Research Focus Areas and Centers

Focus Areas

Brain Discovery

The human brain is the most complex organ in our body – and possibly the most complex entity on earth.  It controls decision making to each and every process that controls our body.  This organ that weighs just about three pounds has stunned and delighted scientists and engineers for decades and continues to do so.  Our work encompasses brain-computer interfaces, their applications in human-robot interaction, the study of brain networks and connectivity, understanding the brain function using brain imaging and data fusion methods, brain stimulation (deep and focused transcranial magnetic stimulation), and cortical arousal during sleep.  Our work targets understanding the healthy or developing brain as well as one suffering from a disorder.

Work in the area is conducted in the following research labs as well as part of an upcoming NSF IUCRC center, Building Reliable Advances in Neurotechnologies (BRAIN).  The center has the following five themes spearheaded by diverse faculty in our department: cyber-human systems, AI and Big Data for Brain, Neural Signal Processing and Machine learning, Neural stimulation, and Virtual and augmented reality.  For more information please see

Research Faculty and Labs

Tulay AdaliMachine Learning for Signal Processing Lab

Nilanjan BanerjeeMobile Pervasive and Sensory Systems Lab

Justin Brooks

Fow-Sen ChoaChoa’s Lab

Seung-Jun KimSignal Processing and Smart Systems Lab

Ramana Kumar Vinjamuri Vinjamuri Lab 

Human-System Engineering to Optimize Health and Performance

The proliferation of technologies for mobile and pervasive sensing, advances in computational/cloud capabilities, and advances in machine learning and AI are shaping multidisciplinary frontiers for systems that improve the human condition: health and well-being.  Individuals and patients across diverse groups and caregivers cooperating with new technology can now address afflictions and surpass past limitations, such as those imposed by gaps in observability and obstacles to the frequency of interactions so that we can
  • explore new datasets with increased volume, complexity, and real-world variability;
  • develop novel systems to collect data and provide real-time feedback and intervention;
  • enable caregiver data exploration and assisted interpretation.
Humans and systems can work integratively to address a wide range of health and performance-related conditions, including disease states (e.g., diagnosis, illness trajectory monitoring) and performance states (e.g., stress, fatigue, boredom). Our research in this area spans sensor and embedded system development, real-time control systems, and applications of machine learning methods to human state estimation.

Research Faculty and Labs

Nilanjan BanerjeeMobile Pervasive and Sensory Systems Lab

Justin Brooks

Manas Gaur – KAI² – Knowledge-infused AI and Inference

Tim OatesCORAL – Cognition Robotics and Learning Lab

Ryan Robucci Covail Lab

Ramana Kumar VinjamuriVinjamuri Lab 

Mohamed YounisESNET – Embedded Systems and Networks Laboratory



CARTA – Center for Accelerated Real-Time Analytics

Director: Dr. Karuna Joshi

An NSF-sponsored IUCRC center focused on cutting-edge inter-disciplinary research in real-time analytics using next-generation accelerated hardware.

Centaνr – Center for Navigation, Time and Frequency Research

Director: Dr. Curtis Menyuk

CENTAUR was established in 2022 to support rapidly evolving and critical Army Position, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) needs. UMBC has teamed with the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS) under a national consortium to develop an Integrated photonics center to address this rising need.

UCYBR – UMBC Center for Cybersecurity

Director: Dr. Anupam Joshi
Assistant Director: Dr. Richard Forno

The UMBC Center for Cybersecurity is an interdisciplinary university center that unifies UMBC’s many cybersecurity capabilities. It provides Maryland and the nation with academic and research leadership, collaboration, innovation, and outreach in this critical discipline by streamlining our academic, research, workforce development, and technology incubation activities to advance UMBC’s position as a leading research university in cybersecurity-related disciplines.

UMBC Center for Artificial Intelligence

Director: Dr. Tim Finin

The UMBC Center for AI is an interdisciplinary center to support, promote, and develop UMBC communities doing research, application, and education in all areas of Artificial Intelligence.