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Thursday, January 29, 2015

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Color My College 5K May Cause Traffic Delays

November 6, 2014

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The Color My College 5K run will take place on the University of Maryland campus and surrounding College Park community on Sunday, November 9 at 1 p.m.

University of Maryland alumni, current students and the entire university community will rally together to support Keep Me Maryland, an emergency fund created to assist students at risk of leaving school due to financial hardship.

There will be temporary closures on campus roadways for the run that may impact traffic coming to or from the university. To avoid delays, the best alternate routes to use are 193 to Stadium Drive, and Adelphi Road to Campus Drive near Lot 1.

WHAT: Possible traffic delays due to Color My College 5K

WHEN: Sunday, November 9 at 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

WHERE: University of Maryland campus and surrounding College Park community


10th Annual Cupid's Cup Business Competition Now Open

November 3, 2014

Greg Muraski 301-405-5283

Kevin Plank, UMD-Hosted Event Welcomes Top Student Entrepreneurs to Apply

Cupid's CupCOLLEGE PARK, Md. and BALTIMORE, Md. – Applications are now being accepted for the 2015 Cupid's Cup Business Competition, presented by Under Armour founder and CEO Kevin Plank and the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business. In the 10th annual competition, the top student entrepreneurs from across the country and around the world can compete for $115,000 in total cash prizes.

The application deadline is Jan. 5, 2015. The final competition is set for Wednesday, April 22, 2015, at UMD’s Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center.

Previous Cupid's Cup winners, finalists and semifinalists include startups that have: introduced in-helmet sensors to help identify in-game football player concussions (Brain Sentry); produced an award-winning party game among a product line in Target and specialty gaming stores (North Star Games); and leveraged a consumer advice-clothing line hybrid into a presence both online and in Lord & Taylor, Urban Outfitters, Nordstrom, Pacific Sunwear and more than 500 retailers worldwide (Crooked Monkey).

A panel of judges will narrow the applicant pool to six finalists in a semifinal competition round to be held at Under Armour’s Baltimore headquarters in March. In April, those finalists will pitch their businesses to Plank and a panel of judges in front of more than 1,000 attendees at the final competition. The day’s events also will include a business and innovation showcase highlighting UMD student and alumni startups.

Applicants will compete for a transformative prize package including:

  • Total cash prizes of $115,000, with $75,000 for the grand prize winner;
  • Coaching from a team of successful entrepreneurs; and
  • The prestigious Cupid's Cup.

“The goal of Cupid’s Cup is to identify and reward students who have the entrepreneurial drive and conviction to take a risk and start a business while they are young,” said Plank, founder and chairman of Cupid’s Cup. “In 2012, we took the competition to the national stage, and I’m more passionate than ever about finding the best student entrepreneurs in the world. I want to help another young innovator reach the next level with crucial funding and my personal help making a business connection.”

Cupid’s Cup was inspired by a rose delivery business Plank started as a UMD student. As a member of the football team, he wasn’t permitted to have an outside job, so he turned to entrepreneurship as a way to pursue his business interests. Plank worked with the university’s Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship to create and lead a business competition to foster similar student entrepreneurship. The Dingman Center, part of the Robert H. Smith School of Business, provides students with opportunities to pitch their business ideas, receive feedback from experienced entrepreneurs and access to funding.

“We appreciate this partnership with Kevin Plank enabling the Dingman Center to showcase creative and emerging startups from around the world,” said Alex Triantis, dean of the Robert H. Smith School of Business. The Cupid’s Cup competition illustrates our commitment to fostering innovation to drive economic growth.”

The competition is open to undergraduate and graduate students currently enrolled at accredited colleges and universities, or recent alumni of those institutions under the age of 30. Applicants must be running a legal business entity that has generated at least $5,000 in revenue or demonstrated proof of traction. There is no fee to apply.

The Dingman Center will hold a webinar information session about the competition on November 19, 2014.

More information about Cupid's Cup is available at

TerpVision 14: David C. Driskell Center

November 3, 2014

The David C. Driskell Center for the study of the visual arts and culture of African Americans and the African Diaspora, is home to one of the great collections of African art in the country. And it’s right here at the University of Maryland.

UMD, NIST Announce Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science

October 31, 2014

Abby Robinson, UMD, 301-405-5845
Jennifer Huergo, NIST, 301-975-6343

Center researchers aim to understand how quantum systems can store, transport, process information

Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer ScienceCOLLEGE PARK, Md. - The University of Maryland and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced today the creation of the Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science (QuICS), with the support and participation of the Research Directorate of the National Security Agency/Central Security Service (NSA/CSS). Scientists at the center will conduct basic research to understand how quantum systems can be effectively used to store, transport and process information.

This new center complements the fundamental quantum research performed at the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI), which was established in 2006 by UMD, NIST and the NSA. Focusing on one of JQI’s original objectives to fully understand quantum information, QuICS will bring together computer scientists—who have expertise in algorithm and computational complexity theory and computer architecture—with quantum information scientists and communications scientists.  

“This new endeavor builds on an already successful and fruitful collaboration at JQI,” said Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and Acting Director of NIST Willie May. “The new center will be a venue for groundbreaking basic research that will help to build our capacity for quantum research and train the next generation of researchers.”

UMD and NIST have a shared history of collaboration and cooperation in education, research and public service. They have long cooperated in building collaborative research consortia and programs that have resulted in extensive personal, professional and institutional relationships.

“By deepening our partnership with NIST, we now have all the ingredients in place to make major advances in quantum science,” said UMD President Wallace Loh. “This superb, world-class quantum program will team some of the best minds in physics, computer science and engineering to overcome the limitations of current computing systems.”

Dianne O’Leary, Distinguished University Professor Emerita in computer science at UMD, and Jacob Taylor, a NIST physicist and JQI Fellow, will serve as co-directors of the new center. Like the JQI, QuICS will be located on the UMD campus in College Park, Md.

The capabilities of today’s embedded and high-performance computer architectures have limited advances in critical areas, such as modeling the physical world, improving sensors and securing communications. Quantum computing could enable us to break through some of these barriers.

QuICS’ objectives will be to:

  • Develop a world-class research center that will build the scientific foundation for quantum information science to enable understanding of the relationships between information theory, computational complexity theory and nature, as well as the advances in computer science necessary to support potential quantum computing and communication devices and systems;
  • Maintain and enhance the nation’s leading role in quantum information science by expanding an already-powerful collaboration between UMD, NIST and NSA/CSS; and
  • Establish a unique, interdisciplinary center for the interchange of ideas among computer scientists, physicists and quantum information researchers.

Some of the topics QuICS researchers will initially examine include understanding how quantum mechanics informs computation and communication theories, determining what insights computer science can shed on quantum computing, investigating the consequences of quantum information theory for fundamental physics, and developing practical applications for theoretical advances in quantum computation and communication.

QuICS is expected to train scientists for future industrial and academic opportunities and provide U.S. industry with cutting-edge research results. By combining the strengths of UMD and NIST, QuICS will become an international center for excellence in quantum computer and information science.

QuICS will be the newest of 16 centers and labs within the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS). The center will bring together researchers from UMIACS; the UMD Departments of Physics and Computer Science; and the UMD Applied Mathematics & Statistics, and Scientific Computation program with NIST’s Information Technology and Physical Measurement laboratories.

UMD Named Gold-Level "Bicycle Friendly University"

October 31, 2014

Anna McLaughlin 301-314-0183

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Over the past two years, biking has continued to grow on campus and the university is earning the recognition to prove it. The League of American Bicyclists has announced their award winners for their Bicycle Friendly University (BFU) program. One of only 10 schools to earn the gold level or higher designation, and the only Bicycle Friendly University in the state, UMD leads the way for bicycle programming in Maryland and the region as it rises from a silver level BFU to gold.

bikeUMDThe bikeUMD program has been integral in helping achieve this honor. bikeUMD is a collaboration between the University of Maryland’s Department of Transportation Services and Campus Recreation Services, which work to promote and support all bicycle related activities and initiatives on UMD’s campus.

With the assistance of many active campus partners, including Dining Services, Residential Life, Facilities Management, Public Safety and the Office of Sustainability, bikeUMD continues to implement bicycle recommendations from the Facilities Master Plan. In FY14 bikeUMD:

  • Installed 82 shared lane markings on campus;
  • Installed 7 bicycle repair stations;
  • Added almost 700 bicycle parking spaces; and
  • Increased the semester rental bike fleet by 30 percent.

Currently, bikeUMD is working on installing electronic bike counters to facilitate accurate data collection, increasing the number of Learn to Ride and Confident Cycling classes and partnering with the City of College Park to bring a bikeshare program to campus. Additionally, bikeUMD offers programming such as regular bike rides to showcase local trails and destination, and a Bikes Be Bright safety promotion planned for November 11th where cyclists on campus can pick up a set of bike lights.

“This great achievement is a direct result of the strong support and teamwork from the students, staff and faculty at UMD” says David Allen, DOTS Director. “We look forward to making this relationship even stronger as we work to reach platinum status.”

Emerging Disease Could Wipe Out American, European Salamanders

October 30, 2014

Heather Dewar 301-405-9267

Scientists call for controls on imports to check spread of deadly fungus

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - A deadly disease that is wiping out salamanders in parts of Europe will inevitably reach the U.S. through the international wildlife trade unless steps are taken to halt its spread, says University of Maryland amphibian expert Karen Lips.

Mortality was 100% among Eastern red-spotted newts (Nothophthalmus viridescens) exposed to a newly-named fungus emerging from Asia. The North American native, shown here in its juvenile stage, is a popular aquarium pet. Photo credit: Edward KabayThe recently described fungus, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans, has caused a crash in wild populations of fire salamanders in the Netherlands.  After the fungus was discovered in Europe last year, Lips joined an international team of experts that tested more than 5,000 amphibians from four continents. Their results, published Oct. 31 in the journal Science, show the fungus probably originated in Southeast Asia 30 million years ago and reached Europe through the international trade in Asian newts, which are popular with amphibian fanciers.

The fungus, which is lethal to at least a dozen European and North American salamander and newt species, has not yet reached the Americas, says Lips, a UMD associate professor of biology and one of the world's top experts in amphibian diseases. Lips and a colleague, Cornell University Professor Kelly Zamudio, screened about 1,400 frogs, salamanders and newts from sites in North and South America and found no trace of the fungus.

But Chinese fire belly newts are potential carriers of B. salamandrivorans, and more than 2.3 million of them were imported into the U.S. for the pet trade between 2001 and 2009. If even a few of these animals have the fungus, "it's a question of when, not if, this fungus reaches North America," says UMD graduate student Carly Muletz, a co-author of the Science paper.

Lips says scientists can act now to track, and ideally prevent, a disease outbreak from ravaging wild populations of newts and salamanders in the Americas. Current U.S. regulations focus on monitoring live animal imports to prevent the spread of diseases to humans and livestock, not to native wildlife, says Lips. She and other experts recently briefed Congressional staffers on the need to fill in this regulatory gap.

"If scientists and policy makers can work together on this, we have a rare opportunity to stop an epidemic from spreading around the globe with potentially deadly effect," says Lips.

North America is the global center of salamander biodiversity, home to more than 150 of the world's 655 known salamander species. Reclusive and mostly nocturnal, these rarely-seen creatures are the subjects of folklore—associated with fire because of some species' brilliant coloring, poisons because of the toxins some produce to discourage predators, and immortality because of their ability to regenerate lost limbs.

B. salamandrivorans rapidly invades salamanders' skin, which plays a crucial role in the animals' respiratory system. Scientists don't yet know how it kills its hosts, Lips said, but a sister fungus, Batracochytrium dendrobatidis, also infects skin, interfering with amphibians' breathing and their ability to absorb water and essential minerals. B. dendrobatidis infects more than 520 amphibian species around the world, has caused steep declines in populations of frogs and salamanders, and has driven some species into extinction. The scientists fear B. salamandrivorans might prove equally devastating.

The researchers found that newts, a subgroup within the salamander family, are especially vulnerable to B. salamandrivorans.  When two common North American species—the Eastern red-spotted newt, a showy animal often kept as a pet, and the rough-skinned newt, which ranges from British Columbia to the Mexican border—were exposed to the fungus in laboratory tests, 100% of the animals died.

"We have billions of these newts living in the wild all across the continent," says Lips, "and because they're highly sensitive to this fungus, they could amplify it or spread it to other groups of salamanders. We don't know what the consequences of that might be."

Lips and her colleagues hope to establish a surveillance network to monitor wild salamander and newt populations for signs of the fungus. Lips and other experts are also calling for a testing program to sample animals in the wildlife trade that may carry the pathogen, to trace its movement and mitigate its impact.

"This study captures a pathogen's first steps out of Asia," says Zamudio. "The more globalized our world becomes, the more our biodiversity will be challenged by diseases moving into areas where they have never occurred before."

Lips, who directs UMD's Graduate Program in Sustainable Development and Conservation Biology, is internationally known for her work studying, and trying to prevent, the world-wide loss of amphibian species that has been called the great amphibian extinction mystery. Read her personal, compelling account of 15 years of leading involvement in this effort in a May 15, 2013, Scientific American blog: "What If There Is No Happy Ending? Science Communication as a Path to Change." Lips and her work has been featured in media articles and books, including in "The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History" a 2014 book by Elizabeth Kolbert, whose acknowledgements section includes a thanks to Lips and a number of other scientists for helping Kolbert to understand the "amphibian crisis" that is one part of a rapidly occurring, world-wide and human-caused massive extinction of living species. 

The current study by Lips and her colleagues, Recent introduction of a chytrid fungus endangers Western Palearctic salamanders, was led by two professors from Ghent University in Belgium—An Martel, who first isolated B. salamandrivorans, and Frank Pasmans—with contributions from researchers at 20 institutions worldwide. It was published in the Oct. 31, 2014 issue of the journal Science.

UMD Ranked Top 100 in U.S. News Best Global Universities

October 29, 2014

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland ranks No. 51 in the first U.S. News & World Report Best Global Universities rankings, which recognize the top 500 institutions from nearly 50 countries.

Aerial view of M Circle, intramural fields and campus drive.Universities were measured by their academic research performance and their global and regional reputations. The rankings focused on factors such as global research reputation, publications, and international collaborations.

UMD was also ranked among the top 25 in four subject rankings:

  • Physics – No. 18
  • Geoscience – No. 15
  • Space science – No. 21
  • Economics and business – No. 25

Nine additional subjects at UMD made the top 100, including computer science, social science and public health, environment/ecology, psychology, engineering, agriculture, microbiology, plant and animal science, and chemistry.

In addition to being recognized in the top 100 of the Best Global Universities, UMD is ranked No. 43 in the world according to the prestigious Academic Ranking of World Universities (Shanghai Jiao Tong University), which ranks the world's top universities based on research.

For the full listing of the Best Global Universities, click here.

Maryland Dairy Celebrates 90 Years

October 28, 2014

Lori Dominick 301‐314‐8017

Maryland Dairy Ice CreamCOLLEGE PARK, Md. – The Maryland Dairy is celebrating 90 years of making its famous, hand‐crafted, small‐batch ice cream at the University of Maryland. The celebration kicked off in mid-October with premium ice cream specials for Homecoming Week and continues this month with a featured Pumpkin Swirl flavor. The ice cream team, led by Chef Jeff Russo, is creating new menu items and seasonal flavors that will debut in November and December. The celebration culminates with a 90th Anniversary Party on December 12, the last day of classes.

The Dairy Salesroom opened in 1924 in the Dairy Building on Route One in College Park as an outlet for dairy products supplied by University cows. The Dairy originally featured milk, butter, cream and eggs. Dr. Wendell S. Arbuckle and Dr. C. Walter England of the College of Agriculture pioneered ice cream recipes and experimented with new flavors and techniques. Dr. Arbuckle and Dr. England are considered to be the fathers of modern ice cream and Dr. Arbuckle’s book is still circulating as one of the definitive texts.

As campus grew, and land became more valuable, the dairy herd was moved off‐campus to University farms. In 2005, UMD Dining Services was charged with making Famous Maryland Dairy ice cream. The manufacturing equipment and refrigeration units were moved to South Campus Dining Hall. Dining Services still uses some of the original equipment and original recipes developed by Dr. Arbuckle and Dr. English in the 1920s and 1930s.

“The campus has always been proud of Maryland Dairy Ice Cream. It was groundbreaking when it first appeared on campus in the twenties, a small‐town tradition in the fifties and now represents tradition and innovation on our campus” says Joe Mullineaux, senior associate director, Dining Services.

Maryland Dairy in StampThis April, the Maryland Dairy moved from the Dairy Building (now known as Turner Hall) to the Stamp Student Union. The Maryland Dairy continues to offer traditional flavors as well as University themed flavors like Fear the Turtle, Rockin’ Randy and B1G. Guests can enjoy a scoop of famous Maryland Dairy ice cream in a cup, a cone, a sundae, a banana split, a root beer float, or in a decadent hand spun milkshake. Ice cream is also available in half gallons and three‐gallon tubs.

“We are so excited to have the Maryland Dairy join the Adele Stamp Student Union. I consider The Stamp to be at the heart of campus and Maryland Dairy Ice Cream is a tradition that touches the heart of faculty, staff, alumni and students. It’s great that we can become the new home of this cornerstone tradition,” says Marsha Guenzler‐Stevens, director of the Stamp Student Union.

“Commemorating 90 years of University of Maryland Dairy ice cream is a perfect way to let the campus and surrounding community know this important Maryland tradition is alive and delicious”, said Colleen Wright Riva, director of Dining Services. “I’d like to invite everyone to visit Maryland Dairy in its new location in the Stamp Student Union to celebrate with us.”

Maryland Dairy is open Monday‐Friday 11:00 am to 8:30 pm and 11‐4 on Saturdays.

For more visit


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