Science & Technology

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.

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. 

UMBC researchers discover genes linked to medication response, laying foundation for precision medicine

A new study that tested thousands of fruit flies may eventually give doctors the ability to make better-informed decisions about which medications to prescribe for older adults. “Our genetics matters,” says Mariann Gabrawy. “Humans don’t all react the same to various prescription medications. So it’s really important to be able to look at an individual patient and figure out if some particular medication is going to work for them or not.”

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.

$21M Sherman Family Foundation gift supports UMBC’s bold commitment to PreK-12 research, teaching, and learning

The largest gift in the history of UMBC—a $21 million donation from the Sherman Family Foundation—will dramatically expand the reach and impact of the university’s K-12 and early childhood education work. The transformational gift will provide funding to launch the Betsy & George Sherman Center as a national model to advance excellence in urban schools.

Meet the UMBC alumni who built the Smithsonian’s Searchable Museum, expanding online access to African American history and culture

Baltimore-based tech company Fearless and a team of UMBC alumni led the development of the the Searchable Museum to complement the National Museum of African American History and Culture’s “Slavery and Freedom” exhibition. The Fearless and NMAAHC teams worked together to reimagine this exhibit specifically for online audiences.

UMBC’s Mohamed Younis earns IEEE Fellow distinction as a leader in wireless network research

Mohamed Younis has long been known as an innovator in wireless communications and networks, addressing complex protocol and security challenges. Now, he is one of the newest fellows of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). The IEEE is a professional organization dedicated to advancing technology. It is the world’s leading and largest technical society, with over 400,000 members in more than 160 countries.The organization awards the IEEE Fellow distinction to members who have contributed to their fields in particularly significant ways.

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