“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.”
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.”
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.
“These results are important because spatial variation of dust around the globe can help determine whether dust is cooling or warming the planet overall,” which is still unknown, Qianqian Song says. Using new techniques to identify dust among all atmospheric particles opens up new avenues for research in this area.
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.”
Students from across all three UMBC colleges are graduating this week having taken advantage of the unique undergraduate research opportunities and supportive mentorship UMBC offers. They’re poised to take their research to the next level and move on to new challenges through graduate school and careers.
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 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.
“Quantitatively describing visual patterns is a big challenge, and there’s not one easy way to do that,” Sam Hulse says. By integrating their skills in math and biology, he and colleagues figured out a method to do it for the first time. The new results pave the way for a great deal of new research.
“For decades, the scientific community has known that two different structural forms of HIV RNA exist—they just didn’t know what controls that balance. So our discovery that a single nucleotide is having a huge effect is a paradigm shift in understanding how HIV works,” says Joshua Brown, Ph.D. ’18, biochemistry.