GradResearch

An adult with dark hair pulled back wearing a Fuchsia dress jacket and a blouse with Fuchsia flowers stands in front of a tree. Immigrant, UMBC, teenager.

Giving voice to immigrant experiences

“When I arrived in Spain as a teenager, my teachers did not expect me to go to college because I was an immigrant and because I didn’t have the resources to access certain learning opportunities,” says Melisa Argañaraz Gomez, Ph.D. ’22, geography and environmental systems. “Now, as a graduate student in the U.S., remembering my experience as a teenager helps me connect with the students I support and empathize with their lives.”

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.”

UMBC research group tackles ongoing hurdles to efficient solar power tech

Two new papers from Can Ataca’s research group at UMBC set the stage for further advances in solar power and other renewable energy technologies. Graduate students Daniel Wines and Gracie Chaney led the projects. Ataca’s group’s work is theory- and computation-based, but these projects took advantage of collaboration with experimental researchers. As work in this field develops from theory to implementation in devices, “There’s a need for both kinds of research at every stage,” Wines says.

roses in foreground, open field, two brick buildings in background

NASA, Dept. of Energy grant prestigious research awards to UMBC physics Ph.D. students

Noah Sienkiewicz, the NASA recipient, says UMBC’s partnerships with the agency helped set him up for success. “I’ve gotten to be more exposed to actual NASA work, and sit in meetings with NASA officials,” he says. “So, as far as the childhood dream of ‘I want to work for NASA,’ I feel like it’s been a great stepping stone to doing that.”

A pile of books and papers and a white board covered with equations

Quantum computing, but even faster? UMBC researchers explore the possibilities with new NSF grant

Quantum computers have the potential to revolutionize communications, cybersecurity, and more. But as Sebastian Deffner notes, “Even quantum computing has shortcomings.” Deffner and Nathan Myers will explore ways to work around some of quantum computing’s limits with a new NSF grant. And in the process, they just might redefine the fundamental laws of physics.

UMBC’s newest computing grads, from bachelor’s to Ph.D., share stories of connection, support, opportunity

UMBC’s newest graduates in computing and data science fields include students at all stages in their education and careers. Undergraduates, master’s students seeking to access new career opportunities, and Ph.D. students completing high-impact research have thrived at UMBC. Many cite the university’s strong academics, accessible faculty, research opportunities, and connections across disciplines as drawing them to UMBC.

UMBC team reveals possibilities of new one-atom-thick materials

Daniel Wines and Can Ataca are “trying to stay five or so years ahead of experimentalists,” Wines says. Their computational research lays the groundwork for developing 2D materials for particular applications from solar cells to wearable electronics.

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