UMIACS has successfully built bridges between computing and other disciplines through identifying interdisciplinary grand challenge problems of societal benefit, recruiting stellar faculty and researchers, providing outstanding technical computing infrastructure, and above all incentivizing excellence in research, scholarship, training, and innovation. Over the last 25 years UMIACS has played a pivotal role in catalyzing and enhancing a wide range of driving applications of computing highlighted here.
- Biology and the Environment
- The Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (CBCB) in UMIACS is addressing the grand challenge of understanding fundamental questions of life and disease. We are doing this by using high performance computing to sift through a vast trove of high-throughput biological data at the molecular, genetic, and cellular levels, such as the sequences of genes and proteins, their structures, functions, interactions, pathways, and very recently, epigenomics (the study of the intersection between the genome and the environment).
- Sensing and Interaction
- How can a robot understand the world around it? How can advanced user interfaces facilitate our interaction with technologies of the future? How can visualization help us understand how proteins fold and stars are born? How can we create personalized aural interfaces? These are some of the grand challenges that UMIACS researchers affiliated with CfAR, CVL, GVIL, HCIL, and PIRL laboratories are engaged in.
- Language and Media
- UMIACS expertise in language and media research spans speech recognition, handwriting and optical character recognition, multilingual machine translation, document summarization, ranking and personalization, and creation, analysis, and interaction with massive heterogeneous databases of multimedia information objects including documents, images, and video archives. This effort is spearheaded by an outstanding interdisciplinary team of computer scientists and linguists in LAMP and CLIP laboratories.
- Society, Culture, and Communication
- As computers are becoming ubiquitous it is becoming increasingly important to understand how computers can mediate communication amongst people (social and telecommunication networks), and between government and people (e-governance). Research into development of location-aware information services, information-centric applications, networking infrastructure and information assurance and security with mobile broadband networks greatly facilitates such communication. Equally important but no less formidable is to develop computational game-theoretic models of how groups, societies, and cultures interact. Researchers at UMIACS are at the forefront of developing systematic and foundational approaches in these and related areas through CDIG, LCCD, MIND, MAXWell Lab, and several other initiatives.
- Modeling and Simulation
- Modeling and high-performance simulation with highly accurate physics at multiple and coupled levels of detail is now a necessity for simulation-based design in applications ranging across science, engineering, and medicine. Researchers at UMIACS are using cutting-edge high-performance and parallel computing for a number of applications, such as the design of artificial heart valves by better understanding how blood flows in our bodies and design of atmospheric hypersonic air-vehicles of tomorrow by enhancing the accuracy in prediction of turbulent hypersonic flows. Laboratories and groups engaged in this include the Scientific Computing group, CRoCCo Lab, DSSL, and LPDC.
- Security and Privacy
- Government, industry, and consumers depend on secure and reliable networks and information systems for daily communications and transactions. Vulnerabilities to cyber attacks could lead to critical disruptions in telecommunications, banking, utilities, data storage, and transportation services. Maryland Cybersecurity Center (MC2) in UMIACS is partnering with government and industry to provide educational programs to prepare the future cybersecurity workforce, develop new, innovative technologies to defend against cybersecurity attacks.