Freeman Hrabowski on the future of learning

Team HueBotics, a video-game development team at UMBC, is among the final four student teams competing to represent the U.S. in the Games division of the 2015 Microsoft Imagine World Cup competition. The teammates are (l. to r.) Jasmin Martin, Erika Shumacher, Tad Cordle, and Michael Leung. Source: Nicolas Deroin

Team HueBotics, a video-game development team at UMBC, is among the final four student teams competing to represent the U.S. in the Games division of the 2015 Microsoft Imagine World Cup competition. The teammates are (l. to r.) Jasmin Martin, Erika Shumacher, Tad Cordle, and Michael Leung. Source: Nicolas Deroin

UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski has a commentary article on CNBC, Video games in the classroom? Welcome to the future of learning, that talks about new ways to engage students in learning.

“Our university is headed to the “final four” — in game design. Next month, a team from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) will travel to San Francisco to compete against three other teams in the games category of the final U.S. round of the Microsoft Imagine Cup, a global student technology competition. The team will pitch its project to a panel of judges composed of Silicon Valley technology leaders and entrepreneurs. As the students vie for the honor of representing the U.S. internationally, they’re also showing us the future of teaching, learning, and careers.”

Dr. Hrabowski makes an important observations on collaborations between STEM the arts and STEM disciplines, the need for diversity and how to excite and inspire today’s students.

“The UMBC team reflects the American workplace of the near future, bringing together two men and two women from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. The team also illustrates the potential of “STEAM” collaborations, where science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) are combined with art and design. Two members of the team are studying the computer sciences and two the visual arts, focusing on interactive media. … Moreover, Team Huebotics provides clues about how to improve education for students of all backgrounds. Too many young people today are bored at every level of education. And yet our student game developers voluntarily put in hundreds of hours on their winning creation. American education, from pre-K to college, must find ways to inspire similar dedication and to bring content to life. Digital environments are second nature to today’s young people. Playing well-designed games, as well as creating them, can pack an educational punch.”

Dr. Hrabowski also mentions the game Bandit (though not by name), in which you play a fox sneaking around civil war Baltimore in the time leading up to the Pratt Street Riot. This game, designed to teach about an important episode of civil war history, is being developed by a team of computer science and visual arts students in collaboration with students in history and music under the faculty guidance of professors Anne Rubin and Marc Olano, the director of UMBC’s Computer Science Game Development Track.

You can read Dr. Hrabowski’s full commentary piece online here.

CSEE Hi Tea, 3:00pm Friday, 3 April 2015 :-D

The UMBC ACM Student Chapter invites you to Hi Tea this week. Mingle, network, discuss research and ideas, explore opportunities to collaborate and treat yourself to a snack while you’re at it. Faculty, staff and students across the computer science, electrical engineering, computer engineering and cybersecurity programs are encouraged to participate.  Friends of the department are also welcome.

Date: Friday, April 3, 2015
Time: 3:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m.
Location: CSEE hallway outside ITE 325
Hosted by: Chi Zhang

If you or your lab are interested in volunteering for or hosting Hi Tea, please contact Genaro Hernandez Jr. at genaroh1 @ We need volunteers for 4/17/15 and 4/24/15.

Graduate Research Conference Program (GRC) on Wed. 3/25

UMBC’s Graduate Research Conference Program (GRC) will be held on campus on Wednesday, March 25, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. There will be a variety of presentations for faculty and students (both graduate and undergraduate). Featured events include professional development workshops, a keynote panel, and a research information fair.

Twenty-eight CSEE graduate students will describe their research in oral or poster presentations. Feel free to attend as many sessions as your schedule allows.

Please note that registration is required for both presenters and attendees. Registration is particularly important, in regards to securing a seat for the lunch and for the professional development workshops.

For more information, visit the GRC web site or email .

To register, please go to

Please find a link to the program guide and the events flyer listed below:

UMBC Places 3rd at MHacks

Two of UMBC’s regular hackathon participants took 3rd place at MHacks, a competitive 1000 student hackathon at the University of Michigan this past weekend!

CSEE students Michael Bishoff (President, HackUMBC) and Sekar Kulandaivel created a haptic feedback suit that makes virtual reality more immersive. To do this, the team created 12 vibrating modules that are placed on the user’s arms, legs, chest, and head. When various events occur in the virtual environment, the user will feel a vibration in the appropriate location on their body. For example, when a user falls in a virtual environment, they will feel a vibration in their legs, or when a user gets hit in their arm, they will experience a vibration on the appropriate arm.

For placing third, the duo won a trip to Seoul, South Korea in the summer to represent UMBC at the Global Hackathon, a 2000 person hackathon event backed by the mayor of Seoul. The event’s goal is to increase innovation and produce projects that make a global impact. Attendees of the event will include other brilliant students from around the world!

Mike and Sekar incorporated Oculus Rift technology, which they won at UMD’s 2014 Bitcamp hackathon.

Interested in maker-faires and participating in future hackathons? Join hackUMBC!

JHU Summer Research Expeditions in Computational Sciences

The JHU Summer Research Expeditions in Computational Sciences, Systems and Engineering program is an intensive, ten-week program to help undergraduates immerse themselves in research and taste the excitement of inventing. Participants will be part of a research team, including one or more JHU CS faculty and/or graduate student mentors and will be expected to make contributions to a challenging research topic. Example areas of research include Artificial Intelligence, Natural Language Processing, Interactive Visualizations, Healthcare Cost-Effectiveness and Mobile Computing.

Participants will present their summer findings in a poster and a final presentation session. In addition to research, they will take in a class that teaches scientific presentation skills, go on lab and company tours and meet and socialize with peers from institutions around the country.

The program runs from May 25 to July 31 and includes a stipend of $4,500 and housing, if needed. Apply online before March 2 with your choice to two SRE projects and a copy of your resume and transcript. Two letters of recommendations are also required.

Email or call Anita Sampath (, 410-516-6841) if you have questions about the application process.

Student Job: CSEE Undergraduate Grader or Teaching Assistant

Click here to apply.
UTA Flyer


UMBC SFS Cybercorps Scholarship applications due Nov 17 and Feb 2

UMBC Cyberscholars

In 2012-2017, UMBC will support a total of 22 new Cybersecurity students at the BS, MS, MPS, and PhD levels in computer science and related fields. Each scholarship is for the final two years of study (three years for PhD and combined BS/MS). Each scholarship covers full tuition, fees, travel, books, and an academic year stipend of $30,000 for PhD, $25,000 for MS, and $20,000 for BS students.

Interested full-time degree students should submit an application to Dr. Alan T. Sherman, as explained on the CISA website. The same application form is used for the Scholarship For Service (SFS) and Information Assurance Scholarship Program (IASP) scholarships. Clearly state on the cover page to which program you are applying. Be sure to include official transcripts and original signed letters of reference on letterhead (preferably from tenure-track faculty who can comment on your research potential and accomplishments).

The applications must be received by the deadlines: 12noon Monday, November 17, 2014, for scholarships beginning in spring 2015 and 12noon Monday, February 2, 2015, for scholarships beginning fall 2015.

We expect to make up to two new SFS awards for spring 2015, and up to six new SFS awards for fall 2015. We do not yet know if any IASP scholarships will be possible for fall 2015.

Applicants must be US citizens capable of obtaining a secret or top-secret clearance. Each scholar must work for the federal, state, or tribal government (for pay) for one year for each year of award. Each scholar must also carry out an appropriate cybersecurity summer internship (for pay) for each year of support.

Recipients are expected to engage vigorously in cybersecurity education, research, and other cybersecurity activities while at UMBC.

For more information, contact Dr. Alan T, Sherman, Director, UMBC Center for Information Security and Assurance,

Inside Look at Grad School & Summer Research: How to Prepare, Get Accepted, and Succeed.

If you are interested in going on to graduate school after graduation, either directly or later, and either full-time and part time, you might attend the following workshop on Monday, October 27.

An Inside Look at Graduate School & Summer Research:
How to Prepare, Get Accepted, and Succeed

Evelyn S. Erenrich, PhD
Asst Dean, Rutgers Graduate School-New Brunswick
Rutgers University

12– 1pm, Monday October 27, 2014
Public Policy Bldg 105

In addition to discussing strategies for research success, I will spotlight exciting programs and interdisciplinary opportunities at Rutgers University, including a summer program, RiSE (Research in Science & Engineering). I will be joined by a UMBC alumnus, now a doctoral Fellow at Rutgers, who will give his personal perspective. Several current UMBC undergraduates who participated in our RiSE program last summer will discuss their experiences.

This session is arranged by the Meyerhoff Program, but all UMBC students are welcome. Students can also sign up for individual appointments before or after the presentation by contacting Ms. Alicia Hall,

For a flyer and more details, see here. Please contact Dr. Erenrich if you have any questions (, 848.932.9286).

Computer Engineering researchers develop system to detect dangerous driving behaviours

CSEE Professor Chintan Patel and computer engineering student Gurashish Singh recently demonstrated a prototype system that can detect distracted driving behavior at the ATPA expo, the largest gathering of industries involved with transportation. Their novel wearable proximity sensor-based system alerts drivers who show signs of falling asleep, being distracted or driving dangerously.

The project is a collaboration between Professors Ryan Robucci, Chintan Patel and Nilanjan Banerjee. The system was built by graduate students Gurashish Singh and Tsu An Chen. This short video shows some of the dangerous behaviors being detected.

Interested in computing and research?

The Conquer site provides resources for undergraduate students interested in research, graduate school, and research careers in computing-related fields. It also provides resources for faculty mentors, looking to engage and advise undergraduates in research and prepare them for graduate school in computing fields. The site is maintained by the Computing Research Association, an organization (of which our department is a member!) with the mission to enhance innovation by joining with industry, government and academia to strengthen research and advanced education in computing.

Specific topics of interest to undergraduate students that are covered are:

  • What is computing research
  • Finding research opportunities
  • Undergraduate research awards
  • Why go to graduate school?
  • The graduate school application process
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