Standings at the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) International Collegiate Programming Contest World Finals in Harbin, China: UM finished No. 32 overall and No. 6 among U.S. competitors. (No. 1 Stanford, No 2 Cornell, No.3 Carnegie-Mellon, No. 4 MIT, No. 5 Columbia, No. 6 Maryland, No. 7 Michigan, No. 8 Wisconsin, No. 9 Duke, No. 10 Rochester.
Washington Examiner: "The Maryland Board of Public Works yesterday approved the University of Maryland's $12 million purchase of The Washington Post printing plant in College Park. The board's Feb. 10 meeting with university officials was rescheduled because of a heavy snowstorm. The Post closed its 300,000-square-foot College Park plant in July 2009 and consolidated printing at its Springfield, Va. The university will relocate facilities now on East Campus to make way for graduate student housing, a mail facility, maintenance shops and a music hall. An earlier plan to move those services to a wooded area provoked protests from students and faculty and university senate vote against the plan. Today's student-run Diamondback Online reports that a new developer now must be found for the $900 million project at the Post plant's 18.5-acre site. While the Post paid city property tax of approximately $260,000, the state university will owe none. It has, however, agreed to pay a rate that varies, based on a state assessment. The Post was the city's biggest taxpayer, according to Mayor Andy Fellows."
Baltimore Sun: "The University of Maryland says it is teaming with Maryland companies on 17 research projects to develop products for technologies ranging from wind power to removing nutrients from wastewater. Other projects include restoring vegetation in the Chesapeake Bay and medical technologies for diabetes, kidney disease and other conditions. The companies include Hunt Valley-based Mastix Medica, which is developing a chewing gum to help dialysis patients control phosphorus levels, and Jessup-based American Dynamics Flight Systems, which is working on propulsion systems for unmanned aircraft that can take off and land vertically. The projects are being funded with a total of $3 million from the companies and the university's Maryland Industrial Partnerships Program."
Aviation Week "American Dynamics Flight Systems will wind tunnel test the ducted-fan propulsion system for its proposed AD-150 vertical-takeoff-and-landing unmanned aircraft with support from the University of Maryland (UM). The university's Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS) program has approved $135,150 in funding to test a scale model of the company's patented High Torque Aerial Lift (HTAL) system in a tunnel at UMD. 'We get to work with UMD and the state provides 90 percent of the funding,' says Wayne Morse, American Dynamics president and CEO. In 2009, the company conducted wind tunnel testing of a 3/10th-scale model of the AD-150 at UMD with funding support from MIPS. The AD-150 is a 500-pound-payload, 300-knot-cruise VTOL design aimed at the U.S. Marine Corps' Group 4 requirement for an expeditionary unmanned aircraft."
Business Gazette: "A startup company founded by a student in the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute's Hillman Entrepreneurs Program plans to build a biofuel-producing electricity generating plant in the African country of Sierra Leone. Tseai Energy Unlimited, based in College Park, said its first project will be a plant that will process palm fruit into palm oil. The waste from the process is converted into biogas, which generates electricity. TEU representatives are spending two weeks in Sierra Leone, both to acquire land parcels for the project and to meet with local farmers, academic resources, government officials and contractors."
Business Journals: "Gas money for your tank doesn't grow on trees, but one day you might be filling up with fuel that does. A team of researchers at the University of Maryland, College Park, and Bowie State University is working on ways to turn poplar trees into high-yield crops for biofuels including ethanol, the renewable biofuel used in gasoline blends and flex-fuel vehicles. The hybrid trees would be grown on plantations and harvested without affecting existing woodlands. The study is funded by a $3.2 million, four-year grant from the National Science Foundation's Plant Genome Research Project, which supports research on plants seen as having economic and agricultural importance. Using the recently completed poplar genome, the researchers are focusing on ways to improve the tree's nitrogen processing capability, which will enhance its growth rate and feasibility for use in fuel production. In the United States, corn is the crop of choice for biofuel production. While corn is renewable, home-grown (unlike foreign oil) and plentiful, it may not be the best solution. 'We need to develop an alternative crop that we use exclusively for biofuels and not food,' explains Ganesh Sriram, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at UM's A. James Clark School of Engineering."
Capital News Service: "Some students worried about how their online presence will be perceived by a potential employer are taking the extraordinary security step of changing their names on the social network Facebook. In this down economy, with heavy competition for jobs, Maryland students and new graduates are joining an emerging national trend of modifying account names to elude snooping recruiters. ' had an internship that required me to do it because I worked for a politician and I couldn't be associated with any kind of organization,'said Emily Winchatz, a Capitol Hill intern and senior government and philosophy major at the University of Maryland, College Park. '(Fellow interns) said my best bet would be to just get off Facebook altogether or change my name so I couldn't be searched,' said Winchatz, who replaced her last name with her middle name on the network."
Baltimore Sun: "Colleges are bracing for another year of high demand for financial aid -- and that means students need to get their applications in as quickly as possible. Federal student loans remain plentiful, but other types of aid from states and colleges are more limited. By missing one of the many deadlines, students could receive fewer sought-after grants and scholarships that don't have to be repaid, and end up having to apply for loans that do. 'It will be another competitive year,' says Sarah Bauder, director of financial aid for the University of Maryland, College Park. Aid applications so far at the state university are up 12 percent over last year, while federal funding for work-study and certain education grants has been slashed, Bauder says. Blame the continued weak economy for the stiff competition for aid. Unemployment remains high. Families that have burned through cash reserves now are applying for aid for the first time, aid officials say. In addition, a bumper crop of high school seniors and more people returning to school for advanced degrees will add to the aid demand, says Patricia Nash Christel, a spokeswoman for student loan giant Sallie Mae. The first step to getting aid is filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid at fafsa.ed.gov. It not only will determine your federal aid, but states and colleges also use the FAFSA to award their money. The earliest you can submit a FAFSA is Jan. 1. States and schools set their own deadlines for when the FAFSA must be submitted."
Prince George's Sentinel: "While the University of Maryland has long been involved with community outreach at Prince George's County Public Schools, including Paint Branch Elementary School, there has not been a formal commitment to this partnership until this month. Several community members and educational representatives met at Paint Branch Elementary School's multipurpose room last week to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between the University of Maryland and PGCPS, formalizing this partnership to work collaboratively with Paint Branch Elementary School in College Park for a more enriching educational experience. The MOU signing included Dr. Nariman Farvadin from UMD's office of the Vice President of Administrative Affairs, Donna Wiseman from UMD's College of Education, Dr. William R. Hite from PGCPS, Prince George's County Board of Education, and PBES Principal Dr. Jay Teston. Also present were UMD students and faculty, the PBES students who were chosen to go to China, and the mayor and members of his cabinet, said Teston. 'Public recognition is good and it's a commitment and it's recognition that we are on the right track as to how to build community for schools in the 21st century,' said Teston. Partnership between the university and Paint Branch Elementary have been in development for several years but it had only been an ad-hoc partnership, said Amy Neugebauer, the partnership's project manager."
NAE: "The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) has elected 68 new members and nine foreign associates, announced NAE President Charles M. Vest... . Election to the National Academy of Engineering is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to 'engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature,' and to the 'pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education.'
JOHN DAVID ANDERSON JR., curator of aerodynamics, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. For aerospace engineering and history textbooks and for contributions to hypersonic gas dynamics. (Anderson is professor emeritus, Clark School Department of Aerospace Engineering.)
ALI MOSLEH, professor of mechanical engineering, department of mechanical engineering, University of Maryland, College Park. For contributions to the development of Bayesian methods and computational tools in probabilistic risk assessment and reliability engineering.
BEN SHNEIDERMAN, professor of computer science, department of computer science, University of Maryland, College Park. For research, software development, and scholarly texts concerning human-computer interaction and information visualization.
Charlotte Observer: "David Driskell -- artist, educator and collector of African-American art -- grew up in Cleveland County where his father was a pastor at two rural Baptist churches and also farmed cotton and grew sweet corn and tomatoes. His memory -- and feeling -- for that long-ago boyhood shines in 'Echoes,' one of more than 60 prints in an exhibit opening Friday at the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Art and Culture uptown. He depicts a winged black angel hovering over a modest wooden church with bell and steeple. Growing wildly around it are plants of every description in pinks, blues and orange -- a riotous burst of life and spirit. Such bits of biography run through 'Evolution: Five Decades of Printmaking by David C. Driskell,' as well as influences from African and 20th-century art. Put together by the Driskell Center at the University of Maryland, where he is art professor emeritus, the exhibit charts the artist's growth as a printmaker of still-lifes, portraits, figure studies and nature scenes. Considering himself primarily a painter, Driskell resisted the idea of a print show. But when curator Adrienne Childs talked about how he had made prints continuously for half a century, he gave in. 'Printmaking has gotten a hold on me,' he said in a telephone interview."
Prince George's Sentinel: "Broad ambitions, a solid work ethic and a passion for community service and leadership provide a glimpse into the multi-dimensional portrait of AMBI Scholarship in Science and Medicine winner, Toni Aluko. The first-year University of Maryland, College Park graduate student was awarded one of five $10,000 AMBI Skincare scholarships in September 2009. According to AMBI, a skincare line for ethnic women, the program is 'designed to recognize, reward and support African-American women who have a genuine desire to make a difference in the fields of science and medicine.' The winnings are geared toward providing the financial resources necessary for recipients to pursue their future career goals."
Editor & Publisher: "The New York Times' David Rohde, who wrote about his ordeal as a prisoner of the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan, is among the 13 winners of the George Polk Awards, announced Tuesday by Long Island University. Rohde will receive the Polk Award for Foreign Reporting for 'Held by the Taliban,' the five-part series about his capture and imprisonment by the Taliban. Rohde is a previous Polk winner and has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize. The George Polk Career Award will be presented to Gene Roberts, who was executive editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer for 18 years at a time when the paper won seven Polk Awards and 17 Pulitzer Prizes. 'Over the course of his half-century career, Mr. Roberts has displayed a talent for mentoring, helping to nurture the careers of countless successful reporters,' the awards committee said. Roberts retired last year as a professor of journalism at the University of Maryland."
State of Florida: UM's Shark Lady receives honor.
Eugenie Clark, 87 years as adventurer
"Dr. Eugenie Clark of Sarasota is known worldwide as 'The Shark Lady.' As an explorer, marine biologist and teacher, she founded a small marine laboratory in 1955. Now the Mote Marine Laboratory, the lab is a national center for shark and marine mammal research. Currently a Professor Emerita at the University of Maryland, she has received many awards for exploration, science and education, including her 2008 induction into the International Explorer's Society. Dr. Clark has produced documentaries for the National Geographic Society, including 'The Sharks,' and 'About Shark.' She has been an honorary member of more than 20 marine organizations such as the Society of Women Geographers, National Geographic Society, and Underwater Society of America. Dr. Clark also serves as counsel and adviser for many environmental associations on a host of marine biology issues. Dr. Clark continues to lead diving expeditions to many parts of the world in search of new knowledge about the nature and habits of ocean animals."
Passion for Politics Drives City's Youngest Member of Council
Gazette Newspapers: Newest College Park leader plans to focus on Route 1, UM relationship ... "College Park City Councilman Marcus Afzali (Dist. 4) has lived in England, Gaithersburg, Richmond, Va., and Northridge, Calif.; but College Park holds a special place in his heart. 'It's my home,' said Afzali, 25, who was born in Birmingham, England, but lived in College Park from ages 3 to 9. 'I grew up here. I love this city.' Afzali returned to College Park in 2007 and enrolled at the University of Maryland, College Park, in 2008, to pursue a doctorate in government and politics. His passion for politics led the then-24-year-old to run for City Council last year. He was elected on Nov. 3, making him one of the council's youngest members ever. 'I love this city,' said Afzali, who first became interested in politics during the 2000 presidential race between George W. Bush and Al Gore. 'I think this town could be a really great place to live [with some revitalization].' "
Society & Culture
New York Times: Jerome Segal, director of the Peace Consultancy Project at the School of Public Policy, writes an op/ed: "Of most importance in future negotiations is the issue of security, whether Palestinian forces can prevent attacks on Israel, either suicide terrorists, or rockets fired from the West Bank. If they cannot, then Israel will not withdraw from the West Bank, regardless of what the international community says. Over the last year, praise has been heaped on the performance of Palestinian security forces, trained under U.S. auspices, and operating under the authority of President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. However, without progress toward genuine statehood, what is today viewed as 'successful security cooperation,' will in time dissolve as it comes to be viewed as Palestinian collaboration, with its security forces having become 'the police of the occupation.' "
Newark Star-Ledger: Fierce Angels: The Strong Black Woman in American Life and Culture Sheri Parks Ballantine Books, 244 pp., $25
"Readers who pay attention to Women's History Month, coming along in March, should be on the lookout for 'Fierce Angels.' Sheri Parks, who teaches at the University of Maryland, scours her sources to trace the mythical Black First Mother down through the ages. A good companion to Kathryn Stockton's best-selling novel, 'The Help,' this analysis of the role of 'Mammy' in American history, literature, film (see 'Gone with the Wind'), commerce ('Aunt Jemima') and television is fascinating, as is the tradition of the strong and selfless black woman who rights all wrongs. Parks finds the power of the Sacred Dark Feminine resting in the souls of the present day Angry Black Women, a stereotype she deconstructs with much affection. In a rambling conclusion, she instructs black women to nurture the healer in their hearts, while cautioning them to pay attention to their own physical and psychological health. It is a noble tradition, but has its limits."
Boston Globe: Reconsidering the history of blacks in America as a series of migrations instead of simple timeline ... "After the death of John Hope Franklin last year, tributes to the distinguished historian cascaded down. A major newspaper in North Carolina declared that Franklin, who retired from Duke University, 'gave definition to the African-American experience.' That was a slight exaggeration, overlooking as it did predecessors such as Carter G. Woodson, creator of what has become Black History Month, but the statement was not off much. Franklin's 1947 classic, 'From Slavery to Freedom,' is deservedly credited with setting forth the master narrative of black people in America. Ira Berlin dedicates 'The Making of African America: The Four Great Migrations' to Franklin, who was a friend. Having paid his respects, the University of Maryland historian then offers an alternative to the linear progression from slavery to emancipation, Reconstruction's collapse to Jim Crow, the civil rights movement to full citizenship. What Berlin has produced, with careful research, keen interpretation, and accessible language, is a worthy complement to Franklin's narrative, just as he intended."
Baltimore Sun: "Traditional gauges of economic activity severely overstate the standard of living as experienced on 'Main Street,' say University of Maryland researchers, who have worked with their state officials to apply a more accurate and greener index. Maryland recently became the fourth U.S. state to adopt the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) as a supplement to the traditional state-level economic index, the Gross State Product (GSP). 'This is not merely a question of dueling statistics - the difference in the two figures can be startling and represents very different pictures of our standard of living,' says Matthias Ruth, director of the University of Maryland's Center for Integrative Environmental Research (CIER), which calculated the GPI for the state. http://www.cier.umd.edu/mruth.html 'In 2000, the classic economic measure showed Maryland more than 50 percent wealthier than we actually were, as measured by the GPI.' Ruth explains."
Business Gazette: "Move over nationwide brands, small businesses are headed to the social space. According to a recent report 25% of small businesses now have a branded social network page and 41% are using social networks to advertise and promote their businesses. ... The State of the Small Business Report, commissioned by Network Solutions and the Center for Excellence in Service, Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, shows that social media use by small businesses has doubled year over year. 'Tough market conditions mandate small businesses to think and act creatively to sustain themselves,' says Connie Steele, Director at Network Solutions. 'Social media can be the best friend for small business owners who constantly seek new ways to attract new customers and retain the ones they have at a relatively low cost.' "
Business Journals: "New research from the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business and Yale University School of Management finds films from well-known producers and directors receive more lenient parental guidance ratings by the Motion Picture Association of America than those produced by independent distributors or unknown producers and directors, an advantage that can lead to wider distribution and higher revenues at the box office. Researchers also found films from directors with a history of producing "R"-rated features consistently receive more restrictive ratings. 'Producers and distributors want lenient ratings for a bigger splash at the box office, but sex and violence sell films,' said David Waguespack, assistant professor of management and organization at the Smith School and co-author of the research. 'Filmmakers that push the envelope, adding racy content and more violence while avoiding a restrictive rating, have an advantage at the box office.' "
Atlantic Monthly: "Matt Kirschenbaum slips a five-and-a-quarter-inch floppy disk into his Apple IIe's drive and flips the switch. The 26-year-old machine, which his family bought when he was a child, squeaks to life. A pixilated green dragon fills the screen, as a tinny synthesized voice, not unlike T-Pain's, drones 'sea dragon, Sea Dragon, SEA DRAGON!' Kirschenbaum is an English professor at the University of Maryland and the associate director of the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities, and the computer symbolizes his lifelong love of all things digital. But the ancient Apple is about more than novelty and nostalgia -- it is one of the few ways to access games like Sea Dragon in their original format. Thousands of them are at risk of disappearing completely, stuck on decaying disks and locked behind a confusing hedgerow of copyrights and ownership disputes. In response, two years ago Maryland, Stanford, Illinois, and the Rochester Institute of Technology teamed up with the Library of Congress and Linden Lab, the makers of Second Life, in a $2.15 million program to develop standards for preserving video games and 'virtual worlds' -- that is, online multiplayer systems like EverQuest and World of Warcraft. The consortium is just one part of a growing movement uniting academics, librarians, developers, and players around game preservation. The Video Game Archive at the University of Texas collects memos, beta versions, and other paraphernalia documenting the game-making process. Stanford, Michigan, and Berlin's Computer Game Museum have amassed thousands of old games and consoles. And thousands of private collectors post source code online for so-called abandonware -- games that no longer are published or supported by the companies that created them."
NPR: "Still, with the U.S. military embroiled in two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, some Republicans argue it is a tough time to make such a controversial change. 'Many of us on this committee have serious concerns with putting our men and women in uniform through such a divisive debate while they are fighting two wars,' Rep. Howard 'Buck' McKeon, the ranking Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, said during a hearing this week. But the biggest complications from allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly could come at home, says David Segal, who directs the Center for Research on Military Organization at the University of Marylan'. 'The real problems are going to occur in garrison -- how the military in a community setting is going to adapt to what are becoming the norms in society at large," Segal says. 'Do we treat gays who could get married because of where they live differently from those who can't get married because of where they live? I think there will be issues of discrimination that will be very thorny.' It's not clear that there would be any changes to military benefits or other rules, because federal law currently bars recognition of same-sex marriage."
Hazelton Standard Speaker: "The Lattimer Massacre may have happened in a small Pennsylvania coal town 113 years ago, but two individuals from the University of Maryland are working to ensure its significance is never forgotten. Dr. Paul Shackel and Kristin Sullivan recently created a Web site to remember that violent September day in 1897 -- what some have referred to as an impetus for the American labor movement. The site, www.lattimer massacre.ning.com, has only been in existence for several weeks, but its creators are hoping folks waste no time in visiting. Shackel, who is the chair of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Maryland, College Park, said he has been interested in the Lattimer story for some time. 'About 13 years ago, there was a centennial celebration of the massacre,' Shackel said. 'My wife and I were in the area and we attended. Michael Novak, who is the author of a book on Lattimer, was also there as a speaker, and there were some other important people there, too. And it was very moving on a lot of levels, the way people care about this history. So for a long time, it's been in the back of my mind.' 'But the real point of why I'm interested in Lattimer is because not a lot of people know about it, and it's one of the biggest tragedies in history,' he continued. 'I think it's a shame there's this amnesia in the national memory of it. So two years ago, I became chair of the anthropology department and Kristin was there. I asked her to look into it, and it became her idea.' Sullivan, 30, a University of Maryland graduate student and the assistant to the chair of the anthropology department, said she was quite happy to land the assignment.
Don Kettl, dean of Public Policy, writes an op/ed: "Sarah Palin needs to take a page from Yogi Berra's well-thumbed book: 'When You Come to a Fork in the Road, Take It!' She's doing well by leading a group that doesn't want a leader, but in doing so she risks separating herself from the rest of the country. She needs to be able to go down both forks if she's going to earn her leadership chops. Palin has tapped into a deep vein of profound disaffection with the tea partiers, but it's a weak strategy to bet the future on a group so alienated from politics that the only thing it can agree on is that it doesn't want to be led. She's got a voice that resonates wonderfully with lots of people who just don't like government. Palin is the charismatic poster child for "the party of no." She taps powerfully into the anxiety of voters who don't much like government and who are worried about their economic future."
Washington Post: "With its 2007 report declaring that the "warming of the climate system is unequivocal," the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change won a Nobel Prize -- and a new degree of public trust in the controversial science of global warming. But recent revelations about flaws in that seminal report, ranging from typos in key dates to sloppy sourcing, are undermining confidence not only in the panel's work but also in projections about climate change. Scientists who have pointed out problems in the report say the panel's methods and mistakes -- including admitting Saturday that it had overstated how much of the Netherlands was below sea level -- give doubters an opening. ... 'There is a sense that something's rotten in the state of the IPCC,' said Richard H. Moss, a senior scientist at the Joint Global Change Research Institute at the University of Maryland, who has worked with the panel since 1993. 'It's just wildly exaggerated. But we need to take a look and see if something needs to be improved.' The IPCC climate assessments are, by any standard, a massive undertaking. Thousands of scientists across the globe volunteer to evaluate tens of thousands of academic documents and translate them into plain-English reports that policymakers can understand."
Science & Technology
Examiner: "Now that the worst storm of the century is over, we are starting to learn how the various branches of the government (including OPM) dealt with the blizzard. Transportation and emergency management agencies throughout the Mid-Atlantic region had a high-tech edge coping with this season's blizzards -- an advanced visualization and data fusion system developed by the University of Maryland. The technology gave hundreds of officials at command centers and in the field a consolidated real-time stream of traffic, accident and weather information from dozens of sources, all displayed on a single screen. Field personnel using a special 'hardened' technology got the data in their vehicles and filed real-time reports that instantly updated the system. The Regional Integrated Transportation Information System (RITIS) provides a single real-time view far more comprehensive than previously available. The CapWIN Mobile Client gives first responders two-way access to the information. Both technologies were developed and are operated by the University of Maryland's Center for Advanced Transportation Technology (CATT), part of the Clark School of Engineering."
Los Angeles Times: "The Waxman letter lays out evidence that Toyota's official explanation that floor mats and sticking gas pedals are to blame fails to provide a credible understanding of the problem. Based on customer reports to Toyota, floor mats and sticking pedals do not account for 80% of the reports the company has received. The Waxman letter also attacks a consultant's report that Toyota has used to defend itself from allegations that a hidden electronic defect exists. The report was issued by Menlo Park-based Exponent Inc., based on tests it conducted on behalf of Toyota. But the committee said experts it has consulted, including University of Maryland engineering professor Michael Pecht, found that Exponent's investigation of the problem was cursory at best and that its methodology lacked scientific vigor. The letter also questioned Toyota's earlier claim that misplaced floor mats were a major cause of sudden acceleration."
Washington Post: "Congressional investigators Monday accused Toyota officials of making misleading public statements about the causes of its runaway cars and faulted federal safety regulators for conducting "cursory and ineffective" investigations because of a crippling lack of expertise. The charges from House members amplify the unprecedented scrutiny focused on the beleaguered automaker and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In addition to three congressional committees, which are holding hearings beginning Tuesday, a federal grand jury has subpoenaed company documents relating to unintended acceleration, and so has the Securities and Exchange Commission, Toyota announced Monday. ... 'It is well known that the phenomenon of sudden acceleration, while often deadly, is not so widespread that such simple tests with such extremely small sample sizes would uncover the root cause,' University of Maryland engineering professor Michael Pecht told the committee. NHTSA, meanwhile, was woefully unprepared to decide whether engine electronics might be at fault, Waxman and Stupak said. NHTSA officials told investigators that the agency doesn't employ any electrical engineers or software engineers."
Science Daily: "New research conducted at the University of Maryland's bat lab shows Egyptian fruit bats find a target by NOT aiming their guiding sonar directly at it. Instead, they alternately point the sound beam to either side of the target. The new findings by researchers from Maryland and the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel suggest that this strategy optimizes the bats' ability to pinpoint the location of a target, but also makes it harder for them to detect a target in the first place. 'We think that this tradeoff between detecting a object and determining its location is fundamental to any process that involves tracking an object whether done by a bat, a dog or a human, and whether accomplished through hearing, smell or sight,' said coauthor Cynthia Moss, a University of Maryland professor of psychology, who directs interdisciplinary bat echolocation research in the university's Auditory Neuroethology Lab, better known as the bat lab. Moss, colleagues Nachum Ulanovsky and Yossi Yovel of the Weizmann Institute, and Ben Falk, a graduate student of Moss's in Maryland's Neuroscience and Cognitive Science Program, published their findings in the journal Science. Ulanovsky, the paper's corresponding author, was a Maryland postdoctoral student under Moss."
USA Today: "At Josh Frye's poultry farm in West Virginia, the chicken waste is fed into a large, experimental incinerating machine. Out comes a charcoal-like substance known as 'biochar' -- which is not only an excellent fertilizer, but also helps keep carbon in the soil instead of letting it escape into the atmosphere, where it acts as a greenhouse gas. Former vice president and environmental advocate Al Gore calls biochar 'one of the most exciting new strategies' available to stop climate change. For Frye, it means that, before long, 'the chicken poop could be worth more than the chickens themselves.' Taken together, a 'portfolio' of low-cost initiatives could have a meaningful, positive impact on the environment, said Jae Edmonds, a prominent climate change scientist at the University of Maryland. More ambitious plans have stalled recently, including 'cap and trade' legislation in the Senate that would set a national limit on greenhouse gas emissions and force companies to buy and sell permits to emit carbon dioxide. December's 193-nation environmental summit in Copenhagen failed to produce a binding treaty to cut global pollution. 'You have to make do with what you've got,' Edmonds said. 'If these other proposals are being deferred, then in the years ahead we need to embrace these low-cost technologies that can get people excited ... because every little bit helps.' "
Asian News International: "Researchers from the University of Maryland have come up with a surprising picture of neuronal activity after using advanced imaging techniques to see how the brain processes sound. The study was conducted by Patrick Kanold, Assistant Professor of Biology, Shihab Shamma, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Institute for Systems Research (ISR), and Sharba Bandyopadhyay, Assistant Research Scientist (ISR). Dr. Kanold said all our knowledge of the brain's functioning has been based on taking a small sampling of all available neurons and making inferences about how the other neurons respond. He explained: 'This is like showing someone who wants to know how America looks, "Here is one person from New York City and one person from California." You don't get a very good picture of what the country looks like from that sampling.' However, Kanold and his team were able to look at the activity of all the neurons in a large region of the auditory cortex simultaneously."
U.S. News & World Report: "It could have been a scene from a sequel to Jurassic Park: Peering down at the tiny worms wriggling under the lens of her microscope, biologist Alexandra Bely witnessed a performance that hadn't been played in nature in millions of years. The beastie was sprouting a second head. Actually, two-headed worms are common in Bely's lab at the University of Maryland, College Park. But this specimen belongs to a species that had long ago lost the unusual regenerative ability. That species, Paranais litoralis, is part of an ancient family of worms called naidids that settle in the soft sediments alongside streams and ponds. Generally, if a sudden rush of water or a hungry predator causes a naidid to lose its head, it will simply grow another one. But some species that Bely and colleagues have studied, including Pa. litoralis, seem to have lost this power. So it surprised Bely to see that, with the right timing, the creature could regain its head-popping potential. 'That's very exciting, because it indicates that the ability to regenerate is still there, in a dormant state,' Bely says, 'though it probably hasn't been expressed or seen in millions of years.' "
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