Maryland Moments, May, 2003
(Rankings, Awards, New Programs)
Several area banks were among investors in a new venture capital fund being administered by the Smith School of Business that aimed to fund startups located in low-income neighborhoods in the Washington and Baltimore areas. The New Markets Growth Fund had $20 million to invest in early and expansion stage companies in economically distressed areas in Maryland, Virginia and the District. The Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship provided Smith School MBA students to support the fund managers.
According to statistics published in the Chronicle of Higher Education, UM increased its federal research and development dollars by 6.5% from the year 2000 ( $136,605,000) to 2001 ( $145,515,000). In the Md./Va./D.C. region, Johns Hopkins University ranked first (No. 1 national ranking), followed by the University of Maryland (41), University of Virginia (49), University of Maryland, Baltimore (59), Georgetown University (67), Virginia Tech (78), and Virginia Commonwealth University (100).
Bradley Buran (B.S., Physiology and Neurobiology, B.A., Anthropology. Graduate School, Harvard - MIT; Degree Sought: Ph.D., Neurosciences)
Andrew Canter (B.A., Government and Politics); Graduate School: Carnegie Mellon University; Degree Sought: Master�s in Public Policy, Master�s in Arts Management)
Ann Lam (B.M., Violin Performance; Graduate School: State University of New York Purchase College; Degree Sought: Master�s of Music in Violin Performance)
Arian Stewart (B.A., Political Science; Graduate School: University of Pennsylvania Law School; Degree Sought: J.D.)
Students selected who �have strong ties to Virginia, Maryland, or the District of Columbia; received up to $50,000 per year to complete their graduate or professional degrees... �
The American Academy of Arts and Sciences announced the selection of Ellen Diane Williams, distinguished university professor affiliated with the department of physics and the Institute for Physical Science, as a new fellow in the mathematical and physical sciences.
The National Symphony Orchestra will be in residency at the Clarice Smith Peforming Arts Center in November and joins with the School of Music to conduct a concert at the Kennedy Center featuring student musicians. The fall Clarice Smith schedule promises more success for the landmark arts center: Ticket sales were up this year 9 percent over the center�s projections and more than half of its shows reached 90 percent of seating capacity.
The university teamed with the federal government to create a new and unprecedented research facility to support the nation�s critical need for increased language capabilities. The Center for Advanced Study of Language will conduct groundbreaking research that focuses on less commonly taught languages, language acquisition, contextual analysis of language, and human computer interaction and machine (computer) translation. Language professionals from the Intelligence Community and the Department of Defense, with the National Security Agency/Central Security Service as the executive agent, have collaborated to lay groundwork for the center.
Science & Technology
Eugenia Kalnay, distinguished university professor in the department of meteorology, and Ming Cai, associate research scientist in meteorology, created world-wide interest regarding global warming with their report that cities, suburbs and irrigated farms are much bigger sources of extra heat than previously supposed. The research appeared in the journal Science.
For those who wanted to put their name on a collision course with a comet as part of the first space mission designed to give scientists a look inside one of these icy wanderers, the University of Maryland, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp offered the chance. Partners in the NASA Discovery Mission Deep Impact, they envisioned thousands who would want to hop a ride. The Deep Impact mission launched a campaign offering anyone the chance to have their name included on a CD that will be carried aboard one of the mission's spacecraft.
Xiangdong Ji, professor of physics, altered how science looks at protons (a small, positively-charged particle of matter found in the atoms of all elements). New Scientist Magazine: "The composition of the proton was confirmed in 1969 by experiments at the SLAC Laboratory in Stanford, California. Researchers used beams of high-energy electrons to split protons in hydrogen and deuterium targets in just the way Gell-Mann predicted. So theorists accepted the idea of a spherical proton, too. Until, that is, Ji began to make more detailed calculations of how electrons scatter off quarks when they are fired at the nucleus."
UM Maryland physicists came one step closer to a developing a quantum computer by demonstrating the existence of entangled states between two quantum bits (qubits), each created with a type of solid state circuit known as a Josephson junction. Published in the journal Science, the results represent the latest advance in a broad scientific effort to apply properties of quantum physics to the creation of computers far more powerful than any of today's supercomputers. Fred Wellstood, associate chair in physics, and Andrew Berkley, the paper's lead author and a graduate student in physics, were aided by members of the Center for Superconductivity Research.
Mechanical engineering's Balakumar Balachandran did not see the possibility of commercialization for his fiber-optic vibration sensor for micro-electromechanical systems. But that changed for this year's campus Physical Science Invention of the Year. A new company, Odexia, is incorporating to open in College Park. Other inventive winners selected by the Office of Technology Commercialization: J. Norman Hansen, professor of chemistry and biochemistry; Information Technology Invention of the Year -- Pete Sandborn, associate professor of mechanical engineering and research director of the Computer Aided Life Cycle Engineering Electronic Products and Systems Center (CALCE).
J. Patrick Harrington, professor of astronomy, was among a group of international astronomers who �combined observations from Hubble's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2, the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph and ground-based telescopes. Their work suggested that the nebula's S-shape and hypervelocity outflow is created by a central source that ejects streams of gas in opposite directions and precesses once every 1500 years. It is like an enormous, slowly rotating garden sprinkler.�
The Center for Advanced Technology Transportation offered the state of Maryland the unique possibility of �creating software that helps traffic engineers anticipate traffic and not just react to the latest accident, and puts the latest information at the fingertips of commuters.� Through a partnership between the State Highway Administration and the university, motorists would be warned of problems through the CHART (Coordinated Highways Action Response Team) live highway monitoring system.
�Astronomers in Socorro (N.M.) are using a galaxy 140-million light years away to understand just how our galaxy was created." Stacy Teng, graduate student in astronomy, is one of three researchers who used the Very Long Baseline Array radio telescopes to get unprecedented views of Arp 299, a galaxy whose light is just now reaching Earth. The research results were announced at the meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Nashville.
Society & Culture
A five-year, $863,000 grant from the National Institute of Child and Human Development at the National Institutes of Health enables the College of Education's department of human development to conduct a Graduate Training Program in Social Development for doctoral students. The program will be strongly mentor-based and is designed to give doctoral students the tools they need to become faculty in institutions of higher education or investigators in dedicated research institutions.
Writing in the Chicago Tribune, John Dean, former White House counsel during the Watergate investigation and key witness in the hearings that ended the presidency of Richard Nixon, gave a glowing book review of Kenneth Olson�s Watergate: The Presidential Scandal That Shook America. Olson is professor of history.
The tight job market motivated the Smith School of Business to institute a unique policy that earned widespead attention: The school signed a three month contract with recruitment consulting services firm Stanton Chase International to help graduating MBA students land employment. About 100 of this year's MBA class of 220 are taking part at no charge to the students.
More Maryland Moments in May
Incoming UM students Andrew Ascione, Wyn Bennett and Aaron Schulman won a first place at the Intel Science and Engineering Fair, the world�s largest pre-college science fair, which brings �together more than 1,200 of the best young scientists from more than 40 countries." The Broadneck (Md.) High School seniors won first place for a team project�-writing a computer program, BEACON, that allows researchers to analyze and identify all living organisms and viruses found within one strand of DNA.
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