Director’s Message to UMIACS

As we close out 2019, I’d like to take a brief look at the past year. We have much to be proud of, and much to look forward to.

Our research enterprise remains strong. For 2019, UMIACS faculty brought in just over $27 million in research funding, a figure that has remained consistent for several years and that we expect to only increase moving forward.

This funding—much of it through large, multidisciplinary awards from federal agencies—allows us take on complex scientific and societal challenges involving computer vision, machine learning, quantum information science, bioinformatics, and much more.

The funding also allows us to support more than 200 graduate students working in our centers and labs. We're able to offer these young researchers powerful computing tools, strong mentorship, and an inviting, collaborative workspace as they move forward with their graduate training.

This year also saw our move to the Iribe Center, a fantastic facility that has greatly increased connectivity and interaction amongst our diverse research community.

We launched the University of Maryland Center for Machine Learning, joining a core group of stellar faculty—supported by a robust computing infrastructure—as they work on projects involving big data, computer vision, health care, financial transactions, and more.

I could go on in acknowledging our many successes, but will instead stop here and offer a heartfelt “Thank You” to each of you. The work you do is often difficult, but important. It has meaning. It has impact.

To show our appreciation, we’ve ordered some UMIACS-branded “swag” that we will be distributing during December and January. Our communications group will be visiting our labs and office spaces in the next 60 days, allowing each of you to choose from either an insulated water bottle or ceramic coffee mug. (Note we have only received partial delivery of the water bottles, hence the expected delay in getting these to some of you.)

While these items are meant as a gift, we hope you will use them as part of a broader environmentally-conscious effort to decrease our use of paper cups and plastic bottles.

The Iribe Center has water-filling stations throughout the building, as well as coffee machines on most floors and in many offices. I hope the simple act of using your new UMIACS mug or water bottle will have an impact on our environmental footprint. And I also hope it gives you a sense of pride in being part of our vibrant community.

Thank you again for all of your hard work this past year!

Mihai Pop, UMIACS Director