Director’s Message to UMIACS

The last several weeks have seen a steady stream of visiting researchers to the Iribe Center, with many here to apply for open faculty positions at the University of Maryland.

We’ve been able to meet with numerous outstanding candidates—more are on the way—and I expect to make announcements in the coming months on new faculty hires to our institute.

In talking individually with each candidate, I’m clear on identifying the history, mission and strength of UMIACS. Our institute’s agenda is fairly simple: incentivize faculty to form interdisciplinary teams that take on large-scale scientific and societal issues, and then support them with the very best in computational and administrative resources.

It’s worth noting that our visiting faculty candidates come from diverse scientific backgrounds—cybersecurity, computational biology, quantum information science, and more. Their academic home may be in computer science, engineering, cell biology and molecular genetics, or the iSchool.

Those that are recruited to join UMIACS are afforded services and support that, in my opinion, are second to none. From pre- and post-award management of complex grants, to personnel administration, to advanced technical services, to professional communications and outreach activities, the resources we provide allow our faculty and graduate students to work under optimal conditions.

I’m grateful that previous leadership in UMIACS had the vision and fortitude to build such a strong support infrastructure. It has served the institute well for more than three decades.

Moving forward, I will continue to work with all of UMIACS—as well external stakeholders—to enhance and improve our research enterprise. By recruiting top researchers and placing them in an intellectual environment that encourages collaboration and teamwork, I’m hoping to borrow a concept from coaching legend Vince Lombardi and apply it to our community: “Individual commitment to a group effort—that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”

If you have an idea related to this topic that you’d like to discuss, whether in a group setting or individually in my office, let me know.

Mihai Pop, UMIACS Director