Science & Tech

Arecibo Conference Center

UMBC joins collaboration to create new STEM education, research center at Arecibo Observatory site in Puerto Rico

This week UMBC was named as one of four institutions chosen to work together on a National Science Foundation-funded project to establish a new science educational center at the Arecibo Observatory site in Puerto Rico. NSF will contribute more than $5 million over five years to establish the multidisciplinary center, called the Arecibo Center for Culturally Relevant and Inclusive Science Education, Computational Skills, and Community Engagement (Arecibo C3). Continue Reading UMBC joins collaboration to create new STEM education, research center at Arecibo Observatory site in Puerto Rico

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Justin Webster receives NSF grant to study mathematical models behind oscillation of plane wings, bridges, energy harvesters

Although objects like bridges, buildings, and airplane wings may seem quite rigid, by design they are capable of a surprising deal of bending. This elasticity allows them to deform safely and temporarily in windy conditions. However, very rarely, “Elastic systems like bridges, buildings, and planes can become oscillatory or unstable in the presence of everyday wind, with potential for the oscillations to become damaging,” Justin Webster says. “Understanding this has big implications for fields like civil engineering or alternative energy.” Continue Reading Justin Webster receives NSF grant to study mathematical models behind oscillation of plane wings, bridges, energy harvesters

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Deepak Koirala to explore how RNA viruses hijack cellular machinery, with eye to future drug treatments

RNA viruses cause many human diseases, but understanding of how they do it is poorly understood. Deepak Koirala is pursuing new research to figure out how they trick their host cells into making viral proteins. “It could be a new biological mechanism we’ve never seen before,” Koirala says. Continue Reading Deepak Koirala to explore how RNA viruses hijack cellular machinery, with eye to future drug treatments

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UMBC’s Steve Freeland co-leads $1.8 million research grant to predict the biochemical foundations of life beyond Earth

Every living thing on Earth uses the same set of 20 amino acids to build all of its proteins. But why that particular set of 20? And how might we recognize life beyond Earth based on different molecules? Now Stephen Freeland and colleagues are taking this work from theory to the laboratory for the first time. “Nobody knows what will happen,” Freeland says. “This is a first.” Continue Reading UMBC’s Steve Freeland co-leads $1.8 million research grant to predict the biochemical foundations of life beyond Earth

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STEM BUILD interns shine at UMBC’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fest

Summer Undergraduate Research Fest gives students early in their research careers a chance to feel like part of a scholarly community. In mentoring students completing summer research, “Our main goal is to help them see and feel that they belong in science and that they can be future leaders in this field,” Maria Cambraia says. Continue Reading STEM BUILD interns shine at UMBC’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fest

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NEXUS Institute for Quantitative Biology celebrates student success, community college partnerships

In 2018, faculty at UMBC and four of its top-sending community colleges embarked on a project to improve students’ quantitative biology skills and eliminate the achievement gap between transfer and direct-entry students in courses requiring these skills. This summer, they reported significant positive outcomes and committed to continue the work. Continue Reading NEXUS Institute for Quantitative Biology celebrates student success, community college partnerships

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UMBC’s Achuth Padmanabhan to pursue promising ovarian cancer research with $1.5 million in grants

Achuth Padmanabhan’s research group, which includes graduate, undergraduate, and high school students, is revealing new potential treatment options by expanding understanding of the basic biology of ovarian cancer. Overall, “our goal is to eliminate ovarian cancer mortality,” he says. Continue Reading UMBC’s Achuth Padmanabhan to pursue promising ovarian cancer research with $1.5 million in grants

Two people look at model plane in lab space.

UMBC teams with the Navy and the University of Arizona to develop new capabilities for hypersonic flight

UMBC’s Ankit Goel has been investigating better ways to control aircraft flying at hypersonic speeds, by primarily focusing on the vehicle’s engine. He recently received more than $850,000 in funding from the Office of Naval Research to further the investigations. Over the next three years he will partner with Kyle Hanquist at the University of Arizona and researchers from the Naval Air Warfare Center (NAWC) to develop improved engine control strategies and assess their performance in ground experiments conducted at the NAWC facility at China Lake, California. Continue Reading UMBC teams with the Navy and the University of Arizona to develop new capabilities for hypersonic flight

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Michelle Starz-Gaiano brings leadership experience, relationships to new department chair role

Michelle Starz-Gaiano began as an assistant professor at UMBC in 2008. Since then, her research program has blossomed, she’s mentored half a dozen graduate students and more than 50 undergraduates, and she’s taken on numerous leadership roles. Now she’ll add department chair to that list. “I think we have amazing people working and studying here,” she says, “and I really want to make sure they can be successful.” Continue Reading Michelle Starz-Gaiano brings leadership experience, relationships to new department chair role

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