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February 24, 2011

bwtech@UMBC Welcomes New Companies

Bioscience and Technology Companies Join the Incubator

CONTACT:
Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

bwtech@UMBC is pleased to announce that early-stage companies EncephRx and Spry Enterprises have signed leases for space in the Life Science and Technology Incubator. Both companies are confident about their ability to fill a niche in their respective markets and are looking forward to reaping the benefits of their new location.

EncephRx was founded last summer by First Stage Bioventures. Aaron Heifetz, a 20-year veteran of the biotechnology industry and partner in First Stage, was chosen to be the company’s President and CEO. The company is working to develop small molecule drugs to slow or prevent the progression of neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington’s, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Currently, EncephRx is conducting animal testing with the goal of completing that stage and applying for FDA permission to begin clinical trials in the next year or two. The company is using technology licensed from Southern Methodist University and the University of Texas at Dallas. Heifetz, who holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry, learned of the technology while doing background research at Johns Hopkins University.

Choosing UMBC for his new company’s headquarters was a natural choice for Heifetz, who was previously a member of the university’s Life Science Advisory Board and had facilitated meetings of bwtech@UMBC’s Incubator CEO group for several years. He has also done research with UMBC professors Tony Moreira and Govind Rao. “I know the people at UMBC,” said Heifetz. “The location offers a lot of value.”

Spry Enterprises has been operating for two years, with an office in Hunt Valley, and moved into its new space several weeks ago. Partner Tony Vachino is a Catonsville resident and is excited about the company’s additional location. Spry, which specializes in utilizing semantic technologies to build analytic and information management solutions for its clients which include the federal government, is looking to hire additional employees in the areas of software development and information architecture. The availability of student interns and graduates from UMBC’s top-ranked computer science and IT programs had a large influence in the company’s decision to establish an office at bwtech@UMBC. According to Vachino, the company hopes to expand its business into the commercial space over the next few years.

“We are delighted to welcome these organizations to our Life Science and Technology Incubator program,” said Ellen Hemmerly, executive director of the bwtech@UMBC Research and Technology Park. “bwtech@UMBC has a long history of launching successful companies and we are pleased that EncephRx and Spry Enterprises have chosen to build their business at our Incubator. We look forward to their success.”

Posted by dshapiro

February 7, 2011

bwtech@UMBC Welcomes New Companies

Research and Technology Companies Join the Research Park

CONTACT:
Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

bwtech@UMBC is pleased to announce that three organizations – Clear Resolution Consulting, Research Triangle Institute and the U.S. Forest Service’s Baltimore Field Station – have signed leases for space in the Research Park. All three are looking forward to reaping the benefits of their new location.

Clear Resolution Consulting, which advises companies on cybersecurity strategy, business process re-engineering and computer network operations, will occupy 2,600 square feet of space on the 2nd floor of the 5523 building and will be a part of bwtech@UMBC’s Advantage cybersecurity incubator, Cync. CEO Ayinde Stewart noted that the National Security Agency is one of his company’s customers and that he is looking forward to working with Cync sponsor Northrop Grumman to serve the technology needs of the defense community. Stewart notes that bwtech@UMBC’s location, including its federal HUBZone status, was a big selling point when choosing a location for his company. Having been familiar with UMBC and its president, Freeman Hrabowski, for many years, Stewart is pleased to have the opportunity to hire interns from UMBC’s nationally recognized computer science and IT programs.

Research Triangle Institute will move into about 2,000 square feet of space in the 5520 building. Currently a resident of bwtech@UMBC’s Life Sciences and Technology Incubator, scientific program director Diana Fishbein is excited to be moving into a larger office which will allow employees to interact more closely with UMBC faculty. The nonprofit international organization, whose headquarters are in Raleigh, NC, conducts research and provides services on topics ranging from physical and mental diseases, environmental science, health care, economic development, policy and aerospace. The Baltimore branch at UMBC specializes in behavioral and neuroscience research, focusing on understanding, treating and preventing behaviors such as drug and alcohol abuse, tobacco addiction and a variety of other high risk behaviors. The office now employs 12 people, including several interns and one full-time hire from UMBC. “Our work involves translating science to a practical setting and there are a lot of resources toward that end at UMBC. We’re developing some really promising collaborations,” said Fishbein. One such collaboration is with both UMBC and the University of Maryland, Baltimore. The two campuses are building a neuroimaging lab and the institutions are partnering with the company on a grant application for a research project proposed by RTI.

The Baltimore Field Station of the U.S. Forest Service moved into a 3,200 square-foot space on the 3rd floor of the 5523 building in mid-December. Previously located at UMBC’s Technology Research Center, the 8-employee office needed more room to grow and to host visiting scientists, according to Morgan Grove, the station director. Grove noted that the station and UMBC have a long history of collaboration, starting 13 years ago when they partnered under a National Science Foundation grant to study the sociological and ecological changes in Baltimore over a period of several hundred years. The station, which studies soil, vegetation and air quality to understand changes in sustainability in the Baltimore region and their relationship to the Chesapeake Bay, has worked with a number of faculty and students over the years and Grove is looking forward to expanding those collaborations.

“We are delighted to welcome these organizations to the Research Park,” said Ellen Hemmerly, executive director of the bwtech@UMBC Research and Technology Park. “They each have the potential to make a large impact on UMBC and the region as a whole, and we look forward to their success.”

Posted by dshapiro

October 11, 2010

bwtech@UMBC Affiliate Recognized for Innovation

CONTACT:
Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

Mahi Reddy, President and CEO of SemaConnect, an affiliate company of bwtech@UMBC’s Clean Energy Technology Incubator was recognized as the Maryland Clean Energy Center’s (MCEC) Entrepreneur of the Year at its Clean Energy Summit on October 4. The award recognizes an individual or new company that brings new clean energy technologies, products or services to the market in Maryland.

SemaConnect, based in Annapolis, produces the ChargePro, a charging station for electric cars as well as web-based software for both station owners and drivers that allows them to register users, monitor use and make payments. The stations are being marketed to property managers, parking lot owners and corporations as a means of providing residents and employees with a means to recharge their electric vehicles. The company hopes that the increased availability of charging stations will encourage more people to purchase electric vehicles.

Founded last year by Reddy, a serial entrepreneur who previously owned a healthcare information technology company, the company has gained much recognition for its innovative ideas and sales potential. In addition to being honored by the MCEC, the company was a finalist in the Greater Baltimore Technology Council’s recent “Hottest Tech in Town” competition.

While its headquarters are in Annapolis, SemaConnect has a strong relationship with bwtech@UMBC’s Clean Energy Technology Incubator (CETI). As an affiliate company, SemaConnect receives guidance and networking opportunities from CETI’s entrepreneurial services staff, including Entrepreneur-in-Residence Bjorn Frogner. Said Frogner: “Mahi Reddy impressed me as a serial entrepreneur with a successful track record in starting, growing and selling a prior IT company. This experience will help him make SemaConnect successful and it will also benefit other CETI companies, since he will act as a business advisor for the CETI.”

“I am very excited and honored to have received the award,” said Reddy. “I am grateful for the support SemaConnect has received from bwtech@UMBC and the Maryland Clean Energy Center for our efforts to produce an innovative product such as the ChargePro."

“SemaConnect’s innovative work will no doubt have a positive impact on our climate and society. The Maryland Clean Energy Center is proud to recognize Mahi Reddy for his leadership in this endeavor,” said Katherine Magruder, executive director of the MCEC.

Posted by dshapiro

September 21, 2010

Report Affirms Success of UMBC ACTiVATE Entrepreneur Training Program

Recent Study Details Economic Impact on Region

CONTACT:
Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

A recent report by the Sage Policy Group and the Nearing Group affirms the positive economic impact of UMBC’s ACTiVATE® program. The report concludes that ACTiVATE® creates jobs at a "remarkably low cost" when compared to benchmarks for entrepreneurial job creation and generates substantial income for local governments and the State of Maryland.

Since its inception in 2005, ACTiVATE® has trained over 100 women with significant business or technical experience to start companies based on technologies developed at area universities and research institutions. Over 30 companies have been created as a result of the program. These companies have hired or plan to hire a total of 124 employees; the study estimates a total of 234 direct and spin-off jobs will be created as a result of the ACTiVATE® program by the end of 2011. The cost of producing each job is estimated to be about $6,000, far lower than the estimated $92,000 spent to create each job under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The study estimates that ACTiVATE® generates an average of $460,000 annually in income tax revenue for state and local governments in Maryland. An even larger impact on the state’s economy is the creation of a culture of entrepreneurship among women, a group traditionally underrepresented in the field. By increasing the number of would-be entrepreneurs and giving them the training and guidance they need, ACTiVATE® has helped move many technologies created by Maryland scientists from the lab to the marketplace. This is a necessary component to developing a knowledge-based economy.

ACTiVATE®’s success has inspired spin-offs and expansion. In April of this year, UMBC licensed the program to the Path Forward Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship for national and international expansion. The first ACTiVATE® spin-off program was recently launched at Texas State University in San Marcos.

“We are thrilled to hear about the study’s finding,” said Ellen Hemmerly, executive director of bwtech@UMBC Research and Technology Park and a leader of the development of the ACTiVATE® program. “It affirms what we knew all along: that ACTiVATE® has tremendous economic impact, both on its participants and the region as a whole.”

Full study available here: http://www.umbc.edu/activate/SageACTiVATE_UMBCImpactStudy2010.pdf

Posted by dshapiro

July 13, 2010

UMBC, Baylor Ecologists Say Current Methods for Monitoring Aquatic Life are Inadequate

Contact:
Anthony Lane
Communications Manager
(410) 455-5793
alane@umbc.edu

Current methods used to detect how aquatic life responds to environmental degradation fail to show thresholds where significant biological changes are occurring, according to an analysis by ecologists at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), and Baylor University.

“The measuring sticks we use are really insensitive to certain kinds of biodiversity loss,” said Matthew Baker, an assistant professor of geography and environmental systems at UMBC.

In a new paper, Baker and Ryan King, a biology professor at Baylor University, demonstrate that two prevailing methods for monitoring water quality – which consider dozens of types of aquatic insects and other invertebrates – miss abrupt declines and increases in certain species that can occur even with minimal development, such as the construction of roads, roofs and other impervious surfaces on 1 to 3 percent of land in a watershed.

“More than 40 percent of the regional species pool is declining due to very low levels of impervious cover, but we’re not detecting it with current methods.” Baker said.

Baker compared current methods to stock market indices: “The Dow Jones measures a sector of our economy, but even when it shows little or no change, people invested in particular stocks can still be making vast profits or losing their shirts.”

In a paper published earlier this year, Baker and King detailed a new method – Threshold Indicator Taxa Analysis (TITAN) – for detecting impacts to individual species. Baker said it essentially amounts to a “much more precise measuring stick.”

The new paper, now available online, will appear in September’s Journal of the North American Benthological Society as part of a special focus section highlighting thresholds in environmental management. Though the analysis focused on the changes caused by increased runoff and pollution from development, Baker said he believes the method could be used to get a clearer picture of the biological changes associated with many other forms of human activity, such as mountaintop mining.

On the bright side, Baker said, their method could help target the mechanisms responsible for biodiversity losses, allowing for improved low-impact development designs, and giving land managers a better indication when environmental restoration efforts are working.

Posted by elewis

July 1, 2010

Former UMBI Institutes Launch July 1 as Newly Aligned Research Centers at Partner USM Campuses

CONTACT:

Mike Lurie
University System of Maryland (USM)
Phone: 301-445-2719
Email: mlurie@usmd.edu

Anthony Lane
University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)
Phone: 410-455-5793
Email: alane@umbc.edu

Adelphi, Md. (July 1, 2010) - Research centers previously aligned with the former University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute (UMBI) officially begin their realignment today with other institutions within the University System of Maryland (USM).

This restructuring, approved by the USM Board of Regents in June 2009, is expected to pave the way for more multi-disciplinary and collaborative research across the system and increase access to outside funding for research. It is also expected to yield a higher level of technology transfer, commercialization, and business start-ups, and thereby advance economic development statewide.

The action followed the recommendations of an ad hoc committee of regents appointed by Board Chairman Clifford Kendall in February 2009 to review UMBI's mission and organization as well as consider alternative organization options.

Following is a summary of the newly created centers, once based at the former UMBI.

*Institute for Bioscience Biotechnology (IBBR). The IBBR is a research collaboration among the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP), the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The IBBR will build upon the resources and strengths of the former Center for Advance Research in Biotechnology (CARB) at the Universities at Shady Grove (USG, one of the USM's two system-wide regional centers) and the former Center for Biosystems Research (CBR) at UMCP.

Under IBBR's inaugural director, Donald L. Nuss, Ph.D., the center will focus predominantly on three complementary research areas: nanobiotechnology, drug and vaccine discovery, and pathobiology (the study of disease processes). UMCP will have administrative responsibility for the joint research center. The center will be headquartered at USG.

* Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology (IMET). IMET is a joint USM research center at which the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC); the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES); and UMB will share facilities and resources. The partner institutions will collaboratively advance research and create technologies for the protection and restoration of marine systems and watersheds, sustainable use of their resources, and improvement of human health. Yoni Zohar, Ph.D., a UMBC faculty member, will serve as IMET interim director. Russell Hill, Ph.D., an UMCES faculty member, will serve as IMET interim associate director. The center will be based at the Columbus Center in downtown Baltimore at the former Center of Marine Biotechnology (COMB).

* Medical Biotechnology Center (MBC) at UMB. The MBC is affiliated with the UMB campus, home of the University of Maryland School Of Medicine. The center's research will include health-related aspects of molecular biology and biotechnology, molecular medicine, and molecular genetics. In addition, research here will be enhanced by collaboration with the bioengineering and computational faculty at UMCP. W. Jonathan Lederer, M.D., Ph.D., a professor in the School of Medicine, will serve as interim director. The center will be based at the UMB campus.

* Institute of Fluorescence (IOF). UMBC will have administrative responsibility for this former UMBI institute. Research is centered on the development of new leading-edge and existing fluorescence phenomena to resolve clinically, biologically and industrially important questions, such as technologies to facilitate early and rapid detection of bio-warfare agents. The institute will be based at the Columbus Center in downtown Baltimore. Chris D. Geddes, Ph.D., will serve as director.

* Towson University Center for STEM Excellence. The center's main goal is to provide statewide leadership in supporting the USM's STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) initiatives. This center will integrate Towson University's STEM education programs to establish the Baltimore Excellence in STEM Teaching (BEST) program. It will be based at the Columbus Center in downtown Baltimore.

"With a focus on collaboration--across disciplines and across institutions--and with recognition of the exceptional talent within the UMBI community and the system's other institutions, this action positions USM to take fuller advantage of its system-wide strengths in the biosciences and to fuel the state's knowledge economy even more," said Kendall, the board chair.

A subcommittee of regents in 2009 reviewed UMBI's history and structure. It also solicited the views of individuals and groups, including UMBI administrators, faculty, staff, and graduate students; members of the UMBI Board of Visitors; external scientists and administrators from higher education and government; and representatives from business and economic development organizations.

As a result of its comprehensive review, the committee found that "the organization of UMBI as a geographically dispersed, free-standing entity has created intractable problems." These included the lack of scale of UMBI programs, isolation among UMBI's research centers, lack of a critical mass of graduate and undergraduate students involved in UMBI research, and administrative inefficiencies.

The board directed the USM office to complete the restructuring by June 30, 2010, the end of the 2010 fiscal year. The regents charged USM Chancellor William "Brit" Kirwan to work with the UMBI center directors and the appropriate institutional presidents on memoranda of understanding (MOUs) outlining details of the future operations and collaborations. The chancellor presented the MOUs to the board as they were negotiated during the fiscal year. The first approval occurred in October 2009 and all MOUs were approved by February 2010.

"The launch of these realigned centers provides a tremendous opportunity for the University System of Maryland to increase the volume and impact of its basic and applied research in the biosciences," Kirwan said. "This restructuring has the potential to double the research productivity of UMBI's current assets within five years. Once these assets are joined with activities system-wide, USM will play an even greater role in positioning the State of Maryland as a national and international leader in the biosciences."

Posted by elewis

June 2, 2010

bwtech@UMBC’s Advantage Incubator Welcomes New Tenants

Technology companies join incubator program


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 2, 2010

CONTACT:
Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

bwtech@UMBC’s Advantage Incubator is pleased to announce that two companies have recently joined its program. Technology Security Associates and Intellibit Systems are both veteran-owned small businesses that provide technology services to both government and commercial clients. As residents of the Advantage Incubator, they will receive the benefits associated with being in a federal HUBZone in addition to the strategic location that makes it easier for them to serve their clients.

Technology Security Associates specializes in information security for weapons systems, working mostly for the U.S. Navy. The technologies developed by the company allow for secure communication between military command centers and can also be used to enhance security in the commercial sector. Tom Jarboe, co-owner of TSA with business partner Lee Bradshaw, said the company also provides services for medical and legal offices, allowing sensitive information such as patient records and legal documents to be transmitted securely.

The company, founded in 2002 and headquartered in Southern Maryland, has additional locations in North Carolina and Philadelphia. Jarboe said the company was looking to establish an office in the BWI Corridor and they felt bwtech@UMBC was an ideal location, with its proximity to Ft. Meade.

“We want to leverage the security work we’ve done in weapons communications to projects with Ft. Meade and the NSA.” Jarboe noted that Ft. Meade is the headquarters for the military’s recently-established Cyberspace Command, and that TSA is well-positioned to support the DoD’s cybersecurity needs.

Jarboe said locating at UMBC fulfills another company goal: “We need to recruit college graduates with the latest information on cybersecurity.” With UMBC recently recognized by the NSA as a Center of Academic Excellence in Education and Research, and offering an array of graduate programs in cybersecurity, information systems and computer science, there should be no shortage of qualified interns and employees for TSA.

Intellibit Systems, owned by Juan Pabellon, is an IT services consulting company. It provides professional network data communications and information technology support services to government and commercial clients. They also offer professional information technology education and public outreach services. Prior to moving to bwtech@UMBC, they were located in the Annapolis Junction area.

“We are excited to welcome these companies to bwtech@UMBC and the Advantage Incubator program. With the increased attention to cybersecurity in the I-95 corridor and throughout the state, TSA and Intellibit have a great deal of business opportunities. We look forward to helping them succeed,” said Ellen Hemmerly, executive director, bwtech@UMBC Research and Technology Park.

Posted by dshapiro

April 8, 2010

The Path Forward Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship forms to ACTiVATE® and accelerate the growth of women entrepreneurs

Newly-formed nonprofit takes on international expansion of UMBC program


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 8, 2010

CONTACT:
Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

The Path Forward Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (the “Center”), a Maryland non-profit organization, and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) announce the execution of an exclusive license agreement for the ACTiVATE® program that will allow the Center to expand the program internationally. ACTiVATE, which was started by UMBC in 2005 with a grant from the National Science Foundation and was later supported by the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) and a number of local companies, is an award-winning entrepreneurship program and community for mid-career women to start and grow technology-based companies.

“As one of the program’s inaugural instructors, I have seen over 100 women go through the program to launch dozens of companies in Maryland when other programs struggled to spin out one or two,” states Center co-founder and CEO Julie Lenzer Kirk. “Over the past 5 years we’ve developed and refined methods of facilitating, training, and networking that uniquely address the needs of mid-career women in starting growth-oriented companies. Our methods are proven, and now with the launch of the Center, we will be able to support partners across the county and the globe to implement and adapt these methods, replicating our success as they launch ACTiVATE programs in their region.”

The program’s first successful launch has already taken place at Texas State University, led by former UMBC ACTiVATE instructor Terry Chase Hazell, with early results that have exceeded expectations. According to Terry, “The ACTiVATE methods and materials provided what we needed to quickly launch our program last fall and already we’re seeing results and new businesses that are getting high-level attention in Texas. Based on our initial success, we’re working with the Center to open four programs in Texas later this year with aggressive expansion planned to 20 locations within the state by 2012.”

The goal is to bring together economic development groups, universities, and women’s organizations to continue to roll out the program across key locations in the U.S. and internationally.

“Having been part of numerous start-ups and entrepreneurial ventures, I was looking for a way to give back, which is why I joined the ACTiVATE program three years ago. I immediately saw the potential to reach an untapped and growing market with a unique approach,” shares Center co-founder and President Renee Lewis. “The fact that hundreds of smart women had been through the program was impressive, but it wasn’t enough. I knew there was more that could be done if the program was approached entrepreneurially and expanded globally where women represent enormous untapped economic potential.”

“Our goal in establishing the ACTiVATE Program was to develop a national model for women’s entrepreneurship, economic development, and technology transfer,” remarked Stephen Auvil, Assistant Vice President for Research at UMBC and also one of the creators of the program. “Now that we have demonstrated success at UMBC, we are excited about expanding the ACTiVATE Program nationally and internationally, and we could not be more pleased that Julie and Renee want to champion this effort.”

The Center is being “incubated” by nationally-acclaimed venture-catalyst, Springboard Enterprises, which since 2000 has helped more than 400 women-run businesses raise in excess of $5 billion in capital. Amy Millman, Springboard’s co-founder and President, has been a supporter for the local ACTiVATE program since its inception. “It was an easy decision to partner with the Path Forward Center because of our shared goals to increase the number of women succeeding in growth-oriented businesses,” she said. “The programs the Center will be offering are greatly needed and, from what I’ve seen, uniquely positioned for success.”

Additionally, the law firm of Shulman Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A., who is consistently seen as a supporter of small business in the Washington metropolitan area, has partnered with the Center as a founding sponsor. “In the Path Forward Center, Shulman Rogers recognized a partner with a common vision to support and encourage the development of successful, diverse companies and pro-actively create opportunities for entrepreneurial business women,” confirmed Shulman Rogers law partner, Nancy Regelin. “We are very proud to support Path Forward Center in these exciting endeavors.”

The Center will be holding a celebration of the launch at the Potomac, MD offices of Shulman Rogers on Tuesday, May 25th at 5:30 p.m. The event is open to the public although RSVP’s are requested. It is free of charge with optional donations accepted. Please visit www.PathForwardCenter.org for more information.

Posted by dshapiro

January 13, 2010

NASA and UMBC Researcher Recognized for Data that Provides Clues to Earth’s Changing Climate, Forests and Crops

A NASA-led team has been recognized with a prestigious award for helping scientists better understand our home planet. NASA and the U.S. Department of the Interior presented the William T. Pecora Award to the Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System, or CERES, team and to Forrest Hall, senior research scientist, Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology, at UMBC.

Led from Langley, the CERES team has compiled a critical data set for monitoring and predicting climate change. The data set, which comes from five instruments on three spacecraft, is being used to improve our understanding of the natural and human-induced changes in the climate through accurate measurements of the Earth's radiative energy balance. This balance is the amount of energy Earth receives from the sun and keeps in the atmosphere or radiates back into space. Along with measurements of oceans, land, snow, ice, clouds, aerosols and meteorology, CERES data products provide a scientific basis for developing global environmental policies.

"CERES is a major NASA success story," said Freilich. "The team has made an exceptional contribution to understanding the Earth system. This interagency, academic, international effort has resulted in critical data that, among other benefits, has supported the conclusions of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change."

The CERES instruments provide highly accurate measurements of the radiative energy balance at multiple layers in the atmosphere. In addition, the CERES team developed a rapid-response product that provides a measure of the amount of solar energy at Earth's surface. These data are used by agricultural resource managers to gauge soil moisture and by engineers monitoring and designing solar power applications.

Hall has been instrumental in advancing remote sensing of Earth since the inception of the Earth Resources Technology Satellite (now known as the Landsat program) that NASA launched in 1972. Hall developed technologies for the remote sensing of vegetation, provided high-quality global data sets to the community and contributed to the science on which remote sensing was founded -- both through his leadership of major field programs and his own research.

Hall's research contributed to solving a number of crucial problems in remote-sensing science concerned with interpreting images gathered over vegetated areas. He was involved from the very start of land surface remote sensing while working at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston on large-scale agricultural assessments. These pioneering efforts by NASA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture involved some of the earliest work in comparing surface, airborne and satellite data.

Hall also led the Boreal Ecosystem-Atmosphere Study, or BOREAS, which resulted in a major advance in our understanding of the role of the far northern boreal forests in climate change. Hall's efforts in this study led to a better understanding of North America's carbon, water and energy cycles.

NASA and the U.S. Department of the Interior present individual and group Pecora Awards to honor outstanding contributions in the field of remote sensing and its application to understanding Earth. The award was established in 1974 to honor the memory of William T. Pecora, former director of the U.S. Geological Survey and under secretary of the Department of the Interior. The award was presented Dec. 17, 2009, in San Francisco during the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union.


Posted by elewis

December 16, 2009

bwtech@UMBC Research Park Announces New Tenants

Subway and Two Firms Lease Space in New Building


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 16, 2009

CONTACT:
Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

bwtech@UMBC Research and Technology Park is pleased to announce that three tenants have signed leases totaling over 13,000 square feet of space in its newest building, 5520 Research Park Drive. The Research Group, Maryland Business Roundtable for Education and Subway Café will join current tenant RMF Engineering in early 2010.

The Research Group, a full service market research firm, and its focus group facilities and field-service division, Observation Baltimore, will move from their downtown Baltimore headquarters to an 8,000 square-foot space on the second floor of the 5520 building in March. The company is excited about the strategic location because of its convenience to BWI Airport, D.C., and downtown Baltimore, making it easy to accommodate its national client base.

"Ninety-five percent of our clients come to us from out of town. Proximity to BWI, AMTRAK, downtown Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. provides tremendous opportunities to serve our current clients better, and more importantly, attract new prospects," said Barbara Gassaway, president and CEO of The Research Group. "We are extremely impressed with the quality and environmental friendliness of the 5520 facility, and we are equally excited about the range of opportunities UMBC offers as a new academic partner."

Maryland Business Roundtable for Education (MBRT), a statewide coalition of business leaders working to improve public education in Maryland, will occupy nearly 3,500 square feet on the first floor. MBRT is excited about joining the UMBC community.

“The bwtech@UMBC Research Park offers us an ideal location to continue our mission of improving Maryland’s public schools, with a focus on science, math, engineering and technology,” said June Streckfus, executive director of MBRT. “UMBC is a standout in this area and we are excited to be on campus.”

Subway Café, which will occupy 1,600 square feet on the building’s first floor, gives the building a food service establishment and is expected to be a big selling point to future tenants. The first Subway Café opened in Alexandria, VA in the summer of 2008 and is expanding across the country. The restaurants are an upscale version of the traditional Subway concept and feature panini sandwiches, gelato, baked goods and coffee drinks in addition to the chain's traditional subs.

“We are delighted to welcome these companies to the Research Park,” said Ellen Hemmerly, executive director, bwtech@UMBC Research and Technology Park. “Our state-of-the-art Class A office space, located in a federal HUBZone with incentives available, is proving very attractive to many businesses.”

The 107,000 square foot building was developed by Corporate Office Properties Trust (COPT) (NYSE: OFC). This is the second building COPT developed at the park; the first was the U.S. Geological Survey building at 5522 Research Park Drive.

Posted by dshapiro

September 17, 2009

ACTiVATE® Graduate Wins Business Plan Competition

Another Graduate Among the Finalists


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 17, 2009

CONTACT:
Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

Jodi Cook, a 2008 graduate of UMBC’s ACTiVATE® program, was named the winner of the annual StartRight! Business Plan Competition. The competition, run by Rockville Economic Development, Inc. (REDI), is in its sixth year and recognizes top business plans from women entrepreneurs. Cook founded Thesia Medical LLC after she completed ACTiVATE®, which trains women to start companies based on technologies developed at area universities and research institutions.

Thesia Medical is developing a device to monitor patients receiving regional anesthesia. Cook, an audiologist who previously worked at the Mayo Clinic, is in negotiations with Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory to license the technology on which the device will be based. Before entering the ACTiVATE® program, Cook was involved with two different start-ups with previous colleagues. Yearning to start her own company, Cook enrolled in ACTiVATE® to acquire the skills she would need to create her own business and develop her business plan. Cook’s hospital background gave her familiarity with the FDA approval process and she looked for a medical device technology that she could build a business around.

StartRight! is the second business plan competition Cook entered and her first victory. The first place prize of $10,000 will allow her to begin building the prototype of her device once the licensing process is complete; when the prototype is built, Cook will be able to obtain funding from investors more easily. Cook noted that she also gained a great deal from the competition experience. “Having presentation experience helps when going out to investors,” she said.

Carol Covin, a member of ACTiVATE®’s Class of 2007, was named a finalist in the competition, one of eight finalists out of 40 entrants. Her company, Sky Blue Pharmaceuticals LLC, is developing a small molecule drug that is based on a natural ingredient protocol to treat solid tumor cancers. Covin was inspired to start her company after a friend with inoperable stomach cancer found success with a combination of natural ingredients used in a cancer drug developed in the early 1980s that never made it to market. After meeting an oncologist who had developed a process for bringing obscure drugs to market, Covin, a computer science engineer who had dabbled in several entrepreneurial ventures, set about compiling data on the drug’s use.

Through her research, she discovered 10 people who had used it to treat their cancers, apparently successfully. With the help of a consultant, Covin is compiling the data necessary to submit an Investigational New Drug (IND) application to the FDA for permission to conduct a clinical trial. Using the knowledge and connections gained through ACTiVATE®, Covin developed a business plan and is now seeking investors, focusing primarily on foundations and individual investors. She affirmed that the StartRight! competition was a valuable experience as she moves her company forward. “I got good feedback about my business plan and good experience presenting.” She also noted that the continued guidance from ACTiVATE® instructors has also been invaluable.

StartRight! judging criteria are overall financial viability, the company’s management plan, the quality of an entrant’s market research and its marketing plan, and the degree of innovation and differentiation in the business model.

“The ACTiVATE® program gives its graduates the tools to develop solid business plans and present those plans to potential partners and investors. Jodi and Carol exemplify the spirit and expertise of our graduates and we congratulate them on this latest success,” said David Fink, ACTiVATE® program director.

Posted by dshapiro

September 9, 2009

bwtech@UMBC Welcomes StormCenter Communications

NASA Collaborator Finds a Home at UMBC


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 9, 2009

CONTACT:
Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

bwtech@UMBC is pleased to welcome StormCenter Communications to its Incubator and Accelerator. The company, which specializes in weather and climate communications technologies, looks forward to expanding its business and taking advantage of the opportunities available at UMBC.

Founded in 2001 by Dave Jones, a meteorologist who once did on-air weather forecasting for NBC4 in Washington, DC, StormCenter Communications develops technologies that enable weather and climate visualization and collaboration for NOAA’s National Weather Service, FEMA and other civilian purposes. The company is currently working with NASA to develop a product that can be used by both TV stations and emergency planning agencies to predict and plan for catastrophic weather and climate events. UMBC’s existing relationship with NASA was a key factor in Jones’s decision to relocate his company: the university ranks 2nd nationally in NASA university research grants and cooperative agreements. bwtech@UMBC’s Goddard Earth Science and Technology Center and Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology are two such collaborations between UMBC and NASA.

Another reason Jones decided to move his company from Howard County to UMBC was the opportunity to collaborate with UMBC faculty on upcoming StormCenter projects and hire UMBC student interns. The chance to interact with and learn from other early-stage company CEOs was also appealing to Jones, as was bwtech@UMBC’s network server capabilities that allow the transmission of large data files.

Establishing residence at the bwtech@UMBC Incubator and Accelerator also allows Jones to fulfill a goal he has had for a while: educating K-16 schools and the community about extreme weather, climate change and their impacts on society. StormCenter has set up a technology showcase room and broadcast studio on the 4th floor of the building and will invite scientists to present to school classrooms and science centers via video teleconferencing. “It’s something I always wanted to do but never had the capability,” said Jones.

“bwtech@UMBC is delighted to welcome StormCenter Communications,” said David Fink, director of entrepreneurial services at bwtech@UMBC. “They are a natural fit with UMBC’s strengths in the sciences and engineering and have much to offer in their field. We look forward to helping them achieve their goals.”

Posted by dshapiro

September 2, 2009

Maryland Clean Energy Center Technology Incubator Network Opens First Site at bwtech@UMBC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 2, 2009

CONTACT:
Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

The Maryland Clean Energy Center has partnered with bwtech@UMBC to support early stage companies working with clean energy technologies and advance green job creation in our state.

The Maryland Clean Energy Technology Incubator@bwtech (CETI) is the first site in a planned statewide network of clean energy incubators, which will strengthen Maryland’s Smart, Green and Growing energy economy. Katherine Magruder, executive director of MCEC said, “The Maryland Clean Energy Center is striving to partner with energy experts throughout the state in order to fulfill its mission of growing Maryland’s clean energy economy through related economic development and job creation. Because bwtech@UMBC has a proven track record of success our Board elected to work with their team to establish our first Clean Energy Incubator Network site at UMBC.”

According to Magruder, “The intention is to draw from the depth and variety of the research presence in the state, and use the incubator network to move discoveries from the bench to the bank in the commercialization pipeline.” She added, “The program seeks to provide affordable space as well as assistance with business plans, marketing, and management of intellectual property for start-up companies that are focused on a clean or renewable energy product, service or technology.”

CETI will provide services specifically tailored to the needs of companies working with solar power, wind power, geothermal, hydro-power, biofuels, as well as energy management and storage technologies. A part-time Entrepreneur-in-Residence and an advisory board of experienced researchers and executives in the clean energy sector will also provide tenant companies with assistance.

CETI will occupy about 18,000 square feet of office and wet lab space in the Biotechnology Building of bwtech@UMBC’s Incubator and Accelerator, located on the south campus of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC).

CETI is a natural fit with UMBC’s strengths in environmental sciences and bwtech@UMBC’s interest in and support of environmental science companies. bwtech@UMBC already hosts the headquarters of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Maryland-Delaware-District of Columbia Water Science Center and the addition of CETI will create additional opportunities for university-industry collaborations. CETI resident companies will have the opportunity to collaborate with UMBC faculty and students, as nearly all of the other bwtech@UMBC companies have done. With UMBC ranked #1 among up-and-coming national universities by U.S. News and World Report, CETI represents yet another innovative approach to enhance UMBC’s contributions to Baltimore County and the state of Maryland.

The incubator also fits with the university’s plans to build energy expertise at UMBC. Officials from bwtech@UMBC and the Maryland Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (MIPAR) at UMBC are currently working to establish an Office of Energy Policy to serve as the primary center for energy policy research in Maryland.

“bwtech@UMBC is delighted to establish this groundbreaking incubator,” said Ellen Hemmerly, executive director of the bwtech@UMBC Research and Technology Park. “Maryland is positioned to become a leader in bioscience and environmental technologies, and we are excited to be a part of it.”

Initial funding for the CETI will be provided by MCEC, bwtech@UMBC, and a grant from the Baltimore County Department of Economic Development to support the Entrepreneur-in-Residence.

“bwtech@UMBC has been a leader in nurturing entrepreneurship, fostering new ideas and generating jobs in Baltimore County for nearly two decades,” said David S. Iannucci, executive director of Baltimore County Economic Development. “The Clean Energy Technology Incubator will increase its economic impact on the region.”

MCEC Board Chairman, Ken Connolly stated, “We are grateful to Baltimore County for their willingness to support this partnership with funding and certain this relationship will be successful for all involved.”

In the long term MCEC is hoping to replicate this model in partnership with other jurisdictions and their economic development agencies.

Posted by dshapiro

August 11, 2009

ACTiVATE® Announces New Program at NIH

Program Will Provide Pathway to Entrepreneurship for Postdocs


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 11, 2009

CONTACT:
Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) has received an award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) through their Partnerships for Innovation program to establish an ACTiVATE® at NIH program in Montgomery County. The program, slated to start in early 2010, will train post-doctoral research fellows from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other federal labs in the region to start technology-based companies.

Building on the successful ACTiVATE® program at UMBC, which trains mid-career women to start companies using technologies developed at area universities and research institutions, ACTiVATE® at NIH will provide postdocs (both men and women) with the training and support needed to start new companies in Maryland or to pursue an entrepreneurial career path.

Each year, Maryland’s workforce loses many of the highly skilled, post-doctoral fellows at NIH and other federal labs in the region as these individuals seek employment outside of the state when their fellowships are completed. The economic impact of losing these scientists, coupled with the fierce competition that they face for positions in academia, created the opportunity for a program to train researchers to pursue commercialization of their scientific findings. Giving post-doctoral fellows the skills to transform research into viable businesses will not only give them a rewarding career path and contribute to the growth of Maryland’s life sciences industry, but will also advance medical science by moving technologies from the laboratory to the marketplace.

Following the original ACTiVATE® program model, ACTiVATE® at NIH will recruit both postdocs and individuals from the business community as participants so they can form interdisciplinary teams to pursue opportunities for start-up companies. The Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School, a key partner in the program, will receive funding under the award to offer ACTiVATE® at NIH at their Shady Grove campus in Rockville. The program will span one calendar year, with classes held one evening per week and one Saturday per month. Program participants will be mentored by experienced entrepreneurs and others from the business community.

Through a partnership with the NIH Office of Technology Transfer, participants will have the opportunity to evaluate technologies from NIH and other federal labs as part of the program. Other program partners include Rockville Economic Development, Inc. (REDI), Montgomery College, Human Workflows LLC and the Montgomery County Department of Economic Development.

“We are pleased to expand the ACTiVATE® model to Montgomery County and to offer the program to the talented group of scientists working as postdocs at NIH and other federal labs in the region. In the course of four years, the program at UMBC has trained 92 women and launched over 25 companies; we hope to bring that same success to this new venture,” said Stephen Auvil, assistant vice president for research at UMBC and a co-principal investigator on the NSF award.

“REDI has long supported efforts to capitalize on the talent in our federal labs, and ACTiVATE® at NIH is an excellent opportunity to leverage cutting-edge technologies and keep Maryland at the forefront of the life sciences industry. We will work closely with our partners to ensure the success of this program,” said Sally Sternbach, executive director of REDI. “We look forward to growing these companies in our local economy.”

Posted by dshapiro

August 4, 2009

bwtech@UMBC Announces New Incubator

Program Targets Small Disadvantaged Businesses


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 4, 2009

CONTACT:
Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

bwtech@UMBC is pleased to announce a new incubator located in Class A office space within the bwtech@UMBC Research Park. The Advantage Incubator@bwtech opened for business last week with four new tenants. The new incubator is designed for early-stage companies that are minority-, women- or veteran-owned and have substantial business activities aimed at providing technology-related products and services to state and federal agencies.

The founding tenants are Premier Management Corporation, a network security consultant for NSA and other federal agencies; Farfield Systems, a provider of IT and systems engineering services and training; CardioMed Device Consultants, a regulatory consultant for medical device companies; and the Nixon Group, a multi-faceted company with experience in healthcare and financial services. Alex Euler, bwtech@UMBC’s associate director of business development, reports that there has been much interest from the business community. In addition to the four companies above, several other companies have made inquiries. “Businesses that contract with the federal government are still experiencing growth, despite weakening in the overall market,” said Euler. “The Advantage Incubator’s proximity to a number of federal agencies and research centers such as NSA, NIH, FDA, NASA and DOD is a great asset. Client companies also benefit from the park’s federal HUBZone and state Enterprise Zone designations.”

The founding four are looking forward to expanding their businesses and taking advantage of the benefits the Advantage Incubator has to offer. Semih Oktay, president of CardioMed Device Consultants, is happy to be back at UMBC, having earned his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at the university in 1993. He cited the location, with its proximity to the airport, as a key factor in his decision to relocate, noting that many of his company’s clients are from out of town. Oktay is also looking forward to hiring student interns in the future and notes that UMBC’s corporate training facilities will allow him to offer training to client groups.

Greg Tyler, vice president for business development and recruiting for Farfield Systems, a service disabled veteran-owned small business, noted that the incubator’s HUBZone designation was the primary reason for his company’s move. The company, founded in 2002, specializes in training and intelligence analysis in the area of information systems. Most of its contracts are with the Department of Defense, but Tyler said the company is branching out to private sector clients as well. Tyler also noted that Farfield is looking forward to establishing relationships with UMBC faculty and students and plans to hire students to fill its staffing needs.

“bwtech@UMBC is delighted to create a new incubator within the research park,” said Ellen Hemmerly, executive director of the bwtech@UMBC Research and Technology Park. “This is a unique program that allows clients to operate in a Class A environment, with shared reception areas, conference rooms and university resources. Combine that with our HUBZone status and experienced entrepreneurial services team, and it is clear that we are providing tremendous value to these companies.”

Posted by dshapiro

June 25, 2009

ACTiVATE® Graduate Wins ICOY Award

Two bwtech@UMBC Incubator Companies Named Finalists


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 25, 2009

CONTACT:
Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

The ACTiVATE® program congratulates 2006 graduate Kris Appel, whose company, Encore Path, was honored at the ninth annual Maryland Incubator Company of the Year (ICOY) Awards on June 16. Encore Path was the winner in the Technology Transfer category.

Appel started her business upon completion of bwtech@UMBC’s year-long ACTiVATE® program, which trains mid-career women with significant business or technical experience to start companies based on technologies licensed from area universities and research institutions. Appel is one of 92 women trained in the program’s first four years. Over 25 companies have been launched by ACTiVATE® graduates. Encore Path develops stroke rehabilitation technologies and recently launched sales of the Tailwind arm rehabilitation device, based on technology licensed from the University of Maryland at Baltimore.

“The ACTiVATE® program provided me with the knowledge and mentoring I needed to start my own business. I am honored that my company is considered among the best early-stage companies in Maryland and I look forward to its continued growth and success,” said Appel.

“This award affirms the value of the ACTiVATE® program in producing successful companies. We congratulate Kris on what she has achieved with her company and have no doubt that Encore Path has a very bright future,” said David Fink, the ACTiVATE® program manager.

Encore Path, is based at the Emerging Technology Center in Baltimore. Two current bwtech@UMBC incubator companies, Amethyst Technologies and Columbia BioSystems, were ICOY award finalists in the Technology Services and New Incubator Company categories, respectively. Amethyst Technologies provides cGMP compliant services for organizations engaged in FDA-regulated activities and Columbia BioSystems is developing products in the field of molecular nano-diagnostics, using molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) for the rapid detection of pathogens such as MRSA. Amethyst is owned by 2007 ACTiVATE® graduate Kimberly Brown.

Posted by dshapiro

June 2, 2009

bwtech@UMBC Welcomes New Companies

Technology and Bioscience Start-Ups Join Incubator Program


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 2, 2009

CONTACT:
Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

bwtech@UMBC is pleased to welcome Pearl Life Science Partners, Quantum Medical Metrics and Amidus to its incubator program. All three companies are optimistic about their ability to fill a need in their respective industries and achieve success.

Pearl Life Science Partners, founded in August of 2008, is working on developing a platform that uses a modified viral particle vaccine technology to increase the efficacy of vaccines. CEO Mark Pittenger reports that the company is in the process of applying for grants and looking for larger investors. Its goal is to secure $1 million of financing that will allow it to complete the pre-clinical studies needed to obtain grants for human research and testing.

Pittenger, a cell and molecular biologist, noted that the Incubator’s location, lower cost and proximity to both the UMBC campus and other companies were the main factors in the company’s decision to make bwtech@UMBC its headquarters. “The variety of the companies at the Incubator is great. Everyone knows someone we should meet. There are very smart people here and there is a lot of interaction.” Pittenger also noted the strength of the bwtech@UMBC management team: “The staff has helped other companies before and is very experienced. They’ve introduced us to the people we need to talk to set up our business.”

Tom Beck, the chief technology officer of Quantum Medical Metrics and a Catonsville resident, agreed that bwtech@UMBC’s location and its proximity to the UMBC campus were important to his company. Quantum, founded last September, has already hired one student intern and is developing relationships with faculty members. Beck also praised the staff and facility: “They treat you well here and provide highly professional advice and services to novice entrepreneurs. The facility meets our needs and is much more affordable than other incubators.”

Quantum is developing an advanced dual energy x-ray imaging system that can measure bone strength using three-dimensional engineering analysis and will be able to image patients whether they are lying down or standing up. Beck pointed out that this technology has applications for children as well as adults, because of the low radiation the system will use. In addition to measuring bone density to diagnose conditions such as osteoporosis, the system could also be used to evaluate problems in the growing skeleton. The company has licensed technology from Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Lab and is seeking development funds from NIH, the U.S. Army, NASA and other sources.

Amidus, founded just two months ago, is a consultancy offering marketing and technology services, focusing on conferences and other business events. Co-founder Pranay Kohli says the company’s goal is to “offer a fresh, unique and personalized user experience.” He noted that there are over 13,000 business events each year in the U.S. and that Amidus is in a position to offer much value.

When looking for a location for their young company, Kohli and his partner Pat Pathade visited other incubators but felt bwtech@UMBC had the most to offer. Besides the convenient location - both live in Howard County - they wanted the opportunity to collaborate with UMBC faculty and students. Said Kohli: “This is a knowledge industry. We need an educated workforce.” He also noted that the level of support offered to early-stage companies at bwtech@UMBC was important to Amidus.

“bwtech@UMBC is delighted to welcome these three companies,” said David Fink, director of entrepreneurial services at bwtech@UMBC. “We feel each has great potential for success in the future and we look forward to helping them achieve their goals.”

Posted by dshapiro

May 4, 2009

Jessica Berman, Department of English, Receives Research Fellowship From Newberry Library

Summer Fellowship at Prestigious Chicago Library Facilitates Research on 1930s American Writers


CONTACT:
Mike Lurie

Office: 410-455-6380
Cellphone: 443-695-0262
mlurie@umbc.edu


The Newberry Library, a leading independent research library concentrating in the humanities, has awarded its Short-Term Fellowship for Individual Research to Jessica Berman, chair of the Department of English at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC).

The Fellowship affords Berman the opportunity to work in residence for two weeks during summer 2009 at the Chicago-based library to research her manuscript, Jack Conroy, the Community of Midwestern Radical Writers, and the Development of Political Narrative in the 1930s.

“This is an especially exciting opportunity because it offers the opportunity to do the real archival work necessary for doing first-order research in my discipline,” Berman said.

Berman is working on a book that will examine the personal papers of 1930s authors from the American Midwest, many of whom were politically engaged. Her research on Conroy will form the book’s first chapter.

The Newberry houses an extensive non-circulating collection of rare books, maps, music, manuscripts and other printed materials, according to its Web site. The Newberry acquires and preserves a variety of special collections research materials focused on civilizations of Europe and the Americas.

The Newberry was founded as a public library by a bequest of Walter Loomis Newberry, a businessman and prominent citizen in Chicago and president of the Chicago Historical Society before his death in 1868.

Posted by crose

April 23, 2009

Adrenaline 101: Off-Road Engineers Excel

Photo Caption: A four-hour SAE Baja race is a muddy marathon.

Safety goggles are required gear in many campus labs. Mechanical engineering graduate student Sam Markkula and his teammates just prefer one that also requires a helmet, rollbars and lots of mud.

Markkula is a member of the UMBC chapter of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), a student club of hands-on engineers who design, build and race an off-road vehicle for Baja SAE, a series of annual endurance races against national and international competition.

The group just returned triumphant from the SAE Baja East race in Auburn, Alabama, with the best overall score (7th out of 100 teams) in UMBC SAE history. Team UMBC finished ahead of cars from Georgia Tech, Auburn University, Johns Hopkins, Cornell, Bucknell, Virginia Tech and other prestigious universities.

“Our months and countless hours of hard work have definitely paid off,” said Mark Foster, a senior mechanical engineering major and president of UMBC Baja SAE.

In addition to a four-hour long endurance race, Baja SAE teams are graded on their cars’ maneuverability, suspension, traction, speed, ergonomics and production cost. The 2009 UMBC team continued its tradition of excelling in the cost category, achieving their Top 10 overall results with the cheapest-to-produce car in the field.

“UMBC's Baja SAE team is now in the top 10 nationwide, but in our eyes, they are number one,” said Shlomo Carmi, professor and chair of mechanical engineering. “It is especially impressive that during this difficult budget cycle, they delivered again on the ‘best bang for the buck.’ We are so proud of this team of outstanding students.”

The Baja SAE endurance race is a sensory overload of noise and nerves. Drivers have to resist the urge to drive at top speeds so the car can last the entire duration without being disqualified, tumbling down steep hills, or crashing into logs, rocks and other cars. Other team members serve as pit crew for fuel or repair stops.

“Imagine over 100 lawnmowers all running in close proximity,” said Markkula. “It’s quite loud. We cleaned off at least 30 pounds of mud from each car, and the drivers probably have breathed in at least a half pound by the end of the race.”

This year’s team owes a tip of the helmet to nearby Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) Catonsville. A change to an independent rear suspension required moving and custom-designing the gearbox. The UMBC team was fortunate to receive help from Bill Werneke, an expert machinist and instructor of CCBC-Catonsville’s manufacturing technology program.

Werneke programmed blueprints for the gearbox design into computer-assisted manufacturing and design software, and built the rig in the workshop with the help of his students. Werneke and the CCBC program serve as an apprenticeship path and hands-on training for future machinists from across Maryland. 

Baja SAE is open to graduate or undergraduate students willing to contribute their time, learn how to operate the shop tools and who are in good academic standing. UMBC Baja SAE is advised by mechanical engineering professor Tony Farquhar.

The UMBC team’s next race is in Wisconsin in June. For more information, visit www.sae.org and click on the Baja SAE link.

To watch video of UMBC’s Baja SAE team in action at a 2008 event, click on the video player below:

(4/22/2009)

Posted by crose

April 7, 2009

ACTiVATE Program Recognized Internationally

Program Cited As One of Three “Good Practices” Programs


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2009

CONTACT:
Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

The ACTiVATE® program has been recognized by a European organization as one of three “Good Practices” programs that train women entrepreneurs. ACTiVATE®, a year-long program at bwtech@UMBC that trains women to be entrepreneurs, is the only U.S-based program of the three honorees; the others are the MEETS program in Cambridge, UK and the NEnA program in Halle, Germany.

The recognition was given by the organizers of FemStart, a partnership of six European universities formed in 2006 to study female entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship training programs at universities. There is an ongoing concern in Europe that women are underrepresented in university entrepreneurship programs. Given that entrepreneurship and small businesses are important generators of jobs and economic activity, there is a strong interest in encouraging women to pursue entrepreneurship. FemStart organized a series of six conferences in various European cities over the past two years to study entrepreneurship programs that have been successful in attracting female participants, particularly those in science and technology. ACTiVATE® administrators presented at five of these conferences, which in total attracted over 500 participants across Europe.

In recognizing the “Good Practices” programs, FemStart noted that ACTiVATE® and the other programs “were well-accepted and received very positive feedback from the participants.” The organization also recognized that in the U.S., as in the UK and Germany, “support of university-based and high tech start-ups has a longer tradition.”

Stephen Auvil, assistant vice president for research at UMBC who is one of ACTiVATE®’s co-principal investigators, presented at three conferences: “Attending the FemStart conferences showed us how much interest there is in successful programs that train female entrepreneurs. It was an honor to be able to share ACTiVATE®’s successful model with the European academic and business communities.”

Said David Fink, director of entrepreneurial services at bwtech@UMBC and the ACTiVATE® program director, who presented at two of the other FemStart conferences: “We are very proud of this latest recognition for ACTiVATE®. It affirms that the program is a worldwide leader in producing successful women entrepreneurs in the science and technology fields.”

ACTiVATE® is a joint program of bwtech@UMBC’s Incubator, the UMBC Office of Technology Development, and the Alex. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship. The year-long program utilizes technologies developed by Maryland’s universities and research institutions and trains mid-career women with significant technical or business experience to start companies based on those technologies. In the first four years of the program, ACTiVATE® has trained 92 women and has launched over 25 companies. ACTiVATE® was initially funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. Current sponsors include the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO), the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Venable LLP, Corporate Office Properties Trust, Miles & Stockbridge PC, Whiteford, Taylor, and Preston LLP, and SB and Company LLC.

Posted by dshapiro

March 31, 2009

bwtech@UMBC Welcomes New Companies

New Technology Companies Join Incubator Program


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 31, 2009

CONTACT:
Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu


Science Systems and Applications, Inc. and Premier Management Corporation are the latest companies to establish residence at the bwtech@UMBC Incubator. Both technology companies are government contractors and are optimistic about their prospects for growth and success.

Science Systems and Applications, Inc. (SSAI) performs work under contract for NASA and other government agencies. The Calibration and Validation Office (CVO) at bwtech@UMBC evaluates ocean color data from satellites and field operations to determine its validity. The data is used to determine water composition and ultimately, the degree of climate change on the planet. The CVO’s director, Stanford Hooker, notes the increased attention to global warming and expects interest in the CVO’s work to increase.

The CVO was originally located at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Prince George’s County, but as the contract requirements grew, they began searching for a larger space between Baltimore and Washington, D.C. They chose bwtech@UMBC because of the wet lab space available and its close proximity to BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, as they often host scientists from around the world. In addition, NASA’s existing research relationship with UMBC (one of the CVO’s six employees is a UMBC assistant research scientist) was also a factor.

Premier Management Corporation began in 2004 as a financial consulting firm, and has recently begun to focus on the areas of cyber crime and network security, performing services for NSA and other government agencies. In collaboration with UMBC, the company is developing technologies to detect vulnerabilities and attacks via the Internet in government computer systems. Company CEO Marcus Board reports that the 18-employee company has hired one intern from UMBC and he hopes to hire more in the future.

Board was referred to bwtech@UMBC by Andre Gudger, CEO of Solvern Innovations at UMBC’s Research Park. Board and Gudger had recently collaborated on a project, and Board says that he was impressed with the Incubator facility during his tour. He is looking forward to taking advantage of the resources the Incubator provides to help his business grow.

“bwtech@UMBC is delighted to welcome these two companies,” said David Fink, director of entrepreneurial services at bwtech@UMBC. “We have a strong track record of producing successful technology companies and we are confident these companies will benefit tremendously from our program.”

Posted by dshapiro

March 25, 2009

Solvern Innovations Establishes Center of Excellence

Facility Will Train DoD Staff on Managerial Issues


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 25, 2009

CONTACT:
Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

Solvern Innovations, a bwtech@UMBC Research Park company that specializes in comprehensive research and development products and solutions, acquisition and business management services, and training and technology development, has established a Center of Excellence. The Center, located one floor below the company’s headquarters, will train Department of Defense employees and contractors in business management, acquisition, logistics and procurement processes.

According to Solvern CEO Andre Gudger, the Center is the first in the federal government to focus on business management. In addition to training, the Center will function as a think tank, with more than 10 employees performing research and development on effective techniques for business management, acquisition processes, procurement and logistics. Solvern has been operating the training side of its business for three years, but only recently completed the two-year process required as an accredited Center of Excellence.

“We have worked hard to become a world-class solutions provider to the Department of Defense, where employees and contractors can come and gain the knowledge needed to accomplish their mission,” said Gudger, who is a graduate of UMBC.

“Solvern Innovations has strived to be a leader in its field. The company has a unique approach by teaming senior staff, who have up to 40 years of contracting and acquisition experience, with recent college graduates who are skilled and trained in areas such as business process management, earned value and project management. As a result, Solvern produces products and processes that are both innovative and practical. We are proud of Solvern for achieving the Center of Excellence designation and are pleased that the company has chosen to locate its new facility at our Research Park,” said Ellen Hemmerly, executive director, bwtech@UMBC Research and Technology Park.

Posted by dshapiro

March 6, 2009

Green Acres: Students’ Biofuel Idea Funded by MTV Contest

Media Contact:
Chip Rose, UMBC Research News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu


Story Note: Learn more about the UMBC Biodiesel Club on Maryland Public Television's "Motorweek" show, starting on Friday, March 13. In Baltimore County, the episode featuring coverage of Maryland's homebrewed biodiesel community will air Saturday (3/14) at 5pm and Sunday (3/15) at 2pm, Thursday (3/19) at 8pm on MPT. Check your local listings for other broadcast times.

Nothing says "reduce, reuse and recycle" like turning horse manure into fuel. Inspired by Indian innovators, four members of the UMBC Biodiesel Club recently won $1,000 in seed funding in an MTV-sponsored, international environmental contest for their idea to make biofuel at a Maryland farm.

Four  UMBC sophomore chemical engineering majors --  Nick Selock, Marsha Walker, Donterrius Ethridge and Angela Nealen – earned funding from MTV Switch's "Dream It, Do It Challenge" a global competition for the best environmental and sustainability ideas from young people around the world.

According to Selock, the Club's proposal for the MTV contest was inspired by the Gober (Hindi for cow dung) gas innovators in India, who use specially designed equipment to digest dung from sacred cows and refine it into cooking gas used by many households. The biogas produced is clean, cheap and sustainable; perfect for developing nations and for anyone looking to reduce environmental impact.

"The MTV prize money will enable us to purchase and set up an anaerobic digester to collect methane, which is a more potent and harmful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, from horse manure and then convert it into methanol," said Selock. "The current methanol we use is made from natural gas, which is much less environmentally friendly."

MTVBioD_small.JPGPhoto Caption: UMBC Biodiesel Club members (left to right) Donterrius Ethridge, Angela Nealen, Nick Selock and Marsha Walker

Under the mentorship of Bradley Arnold, associate professor of chemistry, the Club has been working at a local horse farm in Burtonsville, Md., since September 2008 to apply classroom and lab concepts to their all-volunteer operation to improve the biodiesel brewing process.

Members have taught farm owner Dick Hunt how to brew biodiesel to power tractors and plan to use additional fuel to help heat his home. The Club regularly gathers used vegetable cooking oil from area restaurants, including the Woodberry Kitchen, and converts it to biodiesel to power their own vehicles.

The "Dream It, Do It" challenge is a joint venture between MTV Switch (the global climate change campaign of MTV Networks), the global social entrepreneurship organization Ashoka Gen V and the Staples Foundation for Learning.

The Club continues to be active in green advocacy on campus. Members were part of UMBC’s recent participation in the National Teach-in on Global Warming, and Club president Mike German recently met with members of the Maryland House Environmental Matters Committee when they visited campus in December.

To learn more about the UMBC Biodiesel Club, visit http://umbcbiodiesel.blogspot.com/. Learn more about UMBC’s Sustainability efforts at http://www.umbc.edu/sustainability/.

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March 4, 2009

Icy Dilemma: Chris Swan, Geography & Environmental Systems, in Baltimore Sun's "Bay & Environment" Blog

RoadSaltSmall.jpg

Chris Swan, assistant professor of geography and environmental systems, was featured in a March 3 entry in the Baltimore Sun's "Bay & Environment" blog.

ChrisSwan.png

Swan is one of just a few researchers in the nation studying the environmental impact of salt used to clear roads after winter storms. Sun reporter Tim Wheeler quoted Swan and government officials on the balance between possible harm to Maryland waterways' frogs, zooplankton and insects versus safety for the state's drivers.

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February 24, 2009

No More Tears: Photoshop out the Tears and Sad Faces’ Emotions Turn Uncertain

TearsWeb.jpg

Media Contact:
Chip Rose, UMBC Science/Tech News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

A noted expert on the neuroscience of laughter has turned his focus to tears. Or more precisely, how digitally removing tears from photos of crying people makes it tough to tell just what emotion is being expressed.

For research recently published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology, Robert R. Provine, a professor of psychology at UMBC, gathered hundreds of slides of crying and non-crying people from photo sharing sites like Flickr. With some simple Photoshopping, tears were removed from the shots of crying people. The tear-free images and their teary counterparts were shuffled in with a long sequence of portraits of people with neutral expression and shown to undergraduate volunteers.

When asked to rate the emotions being expressed by the now-tearless faces, the results were startling: faces without tears not only don’t appear very sad, but are seen as displaying awe, concern, contemplation or puzzlement.

“Remarkably, the role of emotional tears as a visual signal has been neglected,” Provine said. “On one level, this confirms that tears signal sadness, but the surprise is that tears confer meaning to neutral faces. In other words, tears are a breakthrough in human emotional signaling.” Only humans produce emotional tears.

"Tears add meaning and nuance to the limited expressive range of the neuromuscular instrument of the human face. Like sobbing and laughing, tears are honest signals, and are hard to fake,” said Provine. “We need to replicate research on human facial expression using tears as a variable. They change everything”

Lacking Photoshop, you can approximate the effect of tear removal by using your finger to block out the tears in any photograph.

Provine’s research focuses on the neuroscience of everyday life, what he calls “sidewalk neuroscience.” He believes that common behaviors can provide startling insights into human nature and how the brain works.

Provine’s latest work on tears, yawning, laughter and many other fascinating but neglected human behaviors will be presented in a book to be published by Harvard University Press.

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January 26, 2009

Black and Gold Is the New Green: UMBC Arts, Education, Action Planned for Feb. 5 National Teach-In on Global Warming

Former Congressman Gilchrist to Headline Panel Discussion on Maryland Environment

Media Contact:
Chip Rose, UMBC Science/Tech News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu


On Thursday, February 5, UMBC will join colleges and universities around the country for the 2009 National Teach-in on Global Warming. The day-long event combines education, arts and action to raise awareness of global climate change and the important personal lifestyle, societal, economic and regulatory changes necessary to confront the challenge.

The National Teach-in focuses on getting Congress and President Obama to pass laws in the first 100 days of the new administration that will stabilize the global climate. Other Maryland participating Maryland universities include Chesapeake College, Loyola College in Maryland, Howard Community College and Montgomery College.

The UMBC campus community will showcase its Sustainability Initiative and celebrate its Climate Change Task Force’s work through:

-- a fair of local green businesses, government agencies and climate action groups

-- performances and exhibitions by UMBC faculty, student and alumni artists focused on sustainability

-- campus-wide open classes on global warming across disciplines

--a panel discussion on action and legislation to avert climate change featuring former Congressman Wayne Gilchrist; Sarah Zaleski, Coordinator of the Baltimore City Office of Sustainability; and Donald Boesch, Chairman of the Maryland Governor’s Climate Change Commission

-- and a film presentation and discussion of the PBS Frontline documentary "Heat."

For full details on the day's activities, please visit umbc.edu/sustainability.

Schedule of Events:

Kick Off UMBC
The Commons Mainstreet 11 a.m.

Campus leaders showcase UMBC's sustainability research and campus climate change initiatives.

Global Warming Solutions Fair
The Commons Mainstreet 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

A fair of local green businesses, government agencies and climate action groups. UMBC students will kick off Recyclemania, a ten-week competition among colleges to promote waste reduction activities to their campus communities with prizes for bringing in recyclables.

Global Warming Solutions Fair participants:

BGE
Bluewater Wind
Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Chesapeake Climate Action Network
Energy Star - EPA
Maryland Department of Education
Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Maryland Energy Administration
Race Pace Bicycles
Sun Edison
U.S. Green Building Council
U.S. Geological Survey
Vegetarian Resource Group
Loading Dock
Terra Logos

UMBC Participants:

Commons Recyclemania and Facilities Management Waste Reduction
Graduate Student Association (GSA) and Students for Environmental Awareness (SEA)
Facilities Management UMBC Green House Gas inventory
UMBC Transit & Rideshare
UMBC Biodiesel Project
Interdisciplinary Studies: Herbert Run Greenway Exhibit

Teach-In (Wednesday, February 4, and Thursday, February 5)

Many classes across campus will open discussion to global warming and related issues.

A.R.T.S.: Arts’ Response to Sustainability
The Commons, Flat Tuesdays 2-3:30 p.m.

Multimedia presentations and live performances by a community of Baltimore artists focused on urban sustainability. The performance is organized by visual arts professor Tim Nohe.

Planet in Peril: Policy Responses to Climate Change
Panel Discussion, Library Gallery, 4-6 p.m.

Panelists: Donald Boesch, Professor of Marine Science and President of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) and Chairman of the Maryland Governor’s Climate Change Commission

Wayne Gilchrest, former Congressman representing Maryland’s 1st District and co-chair of the Climate Change Caucus

Sarah Zaleski, Coordinator of the Baltimore City Office of Sustainability

Ray Hoff (Moderator), UMBC Professor of Physics and Director of the collaborative NASA-UMBC research centers Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology (JCET) and Goddard Earth Sciences & Technology Center (GEST)

Sponsored by The Friends of the Albin O. Kuhn Libary & Gallery.

Film Presentation and Discussion 7-9:30 p.m.,
Administration Building, Lecture Hall 3

The PBS “Frontline” documentary “Heat” examines how the world's largest corporations and governments are responding to Earth's looming environmental disaster.

Post-discussion led by Jeffrey Halverson, UMBC Professor of Geography and Environmental Systems.

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January 23, 2009

48 Hours Till Gametime: UMBC Students to Cram, Compete in Global Video Game Design Contest

"Global Game Jam" at UMBC January 30 - February 1

Media Contact:
Chip Rose, UMBC Science/Tech News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

College students are notoriously voracious video game players. It’s not unusual for an entire weekend to be consumed trying to solve the challenges of the latest, hottest title.

But on the final weekend of January, students at UMBC will be spending 48 hours feverishly brainstorming and creating their own unique games as part of the Global Game Jam on January 30 – February 1.

UMBC is the only Baltimore-area host site for the Global Game Jam, a two-day game development contest sponsored by the International Game Developers Association. The Jam gives college students at 52 sites from 20 countries just 48 hours to brainstorm, pitch ideas, form teams and roll up their sleeves to produce the best game possible within the time limit of 5 p.m. on Friday, January 30 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, February 1.

“The Jam brings the global community together to see what kinds of games small teams can develop in 48 short hours,” said Marc Olano, director of UMBC’s Games, Animation and Interactive Media (GAIM) Program and associate professor of computer science. “Given the time limit, I expect short, unique, and creative ideas; with luck the kind of game that makes you sit up and say, ‘Wow, that's cool!’”

gunther2.PNG Photo Caption: A screen grab from "Gunther," a game under development by a team including UMBC students.

The GAIM Program at UMBC combines the serious coursework and creativity required for a career in video game development, animation and other interactive media. The program brings together computer science and visual arts majors for a rigorous academic foundation followed by final team projects modeled after how real-world companies develop new games. Skills learned in the GAIM Program can also be used in aerospace, healthcare, architecture and many other career fields beyond gaming.

Photo Caption: Screen grabs from other UMBC-student developed games: "Gwain" (top) and "Scarred Steel." gwain_small.png scarred_steel_small.jpg

“I really look forward to working with people from diverse backgrounds - peers as well as industry professionals - to make a game,” said Lesa Wilcox, president of the UMBC Game Developer’s Club and a senior Visual Arts major from Linthicum, Md. “The Global Game Jam is a great chance for us to network and showcase our skills, but also to just have a lot of fun.”

The Game Developer’s Club at UMBC consists of students from the GAIM Program and any students interested in designing, developing and even starting companies around their own game ideas. One of the club’s spring semester projects is “Gunther,” a 3-D, third-person action game about a mercenary eliminating demons from a small town.

Kyle Gabler, the independent developer of the popular game “World of Goo,” will kick off the Global Game Jam with a global keynote address via streaming video to over 1,000 participants in 22 countries on Jan. 30.

“The next big transformation in gaming won't come from a large game studio with million dollar teams and marketing budgets. It will come from some kid in their bedroom with a few pieces of free software and a never ending supply of caffeine and motivation,” said Gabler in a press release. “I can't wait to see the scraggly, brilliantly hacked-together beginnings of some of the next great games crawl out of these 48 hours.”

There is no registration fee for the Baltimore Jam site at UMBC, but space is limited so advance registration is required. Gabler’s keynote address and the weekend wrap-up will be in Lecture Hall V in the UMBC Engineering and Computer Science building. Game development will take place in the GAIM lab, Room 005a of the Engineering and Computer Science building.

Completed games are due to the judges by 3 p.m. on Sunday, February 1. Final game presentations begin at 4 p.m. on February 1 in Lecture Hall V (UMBC Engineering & Computer Science Building.)

Note to Media: Links to download higher-resolution versions of images in this release:

http://www.umbc.edu/blogs/umbcnews/gunther_large.PNG

http://www.umbc.edu/blogs/umbcnews/gwain.png

http://www.umbc.edu/blogs/umbcnews/scarred_steel.jpg

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January 7, 2009

Incubator Welcomes New Companies

Start-Ups Look Forward to Using Incubator Resources

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 7, 2009

CONTACT:
Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu


The bwtech@UMBC Incubator welcomed three new companies recently. Noxilizer, PsychNostics and Kydes Pharmaceuticals moved into the Incubator during November. Each is optimistic about its future growth and is confident that the resources provided by the Incubator will help them achieve their goals.

Noxilizer, which was founded in 2004, has grown out of partnerships with Incubator companies Aurora Analytics and Athena Environmental Sciences. The company was using one of Aurora’s labs for its operations at bwtech@UMBC and recently leased its own office and lab space. The company is pioneering the development of a unique sterilization technology that will revolutionize two major sterilization markets - hospitals and biotherapeutics. For the multi-billion dollar hospital infection control market, Noxilizer is developing a sterilizer for sensitive high-tech instruments (such as endoscopes) which are increasingly used in minimally invasive surgical procedures. In the biotherapeutics market, Noxilizer’s room-temperature system has shown great potential to be an enabling technology for a wide range of products, including antibodies, proteins, drug-device combination products, nanoparticles and implants. Not only will Noxilizer technology expand company pipelines, it will also reduce the cost to manufacture many life-saving products.

David Opie, Noxilizer’s vice president of research and development, said the bwtech incubator has been the ideal facility for Noxilizer. “By collaborating with other incubator companies, including Aurora Analytics and Athena Environmental Sciences, Noxilizer has been able to grow very efficiently. Our team thrives in the collegial atmosphere at the Incubator, and the location near BWI airport is very convenient.”

PsychNostics, founded in 2004 and previously located at a lab in Columbia, is developing a blood test to diagnose attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and bipolar disorder. Company CEO Alagu Thiruvengadam, a neuroscientist who was previously a visiting faculty member at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, proudly noted that it is the first test of its kind. He has one patent and another one is pending. His goal is to bring the test to market and is in the process of talking to potential investors. Although he lives in Columbia, Thiruvengadam chose to locate further north at bwtech@UMBC after he toured the facility and was impressed with the management team and the support services offered. He plans to take advantage of the networking opportunities and other advisory services.

Kydes Pharmaceuticals, founded in 2004 by Stephen Dordunoo and previously headquartered in his house, specializes in developing drugs in the areas of pain management, women’s health and oncology. Dordunoo is looking to establish partnerships with larger pharmaceutical companies to develop and commercialize drugs. His decision to move his company to the Incubator was motivated not only by his need for more space and lab facilities, but also the support services offered to the companies as well as the affordable rents compared to other area incubators. Dordunoo was also glad to find a small space with the opportunity to grow into additional space at the same location.

“The bwtech@UMBC Incubator has a strong track record of launching successful companies,” said David Fink, director of entrepreneurial services at bwtech@UMBC. “We are delighted to welcome these growing companies and look forward to supporting them as they establish themselves in the marketplace.”

####

About bwtech@UMBC:
bwtech@UMBC (_http://www.bwtechumbc.com_) is a 71-acre research and technology community at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). It comprises the technology business Incubator and Accelerator, home to over 30 early-stage high-tech and life science companies, and the Research and Technology Park, with a capacity of 350,000 square feet of office and laboratory space. bwtech@UMBC offers collaboration with university faculty and students, and enjoys a strategic and convenient location, close to downtown Baltimore, BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, and Washington, D.C. bwtech’s annual economic impact on the state is estimated to be over $300 million.

About UMBC:
UMBC is a medium-sized public research university of 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students who collaborate with faculty to address real-world challenges. Located just south of Baltimore near I-95 and the BWI airport, UMBC's residential campus houses state-of-the-art facilities in the sciences, engineering, arts, social sciences and humanities. UMBC combines the energy of a research university with the close community feel and attention to individual students found in liberal arts colleges.

Posted by dshapiro

December 19, 2008

Swedish Biotech Firm Licenses HIV-drug Technology from UMBC

MikeSummers_MentoringStudents.jpg

Inventions Developed in Prof. Michael Summers’ Lab Could Lead to New HIV Drugs, Targets

Media Contact:
Chip Rose, UMBC Science/Tech News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

The Swedish biotech firm Vironova has reached an agreement with UMBC to license patented technology developed in the laboratory of Michael Summers, professor of chemistry and biochemistry and Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Investigator at UMBC, which could lead to new anti-HIV drugs.

Under the terms of the agreement, Vironova is granted exclusive worldwide rights to two patent families owned by UMBC. The patents cover inventions related to substances and targets for so-called capsid assembly inhibitors (CAI). Capsids are the protective protein shells of viruses. CAI drugs keep viruses from becoming infectious by interfering with the precise assembly of about 60 proteins that make up the capsid.

Summers, one of only two HHMI Investigators at Maryland public universities, is a world authority in HIV research. His lab has earned national acclaim for the quality of its research as well as the diversity of its undergraduate and graduate student researchers, many of whom are Meyerhoff Scholars at UMBC.

Summers will stay in close cooperation with Vironova as the projects progress towards clinical development. The financial terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.

The HIV drug development programme at Vironova is primarily focusing on CAIs. So far, much of the work has evolved around assessing the intellectual property and potential of these CAI substances at the Karolinska Institute, Huddinge (Stockholm), under the supervision of Professor Jan Bergman. These activities will now be extended to include the Summers lab at UMBC.

“By closing this agreement, we are pleased to solidify our collaboration with professor Summers and his team at UMBC. I‘m convinced our joined forces will result in many new drug candidate discoveries," said Mohammed Homman, CEO and founder of Vironova.

"We are excited about moving forward with this international collaboration," said Summers. "Vironova's expertise in drug design and optimization will hopefully lead to the breakthroughs needed to get this new class of HIV-1 capsid assembly inhibitors into the clinic."

Links to High-Resolution Photos of Dr. Michael Summers:

http://www.umbc.edu/creativeservices/photos/images_photoHR/facstaff/facstaff14HR.jpg

http://www.umbc.edu/creativeservices/photos/images_photoHR/facstaff/facstaff15HR.jpg

About Vironova

Based in Stockholm, Sweden, Vironova is a young fast growing company that develops antiviral drugs targeting HIV, herpes and influenza. The company is also a leading innovator of virus diagnostics software products and virus analysis services based on transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images.

Presently, Vironova manages a number of projects to develop new image analysis techniques to detect and identify different viruses affecting humans and animals. The single most significant project concerns viruses regarded to be the most devastating in case of potential epidemic or pandemic outbreaks. Read more about the project on www.panvirushield.com.


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December 15, 2008

bwtech@UMBC Companies Chosen As Future 50

Companies To Be Honored By Smart CEO Magazine

CONTACT:
Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

December 15, 2008

Two companies located at bwtech@UMBC, Next Breath, LLC, and Solvern Innovations, have been selected by Baltimore’s SmartCEO magazine for this year’s Future 50 companies. Companies are chosen based on their growth in staffing and revenue. They will be honored at an awards ceremony on January 8.

Next Breath, a graduate of bwtech@UMBC’s incubator program, is a contract services provider to pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies that bring new inhalation and nasal products to market. It provides services ranging from pre-clinical formulation development to analytical testing in support of submissions made to regulatory agencies. The company, now in bwtech@UMBC’s accelerator program, was founded in 2001 and currently employs 21 people.

“Next Breath has achieved steady growth and success since its founding,” said Julie Suman, the company’s president. “We are honored to be recognized by SmartCEO for our achievements and our future potential.”

Solvern Innovations, located at bwtech@UMBC’s Research Park, was founded in 2003 by UMBC graduate Andre Gudger and two business partners. It provides innovative comprehensive research and development products and solutions, acquisition and business management services, and training and technology development to clients in both the public and private sectors. The federal government makes up the majority of Solvern’s client base. Currently, the company has 120 employees, most of them based at client sites around the country.

“Solvern Innovations has always strived to be an industry leader and provide our clients with innovative solutions through our great staff. We are proud of this recognition by SmartCEO and look forward to continuing our growth,” said founder and CEO Gudger.

“Our companies have contributed a great deal to our region’s economy and Next Breath and Solvern Innovations are perfect examples of that,” said Ellen Hemmerly, executive director, bwtech@UMBC Research and Technology Park. “We congratulate them on this latest recognition and wish them continued growth and success.”

#####

About bwtech@UMBC:
bwtech@UMBC (http://www.bwtechumbc.com) is a 71-acre research and technology community at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). It comprises the technology business Incubator and Accelerator, home to over 30 early-stage high-tech and life science companies, and the Research and Technology Park, with a capacity of 350,000 square feet of office and laboratory space. bwtech@UMBC offers collaboration with university faculty and students, and enjoys a strategic and convenient location, close to downtown Baltimore, BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, and Washington, D.C. bwtech’s annual economic impact on the state is estimated to be over $300 million.

Posted by dshapiro

November 24, 2008

Blue Wave Semiconductors Receives SBIR Grant

Funding Will Allow Company to Develop Nanotechnology Materials

CONTACT:
Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

November 24, 2008

Blue Wave Semiconductors, Inc., a resident of bwtech@UMBC’s Incubator, has received a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Science Foundation. The $478,000 grant, which begins this month, will help the company develop nanomaterials for commercial and national security applications.

Founded in 2000 by R.D. Vispute, a research scientist at the University of Maryland, College Park, Blue Wave’s mission is to become a leader in semiconductor and optoelectronic devices and systems through innovative research and development techniques. Since June 2004, the company has been headquartered at bwtech@UMBC.

The grant from the NSF will be used to develop nanotechnology materials for bright ultraviolet (UV) lighting applications that are used in national security applications, medical devices, biological analysis tools, ultraviolet-based secure communications, space sensors, UV curing and UV disinfection/sterilization of water. These applications require UV sources with precise output wavelengths and high power.

“I am glad that the NSF has recognized the potential of our project,” said R.D. Vispute, CEO of Blue Wave Semiconductors. “This grant puts the company in the position to embark on an exciting phase in our research. We are confident that our work will provide great value to the semiconductor industry and the scientific community.”

“Blue Wave Semiconductors is performing innovative research with the potential for application in a variety of industries,” said David Fink, director of entrepreneurial services at bwtech@UMBC. “We are pleased with the support the NSF is providing through this award.”

####

About bwtech@UMBC:
bwtech@UMBC is a 71-acre research and technology community at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). It comprises the technology business Incubator and Accelerator, home to over 30 early-stage high-tech and life science companies, and the Research and Technology Park, with a capacity of 350,000 square feet of office and laboratory space. bwtech@UMBC offers collaboration with university faculty and students, and enjoys a strategic and convenient location, close to downtown Baltimore, BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, and Washington, D.C. bwtech’s annual economic impact on the state is estimated to be over $300 million.

Posted by dshapiro

November 20, 2008

Chemistry/Biochemistry Professor's Breakthrough Provides New Ways to Design Drugs for Arthritis, Inflammation and Cancer

egarcin.jpg Photo Caption: Research by Elsa Garcin, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, appeared in the Oct. 12 issue of Nature Chemical Biology.

A proper balance of nitric oxide (NO) – the body’s highly reactive, gas-based signaling molecule and the stuff that makes Viagra work -- is crucial to health. Too much NO production caused by one particular enzyme has been linked to inflammation, arthritis, cancer and other illnesses. But NO also has its beneficial side, with closely related enzymes responsible for maintaining enough NO to regulate blood pressure and allow proper blood flow to different organs.

Elsa Garcin, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, was co-author of a recent Nature Chemical Biology article that described a new method to specifically target harmful NO production while preserving beneficial NO levels. Garcin, who came to UMBC from the Scripps Research Institute, co-authored "Anchored plasticity opens doors for selective inhibitor design in nitric oxide synthase" with her former Scripps colleague, Prof. Elizabeth Getzoff.

NatureChemBiologyCover.png

“Nitric oxide is vital to many important functions such as blood pressure and neurotransmission related to brain function and learning,” said Garcin. “There are three different enzymes that produce NO: one for blood pressure, one for brain function/neurotransmission and one for defense against attacks by bacteria or tumor cells. But when the immune system-related enzyme gets out of balance, you can get inflammation, arthritis and other pathological conditions.”

Garcin and her colleagues looked at the binding of various drugs that inhibit these enzymes by using x-ray crystallography. Their research could provide new solutions for the development of selective drugs for a variety of health problems.

“We can actually design drugs that could help with arthritis and other inflammatory diseases,” said Garcin. “These findings could also be useful for people who are seeking to specifically target one harmful biochemical function but leave the beneficial ones untouched, to treat HIV or cancer for example.”

Garcin, who hails from France, has a personal motivation in her work. “My family has a long history of cardiovascular disease despite a typical French diet that includes red wine, garlic, olive oil and other foods that help to prevent those conditions, so I’ve always been interested in new ways to improve cardiovascular health.”

Multimedia: Watch on online video related to Garcin’s paper at:
www.nature.com/nchembio/journal/v4/n11/extref/nchembio.115-S2.mov

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November 12, 2008

UMBC Excels at National Student Research Conference

ABRCMS2008.jpgPhoto Caption: UMBC students, staff and faculty pause for a group picture to celebrate their ABRCMS excellence.

UMBC and the College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences were well represented at the 2008 Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS), the largest multidisciplinary student conference in the United States. UMBC students – including Meyerhoff, MARC U*STAR and HHMI scholars -- received nearly 10 percent of the overall awards given at the event.

45 UMBC undergraduates and three graduate students were selected to present their research at the ABRCMS, which was held Nov. 5 – 8 in Orlando, FL and featured UMBC president Freeman Hrabowski as a keynote speaker. The annual event is funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences and managed by the American Society for Microbiology. The ABRCMS’s goal is to support the success of students pursuing advanced degrees in the biomedical sciences.

At the conference’s closing ceremony, UMBC students received 11 of the 120 awards that were given in ten categories to recognize the most outstanding presentations among the excellent 1200 undergraduate posters and 80 oral talks:

Biochemical Sciences - Nicholas Pinkin, M18, MARC, HHMI Scholar, oral presentation; George Cutsail, M18, MARC Scholar, poster presentation; Yohance Allette, M18, MARC Scholar poster presentation.

Cell Biology - Ashleigh Bouchelion, M18, MARC, HHMI Scholar, poster presentation

Molecular Biology - Gowry Kulandaivel, M19, poster presentation

Chemical Sciences - Melvin Velasquez, M18, MARC Scholar, poster presentation

Microbiological Sciences - Gabrielle McRae, M18, MARC, HHMI Scholar, poster presentation

Neuroscience - Sara Stockman, M19, poster presentation

Physiological Sciences - Anupama Divakaruni, M19, poster presentation

Quantitative Sciences - Richard Blissett, poster presentation

Developmental - Alexandria Scott, M18, MARC, HHMI Scholar, oral presentation

“I was so impressed by our students who participated in the ABRCMS,” said Hrabowski. “I must give special kudos to the faculty members who mentor these students: Lasse Lindahl for his special leadership of the MARC program, and to Ernie Baker, LaMont Toliver, and all our colleagues for their work associated with undergraduate research such as the MARC and Meyerhoff scholars programs.”

“I received several comments about the excellent performance of our students,” said Lasse Lindahl, professor and chair of biological sciences, director of the MARC U*STAR program at UMBC, and organizer of UMBC’s participation in the conference. “I congratulate all award winners, but also want to thank the staff who provided excellent support for our large student group. Everyone reinforced the image of UMBC as a place where quality is expected and delivered.”

* UMBC Research News thanks Kahy Sutphin & Ernie Baker for help with this story.

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November 11, 2008

Nobel Winner Tom Cech Headlines 'Look Ahead' Life Sciences Symposium

Tom Cech, winner of the 1989 Nobel Prize for Chemistry and a longtime mentor to UMBC students, headlines the 12th annual "A Look Ahead" life sciences symposium from 3:30 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 12 in the Engineering and Computer Science building atrium and Lecture Hall 5.

Cech, who recently stepped down from leading the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University of Colorado, Boulder to return to teaching, will give a lecture titled "Crawling out of the RNA World" at the event. Since 1994, Cech has mentored 20 UMBC Meyerhoff Scholars during summer internships at his lab.

Cech is joined at "A Look Ahead" by fellow esteemed scientist and speaker George Georgiou, professor of molecular genetics and microbiology at the University of Texas at Austin, who will give The Janice Antoine Lumpkin Memorial Lecture, to be titled "Engineering the Next Generation of Protein Therapeutics."

"A Look Ahead" is UMBC's premiere life sciences symposium, drawing several hundred students, scientists, educators and biotechnology business leaders annually to network, present research and learn from other members of Maryland's bioscience community.


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October 29, 2008

ACTiVATE Graduate Receives Prestigious Award

Biotech Entrepreneur Honored at International Competition


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 29, 2008

CONTACT:
Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

Mona Jhaveri, a 2005 graduate of bwtech@UMBC’s ACTiVATE® program, was the North American honoree at the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards, presented October 17 at the annual Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society in Deauville, France. Jhaveri is the founder and CEO of Foligo Therapeutics, which develops molecular-based products to improve the detection and treatment of ovarian cancer.

Five awards were presented, each to a female entrepreneur from a different continent. The winners receive $20,000 (USD) and have the opportunity to receive free mentoring from consultants at Cartier, McKinsey and INSEAD (France-based business school) for one year. The awards ceremony is part of the Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society, an annual conference for female entrepreneurs created in 2005 by French businesswoman Aude Zieseniss de Thuin. This year, 1200 women from around the world attended the three-day event, which featured lectures, panel discussions and brainstorming sessions.

“Foligo is the embodiment of my dream,” said Jhaveri. “I have always wanted to play a part in solving major problems affecting women's health. This award will allow me to continue working toward that goal.”

Said David Fink, director of entrepreneurial services at bwtech@UMBC and the ACTiVATE® program director: “We are very proud that Mona’s vision has been recognized with such a prestigious award. Her goals are representative of the dedication and passion that ACTiVATE® graduates have brought to the businesses they have founded.”

ACTiVATE® is a year-long program that utilizes technologies developed by Maryland’s universities and research institutions and trains women with significant technical or business experience to start companies based on those technologies. In the first three years of the program, ACTiVATE® has trained 72 women. To date, 15 companies have been founded by ACTiVATE® graduates.


Posted by dshapiro

UMBC History Professor, Alumna Speak at NASA's "First 50 Years" Conference

JoeT.jpg

Joe Tatarewicz, associate professor of history, and history alumna Maura Mackowski '96 speak today as part of a two-day conference honoring NASA's first 50 years.

Tatarewicz, the director of UMBC's Human Context of Science and Technology Program, is an expert on the history of science and technology, public history and policy. He worked for eight years as a Smithsonian museum curator and has written extensively about space. Mackowski has studied the history of NASA's women astronaut program and is an expert in the comparative history of twentieth-century science/technology/medicine, particularly space exploration.

"NASA's First 50 Years: A Historical Perspective Conference," will be broadcast live via streaming video by NASA TV.

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October 14, 2008

11th Annual UMBC Undergraduate Research Symposium Explores Intersections of Chemistry, Biology

UMBC hosted more than 400 participants including undergraduate researchers and their mentors from across the East Coast on Sat., Oct. 11, for the 11th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium. This year’s event focused on the interface of chemistry, biology and biochemistry, a specialty of UMBC faculty researchers and one that continues to drive new discoveries in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and medicine.

Sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, the day-long symposium consisted of over 200 research poster presentations.

lacourse.jpgPhoto Caption: UMBC chemistry/biochemistry chair William LaCourse.

“UMBC is deeply committed to giving undergraduates early, real-world research experience, which sets us apart from other universities,” said William R. LaCourse, chair of chemistry and biochemistry at UMBC. “The Undergraduate Research Symposium is exciting for faculty mentors and student participants because it not only exposes UMBC undergraduates to some of the best researchers in the country; it also sharpens skills that are vital for future careers or graduate school.”

A panel of participating mentors and attendees judged each poster session and awarded first and second place rankings for each category.

This year’s winners by category are viewable online at:

http://www.umbc.edu/chem-biochem/news/announcements.php?year=2008#100

Student presenters and faculty mentors came from universities and hospitals from across the U.S., including: Georgetown University, University of Massachusetts, Baylor College of Medicine, University of Nebraska Medical Center, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, North Carolina State University, the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Carnegie Institution of Washington, King College, Bloomsburg University, University of Maryland School of Medicine, East Tennessee State University, Medgar Evers College, University of California San Francisco, Howard University, University of Maryland, La Salle University, The College of New Jersey, State University of New York at Geneseo, Morgan State University, Hampton University, Ursinus College, Towson University, James Madison University, McDaniel College, the University of Delaware, Lebanon Valley College, Slippery Rock University, University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, Hood College, Lycoming College, Delaware Biotechnology Institute, William Patterson University, Goucher College, Montclair State University and many others.

To view photo galleries of all the day's poster presentations, please visit:

http://asp1.umbc.edu/newmedia/cbe/2008_pics/pm/index.html

and

http://asp1.umbc.edu/newmedia/cbe/2008_pics/am/index.html

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October 9, 2008

"Plight of the Puffins" Selected for American Conservation Film Festival

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"Plight of the Puffins," the documentary film by UMBC/NASA-Goddard earth science film producer Maria Frostic, has been selected for screening at the American Conservation Film Festival.

Frostic, who produces research-oriented Web videos for UMBC's Goddard Earth Sciences and Technology (GEST) Center, filmed "Puffins" on location in Iceland thanks to funding from a Fulbright grant. The film chronicles how climate change is impacting puffins, which have great cultural and ecological significance for the Icelandic people.

The American Conservation Film Festival is held annually in Sheperdstown, West Virginia. According to the event's website, the Festival seeks to promote films "that educate and inspire people to become engaged in conservation."

"Plight of the Puffins" will be screened at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 7.

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October 8, 2008

Zeynep Tufekci, Sociology & Anthropology, in the New York Times

Zeynep.jpg

Zeynep Tufekci, assistant professor of sociology and anthropology, has appeared twice in recent New York Times articles for her expert commentary on the deeper meanings of social networking sites such as Facebook.

Tufekci was quoted most recently in the Sept. 24 story "Get off the Internet, and Chew Some Gum," which examined an ad campaign by the makers of Dentyne chewing gum that attempted to redefine the meanings of popular social networking terms such as "friend request accepted" with face-to-face contact.

Excerpt:

“I think most college kids would roll their eyes” at the ads, said Zeynep Tufekci, a sociologist at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, who studies the way young people use technology to socialize. “In fact, they’re checking out these sites in the hopes that sooner or later it will end up in a hug or kiss.”

On Sept. 5, Tufekci was referenced in a New York Times Magazine feature "I'm So Totally, Digitally Close to You." The story examined how concepts of personal privacy are shifting among the Facebook and Twitter generation.

Excerpt:

This is the ultimate effect of the new awareness: It brings back the dynamics of small-town life, where everybody knows your business. Young people at college are the ones to experience this most viscerally, because, with more than 90 percent of their peers using Facebook, it is especially difficult for them to opt out. Zeynep Tufekci, a sociologist at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, who has closely studied how college-age users are reacting to the world of awareness, told me that athletes used to sneak off to parties illicitly, breaking the no-drinking rule for team members. But then camera phones and Facebook came along, with students posting photos of the drunken carousing during the party; savvy coaches could see which athletes were breaking the rules.

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October 2, 2008

Renetta Tull, Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Development, Wins National Honor

TullAward.jpg

On September 24, 2008, Renetta G. Tull, Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Development at UMBC, was honored at the Library of Congress as the National GEM Consortium's University Member of the Year for her commitment to undergraduate and graduate science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. Tull also serves as the Director of PROMISE: Maryland's Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) for UMBC, the University of Maryland, College Park, and the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

The GEM Consortium is a national network of universities and employers that promotes the participation of underrepresented groups in post-graduate science and engineering education and the technical workforce.

"It's so special to be recognized for mentoring students; this is work that brings joy," said Tull. "I continue to be passionate about encouraging students and helping them with setting and then reaching their goals."

Tull, an alumna of Howard University, has gained regional and national media exposure recently. On Sept. 10, she was profiled in The Hilltop, the Howard University newspaper. She was also part of a forum on university programs working to increase the number of African-American women earning Ph.D.'s in science fields. The panel discussion was broadcast Sept. 8 on the nationally syndicated public radio show, "The Best of Our Knowledge."

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October 1, 2008

Neal McDonald, Animation & Interactive Media, in "b"

NealMcDonald.jpg

Neal McDonald, assistant professor of animation and interactive media, was featured in "Weird 101: Baltimore’s unusual college courses," an article in "b," a free daily newspaper and site produced by the Baltimore Sun.

McDonald's "History and Theory of Games" class, part of the Games, Animation and Interactive Media program, was one of several local college courses described by b writer Matt Vensel as "actually interesting" and as "offbeat classes (that) might just make me sign up for spring classes and go after another degree."

The excerpt describing McDonald's class is below:

History and Theory of Games @ University of Maryland, Baltimore County:

Students attempting to break into the gaming industry take a lot of atypical ­— and very technical — classes, but this is a class everyone can wrap their head around. “Games are as old as people. They are what humans do, when they can,” said professor Neal McDonald. “It’s a serious, interesting, rapidly maturing field of scholarship.” This guy has the best job ever. McDonald plays a myriad of games, some dating back to the Stone Age, to show his budding game designers the origins of today’s games and the infinite possibilities for tomorrow’s.

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September 26, 2008

Social Sciences Forum: "Justice Across Borders: The Struggle for Human Rights in U.S. Courts"

Jeffrey Davis,
Professor of Political Science, UMBC

JeffreyDavis.jpg

JusticeBook.jpg

Wed., Oct. 1, 4 p.m.
Albin O. Kuhn Library, 7th Floor


This talk is based on his most recent book "Justice Across Borders: The Struggle for Human Rights in U.S. Courts" which examines attempts by human rights groups to use the law to enforce human rights norms. It explains the separation of powers issues arising when victims sue the United States or when the United States intervenes to urge dismissal of a claim.

Moreover, it analyzes the controversies arising from attempts to hold foreign nations, foreign officials, and corporations liable under international human rights law. Davis is a faculty member of the Political Science Department at UMBC, whose research efforts concentrate on U.S. and comparative judicial politics by examining judicial behavior and the interaction between courts and other political actors in the struggle to enforce human rights standards.

http://www.umbc.edu/socsforum/

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September 10, 2008

UMBC Research Praised in Top Environmental Science Journal

Trends in Ecology and Evolution Article calls Prof. Erle Ellis’s Remapping of Global Biomes ‘Seminal’

A forthcoming paper in Trends in Ecology and Evolution, the world’s most-cited journal of environmental science and ecology, praises research by UMBC professor Erle Ellis that remaps the globe’s ecosystems to account for human impact as ‘seminal.’

The paper, “Anthropogenic biomes: a key contribution to earth-system science,” by Lilian Alessa of the University of Alaska Anchorage and F. Stuart Chapin III of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, spotlighted research by Ellis and his colleague Navin Ramankutty of McGill University that was originally published in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.

The research uses Google Maps and Google Earth technology to map a new system of ‘anthropogenic biomes’ or human biomes, which describe the biosphere as it exists today, the result of human shepherding and reshaping of ecosystems.

To view a Discover.com video on Ellis’s work, click the play button below.


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August 28, 2008

UMBC/NASA Hurricane Expert: New Orleans, Gulf Coast Should be Concerned About Gustav

Landfall, Intensity, Impact on Gas Prices Tough to Predict Precisely

Media Contact:
Chip Rose, UMBC Science/Tech News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

According to Jeffrey Halverson, one of the nation’s top experts on hurricanes and severe weather, Tropical Storm Gustav has the potential to develop into a powerful hurricane that could strike New Orleans or other parts of the U.S. Gulf Coast while causing a spike in gas prices nationwide.

Halverson, associate director for academics at the UMBC/NASA-Goddard Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology (JCET) and associate professor of geography and environmental systems at UMBC, said, “Folks are looking at the track projection of Gustav and getting nervous, because the center point of the track points directly to New Orleans, four days from now. Anyone living along the Gulf Coast, from Florida to Texas, should be concerned, because Gustav has the potential to be a serious storm.”

“The bottom line is that a lot can change in the next four days with regard to Gustav’s intensity and track, but certainly the potential is there for the entire U.S. Gulf Coast to be alerted,” said Halverson.

Halverson pointed out that even with state-of-the-art technology, it is still difficult to predict the precise landfall and intensity of a hurricane. “Although the track projection line represents the most probable future position of the storm, it is derived from the consensus prediction of dozens of track forecast models. Not all the models agree on the same track. One should also consider the cone of uncertainty surrounding the line, and it's important to note that the average track error in a five-day forecast is about 300 miles.”


Video: Prof. Halverson on "The Life Cycle of a Hurricane"

“Intensity forecasts are even more prone to error than are track forecasts,” Halverson said. “Conditions in the Gulf -- ocean surface temperatures around 85 degrees, a deep warm layer in the ocean and weak wind shear (which tears apart the thunderstorms and vortex) -- are ripe for intensification of Gustav to a strong, Category 3 hurricane. But forecasters still do not understand all the vagaries of the intensity change process.”

“With a potentially large and destructive storm lumbering into the Gulf, one can surmise that oil refineries will be evacuating and shutting down production. It's likely that some refineries will be damaged. Given the recent volatile price swings of crude oil, a return to high prices at the pump may be one additional consequence for Americans.”

Story Contact:
Jeffrey Halverson

jeffhalv@umbc.edu
410-455-8813
410-455-3350

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August 25, 2008

Project Manager of Roadrunner, Record-Setting Supercomputer, Headlines "Frontiers in Multicore Computing" at UMBC

Media Contact:
Chip Rose, UMBC Science/Tech News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

Andrew White, longtime leader of supercomputer development at Los Alamos National Laboratory and project manager of the world’s fastest supercomputer “Roadrunner,” is the keynote speaker at “Frontiers of Multicore Computing,” an Aug. 27-28 conference hosted by UMBC. The event will bring to campus academic, government and industry researchers focused on the science applications for the Cell Broadband Engine, IBM’s supercomputer-on-a-chip technology at the heart of the PlayStation3 video game platform.

White was one of the leaders of Roadrunner, which smashed the petaflop barrier in June 2007. If each of the six billion people on earth had a hand calculator and worked together on a calculation 24 hours per day, 365 days a year, it would take 46 years to do what Roadrunner would do in one day.

Established in 2007 thanks to support from IBM, UMBC’s Multicore Computational Center is using the Cell technology to better predict climate change, model financial markets and provide faster, higher-resolution visualizations for the next generation of healthcare.

The “Frontiers” conference will bring together top supercomputing researchers from across the country, including IBM, MIT, Georgia Tech, NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, the National Science Foundation, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, the U.S. Army, the University of Wisconsin and many more.

Topics to be covered include multicore computing research in the geosciences, aerospace, defense, interactive digital media and
bioinformatics.

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August 21, 2008

Can a Parking Lot Be Good for the Bay?

UMBC Workshop to Teach Builders, Planners
About ‘Green Concrete’ in Classroom, With Cement Truck

Media Contact:
Chip Rose, UMBC Science/Tech News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

Can a Wal-Mart parking lot be good for the Bay?

The answer could be yes, if it’s made of pervious concrete, a ‘green’ building material that is the subject of a how-to workshop hosted by UMBC's Center for Urban Environmental Research and Education (CUERE) on Wednesday, Aug. 27 from 8 to 11 a.m.

Pervious concrete allows stormwater to slowly drain through it like a sponge. This prevents the rapid runoff of rainwater from traditional concrete that erodes waterways and carries pollution into the Chesapeake Bay. Voids left in the mix give pervious concrete a bumpy texture and allow water to soak through.

Experts from UMBC and Cleveland State University will give contractors, tradesmen, architects and municipal planners a classroom session on best practices for working with the material and for navigating Maryland's recent changes in development laws, such as the Maryland Stormwater Management Act of 2007, which calls for “environmental site design” for new construction and development.

At 10 a.m. a concrete mixer truck will arrive for a hands-on lesson in the proper pouring and installation of the material. Several test beds of pervious concrete will be installed outside of the CUERE facilities.

The test beds will be equipped with scientific instruments to give UMBC researchers long-term data on pervious concrete's effectiveness both as a building material and as a tool for environmental stewardship. Gwen Stanko, a doctoral student in CUERE's prestigious IGERT program, and other UMBC students will help monitor the test beds.

Photo Caption: Stu Schwartz (right) and UMBC Ph.D. student Gwen Stanko with pervious concrete samples near a future test site.


The event was organized by Stu Schwartz, a senior research scientist at UMBC CUERE with over 15 years of experience in land use and water quality issues.

Schwartz says the workshop’s goal is to improve understanding of pervious concrete. While there are differences in how to mix, pour and maintain pervious versus traditional, when properly installed and maintained, it is effective for light-traffic parking lots, roads and sidewalks.

“In the past, people have promoted pervious concrete as a magic pavement that makes all your water problems go away," said Schwartz. "There's no such thing as a magic bullet like that. Many of the negative stereotypes associated with the material have been caused by improper design and installation. So we want to provide information for contractors, engineers and planners to know when and how to use it effectively.”

According to Schwartz, industry is starting to invest more in pervious concrete as both a way to comply with environmental rules and as a boost to the bottom line. He noted a Wal-Mart parking lot in Denver, Co., made of pervious concrete and a seven-acre paved storage yard and parking lot by Shelter Systems, a Westminster, Md., roofing truss company.

“Pervious concrete allowed Shelter Systems to use their entire seven-acre site instead of losing an acre or acre and a half to stormwater ponds, saving the cost of a $400,000 stormwater management system,” said Schwartz.

The workshop and research effort is funded by the Chesapeake Bay Trust, part of the organization's new Pioneer Grant Program, which focuses on larger, higher-impact grants to improve the health of the Bay.

Photo Caption: Stanko demonstrates how a pervious concrete sample lets water flow through.


Story Contact:
Stu Schwartz PhD, Senior Research Scientist
Center for Urban Environmental Research and Education (CUERE)
University of Maryland Baltimore County
410.455.2748 stu_schwartz@umbc.edu

Posted by crose

August 15, 2008

A Climate Connection in the Clouds

UMBC Physics Professor Co-Authors Science Paper on How Aerosols Impact Cloud Formation, Climate

Media Contact:
Chip Rose, UMBC Science/Tech News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

Researchers at UMBC, NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center and the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, Israel studying the connection between the burning of vegetation and cloud cover in the Amazon region have found a clearer picture of how aerosols – the tiny particles that make up dust, soot, smoke and ocean spray – may impact cloud formation and climate change on a global scale. The study was published today in the journal Science.

Scientists have long known that aerosols play a role in cloud formation, but were puzzled by the fact that aerosols’ impact was inconsistent, causing more cloud cover over the Atlantic Ocean while causing less in South America’s Amazon basin.

Aerosol particles are carried by the wind into the atmosphere, where they become encased by water to form rain droplets that cluster into clouds. Aerosol-rich clouds are more spread out by wind, last longer and produce less rain. Aerosol-rich clouds also trap heat in the atmosphere, making cloud growth and rain less likely.

The research team focused on the Amazon region as a test area, using NASA’s Terra satellite to study cloud and aerosol data. “During the (2005) dry season in the Amazon, the only aerosols of any magnitude are from smoke emerging from human-initiated fires,” said study co-author Lorraine Remer, a physical scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, in a NASA press release.

The end result of the research was an analytical model that should work across the globe.

“As we’d expected in applying our model, increased smoke from the fires created clouds rife with a more pronounced radiative effect -- rich with human-caused aerosols that absorbed sunlight, warmed the local atmosphere, and blocked evaporation. This led to reduced cloud cover over the Amazon,” study co-author Vanderlei Martins, associate professor of physics at UMBC, said in the NASA press release. “And it’s encouraging to know the science behind our model should stand no matter the region.”

The paper, “Smoke Invigoration Versus Inhibition of Clouds over the Amazon,” can be found in the Aug. 15 issue of Science.

A Science podcast featuring the Amazon aerosol research is available at:

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/321/5891/981b


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August 12, 2008

Plant Sensory Systems Receives DOE Grant

Funding Will Allow Company to Develop Plants with Increased Seed Oil for Biofuels

CONTACT:
Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

Plant Sensory Systems, a resident of bwtech@UMBC’s Incubator, has received a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. The nine-month, $100,000 grant began July 1. The grant will help the company test new genetic modifications on its laboratory plants to divert carbon into seed oil more efficiently.

Founded by the husband-and-wife team of Frank and Kathleen Turano last July, Plant Sensory Systems is a biotechnology company that develops technologies to improve agricultural productivity. The company plans to license its technologies to seed and agricultural biotechnology companies.

The grant from the DOE will be used for research on genetic modifications that will enhance the ability of plants to convert carbon to oils, thereby making the seeds they produce more oil-rich. Once extracted from the seeds, the oils could be used in either cooking oils or biodiesel production, which is consistent with the DOE’s objective to create alternative fuel sources. The company is currently using Arabidopsis plants in its research activities; if successful, it will start testing its hypotheses on canola plants.

If the company experiences success in its research and shows that the project is feasible, it will be eligible to apply for a Phase II, two-year grant from the DOE.

“We are glad that the DOE is supporting our project to develop alternative fuel sources,” said Kathleen Turano. Added Frank Turano: “We are excited about this grant and the opportunity to continue our research that we hope will benefit not only the DOE, but society in general.”

“Plant Sensory Systems is engaged in groundbreaking work in the field of agricultural technology and alternative fuel sources,” said David Fink, director of entrepreneurial services at bwtech@UMBC. “We are pleased that the DOE has recognized the potential of its research with this award.”


About bwtech@UMBC:
bwtech@UMBC (http://www.bwtechumbc.com) is a 71-acre research and technology community at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). It comprises the technology business Incubator and Accelerator, home to over 30 early-stage high-tech and life science companies, and the Research and Technology Park, with a capacity of 350,000 square feet of office and laboratory space. bwtech@UMBC offers collaboration with university faculty and students, and enjoys a strategic and convenient location, close to downtown Baltimore, BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, and Washington, D.C. bwtech’s annual economic impact on the state is estimated to be over $300 million.

About UMBC:
UMBC is a medium-sized public research university of 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students who collaborate with faculty to address real-world challenges. Located just south of Baltimore near I-95 and the BWI airport, UMBC's residential campus houses state-of-the-art facilities in the sciences, engineering, arts, social sciences and humanities. UMBC combines the energy of a research university with the close community feel and attention to individual students found in liberal arts colleges.

Posted by dshapiro

August 6, 2008

UMBC/NASA Research on Beijing Olympics Smog in the New York Times

CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC Science & Tech News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

UMBC's long-standing partnership with NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center to monitor global air quality is in the media spotlight today, as the world's attention focuses on the start of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China and the effects of the city's air pollution on athletes and spectators.

Simon Carn, an assistant research scientist at UMBC's Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology (JCET), was quoted in an Aug. 6 New York Times "Dot Earth" blog post. "Dot Earth" is a blog about the earth, the environment and sustainability by noted science writer Andrew Revkin.

Revkin's post looked at comparisons of sulfur dioxide (SO2) levels in the U.S., Europe and China. SO2 is the pollutant that contributes to acid rain, and has been banned for years in the U.S. and Europe.

Carn and colleagues in the SO2 Monitoring Group of UMBC JCET/Goddard Space Flight Center studied how satellite images and analysis of the SO2 levels in the air over the three continents showed how China's emphasis on economic growth and lack of expensive, Euro/U.S.-style "smokestack scrubbing" technology for coal-burning power plants and anti-SO2 regulations have left China with backwards-in-time air quality compared to the West.

UMBC/NASA also partner on the "Smog Blog," a daily look at U.S. and global air quality using NASA satellite data. The Smog Blog has also been keeping a close eye on Beijing's air.

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August 4, 2008

bwtech@UMBC's Newest Building Welcomes First Tenant

Engineering Firm Will Occupy Prime Space

CONTACT:
Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

bwtech@UMBC Research Park Corporation is excited to announce the signing of the first tenant in its newest building, 5520 Research Park Drive. RMF Engineering, a Baltimore-based firm with expertise in mechanical, electrical, civil, structural, infrastructure and aquacultural engineering, will occupy 28,000 square feet on the building’s third floor. The company has several offices around the country; bwtech@UMBC will serve as its headquarters.

RMF is nationally recognized for the analysis, planning and design of complex buildings and campus utility generation and distribution systems, and has expertise in the evaluation of renewable energy strategies, alternative energy solutions and green initiatives. The company currently employs about 100 people at its Baltimore headquarters, and plans to expand its staff to 130 by the end of 2009, following its relocation. The vast majority of RMF employees have technical backgrounds, and UMBC has been a significant source of talent for the company in recent years. RMF has regularly hired UMBC students as interns, and has placed a number of graduates in permanent full-time positions. Following its move in January 2009, the company plans to expand its recruiting activities on campus.

RMF also has plans to collaborate with UMBC’s College of Engineering and Information Technology by assisting in curriculum development, consulting with faculty and guest lecturing in engineering courses. In addition to its work with students and faculty, RMF intends to take advantage of the professional development courses offered by UMBC Training Centers at bwtech@UMBC.

“We are thrilled to welcome RMF to the Research Park,” said Ellen Hemmerly, executive director, Research Park Corporation. “RMF has a history of collaboration with UMBC, and we are excited for that to expand as the company grows.”

“RMF is positioned for growth and expansion. We are delighted to be establishing our headquarters at bwtech@UMBC and believe the new location gives us access to the talent and facilities we need to take our company to the next level,” said Duane Pinnix, president, RMF Engineering.

The 107,000 square foot building was developed by Corporate Office Properties Trust (COPT) (NYSE: OFC). This is the second building COPT developed at the park; the first was the U.S. Geological Survey building at 5522 Research Park Drive.

####

About bwtech@UMBC:
bwtech@UMBC is a 71-acre research and technology community at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). It comprises the technology business Incubator and Accelerator, home to over 30 early-stage high-tech and life science companies, and the Research and Technology Park, with a capacity of 350,000 square feet of office and laboratory space. bwtech@UMBC offers collaboration with university faculty and students, and enjoys a strategic and convenient location, close to downtown Baltimore, BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, and Washington, D.C. bwtech’s annual economic impact on the state is estimated to be over $300 million.

About UMBC:
UMBC is a medium-sized public research university of 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students who collaborate with faculty to address real-world challenges. Located just south of Baltimore near I-95 and the BWI airport, UMBC's residential campus houses state-of-the-art facilities in the sciences, engineering, arts, social sciences and humanities. UMBC combines the energy of a research university with the close community feel and attention to individual students found in liberal arts colleges.

Posted by dshapiro

June 12, 2008

UMBC Receives Grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to Study Sickle Cell Disease

New Connections Initiative seeks to link the Foundation to a new cadre of scholars

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 12

CONTACT: Kavan Peterson
Phone: 410-455-1896
Email: kavan@umbc.edu

BALTIMORE -- A grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) will support University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) Assistant Professor of Psychology Shawn Bediako in a study of how adults with sickle-cell disease manage workplace absenteeism and limited access to health care.

The research is intended to inform policymakers on the types of social support services needed by adults with sickle-cell disease (SCD), a debilitating genetic blood disorder that disproportionately affects minorities.

“Due to wide health care disparities among low-income minorities, adults with sickle-cell disease make up a particularly vulnerable and under-represented population,” said Bediako, who co-chairs the Maryland Statewide Steering Committee on Services for Adults with Sickle-Cell Disease.

Although Maryland has an estimated 3,400 SCD patients, the state’s only service provider for adults with SCD is the Johns Hopkins Sickle Cell Clinic for Adults. Moreover, the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene does not provide support services for SCD patients once they become adults.

By exploring data from a national 10-year longitudinal study of SCD patients compiled by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Bediako will examine the employment status of adults with SCD and the rates at which they can access and use health care and mental health services. Bediako will use the data to create a computer model projecting unemployment rates among SCD patients in Maryland during the next decade.

Social work intervention by certified genetic counselors and psychological counselors is critical to treating adults with SCD, Bediako said. Job counseling and support services are also important because many SCD patients lose their jobs due to illness-related absenteeism. Unemployment rates among SCD populations can reach 70 percent, he said.

African-Americans are the largest high-risk group for SCD in Maryland. The state has the fourth largest African-American population in the U.S.

Approximately 1-in-400 African-American babies is born with some form of sickle-cell disease and approximately 1-in-10 African-Americans is a carrier for abnormal hemoglobin that could lead to some form of sickle-cell disease in their children.
The $55,000 grant Bediako received to conduct the study was awarded through RWJF's New Connections Initiative, created three years ago to expand the organization's diversity of research by supporting underrepresented scholars and research topics. Twelve such grants are awarded annually.

New Connections is a competitive award for scholars who have historically been underrepresented in research activities. For more information about The New Connections Initiative, go to www.rwjf-newconnections.org

About UMBC:

UMBC is a medium-sized public research university of 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students who collaborate with faculty to address real-world challenges. Located just south of Baltimore near I-95 and the BWI airport, UMBC's residential campus houses state-of-the-art facilities in the sciences, engineering, arts, social sciences and humanities. UMBC combines the energy of a research university with the close community feel and attention to individual students found in liberal arts colleges.

About RWJF

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. The Foundation's Pioneer Portfolio supports innovative ideas and projects that may trigger important breakthroughs in health and health care. Projects in the Pioneer Portfolio are future-oriented and look beyond conventional thinking to explore solutions at the cutting edge of health and health care. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime.

Posted by kavan

April 30, 2008

‘From Need to Know’ to ‘Need to Share’: UMBC to Lead Six Campus-Team to Turn 9-11 Commission Intel-Sharing Reforms into Technology System

$7.5-million, Five-Year DoD Grant Partners UMBC With Purdue, Michigan, Illinois, Others

CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu


A six-campus team of computer scientists led by UMBC has been awarded a $7.5 million, five-year grant from the Department of Defense to turn the 9-11 Commission’s recommendations for better sharing of classified data between U.S. intelligence agencies, military and homeland security officials into a workable, secure technology network.

The team is led by a principal investigator Tim Finin, a professor of computer science and electrical engineering (CSEE) at UMBC. It also includes UMBC professors Anupam Joshi, Yelena Yesha, Hillol Kargupta and Alan Sherman, who add expertise in advanced networks, data mining and information security.

The UMBC team is partnered with researchers from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Purdue University, University of Michigan, University of Texas at San Antonio, and University of Texas at Dallas. The grant was awarded as part of the Department of Defense’s Multi-disciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) program, which takes a more long-term, interdisciplinary approach to solving scientific problems.

Many pieces of the 9-11 plot puzzle weren’t recognized until after the attacks due to inability or reluctance by intelligence agencies to share information. The 9-11 Commission Report recommended that the traditional U.S. intelligence culture of “need to know” be shifted to “need to share.”

The goal is to build software and network systems that allow the Department of Defense, intelligence agencies, homeland security and other organizations to share information dynamically and securely. The project hopes to help the U.S. better defend against future terror attacks, while protecting intelligence sources and methods as well has enforcing appropriate privacy policies.

According to Finin, the project will prove useful beyond the homeland security sphere. “There are plenty of real world problems that we can work on that are not classified, such as balancing patient privacy with making sure the right doctor in an emergency can quickly access their medical records,” Finin said. “Many of the principles of this research can apply to everyday scenarios where information is shared with the right people and protected from the wrong people, such as your family photo albums on Flickr or your credit history.”

“We want to create the science behind the idea of need to share,” said Joshi. “We’ll be weighing what should be shared with whom and asking if we can balance the utility of sharing something with the risk of its getting disclosed.”

“We want to find how to maximize our ability to share information while following pre-defined policies that protect privacy, ensure appropriate use and maximize accuracy,” said Finin. “It is a challenging task that will not be completely solved in the next few years, but we can make significant progress and advance the state of the art.”

More info online:

http://ebiquity.umbc.edu/

Posted by crose

April 21, 2008

Plant Sensory Systems Receives SBIR Grant

Funding Will Help Company Test Plant Modifications

Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

Plant Sensory Systems, a resident of bwtech@UMBC’s Incubator, has received a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Science Foundation. The $100,000 grant, which is a six-month grant (referred to as Phase I) that takes effect July 1, will help the company test new genetic modifications on its laboratory plants. The research is a crucial first step in creating plants that are more productive and environmentally-friendly.

Founded by the husband-and-wife team of Frank and Kathleen Turano last July, Plant Sensory Systems is focused on creating plants that are more nitrogen use-efficient as well as drought-resistant. More efficient use of nitrogen, the main ingredient in fertilizer, means less run-off into rivers and streams. Increased drought resistance could reduce crop losses significantly in drought years. Eventually, the Turanos hope to license their technologies to seed and biotechnology companies.

This is the first grant the company has received and will enable the Turanos to test their hypotheses regarding a genetic modification to plants that will increase the production of GABA, an amino acid that has been shown to affect plants’ response to drought conditions as well as their nitrogen absorption. By increasing the amount of GABA, the plant could withstand drought better and require less nitrogen to grow. Currently, the Turanos’ experiments are being done on the Arabidopsis plant; if successful, they would start testing crop plants such as canola.

If the Turanos experience success in their research and show their plant engineering concepts are valid, they will be eligible to apply for a Phase II, two-year grant from NSF once their Phase I grant period is completed.

“We are confident our research will help us create better plants that will benefit the agricultural industry, consumers and the environment,” said Kathleen Turano. Added Frank Turano: “We are very pleased with this grant and the opportunity to take our research to the next level.”

“Plant Sensory Systems is engaged in groundbreaking work in the field of agricultural technology,” said David Fink, director of entrepreneurial services at bwtech@UMBC. “We are pleased that NSF has recognized their potential with this award.”


####

bwtech@UMBC is a 71-acre research and technology community at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). It comprises the technology business Incubator and Accelerator, home to over 30 early-stage high-tech and life science companies, and the Research and Technology Park, with a total development capacity of 350,000 square feet of office and laboratory space. bwtech@UMBC offers collaboration with university faculty and students, and enjoys a strategic and convenient location, close to downtown Baltimore, BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, and Washington, D.C. bwtech’s annual economic impact on the state is estimated to be over $300 million.

UMBC is a medium-sized public research university of 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students who collaborate with faculty to address real-world challenges. Located just south of Baltimore near I-95 and the BWI airport, UMBC's residential campus houses state-of-the-art facilities in the sciences, engineering, arts, social sciences and humanities. UMBC combines the energy of a research university with the close community feel and attention to individual students found in liberal arts colleges.

Posted by dshapiro

April 7, 2008

Traxion Therapeutics Receives TEDCO Grant

Funding Will Help Company Develop Pain Medications

Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu


Traxion Therapeutics, a bwtech@UMBC Incubator company, has received a grant from the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO), the state’s leading source of funding for seed capital and entrepreneurial business assistance for the development, transfer and commercialization of technology. The $74,018 award, from TEDCO’s Maryland Technology Transfer Fund (MTTF), will help finance the young company’s development of new medications to treat neuropathic pain. Currently, the company is working with pain researchers at the University of Maryland Dental School to assess the viability of its lead product, TXT-0200.

Neuropathic pain afflicts more than 10 million Americans. Sales of prescription drugs for neuropathic pain are increasing at roughly 7 percent each year. Traxion has assembled a diversified portfolio of novel, proprietary small molecule products to address this market opportunity. These products use more selective, mechanism-based approaches which exploit recent scientific discoveries in order to develop more effective, better tolerated treatments for neuropathic pain. Traxion plans to take these products through to Phase II proof of concept studies and then enter worldwide corporate partnerships for later-stage development and commercialization.

Founded in 2005, Traxion is yet another company successfully launched through the bwtech-affiliated ACTiVATE program. Traxion CEO Kerrie Brady is a member of the program’s class of 2005. ACTiVATE, which trains women with significant business or technical experience to start companies based on technologies developed at area universities and research institutions, has graduated 72 women and launched 15 companies since its inception three years ago.

“Traxion is a pioneer in developing more effective medications to treat neuropathic pain and improve the lives of the people it afflicts. We are grateful for the support of TEDCO and look forward to eventually bringing our products to market,” said Brady.

“Traxion is developing several new products for the treatment of intractable pain. We are pleased that TEDCO has recognized the potential of their work and is providing this stimulus for the growing health care industry in the Baltimore region,” said David Fink, director of entrepreneurial services at bwtech@UMBC.

“TEDCO was created to help early stage companies with promising technologies grow and succeed. Traxion fits this purpose perfectly as there is a great deal of potential for the company to leverage research findings to develop groundbreaking medicines,” said Renée Winsky, president and executive director of TEDCO. “Already the company has made great progress and TEDCO is proud to support its ongoing work.”


bwtech@UMBC is a 71-acre research and technology community at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). It comprises the technology business Incubator and Accelerator, home to over 30 early-stage high-tech and life science companies, and the Research and Technology Park, with a total development capacity of 350,000 square feet of office and laboratory space. bwtech@UMBC offers collaboration with university faculty and students, and enjoys a strategic and convenient location, close to downtown Baltimore, BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, and Washington, D.C. bwtech’s annual economic impact on the state is estimated to be over $300 million.

UMBC is a medium-sized public research university of 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students who collaborate with faculty to address real-world challenges. Located just south of Baltimore near I-95 and the BWI airport, UMBC's residential campus houses state-of-the-art facilities in the sciences, engineering, arts, social sciences and humanities. UMBC combines the energy of a research university with the close community feel and attention to individual students found in liberal arts colleges.

The Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO), an independent entity, was established by the Maryland General Assembly in 1998 to facilitate the creation of businesses and foster their growth in all regions of the State. TEDCO’s role is to be Maryland’s leading source of funding for seed capital and entrepreneurial business assistance for the development, transfer and commercialization of technology. TEDCO connects emerging technology companies with federal laboratories, research universities, business incubators and specialized technical assistance. For the fourth consecutive year, TEDCO was recognized as the most active early/seed stage investor in the nation in the July 2007 issue of Entrepreneur Magazine.

Posted by dshapiro

April 2, 2008

“Dust Busting” the Moon

UMBC/NASA Goddard Scientist to Study Electrically Charged Lunar Dust
to Aid Robotic and Human Exploration


CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu


Timothy Stubbs, a scientist at UMBC and NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, has won funding for a project that sounds like equal parts Ray Bradbury and early David Bowie: studying how electrically charged dust moves across the moon and how it could be a hazard to humans and robots exploring the lunar surface.

Stubbs was selected by NASA to join the science team for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission, being built at Goddard and scheduled for launch later this year. The LRO is NASA's first step in plans to return humans to the moon by 2020. Stubbs is an assistant research scientist with UMBC’s Goddard Earth Sciences and Technology Center.

Most of the evidence for a lunar dust “atmosphere” dates back to the Apollo mission era. NASA scientists analyzing images returned by the Surveyor landers noticed a ‘horizon glow’ close to the surface after lunar sunset, believed to be caused by sunlight scattered by ultra-tiny (smaller than a few microns – a millionth of a meter) dust particles. While astronauts in orbit observed a high-altitude horizon glow (over 62 miles high) just as their spacecraft was passing out of the shadow of the Moon.

According to the “dust fountain” model developed by Stubbs and colleagues at NASA Goddard, the high-altitude dust grains inferred from the horizon glow are probably highly-charged and have been lofted upward by electric fields close to the lunar surface. Once above the lunar surface electric field, the dust grains then fall back toward the Moon under gravity, with their trajectories resembling the arc of a water fountain.

Like the rest of the lunar soil, the dust was created over billions of years by the countless impacts of tiny meteorites. It gets its electrical charge from the sun’s ultraviolet light, X-rays and the moon’s surrounding plasma (electrified gas of ions and electrons) environment. The dust’s electrostatic charge makes it move about the moon’s surface and also gives it a static-cling stickiness that can be hazardous to astronauts and their equipment.

The tiny dust fragments are sharp and jagged since there is no air or water on the moon to smooth them over time. The dust was a nuisance to the Apollo astronauts, sticking to their spacesuits and tracking inside their spacecraft.

But what was a minor annoyance for the relatively brief Apollo missions could be dangerous during the next-generation, long-duration missions being planned by NASA. Astronauts who regularly inhale the sharp dust fragments over time could develop lung diseases similar to those caused by asbestos or coal dust. The dust could also cause problems with sensitive equipment and instruments.

“I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to be directly involved with NASA’s return to the moon, as well as very excited about all the great new science that will be achieved with this historic mission,” said Stubbs.

Stubbs’ project will use instruments on the LRO and other spacecraft to measure how much lunar dust there is and map the moon’s electric fields to better understand when and where the dust is most likely to be a problem for the manned missions planned for 2020 and beyond.

Posted by crose

March 24, 2008

bwtech@UMBC Company Receives GBC Award

Next Breath Honored for Innovation and Industry Leadership

Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu


Next Breath, LLC, a bwtech@UMBC Accelerator company, received the Entrepreneurship Award at the Greater Baltimore Committee’s 3rd annual Bioscience Awards presentation on Tuesday, March 18 at the Renaissance Harborplace Hotel. Julie Suman, the company’s co-founder and president, accepted the award at the presentation, which was attended by approximately 150 leaders from the Baltimore region's bioscience industry and research community.

Next Breath, a graduate of bwtech@UMBC’s incubator program, is a contract services provider to pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies that bring new inhalation and nasal products to market. It provides services ranging from pre-clinical formulation development to analytical testing, in support of submissions made to regulatory agencies. To date, 55 pharmaceutical companies worldwide have sought Next Breath’s services to support their drug development efforts. The company currently employs 17 people.

Suman, a registered pharmacist who holds a Ph.D. in pharmaceutical sciences from the University of Maryland, School of Pharmacy, founded Next Breath in 2001 with partner and vice president Shailaja Somaraju. Suman was previously a pharmacist consultant with PAREXEL’s clinical pharmacology research unit, a research assistant at the University of Maryland’s Department of Pharmaceutical Science and an intern at Magellan Laboratories. Somaraju also holds a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland and was previously a project manager at the University Pharmaceuticals of Maryland.

Winners of the 2008 Greater Baltimore Region Bioscience Awards were selected by a panel of judges from among 22 nominees submitted by businesses, bioscience advocates, higher education institutions and government agencies. The criteria for the Entrepreneurship Award included: goals reached through perseverance; a company orientation toward greater risk taking behavior; high utilization of a new system, products or best practices in achieving results; evidence of entrepreneurial leadership to achieve company goals; and commitment to the greater Baltimore region and/or business community.

“Next Breath has always strived to be an innovator and an industry leader. It has been exciting to watch the company grow and achieve success. I am thrilled to see the company recognized by the local bioscience community for its achievements,” said Suman.

“We’ve had an exemplary track record of success over the years with our bioscience companies. It’s an honor for our companies to be nominated, and certainly for Next Breath to win the entrepreneurship award against a very competitive field,” said Ellen Hemmerly, executive director, bwtech@UMBC Research and Technology Park.

Other bwtech@UMBC nominees for the Bioscience Awards were Kris Appel, President & CEO of Encore Path, Inc. (Best New Product or Progress Award), Paul Silber, Former President/CEO & Founder of In Vitro Technologies, Inc. (President’s Award) and Stephen Auvil and the bwtech-affiliated ACTiVATE program (President’s Award).


####

bwtech@UMBC (http://www.bwtechumbc.com) is a 71-acre research and technology community at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). It comprises the technology business Incubator and Accelerator, home to over 30 early-stage high-tech and life science companies, and the Research Park, with a total development capacity of 350,000 square feet of office and laboratory space. bwtech@UMBC offers collaboration with university faculty and students, and enjoys a strategic and convenient location, close to downtown Baltimore, BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, and Washington, D.C. bwtech’s annual economic impact on the state is estimated to be over $300 million.

UMBC is a medium-sized public research university of 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students who collaborate with faculty to address real-world challenges. Located just south of Baltimore near I-95 and the BWI airport, UMBC's residential campus houses state-of-the-art facilities in the sciences, engineering, arts, social sciences and humanities. UMBC combines the energy of a research university with the close community feel and attention to individual students found in liberal arts colleges.

Posted by dshapiro

March 3, 2008

ACTiVATE Graduates Recognized for Business Plans

Three Graduates Are Among Nine Finalists in Rockville Business Plan Competition

Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu


Three recent ACTiVATE graduates, Kym Wong (Class of 2007), Loleta Robinson and Colleen Nye (Class of 2006), have been selected as finalists in the StartRight! Business Plan Competition. The competition, run by Rockville Economic Development, Inc. (REDI), is in its fifth year and recognizes top business plans from women entrepreneurs. Wong’s 3DeLux Images and Robinson and Nye’s Syan Biosciences are among nine businesses in the finals. Both businesses were launched upon their founders’ completion of the ACTiVATE, a UMBC program that trains mid-career women to start their own businesses based on technologies developed at area universities and research institutions.

This is the first business plan competition Wong has entered. Her business, which focuses on using a scanning system developed at Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Lab to create three-dimensional images for online retailers, is in the preliminary stages of development. If feasibility studies prove successful, she will move ahead with the licensing process. Wong has twenty years of experience in business, including e-commerce, and after spending much of her career building new businesses for others, she decided it was her turn. “When I heard about the ACTiVATE program, it seemed like a very good fit,” she says. After her successful presentation of her business plan at the conclusion of the program, the program’s faculty encouraged her to enter StartRight!.

Nye and Robinson’s Syan Biosciences is working with a technology developed at the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute to create a diagnostic platform that uses biomarkers to diagnose diseases such as cancer and heart disease. They are hoping to eventually license their technology to biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. They also plan to make their own products based on the platform. Nye, a chemical engineer with an M.B.A. degree, and Robinson, a physician who also holds an M.B.A., entered StartRight! last year with a business plan based on a different technology that they were ultimately unable to license. Entering this year’s competition allowed them to receive advice on their new business model. “The competition is a great opportunity to get feedback and to network,” says Nye. “We knew the competition would be a good forum to get feedback on our new plan.”

According to Lynne Benzion, the associate director of REDI and administrator of StartRight!, 33 entries were submitted for this year’s competition. She notes that the 4 criteria for judging the business plans are overall financial viability, the company’s management plan, the quality of an entrant’s market research and its marketing plan, and the degree of innovation and differentiation in the business model. To be eligible to enter, businesses must be at least 51% women-owned, operating for two years or less and located in Maryland, Virginia or Washington, DC.

Entrants compete for cash and prizes: the first place winner earns $10,000, courtesy of sponsor Eagle Bank. The second place award is $5,000, courtesy of REDI, and the third place award is $2,500, courtesy of sponsor Foster, Soltoff & Love, a Bethesda-based financial planning and employee benefits consulting firm. The top three entrants also receive varying lengths of services from virtual office solutions provider Intelligent Office. Winners will be announced April 1 at the 2008 Women in Business conference at the Marriott North Bethesda Conference Center.

Benzion notes the established partnership between REDI and the ACTiVATE program. In return for REDI’s publicizing of ACTiVATE in the Rockville area and referring candidates to the program, ACTiVATE encourages its graduates to enter the StartRight! competition. In addition to the opportunity to win seed money for their business, the competition deadline gives graduates a target by which to complete their business plans. “Working with ACTiVATE extends our reach up to Baltimore and gives us good competitors. Anytime we can connect to another area [of Maryland], it makes the competition better.”

“We place an intense focus on helping our participants design sustainable businesses and solid business plans,” says Julie Lenzer Kirk, ACTiVATE’s lead instructor. “ACTiVATE graduates have created a force of technology entrepreneurs who have raised the bar for the StartRight! competition. We're hoping one day that ACTiVATE alumnae will take all three top spots.”


####

UMBC is a medium-sized public research university of 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students who collaborate with faculty to address real-world challenges. Located just south of Baltimore near I-95 and the BWI airport, UMBC's residential campus houses state-of-the-art facilities in the sciences, engineering, arts, social sciences and humanities. UMBC combines the energy of a research university with the close community feel and attention to individual students found in liberal arts colleges

Posted by dshapiro

February 21, 2008

Gates Cambridge Scholarship to Send UMBC Physics Major on Path of Newton, Hawking

Philip Graff is UMBC’s Second Consecutive Winner of Prestigious Full Scholarship to Cambridge


CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu


UMBC senior physics major Philip Graff will follow the path of science greats Isaac Newton and Stephen Hawking to Cambridge University as the second UMBC student in the past two years to win the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, one of the world’s most selective academic awards.

Graff, who will pursue a Ph.D. in physics, was one of just 45 U.S. winners chosen from more than 600 applicants and 119 finalists. Graff is UMBC’s second consecutive Gates Cambridge Scholar, following alumnus Ian Ralby ‘02, who won in 2007. Other U.S. winners for 2008 included students from Harvard, Yale, MIT, Princeton and other prestigious universities.

The Gates Cambridge was created in 2000 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which donated $210 million to establish the Gates Cambridge Trust. The award fully funds one to four years of graduate study in any field at Cambridge University.

The Gates Scholarship is too young to have become a household name like the Rhodes Scholars Program (established in 1902) or the Marshall Scholarships (established in 1954). But like the Marshall and Rhodes, the Gates only accepts the cream of the academic crop. The Gates Scholarship is expected to grow into one of the world’s most recognizable programs over time thanks to the high quality of its winners and the program’s unique emphasis on public service and research career paths.

Graff, a native of Manalapan, NJ, came to UMBC on a full scholarship through the University Fellowship program and is a member of the Honors College. Graff, who maintains a 4.0 G.P.A., plans to attend Cambridge but was also accepted at other prestigious universities including MIT and the University of Illinois. After graduation and post-doctoral study, Graff plans a career as a university professor and researcher.

For Graff, the Cambridge experience will be an opportunity to follow in the footsteps of some of history’s greatest physicists (such as Isaac Newton) and hopefully to meet a personal hero, Stephen Hawking of “A Brief History of Time” fame.

“It’s said that Cambridge has been home to more Nobel Prize winners than all of France, so it’s an amazing honor to study there.” Graff said. “I consider Hawking one of the great minds in the field, so I really hope to meet him.”

An astrophysicist, Graff studies what gravitational waves (caused by the interactions of binary stars and other massive bodies) can tell us about the large scale structure and history of the universe. He created a computer model of quasar radiation as an undergraduate at UMBC and worked with one of the world’s most sensitive scientific instruments, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO), during a National Science Foundation fellowship at Caltech. His quasar work is the topic of a research paper currently under refereeing with the Astrophysical Journal.

Graff has also been highly involved with campus life at UMBC, serving as president of Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity, Director of Student Advocacy with the Student Government Association and a teaching assistant. In the little spare time he has, he enjoys playing video games, watching movies and playing ultimate Frisbee.

Science runs in the family for Graff; his older brother is an aerospace engineer. “My parents always pushed us, but beyond a certain point it becomes self-motivated,” said Graff. “We had a pretty normal childhood; I played little league and was on the bowling team and my brother was active in Boy Scouts. But we did do pretty well in science fairs,” Graff said.

Graff hasn’t had much time to reflect on his achievements to date, but does recall with amusement a favorite family report card story. “My first grade math teacher said I didn’t understand mathematical concepts but was just memorizing,” he said. “So I guess I showed her.”

About the Gates Cambridge Scholarship Program:

In October 2000, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced a donation to the University of Cambridge of $210 million to establish the Gates Cambridge Trust.
The gift funded in perpetuity an international scholarship program to enable outstanding graduate students from outside the United Kingdom to study at the University of Cambridge. The Trustees are required to award scholarships on the basis of a person's intellectual ability, leadership capacity and desire to use their knowledge to contribute to society throughout the world by providing service to their communities and applying their talents and knowledge to improve the lives of others.

Following interviews held in Annapolis, Maryland, on 8 and 9 February 2008, the Gates Cambridge Trust announced that scholarships for study at the University of Cambridge were awarded to 45 American students. Over 600 students from the United States applied for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship this year and 119 of them were interviewed at St John’s College and the United States Naval Academy.

For more information about the Gates Cambridge Scholarship program, please visit www.gatesscholar.org.

Posted by crose

February 14, 2008

Plant Sensory Systems Joins bwtech@UMBC

Company Developing Innovative Agricultural Technologies

Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

Plant Sensory Systems, an agricultural biotechnology company, has chosen the technology incubator at bwtech@UMBC as its headquarters. The company’s owners, Kathleen and Frank Turano, felt the services and support offered by bwtech@UMBC were an ideal fit for their young company’s needs.

The Turanos founded Plant Sensory Systems in July and moved to the incubator at the end of December. Currently, the company is working on two projects: making plants that use nitrogen more efficiently and creating plants that can produce more sugar or plant oils to aid in the production of biofuels. “If we can make plants that use nitrogen more efficiently, then farmers won’t have to use as much fertilizer. Not only will this save costs, but there will be less nitrogen run-off into streams and rivers,” explained Frank Turano.

At the moment, their focus is on genetic research using a laboratory model plant. Their long-term goal is to license their technologies and/or partner with seed or agricultural biotechnology companies to apply the technologies they develop to a variety of crops. They are currently talking to seed companies to establish relationships.

The Turanos’ interest in biological research and sensory systems is an outgrowth of their professional experience: Frank is an associate professor of molecular biology and biochemistry at George Washington University (he has resigned, effective in May 2008) and Kathleen was formerly a professor of ophthalmology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. After interviewing at several incubators, they chose bwtech@UMBC as the place to launch their business. “They have a solid track record of launching companies and offer a host of business support services to help companies get off the ground,” said Kathleen Turano.
Both Turanos plan to take advantage of the opportunity to obtain advice and share experiences with the CEOs of the other incubator companies at the variety of networking events offered at bwtech@UMBC.

“Plant Sensory Systems represents exactly the type of early-stage company that we hope to attract to our incubator program”, said David Fink, bwtech@UMBC’s director of entrepreneurial services. “The Turanos bring strong scientific credentials from local research institutions. Their projects are very innovative and the company has great potential to benefit the Maryland economy.”

About bwtech@UMBC:
bwtech@UMBC (http://www.bwtechumbc.com) is a 71-acre research and technology community at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). It comprises the technology business Incubator and Accelerator, home to over 30 early-stage high-tech and life science companies, and the Research and Technology Park, with a total development capacity of 350,000 square feet of office and laboratory space. bwtech@UMBC offers collaboration with university faculty and students, and enjoys a strategic and convenient location, close to downtown Baltimore, BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, and Washington, D.C. bwtech’s annual economic impact on the state is estimated to be over $300 million.

About UMBC:
UMBC is a medium-sized public research university of 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students who collaborate with faculty to address real-world challenges. Located just south of Baltimore near I-95 and the BWI airport, UMBC's residential campus houses state-of-the-art facilities in the sciences, engineering, arts, social sciences and humanities. UMBC combines the energy of a research university with the close community feel and attention to individual students found in liberal arts colleges.


Posted by dshapiro

February 6, 2008

Amethyst Technologies Joins bwtech@UMBC

Growing Company Seeks to Carve Out Market Niche

Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

Amethyst Technologies, a growing company specializing in services for life science companies and research organizations, has set up shop at bwtech@UMBC’s technology incubator. The company’s owner, Kimberly Brown, hopes to capitalize on the location and establish business relationships with the life science companies located at the incubator.

Amethyst, originally founded as Cell Systems, Inc., in 1992, provides overall management, implementation, and execution of current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) compliance systems. These services include equipment calibration and validation, quality management software, process validation, qualification and design services for clean rooms and high purity utility systems, and environmental monitoring system management. Its clients include hospitals, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, biological repositories, and federal government labs and research institutions. The Incubator and Accelerator at bwtech@UMBC is the headquarters for numerous early-stage life science companies, so the location presents multiple business opportunities for Amethyst.

Setting up operations at bwtech@UMBC was a natural move for the company. Brown, who has owned Amethyst for about a year, is a recent graduate of UMBC’s ACTiVATE program, which teaches mid-career women with significant business or technical experience how to start companies using technologies developed at universities and other research institutions.

A chemical engineer with a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, College Park, Brown was unique among most ACTiVATE participants in that she already owned a company at the time she began the program. However, she notes that the knowledge of marketing, finance and intellectual property laws that she gained from ACTiVATE has been essential to her success as an entrepreneur: “ACTiVATE provided the knowledge and awareness to have a successful business. You can have a good product, but you also need to know how to run a company. Now I know how to protect my business.”

In addition to the business opportunities for Amethyst at bwtech@UMBC, Brown and her company will benefit from the support and networking that the incubator provides. In addition to monthly networking events for CEOs and senior managers, the incubator offers an array of business support services that include market analysis and strategic planning guidance and assistance with grant funding applications. Companies also have direct access to UMBC’s technology transfer office and an abundant supply of students, graduates and faculty that are ready to serve early-stage companies.

Brown’s long-term goals for her company are “to become an industry leader in both the private and public sector” as well as develop a product line focused on patient safety and environmental responsibility and provide “green” services to create environmentally friendly clean rooms and labs.


####

bwtech@UMBC (http://www.bwtechumbc.com) is a 71-acre research and technology community at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). It comprises the technology business Incubator and Accelerator, home to over 30 early-stage high-tech and life science companies, and the Research and Technology Park, with a total development capacity of 350,000 square feet of office and laboratory space. bwtech@UMBC offers collaboration with university faculty and students, and enjoys a strategic and convenient location, close to downtown Baltimore, BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, and Washington, D.C. bwtech’s annual economic impact on the state is estimated to be over $300 million.

UMBC is a medium-sized public research university of 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students who collaborate with faculty to address real-world challenges. Located just south of Baltimore near I-95 and the BWI airport, UMBC's residential campus houses state-of-the-art facilities in the sciences, engineering, arts, social sciences and humanities. UMBC combines the energy of a research university with the close community feel and attention to individual students found in liberal arts colleges.

Posted by dshapiro

January 16, 2008

UMBC’s ACTiVATE Program Receives Prestigious Award

Recognition Affirms Program’s Status as a Leading Innovator in Educating Entrepreneurs


CONTACT: Deborah Shapiro, Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

ACTiVATE, a program of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) that trains mid-career women to start and manage technology ventures, was honored by a leading national entrepreneurship organization last Saturday. The program received the U.S. Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship’s (USASBE) award for Best Specialty Entrepreneurship Education Program. Presented at the organization’s annual conference in San Antonio, Texas, the award was based on each program’s innovativeness, uniqueness, quality, effectiveness, comprehensiveness, sustainability and transferability.

Stephen Auvil, director of UMBC’s Office of Technology Development, Vivian Armor, director of UMBC’s Alex. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship, and Julie Kirk, ACTiVATE lead instructor, represented ACTiVATE at the conference.

“The winner is the one program that demonstrates a fresh approach to adding new meaning to entrepreneurial education,” said judging panel member Stan Mandel, an executive professor at the Babcock Graduate School of Management at Wake Forest University and director of the school’s Angell Center for Entrepreneurship. “This was clearly demonstrated by UMBC in the ACTiVATE program—a great concept, implemented well, with outstanding participants.”

“ACTiVATE has become a model of innovation for teaching and mentoring entrepreneurs, and we are thrilled to be recognized by a leading organization in the field of entrepreneurship,” said Ms. Armor.

ACTiVATE is a year-long program that utilizes technologies developed by Maryland’s universities and research institutions and trains women with significant technical or business experience to start companies based on those technologies. In the first three years of the program, ACTiVATE has trained 72 women. To date, 15 companies have been founded by ACTiVATE graduates.

Said David Fink, director of entrepreneurial services at bwtech@UMBC and the ACTiVATE program director: “We felt there was a need for a new way to teach entrepreneurship and increase the commercialization of technologies. In just three years, ACTiVATE has already had a tremendous impact on the local business community.”

An acronym for Achieving the Commercialization of Technology in Ventures Through Applied Training for Entrepreneurs, ACTiVATE is a joint program among Alex. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship, bwtech@UMBC Research and Technology Park, Office of Technology Development and the Center for Women in Technology (CWIT). Sponsors include the National Science Foundation, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Maryland Technology Development Corporation, Whiteford, Taylor and Preston, Constellation Energy, Wachovia Bank, Lion Brothers and Corporate Office Properties Trust (COPT).

“The ACTiVATE program is just one part of UMBC’s commitment to entrepreneurship, technology transfer and workforce development,” noted Mr. Auvil, who is also one of the program’s architects. “It encourages the development of new technology companies and supports women who are interested in pursuing an entrepreneurial career.”

Classes are held on Monday evenings, from January through December, and one Saturday per month at the bwtech@UMBC Incubator near UMBC’s main campus in Catonsville. Six of the companies founded by ACTiVATE graduates have entered bwtech@UMBC’s incubator program.

About UMBC:

UMBC is a medium-sized public research university of 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students who collaborate with faculty to address real-world challenges. Located just south of Baltimore near I-95 and the BWI airport, UMBC's residential campus houses state-of-the-art facilities in the sciences, engineering, arts, social sciences and humanities. UMBC combines the energy of a research university with the close community feel and attention to individual students found in liberal arts colleges.

Posted by crose

January 3, 2008

bwtech@UMBC Expands Staff

New Additions to Marketing and Business Development Team


CONTACT: Deborah Shapiro, Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

bwtech@UMBC Research & Technology Park is pleased to announce the expansion of its marketing and business development team with the addition of Deborah Shapiro, Marketing Manager, and Alex Euler, Associate Director of Business Development.

Shapiro will provide marketing support and strategy development to UMBC’s entrepreneurial initiatives, including bwtech@UMBC, the Alex. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship, the ACTiVATE program, and UMBC’s technology commercialization enterprise. She has a B.A. in Economics from Wellesley College and an M.B.A. in Marketing from the University of Maryland.

Shapiro was previously the Public Relations Manager for Thomson Prometric, and has successfully developed marketing and promotional strategies with both online and traditional media.

Euler will assist tenant companies with their marketing and business strategy needs, and will recruit tenants for bwtech@UMBC's properties. He will also facilitate interactions between the university and bwtech@UMBC businesses and work to increase overall awareness of bwtech@UMBC within the broader business community.

Euler has a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from UMBC and is working on an M.S. in Biotechnology Management at the University of Maryland. He was previously the Communications Manager for MdBio/TCM, a statewide trade association for high-technology and life science companies, and has extensive experience working with regional economic development groups and administering programs designed to support early-stage biotech companies.

About bwtech@UMBC:

bwtech@UMBC (www.bwtechumbc.com) is a 71-acre research and technology community at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). It comprises the technology business Incubator and Accelerator, home to over 30 early-stage high-tech and life science companies, and the Research and Technology Park, with a total development capacity of 350,000 square feet of office and laboratory space. bwtech@UMBC offers collaboration with university faculty and students, and enjoys a strategic and convenient location, close to downtown Baltimore, BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, and Washington, D.C. bwtech’s annual economic impact on the state is estimated to be over $300 million.

Posted by crose

December 12, 2007

UMBC Among 12 Universities Chosen by HHMI to Launch Nationwide Science Education Initiative

Professors Sandoz, Caruso to Give Freshmen Early Genomics Research Experience


CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

BALTIMORE -- The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) has chosen UMBC as part of a collaborative network of 12 colleges and universities to teach a new, hands-on genomics course aimed at involving more U.S. first-year college students in authentic research.

The course is the first major initiative from HHMI's Science Education Alliance (SEA), which seeks to enhance science education and inspire new generations of scientists. The year-long research course will be part of the SEA’s Phage Genomics Research Initiative. HHMI received 44 applications and selected 12 institutions for the Initiative.

UMBC biological sciences professors Jim Sandoz and Steve Caruso will work with UMBC’s Honors College to develop a fall 2008 course for freshmen science and non-science majors. Students in the class will collect soil samples on campus and use sophisticated lab and computer-based genomics and gene sequencing techniques to identify new bacteriophages. Bacteriophages, or phages for short, are common forms of viruses which infect bacteria and could offer insight into some types of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

“SEA takes the best ideas from the individual teaching experiments that HHMI has supported over the past 20 years and makes them broadly accessible to scientists and educators around the country,” said Michael Summers, professor of biochemistry and HHMI Investigator at UMBC. “UMBC has been at the forefront of science education, especially in enhancing retention rates among minority students, so it’s both exciting and appropriate that UMBC is part of these new efforts,” said Summers, who is the only HHMI Investigator at a Maryland public university. “We have a lot to learn from our colleagues in the SEA consortium, but we also have much to offer.”

SEA represents a new, more active involvement by HHMI in catalyzing change in science education. HHMI is committing $4 million over the program’s first four years and staffing SEA with its own employees. SEA will provide up to three years of support from HHMI to assist with faculty training, computing and DNA sequencing services for the course.

“The initial institutions we have selected represent a broad sampling of high quality higher education,” said Peter J. Bruns, vice president for grants and special programs at HHMI. “Although diverse in size and location, all participating schools share a desire to bring authentic discovery to freshman instruction. I am impressed by their commitment to the project and eagerly wait to see what a working alliance of such a diverse, yet commonly committed community, will yield.”

The other universities chosen for the 2008-2009 program are: Carnegie Mellon University, The College of William & Mary, Hope College, James Madison University, Oregon State University, Spelman College, the University of California, San Diego, the University of California, Santa Cruz, the University of Louisiana at Monroe, the University of Mary Washington and Washington University in St. Louis.

Based at HHMI's Janelia Farm Research Campus in Northern Virginia, SEA aims to build a collaborative network of U.S. scientists and educators to develop and distribute new instructional materials and methods while encouraging students to produce real research results. HHMI built SEA based on over two decades of supporting science education and research.

For more information, please visit http://www.hhmi.org/grants/sea/

Posted by crose

November 26, 2007

Ecologists Remap the Biosphere to Include Humans

No Such Thing as Pristine Nature Any More, Say UMBC, McGill Researchers


Photo Caption: Ecologist Erle Ellis has helped design a new way of mapping the Earth to include human impact.

CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

BALTIMORE and MONTREAL – Pristine wilderness is a thing of the past and it’s time to adjust our vision of the biosphere accordingly, say a team of American and Canadian eco-geographers in new research published today.

Erle Ellis, associate professor of Geography and Environmental Systems at UMBC, and Navin Ramankutty, assistant professor in McGill University’s Department of Geography and Earth System Science Program, used global data from satellites and land management statistics to map a new system of “anthropogenic biomes” or human biomes, that describe the biosphere as it exists today, the result of human shepherding and reshaping of ecosystems. Their map provides a 21st century challenge to the classic images of Earth's wild ecosystems that appear in nearly every ecology and earth science textbook.

Their research will be published in the Nov. 26 issue of the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment together with maps viewable in Google Earth and Google Maps at the Encyclopedia of Earth (a sort of Wikipedia for earth scientists and ecologists) and a printable classroom wall map for use by ecologists, educators and the public.

“The fact that an area is now covered by forests depends more on human decisions than it does on climate” said Ellis, who has studied anthropogenic landscapes in the field across rural China since 1992. He was inspired to investigate human landscapes globally during a research sabbatical at the Department of Global Ecology of the Carnegie Institute of Washington at Stanford University.



Photo Caption: Ellis has studied human biomes in rural China since 1992.

“The classic biomes, such as tropical rainforests or grasslands, were based on differences in vegetation caused by on climate,” said Ellis. “Now that humans have fundamentally altered global patterns of ecosystems and biodiversity, these biomes are rarely present across large areas any more. It is time for our map of the biosphere to reflect this new reality- that nature is now embedded within human systems” said Ellis.

Another key message from Ellis and Ramankutty was that ecologists should turn their focus to the changing ecosystems right underneath their feet. “A section of our paper is entitled ‘ecologists go home,’” said Ramankutty, an expert on global agriculture’s connection to environmental change. “Ecologists go to remote parts of the planet to study pristine ecosystems, but no one studies it in their back yard,” he said.

“We can no longer study ecology while ignoring humans,” Ellis said. “Humans are now as much a part of nature as the weather and human and ecological systems are so intricately linked that focusing just on nature gets in the way of conserving nature for future generations. We need to sustain positive interactions between human systems and ecosystems, not avoid these interactions. Focusing on so-called wilderness areas ignores more than four-fifths of Earth’s ice-free land. Ecologists need to do more research in places where humans live,” said Ellis.

Other key findings of the research:


  • More than three-quarters of our ice-free land surface is human altered. Wildlands cover just 22 percent of ice-free land today, and most of this land is barren and relatively unproductive.

  • Rangelands are the largest anthropogenic biomes, followed by cropland and forested biomes.

  • More than 80 percent of people live in dense settlements and village biomes, though these cover just seven percent of the Earth’s ice-free land surface. Village biomes are about five times as extensive as urban biomes and are home to about a quarter of Earth’s human population.

  • Anthropogenic biomes are mosaics. Instead of distinct vegetation or land-use types, anthropogenic biomes are complex mixtures of different land uses (settlements, crops, pastures, forests) that are classified by degree and type of human influence. For example, village biomes, which are found mostly in Asia and Africa, are crowded networks of towns and rural settlements embedded in intensively managed croplands and rice paddies alongside patches of less disturbed vegetation in hilly areas.


UMBC’s national reputation for excellence in earth and environmental science is growing. According to Thomson Scientific's Science Watch, UMBC's geoscience research ranked third nationally in citation impact for 2001-2005. The only other U.S. universities producing more frequently cited geoscience research papers were Harvard University and the Georgia Institute of Technology.

UMBC ranks third nationally in NASA research funding and is home to two major collaborative NASA earth science research centers and the U.S. Geological Survey’s Maryland/Delaware/D.C. Water Science Center.


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October 26, 2007

UMBC’s ‘ACTiVATE’ Program to Receive National Award, TEDCO Funding

Program Trains Female Entrepreneurs to Take Maryland Universities’ Technologies to Market


CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

ACTiVATE, an innovative program based at UMBC that trains female entrepreneurs to take technologies developed by Maryland universities to market, will receive a national honor and an investment from the state today.

The Association of University Research Parks (AURP) will award its 2007 Innovation Award to ACTiVATE today at the AURP’s national conference in St. Louis. Also today, the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) announced a $50,000 grant to help ACTiVATE continue its mission.

“We are thrilled that UMBC and the ACTiVATE program was recognized by AURP with this year’s Innovation Award,” said Renée Winsky, president and executive director of TEDCO. “The program has proven to be instrumental in growing the number of women entrepreneurs commercializing groundbreaking research being developed in labs throughout the state and starting new businesses. In fact, we are so thrilled with the success of the program that TEDCO is providing a $50,000 grant award to UMBC to expand our continued support of the effort.”

“It is wonderful to have TEDCO support this effective technology entrepreneurship training program,” said Ellen Hemmerly, executive director of the UMBC Research Park Corporation. “ACTiVATE gives opportunities to women who are underrepresented as entrepreneurs while strengthening tech commercialization from Maryland’s research universities.

“AURP’s Innovation Award is a great honor for our program which we believe is well-deserved, since in the past three years, ACTiVATE has trained over 70 women who have formed 12 companies,” Hemmerly said.

Hemmerly is a past president of AURP and was instrumental in the establishment of ACTiVATE. She also recently received the Catonsville Chamber of Commerce’s Business Person of the Year award for her efforts to grow the bwtech@UMBC Research and Technology Park, which includes a high-tech business incubator, accelerator, research park and other UMBC entrepreneurial ventures.

Originally funded with a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation, ACTiVATE’s goal is to form start-up companies based on technologies developed at UMBC, the Johns Hopkins University (JHU), the JHU Applied Physics Laboratory, Towson University, the University of Maryland, Baltimore, the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute and the University of Maryland College Park. In its first three years, ACTiVATE participants have evaluated 97 technologies from Maryland research institutions and formed 12 new companies.

ACTiVATE was recently cited by the National Science Foundation's 2007 Government Results and Accountability (GRPA) Performance Assessment Report. The annual report highlights best practices and programs from all fields of science and engineering supported by the NSF.

Companies started by recent ACTiVATE alumnae include: EncorePath, built on a unique rehab technology for stroke victims developed by University of Maryland, Baltimore physical therapists; Foligo Therapeutics, which has received significant funding as it focuses on new treatment therapies for ovarian cancer; and Traxion Therapeutics, a biotech firm developing new drugs for chronic pain.

EncorePath recently received $74,345 from TEDCO’s Maryland Technology Transfer Fund (MTTF). EncorePath’s founder and president Kris Appel has won first prize in business plan competitions from the MIT Enterprise Forum of Washington-Baltimore and the Rockville Economic Development, Inc. (REDI).

The ACTiVATE Program is recruiting for its next class beginning in February 2008. Women with substantial business or technical backgrounds interested in applying for the competitive entrepreneurship training program should visit www.umbc.edu/activate for more information.

About ACTiVATE
The University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s (UMBC) ACTiVATE* is a year-long program to train women with significant technical or business experience to be entrepreneurs and to create start-up companies from inventions from Maryland research institutions and federal agencies. It is funded by the National Science Foundation and the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) and is supported by Constellation Energy, Whiteford, Taylor & Preston and Wachovia Bank. Admission to the program is competitive. For additional information about the ACTiVATE program, please see www.umbc.edu/activate.

*ACTiVATE – Achieving the Commercialization of Technology in Ventures through Applied Training for Entrepreneurs

About Maryland TEDCO:
The Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO), an independent entity, was established by the Maryland General Assembly in 1998 to facilitate the creation of businesses and foster their growth in all regions of the State. TEDCO's role is to be Maryland's leading source of funding for seed capital and entrepreneurial business assistance for technology transfer and development programs. TEDCO connects emerging technology companies with federal laboratories, research universities, business incubators and specialized technical assistance. For the fourth consecutive year, TEDCO was recognized as the most active early/seed stage investor in the nation in the July 2007 issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. For more information on TEDCO and its programs and resources, visit www.MarylandTEDCO.org.

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September 17, 2007

UMBC Biotech Entrepreneur Paul Silber Named Baltimore’s Extraordinary Tech Advocate for 2007

CONTACT:

Chip Rose, UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

Paul Silber, a biotech entrepreneur with roots at UMBC, has been named the 2007 “Baltimore’s Extraordinary Technology Advocate” award winner by the Greater Baltimore Technology Council (GBTC).

Silber is the former President and CEO of In Vitro Technologies (IVT), one of the first companies to start and grow on campus through the UMBC incubator program. In 1990, Silber began IVT as a true, by-the-bootstraps startup in Texas and shortly thereafter moved the operation to UMBC.

IVT has since grown to an international business with over 70 employees and remains the anchor tenant of UMBC’s high-tech business incubator facility, techcenter@UMBC, today. IVT, which provides an alternative to animal testing for biotech, drug and pharmaceutical firms, was sold to Celsis International in 2006 for $30 million but remains a vital part of UMBC and Baltimore’s entrepreneurial community.

"In Vitro Technologies (IVT) truly started it all - bio in Greater Baltimore," said GBTC Executive Director Steve Kozak in a press release. "And Paul Silber has been an active leader, if not THE leader, of this region's biotech community for years. Entrepreneur, mentor, advisor, angel investor - he's been there…for everyone, always, all the time. The GBTC would like to congratulate Paul on this very well-deserved honor. We couldn't have picked a better leader or a better person for this prestigious award."

"Paul Silber has grown In Vitro Technologies from two people in a trailer on the edge of our campus into a global success," said UMBC president Freeman Hrabowski, who is also a past recipient of the BETA award. "Along the way, Paul and IVT have truly helped put UMBC and Baltimore on the world's biotech map.

"Even after achieving so much, Paul and IVT continue to give back to the community by mentoring other entrepreneurs, hiring UMBC graduates and sponsoring blood drives on campus," said Hrabowski. "The entire UMBC family is delighted to congratulate Paul on this well-deserved honor."

Silber will be presented with the BETA Award at the GBTC’s signature annual tech showcase event, TechNite, to be held on Wednesday, October 24, 5:15 - 8:30 p.m., at the Baltimore Convention Center (One West Pratt Street in Downtown Baltimore).

Tickets for TechNite are $155 for GBTC members and $185 for non-members. To register or for more information, contact the GBTC at 410-327-9148 or visit the TechNite website at: www.gbtechcouncil.org/technite2007.

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August 23, 2007

IBM Award to Help Establish Multicore Supercomputing Center at UMBC

‘Orchestra’ of Powerful Processing Chips Will Drive Geoscience, Medical Imaging, Aerospace and Financial Services Research

CONTACTS:

Chip Rose, UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

Jason Stolarczyk, IBM
206-508-4785
jrstolar@us.ibm.com

Photo Caption:
According to UMBC computer scientists Milt Halem (left) and Yelena Yesha (right), the Multicore Computing Center will give UMBC researchers access to some of the world's most powerful information engines.

Note to Media: High-resolution versions of these photos are available for download at http://www.umbc.edu/NewsEvents/PhotoGal/MC2Photos/


BALTIMORE — The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and IBM today announced a new collaboration to create The Multicore Computing Center (MC2), a unique facility that will focus on supercomputing research related to aerospace/defense, financial services, medical imaging and weather/climate change prediction. IBM awarded UMBC a significant gift to support the development of this new center, which researchers describe as an “orchestra” of one of the world’s most powerful supercomputing chips.

The MC2 will bring to UMBC a high-performance computational test laboratory based on the Cell Broadband Engine (Cell/B.E.), jointly developed by IBM, Sony Corp., Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCE) and Toshiba Corp. This ground breaking processor is used in products such as SCE's PlayStation3 and Toshiba's Cell/B.E. Reference Set, a development tool for Cell/B.E. applications, as well as the IBM BladeCenter QS20.

Cells have a wide range of capability – able to serve as engines for image and video-intensive computing tasks like virtual reality, simulations and imaging for aerospace, medicine and defense; high-definition TV and high-speed video for wireless devices; and highly complex physics based computer models to better predict weather, climate change and biochemistry.

Today’s announcement is the latest development in a strong, long-time partnership between IBM and UMBC. IBM employs over 100 UMBC alumni, and UMBC faculty have received numerous IBM research awards and fellowships over the past decade.

The MC2 at UMBC is expected to focus on supercomputing research related to aerospace/defense, financial services, medical imaging and weather/climate change prediction.

One of the challenges for researchers at the MC2 will be making clusters consisting of hundreds of the powerful information engines run effectively together. “Cell processors are groups of eight very fast, independent but simple PC’s with their own tiny memory all on a single chip each with its own leader,” said Milt Halem, director of the MC2 and professor of computer science at UMBC.

“The challenge is choreographing all the chips to work efficiently in parallel. It’s like a distributed orchestra with 224 musicians and 28 conductors connected with head phones trying to play Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony together,” said Halem, who retired in 2002 from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, where he served as Assistant Director for Information Sciences and Chief Information Officer.

"The Multicore Computing Center highlights UMBC's role as a national leader in information technology research and education, and will contribute to Maryland's economic growth and national security," said Freeman Hrabowski, president of UMBC.

“We are so pleased to become an early adopter of this revolutionary shift in semi-conductor chip design,” Halem said. “UMBC is committed to growing its computational science expertise and hopes this collaboration with IBM will allow the university to become a national leader in the applications of future multicore computers as they grow more massive.”

UMBC is a member of IBM’s Academic Initiative, a program sponsored by IBM to upgrade IT skills for a more competitive workforce. Through the Academic Initiative, IBM works with more than 2,200 institutions, 11,000 faculty members and 650,000 students worldwide to build integrated business, science and technology skills to be applied in today’s global economy.

"The opening of the UMBC Multicore Computer Center is yet another example of how IBM innovations are being used to help further the advancement of research and science that benefits business and our communities," said Rod Adkins, senior vice president of development & manufacturing, IBM Systems & Technology Group. "We are convinced of the endless possibilities that can, and will, emerge from this type of collaborative relationship, and are proud to play a role in the launch of the new information technology research center."

In the future, UMBC and IBM officials plan to collaborate on new interdisciplinary research possibilities in chemistry, mathematics and other fields of engineering and information technology.

The Multicore Computing Center is expected to be installed and operational by fall 2007.

About the College of Engineering and Information Technology at UMBC:

UMBC’s College of Engineering and Information Technology (COE&IT) is focused on becoming a national leader in engineering and IT education, research, entrepreneurship and diversity. According to National Science Foundation data, UMBC consistently ranks among America’s top research universities in undergraduate IT degree production. The College has built a national reputation for increasing IT gender diversity thanks in part to the Center for Women and Information Technology (CWIT), called “the best resource for women on the Web” by ABC News. In 2005, UMBC was honored by the Accredited Board for Engineering and Technology for producing more minority faculty than any other U.S. institution. The College is home to 2200 undergraduates in eight bachelor’s degree programs and nearly 800 graduate students enrolled in nine MS and eight PhD programs. The College’s talented, committed and accessible faculty secure over $13 million in annual research expenditures to advance the frontiers of discovery and innovation and make UMBC a powerful force in engineering and information technology. For more information please visit www.umbc.edu/engineering

About IBM:

For more information about IBM, please visit http://www.ibm.com.

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July 19, 2007

UMBC Graduate Student’s Team Wins Top Prize in Global Voting System Design Contest


Punchscan Team Wins $10,000, HP Laptop at “VoComp”


CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

Punchscan, a team including UMBC computer science graduate student Rick Carback, took the grand prize in VoComp, an international voting system design contest held July 16-18 in Portland.

The Punchscan team, which also includes undergraduate and graduate students from George Washington University and the University of Ottawa, received $10,000 donated by voting tech firm Election Systems & Software (ES&S), a laptop computer donated by Hewlett-Packard and other prizes.

Punchscan also took the awards for best presentation, best critique of a competition system, best election technology component and best implementation. The contest was organized by UMBC professor of computer science and information assurance expert Alan Sherman.

Punchscan faced off against teams of researchers from the U.S., Canada, Poland and the U.K. The first-of-its-kind competition was sponsored by the National Science Foundation, ES&S and Hewlett-Packard.

For the complete results and more information about VoComp, please visit www.vocomp.org.

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July 13, 2007

UMBC Student in Global Contest for Most Trustworthy and Accurate Voting System

“VoComp” Offers International Research Teams Over $10,000 in Prizes from Voting & Tech Firms

CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

PORTLAND, Oregon – Four teams of researchers from the U.S., Canada, Poland and the U.K. face off July 16-18 at the Portland Hilton in the finals of the VoComp University Voting Systems Competition, a global search to make voting machine technologies more trustworthy and accurate. The first-of-its-kind competition is sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the voting technology company Elections Systems & Software (ES&S) and Hewlett-Packard (HP). The winning team will receive a $10,000 grand prize provided by ES&S along with other prizes from HP.

UMBC computer science graduate student Rick Carback is a member of Punchscan (www.punchscan.org), a team that also includes members from George Washington University and the University of Ottawa. Oregon Secretary of State Bill Bradbury will give introductory remarks at VoComp and will invite attendees at the National Association of Secretaries of States annual summer meeting (held at the same venue) to visit the competition.

VoComp marks the first time a major voting company has supported this type of open-ended academic research. “VoComp is stimulating innovation and student involvement in the technology of democracy.” said Alan Sherman, a professor of computer science at UMBC and the organizer of VoComp.

In the spirit of transparent democracy, each of the four finalist voting systems is open-source, meaning the computer code is published and thus able to be verified as secure and improved upon, similar to the popular grassroots computer operating system Linux.

“This is something that has been called for by many but not realized until now,” Sherman said. “The competition framework also serves to demonstrate what may be a better way to vet and choose voting systems,” said Sherman, who also teaches a course on electronic voting systems.

At the competition finals, each team will carry out a mock election and critique the other systems in front of the judges. All sessions are free and open to the public.

Three of the VoComp systems are based on a new, end-to-end (e2e) secure technology, which enables each voter to verify that his or her vote was correctly recorded and tabulated. This new technology promises to increase assurance in voting results compared to popular paper trail technologies such as precinct-count optical scan.

The VoComp conference will also offer the introductions of several other new voting technologies from some of the top academic and corporate researchers in the field. For more info please visit www.vocomp.org.

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July 12, 2007

UMBC IT Enrollments on Rebound

Outreach Efforts to High School Students, Counselors Have Fall
Enrollments Up for Freshmen & Females


CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

Undergraduate enrollments in UMBC's Department of Information Systems (IS) are on the upswing for fall 2007, particularly among young women. The enrollment increase is a positive sign in light of a recent national decline in college students entering information technology majors and is partly due to the department’s efforts to educate high school students and counselors about the various IT disciplines of study, the truth about outsourcing and the improved job market for IT majors.

Nationwide, newly declared computer science majors plummeted to 8,000 in the fall of 2006, from 16,000 in 2000, according to the Computing Research Association. According to UMBC IS department figures, the fall 2007 semester will bring a 40 percent increase in new freshmen (41 enrollments) over the department’s previous four-year average (28).

Equally noteworthy is the fact that the department’s fall freshman class will comprise 41 percent women up from a 23 percent average over the previous four years. In an industry that is still typically dominated by men, the number of women enrolling as first year students in UMBC IS programs is up approximately 150 percent from the past four years.

UMBC is one of the largest producers of undergraduate IT degrees in the nation, according to the U.S. Deptartment of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.

Historically, UMBC’s Center for Women and Information Technology (CWIT) has worked to close the IT gender gap through education and outreach efforts. One of CWIT’s primary goals has been to encourage more women and girls to prepare for careers and become leaders in information technology.

Andrew Sears, chair of information systems at UMBC, believes the enrollment jump is due in part to his department’s advocacy and outreach initiatives over the past two years. Many universities and companies have been working to get the message out that IT industry demand for skilled graduates has rebounded strongly from the dot-com crash and economic downturn of the 90’s. A recent American Electronics Association report said the U.S. technology industry added 150,000 jobs in 2006 and starting salaries for new college graduate with computing degrees average about $52,000 a year.

“We believe there is a serious disconnect between the reality of today’s strong job market for information tech majors and the perceptions of many high school counselors, educators and the families of would-be IT students, so we’ve been working hard to reach them,” said Sears.

“This year’s fall enrollments in our B.S. in Information Systems and B.A. in Business Technology Administration programs combined are encouraging and nearly equal our 2002 high water mark, so we are hopeful that the message is getting through,” said Sears.

UMBC’s Information Systems department has embraced a proactive, grass-roots approach to IT education advocacy. “We felt it was important to talk with high school education professionals about what IT is really all about, the number and variety of jobs that are available and how our degrees prepare students for these exciting opportunities,” said Sears. “In the last two years we have devoted departmental energies and resources not to hype IT, but to share facts.”

The IS department held its first “IT Discovery Event” in 2006, where high school career and college counselors and technology education leaders were invited to a half-day seminar covering topics like the difference between information systems and computer science and the IT job growth projections and variety of career options in the industry. Nearly 50 high school counselors from the Baltimore/DC region attended and more than one-third expressed interest in scheduling separate group visits to the IS department for their students. The department also has had representatives invited to events that, in the past, were reserved for college admissions professionals to talk about IT curricula and job prospects.

Sears defines his department’s hands-on approach pretty simply. “No one can tell our story like we do,” he said. “Our goal is to get the facts into the hands of guidance and career counselors, prospective students, and the parents of these students. This will help them better understand the vast array of opportunities that are available, the skills that they really need to succeed and the fact that an IT career is much more than sitting in front of a computer all day.”

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June 25, 2007

Two UMBC Students Receive Prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

Columbia Natives Patricia Ordóñez, Jason Reid to Pursue Ph.D.s at UMBC, MIT

CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu
Note to Editors: Click on photos below to view or download high-resolution version of image.



BALTIMORE — Patricia Ordóñez, a UMBC second year graduate student, and Jason Reid, a UMBC class of 2007 graduate, both from Columbia, MD, have received National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships (NSFGRF), which are among the most competitive and prestigious academic awards for American college students as they begin graduate studies. Both students are products of UMBC’s College of Engineering and Information Technology.

The NSFGRF is a three-year award that funds tuition and an annual stipend to support graduate studies for students showing the potential to contribute significantly to research, teaching and innovations in science and engineering. About 1,000 were awarded across the U.S. this year.

Ordóñez, who received a B.A. in Hispanic and Italian Studies in 1989 from Johns Hopkins University, began to pursue her career in computer science attending UMBC part-time in the fall of 2001. She was admitted to the graduate school full-time in the fall of 2005 and will remain at UMBC to pursue a Ph.D. in her field as well as continue research developing medical applications using pervasive computing to help personalize operating rooms for patients and surgeons.

“I would be crazy to leave such an encouraging and supportive environment,” she said. “I love being somewhere where the president of the university greets you as he walks by and takes a personal interest in the students.”

Reid, who received a B.S. in mechanical engineering, will attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to pursue an M.S./Ph.D. in mechanical engineering and conduct research in the use of robotics to accelerate rehabilitation in stroke and spinal cord injury patients.

“The NSF award is great because you can work on pretty much anything that interests you,” said Reid. “While I look forward to embarking on the new experiences and challenges of the future, I will always appreciate my time spent at UMBC.”

A Meyerhoff Scholar, Reid also received a Society of Automotive Engineers Scholarship, the UMBC Mechanical Engineering Alumni Award and the Hillel of Greater Baltimore President’s Award. Reid’s winning research proposal for the NSFGRF came from his work in the lab of UMBC mechanical engineering professor Dwayne Arola, with whom he studied ways to improve dental tools and practices for senior citizen patients as the enamel of their teeth grows brittle with age.

For Ordóñez, the award makes her doctoral dreams obtainable. “Without it I think I would have settled for the masters rather than the PhD because I am 40 years old and have the financial responsibilities of a 40-year-old,” she said. “Now I have the financial support I need to focus solely on my research.”

Ordóñez, part of the UMBC computer science and electrical engineering department’s eBiquity Research Group, thanked UMBC faculty members Anupam Joshi, Marie desJardins, Renetta Tull, Tim Finin, Penny Rheingans, Janet Rutledge, Charles Nicholas, Krishna Sivalingam, and Marc Olano for supporting her in her graduate studies and Shon Vick in her undergraduate studies.

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May 29, 2007

UMBC/NASA Study Shows Increasing Snowmelt in Greenland

New Area the Size of Maryland Starts to Melt Each Year; Long-term Satellite Data Showed First-Ever High Altitude Melting in 2002

CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

Some sobering findings on the extent of Greenland's melting ice sheets were published today as part of a long-term study of earth observing satellites’ data by researchers with the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center.

Marco Tedesco, a scientist at the Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology (JCET) of UMBC and NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, was lead author of a study published in the American Geophysical Union's journal Eos. By using a new method for detecting melting snow from satellites, Tedesco found that in 2006 Greenland experienced more days of melting snow and at higher altitudes than the previous trends from the past 18 years.

Tedesco used a new method for detecting melting snow based on readings from the Special Sensor Microwave Imaging radiometer (SSM/I), an instrument aboard the U.S. Air Force’s Defense Meteorological Satellite Program spacecraft. The SSM/I can see through clouds and can measure data without sunlight. Tedesco has tracked the data annually since 1988, allowing him to study big-picture trends in the duration and extent of Greenland's snowmelt.

Certain areas of Greenland were melting over 10 days longer than average in 2006. Greenland’s 2006 melt index, or the number of melting days times the melting area, continued on an upward trend seen in data from 1988 to 2005.

Results from another study by Tedesco published on Geophysical Research Letters on January 2007 show that the year 2002 showed signs of extreme melting. “We identified an extreme melting event in June 2002 that showed for the first time in 18 years snow melting in inner Greenland at high altitudes,” said Tedesco.

“During the same year, over 80 percent of the entire Greenland ice sheet surface experienced at least one day of melting. This corresponds to an area the size of France, Spain and Italy put together,” he said. The area experiencing at least one day of melting has been increasing since 1992 at a rate of 35,000 square kilometers per year, or about two percent of the entire Greenland surface. “That means that, on the average, every year since 1992 an area equivalent to the state of Maryland has been subject to new melting,” Tedesco said.

Left: UMBC JCET Researcher Marco Tedesco

According to Tedesco, tracking melting snow in Greenland, which contains enough water to raise global sea level by approximately 7 meters, is important for several reasons. “Although wet and dry snow look similar, they absorb sun’s radiation in a different way, with melting snow absorbing three to four times as much energy as dry snow, greatly affecting Earth’s energy budget,” said Tedesco.

“Also, melting snow produces liquid water that will seep down to the interface of ice and bedrock, lubricating the ice sheet and increasing the speed with which ice moves,” Tedesco said. “This means that ice might react to a warm climate faster than thought, contributing more rapidly to sea level than previously thought.”

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March 27, 2007

Virtual Middle School Girl 'Jennifer Webb' to Headline Computer Mania Day, May 5 at UMBC

Actors, Animators to Bring Digital Role Model to Life for Hundreds of Middle School Girls, Parents, in Day of Hands-on, High-Tech Fun

Middle school girls of Maryland, the star of the show is a digital version of you!

Jennifer Webb is her name and even though she is a 3-D, digitally animated puppet, she can flip her ponytail, IM, download and prepare for a career in computer technology. In fact she is just like the hundreds of middle school girls from around the state who will be able to interact with her live at Computer Mania Day at UMBC on Saturday, May 5 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Computer Mania Day is an annual day of free, hands-on, high-tech, fun activities for adults and kids sponsored by UMBC’s Center for Women and Information Technology (CWIT). The half-day event helps to get girls interested in technology and computing careers while helping parents and teachers learn how to help prepare their kids for college and technical careers and keep them safe online. While boys are welcome, the focus is on girls because of their continuing under-representation in engineering and information technology fields.

While fashion designers, astronauts, and journalists have been celebrity keynote speakers at past Computer Mania Days, this year the program decided to take a cue from UMBC’s Imaging Research Center (IRC). The IRC recently combined their computer animation and digital puppetry skills with the wit and pen of former Baltimore Sun and current Economist magazine political cartoonist Kevin “KAL” Kallaugher to transform his drawings of President George W. Bush into 3-D, interactive, English-mangling life.

IRC faculty and student animators led by visual arts professor/filmmaker Lee Boot will team with faculty and student puppeteers and actors led by theatre professor/master puppeteer Collette Searls to make Jennifer Webb come alive. The development team will study videotape of middle school girls from previous Computer Mania Day events to get the slang, mannerisms and fashions of their target audience down pat.

“Jennifer Webb represents cutting edge technology that can figuratively and literally talk to girls to get the message across that technology is fun,” said Claudia Morrell, director of CWIT.

Jennifer Webb will address and take questions from a panel of business leaders representing Northrop Grumman, AT&T, and Dell as well as attendees at 10:30 a.m. in the UMBC Retriever Activities Center. Later in the day, animators will discuss how bringing Jennifer Webb to life taught real-world lessons with a panel discussion, behind-the-scenes video, and for a few lucky girls, a chance to make the puppet come to life!

Research shows that the information technology (IT) gender gap opens as early as the middle school years, when girls are most image-conscious and do not want to be labeled as “geeks” or “nerds.” Girls also make up only 14 percent of Advanced Placement students in computer science, a key to success in IT-related fields at the college level.

At Computer Mania Day, students can sign up for hands-on workshops led by positive female role models from UMBC along with business, government and education leaders. The day is designed to give a broad introduction to how various careers use information technology.

Girls’ events highlights include “Get Down With Robomaniacs,” “Google’s Googol of Opportunities,” and “Great Pictures From Pixels.” All attendees will have the chance to win great giveaways including a laptop computer.

Computer Mania Day also offers resources for parents and teachers, including workshops on how to prepare your kids for college, getting girls interested in tech careers and keeping kids safe online.

Admission to the event is free, but registration is required in advance. Adults and children should visit www.computer-mania.info to register.

NOTE TO MEDIA:
Hi-resolution, color images of Jennifer Webb and the Computer Mania Day logo are available online at:
http://www.umbc.edu/NewsEvents/PhotoGal/JenniferWebb.jpg
http://www.umbc.edu/NewsEvents/PhotoGal/CMDlogo.jpg

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March 26, 2007

UMBC Dean of Engineering & Information Technology Receives International Honor

Society of Manufacturing Engineers Recognizes Warren DeVries’ Accomplishments with Albert M. Sargent Progress Award

CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu


Photo Caption: Warren DeVries.
Click on the image above to download a high-resolution photo of Dean DeVries.

The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), the world's leading professional society serving the manufacturing industry, named Warren R. DeVries, dean of engineering and information technology at UMBC, the 2007 winner of the SME Albert M. Sargent Progress Award today for his significant accomplishments in the field of manufacturing processes, methods and systems.

The SME recognized the recipients of the 2007 SME International Honor Awards at its International Awards Gala which took place in conjunction with SME's Annual Meeting and WESTEC 2007 Exposition and Conference.

“To be recognized by your colleagues is always a great honor. During a time of change in the world and in the manufacturing profession, receiving the Albert M. Sargent Progress Award makes me eager to take up the challenge of education and innovation as the engines that will drive 21st century manufacturing enterprises,” said DeVries.

DeVries is a leader in the national push for excellence in engineering education and is also well known in his field for his pioneering research in material removal processes and manufacturing systems. Prior to coming to UMBC to lead its College of Engineering and Information Technology, he served as the National Science Foundation’s Division Director for the Division of Design and Manufacturing Innovation.

DeVries came to the NSF on assignment from Iowa State University, where he was a professor and then chair of the department of mechanical engineering. He has also held faculty positions at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University of Michigan and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

DeVries has served on the Board of Governors and as Senior Vice President for Engineering for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and on the Board of Directors and as President for the North American Manufacturing Research Institution of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME). He is a Fellow of both the ASME and the SME.

About the SME International Honor Awards:

The SME International Honor Awards recognize exceptional personal accomplishments and contributions to the field of manufacturing engineering in the areas of manufacturing technologies, processes, technical writing, education, research, management or service to the Society. SME members and non-members are encouraged to nominate individuals from industry, academia and government who have made a notable impact in these areas.

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February 22, 2007

Cash-Prize Contests, Lessons from Pros to Mark Entrepreneurship Week at UMBC

Erickson Speech, Business Idea Contests Highlight Events as UMBC Spreads Entrepreneurial Spirit Across Campus

Photo Caption: Read more about UMBC's entrepreneurial community online.

CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

Real world lessons and real cash prizes will highlight Entrepreneurship Week USA activities at UMBC next week as the University builds on momentum from a recent $2 million grant from the Kauffman Foundation to spread entrepreneurship education and training across campus.

Two business idea competitions for a total of $4,000 in cash prizes kick off the week on Monday, Feb. 26. The first contest is a student business plan competition with $1,000 at stake.

Later that day the “Fillmaster Challenge” begins. The contest offers a $3,000 prize for the best idea on an alternative market niche for a precision purified water dispenser system developed by Fillmaster Systems, Inc. The device currently helps pharmacists prepare reconstituted drugs more accurately and safely, but could easily adapt to other uses.

Real-world lessons from experienced entrepreneurial experts fill out the rest of the week as Retirement community and media entrepreneur John Erickson, founder and CEO of Erickson, Inc., will speak to students. Erickson’s latest venture, Retirement Living TV, a network aimed at those ages 55 and older, recently expanded to reach over 26 million households nationally through DirecTV as his retirement communities continue to expand nationwide. Erickson speaks from noon to 1 p.m. on Wed., Feb. 28, in UMBC’s Commons building room 312.

Earlier in the week, Ellen Hemmerly, executive vice president of the UMBC Research Park Corporation, will speak on the successful growth of techcenter@UMBC and bwtech@UMBC, the University’s on-campus, high-tech business incubator and accelerator programs. The incubator and research park have grown from concept to a high-demand location for startup and emerging tech companies in the region.

A recent, independent economic impact study of the techcenter and research park documented 841 direct jobs at the two facilities, which support more than 2,000 total jobs statewide and generate $2.1 million in income and property taxes for counties in the Baltimore region. Hemmerly will speak in The Commons room 331 from 2 to 3 p.m. on Tues., Feb. 27.

"The Kauffman grant allows us to take entrepreneurship programming to the next level," said Vivian Armor, director of the Alex. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship at UMBC. Armor hopes the week’s activities expand awareness that entrepreneurship can be found beyond traditional definitions of business.

“Entrepreneurship can play an important role in all disciplines," Armor said. "Faculty and students pushing the envelope in science and technology, breaking new ground in the creative arts or crafting new solutions to society's problems can all be entrepreneurs. Some people don't even realize what they are doing is entrepreneurial."

For a full schedule of Entrepreneurship Week USA events at UMBC, please visit www.umbc.edu/entrepreneurship.

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February 7, 2007

Andrew Sears, UMBC Information Systems, Discusses Booming IT Job Market on Maryland Public Television

Andrew Sears, chair and professor of UMBC's Information Systems department, was recently an in-studio guest for Maryland Public Television's "Business Connection."

Sears discussed how the information technology (IT) job market is doing much better than conventionally thought. According to Sears, trends like decreased outsourcing, increased hiring and even signing bonuses for talented IT grads all add up to a booming IT job market for the Class of 2007.

Sears was invited by the show's producers based on UMBC's growing reputation as a statewide and national leader. According to the January 2007 issue of Computing Research News, UMBC ranks # 2 in IT degrees awarded by major US research universities. UMBC also continues to be the largest producer of information technology graduates in Maryland.

To watch the video online, visit the UMBC Informations Systems department's website.

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November 27, 2006

UMBC Astronomer Helps Discover Possible New Black Hole

Previously Unknown Black Hole’s Speed, Power Surprises NASA, European Space Agency Team



Illustration Caption: An artist's impression of a possible new black hole ripping gas and matter from the star it orbits.

Click on the illustration to view a European Space Agency gallery of images and animation related to this story.


CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

An international team of astrophysicists including Volker Beckmann of UMBC/NASA-Goddard has discovered a possible new black hole near the center of the Milky Way galaxy.

The previously unknown black hole surprised scientists by suddenly “switching on,” emitting strong pulses of radiation as it began consuming gas from the star it orbits over 26,000 light years away from our solar system. The discovery, detailed in a letter published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, was made using NASA and European Space Agency (ESA) satellites.

In an ESA press release, Roland Walter, an astronomer at the INTEGRAL Science Data Centre and lead author of the research results, said "The galactic center is one of the most exciting regions for gamma-ray astronomy because there are so many potential gamma-ray sources.”

Beckmann, a research assistant professor at UMBC’s Joint Center for Astrophysics and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, was part of the team who used NASA's Swift satellite and ESA's INTEGRAL satellite to spot the tell-tale gamma ray outburst. The research team includes scientists from Switzerland, France, Belgium, Poland, the United States and Spain.

According to Beckmann, potential new black holes are scarcer than commonly thought. “We know about 10 stellar systems in which we’re pretty sure that there's a black hole involved, and 10 more are good candidates,” he said. “What really surprised us was the intensity of the radiation it emitted and how quickly it became an obvious black hole candidate.”

The team found that the black hole’s unusually strong gravitational pull ripped off layers of the star it orbits, drawing them into its maelstrom. “We’re not sure why this black hole is letting off occasional bright outbursts of radiation instead of a steady stream,” said Beckmann, “But we suspect these powerful emissions are caused by big chunks of the star’s matter falling into the black hole.”

"This detection was possible because of the capability of NASA's Swift satellite to respond quickly to new objects showing up in the sky,” said Neil Gehrels, chief of NASA/Goddard’s Astroparticle Physics Laboratory and leader of the Swift satellite team.

The possible new black hole has drawn the attention of the international astronomy community, having been viewed by all major X-ray telescopes in space including: NASA's Chandra telescope, the Japanese JAXA and NASA collaboration Suzaku and the ESA's XMM-Newton X-ray satellite.

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November 20, 2006

Erickson Technology, Broadcast Divisions to Build at UMBC Research Park


CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

BALTIMORE – The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) announced today that Erickson Retirement Communities will construct a $20 million building at the university’s on-campus research and technology park bwtech@UMBC. Erickson will move its information technology (IT) department, its adult living national broadcast network Retirement Living TV (RL-TV) and its private charitable foundation to the 110,000 square-foot building, expected to be completed by mid-2008.

The move will increase research collaboration and internship opportunities between the Erickson organization and UMBC students and faculty in The Erickson School and visual arts, communications and information technology programs.

The Erickson School at UMBC grew out of Erickson founder John Erickson’s vision for interdisciplinary research and education to improve life for older adults. Since its start in January 2005, the School has launched an undergraduate major in management of aging services, expanded an executive education program for senior housing and care professionals and is planning a professional master’s program.

Current research partnerships between The Erickson School and the Erickson organization include developing new computer technology applications for seniors’ housing, support for three gerontology doctoral students’ studies of older adult health and well-being and proposals to make selected Erickson communities National Institute on Aging research sites.

"We look forward to expanding our partnership with UMBC in a way that will help us to more effectively shape the future of aging studies in the United States and to enhance the operational components of our company that will help to redefine it," said John Erickson, chairman and CEO of Erickson Retirement Communities.

“UMBC is delighted to strengthen our relationship with Erickson Retirement Communities,” said UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski. “Together we will shape innovative approaches combining healthcare, public policy, information technology and communications to meet the needs and interests of the aging Baby Boom generation.”

RL-TV will house its corporate headquarters and three production studios in the new facility. The network recently signed a national broadcasting agreement with DirectTV to expand its viewing audience to over 24 million homes. Retirement Living TV produces programming focused on health, finance, politics and living for people over the age of 55. RL-TV recently partnered with UMBC’s New Media Studio to produce pilots for two programs and is expected to collaborate further with UMBC’s Imaging Research Center and College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

Erickson’s IT department will work with UMBC on advanced research in health informatics, real time data applications, information assurance, data security and wearable computing. The department will move 60 professionals and a high bandwidth data center to the new building and is expected to hire 10 to 15 UMBC graduates per year as the company grows.

Founded in 1998, the Erickson Foundation funds research projects aimed at improving best practices in active aging and aging with choices. The Foundation is currently conducting research on walking studies, ergonomics, balance control, nursing, memory and other senior wellness and lifestyle issues.

The Erickson facility will be the fifth bwtech@UMBC building. Ellen Hemmerly, executive director of the UMBC Research Park Corporation, says demand for office and lab space at UMBC remains strong.

"Many outside businesses and emerging tech firms from our incubator continue to express interest in locating on our campus," Hemmerly said. "We continue to welcome companies that seek all the advantages of growing their business at UMBC."

Construction is underway for the park’s third building, a new home for the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) MD/DE/DC Regional Water Science Center. Ground is expected to be broken for the fourth building -- an 110,000 square-foot, $22 million multi-tenant facility-- in the first half of 2007. Both the USGS and multi-tenant buildings are being developed by Corporate Office Properties Trust.

About Erickson:

John Erickson launched Erickson Retirement Communities with the 1983 opening of Catonsville, Maryland’s Charlestown, now the nation’s largest campus-style retirement community. Today, Erickson Retirement Communities operates 16 campuses housing more than 18,000 people in eight states. Two more communities are set to open in the near future. The company is noted for its progressive approach to recruitment, training and development, and has broadened its business lines with the addition of a managed health plan for residents. Mr. Erickson has also shown his commitment to the interests of individuals over the age of 55 with his September 2006 launch of Retirement Living, a television and Internet media company. More information is online at www.EricksonCommunities.com and www.RL.TV.

About bwtech@UMBC:

bwtech@UMBC is a state-of-the-art, 41-acre research and technology community. UMBC began planning for a new research and technology park in the early 1990s, based on the success of other U.S. parks and the vision of the late Michael Hooker, UMBC president from 1986-1992. The first building was completed in 2001. To date, UMBC’s research park and technology incubator have received public and private sector funding from the Maryland Economic Development Corporation (MEDCO), the State of Maryland, the City of Baltimore, Baltimore County, the U.S. Department of Commerce, The Abell Foundation, and the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO.) bwtech@UMBC is part of Baltimore County's Southwest Enterprise Zone, making companies moving to the park eligible for credits on real property and income taxes, as well as credits for job creation.

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October 31, 2006

University Teams to Kick Off Voting Technology Competition

Computer Science Students from UMBC, George Washington, Stanford, Others Hope Contest Yields Ideas for More Secure Electronic Voting

CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu


WASHINGTON, D.C. – As worries increase about the reliability and security of electronic voting machines a week away from the General Election, a team of computer science students and professors from UMBC and George Washington University will announce on Thursday at the National Press Club the start of a new national competition aimed at sparking ideas for better electronic voting technology while raising college students’ awareness of the political process.

Organized by UMBC professor of computer science Alan Sherman and funded by the National Science Foundation, the University Voting Systems Competition (www.vocomp.org) will take place throughout the academic year.

The UMBC/GW team will compete against teams from Stanford, Rice, Newcastle (UK), Wroclaw (Poland), and other universities to design and implement innovative voting technologies. Teams must post their voting system designs online in January 2007 for review by peers and a panel of judges including IT experts from Microsoft, the National Institutes of Standards and Technology and MIT.

Teams that advance to the next round of competition will be required to demonstrate their systems in a student government or similar real-world campus election in May. Five finalist teams will be chosen to travel to Portland, Oregon, on July 16-18, for the final competition which will include a judged mock election along with academic presentations, critiques, and invited lectures by national experts on voting.

According to Sherman, an expert on cryptology and the security of voting systems, the judging criteria include reliability, security, privacy, ease of use for voters and election officials, and accessibility to the disabled.

“There is a need for better voting technologies that are more secure, reliable, accountable and easy to use.” Sherman said. “This competition will inspire innovation and involvement, and establish the feasibility of competitions as a way to gauge the security of voting systems.”

PRESS CONFERENCE DETAILS:
Thursday, Nov. 2, 2006
2 - 3pm
National Press Club,
529 14th Street NW
Washington, DC 20045

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October 24, 2006

UMBC Names 12 Business, Science Leaders to College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences Advisory Board

Biotech, Pharma, NASA, and NSA Execs to Advise College, Build Connections

CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) announced today the appointment of 12 leaders selected from the Mid-Atlantic region’s business and scientific community to serve on the Dean’s Advisory Board for UMBC’s College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences.

The Board will help expand awareness of the College’s programs, research and resources and strengthen partnerships with public and private research laboratories, key industry leaders and policymakers. Board members, who will serve three-year renewable terms, will advise the Dean on critical issues including workforce education and training; academic program and curriculum development; faculty recruitment; collaborative research funding; and opportunities for students and alumni.

“UMBC is fortunate to have the counsel of such a diverse group of outstanding scientists and businesspeople,” said Geoffrey Summers, Dean of the College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences at UMBC. “The Board will strengthen the College’s connections with top researchers in bioscience, medicine, homeland security and environmental and space science — fields vital to economic growth, innovation and opportunity in Maryland and beyond.”

The Board will be chaired by biotech entrepreneur and UMBC alumnus Sheldon Broedel, Ph.D. Broedel is a co-founder and CEO/CSO of AthenaES, a biotechnology products and services firm located at the University’s on-campus business incubator, techcenter@UMBC. Broedel, who received his doctoral and master's degrees in Microbial and Molecular Genetics from UMBC, has 19 years of industrial experience, holds three issued patents and has designed and launched 68 products. He also serves on the Science Advisor Board for Villa Julie College and is an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University School of Medicine’s department of Microbiology and Immunology.

“It is an honor to serve my alma mater alongside a team of exceptional minds from government and business,” said Broedel. “Like me, they know from experience that UMBC is a place committed to scientific excellence, with talented faculty and students eager to share their skills with industry.”

The other Board members announced today are:

Ron Baker, Manager, Cosmetic Claim Development & Support, Procter & Gamble;

Paul Behrens, Director of Physiology, Martek Biosciences;

April Brys, Manager, Biosciences, Battelle;

Stacey Franklin, Vice President, BioTech Primer;

Peter Hughes, Chief Technologist, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center;

Peter Kiener, Senior Vice President of Research, MedImmune;

Alvin LaVoie, Director, Emerging Technologies, Rohm and Haas;

Jerry Skotnicki, Director, Chemical and Screening Sciences, Wyeth Research;

Terry Turpin, Chief Scientist, Essex Corp;

Nancy Welker, Chief Technical Officer, National Security Agency;

George Young, VP, Business Development, GRACE Davison.

UMBC’S College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences includes the Departments of Biological Sciences, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Mathematics and Statistics, and Physics. The College has more than 100 full time faculty members, and includes approximately 1500 majors in 7 undergraduate programs and 280 graduate students in 13 graduate programs. These four departments administer close to half of the Ph.D. programs at UMBC. Research expenditures currently are nearly $13M per year. More information online at http://www.umbc.edu/CNMS/

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October 17, 2006

Managed Care Boosts Access to Health Services for Children Enrolled in Maryland Medicaid

UMBC Researcher Todd Eberly Wins National Dissertation Award

CONTACT: Anne Roland, UMBC Public Policy Department
410-455-8457
anne@umbc.edu

The Maryland Medicaid managed care program has had a positive impact on the receipt of preventive health services by black, white, and Hispanic children and adolescents, as well as black and Hispanic adults, according to a new study from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Following a nationwide trend, Maryland implemented the HealthChoice managed care program in 1998 as a means to control Medicaid costs. Under managed care, the state contracts with private insurers to provide preventative health care services to Medicaid enrollees, such as well child visits, immunizations, and physicals. However, there had been conflicting research on whether managed care meets the needs of socially vulnerable populations, particularly minorities.

Medicaid currently covers 600,000 Maryland residents, including 30 percent of the state’s children. Studies have shown that a significantly larger percentage of black and Hispanic Americans are covered by Medicaid than white Americans, but these populations make less use of routine health procedures and services. These disparities in the use of health care services are significant because studies have shown that a lack of preventive care puts disadvantaged populations at greater risk of serious health problems later in life.

Todd Eberly, a researcher at the Center for Health Program Development and Management at UMBC, analyzed health care data for Medicaid clients in Maryland before and after the adoption of managed care to determine whether the program has had any impact on the preventive care use.

He found that Maryland’s managed care program has had a positive impact on the receipt of primary preventive care by black, white, and Hispanic children and adolescents, as well as black and Hispanic adults. All children and adolescents experienced increases in the use of preventative health services, but increases for black and Hispanic youths were significantly greater than for their white peers.

“The improvements for minority youth were particularly noteworthy,” said Eberly, “because children are especially vulnerable. Access to preventive care is key to the promotion of good heath and quality of life.”

Eberly, who received his Ph.D. in Public Policy at UMBC in 2006, conducted the research for his dissertation, which has been selected for the 2006 Annual Dissertation Award from the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA). He will receive his award this week in Minneapolis at the NASPAA Annual Conference.

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Dr. Bill Thomas, Innovative Authority On Aging, Offers Lecture At Erickson School On Nov. 9

Developer Of The “Eden Alternative” And “Green House” Approach To Long-Term Care To Deliver 7 P.M. Lecture



CONTACT:
Mike Lurie

Office: 410-455-6380
Cellphone: 443-695-0262
mlurie@umbc.edu

Dr. Bill Thomas, an international authority on later life and eldercare, will deliver a talk, “What Are Old People For?” at The Erickson School on Nov. 9 at 7 p.m.

Thomas has been long recognized as an innovator in formulating approaches to long-term care. Thomas has brought plants, dogs, cats and birds into nursing home facilities to share with patients. This unique approach, known as the Eden Alternative, shifted attention toward enhancing the emotional well-being of residents.

Thomas is focused now on a new endeavor, the Green House Project. With a five-year, $10 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, he is developing a plan to replace more than 100 nursing homes in the United States with groups of smaller homes. Each will house eight to ten residents in private rooms. The grant will result in the creation of Green House projects in all 50 states.

The lecture will take place on the 7th floor of the Albin O. Kuhn Library. To RSVP and for further details, please contact The Erickson School toll-free at 1-877-853-0439 or e-mail Kristanna Jones at krista@umbc.edu.

Recently, U.S.News & World Report described Thomas as a “revolutionary” thinker whose “startling common-sense ideas and his ability to persuade others to take a risk” bring critically needed approaches to the science of aging.

“Bill Thomas is a pioneering thinker who inspires legions of people who have committed their study and careers to the business and science of aging,” said Dr. J. Kevin Eckert, dean of The Erickson School. “We know that his lecture will be another inspiring evening and are delighted to present it at The Erickson School.”

Thomas graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1986, and he was selected by the Mead Johnson Foundation as one of the top Family Medicine residents in the country during his three-year residency at the University of Rochester. He earned board certification in Family Medicine in 1992 and added a certificate in Geriatrics in 1994. Thomas also maintains a part-time appointment as Assistant Clinical Professor in Family Medicine for Upstate Medical Center.

Thomas is the recipient of a three-year fellowship from the global nonprofit organization Ashoka, which searches the world for individuals with unprecedented ideas for community change. He won the America's Award, established by Norman Vincent Peale and sometimes called "The Nobel Prize for Goodness" in 1997.

Thomas has published six books, including "What Are Old People For? How Elders Will Save the World." Named 2005 “Book of the Year” by the American Medical Writers Association, it explores the virtues concealed within the necessity of aging. Thomas also recently authored "In the Arms of Elders: A Parable of Wise Leadership and Community Building."

His books "Learning from Hannah" and "LifeWorth Living" explore the concept of the Eden Alternative and its impact on long-term care. Thomas is currently working on a book about the relationship between aging, health and healing.

About The Erickson School:

The Erickson School was established at UMBC in April 2004 with a $5 million commitment from John Erickson, CEO and founder of Erickson. The school focuses on credit and non-credit professional education, research, and policy in aging services and care.

UMBC, an Honors University in Maryland, is a four-year, public research university that is home to leading experts on aging who are active in research, education, and service in the field of gerontology. It is one of a handful of universities in the nation to offer a Ph.D. in Gerontology.


More information online at:
http://www.umbc.edu/erickson

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September 27, 2006

UMBC, U. Maryland & USRA Join Forces with NASA Goddard to Create New Center for Space Science and Technology

Partnership Builds on Astrophysics, Other NASA Research at UMBC


CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu



Picture Caption: Jane Turner (left) and Ian George of UMBC's Joint Center for Astrophysics in the UMBC Physics Building telescope dome.

The team of UMBC, the University of Maryland, College Park and the Universities Space Research Association has been selected by the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center to establish and operate the Center for Research and Exploration in Space Science and Technology (CRESST).

CRESST will bring together NASA Goddard researchers and scientists from the Maryland campuses and USRA to build upon the many capabilities and strengths in space science of the participating organizations. CRESST research will initially focus on the study of neutron stars, black holes, and extremely hot gas throughout the universe. The Center also will work to increase the involvement of minority and women scientists in space science research and to facilitate university student participation in such research.

The Center will be supported through a five-year cooperative agreement from NASA with funding anticipated to be $7.5 million per year. A five-year extension is possible. The university partnership group will operate and provide funding for a management/scientist support office.

"This is a great day for Maryland,” said Maryland Senator Barbara A. Mikulski. “The creation of CRESST is the kind of collaboration between our universities and government laboratories that fosters discovery, innovation, creates new technologies, new ideas and helps Maryland remain a world class center for space science and exploration. As the Senator that funds NASA and our other great federal science agencies, I applaud the creation of this institute and hope to expand cooperation among our universities and government laboratories to keep Maryland competitive."

"This is a fitting reward for UMBC's investment in astrophysics, and a great opportunity to expand the research and educational activities performed here,” said Ian George, director of the Joint Center for Astrophysics and associate professor of physics at UMBC. “This award further bolsters UMBC's position in only its 40th year as one of the leading research universities in the mid-Atlantic region,” George said.

In support of NASA strategic science mission objectives, CRESST will carry out observational, experimental, and theoretical research in three general areas:

-- The Sun and Solar System, stars, galaxies, and the universe at large;

-- The informational and computational sciences related to the unique needs of data systems required to interpret space science data;

-- The development of technology required to achieve these scientific challenges.

CRESST is the latest addition to UMBC’s relationship with NASA. UMBC is ranked 13th nationally among all universities in research funding received from NASA. UMBC is already home to several other multimillion-dollar NASA research centers in collaboration with the Goddard Space Flight Center, including the Goddard Earth Sciences and Technology (GEST) Center, the Joint Center for Earth Systems and Technology (JCET), the Center for the Advanced Study of Photonics Research (CASPR) and the JCA.

According to George, NASA partnerships like CRESST will help bring more internationally-recognized space scientists to UMBC. “UMBC scientists are making major contributions to currently flying NASA high-energy astrophysics missions like the International Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory (INTEGRAL), and the forthcoming Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) mission, scheduled to launch in August 2007,” George said.

George noted that UMBC scientists were also involved in the NASA Swift and Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) missions. “What’s really exciting is the impact CRESST will have on students, “said George. “UMBC has recently started both undergraduate and graduate-level astrophysics courses, so CRESST will help us to expand astrophysics education and research.”

About Space Science at the University of Maryland, College Park:

Through its highly regarded departments of astronomy and physics, the University of Maryland, College Park brings to this collaboration internationally recognized expertise in many areas of space science, including high-energy astrophysics, galaxy structure and dynamics, star formation, planetary science, space physics, gravitational theory and particle astrophysics. Maryland also has a long history of collaboration with the Goddard Space Flight Center in research and educational programs.

About USRA:

The Universities Space Research Association is a national consortium of 100 universities established in 1969 by the National Academy of Sciences. USRA operates programs and facilities in space-related science, technology, and related education. USRA has been an important participant in space science at NASA Goddard for many years, working alongside NASA researchers in conducting space science research, leading-edge instrumentation and technology development, and effectively communicating space science news and information to the educational community and the general public. For more information, go to www.usra.edu.

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September 5, 2006

UMBC Computer Science Research in Wired Magazine

eBiquity Group's Research Part of Article on Spam Blogs

Research on detecting "splogs" by UMBC Computer Science and Electrical Engineering Professors Tim Finin, Anupam Joshi and Tim Oates and PhD students Pranam Kolari and Akshay Java was cited in an article in the September issue of Wired Magazine.

Splogs are spam weblogs that are automatically generated to host advertisements or to raise the rank or affiliated web sites. The UMBC eBiquity Group recently published a study showing that more than half of the active English language blogs were actually splogs and has a number of ongoing blog related research projects.

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August 15, 2006

$1.5 Million NIH Grant Boosts UMBC's Research on HIV, Cancer

Powerful Instrument to Be Shared by Other UMBC Labs Studying Retroviruses

CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

Dan Fabris, associate professor of chemistry at UMBC, is one of just 14 researchers nationally to receive a NIH National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) High-End Instrumentation grant announced today.

The $1.5 million grant will fund the purchase of an extremely powerful, high-resolution, mass spectrometer that greatly boosts UMBC's capabilities to analyze nucleic acids for research on drug resistance by HIV, other retroviruses and cancer.

The Fabris lab was the only one in Maryland to receive the NIH NCCR instrumentation grant this year, making UMBC one of just a handful of U.S. institutions to have such a powerful mass spectrometer.

The custom built instrument, a hybrid, 12 Tesla quadrupole-Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (Q-FTICR) mass spectrometer, won't arrive at UMBC for another six months or so. It will be shared by several other labs at the University working on research that could lead to new and more effective inhibitor drugs for AIDS therapy.

"This is extremely exciting for many of us at UMBC," said Fabris, who has studied the nucleic acid structure of HIV since joining the faculty of the Chemistry and Biochemistry department in 1999. "We are particularly happy that this grant will not only expand our lab's capabilities, but will also benefit the work of other researchers in UMBC's departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Biological Sciences and possibly other labs in the Baltimore area."

"The High-End Instrumentation program provides numerous investigators access to essential equipment, often benefiting entire research communities and dramatically advancing their research projects," said Barbara M. Alving, M.D., Acting Director of NCRR, in an NIH press release. "These awards spur the kind of scientific discoveries necessary for the development of treatments for a broad spectrum of diseases."

Other NIH NCCR High-End Instrumentation grants went to hospital labs in Boston and university labs at Purdue, Stanford, UCLA, U. Cal Santa Barbara, U. Penn., Yale and others.

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August 14, 2006

New Web Site Encourages Maryland Voters to Look and Learn

UMBC Public Policy, Information Technology Experts Team Up With State Board of Elections for Voter Info Site

CONTACT: Anne Roland, UMBC Public Policy Department
410-455-8457
anne@umbc.edu

A new web site at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County uses state-of-the-art technology to help voters in Maryland access information that will help them make decisions about voting in the upcoming 2006 Primary and General Elections. The web site, called the Maryland Voter Information Clearinghouse (mdelections.umbc.edu), is a joint project of the Maryland State Board of Elections and UMBC’s National Center for the Study of Elections (NCSE). SBE asked researchers at UMBC to design new publicly accessible, easily searchable databases for voter information.

“It’s where, who, and how,” said NCSE Director and Professor of Public Policy Donald F. Norris. “The site is actually three separate databases that each give Maryland voters information to help them learn where to vote, who is running for office, and how candidates are financing campaigns.”

“We initiated the Center last summer with the goal of using the academic and research capabilities of UMBC to apply expert analysis, study, and educational techniques to the various programs at the State Board of Elections,” said Linda Lamone, State Administrator of Elections. “This project is a good example of how well that partnership is working. UMBC’s multi-disciplinary approach to this project has lead to a terrific outcome for all Maryland citizens.”

Visitors to the site can look up information on candidates for federal and state offices, and search the state’s campaign finance database, which includes publicly available reports on campaign finance activity for all candidates, political action committees (PACs), and parties. Registered voters, after entering required information, can verify their voter registration information, learn their voting districts, and find their polling places.

"These web-based tools leverage departmental expertise in the areas of database design and implementation, human-centered computing, and accessibility, providing a great opportunity for Information Systems faculty and students to apply what we teach in the classroom to develop important tools for the citizens of Maryland,” said Andrew Sears, Chair and Professor of Information Systems. Dr. Sears is Associate Director of NCSE.

The National Center for the Study of Elections is a center within the UMBC Maryland Institute for Policy Analysis & Research (MIPAR), in partnership with UMBC’s Department of Information Systems, the Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, and the State Board of Elections. The Center provides technical assistance and research support to the State Board of Elections, and also conducts studies about voting technologies, election administration, and other issues related to voting and elections. For more information, visit www.umbc.edu/mipar/ncse.

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August 4, 2006

Inaugural Wyeth Fellow Announced as UMBC and Wyeth Research Finalize Partnership

CONTACT:
Mike Lurie

Office: 410-455-6380
Cellphone: 443-695-0262
mlurie@umbc.edu

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and Wyeth Research, having signed a formal agreement establishing a three-year partnership, have awarded the inaugural Wyeth Fellowship to Orrette R. Wauchope, a Ph.D. candidate studying synthetic organic chemistry.

The partnership includes graduate fellowships for talented students conducting research in fields of joint interest to UMBC faculty and Wyeth scientists.

Students selected for the two-year fellowships will be designated Wyeth Fellows and will receive an annual stipend and mentoring support from an industry scientist at Wyeth Research.

As the inaugural 2006 Wyeth Fellow, Wauchope was recognized as a rising Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Wauchope will have the opportunity to present his or her research findings to a group of senior scientists at Wyeth Research. His doctoral research is being conducted under the guidance of Dr. Katherine Seley-Radtke, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry and a 2006 Jefferson Science Fellow for the U.S. Department of State.

Wauchope’s research focuses on the design and methodological development of chemical agents that potentially serve as anticancer, antiviral and antiparasitic catalysts. Wauchope is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Brooklyn College, where he majored in chemistry.

“Orrette has a keen interest in the use of synthetic organic chemistry to solve problems in medicinal chemistry,” said Dr. Jerauld S. Skotnicki, senior director of chemical and screening sciences with Wyeth Research. “His Ph.D. project with Professor Seley-Radtke is quite challenging and will enable him to enhance, apply and expand his interests and skills.

“As the Wyeth mentor, I am looking forward to the interactions and to contribute to their program. The Wyeth Fellowship exemplifies the ideal partnership of two innovative cultures from two distinct sectors, bringing out the best in people and their science.”

The Wyeth-UMBC partnership includes a three-year commitment to Gold-Level sponsorship for UMBC’s annual life science symposium - A Look Ahead: Futures in Biomedical Research. A signed memorandum of understanding between UMBC and Wyeth was completed on July 25, 2006 at the Wyeth Research facility in Collegeville, Pa. An additional Wyeth Fellow will be selected in the second year of the partnership.

“I am privileged to have mentoring support from the scientists at Wyeth,” Wauchope said. “I will have the opportunity to share and discuss aspects of my research in an industrial setting with chemists who possess years of experience.”

Wyeth, headquartered in Madison, N.J., is a global leader in pharmaceuticals, consumer health care products and animal health care products. The company is a leader in the discovery, development and manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, vaccines, biotechnology products and non-prescription medicines that improve the quality of life people worldwide. With research and development programs focused on small molecules, vaccines and biotechnology, Wyeth is exploring more than 60 new therapies for medical conditions such as diabetes, breast cancer, multiple sclerosis, HIV, Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia.

UMBC is a mid-sized, public research university located between Baltimore, Maryland and Washington, D.C. UMBC is a major center for cutting-edge research in the Baltimore-Washington corridor. The campus is home to more than 20 research centers and institutes.
UMBC’s College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences includes the Departments of Biological Sciences, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Mathematics and Statistics, and Physics. These four departments administer close to half of the Ph.D. programs at UMBC. The College has more than 100 full time faculty members, and includes approximately 1500 students in 7 undergraduate programs and 280 students in 13 graduate programs. Research expenditures currently top $13M per year.

For inquiries directly to Wyeth Pharmaceuticals:
Gerald Burr
Wyeth Pharmaceuticals
Office: 484-865-5138
Cell: 484-686-6998
Email: burrg@wyeth.com

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August 1, 2006

Warren R. Devries is New Dean of Engineering & Information Technology at UMBC

Former National Science Foundation Official to Pursue Business Partnerships, Innovation

CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) announced today the appointment of Warren R. DeVries, former National Science Foundation official and department chair of mechanical engineering at Iowa State University, as its new Dean of Engineering and Information Technology (IT).

DeVries is a leader in the national drive for excellence in engineering education and is also well known in his field for his pioneering research in manufacturing processes and systems. Since 2002, he has served as Division Director for the NSF’s Division of Design and Manufacturing Innovation, where he led a staff of 15 and managed an annual budget of $65 million. DeVries came to the NSF on assignment from Iowa State University, where he was a Professor and Chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

DeVries said he believes that UMBC’s College of Engineering and Information Technology will thrive in the 21st century by developing: diverse knowledge-enabled graduates, faculty and staff who advance the frontiers of scholarship and innovation to benefit society, and partnerships with government and industry to create new opportunities that have an impact beyond the bounds of the campus.

DeVries, whose initial responsibilities at the NSF included work with the Small Business Innovation Research program, said that he would like to use his experience to spur innovation through education, research and industry partnerships, especially with small or startup technology-based firms.

DeVries said he first became acquainted with UMBC programs and faculty during a visit to the campus over a decade ago. “I saw that exciting things were really starting to happen here,” he said. Another strong impression was that “When you come into UMBC’s campus, the Research and Technology Park is right at the front door. I think that’s very interesting and an important opportunity,” DeVries said.

“I’d like to work with faculty and staff building on UMBC’s reputation for integration of education and research covering the whole spectrum of innovation, from discovery of new knowledge and creativity to that first commercial step of a small technology businesses,” DeVries said.

“This isn’t only important for the economic vitality of Maryland and the nation, but because knowledge and people are key to the research-education-innovation cycle its part of the University’s mission," said DeVries. "Students benefit too, since according to NSF data, the largest fraction of science and engineering graduates today, about 36 percent, are employed by small technology-based firms.”

Another of DeVries’ priorities will be giving students a multidisciplinary education that prepares them to be competitive in today’s global economy. He pointed out that the College of Engineering and Information Technology’s name is indicative of the multidisciplinary opportunities in the College at UMBC.

“In order for our students to have a good life and career, we first need to provide a relevant and solid education,” DeVries said. “We’ll need a truly global view so that our graduates not only have good career opportunities, but also aspire to be leaders in their chosen fields.”

In addition to being a member of the Iowa State faculty, DeVries has also held faculty positions at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University of Michigan and University of Wisconsin-Madison. DeVries has supervised 11 Ph.D. students and nearly 40 M.S. students, and he has overseen more than $4 million in total research and educational contracts and grants.

He has authored or co-authored numerous technical papers, as well as two textbooks, and taught graduate and undergraduate courses. He received his Ph.D., M.S. and B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and also received a B.S. in Letters and Engineering from Calvin College.

DeVries has served on the Board of Governors and as Senior Vice President for Engineering for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and on the Board of Directors and as President for the North American Manufacturing Research Institution of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME). He is a Fellow of both the ASME and the SME.

DeVries replaces Dr. Shlomo Carmi, who served as Dean of the College of Engineering and Information Technology and Professor of mechanical engineering since 1996. Carmi, who was the American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ Senior Vice President for Engineering Education from 2003 to 2006, will continue to serve UMBC as a member of the mechanical engineering faculty. DeVries begins his appointment at UMBC August 1.

Note to Media:
To download a high-resolution, color photo of Dr. DeVries, please click on the image at the top of this release.

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July 26, 2006

UMBC Biologist Receives Government’s Highest Honor for Young Scientists at White House Ceremony

Rachel M. Brewster Among Just 3 U.S. Biologists Nominated by NSF to Receive Presidential Early Career Award

CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

UMBC biologist Rachel M. Brewster received the nation’s top honor for promising young scientists, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), which were announced at a White House ceremony today.

The PECASE provides up to five years of financial support to the honored scientists for research and community outreach. Awardees must be nominated by a participating federal agency or department. Brewster was one of just three U.S. biologists nominated by the National Science Foundation (NSF) who were selected for the PECASE.

Brewster will use her PECASE funding to involve high school, undergraduate and graduate students from diverse backgrounds in her lab’s research. Brewster’s specialty is genetic analysis of zebrafish embryos to better understand the causes of birth defects of the brain and central nervous system, the most common of which is spina bifida, the leading cause of childhood paralysis in the United States.

“It's certainly an amazing honor to receive this award,” said Brewster. In her acceptance speech, Brewster thanked UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski as the catalyst for the University’s Meyerhoff Scholarship Program. The Meyerhoff Program has become known as a national model for drawing talented minority students into research careers that often begin under the mentorship of UMBC professors.

“I have been very fortunate to work with some of these students in my lab,” said Brewster. She singled out UMBC alumna and former Meyerhoff Scholar Keisha John, who now attends the Watson Graduate School of Biological Sciences, as instrumental in producing some key data that made the award nomination possible.

“This is a great honor for Rachel and the department,” said Lasse Lindahl, professor and chair of UMBC’s biological sciences department. “The award will make officials in the White House’s Office of Science and Technology and colleagues around the country more familiar with the quality of research at UMBC. We are very proud of Dr. Brewster and her accomplishments.”

“Rachel Brewster is a wonderful colleague, an inspiring role model and a dedicated mentor to many students at UMBC,” said Lynn Zimmerman, professor of biology and vice provost for academic initiatives at UMBC. “She is a tremendous asset to UMBC's biological sciences department and we are delighted to see her receive this well deserved recognition.”

Brewster, an assistant professor of biological sciences at UMBC, received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and did postdoctoral work at the New York University’s Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine and the Department of Embryology at the Carnegie Institution of Washington.

The PECASE program recognizes outstanding scientists and engineers who show exceptional potential for leadership at the frontiers of knowledge early in their careers. President Bush honored a total of 60 young scientists for their extensive research accomplishments and for their noteworthy educational contributions at the ceremony.

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NASA Scientists Conduct Census of Nearby Hidden Black Holes

UMBC Astrophysicist, International Team, Searching X-Ray Sky

CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

Scientists on a quest to find hidden black holes in the local universe have found surprisingly few.

The observation implies that if these hidden black holes exist - and most scientists are convinced they do - they must be from the more distant, earlier universe, a concept that has interesting implications for galaxy evolution.

This work constitutes the first census of the highest-energy part of the X-ray sky, where the most dust-enshrouded black holes are thought to shine. A team from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., conducted the census, comprised of nearly two years of continuous data from the European Space Agency's International Gamma Ray Astrophysics Laboratory, or INTEGRAL, satellite.

"Naturally it is difficult to find something we know is hiding well and which has eluded detection so far," said Volker Beckmann of Goddard and the Joint Center for Astrophysics at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, lead author on a report in an upcoming issue of The Astrophysical Journal. "INTEGRAL is a telescope that should see nearby hidden black holes, but we have come up short."

The X-ray sky is thousands to millions of times more energetic than the visible sky familiar to our eyes. Much of the X-ray activity is from black holes violently sucking in gas from their surroundings.

Recent breakthroughs in X-ray astronomy, including a thorough black hole census with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer, have all dealt with lower-energy X-rays. The energy range is roughly 2,000 to 20,000 electron-volts. Optical light, in comparison, is about 2 electron volts.

The INTEGRAL survey is the first of its kind to glimpse into the largely unexplored higher-energy, or "hard," X-ray regime of 20,000 to 40,000 electron-volts.

"The X-ray background, this pervasive blanket of X-ray light we see everywhere in the universe, peaks at about 30,000 electron volts, yet we really know next to nothing about what produces this radiation," said co-author Neil Gehrels of Goddard.

The theory is that hidden black holes, which scientists call Compton-thick objects, are responsible for the peak at 30,000 electron volts. These X-rays are so energetic that they would penetrate even the most dust-enshrouded black holes yet remain beyond the range of powerful lower-energy X-ray observatories such as Chandra.

High-energy light in general is harder to focus than optical and lower-energy (longer-wavelength) forms of light. As a result, INTEGRAL doesn't have the resolution to make sharp images like Chandra and Hubble can.

"Basically, the higher you go in energy, the harder it is to detect faint sources," said Chris Shrader of Goddard, another co-author. "This is why no hard X-ray mission has been able to study many individual objects in the distant universe. That would require a next-generation telescope. But INTEGRAL is now the first to resolve the local universe."

INTEGRAL can obtain an unbiased count of black holes in the local universe by virtue of seeing even those that are hidden. Of all the black hole galaxies that INTEGRAL detected---that is, galaxies with supermassive black holes in their cores actively accreting gas---about 40 percent were unobscured black hole galaxies, called Seyfert 1 galaxies. About 50 percent were somewhat obscured black hole galaxies called Seyfert 2 galaxies. And less than 10 percent were the heavily shrouded "Compton thick" variety.

This implies that if hidden black holes make up the bulk of the X-ray background, they aren't local. Why? One reason could be that, in the modern local universe, these black holes have had time to blow away the gas and dust that once enshrouded them, leaving them unobscured. This liberation of gas and dust would have its consequences; it would blow away to influence star and galaxy formation elsewhere.

"This is just the tip of the iceberg," Beckmann said. "In a few more months we will have a larger survey completed with the Swift mission. Our goal is to push this kind of observation deeper and deeper into the universe to see black hole activity at early epochs. That's the next great challenge for X-ray and gamma-ray astronomers."

Simona Soldi and Nicolas Produit of the INTEGRAL Science Data Centre near Geneva, Switzerland, also participated in this result.

This release courtesy of NASA Goddard News.

For images, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/vision/universe/starsgalaxies/integral_blackholes.html

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July 7, 2006

$2.9 Million National Science Foundation Grant Funds New UMBC PhD Training Program in Urban Water, Environment

Grant to Provide Multidisciplinary Training for 20 PhD Students Over 5 Years

CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded UMBC a $2.9 million grant to establish a new doctoral student training program in “Water in the Urban Environment.”

The NSF funding, part of a highly competitive and nationally prestigious Integrated Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) program, will provide 20 Ph.D. students with annual stipends plus assistance with tuition and fees as UMBC recruits and trains teams of graduate students in the ecology, economics, engineering, public health and policy impacts of urbanization on the Chesapeake Bay region’s water resources.

The “Water in the Urban Environment” Ph.D. training program will involve 32 faculty members from nine UMBC departments and six partner institutions. Like all IGERT programs, the UMBC training will emphasize an interdisciplinary team approach for Ph.D. students. The program includes internships in industry, government, and non-governmental organizations.

“The NSF IGERT program is nationally recognized as a mark of academic excellence,” said Claire Welty, director of the Center for Urban Environmental Research and Education at UMBC. “This grant puts UMBC’s environmental programs on the national map in graduate environmental education and offers Marylanders a superb environmental educational opportunity right in their own back yard.”

According to Welty, “We’ve already recruited four outstanding students for the Fall 2006 semester– from North Carolina, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Virginia -- and will recruit an additional five for fall 2007,”

The program takes advantage of UMBC’s longtime research partnerships with public agencies, nonprofits, and private consultants in the field of urban environmental and hydrology studies, as well as the proximity of Baltimore to the Chesapeake Bay. UMBC is home of the field headquarters of the Baltimore Ecosystem Study, one of two urban sites in the NSF Long-Term Ecological Research network. In June, UMBC broke ground for the US Geological Survey’s Maryland/Delaware/District of Columbia Water Science Center new home at bwtech@UMBC, the university’s on-campus research and technology park.

The UMBC program is one of approximately 20 new IGERT awards granted this year by the NSF. For more information on the NSF’s IGERT programs, visit www.igert.org.

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June 27, 2006

UMBC, USGS to Celebrate Groundbreaking of Water Science Center

Chesapeake Bay Watershed Researchers, Officials
to Mark Site of Tech Park’s 3rd Building Thursday

CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu


The University of Maryland, Baltimore County celebrates a milestone for science in the state’s public interest Thursday as it breaks ground for the new home of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Maryland-Delaware-Washington, D.C. Water Science Center at bwtech@UMBC, the University’s on-campus research and technology park.

Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith, UMBC President Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, and other federal, state and local government officials will join UMBC and USGS environmental scientists at 5523 Research Park Drive, the future site of the one-story, 24,000 square-foot facility for a groundbreaking ceremony starting at 11:30 am.

Construction of the USGS building is scheduled to begin later this month. The real estate development firm Corporate Office Properties Trust (COPT) is managing construction of both the USGS building and a 110,000 square-foot, four-story, multi-tenant building at bwtech@UMBC, the park’s fourth of five planned buildings.

The USGS center employs over 60 scientists and support staff, who are expected to strengthen collaborative work with UMBC and U.S. Forest Service scientists who monitor the ecosystems of the Chesapeake Bay watershed and the health of the region’s water supply, rivers and streams.

The USGS’s decision to move from its previous location in White Marsh was strongly influenced by the longtime research partnership between USGS and UMBC’s Department of Geography and Environmental Systems, Center for Urban and Environmental Research and Education (CUERE), Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, the U.S. Forest Service and the Baltimore Ecosystem Study.

According to UMBC and USGS officials, the move will give USGS scientists easier access to student employees, labs, scientific instruments, and university researchers. It is expected that UMBC science and engineering students will benefit from on-campus opportunities to combine classroom training with hands-on research experience.

UMBC’s formal connection with USGS goes back to 1997, the beginning of the Baltimore Ecosystem Study (BES), a National Science Foundation-funded Long-Term Ecological Research Project whose field headquarters are located on the UMBC campus. BES, which was renewed for another six-year term in 2004, makes Baltimore’s streams, rivers and water quality among the most highly monitored in the country thanks in large part to an extensive network of USGS equipment and personnel.

The USGS building is the latest in the progress of bwtech@UMBC, Maryland's first university research park, and the only research and development park in Baltimore County. The 41-acre park's first building was completed in 2001 and is occupied by RWD Technologies. The second building was completed in 2004 and is fully leased to 15 entities. The park’s first two buildings were sold to Merritt Properties for $22.5 million in December, 2005.

Posted by crose

June 14, 2006

Wyeth Research and UMBC Form Partnership

CONTACT:
Mike Lurie

Office: 410-455-6380
Cellphone: 443-695-0262
mlurie@umbc.edu

BALTIMORE – The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and Wyeth Research have formed a three-year, multi-level partnership. The partnership will include graduate fellowships for talented students conducting research in fields of joint interest to UMBC faculty and Wyeth scientists and a three-year commitment to support UMBC’s annual life science symposium as a Gold-Level sponsor.

Wyeth’s sponsorship of the symposium, A Look Ahead: Futures in Biomedical Research, will provide direct support for the Departments of Biology, Chemistry and Biochemistry and Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at UMBC. The annual life science symposium features nationally recognized speakers, promotes the research of UMBC students, and attracts hundreds of scientists, educators and biotechnology business leaders.

“Wyeth’s contribution to UMBC is outstanding. They are an ideal partner for UMBC in the life sciences, demonstrating a strong commitment to scientific excellence, diversity and higher education,” said Dr. Geoffrey Summers, dean of the College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences.

The students selected for the two-year fellowships will be designated Wyeth Fellows and will receive an annual stipend and mentoring support from an industry scientist at Wyeth research.

The 2006 Wyeth Fellowship will be awarded to a rising, second- or third-year Ph.D candidate in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Each Wyeth Fellow will have the opportunity to present his or her research findings to a group of senior scientists at Wyeth Research.

“We are very pleased to be working with UMBC at this new level,” said Dr. Parimal Desai, Vice President, Analytical & Quality Sciences at Wyeth. “UMBC produces some of our most promising new scientists. Our experiences working with UMBC students and faculty have been excellent.”

UMBC and Wyeth have established a steering committee to identify promising areas of research and expand collaborative relationships between Wyeth scientists and UMBC faculty and students. The steering committee will build on the momentum of Wyeth’s active recruiting of UMBC students for internships and full-time positions.

Wyeth, headquartered in Madison, NJ, is a global leader in pharmaceuticals, consumer health care products and animal health care products. The company is a leader in the discovery, development and manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, vaccines, biotechnology products and non-prescription medicines that improve the quality of life people worldwide. With research and development programs focused on small molecules, vaccines and biotechnology, Wyeth is exploring more than 60 new therapies for medical conditions such as diabetes, breast cancer, multiple sclerosis, HIV, Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia.

UMBC is a mid-sized, public research university located between Baltimore, Maryland and Washington, D.C. UMBC is a major center for cutting-edge research in the Baltimore-Washington corridor. The campus is home to more than 20 research centers and institutes.

UMBC’s College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences includes the Departments of Biological Sciences, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Mathematics and Statistics, and Physics. These four departments administer close to half of the Ph.D. programs at UMBC. The College has more than 100 full time faculty members, and includes approximately 1500 students in 7 undergraduate programs and 280 students in 13 graduate programs. Research expenditures currently top $13M per year.

For inquiries directly to Wyeth Pharmaceuticals:
Gerald Burr
Wyeth Pharmaceuticals
Office: 484-865-5138
Cell: 484-686-6998
Email: burrg@wyeth.com

Posted by mlurie

June 12, 2006

Howard Hughes Medical Institute Awards $2.2 Million to HHMI Scholars Program at UMBC

CONTACT: Mike Lurie
410-455-6380 office
443-695-0262 cellphone
Email: mlurie@umbc.edu

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) has awarded a $2.2 million teaching grant to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) to further develop the HHMI Scholars Program, a science education initiative that focuses on students from diverse backgrounds.

The HHMI Scholars Program provides a summer “bridge” structure that helps freshmen make a smooth college transition. During their freshman year, Hughes Scholars rotate through several labs and eventually choose a "home" laboratory in which they will do long-term research. The summer before their sophomore year, they start working in that lab. Scholars also complete at least one summer of research with an HHMI investigator elsewhere in the country, usually before their junior year. Each scholar also has the option of spending his or her junior year as an exchange student in the lab of another HHMI investigator.

Hughes Scholars also provide math and science tutoring for elementary and high school students in Baltimore to inspire the next generation of science majors. They might also tutor fellow UMBC undergraduates.

UMBC is one of 50 universities in the nation to receive an HHMI grant in this round of funding. The first UMBC Hughes Scholars supported by an undergraduate science education grant from HHMI graduated from UMBC in 2005. All three students have gone on to Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. programs at Stanford University, The Johns Hopkins University, and Case Western Reserve University. Five additional students recently graduated and all have been accepted into a Ph.D., M.D./Ph.D. or M.D. program at Baylor College of Medicine, University of Florida, University of Maryland, University of Michigan, and Cornell University.

"They're not just getting into graduate programs, they’re getting into the very best programs," said Michael Summers, the only HHMI investigator at a Maryland public university and director of the Hughes Scholar Program at UMBC. Of 25 Hughes Scholars so far, 23 are African American. While many Hughes Scholars are from Maryland, students also come to the program from as far away as California, Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina.

Hughes Scholars will interact with students who are in the UMBC Meyerhoff Scholarship Program, a program open to high-achieving high school seniors with an interest in pursuing doctoral study in the sciences or engineering and advancing minorities in the sciences and related fields.

“With this support, some of the brightest young students who are interested in biomedical research and issues of diversity will have the opportunity to focus on their studies and research while undergraduates and work with some of the nation’s best biomedical researchers,” Summers said.

Hughes Scholars are selected as incoming freshmen. An HHMI grant provides funds for summer research and travel to scientific meetings. The grant also covers tuition and room and board for their first two years of college. Tuition, room and board are covered for the students' junior and senior years through a federal grant.

Before classes start, Hughes Scholars attend a summer program to familiarize themselves with the campus and the research being done at UMBC.

“Summer bridge programs—a component of several of the new grants—are particularly important in helping minority students make a successful transition to the world of the research university,” said Peter J. Bruns, HHMI vice president for grants and special programs. “Individualized mentoring and early research experiences with working scientists also are vital components of a university education that prepares undergraduates for graduate school and careers in science. The universities want to offer their students these opportunities, and HHMI is pleased to help them do so.”

In selecting recipients of the new grants, HHMI reviewed 158 applications. A panel composed of leading scientists and educators, including HHMI professors and an invited 214 HHMI investigators, reviewed the applications.

“We believe it is vital to bring fresh perspectives to the teaching of established scientific disciplines and to develop novel courses in emerging areas, such as computational biology, genomics, and bio-imaging, said Thomas R. Cech, HHMI president. “Our grantee universities are providing hands-on research experiences to help prepare undergraduates, including women and minorities underrepresented in the sciences, for graduate studies and for careers in biomedical research, medicine, and science education.”

A nonprofit medical research organization, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute was established in 1953 by the aviator-industrialist. The Institute, headquartered in Chevy Chase, Maryland, is one of the largest philanthropies in the world, with an endowment of $14.8 billion at the close of its 2005 fiscal year. HHMI spent $483 million in support of biomedical research and $80 million for support of a variety of science education and other grants programs in fiscal 2005.

Posted by crose

UMBC Scientists Spot the Greatest of Great Balls of Fire

Contact:
Chip Rose

410-455-5793 office
443-690-0307 cellphone
Email: crose@umbc.edu



A research effort led by the University of Maryland, Baltimore County has found a comet-like ball of gas over a billion times the mass of the sun hurling through a distant galaxy cluster over 500 miles per second. This colossal "ball of fire" is by far the largest object of this kind ever identified.

Dr. Alexis Finoguenov and Prof. Mark Henriksen of the UMBC Department of Physics and visiting UMBC scientist Dr. Francesco Miniati discovered the gas ball with a European X-ray satellite called XMM-Newton.

The gas ball is about three million light years across, or about five billion times the size of our solar system. It appears from our perspective as a circular X-ray glow with a comet-like tail nearly half the size of the moon. This observation is described in the Astrophysical Journal.

"The size and velocity of this gas ball is truly fantastic," said Finoguenov, who is an adjunct assistant professor of physics at UMBC and an associated scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Extra-Terrestrial Physics in Garching, Germany. "This is likely a massive building block being delivered to one of the largest assembly of galaxies we know."

The gas ball is in a galaxy cluster called Abell 3266, millions of light years from Earth, thus posing absolutely no danger to our solar system. Abell 3266 contains hundreds of galaxies and great amounts of hot gas that is nearly a hundred million degrees. Both the cluster gas and the giant gas ball are held together by the gravitational attraction of unseen dark matter.

"What interests astronomers is not just the size of the gas ball but the role it plays in the formation and evolution of structure in the universe," said Miniati, who worked on this data at UMBC while visiting from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland.

Abell cluster 3266 is part of the Horologium-Reticulum super-cluster and is one of the most massive galaxy clusters in the southern sky. It is still actively growing in size, as indicated by the gas ball, and will become one of the largest mass concentrations in the nearby universe.

Using XMM-Newton data, the science team produced an entropy map, which is a thermodynamical property that allows for the separation of the cold and dense gas of the comet from the hotter and more rarefied gas of the cluster. This is based on X-ray spectra. The data show with remarkable detail the process of gas being stripped from the comet's core and forming a large tail containing lumps of colder and denser gas. The researchers estimate that a sun's worth of mass is lost every hour.

"In Abell 3266 we are seeing structure formation in action," said Henriksen. "Dark matter is the gravitational glue holding the gas ball together. But as it races through the galaxy cluster, a tug-of-war ensues where the galaxy cluster eventually wins, stripping off and dispersing gas that perhaps one day will seed star and galaxy growth within the cluster."

XMM-Newton was built by and is operated by the European Space Agency.

For images and more information about the result, refer to http://www.esa.int/esaSC/SEMWD1AATME_index_0.html.

For a directory of high-resolution images, refer to: http://universe.nasa.gov/press/xmm

Special Thanks to Christopher Wanjek at NASA-Goddard News for this release.

Posted by crose

May 2, 2006

UMBC, Johns Hopkins, Join Princeton in Multi-Million NSF Engineering Research Center

Advanced Research in Mid-Infrared Spectrum Could Yield Sensor Breakthroughs for Medicine, Environment, Military, Homeland Security

CONTACTS: Mike Lurie
410-455-6380 office
443-695-0262 cellphone
Email: mlurie@umbc.edu

Chip Rose
410-455-5793 office
443-690-0307 cellphone
Email: crose@umbc.edu


BALTIMORE– The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and The Johns Hopkins University are part of a newly announced multimillion-dollar National Science Foundation (NSF) Engineering Research Center based at Princeton University that is expected to revolutionize sensor technology, yielding supersensitive devices that can detect minute amounts of chemicals found in the atmosphere, emitted from factories or exhaled in human breath.

The goal of the Center’s research is to produce devices that are so low in cost and easy to use that they transform the way physicians monitor patients, states track air quality, governments guard against terror attacks and scientists understand the evolution of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Other partner institutions with Princeton, Johns Hopkins and UMBC are Rice University, Texas A&M University and City College of New York. NSF and industrial funding for the Center could exceed $40 million over 10 years. NSF funding started May 1 with $2.97 million for the first year.

The center – named MIRTHE, for Mid-Infrared Technologies for Health and the Environment – will combine the work of about 40 faculty members, 30 graduate students and 30 undergraduates from the six universities. The center also is collaborating with dozens of industrial partners on technology commercialization and is partnering with several educational outreach partners to apply MIRTHE research in improving science and engineering education.

“The sensors we are creating will be portable and easy to use,” said Claire Gmachl, associate professor of electrical engineering at Princeton and MIRTHE’s director. “Today’s state-of-the-art sensors are very sensitive, but require an expert to operate and are bulky and expensive. Our vision is to make sensors with the same or better level of sensitivity at a fraction of the size and cost.”

Sensor technologies developed by MIRTHE team members are expected to have a variety of commercial, military and educational applications. UMBC is home to several NASA-Goddard related atmospheric, environmental and earth science research centers and the Baltimore Ecosystem Study, where MIRTHE technologies should improve monitoring of pollution in the soil, water and air. Another potential application is an “invisible fence” sensor system that can vastly improve detection of chemical and biological hazards for military troops in the battlefield and homeland security first responders.

MIRTHE is a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center, one of several interdisciplinary centers located at universities across the United States. The centers are among the foundation’s largest and most prestigious grants.

MIRTHE team members’ expertise ranges from fundamental science to applied technology. Work on MIRTHE at UMBC will be led by MIRTHE deputy director Anthony Johnson, a past president of the Optical Society of America and director of UMBC’s Center for Advanced Studies in Photonics Research (CASPR).

“This is an exciting day for engineering research in the Baltimore-Washington region” Johnson said. “With seven faculty researchers each from The Johns Hopkins University and UMBC, this is incredible news for science in the state of Maryland.”

As deputy director of MIRTHE, Johnson brings a wealth of knowledge on the design, workings and manufacture of next-generation sensors based on novel optoelectronic materials. These sensors will be capable of detecting chemical and biological molecular markers in the mid-infrared portion of the spectrum.

Other UMBC researchers on the MIRTHE team include: L. Michael Hayden, chair of physics; Yanhua Shih, professor of physics; Joel Morris, Curtis Menyuk and Fow-Sen Choa, professors of computer science and electrical engineering; and Claire Welty, director of the Center for Urban Environmental Research and Education.

Johns Hopkins researchers involved in MIRTHE include: Terence H. Risby of the Bloomberg School of Public Health; Katalin Szlavecz, a geologist and lecturer at the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences; Robert Brown of the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine in the School of Medicine; Jacob Khurgin of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the Whiting School of Engineering; Charles Lowenstein and Steven Solga of the Department of Medicine in the School of Medicine; and Michael Trush of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences in the Bloomberg School of Public Health.

MIRTHE’s other key mission is in education – working to train a new and diverse generation of engineering students in the U.S. The center will incorporate extensive efforts to engage college and K-12 students in hands-on science and engineering projects, with major outreach programs taking place at UMBC, City College of New York and Princeton.

At UMBC, MIRTHE will link with the Meyerhoff Scholars Program, which is recognized nationally as a model for preparing high-achieving undergraduate students, particularly African-Americans, for research careers in science and engineering. Johnson also has extensive experience with K-12 optical science education outreach to under-represented minority students through his work with the Optical Society of America’s Hands-On Optics (HOO) program.

PROMISE: Maryland’s Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP), which is also sponsored by the NSF, will focus on the cultivation, retention and successful graduation of graduate students from populations that are underrepresented in MIRTHE’s core disciplines,” said UMBC’s PROMISE Director Renetta Tull.

The work of creating the successful proposal to the NSF already has established a sense of community among the participants. “We are delighted to be partnering with Princeton and the other fine institutions in the Engineering Research Center’s critical work,” said Freeman Hrabowski, president of UMBC.

Posted by crose

May 1, 2006

Grasmick to Be Honored for Fighting Tech Gender Gap at UMBC’s Computer Mania Day

Fashion Designer Cynthia Rowley to Link High-Tech, High Fashion
For 100’s of Middle School Girls Saturday

CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

BALTIMORE - State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Nancy Grasmick will be honored for her contributions to fighting the gender gap in information technology this Saturday at UMBC’s fourth annual Computer Mania Day event. Fashion designer Cynthia Rowley headlines the day of free, fun, hands-on activities which brings hundreds of middle school girls from across Maryland for tech career path inspiration by women role models from industry and academia.

The Center for Woman and Information Technology (CWIT) at UMBC, which addresses and rectifies women's under-representation in information technology and enhances the understanding of the relationship between gender and IT, will present the Joan Korenman Award to Grasmick during the start of the day’s activities at 10:10 AM in UMBC’s Retriever Activities Center.

The Joan Korenman Award is named for the founder of CWIT and honors an individual or group of individuals who have supported, promoted, and encouraged girls and women to strive to achieve personal and professional growth through the use of, employment in, or leadership in information technology or a related field, where women are traditionally underrepresented.

“I’m thrilled to be a recipient of the Joan Korenman Award this year,” said Grasmick. “I continue to encourage women to persevere in their efforts to achieve their objectives. We must strive to have equity in all fields, including those that are technology based. I truly believe that we should continue to create and sustain pathways for all individuals to enter and remain in Information Technology or a related technology field.”

Many Baltimore-Washington area technology firms give financial and volunteer support to Computer Mania Day, which they see as an effective way to increase gender diversity in high-tech industries.

Research shows that the information technology (IT) gender gap opens as early as the middle school years, when girls are most image-conscious and do not want to be labeled as “geeks” or “nerds.” Girls also make up only 14 percent of Advanced Placement students in computer science, a key to success in IT-related fields at the college level.

"We are thrilled to continue our support of CWIT and its goal to encourage students', especially girls', interest and involvement in information technology," said Jennifer Jones, Sales Vice President for AT&T, who will present the award to Grasmick.

"Computer Mania Day demonstrates that science and computer skills not only facilitate our fast-paced, 24/7 connected lives, these skills enhance job performance and improve efficiencies across all industries,” said Jones. “This message is especially important to share with our nation's young people so that the U.S. will not continue to lose its competitive advantage in the global marketplace." The AT&T Foundation is a sponsor of Computer Mania Day.

"There is no greater imperative for protecting the future technological strength and security of our nation than getting today's primary and secondary-school children interested in math, science and engineering-related disciplines,” said James F. Pitts, Corporate Vice President and President of Northrop Grumman’s Electronic Systems sector. “That's why we at Northrop Grumman strongly support activities such as Computer Mania Day at UMBC." Katherine A. Gray, VP of F16 Sensor Systems at Northrop Grumman Electronics Systems, will give the welcoming address to Computer Mania attendees.

Rowley, whose signature designs are found in Cynthia Rowley boutiques, better department stores and specialty stores across the U.S. and globe, has won multiple awards from The Council of Fashion Designers of America. Her creations have been featured in Vogue, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar and The New York Times. She is also the co-author of a best-selling series of books on personal and home style and an entrepreneur.

At Computer Mania Day, kids will get the chance to meet Rowley and participate in workshops led by positive female role models from UMBC along with business, government and education leaders. Girls’ events highlights include “Hardware Rocks,” “Google of Opportunities,” digital art and imaging, and the physics of do-it-yourself hot air balloons. Adult workshop highlights include how to prepare your kids for college, “Computers 101,” and “Cyber Safety: Keeping Your Child Protected Online.” All attendees will have the chance to win great giveaways like the HP iPAQ, Dell USB Memory Key and Cisco Routers.

EVENT DETAILS: Saturday, May 6, 2006. 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Check-in at UC Ballroom, UMBC. FREE lunch included. All adult and student attendees MUST register ahead of time online at www.computer-mania.info. To sign up or for more information, visit www.computer-mania.info or call 410-455-8433.

NOTE TO MEDIA:
A hi-resolution, color photo of Cynthia Rowley is available online at:
http://www.umbc.edu/NewsEvents/PhotoGal/CynthiaRowley.jpg

About the AT&T Foundation:

The new AT&T Foundation, the philanthropic arm of AT&T Inc., supports programs that build communities and improve access to information technologies, technology training and professional skills development. The new AT&T Foundation will provide more than $60 million in 2006 in charitable contributions, thereby placing it among the top five largest corporate foundations in the country. The new AT&T Foundation combines over forty years and $1.7 billion of philanthropic commitment to communities across the country.

Posted by crose

April 24, 2006

COPT to Develop Second Building for bwtech@UMBC Research Park

110,000 Square-Foot Building to be Multi-Tenant Facility

CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

UMBC's on-campus research and technology park, bwtech@UMBC, and Corporate Office Properties Trust (COPT) announced today that COPT will build and own a second building at the park.

The 110,000 square foot, four-story office building will located at 5520 Research Park Drive on ground leased from UMBC Research Park Corporation and will target large and small technology companies as tenants. The total construction cost of the project is projected to be approximately $22 million.

“We are very pleased to further our relationship with UMBC by being given the opportunity to develop a second building for their expanding research and technology park and to create more critical mass for COPT within the park,” said Randall M. Griffin, President and CEO of Corporate Office Properties Trust.

This building will be adjacent to a development project recently announced within bwtech@UMBC which is the 23,500 square foot new home for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Maryland-Delaware-District of Columbia Water Science Center located at 5522 Research Park Drive. This would bring COPT’s total square foot ownership in the park to 133,900 square feet.

bwtech@UMBC was Maryland's first university research park and is the only research and development park in Baltimore County. The 41-acre park's first building, completed in 2001, is occupied by RWD Technologies. A second building, completed in 2004, is fully leased.

About COPT:
Corporate Office Properties Trust (COPT) is a fully integrated, self-managed real estate investment trust (REIT) that focuses on the ownership, management, leasing, acquisition and development of suburban office properties located primarily in submarkets within the Greater Washington, DC region. As of December 31, 2005, the Company owned 183 office properties totaling 14.6 million rentable square feet, which included 18 properties totaling 885,000 square feet held through joint ventures. The Company has implemented a core customer expansion strategy that is built around meeting, through acquisitions and development, the multi-location requirements of the Company’s existing strategic tenants. The Company’s property management services team provides comprehensive property and asset management to company owned properties and select third party clients.

COPT’s development and construction services team provides a wide range of development and construction management services for company owned properties, as well as land planning, design/build services, consulting, and merchant development to select third party clients. The Company’s shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol OFC. More information on Corporate Office Properties Trust can be found on the Internet at www.copt.com.

About bwtech@UMBC:
bwtech@UMBC is a 41-acre research and technology community at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). bwtech@UMBC has a total development capacity of up to 330,000 square feet of office and laboratory space. The USGS building will be the third of five planned state-of-the-art buildings containing over 300,000 square feet of office and wet lab space. The park’s 62,000 square-foot first building has been leased by the information technology firm RWD Technologies since 2001. The second building, a 60,000-square-foot multi-tenant building, is fully leased with tenants including The NASA Goddard Earth Sciences and Technology Center, software maker BD Metrics Inc., healthcare media and education firm Med-IQ, the Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC, the engineering/design firm Edwards & Kelcey, and UMBC’s Alex. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship.

UMBC began planning for a new research and technology park in the early 1990s, based on the success of other U.S. parks and the vision of the late Michael Hooker, UMBC president from 1986-1992. To date, UMBC’s research park and technology incubator have received public and private sector funding from the Maryland Economic Development Corporation (MEDCO), the State of Maryland, the City of Baltimore, Baltimore County, the U.S. Department of Commerce, The Abell Foundation, and the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO.) bwtech@UMBC is part of Baltimore County's Southwest Enterprise Zone, making companies moving to the park eligible for credits on real property and income taxes, as well as credits for job creation.

Posted by crose

April 3, 2006

Drs. Hrabowski, Summers Share Success Strategies for Producing Minority Scientists, Engineers

'Preparing Minority Scientists, Engineers' Appears in Science Magazine

CONTACT: Mike Lurie
Office: 410-455-6380
Cellphone: 443-695-0262
mlurie@umbc.edu

BALTIMORE – President Freeman Hrabowski and Dr. Michael Summers of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), have published an article in the March 31 issue of Science Magazine, "Preparing Minority Scientists and Engineers," that examines successful strategies for educating minority scientists and engineers in college and fostering their pursuit of doctorates and medical degrees.

The authors begin by noting that well-prepared minority students are originally interested in pursuing scientific or engineering careers, but far too few of those students actually graduate with degrees in those subjects. Students who entered UMBC's Meyerhoff Program, for example, were twice as likely to earn a science or engineering bachelor's degree and 5.3 times more likely to enroll in post-graduate study, when compared to those who were accepted to UMBC's Meyerhoff Program but attended other institutions.

Hrabowski and Summers then identify several factors necessary for minority student success, such as involving the students in scientific research projects as early as possible.

The Meyerhoff Program (named after its founders, Baltimore philanthropists Robert and his late wife Jane Meyerhoff), focuses on producing bachelor's degree recipients, particularly African-Americans, who go on to doctoral programs in science and engineering. UMBC is leading the nation as a producer of minority scientists who have gone on to earn Ph.D.s and medical degrees. Meyerhoff students with completed advanced degrees now number 44 with Ph.Ds or M.D.-Ph.Ds, 72 with master's degrees and 32 with medical degrees.

Meyerhoff Program alumni include a clinical fellow in cardiovascular medicine at Harvard Medical School, a post-doctoral fellow in neuroscience at Johns Hopkins Medical School and a research and development scientist at Eastman Kodak.

Dr. Michael Summers, professor of chemistry/biochemistry and investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) at UMBC, has worked closely with Meyerhoff Scholars in the course of his research on the application of nuclear magnetic resonance to studies of the structure and function of proteins.

Hrabowski and Summers identify five elements in achieving positive outcomes in retention and development of minority scientists and engineers. Those elements are recruiting a substantial body of high-achieving minority students with interests in math and science; offering merit-based financial support; providing an orientation program for freshman; recruitment of active research faculty to work with the students; and involvement of students in scientific research projects early in their undergraduate careers.

Posted by crose

March 28, 2006

Gigabytes of Glamour: Fashion Designer Cynthia Rowley to Help UMBC Make Tech Savvy Girls in Style

Award-Winning Designer to Lead Hundreds of Middle School Girls, Parents,
in Day of Hands-on, High-Tech Fun: Computer Mania Day, May 6

CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

If there’s one sure way to get more girls interested in
technology careers, just show them how computers help design some of the
world’s most glamorous clothes.

Cynthia Rowley, one of America’s most honored fashion designers, will
show hundreds of middle school girls, parents and teachers from across
Maryland how high technology helps create high fashion clothes worn by
supermodels as she headlines Computer Mania Day at UMBC on Saturday, May 6.

Rowley, whose signature designs are found in Cynthia Rowley boutiques,
better department stores and specialty stores across the U.S. and globe,
has won multiple awards from The Council of Fashion Designers of
America. Her creations have been featured in Vogue, Elle, Glamour,
Harper’s Bazaar and The New York Times. She is also the co-author of a
best-selling series of books on personal and home style and an entrepreneur.

Computer Mania Day is an annual day of free, hands-on, high-tech, fun
activities for adults and kids sponsored by UMBC’s Center for Women and
Information Technology (CWIT)
. The half-day event helps to get girls
interested in technology and computing careers while helping parents and
teachers sharpen their own computer skills. While boys are welcome, the
focus is on girls because of their continuing under-representation in
science, technology, engineering and math.

Research shows that the information technology (IT) gender gap opens as
early as the middle school years, when girls are most image-conscious
and do not want to be labeled as “geeks” or “nerds.” Girls also make up
only 14 percent of Advanced Placement students in computer science, a
key to success in IT-related fields at the college level.

At Computer Mania Day, kids will get the chance to meet Rowley and
participate in workshops led by positive female role models from UMBC
along with business, government and education leaders.

Girls’ events highlights include “Hardware Rocks,” “Google of Opportunities,” digital art and imaging, and the physics of do-it-yourself hot air balloons. Adult workshop highlights include how to prepare your kids for college, “Computers 101,” and “Cyber Safety: Keeping Your Child Protected Online.” All attendees will have the chance to win great giveaways like the HP iPAQ, Dell USB Memory Key and Cisco Routers.

EVENT DETAILS:
Saturday, May 6, 2006.
9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Check-in at
UC Ballroom, UMBC. FREE lunch included for students. All adult and student attendees MUST register ahead of time online at www.computer-mania.info. To sign up or for more information, visit www.computer-mania.info or call 410-455-8433.

NOTE TO MEDIA:
A hi-resolution, color photo of Cynthia Rowley is available online at:
http://www.umbc.edu/NewsEvents/PhotoGal/CynthiaRowley.jpg

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March 13, 2006

U.S. Geological Survey to Move MD-DE-DC Water Science Center to UMBC

COPT to Develop Tech Park’s 3rd Building; Research Collaboration Drives Move of 60 Experts on Region’s Water, Environment

CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

The University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) announced today that it has signed an agreement with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) that will relocate the USGS Maryland-Delaware-DC Water Science Center to a new facility at bwtech@UMBC, the University’s on-campus research and technology park. Ground breaking is slated for summer, and the completed facility is expected to open in spring 2007 to more than 60 USGS scientists and support staff. The move is intended to strengthen collaborative work with UMBC and U.S. Forest Service scientists who monitor the ecosystems of the Chesapeake Bay watershed and the health of the region’s water supply, rivers and streams.

Corporate Office Properties Trust (COPT), one of the region’s largest suburban office companies, is partnering with the UMBC Research Park Corporation to deliver the park’s next building. The one-story, 23,500 square-foot facility will be located at 5522 Research Park Drive. The total construction cost of the project is projected to be approximately $4,236,000. COPT’s plans include the opportunity to develop a second building of 110,000 square feet in a four-story multi-tenanted facility with specialized space for technology companies.

Research collaboration with UMBC’s core of water and environmental science expertise was the key factor in the USGS decision to move its Center to bwtech@UMBC from its previous location in White Marsh. The USGS has a longtime research partnership with UMBC’s Department of Geography and Environmental Systems, Center for Urban and Environmental Research and Education (CUERE), Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, the U.S. Forest Service and the Baltimore Ecosystem Study.

James M. Gerhart, Director of the USGS MD-DE-DC Water Science Center, said, "By co-locating on the UMBC campus and becoming part of the university research community, we expect to strengthen our existing collaboration with UMBC on water-related science. We’ll have easier access to student employees, labs, scientific instruments, and university researchers. The university will benefit from having USGS water science experts nearby to teach classes, work with student interns and lead field trips. All in all, I am confident that the move of USGS to UMBC will be a win-win situation.”

For UMBC environmental researchers, the move strengthens an already close relationship. “Like many of my colleagues, I have worked with USGS or used their data for decades,” said Andy Miller, professor of Geography and Environmental Systems at UMBC. “In my view they are the premier science agency in the federal government.”

“This move gives the citizens of Maryland a unique, new resource in higher education as USGS scientists will work shoulder-to-shoulder with UMBC professors,” said Claire Welty, director of CUERE at UMBC. “UMBC science and engineering students will receive an outstanding education that combines classroom training with hands-on research experience by simply walking across the street,” said Welty.

UMBC’s formal connection with USGS goes back to 1997, the beginning of the Baltimore Ecosystem Study (BES), a National Science Foundation-funded Long-Term Ecological Research Project whose field headquarters are located on the UMBC campus. BES, which was renewed for another 6-year term in 2004, makes Baltimore’s streams, rivers and water quality among the most highly monitored in the country thanks in large part to an extensive network of USGS equipment and personnel.

bwtech@UMBC was Maryland's first university research park and is the only research and development park in Baltimore County. The 41-acre park's first building, completed in 2001, is occupied by RWD Technologies. A second building, completed in 2004, is fully leased.

“We are very pleased to be selected as the developer to assist UMBC with their plans to expand the research park, but more importantly to have the opportunity to create a relationship with one of our local institutions.” said Randall M. Griffin, President and CEO of COPT.

The news from bwtech@UMBC comes as technology transfer and workforce development connections between UMBC, the research park and its nearby business incubator, techcenter@UMBC, are on the rise. Thirty-six UMBC faculty members collaborate on research and development with tenant companies. One hundred students are employed part-time or as interns and 54 alumni work or partner with the UMBC family of on-campus companies.

According to Ellen Hemmerly, executive director of the UMBC Research Park Corporation, the University is just as excited about the growth in human capital as it is about bricks and mortar. “The entire UMBC community is buying into the value of the park, which makes us much more attractive to the market,” said Hemmerly.

The COPT investment follows on the heels of the Dec. 23, 2005 sale of bwtech@UMBC’s first two buildings for $22.5 million to Merritt Properties, another top player in the Baltimore/Washington commercial real estate market. Merritt’s purchase from former developer Grosvenor included 123,000 square feet occupied by tenants including RWD Technologies, Invoke Systems, BD Metrics Inc. and the NASA Goddard Earth Sciences and Technology Center.

About The U.S. Geological Survey:
The U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) is the nation's largest natural-science agency and has served the U.S. and the world for 126 years. The USGS provides reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect the nation’s quality of life. The USGS Maryland-Delaware-District of Columbia Water Science Center is one of many regional USGS science centers across the country.

About the USGS Maryland-Delaware-District of Columbia Water Science Center:
The USGS Maryland-Delaware-District of Columbia Water Science Center collects basic data and conducts scientific investigations on the region’s streams, springs, lakes, coastal bays and underground aquifer systems. USGS data on streamflow, ground-water levels, and water chemistry are used to define the quantity and quality of the region's water resources. Data on water use and consumption are also collected to determine human impact on the resource. Hydrologic research studies use these and other data to understand the vulnerability of water resources to over-use and contamination, and to learn how to preserve the resources in a sustainable manner for aquatic life and future human generations. Most of this work is done in cooperation with other federal, state and local government agencies, universities, and research centers.

About COPT:
Corporate Office Properties Trust (COPT) is a fully integrated, self-managed real estate investment trust (REIT) that focuses on the ownership, management, leasing, acquisition and development of suburban office properties primarily in select Mid-Atlantic submarkets. The Company is among the largest owners of suburban office properties in the Greater Washington, DC region. COPT currently owns 182 office properties totaling 14.6 million rentable square feet, which includes 18 properties totaling 885,000 square feet held through joint ventures. The Company’s shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol OFC. More information on Corporate Office Properties Trust can be found at www.copt.com.

About bwtech@UMBC:
bwtech@UMBC is a 41-acre research and technology community at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). bwtech@UMBC has a total development capacity of up to 330,000 square feet of office and laboratory space. The USGS building will be the third of five planned state-of-the-art buildings containing over 300,000 square feet of office and wet lab space. The park’s 62,000 square-foot first building has been leased by the information technology firm RWD Technologies since 2001. The second building, a 60,000-square-foot multi-tenant building, is fully leased with tenants including The NASA Goddard Earth Sciences and Technology Center, software maker BD Metrics Inc., healthcare communications and technology firm Physicians Practice, Inc., the Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC, the engineering/design firm Edwards & Kelcey, and UMBC’s Alex. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship.

UMBC began planning for a new research and technology park in the early 1990s, based on the success of other U.S. parks and the vision of the late Michael Hooker, UMBC president from 1986-1992. To date, UMBC’s research park and technology incubator have received public and private sector funding from the Maryland Economic Development Corporation (MEDCO), the State of Maryland, the City of Baltimore, Baltimore County, the U.S. Department of Commerce, The Abell Foundation, and the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO.) bwtech@UMBC is part of Baltimore County's Southwest Enterprise Zone, making companies moving to the park eligible for credits on real property and income taxes, as well as credits for job creation.

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December 20, 2005

Merritt Properties Purchases bwtech@UMBC Buildings From Grosvenor

Strong Market Demand for UMBC Research Park Buildings

CONTACTS: Chip Rose, UMBC
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

Leslie Braunstein, Grosvenor
703.871-1831
lbraunstein@schum.com

International property development and investment firm Grosvenor announced today the sale of two buildings at bwtech@UMBC, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s on-campus research and technology park, to Baltimore-based Merritt Properties, LLC.

Merritt acquired the 63,000 square foot three-story building at 5521 Research Park Drive, delivered in 2001 and fully occupied by RWD Technologies, and the 60,000 SF 5523 Research Park Drive building delivered in mid-2004. 5523 Research Park Drive is leased to multiple tenants including BDMetrics, Inc., Edwards and Kelcey, Invoke Systems, Convergent Technologies, Physicians Practice, Goddard Earth Sciences and Technology Center, and other organizations including several UMBC program offices.

The sale includes transfer of a long-term ground lease for the two building lots, totaling approximately eight acres. However, the sale terminated Grosvenor’s prior development agreement and plan for the remainder of the 41-acre site.

“Our successful sale of bwtech@UMBC is part of Grosvenor’s overall U.S. strategy to concentrate our holdings in four major markets -- Washington, D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco -- while focusing on urban office and boutique retail product,” said Andrew Galbraith, Senior Vice President, Grosvenor. “In divesting this suburban office park, we found a perfect match with Merritt Properties, which is locally based and has developed more than 13 million square feet of office, flex, and industrial property in the Baltimore-Washington corridor.”

"We were pleased to see such high market demand for our buildings," said Ellen Hemmerly, executive director of the UMBC Research Park Corporation. "Our team was also delighted to have a top-notch manager like Merritt Properties on board who will maintain the high standards and reputation in the real estate industry that Grosvenor had established so well with bwtech@UMBC."

"We look forward to working with UMBC and are excited about the acquisition of these two Class A office buildings which help further strengthen our position in the marketplace,” said Robb Merritt, Vice President of Merritt Properties.

Merritt manages several other top properties in the greater Baltimore region, including Columbia Corporate Park, Columbia Corporate Park 100, Beltway Business Park, Schilling Square, Timonium Business Park
and Merritt Owings Mills.


About bwtech@UMBC:

bwtech@UMBC allows tenants to benefit from access to UMBC’s expertise, students, technology, programs, and facilities. Businesses moving to the Research Park, which is part of Maryland’s Southwest Enterprise Zone, may receive tax incentives in exchange for creating new jobs and making capital investments.

UMBC began planning for a new research and technology park in the early 1990s, based on the success of similar endeavors in other parts of the U.S. In 1998, UMBC forged ahead with its approved plan for a research and technology park that would house more mature companies, potentially including “graduates” of the techcenter@UMBC incubator program. UMBC searched for a development partner and ultimately selected Grosvenor, based in part on the firm’s experience in developing other research parks including one at The University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

About Merritt Properties, LLC:
Merritt Properties, LLC defines its mission simply: Creating Homes for Businesses. Since 1967, this privately held commercial real estate firm has developed more than 13 million square feet of industrial and office properties in the Baltimore/Washington area. Merritt designs, builds, leases and manages their properties for the long-term and is committed to providing the highest quality service to all of its customers. For more information about the company, please visit www.merrittproperties.com.

About Grosvenor:
Grosvenor is a privately owned real estate development and investment company that has been active in North America for more than 50 years. The Company’s North American portfolio consists of more than six million square feet of space, including office, retail, industrial properties, and residential units. Internationally, Grosvenor has interests in properties with a total value of $20 billion, with operating companies in the Americas, UK and Ireland, Continental Europe and the Australia/Asia Pacific region. For more information about the Company, please visit the Grosvenor Web site at: www.grosvenor.com.

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November 17, 2005

UMBC Center for Aging Studies Researchers Present at World's Top Gerontology Science Conference

Contact Chip Rose
UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

17 UMBC Aging Experts to Take Part in Nov. 18-22
Gerontological Society of America Science Meeting

BALTIMORE – The University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s (UMBC) Center for Aging Studies will be well-represented this weekend as 17 of its researchers present at the 58th annual scientific meeting of the Gerontological Society of America (GSA), the world’s largest and most prestigious multidisciplinary scientific conference devoted to gerontological research.

According to Kevin Eckert, dean of the Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC, 17 faculty and doctoral student researchers from UMBC’s Center for Aging Studies will present research posters, papers and/or participate in symposiums at the Orlando, FL conference.

“It’s an honor for UMBC to present a significant amount of research at the top scientific meeting of gerontologists in the world,” said Eckert. “We’re especially excited to present research findings on assisted living that include faculty as well as several doctoral students.”

UMBC is building a national reputation for aging studies, thanks to a strong foundation of research built by The Center for Aging Studies. The Center is affiliated with the University’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology and the new Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC, which Eckert leads. UMBC also partners with the University of Maryland, Baltimore on an interdisciplinary, multi-campus doctoral program in gerontology, one of a handful nationally.

The GSA meeting was originally scheduled to take place in New Orleans, but was relocated in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The conference’s closing session will address the lessons learned from Katrina on how government, communities and families can respond more effectively to the needs of the elderly during natural disasters. The closing session will be moderated by Charles Longino, president of the GSA and the first visiting professor to join the UMBC Erickson School of Aging Studies faculty.

According to Eckert, the highlight of the conference for UMBC will be the Saturday, Nov. 19 symposium, “Interpersonal Dynamics in Assisted Living.” The ethnographic study dispatched interviewers to large and small assisted living facilities across Maryland to speak directly to residents about their experiences. “UMBC researchers will be presenting real stories of family relationships around assisted living decision making, what life is like for residents, what it’s like to work in one and the relationship between residents and physicians in assisted living facilities,” Eckert said.

About the Gerontological Society of America:
Founded in 1945, the GSA’s membership includes some 5,000+ researchers, educators, practitioners, and other professionals in the field of aging. The Society's principal missions are to promote research and education in aging and to encourage the dissemination of research results to other scientists, decision makers, and practitioners.

More information online at:
http://www.geron.org/
http://www.agingconference.com

About the Center for Aging Studies at UMBC:
The Center for Aging Studies is a hub for faculty, undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral research activities on the policy and sociocultural dimensions of aging in the United States. The Center is the administrative and intellectual home for currently funded research (exceeding $5 million) on such topics as long-term care quality, consumer direction, physician/older patient interactions and practice, among others. Working with the doctoral program in Gerontology, housed jointly at UMBC and the University of Maryland Graduate School, Baltimore, the Center has greatly increased the contributions and visibility of UMBC faculty and students on aging-related issues of State and national importance.

About The Erickson School of Aging Studies:
The Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC was established in April 2004 with a $5 million commitment from John Erickson, CEO and founder of Erickson. The School’s goal is to become the preeminent resource for education, research and policy on services for the mid-life and older population.
To achieve this vision, the School will expand upon existing strengths at UMBC in public policy, aging and health services research through credit and non-credit educational programs and activities.

UMBC, an Honors University in Maryland, is a four-year, public research university that is home to leading experts on aging who are active in research, education, and service in the field of gerontology. It is one of a handful of universities in the nation to offer a Ph.D. in Gerontology.

More information online at:
http://www.umbc.edu/erickson

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November 1, 2005

'ACTIVATE' Program Recruiting Women for High Technology Entrepreneurship Opportunities

The UMBC ACTiVATE* Program, an innovative, year-long program sponsored by a grant from the National Science Foundation to train women to become technology entrepreneurs, is accepting applications for its second year. The program's second year will begin in January, 2006.

The Program is recruiting women with strong technical or business backgrounds who have an interest in high-tech entrepreneurship. Applications may be sent to Barbara Breslau, Program Manager, at Breslau@umbc.edu, or by calling Ms. Breslau at 443-543-5594.

Participants will access technology inventions from universities and research institutions in Maryland, put together plans to commercialize suitable technologies and, potentially, start new companies. The ACTiVATE Program will provide technologies, training, and support infrastructure for participants, including instructors, entrepreneurs in residence, and advisors from the local business community.

Classes will be held on Thursday evenings and one Saturday a month at techcenter@UMBC, located just minutes from Baltimore-Washington International Airport.

Interested women are invited to attend one of our open houses on November 16 or December 6, 2005. For more information about the ACTiVATE Program, visit the Web site at http://www.umbc.edu/activate. Leaders in the Greater Baltimore business community are encouraged to recommend candidates to Ms. Breslau.

*ACTiVATE – Achieving the Commercialization of Technology in Ventures through Applied Training for Entrepreneurs

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September 19, 2005

AT&T Foundation Donates $50,000 to Center for Women and Information Technology

CONTACT: Mike Lurie, UMBC
Office: 410-455-6380
Cell phone: 443-695-0262
mlurie@umbc.edu

The AT&T Foundation has renewed its generous support of the Center for Women and Information Technology at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) with a donation of $50,000.

The Center for Women and Information Technology (CWIT), established at UMBC in July 1998, is dedicated to providing global leadership in all aspects of information technology (IT).

The $50,000 donation from the AT& T Foundation will continue to support two important initiatives at CWIT. The first is Computer Mania Day planned for May 6, 2006, a half day of technology-related activities at UMBC for 750 middle school girls, their parents, and teachers. The second initiative supported by the funds from AT&T is the CWIT Scholars program, a merit scholarship program for talented undergraduates majoring in computer science, computer engineering, information systems, or a related program. Both programs seek to address the declining participation of girls and women in IT education and careers in Maryland and nationally.

AT&T will be recognized for its generosity and ongoing support of CWIT during a ceremony at the CWIT Scholars annual reception. The reception takes place Sept. 20, 2005, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., in the University Commons, Skylight Room. CWIT Scholars and their families along with business leaders will join the UMBC community to thank AT&T and congratulate the new CWIT students selected and enrolled into the prestigious scholars program.

“With the generous support of AT&T Foundation and the men and women of AT&T who volunteer their time, CWIT will be able to continue to encourage and support more women and girls to enter their careers and become leaders in IT and related technology fields,” says CWIT executive director Claudia Morrell.

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July 13, 2005

Three Satellites Needed to Discover One Shy Star

UMBC Astrophysicist Leads International Team of Scientists, Satellites

Contact: Chip Rose
UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu
View/download High Resolution Images & Animation Online

An international team of scientists led by a UMBC astrophysicist has uncovered a rare type of neutron star so elusive that it took three satellites to identify it. The discovery highlights the complementary nature of European and U.S. satellites to reveal new insights about star birth and death in our galaxy.

The neutron star, an ultradense ember of an exploded star, was first seen by the European Space Agency's INTEGRAL satellite. The neutron star is in a "double hiding place," the scientists said: deep in a spiral arm of our Milky Way galaxy, obscured by dust; and buried in a two-star system enshrouded by dense gas.

The scientists couldn't immediately decipher the nature of the object, so they enlisted NASA's Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer and the newly launched Swift satellite to observe it in different wavelengths.

"Our Galaxy's spiral arms are loaded with neutron stars, black holes and other exotic objects," said Volker Beckmann of NASA and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s Joint Center for Astrophysics, lead author on a paper appearing in the Astrophysical Journal. "The problem is, the spiral arms are too dusty to see through. The right combination of X-ray and gamma-ray telescopes can reveal what's hiding there. And this provides new clues about the true star formation rate in our Galaxy."

Neutron stars are the core remains of supernovas, exploded stars once about ten times as massive as the Sun. Neutron stars contain about a sun's worth of mass compacted into a sphere about 15 miles across. The subject of today's announcement is a neutron star called IGR J16283-4838 in the direction of the spiral arm Norma, about 20,000 light years away.

IGR J16283-4838 is the seventh so-called "highly absorbed," or hidden, neutron star identified. Neutron stars, born of fast-burning massive stars, are intrinsically tied to star formation rates. They are also energetic beacons from a region too dusty to study in detail otherwise. As more and more are discovered, new insights about what is happening in the Galaxy's spiral arms begin to emerge, Beckmann said.

IGR J16283-4838 revealed itself during an outburst on or near its surface. Neutron stars such as IGR J16283-4838 are often part of binary systems, orbiting a normal star. Occasionally, gas from the normal star, lured by gravity, crashes onto the surface of the neutron star and releases a great amount of energy. Outbursts can last for weeks before the system returns to dormancy for months or years.

INTEGRAL, the Rossi Explorer and Swift each detect X rays and gamma rays, which are far more energetic than the visible light our eyes can detect. Yet each satellite has different capabilities. INTEGRAL has a large field of view, enabling it to scan the Milky Way galaxy for neutron star and black hole activity.

Swift contains a high-resolution X-ray telescope, which allowed scientists to zero in on IGR J16283-4838. The Rossi Explorer has a timing spectrometer, a device used to uncover properties of the light source, such as speed and rapid variations on the order of a millisecond. The Galaxy's spiral arms block visible light from reaching us, but not energetic X rays and gamma rays.

Simona Soldi, a doctoral candidate at INTEGRAL Science Data Centre in Geneva discovered the new, bright source with INTEGRAL on April 7, 2005. "We are always hunting for new sources," she said. "It's exciting when we find something so elusive. How many more like this are out there?"

Because gamma rays are hard to focus into sharp images, the science team used the X-ray Telescope on Swift on April 13 and 15 to determine a precise location. Swift confirmed that the light was "highly absorbed," which means the binary system was filled with dense gas from the stellar wind of the companion star. Starting on April 14, the scientists used the Rossi Explorer to observe the source as it faded away. This observation revealed a familiar light signature clinching the case for a fading "high-mass X-ray binary" with a neutron star.

"Piece by piece we solved this puzzle," said Dr. Jamie Kennea of the Swift science team at Penn State. "Swift was built primarily to detect gamma-ray bursts, so it was thrill to use the X-ray Telescope to do something quite different, to discover a neutron star."

INTEGRAL, the International Gamma Ray Astrophysics Laboratory, was launched in 2002. The Rossi Explorer and Swift launched in 1995 and 2004, respectively.

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July 5, 2005

UMBC Entrepreneurship News Update

High-tech entrepreneurship news from UMBC's on-campus business incubator.

Contact: Chip Rose
UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

AVICode, Inc., is Microsoft's 'Secret Weapon'

techcenter@UMBC company AVICode, Inc., was recently described as a 'secret weapon' in Microsoft's competition with IBM in the Dynamic Systems Initiative (DSI) market. The small but fast-growing startup's tight relationship with Microsoft was profiled in a June 27 eWeek article.

According to the eWeek story, AVICode reps have been touring the country with Microsoft as part of the software leader's ".Net Expo Experience," and Interceptor Studio, AVICode's .Net application monitoring software, will ship as part of Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) 2005. Interceptor Studio is software that improves maintenance, troubleshooting, and crash detection of applications running on the .Net Framework.

Blue Wave Semiconductors Wins NSF Grant

Blue Wave Semiconductors, Inc., a techcenter@UMBC Incubator company, has won a $150,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Blue Wave's newest grant follows earlier Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I and II awards. Blue Wave is partnering with Dr. Gary Harris of Howard University to develop ultraviolet light sensors while exposing minority students to high tech entrepreneurship, including techcenter@UMBC resources. More information online at www.bluewavesemi.com.

techcenter@UMBC Welcomes Creative Systems and Design, LLC

techcenter@UMBC is pleased to welcome Creative Systems and Design, LLC to the incubator program. Founded by UMBC mechanical engineering professor M. "Appa" Anjanappa, CSD is dedicated to the research, design and development of prototype electro-mechanical systems. CSD fills the gap between research and realization of commercial products, with expertise in microphones, electronic displays, mechatronics, smart sensors/actuators, and mechanical design. More information online at www.csd-llc.com.

Cybergroup, Inc. Launches New Search Engine Software Tools

techcenter@UMBC Web/IT firm Cybergroup announces the launch of dtToolsTM, a set of software developer tools used in creating and deploying search applications. dtTools integrates database and full-text information so website search results embody the depth and breadth of corporate information. The tools also help developers quickly and easily build robust search solutions that are user-friendly and present search results attractively.

dtTools work in conjunction with dtSearch, a product of dtSearch Corp. Wired magazine called it "the most powerful document search tool on the market." More information online at www.cybergoup.com.

techcenter@UMBC's Schulz to Serve Second Term as MBIA Treasurer

The Maryland Business Incubation Association (MBIA) has announced that techcenter@UMBC Director Walt Schulz will serve as treasurer of the organization for a second continuous term.

Founded in March 2001, the MBIA works to increase awareness and understanding of business incubation, to share solutions to problems and to establish standards and quality characteristics for Maryland incubators. The MBIA has since grown to include 16 incubators, which promote both the development of numerous technology startups in the state and their vital role in economic development. The MBIA hosted the National Business Incubation Association's 2005 International Conference in Baltimore in May 2005.

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June 14, 2005

Alumni Connection Draws Physicians Practice, Inc. to bwtech@UMBC

Edwards and Kelcey Moves Baltimore Office

Contact: Chip Rose
UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

bwtech@UMBC, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County's on-campus research and technology park, announced today that two new corporate tenants have agreed to relocate to the park’s second building, 5523 Research Park Drive, recently completed by international property developer Grosvenor.

The new tenants are the healthcare communications and technology firm Physicians Practice, Inc., formerly of Glen Burnie, and the engineering/design firm Edwards and Kelcey, which moves its Baltimore office to UMBC from Caton Avenue.

Physicians Practice is publisher of Physicians Practice: The Business Journal for Physicians, the most widely circulated practice management journal for physicians in the country. The firm is also known for its award-winning Web site, www.PhysiciansPractice.com, and a weekly e-mail newsletter, Physicians Practice Pearls.

Physicians Practice comes to UMBC thanks in part to the close ties to the University by president, co-founder and UMBC alumnus Scott Weber, who graduated in 1985 with a degree in interdisciplinary studies. Weber, a former president of the UMBC Alumni Association, continues to advise students in UMBC's Alex. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship on starting up and running a successful business. The company, which will occupy most of the second floor, currently employs 45 people.

"UMBC offers an excellent strategic location for us to grow our business, with its thriving technology environment, wealth of intellectual capital, and convenient proximity to transportation," said Gerry Hartung, chief executive officer and co-founder of Physicians Practice. "We look forward to partnering with UMBC as our business continues to grow throughout the region and country."

Edwards and Kelcey is a nationally recognized engineering, design, planning and construction management firm which has been in business since 1946. Headquartered in Morristown, NJ, Edwards and Kelcey has 900 employees, 23 regional offices and is ranked 68th among the Top 500 U.S. Design Firms by Engineering News-Record (ENR). Edwards and Kelcey employs 25 transportation engineers and planners locally, and is currently providing services to the Maryland Aviation Administration, Maryland State Highway Administration, City of Baltimore, and other local DOTs.

K.R. Marshall, EK's Baltimore Office Manager said, "Our new location at UMBC will allow us to optimally service our transportation clients in the Baltimore region. With convenient access to BWI and downtown Baltimore, coupled with partnership opportunities with the UMBC engineering department, Edwards and Kelcey looks forward to continued success in the Maryland market."

"UMBC's thriving business community consists of nearly 40 companies in various industries," said Ellen Hemmerly, executive director of UMBC Research Park Corporation. "We are delighted to welcome Physicians Practice and Edwards and Kelcey to our entrepreneurial, research intensive campus."

"UMBC's research and technology park demonstrates the impact of higher education and business coming together," said David S. Iannucci, executive director for the Baltimore County Department of Economic Development. "The mix of new tenants at bwtech@UMBC represents the range of entrepreneurial organizations that will benefit from this unique facility."

bwtech@UMBC's first two buildings were developed by Grosvenor, one of the largest private real estate companies in the world with a global property portfolio of $7 billion. The park's 62,000 square-foot first building has been leased by the information technology firm RWD Technologies since 2001.

UMBC's research park and incubator have received public and private sector funding from the Maryland Economic Development Corporation, the State of Maryland, the City of Baltimore, Baltimore County, the U.S. Department of Commerce, The Abell Foundation, and the Maryland Technology Development Corporation. In 2003, bwtech@UMBC became part of Baltimore County's Southwest Enterprise Zone, making companies moving to the park eligible for credits on real property and income taxes, as well as credits for creating new jobs.

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May 12, 2005

"The State of The Inner Suburbs" Surrounding Baltimore Is Worrying and Encouraging

Contact: Chip Rose
UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

UMBC's Center for Urban Environmental Research and Education (CUERE) will release on Thursday, May 12 "The State of the Inner Suburbs: An Examination of Suburban Baltimore, 1980 to 2000." Like so many American cities, many of Baltimore's older suburbs are mimicking the problems of the central city: household income is declining; the population is shrinking and aging; and the infrastructure is weakening - yet housing costs are skyrocketing. The prospects for stable neighborhoods and affordable housing are not encouraging, unless action is taken in certain key neighborhoods.

Metropolitan Baltimore is unique in that there is essentially one government - Baltimore County - rather than dozens or even hundreds of municipalities as surround other cities, such as Cleveland, Philadelphia and Chicago. Opportunities, already becoming recognized, include the possibilities for growth in the inner suburbs close to the Interstate and close to the water.

The report, available as a PDF file at www.umbc.edu/cuere/inner_ring, is co-authored by Bernadette Hanlon and Thomas Vicino, both of whom are Ph.D. candidates in UMBC's Department of Public Policy, is embargoed until Thursday, May 12. (NO exceptions.)

Hanlon and Vicino's research suggests that the state of Greater Baltimore's inner suburbs raises important and worrying public policy issues just as they also have the potential for easing housing strains and providing opportunities for growth.

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May 10, 2005

UMBC's Alex. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship News Update

Contact: Chip Rose
UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

UMBC's Alex. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship hosts rare opportunities for startup companies and other high-tech firms to learn more about partnering with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency with direct insights from key DHS and NSA technology and procurement officials at two workshops this month.

The Center also invites the Greater Baltimore business community to be part of the National Business Incubation Association conference, to be held in Baltimore May 15-18.

Doing Business with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
May 11
8-10 am
Main Seminar Room
techcenter@UMBC

Learn more about business opportunities within the Department of Homeland Security's $11 billion budget and 22 government agencies directly from DHS Chief Procurement Officer Mui Erkun. Other speakers include: Gloria Berthold, National Government Marketing Expert, TargetGov; and Marty O'Neill, techcenter@UMBC Technology Entrepreneur-in-Residence.

For more information visit http://www.umbc.edu/techcenter/images/dhs.051105.pdf. Sponsored by Whiteford, Taylor & Preston. Free and open to the public.

Business Workshop featuring the National Security Agency
May 18
10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
5523 Research Park Drive
bwtech@UMBC Research & Technology Park
UMBC Campus

NSA Director of Information Assurance Daniel Wolf will give Baltimore/Washington tech firms a rare, firsthand look at how business and academia can partner to meet the future technology and research needs of the NSA. UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski will discuss the importance of multi-level partnerships. Hosted by BWI Business Partnership, Inc. Sponsored by bwtech@UMBC Research and Technology Park.

For more information visit http://www.umbc.edu/techcenter/images/nsa.051805.2.pdf or call 410-859-1000.

National Business Incubation Association Conference
May 15-18 in Baltimore

Hosted by the Maryland Business Incubation Association, this year's NBIA national conference offers a wealth of opportunities to learn about proven best practices and explore the latest trends in angel investing, assisting women entrepreneurs, working with bioscience companies, funding incubator programs and creating cross-border partnerships.

Keynote speeches by Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) secretary Aris Melissaratos, co-founder of the Prairie Angels Capital Fund/entrepreneur Barry Moltz, UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski and bwtech@UMBC executive director Ellen Hemmerly. Highlights include tours of several regional incubators and the 2005 NBIA Incubator of the Year Awards.

For more information visit http://www.nbia.org/nbia_events/conf2005/index.php.

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April 1, 2005

Girl Power vs. the Gender Gap: April 9 at UMBC

Soccer Star Brandi Chastain Leads Hundreds of Middle School Girls, Parents, Teachers, in day of fun, hands-on, high-tech

Contact: Chip Rose
UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

Women's soccer icon Brandi Chastain takes aim at the technology gender gap instead of Olympic gold as she joins hundreds of middle-school girls, parents and teachers from across Maryland for Computer Mania Day at UMBC on April 9.

Best known for her championship-winning goal on a penalty kick in the 1999 Women's World Cup, Chastain brings a "you can do anything," girl-power message to Computer Mania Day at UMBC, an annual day of free, hands-on, high-tech, fun activities for adults and kids.

Sponsored by UMBC's Center for Women and Information Technology (CWIT), the half-day event helps to get girls interested in technology and computing careers while teaching parents and teachers ways to sharpen their own computer skills. While boys are welcome, the focus is on girls because of their continuing under-representation in science, technology, engineering and math.

Research shows that the information technology (IT) gender gap opens as early as the middle school years, when girls are most image-conscious and do not want to be labeled as "geeks" or "nerds." Girls also make up only 14 percent of Advanced Placement students in computer science, a key to success in IT-related fields at the college level.

Computer Mania Day offers free, fun, hands-on activities for kids and adults plus free lunch and the chance to meet Chastain. Workshops are led by positive female role models from UMBC along with business, government and education leaders.

Girls' events highlights include "Hardware Rocks," digital art and imaging, and the physics of do-it-yourself hot air balloons. Adult workshop highlights include how to prepare your kids for college, "Computers 101," and "Cyber Safety: Keeping Your Child Protected Online."

EVENT DETAILS:
Saturday, April 9, 2005. 9 a.m to 2:30 p.m.
Retriever Activities Center, UMBC.
Admission is FREE and lunch is included. All adult and student attendees MUST register ahead of time online at www.computer-mania.info. To sign up or for more information, visit www.computer-mania.info or call 410-455-8642.

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February 1, 2005

UMBC Brings Recognized Speakers to Social Sciences Forum

Authors, Journalists, Policy Experts to Speak on Education, Prison Reform, Gender, Health Policy, Cuba, More

Contact: Chip Rose

UMBC News

410-455-5793

crose@umbc.edu

UMBC hosts a diverse group of expert speakers on social and political challenges facing Maryland and the U.S. this Spring in the University's 2005 Social Sciences Forum series.

Authors, journalists and policy experts including Alan Elsner of Reuters, Tom Gjetlen of National Public Radio and Mary Ann Saar, Maryland's Secretary of Public Safety, will bring new insights to issues such as testing and standards in public education; state and federal prison crises and reform; gender and health policy; and the future of Cuba after Castro.

All lectures are free and open to the public and will last approximately one hour, followed by a question and answer period and a reception.


Wednesday February 9 at 4 p.m.
Albin O. Kuhn Library, 7th floor

"High-Stakes Education Testing and the 'Lost Curriculum'"

Panel Discussion featuring Lori Meyer, National Association of State Boards of Education and UMBC Public Policy graduate student; Dan Ritschel, Associate Professor of History and Director of the Center for History Education, UMBC; Linda Baker, Professor of Psychology, UMBC; Mary Ann Mears, sculptor and Chairperson, Arts Education in Maryland Schools Alliance.

Tuesday, February 22 at 4 p.m.
University Center, Room 312

"Neuroeconomics: Brain Imaging and Economic Decision-Making"

Kevin McCabe, Professor of Economics and Law, George Mason University.

Tuesday, March 1 at 4 p.m.
Albin O. Kuhn Library, Room 767

"Gender and Health Policy: An Historian Activist's Perspectives"

Susan Reverby, Wellesley College and Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lectureship Program

Monday, March 7 at 4 p.m.
Albin O. Kuhn Library, 7th floor

"The Crisis in America's Prisons and Why You Should Care"

Alan Elsner, National Correspondent for Reuters

Thursday, April 7 at 4 p.m.
Albin O. Kuhn Library, 7th floor

"A Crisis in Confidence? Ethics and Accountability in the Nonprofit Sector"

Peter Berns, Maryland Association of Nonprofit Organizations

Monday, April 11 at 1 p.m.
Albin O. Kuhn Library, 7th floor

"Cuba after Castro: Predicting the Unpredictable"

Tom Gjelten, National Security Correspondent for National Public Radio

Monday, April, 25 at 4 p.m.
Albin O. Kuhn Library, 7th floor

"Maryland's Project RESTART: A New Direction in Corrections"

Mary Ann Saar, Maryland Secretary of Public Safety and Correctional Services

Monday, May 2 at 4 p.m.
Albin O. Kuhn Library, 7th floor

"Promoting Employment for Persons with Disabilities: Are the New Incentives Sufficient?"

David Salkever, Professor of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins University Professor of Public Policy, UMBC (effective August, 2005)

Directions to UMBC and campus locations of the lectures

For directions go to: http://www.umbc.edu/socsforum/directions.html"

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January 10, 2005

Scientists See Matter Circling Black Hole at Breakneck Speed

UMBC Joint Center for Astrophysics scientists and their colleagues at Oxford University used a speed-gun technique typical of the highway patrol to clock three separate clumps of hot iron gas whipping around a black hole at 20,000 miles per second, over 10 percent of light speed.

The observation, made with the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton satellite, marks the first time scientists could trace individual blobs of shredded matter on a complete journey around a black hole. This provides a crucial measurement that has long been missing from black hole studies: an orbital period. Knowing this, scientists can measure black hole mass and other characteristics that have long eluded them.

Dr. Jane Turner, jointly affiliated with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and the Joint Center for Astrophysics (JCA) at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), presented this result today at a press conference at the American Astronomical Society in San Diego. Her co-presenter is Dr. Lance Miller of Oxford University.

"For years we have seen only the general commotion caused by massive black holes, that is, a terrific outpouring of light," said Turner. "We could not track the specifics. Now, with XMM-Newton, we can filter through all that light and find patterns that reveal information about black holes never seen before in such clarity."

Dr. Miller noted that if this black hole were placed in our Solar System, it would appear like a dark abyss spread out nearly as wide as Mercury's orbit. And the three clumps of matter detected would be as far out as Jupiter. They orbit the black hole in a lightning-quick 27 hours (compared to the 12 years it takes Jupiter to orbit the Sun).

Black holes are regions in space so dense that gravity prevents all matter and light from escaping. What scientists see is not the black hole itself but rather the light emitted close to it as matter falls towards the black hole and heats to high temperatures.

Turner's team observed a well-known galaxy named Markarian 766, about 170 million light years away in the constellation Coma Berenices (Bernice's Hair). The black hole in Markarian 766 is relatively small although highly active. Its mass is a few million times that of the Sun; other central black hole systems are over 100 million solar masses.

Matter funnels into this black hole like water swirling down a drain, forming what scientists call an accretion disk. Flares erupt on this disk most likely when magnetic field lines emanating from the central black hole interact with regions on the disk.

"Calculating the flares' speeds and the black hole mass was straightforward, based on Doppler shifting, the technique used by law officers to nab speeders." said Dr. Ian George of UMBC's JCA and NASA Goddard, a co-author on a scientific journal article the team has prepared. "Light appears to rise in energy as an object moves towards us and then fall in energy as it moves away. A similar phenomenon happens with the sound of a passing car on a highway, going 'eeeeeeyyoool.'"

"We think we're viewing the accretion disk at a slightly tilted angle, so we see the light from each of these flares rise and fall in energy as they orbit the black hole," Miller said.

When the scientists made a graph of energy (on the y-axis) and time (on the x-axis), they saw near-perfect sinusoidal curves from each of the three clumps of matter they observed. The width, or period, of the curves is proportional to black hole mass. The height of the curves is related to the viewing angle of the accretion disk. With a known mass and orbital period, the scientists could determine velocity using relatively simple Newtonian physics.

Two factors made the measurement possible. The scientists observed particularly persistent flares during a long observation, nearly 27 hours. Also, "no telescope before XMM-Newton has had the light-collecting power to allow for a comparison of energy over time," said Dr. James Reeves of NASA Goddard, also part of the team.

Turner said this observation confirms a preliminary XMM-Newton result announced by a European team in September -- that something as detailed as an orbital period could be detected with the current generation of X-ray telescopes. The combination of results indicates that scientists, given long observation times, are now able to make careful black hole measurements and even test general relativity in the domain of extreme gravity.

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December 22, 2004

Route 32 Expansion Will Reduce Congestion, Study Finds

UMBC Public Policy Grad Students' Research Supports State Plan

Contact: Chip Rose

UMBC News

410-455-5793

crose@umbc.edu

The best way to relieve congestion on Route 32 between Interstate 70 and Route 108 in Maryland is to adopt the State Highway Administration (SHA) plan to widen Route 32 to four lanes, according to a study by graduate students in the UMBC Department of Public Policy.

The study, Maryland Route 32: A Policy Analysis, examined alternatives for addressing the congestion on the heavily traveled, undivided two-lane stretch of road in Howard County. The SHA proposed that the road be widened to four lanes, with interchanges and service roads, and received an exemption from the Maryland's Smart Growth law to allow state funding for the project. However, community activists and environmental groups oppose the SHA plan, and one group has announced that it will file suit to stop state funding for the $220 million expansion.

The students first analyzed projected growth for the region, and determined that population and the number of vehicles in Howard and neighboring Carroll and Frederick counties will continue to grow over the next 25 years. The study concluded that given projected growth rates, traffic on Route 32 will increase regardless of the width of the road.

The study then evaluated three options: keep the road as it is (no-build); convert Route 32 to a limited access highway with interchanges (structural upgrades); or move forward with the SHA plan to widen Route 32 to four lanes (four-lane expansion). The report found that if reducing congestion is the primary objective, the SHA plan to widen Route 32 to four lanes receives the highest ranking.

Recognizing the controversy surrounding major road projects in Maryland, the report also identified drawbacks to the four lane expansion, which include higher costs, negative environmental impacts, more noise and the potential to spur construction and urban sprawl.

"If decision makers place more importance on these criteria than on reducing congestion, then we recommend that the structural upgrade alternative be pursued," the report said. The authors also questioned whether stopping the four lane expansion would actually slow the rate of sprawl in light of local economic development plans, noting: "One county's sprawl is another county’s economic lifeline." The study suggested that drawbacks such as cost, environmental impacts and noise will be offset by a widened and improved road with better access and an increased level of safety.


About UMBC Public Policy Department:

UMBC Public Policy graduate students analyzed Route 32 expansion alternatives in the state as part of their Public Policy Capstone seminar, a course where students, working with faculty and outside experts in relevant fields, prepare a policy analysis of a current topic. The study is available online as a PDF file at http://www.umbc.edu/mipar.


The UMBC Department of Public Policy provides quality education for a diverse range of students who wish to pursue or further a career in a public policy related area. The interdisciplinary program offers both a Master of Public Policy and a Ph.D. in Public Policy.

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December 15, 2004

Discover Magazine Names UMBC Professor's 'Man Who Shocked the World' Among Top 20 Science Books of 2004

National Honor for Blass's Bio of Controversial Scientist Stanley Milgram

Contact: Chip Rose

UMBC News

410-455-5793

crose@umbc.edu


Discover Magazine has named "The Man Who Shocked the World: The Life and Legacy of Stanley Milgram" (Basic Books, 2004) by UMBC psychology professor Thomas Blass as one of the Top 20 Science Books of 2004. The national honor is the latest accolade for Blass's biography of Milgram, one of the most controversial psychologists in modern history.

Milgram is best known for his "Obedience Experiments" carried out at Yale University in the 1960s. In the experiments, 65 percent of test subjects repeatedly gave seemingly real and painful electrical shocks to another subject (actually an actor) just because a scientific "authority figure" commanded them to. Milgram was also the originator of the "Six Degrees of Separation" theory.

Discover described Blass's book as "by turns both moving and chilling." The magazine's Top 20 Science Books list put "Shocked..." in good company beside other nationally honored nonfiction, including "The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality" by Brian Greene, which was an Amazon.com Top Book of the Year. "Shocked..." was well received nationally by critics, including the Library Journal, American Scientist, the Washington Post, and the Jerusalem Post.

"I am delighted to be part of Discover's list of excellent books," said Blass. "This is the kind of honor that helps make 10 years of work worthwhile."

Blass, a social psychologist and Hungarian-born Holocaust survivor, has studied Milgram for 15 years and authored over 20 publications and an equal number of academic papers on Milgram's life and work. He also runs the website www.stanleymilgram.com, devoted to preserving Milgram's legacy and connecting his research to current and historical events.

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December 10, 2004

UMBC Research Park Welcomes IT Firm, NASA Centers to Second Building

Award-Winning Startup BDMetrics, $148 Million NASA Centers Are Newest Additions

Contact: Chip Rose

UMBC News

410-455-5793

crose@umbc.edu

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) announced today that three new tenants have agreed to move into the second building in bwtech@UMBC, the university's on-campus research and technology park. The new arrivals include the award-winning information technology firm BDMetrics, Inc.; the $148 million NASA Goddard Earth Sciences and Technology Center; and all UMBC departments related to technology transfer and entrepreneurship education.



BDMetrics has leased approximately 7,000 square feet of office space in the recently completed, 60,000 square-foot, multi-tenant facility developed by Grosvenor. BDMetrics, which provides software and services to aid technology companies with business development, was previously located at techcenter@UMBC, the university's high-tech business incubator. Earlier this year, BDMetrics was named the Best New Incubator Company by the Maryland Business Incubation Association.

"UMBC's wealth of brainpower and convenient location makes bwtech@UMBC an excellent place to grow our company," said Rick Geritz, CEO of BDMetrics. "UMBC is a thriving, entrepreneurial institution that embraces collaboration with business, which makes it an attractive environment for nurturing cutting edge technologies."

The Goddard Earth Sciences and Technology (GEST) Center -- a $148 million, 10-year research collaboration with NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center to study the atmosphere, oceans and climate change -- is the second addition to the building. GEST is one of four major NASA-related research centers -- along with the Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology, Center for Advanced Studies in Photonics Research and the Joint Center for Astrophysics -- at UMBC, which is ranked 16th nationally in NASA funding. Elements of JCET will share office space with GEST in the new building.


All UMBC departments engaged in technology transfer and entrepreneurship education will also move into the new building, including the Alex. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship.


"This proves that our campus commitment to economic development is serious and strong," said Ellen Hemmerly, executive director of the UMBC Research Park Corporation. "We hope it will also make it more likely for future research park tenants to emerge from the growing number of bioscience tool and service firms located in techcenter@UMBC," Hemmerly said.


bwtech@UMBC is being developed by Grosvenor, one of the largest private real estate companies in the world with a global property portfolio of $7 billion. The park's 62,000 square-foot first building has been leased by the information technology firm RWD Technologies since 2001.

UMBC's research park and incubator have received public and private sector funding from the Maryland Economic Development Corporation, the State of Maryland, the City of Baltimore, Baltimore County, the U.S. Department of Commerce, The Abell Foundation, and the Maryland Technology Development Corporation. In 2003, bwtech@UMBC became part of Baltimore County's Southwest Enterprise Zone, making companies moving to the park eligible for credits on real property and income taxes, as well as credits for creating new jobs.

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December 3, 2004

Maryland Universities Looking for a Few Good Women for Real-Life 'Apprentice'

UMBC Hosts Entrepreneurial Battle to Take University Technologies to Market

Contact: Chip Rose

UMBC News

410-455-5793

crose@umbc.edu


The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) is
looking for a few good women to compete in a high-tech,
entrepreneurial take on the hit reality TV show "The Apprentice."

The $600,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) program,
"Achieving the
Commercialization of Technology in Ventures through Applied Training for
Entrepreneurs" (ACTiVATE)
, will select up to 30
Baltimore/Washington-area women for a competitive class that, unlike
traditional business courses, doesn't deal in hypothetical widgets. Instead, ACTiVATE gives real-world lessons from experienced
entrepreneurs and venture capitalists as students compete to take
patented technology innovations from area universities to market.

"ACTiVATE is looking for savvy, competitive women to have fun while
going after an ultimate prize that's much better than a job with Donald
Trump -- the chance to start and run a real technology company," said
Stephen Auvil, director of UMBC's Office of Technology Development.

UMBC teams with the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO)
and six other Maryland universities on ACTiVATE, one of only 16 grants
awarded nationwide this year from the NSF's highly competitive
Partnerships for Innovation Program. While no one will hear the dreaded
words "You're fired," the program aims to create six or more new,
university-related, startup companies over the next three years while
training 90 new women entrepreneurs in the process.

Each year, TEDCO will screen 20 existing technology ideas from
participating universities and select the 15 best to be used in
ACTiVATE. Start-up firms that emerge from the course may be housed in
techcenter@UMBC, the University's on-campus business incubator.

Highly-motivated, mid-career women with business or technical
backgrounds who are interested in learning more about ACTiVATE are
invited to attend one of two upcoming open houses. These events will
provide an overview of how ACTiVATE selects and trains applicants;
introduce the entrepreneurs-in-residence at UMBC, give more information
on the university technologies to be marketed, and provide details on
how to apply for the program.

Open House dates:

December 7, 2004 or January 11, 2005


6:30 until 8 p.m.


techcenter@UMBC

1450 South Rolling Road

Catonsville, Maryland 21227

Directions online:


http://www.umbc.edu/Business/Research/location/directions.html

For more information, please visit:

http://www.umbc.edu/activate/
or email cwit@umbc.edu.

About the ACTIVATE Team: Funded by the National Science Foundation,
ACTIVATE partner universities include UMBC, The Johns Hopkins
University, the University of Maryland College Park, the University of
Maryland Baltimore, the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute,
Towson University and the University of Maryland School of Law. Private
partners include Legg Mason Wood Walker, Constellation Energy, Grant
Thornton, Venable LLP, Whiteford, Taylor & Preston LLP, New Markets
Growth Fund, MGH Public Relations, The Eager Street Group, Darrah Tax
Advisory Services, BioPlan Associates, Inc., Anthem Capital Management
and American Express Tax & Business Services.

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October 29, 2004

UMBC Researchers in Nature This Month

Faculty, Student Work Featured in Prestigious Journals

Contact: Chip Rose

UMBC News

410-455-5793

crose@umbc.edu

Research by faculty and graduate students at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) was published in the prestigious Nature family of scientific journals four times in October, including work in molecular biochemistry, earth science and quantum photonics. Overviews of the findings by UMBC researchers follow below, with links to further coverage.

Synchronize Quantum Watches

Nature, October 14

UMBC physics graduate students Alejandra Valencia and Giuliano Scarcelli teamed with UMBC physics professor and co-principal project investigator Yanhua Shih on a method for synchronizing distant clocks, an important function for telecommunications and global positioning satellite systems. Their experiment showed that quantum entanglement of photon pairs allowed the synchronization of two clocks three kilometers apart to within picoseconds of each other. The research was also featured in Applied Physics Letters and Science News.

As the World Turns, It Drags Space and Time

Nature, October 21

UMBC Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology (JCET) scientist Erricos Pavlis co-led a team that proved how shifts in satellite orbits are caused by the Earth warping space and time as it rotates, a phenomenon first predicted in 1918 by Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity. The international team of NASA and university researchers studied the orbits of two satellites over an 11 year span to arrive at the first direct proof of what is known as "frame dragging." "It's like a bowling ball spinning in molasses," said Pavlis. "As the Earth rotates, it pulls space-time in its vicinity around itself, which shifts the orbits of satellites near Earth." The findings were covered by newspapers and science websites across the globe.

Iraqi Fire Pollution Rivaled 1980 Mt. St. Helens Eruption

Nature News, October 25


JCET volcano expert Simon Carn led a group of earth scientists who used satellite monitoring to show how pollution caused by the ongoing war in Iraq has rivaled the output of one of the most powerful volcanic eruptions in recent history. Carn's group observed how a June, 2003 fire at a sulphur plant near Mosul, Iraq, probably started by arsonists, caused the largest man-made release of polluting sulphur dioxide ever recorded, which was similar in magnitude to the same type of pollution released by the 1980 Mount Saint Helens volcanic eruption. The story was covered by BBC News online and other national and international science media.

Why Retrovirus Replication Takes Two

Nature News & Views, October 28; Nature, Sept. 30

UMBC molecular biochemist and AIDS researcher Michael Summers, the only Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigator at a Maryland public university, and UMBC HHMI research associate Victoria D'Souza discovered a potential answer to a question that has baffled scientists for 20 years, namely how and why retroviruses must make two copies of their RNA in order to successfully infect other cells. By studying MoMULV, a retrovirus commonly used in the lab to learn more about lethal viruses like HIV, the UMBC team discovered a potential "RNA switch" instrumental to this process that could lead to a next generation of antiretroviral drug therapies. The work originally appeared in Nature on Sept. 30 and was then reviewed in the Oct. 28 "News and Views" section of the journal.

About UMBC Research:

UMBC's research funding has quadrupled during the past decade to over $85 million and the campus ranks sixth nationally in inventions disclosed and ninth nationally in U.S. patent applications filed per million dollars spent on research. UMBC, which is ranked 16th nationally in NASA funding, is home to three major collaborative NASA research centers. Michael Summers, the only Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at a Maryland public university, has led student researchers in solving three of the seven protein structures which make up HIV. In 2000, Summers was one of only 10 recipients nationwide of the National Science Foundation's Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring.

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September 8, 2004

UMBC Changing Information Technology World One Girl at a Time

'Girl Geeks' Share How They Found a Home, Career Track

Contact: Chip Rose

UMBC News

410-455-5793

crose@umbc.edu

On Tuesday, September 14, UMBC will formally welcome a new class of scholarship students from a program that has changed the lives and career directions of dozens of young women interested in information technology careers.


The Center for Women and Information Technology (CWIT) Scholars program at UMBC is dedicated to reaching girls as early as middle school to help them resist gender stereotypes and peer pressure as they pursue computer technology-related college majors and career tracks.


CWIT Scholars receive four-year scholarships and major in computer science, computer engineering, information systems, or a related program at UMBC. The students are mentored by faculty and successful IT business professionals, and participate in programs and internships throughout their college years. Graduates of the CWIT Scholars Program are expected to take a leadership role in the IT field and to foster the continued growth of women in the industry.


One of the new scholars is Lindsey Beaubien, of Gaithersburg, Md. Although she was accepted at Penn State and Virginia Tech, she says, "the only college I really considered attending was UMBC...I know that since I am in CWIT, there will always be somebody to turn to and ask for help."


Candice Scarborough, a third-year CWIT scholar, will address the incoming class. She confirms Beaubien's expectations, stating, "CWIT is the reason I remain a computer science major. CWIT is the reason I am still in college." Another third-year scholar, Heidi Brueckner, adds, "Even though my parents encouraged, even expected, me to excel, it was difficult to feel comfortable without any other girls in my classes" at Montgomery Blair High School. "I never had a strong female role model in IT until I...met my CWIT mentor. Meeting women in the IT field has definitely encouraged me to continue my studies."


The CWIT Scholars reception, to be held from 6 until 8 p.m. Tuesday evening in the Skylight Room of the UMBC Commons building, will also give the scholars and their families a chance to connect directly with corporate and government sponsors supporting CWIT's mission.


During the reception, AT&T will present a check for $50,000, their latest in a series of ongoing gifts in support of the program.


"Programs such as these help create confidence in women to help them achieve their potential in all professions, including the IT industry," said Jennifer Jones, Sales Vice-President, AT&T Business Services. "AT&T is delighted to make this important contribution to CWIT, providing invaluable support to the students and their families."


Maryland State Delegate Jean Cryor (R- Montgomery County), President of the Women Legislators of Maryland and another CWIT supporter, will discuss her work to pass a recent bill that established the Taskforce on the Status of Women and IT in Maryland, the first of its kind in the nation.


While recent studies show that female college students are gradually closing the tech gender gap, enrollment of women in college IT programs continues to decline. The CWIT Scholars Program at UMBC is designed to address this imbalance. The merit-based program is open to both women and men who support women's full involvement in information technology. The 11 entering students are the third and largest class of CWIT scholars to date.

The Center for Women and Information Technology (www.umbc.edu/cwit/) established at UMBC in 1998, has a four-fold mission: to encourage more women and girls to study computer science and/or information systems and to pursue careers in IT; to enable all women and girls to use IT comfortably and knowledgeably; to assure that the richness and breadth of women's lives and concerns are fully represented and readily available on the Internet; and to foster research concerning the relationship between gender and IT.


The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) is a distinguished research university with a deep commitment to the education of undergraduates. The University was recently named one of the nation's 12 "Hot Schools" by Kaplan/Newsweek's How to Get into College, and is one of only 151 U.S. institutions to be ranked as "Doctoral/Research Universities - Extensive" by the Carnegie Foundation.

AT&T (Corporate Sponsor). For more than 125 years, AT&T (NYSE "T") has been known for unparalleled quality and reliability in communications. Backed by the research and development capabilities of AT&T Labs, the company is a global leader in local, long distance, internet and transaction-based voice and data services.

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August 30, 2004

Tip Sheet: Homeland Security Research & Training Projects at UMBC

Contact: Chip Rose

UMBC News

410-455-5793

crose@umbc.edu


As both the 2004 presidential election and the third anniversary of the 9-11 attacks grow nearer, homeland security remains a top priority for government and citizens. Whether they're working to train first responders, developing new technologies to detect dangers, or helping to map new threats and resources, UMBC researchers are partnering with state and federal agencies to improve homeland security in Maryland and across the U.S.


1. Mapping the Unthinkable


As first responders and homeland security officials prepare for the new threats and challenges
of post-9-11 America, the need for a new type of map became clear. Recently, faculty, staff
and student mapmakers in UMBC's Geography and
Environmental Sciences department
rose to the challenge as part of a project for the
U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Homeland Security.

The department's Cartography Lab, one of only a handful of such map production facilities at
U.S. universities today, helped design new map symbols to depict the new threats and resources that
first responders and state and federal homeland security officials must be aware of when
looking at the map of post-9-11 America.


Contact: Tom
Rabenhorst,
Lecturer
Joe
School
, Director of Cartographic Services Laboratory;
UMBC Geography and
Environmental Systems


410-455-3845, tom.rabenhorst@umbc.edu /410-455-2900, school@umbc.edu.

2. Online Training for First-Responders -- more than 16,000 reached so
far


UMBC Emergency Health Services (EHS) participates in the
U.S. Department of Homeland Security's National Disaster Medical
System (NDMS)
by providing online training for first-responders. To date, UMBC EHS
has used the Internet to train more than 16,000 physicians, nurses, paramedics, and
logistical staff
in emergency preparedness and disaster-response and created over 130
online courses
through the NDMS program.


Contact: Lori Riegert, Program Director, UMBC Emergency Health Services, 410-455-1741, riegert@umbc.edu.

3. Finding the Face of Terror


The emerging field of biometrics technology uses optical scanning among other technologies
to rapidly identify individuals based on biological traits such as fingerprints or face
recognition. Through an anti-bioterror grant from the National Institute of Standards &
Technology (NIST)
, UMBC mathematics professor Andrew Rukhin is
looking to improve biometric visual recognition of faces. Rukhin hopes to improve the
algorithms used in facial identification software that will be used in the near future by
homeland security officers at border crossings, transportation hubs, and other sensitive
locations.


Contact: Andrew Rukhin, Professor, UMBC department of mathematics
410-455-2408, rukhin@math.umbc.edu

4. Replacing Fido with Fiber Optics


Bradley Arnold, professor
of Chemistry at UMBC, is working with Dr. George Murray of the Johns Hopkins Applied
Physics Lab (APL)
, on an invention that may give a high-tech break to bomb-sniffing dogs
in homeland security K-9 units. The duo is developing a hand-held, fiber-optic device
that changes color based on the presence of explosives.

"We hope our detector will be
as sensitive as the bomb detecting dogs - plus you will not have to feed it and it never needs a
rest," says Arnold.


Contact: Bradley Arnold, Assistant Professor, UMBC Chemistry Department

410-455-2503 or barnold@umbc.edu

5. On-Site Training of Emergency Workers

Through a two-year
contract with the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, UMBC's
Emergency Health Services (EHS) department
is training hospital staff members
across the state of Maryland in disaster-preparedness skills and planning. The day-long
training workshops cover both man-made disaster scenarios such as terrorist acts and natural
disaster situations such as snow collapsing a building roof.


Contact: Rick Bissell, Graduate Program Director, UMBC EHS
410-455-3776 or bissell@umbc.edu

Posted by crose

June 14, 2002

Strong Showing for UMBC Companies at Maryland TEDCO Incubator Awards

Two of four nominated TechCenter@UMBC companies won honors at the Maryland Technology Development Corporation's (TEDCO) Incubator of the Year Awards at a June 12 ceremony hosted by UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski.

Two of four nominated TechCenter@UMBC companies won honors at the Maryland Technology Development Corporation's (TEDCO) Incubator of the Year Awards at a June 12 ceremony hosted by UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski.

In Vitro Technologies (IVT) was named best incubator graduate and Columbia Technologies was recognized for its innovative technology. Tech Center firms Epitaxial Technologies and Accelics were nominated in the best graduate and information technology company of the year categories, respectively.

IVT provides custom, in-test-tube R&D products and services to the pharmaceutical and biotech markets. Since graduating from the UMBC Incubator, In Vitro has grown to 75 employees and projects 2002 annual revenues of $11 million. IVT has doubled in size over the past two years and just enjoyed a record first quarter for 2002. IVT also recently launched StelSys, LLC, a joint venture with Fisk Ventures, Inc., to develop applications of NASA bioreactor technology.

Columbia Technologies' award focused on their innovative probe-sensor technology that provides real-time analysis, mapping and tracking of contaminants at environmental cleanup sites. Since starting the UMBC incubator program, Columbia has grown to 23 employees and projects 2002 revenues of $3.5 million. Columbia's customers include 26 of the top 100 international consulting engineering firms.

A selection committee made up of venture capitalists and public and private sector leaders chose the award winners. The awards were sponsored by Maryland TEDCO, American Express Tax and Business Services, and Saul Ewing, a multi-practice law firm focusing on emerging high tech businesses. TEDCO was established by the Maryland General Assembly to maintain and enhance the state's reputation as a leader in technology.

Best graduate nominee Epitaxial Technologies develops and makes semiconductor chip products for the telecommunications industry. Epitaxial Technologies has been granted two patents with three pending for its innovations and has secured over $2 million in federal contracts. Other Epitaxial customers include Motorola, B.A.E. Systems and Lucent.

IT company of the year nominee Accelics is a software and services company specializing in accelerating the discovery and development cycle time for R&D in the chemical, pharmaceutical and biotech industries. Accelics' clients include Exxon Mobil and the U.S. Department of Defense.

Posted by dwinds1

May 1, 2002

Mechanical Engineer's Invention to be Developed by New Zealand Firm

An invention by UMBC mechanical engineering professor Uri Tasch that automatically detects lameness in dairy cattle has been licensed for development by a New Zealand-based firm in a deal that could save the global dairy industry millions annually.

An invention by UMBC mechanical engineering professor Uri Tasch that automatically detects lameness in dairy cattle has been licensed for development by a New Zealand-based firm in a deal that could save the global dairy industry millions annually.

DEC International New Zealand, Ltd., and UMBC reached a licensing agreement last month that allows for the commercialization of the device. Tasch invented the detector system during a three-year collaboration with scientists from the University of Maryland, College Park?s Animal and Avian Science department.

Tasch estimates that the American dairy industry loses close to $500 million a year to livestock lameness, which is caused by infection, arthritis, or injury. There are billions of dollars a year at stake internationally. The system also saves farmers time, analyzing each cow automatically as it crosses the device platform on the way into the barn for feeding or milking.

The international dairy automation firm Bou-Matic of Madison, Wisconsin, will develop and market the product under a separate agreement with DEC International NZ.

Tasch?s invention is the fourth of the year for UMBC. ?It?s a strong technology with great commercial potential," says Stephen Auvil, director of technology development at UMBC.

Posted by dwinds1

February 1, 2002

Accelics, Epitaxial Technologies Present at DC Early Stage Capital Forum

UMBC Technology Center companies Accelics and Epitaxial Technologies were among a select group of nine firms chosen to present at the prestigious Early Stage Capital Forum on Jan. 31 in Washington, DC.

Washington, DC- UMBC Technology Center companies Accelics and Epitaxial Technologies were among a select group of nine firms chosen to present at the prestigious Early Stage Capital Forum on Jan. 31 in Washington, DC.

The Forum, sponsored by high technology councils of Greater Baltimore, Maryland, Northern Virginia and Washington, is a highly competitive chance for incubator and emerging tech firms to connect with venture capital (VC) funding while making valuable networking connections. Teams from each company had just eight minutes to make a pitch to regional VC investors in front of an audience of nearly 300.

Accelics, whose modeling software helps chemical and pharmaceutical companies with research and development, was the last presenter of the day. "It went really well," said Accelics President Brian Southern. "The morning sessions on what to expect from service providers like law, accounting, finance and PR firms were also very helpful."

Epitaxial Technologies, LLC, 1998 winner of the National Business Incubation Association's Incubator Microenterprise Client of the Year, was also pleased to make the cut. Epitaxial president Leye Aina said, "We couldn't be happier. It was a very useful, targeted and select group of attendees." Epitaxial Technologies specializes in supplying component producers for the fibers optics and wireless markets.

134 companies submitted business plans to the 12-member selection panel. From that group, just 11 received invitations to present and only nine accepted.

Posted by dwinds1

October 10, 2001

Detailed Relief Map of Afghanistan Available

Tom Rabenhorst, director of insstructional cartography at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and Ray Sterner, of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) have created a detailed shaded relief map of Afghanistan.

Tom Rabenhorst, director of insstructional cartography at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and Ray Sterner, of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) have created a detailed shaded relief map of Afghanistan.

The map, available in several different sizes and compressions, is available at:http://fermi.jhuapl.edu/maps/afghanistan/

The map is available for use according to the conditions given in the map caption.

Posted by dwinds1

April 1, 2001

UMBC Leads All Public Research Universities in Production of Information Technology Bachelor

According to National Department of Education data, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) leads all other public research universities in production of bachelor's degrees in Information Technology.

Baltimore, Md. - According to National Department of Education data, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) leads all other public research universities in production of bachelor's degrees in Information Technology.

In 1997, the most recent year for which data is available, UMBC produced 282 bachelor's degrees in computer science. The University of Texas at Austin was the next closest in its class with 230 degrees awarded.

UMBC also led in the production of information technology bachelors degrees for women with 92, followed closely by the University of San Francisco with 83 bachelor's degrees.

The data is derived from the most recent degree totals reported in the IntegratedPostsecondary Education Data System survey (IPEDS) which is administered by the Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

The survey combines Computer Science and Information Systems degrees into a single category referred to as Computer Science.

The data can be generated online through theNSF's WebCASPARdatabase.

# # #

Posted by dwinds1

January 12, 2001

UMBC COMPUTER CERTIFICATION TRAINING CENTER LLC OPENS FOR BUSINESS

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) announced the opening of its latest associated commercial venture today: The UMBC Computer Certification Training Center, LLC.

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) announced the opening of its latest associated commercial venture today, specializing in computer certification training. The UMBC Computer Certification Training Center, LLC is based on the campus of Executive Park West at 3108 Timanus Lane (Suite 200), in the Windsor Mill business community off of Liberty Road and 695.

The new company is an expansion of UMBC's leadership in the local computer training market, fueled by a combination of private investment and the University's information technology expertise.

"We look forward to combining this new, state-of-the-art facility with the best training talent in the marketplace," said Doug Kendzierski, Associate Vice Provost of UMBC's Division of Professional Education & Training and President/CEO of the new company. "We plan to eventually serve the entire region through a network of satellite locations and distance education initiatives."

The Center is currently filling seats for classes scheduled to begin as early as February, and is offering its first sections in A+ Computer Repair, Network+, i-Net+, MCSE for Windows 2000, desktop applications, Visual Basic Programming and the Certified Cisco Network Administrator. FT Day, and PT evening and weekend classes enable the company to address both the needs of Information Technology career starters and job advancers.

The company benefits from the capital of Allegiance Capital (a minority member), the Abell Foundation, and SunTrust Bank. The Board of Directors includes representatives from UMBC, the UMBC Research Park and the public and private sectors.

The new company's 18,500 square feet of office, classroom and labs are located adjacent to Lockheed-Martin, Sylvan Learning Systems, and Thomson-Prometric, with easy access off of either the Liberty Road or Security Boulevard exits of I-695. As such, the new location offers a convenient commute for students from Baltimore, Northern Virginia and the Maryland suburbs.

Several Open Houses have been scheduled for February, with a grand opening event being planned for Spring of 2001.

Potential CCTC students needing more information on class registration, open houses, or to schedule a personal appointment, should please contact the Center at 410-594-CCTC (2282) or email mcfaul@umbc.edu.

Posted by dwinds1

November 3, 2000

LOVE, DEATH, & LAUGHTER: NEUROSCIENTIST EXAMINES OPERA'S LIGHTER SIDE

New Orleans, LA - Noted laugher expert and University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) professor Robert Provine will take his research to operatic heights at the upcoming Society for Neuroscience conference in New Orleans.

New Orleans, LA - Noted laugher expert and University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) professor Robert Provine will take his research to operatic heights at the upcoming Society for Neuroscience conference in New Orleans.

Provine recently studied the structure of laughter sung as part of opera scores using musical notation, the most rigorous means of sound description available in the pre-electronic age. He then contrasted the results with real-life laughter analysis using the modern, descriptive method of the sound spectrograph.

Provine and two student collaborators in the UMBC psychology department, Helen Weems and Lisa Greisman, discovered that many famous composers scored musical laughter a bit slower than the real thing. Most maestros agreed that laugh passages should have a fast tempo, with chuckle-filled tunes usually having an allegro (fast) or even presto (very fast) tempo. But, the study noted, even the shortest opera laugh notes weren't up to speed with real life ha-has, ho-hos and hee-hees. Real laughter notes only last about 1/15 of a second and are repeated every 1/5 second or so.

A few classic conductors got their guffaws almost scientifically accurate. Johann Strauss' Die Fledermaus, nearly replicated the rhythm of real laughs by scoring laughter as separate staccato notes. Mozart's Cosi Fan Tutti was one of the few scores who got the punctuation effect of laughter right by placing the funny stuff after a sentence instead of in the middle of one.

"In the end, we learned a lot more about opera than laughter," said Provine. "Laughter in opera is always in the service of the song and seldom vice-versa," he said.

Provine's 10 year quest to understand laughter, what it is, when we do it, and what it means, is described in the recently published book LAUGHTER: A SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATION (Viking, October 2000). His research has been profiled by Psychology Today, Newsweek, The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, ABC News' "20/20," PBS TV's "Scientific American Frontiers," American Scientist, Newsday, and The San Francisco Chronicle, New Scientist, Discover and many others.

Posted by dwinds1

October 10, 2000

UMBC PROFESSOR TO EXAMINE THE SCIENCE OF LAUGHTER AT SMITHSONIAN FORUM

UMBC Psychology professor and noted laughter expert Bob Provine will discuss the roots and causes of laughter and sign copies of his new book, "Laughter: a Scientific Investigation," as part of a forum sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution on Oct. 11.

UMBC Psychology professor and noted laughter expert Bob Provine will discuss the roots and causes of laughter and sign copies of his new book, "Laughter: a Scientific Investigation," as part of a forum sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution on Oct. 11.

Provine is the world's leading expert on the physiology, psychology and sociology behind such involuntary human behaviors as laughter and yawning. His research has been profiled by The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, ABC News' "20/20," PBS TV's "Scientific American Frontiers," American Scientist, Newsday, and The San Francisco Chronicle, New Scientist and Discover.

Provine has spent over 10 years studying how and when people laugh, why laughter is contagious, and the significance of why humans laugh differently than our primate cousins. His work has shown how the study of laughter gives clues about the origins of human speech and why efforts to teach chimpanzees to communicate verbally have failed.

"Laughter is really not about humor," said Provine. "It's about social situations. And it's one of the more common, but neglected, human behaviors."

Provine will make a presentation, and then engage the audience in a discussion and book signing as part of the Smithsonian's forum "But Seriously Folks...What is Laughter?" The event coincides with the release two days earlier of Provine's new book "Laughter, A Scientific Investigation," published by Viking Press. The forum takes place on Wednesday, October 11, 2000, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Ring Auditorium, Hirshhorn Museum of Modern Art (7th and Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC.)

Posted by dwinds1

September 26, 2000

UMBC PROFESSOR WINS OXFORD UNIVERSITY AWARD IN FOOD HISTORY

UMBC American Studies Professor Warren Belasco has won the Sophie CoePrize in Food History, awarded on September 9, 2000 at the opening session of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery at Saint Antony's College, Oxford.

UMBC American Studies Professor Warren Belasco has won the Sophie CoePrize in Food History, awarded on September 9, 2000 at the opening session of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery at Saint Antony's College, Oxford.

Named in memory of a distinguished British historian, the award is given annually for an article or essay on some aspect of food history, embodying new research or providing new insights. According to the Oxford judges, Belasco's essay, "Future Notes: The Meal in a Pill," "is an absorbing account and analysis of the idea of the meal-pill, the historical context of its emergence in 19th Century Anglo-Saxon culture, and the social factors that made it attractive to generations of science and efficiency enthusiasts, and the reasons for its ultimate demise. We found this essay original and stimulating."

Belasco said "I'm quite honored given the late Sophie Coes' international renown and also given the international status of the award." He added that food history is a well-established field in Europe, "So winning an English prize for an article published by an international journal, edited in France is especially flattering."

The prize comes with a cash award of 1000 pounds (UK). The essay appeared earlier this year in Food and Foodways, the leading international journal for food scholarship, and is a component of Professor Belasco's larger book project, "Will the World Starve? A History of the Future of Food Security."

Belasco has been incorporating much of this research in his UMBC undergraduate courses on the meaning and history of food in American culture. In the spring 2001 he will be adding another related course that examines the roots and nature of hunger.

Posted by dwinds1

August 14, 2000

REPORT SHOWS IMPORTANCE OF REGULAR, FREQUENT JOB TRAINING

A recent report by a University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) professor showed that workers receiving regular, frequent job training reaped long-term earnings benefits of 10 to 25 percent higher salaries than their untrained peers over time. The report also found that a significant portion of workers were either shut out of, or unable to engage in such training.

A recent report by a University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) professor showed that workers receiving regular, frequent job training reaped long-term earnings benefits of 10 to 25 percent higher salaries than their untrained peers over time. The report also found that a significant portion of workers were either shut out of, or unable to engage in such training.

Dave Marcotte, Assistant Professor in the Policy Sciences Graduate Program at UMBC, compared the experiences of two groups of young men as they left school and entered the workforce in a report published in the July issue of Cornell University's Industrial and Labor Relations Review.

The first group of the 3,000 men studied entered the labor market in the late 1960s and the second group started working in the early 1980s. For each group, participation in job training once employed resulted in substantial earnings gains - about 10% over and above comparable peers with no additional training.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, the study showed that training did not need to be lengthy to result in big earnings gains. Short training courses resulted in wage gains as large as longer courses.

What really mattered was frequent training, said Marcotte. Workers who engaged in training on multiple occasions, throughout their careers, earned in excess of 25% more than their peers.

While Marcotte's study found that continued, frequent training resulted in substantial benefits for workers, it also concluded that workers lacking post-secondary education were increasingly left out. Among workers who entered the labor market in the late 1960s, training received by high school graduates was more valuable than that received by the college educated, said Marcotte. By the time the next group entered the labor market in the 1980s, high school educated workers were substantially less likely to get training, and the value of the training they received fell.

The report suggests this shift reflects declines in opportunities like apprenticeship programs that benefit workers with high school diplomas, and the growing importance of skills for which formal schooling provides a foundation, to be built on by subsequent training.

Marcotte's data source was the National Longitudinal Surveys (NLS), a collection of surveys conducted by Ohio State University, and paid for by the U.S. Department of Labor. Marcotte studied data on a group of young men who were 14-24 years old in 1966 and a second group of men aged 14-21 in 1979. In both cases, the same men were interviewed, more or less annually for 15 years as they left school, established careers and started families.

Survey respondents were regularly asked whether they engaged in any training courses or educational programs in the years following their entry into the labor market. These questions asked about training and education that were not a part of their regular schooling - such as full time enrollment in degree programs, etc. The study included many types of learning in its definition of training such as on-the-job, vocational/technical institute classes, and union apprenticeship programs. Military training was not counted as part of the study.

Contact information:

Dave Marcotte
UMBC Policy Sciences Graduate Program
410-455-1455
marcotte@umbc.edu

Posted by dwinds1

July 13, 2000

IT TRAINING SCHOLARSHIPS HELP CITY WOMEN
BRIDGE THE TECH GENDER GAP

An intensive computer training scholarship program sponsored by UMBC's Computer Certification Training Center, the Center for Women and Information Technology and social service programs in Baltimore City is helping 16 women achieve new career opportunities.

An intensive computer training scholarship program sponsored by UMBC's Computer Certification Training Center, the Center for Women and Information Technology and social service programs in Baltimore City is helping 16 women achieve new career opportunities.

The scholarship recipients were chosen from programs in Baltimore City that provide holistic approaches to helping women and their families transition from backgrounds of domestic violence, substance abuse and working poverty to more secure jobs and housing. The women began their first of four 30-hour weeks of classroom and computer lab work on Monday, July 10, at the UMBC Computer Certification Training Center (CCTC) in Woodlawn. .

At the end of the course, on August 4, the women are scheduled to have completed A+ certification training. A+ certification focuses on computer hardware and operating systems, providing students with the necessary skills to build, troubleshoot, repair and maintain computer systems. A+ certified job seekers often qualify for positions with pay ranges of $18,000 to $30,000 a year. .

CCTC and Center for Women and Information Technology (CWIT), which are both affiliated with UMBC, have joined forces with Caroline Center, the YWCA, the Maryland Center for Arts and Technology, Marian House, and the Women's Housing Coalition to sponsor the pilot program. .

"We wanted to do something to give back to the community that has been so good to us," said Roy Bigler, Managing Director of CCTC. "We decided there was probably no better way than trying to help a group of hard-working and deserving women, while at the same time impacting the disproportionate representation of women in the IT workplace." .

"Information Technology is not a gender-oriented job," said Patrick O'Connor, who has taught computer courses at Caroline Center for three years. "These women are excited, ready and prepared for this opportunity." Caroline Center is a women's employment training organization sponsored by the School Sisters of Notre Dame. .

The scholarships cover all costs for textbooks, CD ROMS, lab materials, tool kits, sample exams, a certification exam, free computer lab access and unlimited class auditing for up to one year. UMBC Career Services is also helping the women with job search, resume writing, and interviewing skills. Bridges to Work, thanks to a grant by the Abell Foundation, is providing transportation to and from classes for program participants. The program sponsors are currently working with Baltimore corporations to explore internship opportunities for scholarship recipients upon graduation. For more information on the A+ scholarships program, go to http://research.umbc.edu/~shattuck/a-plus.html

Posted by dwinds1

June 22, 2000

UMBC RESEARCH AND TECH PARK ANNOUNCES FIRST BUILDING PLANS

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) today announced initial building and site plans for its on-campus research and technology park, and introduced a new name for the development: bwtech@UMBC.

Baltimore, MD - The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) today announced initial building and site plans for its on-campus research and technology park, and introduced a new name for the development: bwtech@UMBC.

The first stage of the five-building project includes the 42,000 square-foot Applied Technology Laboratory (ATL) of RWD Technologies' new Latitude 360 division, and a 71,000 square-foot multi-tenant building.

The new name emphasizes the 350,000 square-foot, 41-acre park's location in the heart of the Baltimore-Washington Corridor, close proximity to BWI Airport and I-95, and UMBC's strength in research and technology. UMBC is teaming with real estate developer Grosvenor International of Washington, DC and Baltimore real estate firm Colliers Pinkard to introduce the park to the real estate community this month.

"While our name has changed to better communicate our strengths, nothing else about the project has changed," said Ellen Wiggins, director of the UMBC Research Park Corporation. " The new bwtech@UMBC remains focused on attracting firms such high-tech fields as engineering, information technology and the life sciences."

"bwtech@UMBC tenants will be selected based on their ability to foster research and development and other collaborations among UMBC faculty, students and industry while creating jobs for the Baltimore region," Wiggins said. As an example of this synergy, David Yager, former UMBC visual arts professor and Imaging Research Center director, will lead the Latitude 360 ATL.

"We see the RWD building as a stamp of approval for the park," said Andrew Smith, Vice President/Principal at Colliers Pinkard. The ATL will remain at the UMBC Technology Center until construction of the new building is complete.

The UMBC team unveiled a new logo for the park along with the slogan "bwtech@UMBC: the intelligent place to do business." A groundbreaking for the park is scheduled for October 24.

Posted by dwinds1

May 23, 2000

CYBERGROUP SOFTWARE EXTENDS E-COMMERCE APPLICATIONS TO HANDHELD DEVICES

Cybergroup, Inc., a mobile computing software company located at the UMBC Technology Center, today introduced PortAble, software for mobile professionals that extends e-commerce store information to handheld computers.

Baltimore, Md. - Cybergroup, Inc., a mobile computing software company located at the UMBC Technology Center, today introduced PortAble, software for mobile professionals that extends e-commerce store information to handheld computers.

PortAble extends the reach of Able Solutions Corporation's AbleCommerce online merchandising system to handheld devices including such products as the Palm connected organizer and Windows PocketPC compatible handheld PCs. Through a wireless Internet connection, order inquiries, inventory status checks, and online ordering can be transacted from mobile professionals' handheld devices from anywhere in the world.

"Cybergroup's PortAble solution provides mobile professionals with access to the critical business information they need, regardless of where they are working," said Greg Bean, CEO of Cybergroup, Inc. "Using PortAble, companies can leverage their existing investment in the AbleCommerce e-commerce software, extending critical data, in a real-time mode, from the desktop to handheld computers."

A mobile sales force or end-customers who use the PortAble solution can have current, essential ordering, sales, and inventory information in their hands at any time. The company's unique software solution automatically and effectively collects, transfers, and renders store data onto handheld computers, providing mobile professionals with access to important e-commerce information through a wireless network connection.

Businesses such as Hopkins Medical Products of Baltimore are benefiting from mobile access to store information. The 55-year-old medical products distributor specializes in a wide variety of products and supplies, from nursing bags to stethoscopes, portable IV kits, and infection control containers. "Now our marketing team can access critical customer and inventory information from anywhere at anytime," said Philip Kenney, CEO of Hopkins Medical Products, Inc. "Checking the status of an order, checking inventory for a particular item, or analyzing sales statistics for the day -- all this can be done from the palm of your hand."

Pricing, Availability, Distribution and Support

PortAble server software is available today for $300 U.S. for a single server, single store, license. System requirements on the server include a copy of Able Solutions Corporation's AbleCommerceBuilder software and Allaire's ColdFusion. To get started on the client side, mobile professionals need a handheld device with a wireless modem and a connection to a wireless Internet Service Provider (ISP).

More information can be found at www.cybergroup.com or call Cybergroup Sales at 410-455-5680. In addition, Cybergroup's professional services organization provides customized education, training, technical support and consulting services to ensure the successful development and deployment of the PortAble solution and related mobile enterprise applications.

About Cybergroup, Inc.

Cybergroup, Inc. is a privately held software company headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland. Its software, based on Allaire Corporations ColdFusion, extends enterprise applications and databases to the Web and handheld computers, such as those based on the Palm Computing platform, the IBM WorkPad PC Companion, and Windows PocketPC compatible devices. For more information, please visit the company's Web site at www.cybergroup.com or call 410-455-5680.

Palm Computing and Palm OS are registered trademarks, and Palm III, Palm V, and Palm VII are trademarks of 3Com Corp. or its subsidiaries. Microsoft and Windows are trademarks or registered trademarks of Microsoft Corp. All other brands and product names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

Posted by dwinds1

May 9, 2000

AETHER SYSTEMS AND UMBC FORM WIRELESS AND MOBILE COMPUTING PARTNERSHIP

Aether Systems, Inc., and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), have initiated a $510,000 research and education partnership to strengthen the Baltimore region's role in the rapidly growing field of wireless and mobile computing.

Baltimore, Md. - Aether Systems, Inc., and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), have initiated a $510,000 research and education partnership to strengthen the Baltimore region's role in the rapidly growing field of wireless and mobile computing.

The agreement is the first step in an ongoing collaboration and will provide support to UMBC for on-campus research projects performed by undergraduate and graduate students and faculty. Aether engineers will work with UMBC faculty to develop a wireless data curriculum to help the university establish a leading national presence in this area of study and research.

In addition, the research grant will help sponsor wireless and mobile computing seminars on campus for students and faculty and off-campus seminars for the broader business community through UMBC's Visionary Series in Information Technology.

Based in Owings Mills, Md., Aether Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: AETH), is a leader in wireless data systems and services, providing real-time communications and transactions across a full range of devices such as phones, pagers and personal digital assistants (PDAs) over a full spectrum of wireless networks.

"Through this partnership, Aether Systems is reinvesting in both the future of its core business - providing leading-edge wireless data products and services- and the Baltimore-Washington corridor's growing strength in high technology," said Aether Chairman and CEO David Oros, a graduate of UMBC. "Together with UMBC, we hope to cultivate the next generation of wireless conversant professionals and further establish our community as an internationally recognized center of high technology."

UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski added, "The Aether-UMBC partnership will grow to attract the best minds in wireless and mobile computing, making our region a force in a field that is already changing the lives of people around the world."

UMBC faculty members such as Anupam Joshi are visualizing a future where wireless networks allow a constant interaction between pervasive computers and humans. "We're already seeing affordable palmtop computers that have the power of supercomputers from a decade ago," said Joshi, an assistant professor of computer science and engineering at UMBC with six years of experience in the field. "In the near future we'll see embedded computers in roads, cars, household appliances, telephones and even clothing. These computationally enabled devices will form dynamic networks and collaborate to perform tasks."

The U.S. demand for wireless and mobile communications is predicted to soon surpass that of the traditional, "wired" Internet. The number of people using cell phones for wireless data applications among the U.S. Internet population is set to increase from the current 3 percent to an estimated 78 percent in the next 12 months, according to research by International Data Corp. (IDC).

"While the Internet has served as a vehicle for people to connect to the world, wireless technologies represent a vehicle to bring the world to the people, wherever they are," said Dale Shelton, Aether Chief Technology Officer. "Whether it's enabling investors to trade stocks while playing golf, a businessman to check and/or send email from a train or even a beach chair, or a teenager to pay a soda machine with her cell phone, the partnership between Aether and UMBC will help us lead the charge in making wireless the future of communications."

UMBC's residence halls, classrooms and offices will soon become living laboratories for wireless and mobile computing technology, according to Jack Suess, director of university computing at UMBC. "The transition won't happen overnight, but UMBC 's growing expertise in the field will help us to gradually provide a menu of applications for faculty, staff and especially students. Suess said that the first test project will be working with Aether Systems to provide UMBC students with wireless/mobile access to class information and services through the school's personalized web portal, My UMBC.

Wireless and mobile computing currently can be used for a variety of business and personal applications, including: e-mail, real-time stock tracking and trading, transportation logistics, field sales transactions, healthcare communications, message notification and call management, mapping and locator services, weather and traffic alerts, news, sports and information services, e-commerce transactions and banking services, online address books, directory services and corporate intranet applications.

A recent study by IDC found that more than 40 million US households are online, but there are more than 75 million cellular/PCS subscribers and more than 40 million paging subscribers. According to IDC, sales of handheld computers and smart phones worldwide will hit 35.2 million units by 2003 -- up from 8.9 million in 1999.

About Aether
Aether Systems, Inc., is a leading provider of wireless and mobile data services allowing real-time communications and transactions across a full range of devices and networks. Using its engineering expertise, the Aether Intelligent Messaging (AIM) software platform, the ScoutWare family of products (resulting from the acquisition of Riverbed Technologies, Inc.) and its network operations and customer service center, Aether Systems seeks to provide comprehensive, technology-independent wireless and mobile computing solutions. Aether develops and delivers wireless data services across a variety of industries and market segments in the United States and internationally. Aether is a joint principal owner, along with 3Com Corp., of OmniSky, Inc., a wireless Internet service provider based in Palo Alto, Calif. Aether headquarters are located at 11460 Cronridge Dr., Owings Mills, MD 21117. For more information, please visit the Aether website at www.aethersystems.com.

Posted by dwinds1

March 23, 2000

UMBC TEAMS WITH CYBER-WARFARE EXPERTS FOR INFORMATION SECURITY CLASSES

UMBC's Division of Professional Education and Training is partnering with area information security experts WarRoom Research, Inc., to develop a curriculum designed to defend businesses from internal and external hacker attacks.

Baltimore, MD - The University of Maryland, Baltimore County's Division of Professional Education and Training has announced that local information security firm, WarRoom Research, Inc., will help develop a corporate curriculum designed to defend businesses from insider and outsider attacks.

This curriculum will focus on enhancing client firms' competitiveness by protecting their intellectual property, brand identity, market capitalization, customer relationships and shareholders' value. The need to know more about Internet security has recently been emphasized during the recent hacker attacks on e-commerce sites.

"This partnership with UMBC is a great match since it combines WarRoom Research's expertise in business intelligence with UMBC's strengths in information technology and corporate training," said Mark Gembicki, WarRoom Research chairman and CTO.

"We're excited to team with WarRoom Research to develop this curriculum targeted specifically at the commercial sector," said John Mitchell, director of Information Technology Training Programs for UMBC's professional education and training division. "Information security training is already a priority in the IT industry, and it's a focus for UMBC's professional training efforts."

According to Gembicki, government and law enforcement investigators will not have the human resources available to handle the increasing number of hacker attacks over the next decade. "I believe that in the future, private sector organizations will rely more on information security companies for protection," he said.

WarRoom Research is an Internet-driven business intelligence and security firm headquartered in Linthicum, Maryland. Gembicki has over 18 years of information security experience and has advised Fortune 1000 companies, the National Security Council and the U.S. Senate on information security issues. In January 1999, ComputerWorld magazine named Gembicki one of the top 20 information technology visionaries for the next decade along with Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

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March 8, 2000

LEADING TECHNOLOGY ACCESS ADVOCATE TO DISCUSS THE DIGITAL DIVIDE

UMBC's Center for Women & Information Technology presents Ana Sisnett, Executive Director of the Austin Free-Net, a non-profit federally funded organization that offers free Internet access and classes in over forty sites in Austin, Texas, many in neighborhoods with large African American and Latino populations. Ms. Sisnett will also read selections of her poetry in the Women's Center, RAC 226, on Friday, March 31 at 1 p.m.

Baltimore, MD -- Leading technology access advocate, Ana Sisnett, will visit UMBC to deliver a lecture entitled "Who're You Callin' a 'Have-Not'?: Technology, Access, And Training For Women" on Thursday, March 30 at 4 p.m. in the Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery. Ms. Sisnett will also give a poetry reading on campus in the Women's Center, RAC 226, on Friday, March 31 at 1 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public.

Ana Sisnett is the Executive Director of the Austin Free-Net, a non-profit federally funded organization that offers free Internet access and classes in over forty sites in Austin, Texas, many in neighborhoods with large African American and Latino populations. She is also the co-founder of the TechnoMama Project, an organization dedicated to training women, especially women of color, in information technology skills.

Ana Sisnett has been active in online communities since the early 1990s. Born in Panama she is bilingual, a performing poet, and the author of the children's book Grannie Jus' Come! and other works. She shares the cover of the March 2000 issue of Texas Monthly as one of the technological avant-garde.

The Center for Women & Information Technology hosts an annual Speakers Series that addresses issues concerned with women and IT. For more information about this and other CWIT initiatives, please contact the Center at (410) 455-2822.

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Posted by dwinds1

March 7, 2000

RECEPTOR BIOLOGY ACQUIRED BY NEN LIFE SCIENCE PRODUCTS

Receptor Biology, Inc., an area biotech firm with roots in the UMBC business incubator program, has been acquired by a Boston-based international life science company.

BELTSVILLE, MD -Receptor Biology, Inc., an area biotech firm with roots in the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) business incubator program, has been acquired by a Boston-based international life science company. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed but the UMBC program has a minor equity stake in Receptor.

Beltsville-based Receptor Biology (www.receptorbiology.com.) will become a wholly owned subsidiary of NEN Life Science Products, Inc. The company and its staff of 20 will remain in its Beltsville location while expanding its operations. Receptor has been growing steadily and prior to the acquisition projected adding four to six employees by year's end.

Founded in 1994 by President Jesse Baumgold, Ph.D., Receptor identifies and markets cloned receptor products for use in drug discovery and testing by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, medical research centers, and universities worldwide. Baumgold was an Assistant Professor at the George Washington University Medical School prior to founding the company.

The firm got its start in the UMBC business incubator program and grew quickly. By 1995 the company had established fast track distribution to the Japanese market. Receptor graduated from the business incubator program at UMBC in 1997 but remained an affiliate company of the UMBC Technology Center.

"Receptor Biology is a classic entrepreneurial bootstrap and this is wonderful news for both companies, the UMBC business incubator and Maryland's high-tech community," said Ellen Wiggins, director of UMBC's Research Park and Technology Center. "We are delighted to see one of our incubator companies do so well and especially to see job growth in Maryland being fueled by out-of-state investment."

Company Contacts:Alex Friend

M2 Life Sciences Communications

202 726 4800

Posted by dwinds1

January 13, 2000

UMBC Announces Computer Training Company

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) announced today the launch of an associated commercial venture specializing in computer certification training. The new company provides an opportunity for aggressive expansion of UMBC's leadership in the local computer training market, fueled by a combination of private investment and the University's information technology expertise.

Baltimore, Md. -The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) announced today the launch of an associated commercial venture specializing in computer certification training. The new company provides an opportunity for aggressive expansion of UMBC's leadership in the local computer training market, fueled by a combination of private investment and the University's information technology expertise.

"This is the next step toward UMBC's goal of providing the workforce training that Baltimore-Washington businesses need," said UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski. "Converting to an LLC structure allows the company to more swiftly match educational offerings with the rapid pace of the information economy."

The headquarters for the new UMBC programs will be located in Executive Park West, at 3108 Timanus Lane in Windsor Mill, MD. UMBC anticipates opening the new facility in January 2001, and offering its first classes in A+ Computer Repair, Network+, i-Net+, various Microsoft Certifications, desktop applications and the Certified Cisco Network Administrator in February 2001.

Operating under the flexible model of a commercial training operation, the company will build on UMBC's previously successful industry collaboration with a Virginia-based training corporation. Faculty in UMBC's department of information systems will continue to review and approve the curricula for the training courses.

The company benefits from the capital of Allegiance Capital (a minority member), the Abell Foundation, and SunTrust Bank. The Board of Directors will include representatives from UMBC, the UMBC Research Park and the public and private sectors.

"What we're doing today shows how UMBC is at the forefront of progressive models in higher education," said Dr. Craig Weidemann, Vice Provost and Executive Assistant to the President at UMBC. "Now the company can constantly reinvest to expand quality, service and product line," Weidemann said.

"The company will continue to focus on affordable computer training for the general public," said Doug Kendzierski, Associate Vice Provost of UMBC's Division of Professional Education & Training. Kendzierski has been selected as the President & Chief Executive Officer of the new company.

"The UMBC Research Park Corporation is delighted to be an equity holder in this promising company," said Ellen Wiggins, executive director of the UMBC Research Park Corporation. "The new company is an important regional economic development initiative which we believe will have substantive links to bwtech@UMBC and Technology Center tenants."

"We plan to eventually serve the entire region through a network of satellite locations and distance education initiatives," said Kendzierski. "We've performed well in the market over the last several years. We are now able to establish a more impressive presence under the same management team, at a new, state-of-the-art facility, utilizing the best talent available in the marketplace. Long story short: same brand, better location, even higher quality, and a lot of very satisfied and qualified employees for the workplace," Kendzierski said.

Weidemann, who will chair the Company's Board of Directors, said that the new LLC model is the first of many more to come as UMBC looks to expand its regional market impact.

"This new company is the result of a carefully calculated and meticulously researched strategy to establish UMBC as a national brand leader in technology training and workforce development," Weidemann said. "We are hopeful that our success will motivate other public institutions to follow suit, resulting in a large network of qualified educators directly and dramatically impacting the nation's ability to maintain an adequate supply of talented IT workers."

The new company's 18,500 square feet of office, classroom and labs are located adjacent to Lockheed-Martin, Sylvan Learning Systems, and Thomson-Prometric, with easy access off of either the Liberty Road or Security Boulevard exits of I-695. As such, the new location offers a convenient commute for students from Baltimore, Northern Virginia and the Maryland suburbs.

Posted by dwinds1

January 5, 2000

THREE NEW FIRMS JOIN UMBC TECHNOLOGY CENTER

Israel-based biotech company IntelliGene is among three new firms at the UMBC Technology Center.

Israel-based biotech firm IntelliGene is among three new companies that have joined the UMBC Technology Center.

IntelliGene is establishing a product development facility at the Technology Center. The company is marketing low-cost, rapid, ultra-sensitive and simple-to-use tests to identify non-viral sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

IntelliGene\\'s first tests will use a direct ribozyme assay technique to detect chlamydia and gonorrhea in urine. The company plans to market the tests to hospitals and large physician practices. The tests are point-of-care, yielding results during a patient visit. Currently patients must wait several days for results from a ship-away lab.

IntelliGene came to UMBC as a result of an economic development trade mission to Israel set in motion by the Maryland/ Israel Development Center (MIDC). Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development biotech specialist Martha Connelly also helped steer IntelliGene toward the UMBC center.

In addition to its Jerusalem research labs, the firm has a U.S. division in Hartford, Connecticut. IntelliGene also collaborates with faculty at the University of Maryland Biotech Institute (UMBI) on product development.

Another UMBC Technology Center tenant, international biotech training organization PDA, also helped connect IntelliGene to Baltimore. Dr. Mike Korcynski, director of PDA, had previously worked with IntelliGene USA\\'s VP of Operations and Engineering David Bach. When Bach, an Ellicott City resident, was tapped to lead a new division in Baltimore, the UMBC Technology Center\\'s Catonsville location was a natural fit.

The second newcomer to the UMBC center is Columbia Technologies, LLC, an integrated environmental sampling, testing and analysis firm. The company identifies emerging technologies for the environmental market, assists in product development and then deploys the technologies to industry and environmental consulting firms. Columbia is working with UMBC chemistry faculty to further develop new chemical sensors, data management systems, and Internet based applications.

\\"Our partnership with the UMBC Technology Center provides an excellent opportunity to tap the research capabilities of the university faculty and staff,\\" said Columbia co-principal John Sohl. \\"This helps solve the difficult problem facing most small business owners of doing the research and development required for new products and services.\\"

The third new arrival at UMBC is Chromatin 1, which supports biomedical advances in the growing field of chromatin research. Chromatin, or the active form of chromosomes in cells, acts as the on-off control switch for genes. \\"This gene regulation is of central importance in biology, and chromatin research is yielding significant insights into many normal and abnormal processes,\\" said Chromatin president Jim Wagner.

The company will offer purified cellular and chromatin components, reagents and other experimental tools for researchers working with chromatin. \\"We were attracted to the incubator program at UMBC because of the relatively low costs, the support services offered, and the possibility of interaction with other scientists,\\" said Wagner.

Posted by dwinds1

October 1, 1999

UMBC OFFERS ORACLE AUTHORIZED CERTIFICATION TRAINING

To help fill the information technology worforce gap, UMBC Continuing Education has partnered with Oracle corporation, the world's largest supplier of software for information management, to offer Oracle Certified Professional training courses beginning in January 2000.

To help fill the IT workforce gap, UMBC has partnered with Oracle Corporation, the world's largest supplier of software for information management, to become an official member of the Oracle Academic Initiative (OIA). UMBC will offer Oracle Certified Professional training courses beginning in January 2000 with the Oracle8 Certified Database Administrator track.

"This partnership," said Doug Kendzierski, associate vice provost for continuing education and information technology, "allows UMBC to train the next generation of database administrators and developers in the dominant commercial database engine for industrial applications. It pairs the region's leader in technology education with the largest IT training organization in the world."

As a member of the Oracle Academic Initiative, UMBC can provide students with Oracle-authorized curricula and exceptional resources for Oracle Certified Professional (OCP) exam preparation, the option to participate, free of charge, in the Oracle Academic Initiative's Job Recruitment Database, (a collection of resumes accessible to Oracle corporate customers and partners around the world), free Oracle software licenses for self study, and significantly discounted examination fees.

Additional OCP training is in development with Oracle Application Developer Certification classes to launch in summer 2000. All courses take place at the UMBC Technology Center.

For more information, call Continuing Education at (410) 455-2336 or view the website: continuinged.umbc.edu/oracle.

Posted by dwinds1

September 7, 1999

Listserve Test, Take Two

Snae and Charlie test the News Site database listserve, will it work?

Baltimore -- aldskfjadlskfjadlfkajdlkfjadf aldkjfaldkjf asdlfkjad

Posted by dwinds1

August 19, 1999

UMBC ASSISTANT PROFESSOR PREMINDA JACOB HONORED WITH GETTY GRANT PROGRAM POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWSHIP

Dr. Preminda Jacob of UMBC's Visual Arts Department has been awarded a prestigious J. Paul Getty Postdoctoral Fellowship in the History of Art and the Humanities for 1999-2000. Fifteen scholars who received their doctorates within the past six years were each awarded a stipend of $35,000 for one years research. The awards have been accepted by scholars in eight countries and will be used to conduct research worldwide.

Baltimore, MD -- Dr. Preminda Jacob of UMBC's Visual Arts Department has been awarded a prestigious J. Paul Getty Postdoctoral Fellowship in the History of Art and the Humanities for 1999-2000. Fifteen scholars who received their doctorates within the past six years were each awarded a stipend of $35,000 for one years research. The awards have been accepted by scholars in eight countries and will be used to conduct research worldwide.

Dr. Jacob, who earned her Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1994, will expand on the research conducted for her dissertation. She will examine the "aural dimensions of public images in the spaces of the city of Chennai" in South India, a region that offers complex evidence of a culture heavily influenced by politics, the film industry, and mythology.

Dr. Jacob's manuscript Celluloid Deities: The Nexus of Visual Art, Media and Politics in South India will be accompanied by a CD-ROM to be produced in collaboration with UMBC's Imaging Research Center and assistant professor of visual arts Colin Ives. Both Ives and Dr. Jacob will visit South India in December 1999 to gather images and complete field work to be used in the examination of culture in Chennai and Mumbai.

The purpose of the Getty Fellowships is to release scholars from academic and administrative responsibilities at a critical point early in their careers when much is expected of them professionally. Dr. Jacob will be in residence at UMBC for the academic year, and will resume teaching in the fall of 2000.

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Posted by dwinds1

August 13, 1999

WOMEN AND TECHNOLOGY ADVOCATE ANITA BORG TO SPEAK AT UMBC

Anita Borg, president and founding director of the Institute for Women and Technology (IWT), will share her thoughts and experiences on "Women and the Future of Technology" at UMBC on Tuesday, October 26 at 4 p.m. in Lecture Hall V. This lecture is a first in an inaugural series hosted by UMBC's Center for Women & Information Technology (CWIT). The series is being sponsored by the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation and is supported by numerous academic departments on campus.

Baltimore, MD - Anita Borg, president and founding director of the Institute for Women and Technology (IWT), will share her thoughts and experiences on "Women and the Future of Technology" at UMBC on Tuesday, October 26 at 4 p.m. in Lecture Hall V.

This lecture is a first in an inaugural series hosted by UMBC's Center for Women & Information Technology (CWIT). The series is being sponsored by the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation and is supported by numerous academic departments on campus.

Regarded by many as one of the top minds in Silicon Valley, Borg is perhaps better known for her advocacy of women in the design and production of new technologies. She founded the Institute for Women and Technology in 1997 to help bridge the gap between women and technology through awareness programs and workshops. Since then the institute has received support from Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, Sun Microsystems, Hewlett Packard, Compaq Computer and Lotus Corporation.

"It's difficult to envision a more auspicious inaugural speaker for a lecture series on women and information technology than Anita Borg," says Sandra Shattuck, associate director of the Center for Women & Information Technology. In June of 1998 UMBC Professor Joan Korenman launched the center, focusing on bolstering women's literacy with technology and encouraging more women to pursue careers in the computer/information sciences.

The next lecture in this series will feature Aliza "Cybergrrl" Sherman, founder of the women-focused search engine Femina, the Cybergrrl Web Station and WebGrrls; and author of A Woman's Guide to the World Wide Web. Her lecture, "Women in Cyberspace: Changing the Gender Landscape of the Internet," is scheduled for November 17 at 4 p.m. in Lecture Hall 3.

Posted by dwinds1

July 6, 1999

UMBC LAUNCHES COMPUTER CERTIFICATION TRAINING CENTER

To help meet the region's demand for a skilled IT workforce, UMBC announces its latest venture in computer training and education--the Computer Certification Training Center (CCTC), formerly Operation Bootstrap. Certification training is offered in A+, Network+, MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional), MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer), MCSE+ I (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer + Internet), MCDBA (Microsoft Certified Database Administrator), MCSD (Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer), CNA (Certified Novell Administrator), CNE (Certified Novell Engineer) and MOUS (Microsoft Office User Specialist).

BALTIMORE, MD-To help meet the region's demand for a skilled IT workforce, UMBC announces its latest venture in computer training and education--the Computer Certification Training Center (CCTC), formerly Operation Bootstrap. Certification training is offered in A+, Network+, MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional), MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer), MCSE+ I (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer + Internet), MCDBA (Microsoft Certified Database Administrator), MCSD (Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer), CNA (Certified Novell Administrator), CNE (Certified Novell Engineer) and MOUS (Microsoft Office User Specialist).

The Baltimore-based center provides students with the skills needed to fill the surplus of information technology jobs. Monthly career fairs and workshops on resume writing are also offered. Since the center's opening in December 1997, it has trained approximately 1,800 students with a first-test exam pass rate well above national and local provider averages. Training packages are bundle-priced to include all related services with a tuition that is approximately half the cost of comparable training centers in the private sector.

UMBC leads all other research universities in the production of Information Technology baccalaureate degrees and regularly partners with industry experts to develop customized training and non-credit programs in the most current topics. The affiliation with CCTC takes UMBC's leadership role a step further to provide certification training for professionals in the field and career changers.

UMBC Associate Vice Provost and Executive Director of the project, Doug Kendzierski, said, "This is an ideal alliance. CCTC complements UMBC's long-term strategy of addressing workforce development with a shorter-term solution. In several months, CCTC can add valuable human resources to our region's IT workforce supply-from onset of training to hire."

For more information about CCTC, call (410) 298-7300 or view the CCTC website

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Posted by dwinds1

June 24, 1999

A GREEN SOLUTION TO THE BAY'S STICKY PROBLEM

Bilge water. It is the stinky, sticky scourge of boat owners and captains everywhere and a threat to the environment. But thanks to the Bilge Pill, a new product born from a unique partnership between an area waterman and Baltimore-based biotech company Athena Environmental Sciences, dealing with smelly, oily and polluting bilge on the Chesapeake Bay has gotten a lot easier.

Baltimore -Bilge water. It is the stinky, sticky scourge of boat owners and captains everywhere and a threat to the environment. But thanks to the Bilge Pill, a new product born from a unique partnership between an area waterman and Baltimore-based biotech company Athena Environmental Sciences, dealing with smelly, oily and polluting bilge on the Chesapeake Bay has gotten a lot easier.

Mike Harris has been on the water all his life and is currently a charter boat captain at the Chesapeake Beach Rod and Reel Restaurant and Tackle Shop. Back in 1991 he watched the constant, sticky oil slicks produced by boats pumping bilge into the still waters of Baltimore's Inner Harbor. He wondered about the environmental and aesthetic damage the slicks caused (the dumping practice has since been declared illegal) and if there was a way to make watermen's lives easier while making the Bay cleaner.

That day Harris began a quest for the holy grail of bilge water solutions: a product that transformed the stagnant, dirty seawater and oil mixture that leaks or seeps into the bottom of a boat's hull into something inoffensive to both the environment and the senses.

Harris had seen captains use dishwashing liquid to instantly disperse diesel fuel spills on the water before and wanted to replicate the crude technique's rapid results on bilge. However, his research showed that this method was both environmentally harmful and illegal.

A friend referred him to Bill Jones, Ph.D., a Senior Scientist at the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute's Center of Marine Biotechnology. Jones and his business partner Dr. Sheldon Broedel, are co-founders (President and CEO respectively) of Athena Environmental Sciences, a biotech company specializing in commercialization of advanced technologies for environmental markets.

Athena is located in the UMBC Technology Center, the same building where Broedel once worked for Martin Marietta Laboratories. Broedel and Jones are graduates of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), and have assembled an impressive team of research and business talent at Athena that includes full-time Ph.D.'s and part-time students from the nearby UMBC campus.

After much research, the Bilge Pill was created: a fast acting, biodegradable, non-toxic cleaning agent that works continuously to break down bilge petroleum build-up in salt or fresh water. The hockey-puck-shaped pill is placed in a mesh bag, then submerged and secured in the deepest area of the bilge. There the rocking motion of regular boating provides suitable agitation for the cleaning action, lasting 60 days.

The pill contains biodegradable surfactants and emulsifiers, which promote formation of a stable emulsion. The process in effect breaks the oil down into tiny micro droplets rendering the oil less toxic and more degradable.

The next step was field-testing. Jones ventured to the Baltimore Inner Harbor for the Bilge Pill's trial by fire: the decades of oily, built-up bilge deep inside the hull of the 133-foot Lightship Chesapeake.

Before the dawn of automated beacons, lightships like the Chesapeake were a common sight along Maryland shores. The helpful ships marked channel entrances, warned of navigation hazards, provided weather information and assisted with rescue operations. Built in 1933, the Chesapeake's long career has ranged from its original duties, to WWII harbor patrols, and finally its current role as a living classroom at the Baltimore Maritime Institute.

The boat, anchored next to the Baltimore Aquarium, is a fixture of the Inner Harbor and a National Historic Landmark. But despite years of trying different methods to clean the ship's bilge, nothing had worked and hazardous materials specialists had to be called in to treat it regularly.

Jones worked with Maritime Institute staff to install 20 Bilge Pills along the boat's keel and documented the results on videotape and film. "The results were amazing," said Jones. "It was clearly working within 24 hours," said Broedel. Years of built-up oil dissolved within one week. After two weeks, the formerly toxic bilge was ready to be discharged.

Once the Bilge Pill had been tested, Harris worked out a commercialization agreement with Athena and formed a company to sell his idea: Bilge Tech, Inc., based in Maryland. Now that Harris' brainchild has been made reality by Athena's know-how, he's beginning to market the product nationwide.

He hopes that the eco-friendly pill will be a hit with boaters and captains everywhere. The EPA is keeping an encouraging eye on the product as well, hoping that its promising results will be duplicated in larger statistical samples as it sells to boaters tired of dealing with the toxic drudgery of bilge clean-up. The U.S. Coast Guard has also expressed interest in using Bilge Pills for its fleet.

Note: For more information on the Bilge Pill, contact Chuck Quinlan at 410-286-0170.

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Posted by dwinds1

June 1, 1999

UMBC NAMED CLEARINGHOUSE FOR GEOGRAPHIC DATA IN MARYLAND

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County has taken a major role in the digital dissemination of geographic data in being named the Clearinghouse Node for Maryland in the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) framework. Joining with more than 100 other nodes nationwide, UMBC now stands at the forefront of the distribution of critical geographical information in Maryland.

Baltimore, MD -- The University of Maryland, Baltimore County has taken a major role in the digital dissemination of geographic data in being named the Clearinghouse Node for Maryland in the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) framework. Joining with more than 100 other nodes nationwide, UMBC now stands at the forefront of the distribution of critical geographical information in Maryland.

The NSDI Node at UMBC has been created in coordination with federal, state, local, private and non-profit organizations and universities in order to support applications of digital geospatial data on soils, vegetation, water resources as well as census and population information for each county and election district in the State. This practice is critical to regional economic development and the protection of natural resources.

The decision to have UMBC host the Node was "a direct result of a four-year experiment known as the Baltimore-Washington Collaboratory," says Dr. Tim Foresman, director of UMBC's Spatial Analysis Laboratory. NASA, the National Science Foundation (NSF), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Census Bureau have been supporting the Collaboratory in order to learn how to better link citizens and state and local decision-makers with vast information resources for improved land-use management. "The Maryland NSDI Node allows for free access to valuable data already paid for by taxpayers in a user-friendly and easily accessible form over the Internet," adds Foresman.

Maryland NSDI data will allow for the evaluation of alternative planning strategies and the development of solutions to the negative impacts of unregulated urban sprawl as well as transportation issues. Citizens and government officials will have a common library of information to draw upon when examining issues of land-use planning and growth control, and for educational purposes. This NSDI Node forms a strategic link for the Baltimore Community/Federal Information Partnership Project, part of the national Livability Agenda.

The data available on UMBC's Maryland NSDI Node is documented using approved "metadata" standards in order to provide users with specific knowledge about the information they are using. The data sets (and accompanying metadata files) are downloadable via a web-based interface. Some of these data sets can even be analyzed and viewed on-line.

The UMBC Node will be announced at the upcoming National GeoData Forum being held June 7-9, 1999 in Washington D.C. Marriott at Metro Center. This important national forum will focus on developing and sustaining livable communities and the role of geographic data in furthering this objective. The NSDI will play a critical role in making these data available to the public, and UMBC's Node will be part of this worthy effort.

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Posted by dwinds1

May 3, 1999

CELL WORKS WINS SMITHSONIAN HONOR

An automated microscope developed by Cell Works, Inc., a biomedical company located at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), has won a place in the Permanent Research Collection on Information Technology at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.

Baltimore - An automated microscope developed by Cell Works, Inc., a biomedical company located at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), has won a place in the Permanent Research Collection on Information Technology at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.

Cell Works President and Chief Operating Officer Charles H. Wheatley, III, received the prestigious Computerworld Smithsonian Innovation Collection Award at a ceremony held earlier this month on the national mall in Washington, D.C.

"It is the hope of all of us at Cell Works that this test and the automated microscope, will allow diagnostic, prognostic, and prescriptive development that could lead to improved treatment, enhanced quality of life, and perhaps ultimately, a cure for one of humanity's most devastating illnesses - cancer," said Wheatley.

The highly advanced microscope, pioneered nearly 15 years ago by Paul O.P. Ts'o, Ph.D., Cell Works Chairman and CEO, joins over 470 of the year's most innovative applications of technology from 42 states and 22 countries.

Automated analysis of cancer cell images from the microscope guides doctors in deciding whether to use surgery, radiation or chemotherapy to fight cancer at its earliest stages. Later tests determine whether continued therapy is required, and if so, ensure that it is effective and adjusted properly.

"(The Cell Works microscope) will enrich the National Museum of American History's growing collection on the history of information technology, and contribute significantly to the museum's on-going efforts to chronicle the information age," said museum director Spencer R. Crew.

Cell Works was nominated by F. William Hoffman, Managing Partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers, in the Science category. Founded in 1989, the award is presented annually by the Computerworld Smithsonian Chairmen's Committee, representing over 100 of the world's most prominent computer companies. The award recognizes vision, leadership and innovation in information technology.

Cell Works produces non-invasive diagnostic and medical instrument technology used to detect prostate cancer and as an alternative to amniocentesis in pregnant women. The company is also conducting ongoing research and development to broaden its technology to detect other types of cancer cells.

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Posted by dwinds1

March 12, 1999

UMBC TECHNOLOGY CENTER COMPANY DOES HIGH-TECH GOOD DEED

Cybergroup, Inc., an Internet consulting and web development company at the UMBC Technology Center, has developed the Dreamsurfer Network, a high-tech good deed connecting teenagers with chronic illnesses through a collaborative effort with the Grant-A-Wish Foundation, the Johns Hopkins Cystic Fibrosis Center and the USF&G Foundation.

Baltimore, MD- Cybergroup, Inc., an Internet consulting and web development company at the UMBC Technology Center, has developed the Dreamsurfer Network, a high-tech good deed connecting teenagers with chronic illnesses through a collaborative effort with the Grant-A-Wish Foundation, the Johns Hopkins Cystic Fibrosis Center and the USF&G Foundation.

The Dreamsurfer Network is an expansion of a password-protected World Wide Web site created in September 1997. The site, Hopkins Teen Central, connects teenage patients at the Cystic Fibrosis Center with their peers and the hospital staff.

Teens with cystic fibrosis interact online and participate in problem solving, mutual support, fun and friendship from home. Hospital staff provide patients with peer support, education and illness counseling. Hopkins provides Web TV systems for patients who don't have Internet access at home, and teenagers are enthusiastic about keeping in touch via cyberspace.

Hopkins Child Life Specialist Russ Ravert, a longtime advocate of using technology to meet patients' needs, worked with Hopkins social work, pediatrics and information systems staff to establish Teen Central. The site flourished, but as it grew, the demand of managing and updating using conventional HTML grew overwhelming.

Through a contact at Grant-A-Wish, Cybergroup President Greg Bean stepped in to improve Teen Central and expand the concept to other children's hospitals across the nation. Bean volunteered many hours to build a basic framework automating time-consuming HTML with user-friendly forms and templates for site maintenance and interaction.

Bean's model will soon spread to two other children's hospitals that have agreed to join the project by creating Dreamsurfer sites of their own: the cystic fibrosis unit at Cook-Fort Worth Medical Center in Texas and the oncology group at City of Hope Hospital in Duarte, California.

Despite the time demands on himself and a staff of three in the competitive world of Internet startups, Bean saw Dreamsurfer as both an interesting technical challenge and a chance to give something back. "People say that startup companies should put volunteer or pro bono work on the back burner for a few years until they get more established," said Bean, "but I felt that this was a very worthy cause."

"One of the most common suggestions from the teens is that the site needs to change more often," said Ravert. "If it changes, they'll come back. The new version Greg did is much easier for us to manage and update, and gives the teens more options as well."

The Grant-A-Wish Foundation also saw Dreamsurfer as a good cause, providing financial support to pilot four new Dreamsurfer groups in 1999, two for cystic fibrosis patients and two for cancer patients. "Dreamsurfer will link support groups together from throughout the United States and the world in an encouraging, confidential, and counselor-supervised setting," said Brian Morrison, Executive Director of Grant-A-Wish.

Future plans for Dreamsurfer include creating a "virtual camp" site allowing patients from sites across the country to interact. The camp's goal is to provide a central location for teens nationwide to participate in activities, just like a traditional camp.

The Dreamsurfer partnership is currently seeking corporate or individual sponsors, especially Internet service providers with surplus server space, to donate to the project. If you'd like to help out, contact Cybergroup at 410-455-5680.

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Posted by dwinds1

February 23, 1999

EPITAXIAL TECHNOLOGIES LANDS SMALL BUSINESS INNOVATION RESEARCH CONTRACT FOR COMMERCIAL AND MILITARY SENSORS

Epitaxial Technologies, LLC, announced today that it has been awarded a $744,272 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract for further development of its proprietary sensing and imaging technology for commercial and military applications.

BALTIMORE - Epitaxial Technologies, LLC, announced today that it has been awarded a $744,272 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract for further development of its proprietary sensing and imaging technology for commercial and military applications.

The contract, sponsored by the Department of Defense's Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO) and managed by the Air Force Research Laboratory, builds on the two-year-old firm's multi-wavelength detector array technology.

According to Epitaxial Technologies President Dr. Leye Aina, the contract will result in better night vision and sensing technology for military aircraft, space exploration, missile defense systems and law enforcement use. The specific goal of the award is to develop compound semiconductor material structures and chips that enable the production of detector arrays capable of responding to radiation from UV to the infrared.

Epitaxial Technologies will produce the first integrated, three-color sensor that can see not only in the dark but also into the infrared spectrum and beyond. No material technology currently exists for implementing multi-wavelength sensors such as three-color detectors on the same focal plane array chip. In addition, the contract will produce compact, high performance spectrometers, radiometers and all-weather, all-condition cameras.

Epitaxial Technologies' chip making process produces cheaper, faster and smaller chips than existing methods. "With our process, one chip replaces two to four chips," said Aina. He said the SBIR contract is the second phase of an ongoing project, with commercialization of the technology set for phase three.

Located in the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) Technology Center, Epitaxial Technologies was recently recognized with the "Microenterprise Client of the Year" Award by the National Business Incubator Association.

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Posted by dwinds1

January 25, 1999

THREE NEW COMPANIES JOIN UMBC TECHNOLOGY CENTER

German-based international supercomputing company Genias Software is one of three new companies headed to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) Technology Center.

Baltimore, MD- German-based international supercomputing company Genias Software is one of three new companies headed to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) Technology Center.

Genias will open its first U.S. office when it moves to the center, which is also welcoming regional companies Spatial Associates, Inc., and Force 3, Inc. The new arrivals bring the total number of companies housed at the Technology Center to 30.

Hailing from Neutraubling, Germany, Genias is known in Europe as the Center for Numerically Intensive Applications and Supercomputing. Genias uses an interdisciplinary approach to maximizing high performance computing systems for real applications in industry and research. "With the many government and research centers, industries, universities, and Venture Capital firms, the US East Coast is definitely another Silicon Valley for high tech companies, today", explained Wolfgang Gentzsch, CEO and President of Genias. Genias has already contacted the UMBC Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, and the Department of Physics, to discuss the possibilities of future cooperation.

Founded in 1990, Genias has partnered with AUDI, BMW, Boeing, British Aerospace, Raytheon, Volkswagen and others. Genias also has several cooperative relationships with research institutes and universities in Europe and the US, including Sandia National Laboratories. Genias has other offices in the Netherlands and Ontario, Canada.

Formerly based in Laurel, MD, Spatial Associates made the move to be closer to resources and staff in the UMBC Geography department. Spatial Associates provides complete Geographic Information System (GIS) implementation services to a variety of government, utility and commercial clients.

GIS is a rapidly developing field that combines satellite sensing and imaging with computerized mapping for a variety of commercial, government and research applications. GIS is used to monitor and map data in transporation, real estate, urban and rural planning, utilities, telecommunications, marketing, environmental protection and even historic site preservation.

Spatial Associates staff recently applied their skills locally, including real estate parcel mapping statewide for the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation and Office of Planning. The firm also helped with a major one-year GIS conversion project for the Baltimore Department of Public Works.

UMBC Geography Department Assistant Professor Tim Foresman, an authority in GIS, was instrumental in persuading Spatial Associates to move. Foresman is also Principal Investigator and Director of the UMBC Spatial Analysis Laboratory which is gaining a national and international reputation for excellence in spatial science and technology.

In 1992, Foresman helped create the Baltimore-Washington Regional Collaboratory (BWRC), a coalition of local environmental and urban groups; county, state, and federal agencies; and citizens through which UMBC shares spatial data imagery. Foresman met Spatial Associates President Larry Newman during his BWRDC coalition-building travels.

Foresman said that the quality of UMBC's students as interns and employees and scientific resources like the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) are drawing companies to the university. "Private business has made the decision to come to UMBC," said Foresman. "People are moving where the future lies."

Another newcomer to the UMBC Technology Center is Crofton-based Force 3, Inc. Force 3 is a leader in Internetworking solutions to the Federal Government's information technology community. Force 3 provides computer-related services to government agencies in the acquisition, distribution, installation and support of products and systems worldwide.

According to Chief Operating Officer Frank Caruso, Force 3 has developed a proprietary concept for effectively training network engineers and is establishing an Internetworking Training Center in collaboration with UMBC. The training center will provide hands-on network training in a lab environment for UMBC engineering and computer science undergraduates, continuing education students, and UMBC faculty and staff. In addition, the training center will conduct research on the interoperability of multiple network protocols.

Founded in 1991, Force 3 anticipates gross revenue in excess of $80 million dollars in 1998 with over 150 employees. The minority-owned company was named the 65th fastest growing privately held U.S. company in 1997 by Inc. Magazine, and the 8th largest high-tech Hispanic-owned company in the U.S in 1997 by Hispanic Magazine's High Tech 50.

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Posted by dwinds1

October 10, 1998

UMBC HOSTS "A LOOK AHEAD" AT BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH

Becton Dickinson Microbiology Systems and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, announce their second annual scientific symposium, "A Look Ahead II - Futures in Biomedical Research," to be held November 12, 1998, at 4 p.m. on the UMBC campus. The program is designed for life sciences researchers, health care professionals and science educators, and focuses on issues and trends in the dynamic biomedical research arena.

BALTIMORE -- Becton Dickinson Microbiology Systems and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, announce their second annual scientific symposium, "A Look Ahead II - Futures in Biomedical Research," to be held November 12, 1998, at 4 p.m. on the UMBC campus. The program is designed for life sciences researchers, health care professionals and science educators, and focuses on issues and trends in the dynamic biomedical research arena.

Featured speakers include Dr. Dinah Singer, senior scientific officer at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Dr. Larry Gold, Professor, University of Colorado and founder of NexGen Pharmaceuticals; and Wayne Hendrickson, renowned AIDS researcher and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at Columbia University.

For more information on the event, please contact Patricia Larrabee, Director of Corporate Relations, UMBC, at 410/455-6279 or visit the event website at: http://www.umbc.edu/Business

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Posted by dwinds1

August 25, 1998

UB AND UMBC OFFER CERTIFICATE IN TECHNOLOGY COMMERCIALIZATION

Got a great idea or invention? Is it marketable? Find out how to take science and technology to the marketplace in the new graduate certificate program offered by the University of Baltimore (UB) and University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC).

Baltimore, MD -- Got a great idea or invention? Is it marketable? Find out how to take science and technology to the marketplace in the new graduate certificate program offered by the University of Baltimore (UB) and University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC).

Building on the award-winning Lab to Market Project at UB's Merrick School of Business, the UB/UMBC program is designed for entrepreneurs, scientists, researchers, attorneys or engineers. The certificate curriculum features four highly interactive, focused courses that will lead students through effective strategies of legal analysis, intellectual property approaches, market research, financing and business planning.

Three courses will be taught in the fall - Entrepreneurship Opportunity Analysis, Commercialization Planning, and Commercialization Start-up. All classes will be held Wednesday evenings beginning September 2 at UB's midtown campus in Baltimore. For further information on the courses and the certificate program, call 410/455-2797, email connect@umbc.edu or visit the web site at http://shark.umbc.edu/techcomm.html.

The Technology Commercialization program is directed by Dr. Lanny Herron, UB associate professor and director of the Center for Technology Commercialization, who started four companies and has been involved in all aspects of bringing products to market; and Dr. Appa Anjanappa, associate professor of mechanical engineering, UMBC, and inventor of the Bullet Masonry Drill Bit Speed Tip for Black & Decker.

The University of Baltimore is an upper division, graduate and professional university specializing in transfer students, and with limited sophomore opportunities. UB is a member of the University System of Maryland. It is comprised of the School of Law, the Yale Gordon College of Liberal Arts, and the Merrick School of Business. Also a member of the University System of Maryland, UMBC is a mid-size public research university focusing on science, technology and engineering at the graduate level, supported by a strong undergraduate foundation in the liberal arts and sciences.

Posted by dwinds1

August 3, 1998

PERFORMERS AND STUDENTS SHOW THEIR "METAL"

On the surface, biomechanical engineering students and modern dancers don't seem to have very much in common. One area is hard science, the other, pure art. But by bringing the two together in a collaborative effort to create a performing robot, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, set the stage for greater understanding and appreciation between the fields of art and science.

On the surface, biomechanical engineering students and modern dancers don't seem to have very much in common. One area is hard science, the other, pure art. But by bringing the two together in a collaborative effort to create a performing robot, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, set the stage for greater understanding and appreciation between the fields of art and science.

When Doug Hamby, assistant professor of fine arts, called Tony Farquhar, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, he wasn't sure Farquhar would take him seriously. After all, Hamby was asking Farquhar and his students to use their engineering and computer programming skills to create a dancer. Farquhar admits that he was skeptical, but Hamby's vision of an integration of modern technology with modern dance convinced him and his students to get involved. Now, six months later, "Maurice," a spunky yellow robot with six legs, one arm and a saucy attitude, is performing at venues throughout the region, including this year's "Fringe Festival" in Manhattan, August 19-23.

"As high-tech continues to be a driving force in our economy, colleges and universities are working hard to ensure that students are prepared in the appropriate fields," said Farquhar. "However, some are becoming concerned that this emphasis is widening the gap between the arts and sciences, a division which is becoming less practical as technology continues to find its way into our day-to-day lives."

Building Maurice (PDR-1A to his technical creators), and the work leading to his performance represents a unique collaboration between dance, technology and education. It took nearly 20 UMBC students, guided by Farquhar, to build Maurice and three dedicated programers were called on to write the hundreds of lines of code required to inspire Maurice to follow Hamby's intricate choreography.

"I'd never even thought of using computer programming to teach a robot how to dance. I had no idea the kind of work involved in dancing." said Todd McCleaf, one of Maurice's key programmers. "Not only did this project teach me more than any basic computer course could have, but I now know more about dancing than I ever would have otherwise."

This admiration for the efforts of a completely different field is shared by Maurice's fellow performers, the members of Doug Hamby Dance. As choreographer for Maurice and his flesh-and-bone counterparts, Hamby found that as with humans, Maurice's dancing is limited to the movements that his body can make. It was this similarity that made the robot seem that much more "real."

"Maurice has shown me just how smart Mother Nature was when she created the human body," Hamby said. "Farquhar's team of students has done incredible work 'teaching' Maurice how to move. The hours and hours of programmer required just to get Maurice to do a dip was remarkable." "We want our students to be extremely well prepared in their chosen fields," said UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski, III. "We also want them to gain exposure to other, sometimes seemingly opposite areas of study and interest. Isn't that what learning is largely all about?"

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Posted by dwinds1

July 16, 1998

ATHENA ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES, INC. RECEIVES $100,000 NIH GRANT to Study & Develop Innovative Lead Poisoning Test

The environmental health sciences division of the National Institutes of Health has awarded a $100,000 research grant to Athena Environmental Sciences , a small and rapidly growing firm specializing in biotechnological solutions to environmental problems, to develop and test an innovative, non-invasive test for lead poisoning.

Baltimore, MD - The environmental health sciences division of the National Institutes of Health has awarded a $100,000 research grant to Athena Environmental Sciences , a small and rapidly growing firm specializing in biotechnological solutions to environmental problems, to develop and test an innovative, non-invasive test for lead poisoning.

Lead poisoning remains one of the most common and devastating environmental diseases affecting young children in the U.S. and elsewhere. The Center for Disease Control estimates that 3 million children in the U.S. under the age of six have blood lead levels high enough to adversely affect their intelligence, behavior and development. In addition, occupational lead exposure remains a significant source of poisoning in adults.

Current techniques for monitoring blood lead levels are cumbersome, expensive, and invasive. Athena Environmental Sciences, a tenant of the UMBC Technology Center since 1994, has identified a biomarker protein found in the urine of animals with elevated blood lead levels.

According to Chairman and CEO Sheldon Broedel, Ph.D. (UMBC 1990), the Phase I Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grant from the National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences will fund a research project determining if the same protein, identified in collaboration with the University of Maryland's Program in Toxicology, can identify lead poisoning in humans.

If so, this program could lead to a Phase II award and the production of an inexpensive and rapid test that could be performed without drawing blood. "Such a development would revolutionize the ability to diagnose, treat, and monitor individuals at risk for lead poisoning," said Dr. Bruce Fowler, Director of the University of Maryland's Program in Toxicology.

Athena Environmental Sciences is one of over 20 cutting-edge, high-technology firms located in the UMBC Technology Center, which nurtures new and growing high tech businesses through a unique combination of specialized facilities, access to UMBC's strong science and technology programs, and active connections with business, industry and government agencies.

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Posted by dwinds1

January 8, 1998

INSTITUTE FOR RACIAL AND ETHNIC HEALTH STUDIES OFFICIALLY OPENS

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene announce the official opening of The Institute for Racial and Ethnic Health Studies, which will serve as a central resource for assembling, documenting and assessing the health care status of African Americans and other racial/ethnic populations in Maryland.

Baltimore, MD -- The University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene announce the official opening of The Institute for Racial and Ethnic Health Studies, which will serve as a central resource for assembling, documenting and assessing the health care status of African Americans and other racial/ethnic populations in Maryland.

The Institute, located within the Center for Health Program Development and Management on UMBC's campus, will serve as a coordinating center for a wide range of public health and medical studies, particularly those relating to the health impacts of managed care on these populations. Its initial project will include an assessment of the impact of Maryland's HealthChoice program on the health status of Medicaid beneficiaries who are members of racial and ethnic minority groups.

"Special studies have been done periodically about the health of Maryland's African American population, but there has been no consistent effort, prior to the work of the Governor's Commission on Black and Minority Health in 1987, or since, to research existing health differentials among racial/ethnic population sub-groups. Nor has there been regular monitoring of selected health status indicators, or studies conducted to seek explanations of utilization disparities from the perspective of health services delivery," states Dr. Julia B. Anderson, director of The Institute. "The Institute will address these issues."

"The Institute for Racial and Ethnic Health Studies will assist in strengthening the partnerships between state and local governments, the business community and all other health care providers that will ensure healthy people and communities throughout Maryland," states Dr. Martin P. Wasserman, secretary of Maryland's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

An inaugural conference to launch The Institute and articulate its main research goals will be held Monday, January 12 from 8:30am - 3:30pm on the UMBC campus. Speakers will include UMBC President Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, Dr. Wasserman, and Dr. Clay Simpson, deputy assistant secretary for Minority Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

For additional information, call 410.455.6854.

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Posted by dwinds1

September 26, 1997

UMBC ESTABLISHES NEW INSTITUTE FOR GLOBAL ELECTRONIC COMMERCE

Joined by White House Advisor Ira Magaziner, officials at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) today announced the formation of the Institute for Global Electronic Commerce (IGEC) to meet the multidisciplinary research and personnel needs of this rapidly growing field.

BALTIMORE--Joined by White House Advisor Ira Magaziner, officials at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) today announced the formation of the Institute for Global Electronic Commerce (IGEC) to meet the multidisciplinary research and personnel needs of this rapidly growing field.

The institute is establishing an international curriculum in electronic commerce with the endorsement of the G-7 electronic policy group, and has also entered into a research partnership with IBM Toronto.

"The paperless world of electronic commerce involves multidisciplinary uses of information and communications technology to facilitate business interactions and transactions," says Magaziner, who is principal author of the Clinton Administrations July 1 report, A Framework for Global Electronic Commerce. "Issues from security to possible impacts on the labor market all demand a new orientation and organization of expertise from business, law, policy science, global economics, language and linguistics, and information systems, security, and technology."

Specific objectives of the IGEC include: providing leading edge research and practical solutions to issues related to electronic commerce; establishing innovative multidisciplinary and international curriculum and degree programs to train students, industrial and government leaders; and serving as an incubator for virtual companies.

UMBC will also collaborate with the Center for Information Management, Integration, and Connectivity (CIMIC) at Rutgers University to provide joint curricula and course offerings.

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Posted by dwinds1

July 14, 1997

FIVE NEW TENANTS JOIN UMBC TECHNOLOGY CENTER

In addition to new signs hailing commuters along I-95 just south of Baltimore, the UMBC Technology Center has recently pulled in five new tenants, nearly filling the capacity of the 30 acre research and training facility. Currently, more than 200 employees of 21 companies work in the former Lockheed Martin research complex.

Baltimore, MD-In addition to new signs hailing commuters along I-95 just south of Baltimore, the UMBC Technology Center has recently pulled in five new tenants, nearly filling the capacity of the 30 acre research and training facility. Currently, more than 200 employees of 21 companies work in the former Lockheed Martin research complex. The newest arrivals include:

CellGene Laboratory--an incubator company specializing in the commercialization of diagnostic procedures and instruments to detect the presence of: 1) fetal nucleated red blood cells in maternal blood samples, a possible alternative to amniocentesis; and 2) prostate cancer cells in the blood of prostate cancer patients.

Daum Corporation--the research and development arm of a German company which has developed a robotic hand and data glove, products which have medical and gaming applications.

Epitaxial Technologies--an incubator company specializing in the production of semiconductor wafers with electronic properties suitable for fabricating integrated circuits for wireless communications, laser and photodetectors for optic fiber telecommunications and collision avoidance.

MetaMorphix--an emerging technology firm specializing in the development of new therapeutic approaches to the repair, regeneration and replacement of human organs and tissues. Founded in 1995 as a joint venture between The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Genetics Institute of Boston, MetaMorphix's proprietary technology is based on growth and differentiation factors (GDFs), a novel family of proteins which control the formation and repair of various soft tissues and organs.

T. Rowe Price--the human resources division of this Baltimore-based investment management and advisory firm will operate a training facility.

Since opening in April of 1996, the UMBC Technology Center has strengthened UMBC's progress in establishing a system of facilities to support high technology business development. This system includes:

  • Pre-incubator, "proof of concept" laboratory space which researchers and entrepreneurs can essentially rent on a short-term basis to test an idea.
  • High-tech Business Incubator Space--Office and lab space at subsidized rates for start-up companies involved in cutting edge technology. Administrative and business support and collaboration with UMBC faculty is also provided.
  • Facilities for Emerging Technology Companies--Competitively-priced office and lab space (500 SF to 20,000 SF) and research collaboration with UMBC faculty.
  • Training/Education Facilities--Classrooms, teaching laboratories, seminar rooms, and auditorium for training entrepreneurs and scientists engaged in technology areas.
  • Research Park--Designed to encompass all stages of development described above, the 350,000 square foot research park will provide space for larger companies that have affinity with UMBC's research strengths in engineering, science and technology. Initial site grading has begun and the park's infrastructure will be completed next spring.

Among the Technology Center's 21 tenants, others include Direct Dimensions, an incubator firm that provides precise measurement and reverse engineering services to manufacturing and design companies; Ashurst Technology Group, an emerging technology firm specializing in the commercialization of innovative scientific research from the former Soviet Union; and the Parenteral Drug Association, which operates a training institute for laboratory-based pharmaceutical education.

Before consolidating its operations in 1995, the Lockheed-Martin Corporation operated the five-building, 30 acre research facility adjacent to Interstate 95, just five minutes from BWI Airport and 10 minutes from Baltimore city. The 170,000 square-foot facility includes a conference center, clean rooms and 50,000 square feet of wet-lab space.

Through efforts of the Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development, the Baltimore County Department of Economic Development, the Maryland Economic Development Corporation (MEDCO) and the General Assembly, the State reached an agreement to purchase the facility for $9.5 million, $5 million appropriated by the General Assembly. MEDCO then leased the facility to UMBC.

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Posted by dwinds1

May 29, 1997

UMBC PROGRAM TO HELP MAKE BALTIMORE LANDMARK LEAD-SAFE Patterson Park Pagoda Renovation Starts With Lead Containment Efforts

In an effort to preserve a piece of history for future generations, UMBC's Shriver Center has joined with the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning and community groups such as the Butchers Hill Association in the restoration of the Patterson Park Pagoda, a Baltimore landmark for over 100 years.

Baltimore, MD. In an effort to preserve a piece of history for future generations, UMBC's Shriver Center has joined with the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning and community groups such as the Butchers Hill Association in the restoration of the Patterson Park Pagoda, a Baltimore landmark for over 100 years.

On Tuesday, June 3 at 10:00am, Baltimore's Community Lead Education and Reduction Corps (CLEARCorps) will demonstrate the lead hazard reduction techniques to be used during the preliminary restoration efforts. CLEARCorps is assisting in this initial task to ensure the safety of community volunteers continuing the renovation.

The Pagoda event will kick-off Baltimore's celebration of Maryland Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, which highlights programs throughout the state focused on preventing the environmental disease most deadly to the nation's children. This year's theme, "Do Your Part to Create Lead-Safe Homes," emphasizes the importance of collective involvement in addressing this complex problem. Shriver Center CLEARCorps members will show how individuals can follow simple steps to reduce the risk of lead poisoning in their own homes. Government agencies and organizations active in the fight against childhood lead poisoning will also be on hand to offer information and resource suggestions to community members.

WBAL anchor Donna Hamilton will host a brief program, to include remarks by UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski and CLEARCorps National Director Jamie Price. Media representatives will also be invited to tour lead hazard control efforts underway in the Pagoda.

CLEARCorps is an AmeriCorps program focused on targeted, feasible, and cost-effective solutions to reduce childhood lead poisoning in urban neighborhoods. Corps members educate parents and other community members on lead risk reduction; and clean and repair homes to reduce the risk of lead poisoning. UMBC's Shriver Center is the national administrator of CLEARCorps and presently supervises sites in Charleston, SC; Minneapolis, MN; and Pittsburgh, PA. Sites are scheduled to open in Austin, TX and Portland, OR this summer.

Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning is regarded as a leading resource for prevention, outreach, education, and lead-safe community initiative assistance. The Coalition's programs include a Lead Safe Housing Registry; Education on Local, State, and Federal Laws and Grants Program; Early Intervention Programs; and Prevention Training Programs.

For more information on CLEARCorps, call 410.455.2493.

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Posted by dwinds1

May 27, 1997

UMBC PROGRAM TO HELP MAKE BALTIMORE LANDMARK LEAD-SAFE

In an effort to preserve a piece of history for future generations, UMBC's Shriver Center has joined with the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning and community groups such as the Butchers Hill Association in the restoration of the Patterson Park Pagoda, a Baltimore landmark for over 100 years.

Baltimore, MD. In an effort to preserve a piece of history for future generations, UMBC's Shriver Center has joined with the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning and community groups such as the Butchers Hill Association in the restoration of the Patterson Park Pagoda, a Baltimore landmark for over 100 years.

On Tuesday, June 3 at 10:00am, Baltimore's Community Lead Education and Reduction Corps (CLEARCorps) will demonstrate the lead hazard reduction techniques to be used during the preliminary restoration efforts. CLEARCorps is assisting in this initial task to ensure the safety of community volunteers continuing the renovation.

The Pagoda event will kick-off Baltimore's celebration of Maryland Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, which highlights programs throughout the state focused on preventing the environmental disease most deadly to the nation's children. This year's theme, "Do Your Part to Create Lead-Safe Homes," emphasizes the importance of collective involvement in addressing this complex problem. Shriver Center CLEARCorps members will show how individuals can follow simple steps to reduce the risk of lead poisoning in their own homes. Government agencies and organizations active in the fight against childhood lead poisoning will also be on hand to offer information and resource suggestions to community members.

WBAL anchor Donna Hamilton will host a brief program, to include remarks by UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski and CLEARCorps National Director Jamie Price. Media representatives will also be invited to tour lead hazard control efforts underway in the Pagoda.

CLEARCorps is an AmeriCorps program focused on targeted, feasible, and cost-effective solutions to reduce childhood lead poisoning in urban neighborhoods. Corps members educate parents and other community members on lead risk reduction; and clean and repair homes to reduce the risk of lead poisoning. UMBC's Shriver Center is the national administrator of CLEARCorps and presently supervises sites in Charleston, SC; Minneapolis, MN; and Pittsburgh, PA. Sites are scheduled to open in Austin, TX and Portland, OR this summer.

Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning is regarded as a leading resource for prevention, outreach, education, and lead-safe community initiative assistance. The Coalition's programs include a Lead Safe Housing Registry; Education on Local, State, and Federal Laws and Grants Program; Early Intervention Programs; and Prevention Training Programs.

For more information on CLEARCorps, call 410.455.2493.

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Posted by dwinds1

October 4, 1996

UMBC TECHNOLOGY CENTER GRAND OPENING SET FOR FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 1 P.M.

Assisted by a robotic hand at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Governor Parris N. Glendening, UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski, Baltimore County Executive C.A. "Dutch" Ruppersberger, other state representatives, guests, and tenants of the UMBC Technology Center will officially dedicate the facility on Friday, November 8, at 1 p.m. The festivities also include a luncheon exhibition of tenants' work and self-guided tours.

Baltimore, MD, November 4, 1996Assisted by a robotic hand at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Governor Parris N. Glendening, UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski, Baltimore County Executive C.A. "Dutch" Ruppersberger, other state representatives, guests, and tenants of the UMBC Technology Center will officially dedicate the facility on Friday, November 8, at 1 p.m. The festivities also include a luncheon exhibition of tenants' work and self-guided tours.

"The UMBC Technology Center is another giant step towards reaching our goal of making Maryland the benchmark for national economic development, and a model of success in developing public-private partnerships," says Governor Glendening. "This facility will spawn the type of private sector economic development that is the key to our efforts to move Maryland forward into the 21st century."

Before consolidating its operations in 1995, the Lockheed-Martin Corporation operated the five-building, 30 acre research facility adjacent to Interstate 95, just five minutes from BWI Airport and 10 minutes from Baltimore city. The 170,000 square-foot facility includes a conference center, clean rooms and 50,000 square feet of wet-lab space, which is difficult to find in Maryland. Through efforts of the Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development, the Maryland Economic Development Corporation (MEDCO) and the General Assembly, the State reached an agreement to purchase the facility for $9.5 million, $5 million appropriated by the General Assembly. MEDCO then leased the facility to UMBC last spring.

Since opening in April, the UMBC Technology Center has created and/or retained 115 jobs (several Lockheed-Martin researchers stayed on to start their own companies). The center has also leased 80 percent of its laboratory space to 12 incubator and emerging technology companies. More importantly, the center has strengthened UMBC's progress in establishing a system of facilities to support high technology business development. This system includes:

  • Pre-incubator, "proof of concept" laboratory space which researchers and entrepreneurs can essentially rent on a short-term basis to test an idea.

  • High-tech Business Incubator Space--Office and lab space at subsidized rates to start-up companies involved in cutting edge technology. Administrative and business support and collaboration with UMBC faculty is also provided. Example: Direct Dimensions provides rapid measurement of 3-D features into CAD systems; performs reverse engineering, and provides solutions to complex measurement problems. The company also works with Professor Uri Tasch, who will control the robotic hand at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

  • Facilities for Emerging Technology Companies--Competitively-priced office and lab space (500 SF to 20,000 SF), and research collaboration with UMBC faculty. Example: In Vitro Technologies, Inc., a graduate of UMBC's incubator program, is the leading U.S. contract laboratory dedicated to providing state-of-the-art in vitro (in test tube) testing for effects of chemicals on human organs, and for predicting human drug metabolism and absorption.

  • Research Collaborations--Joint university/industry research collaborations. Example: Anderson Materials Evaluation, Inc., which provides electron spectroscopic analyses to characterize solid materials, thin films and coatings, has worked closely with mechanical engineering professor Tim Topoleski, an expert in biomaterials.

  • Training/Education Facilities--Classrooms, teaching laboratories, seminar rooms, and auditorium for training entrepreneurs and scientists engaged in technology areas. Example: The Parenteral Drug Association (PDA), which represents 7,000 members of the pharmaceutical industry worldwide, has established its new training institute for laboratory based education and training--the only one of its kind--at the UMBC Technology Center.

  • Research Park--Designed to encompass all stages of development described above, the 300,000 square foot research park will provide space for larger companies that have affinity with UMBC's research strengths in engineering, science and technology. Groundbreaking for the park is scheduled for summer of 1997.

    "The UMBC Technology Center will allow us to expand our highly successful new business incubator program and encourage technology commercialization," says UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski. "The project complements UMBC's role in science and engineering research and will allow us to support the region and the State in economic development."

    Other dedication ceremony participants will include Tom Quinn, president of LMC Properties, Ed Fry, president of PDA, Jo Ann Argersinger, provost of UMBC, Mark Behm, vice president for administrative affairs at UMBC, and Ellen Wiggins, executive director of the UMBC Research Park.

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    Posted by dwinds1

    June 29, 1996

    NEW PHARMACEUTICAL TRAINING INSTITUTE TO LOCATE AT UMBC TECHNOLOGY CENTER

    The Parenteral Drug Association( PDA) of Bethesda, Maryland has agreed to launch its new training institute for laboratory-based pharmaceutical education at the UMBC Technology Center.

    Baltimore, MDThe Parenteral Drug Association( PDA) of Bethesda, Maryland has agreed to launch its new training institute for laboratory-based pharmaceutical education at the UMBC Technology Center.

    "UMBC is an ideal site that is easily accessible for our members and conveniently located to important bioprocessing resources such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), UMBC's own biotechnology programs, the Maryland Bioprocessing Center, the Columbus Center, the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, Johns Hopkins University, and our headquarters, says PDA President Edmund M. Fry. " We're very excited about the possibilities.

    Specifically, PDA's partnership with the UMBC Technology Center will draw on the university's faculty expertise in structural biochemistry, molecular biology and FDA bioprocessing standards, commonly referred to as Good Manufacturing Processes (GMPs).

    The UMBC Technology Center is adjacent to I-95, just 15 minutes from downtown Baltimore, 30 minutes from the Washington, DC beltway and only a few minutes from Baltimore-Washington International Airport and AMTRAK's BWI railway station. This makes the institute especially accessible to the pharmaceutical industry's traditional base in the Delaware Valley and southern New Jersey. PDA estimates half of the institute's attendees will come from this area.

    PDA's new training institute will also showcase the Baltimore-Washington region's opportunities for biotechnology research and manufacturing by bringing 50 to 75 students during each of the 75 teaching days PDA will offer this coming year. These students--high level scientists, researchers and manufacturers from pharmaceutical companies worldwide, as well as the FDA and other agencies--will also stay in Baltimore hotels and be shuttled to and from the institute, with an average stay of three days.

    "Through the PDA Training Institute, pharmaceutical professionals from the U.S. and abroad will gain exposure to the wealth of biotechnology expertise in the Baltimore-Washington corridor, says Baltimore County Executive C.A Dutch Ruppersberger. "I am delighted to see Baltimore County gain a vital resource that will not only enhance the skills and opportunities of a sophisticated work force, but also strengthen the Baltimore region's position as a leader in biotechnology development.

    Last year, PDA's continuing education program served over 2,700 professionals, but that number could grow in size and scope, since the program is relatively young and 30 percent of the membership--which has doubled to more than 7,000 over the past five years--comes from outside the U.S., largely from Europe and Japan. Once initial renovations for laboratory, classroom and office space are completed this year, the institute will provide a dedicated, 11,000 square-foot training facility.

    "Locating the PDA Training Institute at UMBC's Technology Center is an exciting example of the collaboration that can take place between industry and education, says James T. Brady, secretary of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, which is joining Baltimore County to fund renovations required by PDA. "It's a win-win deal that will clearly benefit both PDA and the business climate of the region.

    PDA was introduced to UMBC through Antonio Moreira, associate provost for Academic Affairs and a biotechnology expert who has also taught in PDA's education program. After several lecture-only seminars at hotels, Moreira understood PDA's need for a permanent, laboratory-based training facility in pharmaceutical industry practices. Working with UMBC, the Baltimore County Department of Economic Development and State Department of Business and Economic Development developed a package of incentives that brought PDA to the UMBC Technology Center.

    "It was an excellent opportunity for the private and public sector to combine their resources to produce positive economic benefits for the county, says Robert L. Hannon, executive director of the Baltimore County Department of Economic Development. "We hope that our support in providing financing to bring the facility to the standards required by a top flight training center will contribute to the success of PDA's activities, and will attract additional technological firms to Baltimore County.

    "As a magnet for high-tech incubator and emerging technology companies, UMBC's Technology Center is serving the region and the stat" adds Ellen Wiggins, executive director of the UMBC Research Park, which is scheduled to break ground in 1997. "PDA's Training Institute is a wonderful addition to the facility that will generate increased visibility and interest for both the UMBC Technology Center and the planned Research Park.

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    Posted by dwinds1



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