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Terrapin 1 Teaches Rhino Poachers to Fear the Turtle

May 28, 2013

Heather Dewar 301-405-9267

Photo credit: Tom SnitchCOLLEGE PARK, Md. - Guided by computer modeling developed by a University of Maryland visiting professor, the first unmanned aerial vehicle flight of its kind has successfully protected an adult rhinoceros and its calf in a South African rhino poaching hot spot.

In response to a deadly epidemic of rhino killings, which are being slaughtered for the ivory in the horns, Tom Snitch, Ph.D., of the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS) has organized an all-volunteer expedition to conduct experimental anti-poaching surveillance near South Africa's Krueger National Park. The team is currently testing portable unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), or drones, equipped with infrared cameras and guided by a computer program that predicts the movements of rhinos and poachers.

This combined technology is a new weapon in the war on wildlife poachers. UMIACS faculty members have used the same programming techniques to detect explosives caches used by insurgents in Iraq, and are working on other non-military applications of UAV flights, including wilderness rescue missions and surveillance of fast-moving crop diseases.

University of Maryland visiting scholar Tom Snitch demonstrates a hand launch of the Falcon UAV nicknamed Terrapin 1 (in honor of the University's mascot) at Olifant West, a private game preserve near South Africa's Krueger National Park. An all-volunteer team field-tested the UAV, or drone, combined with a special predictive computer model as a new tool for intercepting rhino poachers The technology performed "flawlessly," team members sad.On May 26, the team conducted the first night flight of a UAV dubbed "Terrapin One" (pictured left held by Snitch) over the Olifant West section of the Balule Game Reserve near Krueger National Park. During the 70-minute anti-poaching mission, the team was able to locate a rhino and its calf in only a few minutes using their analytical model. Flying around the rhinos in a grid pattern looking for potential poachers, the UAV spotted a suspicious car stopping close by and the team was able to alert the authorities immediately.

"The flight paths which we created with our analytical model took us precisely to where the mathematics suggests that a rhino was most likely to be and we were able to easily spot the animals from 200 meters in the air. We were also able to close in on a suspect vehicle and begin a rapid response activity," says Snitch. "We believe this is the first time that a UAV has been flown at night, with an infrared camera, where rhinos were identified from the air and a possible - and it is only a possible - poaching event was successfully deterred."

A reporter for The Telegraph of London was on the scene. Read her account of Terrapin One's maiden flight and the ongoing shooting war that pits rhino poachers against conservationists, private game wardens and the South African government.

Read earlier coverage, based on Dr. Snitch's April 11 on-campus talk about the rhino poaching crisis and his plans for mission that is now underway.


A drone’s eye view of wild rhinos and elephants at night, as seen by an infrared camera aboard the Falcon UAV nicknamed “Terrapin One.” Footage courtesy of Falcon UAV:

New Parenting Program Benefits ADHD Children

May 23, 2013

Alana Carchedi 301-405-0235

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – A new program for treating the emotional health of mothers of children with ADHD has shown significant benefits for the children themselves, finds a new study by University of Maryland researchers. The program combines treatment for a mother's stress/depression with behavioral parenting skills training. The study's findings were recently published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology

More than 50 percent of mothers with children who have ADHD have a lifetime history of major depression. When mothers are stressed or depressed, they often have difficulty being positive, patient, and consistent with their challenging children. In turn, less optimal parenting style may have adverse effects on their children, which can lead to conduct problems, depression and even suicide attempts.

UMD associate professor of psychology Andrea Chronis-TuscanoThe research, led by UMD associate professor of psychology Andrea Chronis-Tuscano, uses a new method of intervention for mothers of children with ADHD, which not only teaches mothers to manage their children's behavior but also teaches them to manage their own mood and stress by engaging in enjoyable activities, maintaining a positive attitude, and learning relaxation techniques.

"Psychologists and therapists often only focus on the child with ADHD—they often don't  look at the parents," says Chronis-Tuscano. "By paying attention to the mental health needs of mothers, we have found that we can effectively improve outcomes for the child with ADHD."

The parenting interventions integrated a cognitive-behavioral course in coping with depression with behavioral parent training, which includes topics like praising positive child behaviors, creating house rules, ,maintaining structure and routines, and implementing consistent non-physical consequences for misbehavior. The group sessions were primarily instructive but also incorporated group discussion, modeling, role play and home exercises that involved practicing the parenting skills.

"By teaching moms to take care of themselves, they can be better parents to their children with ADHD," says Chronis-Tuscano.

Finance Prof. Comments on Apple Income Tax Dodge

May 21, 2013

Mike Faulkender 301-405-1064

Mike Faulkender, associate professor of finance in the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business.COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The U.S. Senate revelation that Apple has paid nothing in income tax signals it's time to overhaul the U.S. corporate tax code, says Mike Faulkender, associate professor of finance in the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business.

"Apple legally shielding its offshore earnings from significant repatriation tax demonstrates a broken corporate tax code. Instead of attempting to publicly shame Apple, Congress should focus on reforming and simplifying the tax code to encourage multinationals to locate more of their operations in the United States.

"Reversing the 35-to-15-percent corporate-to-personal income tax ratio or some form of compromise can inject growth and investment into the sluggish economy and generate revenue from companies like Apple."

Faulkender, with co-author Mitchell Petersen (Northwestern University), recently earned the Review of Financial Studies' Best Paper Award for "Investment and Capital Constraints: Repatriations Under the American Jobs Creation Act" – a study covering corporate repatriation tax activity and corporate tax reform.

Read an op-ed by Faulkender on this topic in The Baltimore Sun here.

Faulkender (301-405-1064; mfaulken@rhsmith.umd.edu) is available to expand on these comments.

The Smith School has an in-house facility for live or taped interviews via fiber-optic line for television or multimedia content.

Cal Ripken Inspires Grads to Keep Positive Attitude

May 20, 2013

Beth Cavanaugh 301-405-4625

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Cal Ripken, Jr., one of the greatest baseball players of all time and a Maryland legend, delivered the University of Maryland commencement address on May 19, 2013. Ripken, who played professional baseball for 21 years and founded Ripken Baseball, Inc. and the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, addressed a record-setting audience of graduates and family and friends at the spring ceremony.

UMD Set to Fill Incoming Class

May 17, 2013

Beth Cavanaugh 301-405-4625

University of Maryland, College ParkCOLLEGE PARK, Md. - As the University of Maryland prepares to hand out more than 7,700 degrees on Sunday, May 19, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions has been busy enrolling new students for the 2013-14 academic year.

According to Barbara Gill, Assistant Vice President for Admissions and Enrollment Planning, "We're excited that we're on track to meet our enrollment goals and are looking forward to welcoming the most talented freshman class in the history of the University." Admissions applications have steadily risen during the last decade – up to more than 33,000 freshman and transfer applications last year.  

Ranked in U.S. News & World Report’s Top 20 public universities, the University of Maryland is the state’s flagship university and one of the nation's preeminent public research universities. A global leader in research, entrepreneurship, and innovation, Maryland has been consistently recognized by Kiplinger’s for providing an outstanding education, at an affordable price.

The university has produced six Nobel laureates, six Pulitzer Prize winners, more than 49 members of the national academies, and scores of Fulbright scholars. The university is recognized for its diversity, with underrepresented students comprising one-third of the student population.

UMD's 2014 Big Ten Football Schedule Announced

May 16, 2013

Zack Bolno 301-314-1482

Stefon DiggsCOLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland's football schedule for the 2014 season—its inaugural season in the Big Ten Conference—has been announced. UMD's home conference schedule will feature matchups with Ohio State, Iowa, Michigan State and Rutgers. UMD will travel to Indiana, Wisconsin, Penn State and Michigan.

"It is great to know that we have our schedule for our inaugural season in the Big Ten," head football coach Randy Edsall said. "This is a very attractive and challenging schedule and is one our coaching staff, student-athletes and fans will look forward to playing in 2014."

UMD's first Big Ten matchup will come on Saturday, Sept. 27 when they travel to Bloomington, Ind., to play the Indiana Hoosiers. This will mark the first time these two teams have played since 1935. UMD will face Ohio State in its first Big Ten home conference game on Saturday, Oct. 4—the first meeting between the two schools.

Here is a look at the rest of the 2014 football schedule:
10/18 - vs. Iowa: first-ever meeting between the two universities
10/25 - at Wisconsin: first-ever game against the 2012 Big Ten Champion Badgers
11/1 - at Penn State: first meeting since 1993 and first trip to State College since 1992
11/15 - vs. Michigan State: first time the two teams have met since 1950
11/22 - at Michigan: Michigan was victorious in the last meeting and is 3-0 all-time against UMD
11/29 - vs. Rutgers: also making their Big Ten debut in 2014, last traveled to College Park in 2009

For information on season tickets, visit UMTerps.com or call the ticket office at 800-462-TERP or 301-314-7070.

Public Policy Prof. Tapped for Sci-Tech Roundtable

May 16, 2013

Jennifer Talhelm 301-405-4390

University of Maryland School of Public Policy professor Jacques Gansler has been nominated to serve as the next university co-chair of the Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable (GUIRR), a National Academies organization that explores issues related to the national and global science and technology agenda.  COLLEGE PARK, Md. – University of Maryland School of Public Policy professor Jacques Gansler (pictured right) has been nominated to serve as the next university co-chair of the Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable (GUIRR), a National Academies organization that explores issues related to the national and global science and technology agenda. 

Gansler, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, will succeed former UMD president C. Dan Mote, Jr. as GUIRR co-chair, beginning June 1.  Mote held the position for the past two three-year terms and has accepted the position of president of the National Academy of Engineering. 

In addition to GUIRR, Gansler is also chairing two committees for the National Academies, "Integrating Humans, Machines and Networks: A Global Review of Data-to-Decision Technologies" and "Small Business Innovative Research."

Gansler served as Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics from 1997-2001 and now holds the Roger C. Lipitz Chair in Public Policy and Private Enterprise at the UMD School of Public Policy.  He also directs the UMD School of Public Policy's Center for Public Policy and Private Enterprise, a research center focused on the relationship between government and the private sector. 

As GUIRR co-chair, Gansler will help set the agenda for the organization, which regularly convenes senior representatives from government, universities, and industry to define and explore critical issues related to the national and global science and technology agenda.

"Government, industry and academia must collaborate in order to solve current and future complex global problems, making the work of the Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable absolutely critical," Gansler said.  "This opportunity enables me to build on the work I've been devoted to throughout my career, especially the research at the School of Public Policy's Center for Public Policy and Private Enterprise.  I'm very pleased to assume the chairmanship of this prestigious organization."

UMD School of Public Policy Dean Donald Kettl said, "Jack brings unparalleled leadership and expertise in government-university-industry collaboration and a commitment to improving the effectiveness of the nation in science and technology.  This prestigious appointment is another example of the depth of leadership and the impact of our faculty and research centers, particularly when it comes to bringing together the public, private and nonprofit sectors to create national and international policy solutions."

In addition to his position at the UMD School of Public Policy, Gansler is the Glenn L. Martin Institute Fellow of Engineering at the UMD A. James Clark School of Engineering, and an Affiliate Faculty member at UMD's Robert H. Smith School of Business.  He has also held leadership positions in industry.

Two Entrepreneur Teams Win Business Model Challenge

May 14, 2013

Eric Schurr 301-405-3889

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The University of Maryland's Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech) has named two UMD teams as winners of the inaugural University of Maryland Business Model Challenge.

The two entrepreneur teams were selected from among 44 initial entries and 11 finalist teams, six of whom were selected to present the results they achieved through the Challenge's multi-week lean startup workshop to an expert panel of judges at UMD.

Chase Kaczmarek, undergraduate student, management and entrepreneurshipAll 11 finalists received $3,000 for completing the Challenge workshop, through which teams defined their business model, assessed the product/market fit for their technology, got feedback from at least 25 potential customers, then refined their product and business model based upon that feedback.

The two teams showing the best results, progress and potential, winning an additional $5,000 each (plus $3K for completing the Challenge), included:

  • Wheel Shields: developing a skateboarding accessory that solves "wheel bite" (a dangerous safety problem), keeps riders dry and allows riders to stand over their wheels. Team: Chase Kaczmarek, undergraduate student, management and entrepreneurship (pictured above).
  • UMDTutor2Go: developing an online system to provide students with private, online tutoring via Skype, live instant messaging chats and audio broadcasts, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Team: Chandra Smith, undergraduate student, psychology, human development, and technology entrepreneurship; Changudra Smith, undergraduate student, finance, marketing, and technology entrepreneurship (pictured below with Carolyn Karlson, director of the Hillman Entrepreneurs Program.)

Chandra Smith, undergraduate student, Hillman Entrepreneurs Program, psychology, human development, and technology entrepreneurship; Changudra Smith, undergraduate student, Hillman Entrepreneurs Program, finance, marketing, and technology entrepreneurship; and Carolyn Karlson, director of the Hillman Entrepreneurs ProgramLed and managed by Mtech, a unit of UMD's A. James Clark School of Engineering, the UMD Business Model Challenge encourages students, faculty, researchers, staff and recent alumni at UMD and University of Maryland, Baltimore to leverage their talent and ideas to create tomorrow's leading companies. The competition process, its mentors, partners and cash prizes have helped many students, faculty and researchers build their own companies.

The competition historically has spurred the commercialization of university technologies and served as a launch pad for multi-million-dollar companies, including AnthroTronix, RioRey, Alertus Technologies, Squarespace and Lurn.

UMD CATT Lab Director Named "Champion of Change"

May 13, 2013

Ted Knight 301-405-3596

Michael L. Pack, director of the University of Maryland's Center for Advanced Transportation Technology Laboratory (CATT Lab) has been recognized by the White House as a Transportation "Champion of Change."COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Michael L. Pack, director of the University of Maryland's Center for Advanced Transportation Technology Laboratory (CATT Lab) has been recognized by the White House as a Transportation "Champion of Change."

The Transportation "Champion of Change" program recognizes honorees for their "exemplary leadership in developing or implementing transportation technology solutions to enhance performance, reduce congestion, improve safety, and facilitate communications across the transportation industry at the local, state, or national level."

Driving transportation innovation at the CATT Lab, Pack focuses on improving transportation operations, management, and communications. His work is enabling more efficient use of government resources — allowing researchers and transportation professionals to dedicate more energy towards solving important transportation problems through data and user-friendly analytics tools. For example, the CATT Lab's expertise has been used during presidential inaugurations to monitor area roads to help local and state agencies react quickly to traffic problems.

"I'm particularly excited to receive national attention for the work that we've been doing over the years," says Pack. "Our research isn't just advancing transportation alone, but moving towards enabling thousands of other researchers around the world to do great things.  It's especially rewarding to have our peers in the industry recognize our achievements."

In addition to leading the CATT Lab, Pack serves as the creative director of the Regional Integrated Transportation Information System (RITIS), an automated transportation sharing, dissemination, and archiving system that improves communications efforts between traffic management and transit agencies. He also chairs the Visualization Committee of the National Academies of Science Transportation Research Board, and as a career public servant, strives to change the way agencies think about sharing information and the importance of visual communications. 

Transportation champions are not new to the University of Maryland's Civil and Environment Engineering program. Alumna Veronica O. Davis '01, P.E., was recognized as a Transportation "Champion of Change" in 2012 for founding Black Women Bike and her contributions to various Washington D.C. transportation boards.

The Results Are In: Help Name the New Foals at UMD

May 9, 2013

Sara Gavin 301-405-9235

The results are in! More than 1,600 votes were cast to help choose racing names for two thoroughbred foals born on the University of Maryland Campus Farm this spring. And the winning names are:

  • Diamondback Fire for a colt (by Friesan Fire out of Daylight Lassie) born March 8.
  • Maryland Miss for a filly (by Cherokee’s Boy out of Amazin) born April 15.

A young thoroughbred colt born on the Campus Farm March 8 anxiously awaits the arrival of a playdate due any day.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The University of Maryland community is abuzz about the arrival of two new thoroughbred foals born right on the university's Campus Farm this spring. It's the first time live foaling has happened on campus in nearly 30 years.

A healthy, chestnut brown colt (pictured right) arrived early in the morning of March 8 and little filly (pictured below) was born on April 15. But the future racing stars need good, strong names if they're going to follow in the footsteps of Seabiscuit, Secretariat, Man O' War and other greats.

The new foal stands for the first time shortly after her birth at the Campus Farm.The Campus Farm is asking the university community to help by submitting racing name suggestions for the foals by April 23. Finalists will be announced at Maryland Day, April 27, where attendees will have a chance to vote for the winning names and see the foals in action.

Name suggestions can be submitted here: https://agnr.umd.edu/about/namefoals


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