Cutting-Edge Research in Hard Times | UMBC Campus News

Here’s a recap of what’s in the news in and around the UMBC campus, originally brought to you by UMBC News.

This news recap is brought to you by UMBC’s Division of Professional Studies, offering a broad array of professionally-focused master’s degrees and certificate programs that address industry needs while anticipating future opportunities.

Holistic Admission Process for 2021 Applicants

In light of the current state of COVID-19, UMBC will be having test-optional admissions for the Fall 2021 semester. This means that students who apply to UMBC are not obligated to send their ACT or SAT scores alongside their application. Students who send their scores in will get the same consideration for admission, scholarships, and other opportunities as students who do not do so; meaning students who could either not afford these exams, had not taken them prior to COVID-19, or those who are not satisfied with their scores have an opportunity to get a higher education despite the trying times we’re all facing.

UMBC Researcher Finds a New Planet

Tom Barclay, an associate research scientist with UMBC’s Center for Space Sciences and Technology, has been part of a team that has found a new Neptune sized planet orbiting a young star. The star is called AU Microscopii and the planet has been named AU Mic b. Barclay is a part of NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission. He studies the brightness of stars in a certain area of the sky for two weeks. When a star dims and brightens up again, this could be evidence of a planet orbiting that star, which was the case for the newly discovered planet AU Mic b.

UMBC Supports Youth Development

Choice Program Director, Eric Ford, has recently been appointed as chair of Maryland’s State Advisory Group (SAG), a part of the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services (GOCCP). Ford has dedicated his career to helping this country’s youth who are facing inequalities through community-based, family-centered services. The Choice Program seeks to promote positive outcomes for young people who are incarcerated, on probation, or would benefit from support to avoid entering the juvenile justice system. With his new position, Ford’s work will be extended from the local level to all across the state of Maryland.

Groundbreaking Flood Warning Technology

Ellicott City, a town about 10 minutes south of UMBC, suffered from devastating floods in 2016 and 2018. In response to these floods, associate professor of Information Systems, Nirmalya Roy, received a grant from the National Science Foundation in order to see how technology would be able to combat these disasters from happening again. Roy worked alongside UMBC graduate students Bipendra Basnyat and Neha Singh, and professor Aryya Gangopadhyay. They were able to combine algorithms and data along with social media to monitor water levels and other factors like the weather into their solution for this flooding problem, Flood Bot.

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