All posts by: Megan Hanks Mastrola


Passion for interdisciplinary thinking

Arjun Trivedi ‘22, M30, mechanical engineering, is passionate about engineering, computing, and connecting with people outside of his field, who have different perspectives. He wants to learn about what drives them, how they think about the world, and if they have advice that could apply to his experience.

Creating a unique path where art and technology meet

Bryan Castillo ‘22, business technology administration, came to UMBC from Howard Community College as a first-generation college student with a clear vision on how he would succeed: making connections and exploring every opportunity. He wanted to combine his interest in art with his passion for technology. He also wanted to make sure he felt supported on his college journey and could make life-long friends.

Bridging environmental research and activism

At UMBC, Aiman Raza has conducted research under Kevin Omland, professor of biological sciences, and at the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology, located in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. She also completed a virtual summer internship with the Smithsonian, where she studied fish and crustacean communities on oyster reefs in the Chesapeake Bay.

UMBC Albin O'Kuhn Library in springtime.

Can you catch a deepfake? UMBC researchers receive NSF award to help people identify audio deepfakes

Vandana Janeja and Christine Mallinson have received a two-year, $300,000 grant from NSF to study deepfakes, focusing on audio clips. Deepfakes are images, videos, and sounds that are developed using artificial intelligence, but that are designed to appear as real-life recordings. They can be highly deceiving for audiences, impacting public opinion and behavior.

The College Tour series on Amazon spotlights the UMBC student experience

The College Tour, an Emmy-nominated and award-winning TV series now streaming on Amazon, offers prospective college students and their families an opportunity to get a first-hand glimpse of colleges and universities across the country, with students as the tour guides. Through interviews with students, prospective students from around the world explore academic, social, cultural, and campus life at these institutions. The latest season highlights UMBC in a full, hour-long episode.

UMBC’s Cynthia Matuszek receives NSF CAREER Award to study how robots understand spoken language

Robots are becoming increasingly capable of complex tasks and are moving into roles that previously could only be done by people, in sectors like healthcare, education, and elder care. UMBC’s Cynthia Matuszek has received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award to study how robots learn about the physical world from spoken language to improve how they work with people.

Four UMBC students receive Goldwater Scholarship for STEM research, tying prior record

Four UMBC students have been named 2022-23 Goldwater Scholars, tying the university’s past record, set just last year. This year’s recipients are Christopher Slaughter ‘23, computer engineering; Rachel Myers ‘23, chemical engineering; Tobi Majekodunmi ‘23, mechanical engineering; and D’Juan Moreland ‘23, biological sciences and music. UMBC had more winners this year than any other institution in the state of Maryland. 

U.S. News names UMBC graduate programs among the nation’s best 

U.S. News announced its 2023 Best Graduate School rankings today, including outstanding UMBC graduate programs across all three colleges. Top fields where UMBC excels range from computer science and several types of engineering to psychology and statistics. Among UMBC’s 14 Best Graduate School rankings for 2023 are seven top-100 programs.

UMBC’s Riadul Islam receives NSF funding to secure cars against communication system attacks

As vehicles become more advanced, opportunities increase for hackers to remotely attack their embedded systems, creating significant safety concerns for drivers and passengers. UMBC’s Riadul Islam, assistant professor of computer science and electrical engineering, received a grant from the National Science Foundation to study how to better detect and protect against these cyber attacks.

UMBC’s Deepa Madan develops bendable zinc-based batteries

Rechargeable alkaline batteries are readily available at many stores and pharmacies, but they are rigid and cannot be used in slim or small devices that require batteries. Deepa Madan, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, and her research team are working to develop zinc-chitosan gel-based batteries that are enclosed in flexible plastic. This would revolutionize how consumers power devices they use every day.

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