical women who made it this far!
  • Broaden your skills by attending a workshop.
  • Meet recruiters from business, industry, and academia for internships, jobs, or graduate programs.
  • Find a new job or internship. Bring your resume to our career fair to apply for job and internship opportunities.
  • Did we mention that it is FUN!

Six new SFS cybersecurity scholars to join UMBC in 2017


Six new cybersecurity scholars were inducted into UMBC’s NSF-sponsored Scholarship for Service program in an event held in Germantown on October 20. Three are currently students at Montgomery College and three are from Prince Georges Community College. After they complete their associates degree in spring 2017, they will transfer to UMBC to complete their undergraduate degrees.

This pioneering cooperation between UMBC, Montgomery College, and Prince Georges Community College in cybersecurity is made possible by a grant from the National Science Foundation (Dr. Alan Sherman (UMBC), Joe Roundy (MC), and Casey O’Brien (PGCC), CoPIs). As part of their education, the SFS scholars will solve IT security problems for their county government.

As SFS Scholars, the students receive tuition, fees, annual reimbursement of professional development expenses, a nine-month stipend and assistance with federal cybersecurity internships and career placement.

Undergraduate Research Awards workshop, Noon Wed 10/26

Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Day features research, scholarship, and creative work carried out by UMBC undergraduates

UMBC’s Undergraduate Research Awards provide up to $1,500 to undergraduate students to support their research or creative work with a UMBC faculty mentor on an original project. UMBC students of all years and disciplines are invited to apply, as long as they will remain enrolled at UMBC long enough to complete the proposed work.

An informal workshop on the opportunity and how to apply for an award will be held from Noon to 1:00pm on Wednesday, 26 October 2016 in Sondheim Hall 103.

You can hear about the process and doing research as an undergraduate student from current and past URA mentors Dr. Lee Blaney of the Chemical, Biochemical, and Environmental Engineering department, Dr. Carolyn Forestiere of the Political Science department and Dr. Luis Pinet-Peralta of the Health Administration and Public Policy department. At least one or two current or former URA Scholars will also be in attendance to discuss their experience in the program.

Register for the URA Workshop here.

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