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Professor Khan Receives Award at 2016 WORLDCOMP


Professor Arshia Khan received an Achievement award in July at the 2016 world Congress in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, and applied Computing in recognition and appreciation of contributions as a speaker of the following tutorial: "Data Privacy-Preserving in Cloud Computing".

Author: cford


UMD Wins 2015 DigiKey


UMD Programmers Triumph Again
For the second year in a row, UMD students have taken the top prize at the DigiKey 2015 Colegiate Computing Competition. Thirty-four teams from 15 univerisites in Minnesota,  North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin competed for the honor.

UMD’s winning team, the Wylei Werevoles, was made up of Aleksandar Straumann, Jonathan Beaulieu, Mitchell Rysavy, and Amanda Poston. For earning first place, each student took home a $300 Amazon gift card, while the department received a $5,000 and a bronze traveling trophy.

Author: cford


Prof. Dunham Elected Chair of SIGMAA-ARTS


Douglas Dunham, professor, Department of Computer Science, was elected as chair of SIGMAA-ARTS, the MAA (Mathematical Association of America) special interest group consisting of over 300 MAA members who are also interested in the arts. He has served as interim chair for the past two years. Also, his sculpture "The {3,12} Polyhedron Decorated with a Fractal Circle Pattern" (which can be seen at: was featured in the "Snapshot" section of Baltimore University's fall 2015 magazine.

Author: cford


UMD MMAD Lab - Media in Motion Across Disciplines Lab


Updated: 04/03/2015 7:14 PM
Created: 04/03/2015 7:07 PM
By: Heidi Enninga

UMD is now home to technologies that seem almost like science fiction, but the university said students and faculty will use creative technology in a new Motion and Media Across the Disciplines or MMAD Lab to solve the 21st century's most complex problems.

The new state-of-the-art MMAD Lab is designed to be a crossover space where faculty, students and even community members can collaborate for creative and innovative research across areas of study from dance to exercise science.

Students and faculty showcased the MMAD Lab at a ribbon cutting Friday morning.

A ballerina performed a choreographed number in sync with a digital version of herself to showcase motion capture technology and a collaboration between the theatre and exercise science departments.

The technology uses data from sensors attached to a person's joints. As the person moves, motion capture cameras use infrared light reflecting from the cameras to the sensors to detect and plot movement in a computer system. The coordinated data then can show where the plot points are in a -D model.

Those same cameras and infrared lights can be a transport to virtual reality. Pete Willemson teaches computer science at UMD. His students programmed a virtual environment that people can actually explore and interact with.

"It's like taking Skype to the next level, of 3-D Skype where you are in a space with someone. You are in that social experience with someone," Willemson said. "I think it's pretty spectacular."

The virtual reality technology is often used for 3-D movies and games. Willemson said it can also be used for when a theatre group wants to design and build a set. They can build a virtual model and actors can actually walk and interact in the virtual set before a physical set is ever created.

UMD graduate students Logan Sales is studying computer science and working in the lab, and he said the effectiveness of virtual reality don't stop with entertainment.

"A lot of other uses are in therapy dealing with phobias or PTSD, things that people can be trained to deal with better without actually having to experience it physically," Sales said.

The addition of the MMAD lab, Sales said, has helped him experience what he's building on the computer, and he said it's made limitations on creativity and innovation because of systems a thing of the past.

"Whatever you want to experience, with enough time, we can make it happen," Sales said.

Funds for this lab came from a grant prepared by faculty from five different disciplines at UMD.

"We can explore the future here," Willemson said."It's a support of for doing the types of research that we want to do at this university."

Here are some news links. Each one is a little different.

Author: cford


UMD Computer Science students win DKC3, DigiKey's Collegiate Computing Competition 2014!


Three UMD CS students, Jonathan Beaulieu, Bridget Coughlin, and Scott Redig, formed the team Pointless Pointer and competed against twenty-three other teams from around the area. For the first time in the competition's history, two teams tied for first place after the word, short, and long problem sections: UMD and Bemidji State University. UMD scored very well on the tie-breaker problem to win the competition.

Author: cford


Science, social science, and art collide at the UMD MMad Lab


The MMad Lab is a mashup of three UMD colleges and five departments, resulting in a high-tech fueling of artistic wonder and groundbreaking research. Check out the article at

Author: cford


Professor Doug Dunham' Artwork on Exhibit


Three prints, designed by Professor Doug Dunham and John Shier, were selected to be displayed at the conference art exhibit at the Bridges 2014 Conference in Seoul Korea, August 14-19, 2014.

"Yin-Yangs in a Circle",
"Circles in a Yin-Yang", and
"Yin-Yangs in Yin-Yang"
can be viewed at the Mathematical Art Gallery at:

One of them, "Circles in a Yin-Yang" was chosen as the background for the
cover of both the conference proceedings and the art exhibit catalog.

The cover of the proceedings can be seen at:

In addition, the three prints were donated as Object 4,
"Aesthetic Fractals", to the IMU

(International Mathematical Union) "DonAuction"
(, an auction to raise funds for the IMU
program called “Adopt a Mathematics Graduate Student”, to help young,
talented students from developing countries to gain access to assistantships
in other developing countries.
The three prints raised $500 for the program.

Author: cford


UMD Students at DigiKey Competition!


Computer Science majors at UMD recently competed in the DigiKey Collegiate Computing Competition.  Seven UMD students divided into two teams and traveled to Thief River Falls to participate in the annual competition hosted by the Digikey corporation.  The competition consisted of three rounds:  Small programing problems, written "world" problems, and longer programming problems.  One of UMD's teams was able to get 4th place in the competition, out of the 15 teams present.  In addition to the main event, the students also toured Digikey's facilities and were updated on what interning or working at Digikey would be like.  Everyone had a good time, and thanked Digikey for their hospitality!

Author: cford


UMD CS & CIS Student Job Network!


Dear CS, CIS & CS Masters Students,

The UMD Computer Science Department maintains a career resource through AfterCollege, a career network for college students and recent graduates. All CS majors, CIS majors, and other interested students are invited to join the AfterCollege network by going here:

This network is exclusive to Department of Computer Science students and alumni and enables you to:
* Receive announcements on jobs, internships, and scholarships
* Search exclusive jobs and internships
* Network with alumni from our program

Once registered you can upload your resume for potential employers to see.  Next spring I will generate a UMD Computer Science Resume Book and circulate it to over 150 local and regional companies that have expressed interest in our students for jobs and internships.

Every piece of career information I receive, whether about permanent jobs, part-time jobs, or summer internships, is posted on AfterCollege, and an announcement is emailed to registered students.  Only by being a member of our AfterCollege career network will you receive these emails.

Also, for more information about getting academic credit for computer science internships, follow this link:

-         Professor Tim Colburn

Author: cford


Prof. Dunham's Art Featured


Professor Doug Dunham's artwork, "Hyperbolic Patter of Butterflies", was chosen for the May page of the Calendar of Mathematical Imagery 2013 Calendar. The calendar is produced by the American Mathematical Society and can be viewed at

Author: cford


Second Graders Explore the World of Computer Science


In May 2013, a Duluth Congdon Park Elementary class visited UMD's Computer Science Simulation and Interaction in Virutal Environments Lab (SIVE Lab), operated by Dr. Pete Willemsen. Second graders learned what computer science is like and what we as computer scientists do.

Seven stations provided exposure, engaging experiences, and an education to a variety of computer science related topics. Each station focused on a small and specific subset of computer science ranging from what a computer is, how we represent the alphabet on a computer using binary numbers, how computers can be programmed, Scratch, to how we computers to help scientists.

Volunteers from the CS graduate and undergraduate programs represented a diverse and even mix of cultures and genders. This was purposeful to ensure the 2nd graders interacted with an inclusive and diverse group of students showing a broad spectrum of people (men and women) being computer scientists.

Below is a summary of the stations that we prepared. The second grade class was split into 7 groups of 3-4 students each. Each group spent 12 minutes at each station interacting with the students, equipment, and computers.

Station 1. - What is a computer? - Students learned about the different parts that make up a computer including its memory, long term storage, processing ability, and how it communicates with other computers.

Station 2. - How is a computer built? - Students took a computer apart and put it back together.

Station 3. - How do computers work? - In this exercise, the students learned how computers only use the binary number system (0s and 1s) to make sense of the world. Using the binary representations of the alphabet students spelled their names as a computer would.

Station 4. - LEGO Scratch Programming - Students built LEGO systems that had motors and sensors and programed the motors with software, using the Scratch programming environment. After finishing the assembly of a LEGO kit, students used Scratch to write a program to control the LEGO motor with one of the LEGO sensors. One system, a LEGO alligator, used Scratch to "bite" the person's finger when it gets too close to the alligator's mouth. Hand-outs were supplied showing where students can get Scratch and use it on their own (it's free). There were two LEGO/Scratch stations at the table so pairs of students could work together on one set.

Station 5. - Arduino RGB Light - In this exercise, the students used a very small computer (an Arduino) to construct a small multi-colored RGB LED that could be programmed. They then programed the color of the light with a software program they wrote and changed. This exercise demonstrated the interaction between hardware and software and how colors are represented. Two Arduinos were setup for pairs of students to use.

Station 6. - Sun City, or Gosh, it's hot! - Students used a physical mock-up of a small city to simulate the sun with a bright light. The then determined the hot and cool spots of a city. Volunteers demonstrated how Meteorological Scientists and Engineers use computer simulations to make these observations.

Station 7. - Walk on Mars/Haptic Demo - This was combined demo showing the VR system. The students prepped to be the first astronauts to stand in the Noctis Labrynthis (Night Maze) on Mars. After learning how planetary scientists have collected specific data for the structure of Mars, we explained how scientists use computer science and computer programs to study the red planet virtually. The students each spent several minutes using the virtual reality setup in the lab to stand on Mars and walk around the Noctis Labrynthis. While students waited to, or after they were done seeing the Mars demo, they received a demo of a haptic device to explore how scientists can use robots to help them feel objects that are "in" the computer with the motivation being that if a scientist wanted to feel one of the rocks they saw on Mars, this might be how
they'd do it.

What is a computer

Arduino RGB Light

LEGO Scratch Programming

Sun City

Mars Demo

How is a computer Built?

Author: cford


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