Director's Message to UMIACS

If you’re working on the University of Maryland campus this fall, welcome back. I look forward to seeing many of you in person as we return to 100% capacity.

I ask that we all remain vigilant and flexible as the semester progresses. Vigilant to the very real threat that COVID-19 continues to pose, and flexible as our academic community adheres to safety protocols and best practices that may shift depending on the threat level.

For those who may not have gotten my email on August 30, here are the most up to date COVID-19 policies that are specific to UMIACS.

And now on to the good news!

As you may have already noted if you’ve scanned this issue’s headlines, our faculty and students—with excellent support from our tech and administrative personnel—continue to excel.

From monitoring mental health, to expanding Wi-Fi access in public parks, to offering insight on the future of AI, our faculty are involved in research, scholarship and service benefitting both the scientific community and society at large.

I’m excited that UMIACS faculty member Andrew Childs is leading a multi-institutional effort to unlock the full potential of quantum computers. This is an area of research that still has many challenges to overcome. But I’m confident that researchers at the University of Maryland, partnering with other academic institutions and the federal government, will continue to make progress in the quest for building quantum computing platforms that can transform medicine, break encryption and revolutionize communications.

The newsletter also highlights excellent work by our graduate students, who remain a vital component to our research enterprise. UMIACS currently supports more than 200 graduate students in our centers and labs, and it’s always satisfying to see them recognized for their achievements that include outstanding student paper awards, coveted fellowships, and innovative research in areas like computational biology and virtual reality.

I’d also like to welcome our newest faculty members, three who started in July and five more who will join us next year. I’m an advocate for providing strong support for faculty early in their careers and plan to continue this policy in UMIACS. I welcome any input on how we can advance the research and academic capabilities of our newest colleagues.

Please stay safe and healthy, and thanks again to all of you for your excellent work.

Mihai Pop, UMIACS Director