Christopher Gardner ’18, Computer Science, Places First at Kaizen Capture the Flag

Earlier this week, UMBC CyberDawg Christopher Gardner ’18, computer science, took first place out of approximately fifty competitors at Booz Allen Hamilton’s Kaizen Capture The Flag event held at the Jailbreak Brewing Company in Laurel, MD.

The event focused around navigating through a series of progressively harder cybersecurity obstacles. The challenge’s theme centered around a narrative that competitors were assisting the FBI in finding and then defusing a bomb. Competitors needed to complete a series of increasingly harder challenges to locate clues and other information, such as examining an Android .apk to find a wireless access point password, finding the login page for an website’s administration panel, and gaining access to a web server’s log directory.

Congratulations again to Christopher and to all of the CyberDawgs who competed.

Cynthia Matuszek, CSEE, Describes Image Search Research on CBC Radio

cynthiamatuzsekCynthia Matuszek, CSEE, was interviewed on Spark about her research on gender representation on Google Image Search. Spark is a show on CBC radio that explores the topics of technology and trends.

Matuszek described what inspired her and colleagues at the University of Washington to study gender representation across various professions on Google Images and discussed the study’s results. Matuszek found women are often underrepresented in images search results for different professions and portrayed in stereotypical ways.

Click here to listen to Matuzsek’s interview on CBC Radio.

Matuzsek’s research was also referenced in an article about a Google search result for jokes. Click here to read “Something Truly Unfunny Happened When You Googled the Word ‘Joke'” on Mic.

CWIT, IS, and CSEE Faculty Receive NSF Grant for Transfer Scholars Community

Penny Rheingans, director of The Center for Women in Technology (CWIT), Susan Martin, associate director of CWIT, Carolyn Seaman, information systems, and E.F. Charles LaBerge, computer science and electrical engineering, recently received a $632,488 grant from the National Science Foundation to support transfer scholars in computer science, computer engineering, and information systems.

The grant will continue the work of the Transfer Scholars in Information Technology and Engineering (T-Site) program. The program provides scholarship funds, academic and professional programming, and a supportive community to encourage transfer student success in computing majors. The program is open to transfer students from Maryland community colleges.

Click here to learn more about the T-Site Scholars program.

Charles LaBerge, CSEE, to be Recognized at RTCA’s 2015 Annual Symposium Awards

EFCL-Head-150-x-150-2010Charles LaBerge, computer science and electrical engineering, has been selected to be recognized at the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA) 2015 annual Symposium Awards Luncheon in Washington, D.C. on June 3. RTCA is a not-for-profit association that wroks to develop recommendations about air transportation for the Federal government.

LaBerge was chosen to be honored by RTCA for his work on the “Minimum Operational Performance Standards for Avionics Supporting Next Generation Satellite Systems.” His research focuses on aeronautical navigation and communication applications, as well as digital signal processing, coding theory, and radio frequency interference.

Yelena Yesha, CSEE, Discusses Northrop Grumman Partnership in The Washington Post

yeshaThe Washington Post reported on a new partnership between Northrop Grumman and UMBC that explores using cybersecurity tools to analyze health data.

Yelena Yesha, computer science and electrical engineering, is leading the project and commented on the partnership, saying that they plan to evaluate millions of patient records. Tools originally developed to examine cyberthreats and security risks will be used to go through the data. This will allow the researchers to examine a large amount of data to see trends in conditions such as diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease.

Click here to read “Northrop Grumman, UMBC team to study health data for populations” in The Washington Post.

Cynthia Matuszek, CSEE, Co-Authors Study on Google Image Searches, Professions, and Gender

Cynthia Matuszek, computer science and electrical engineering, co-authored a study that found that Google image search results underrepresent female professionals, use stereotypes, and influence gender bias. Matuszek recently came to UMBC from the University of Washington, where her coauthors are based.

The researchers analyzed top Google image search results for over 40 professions and found that women were underrepresented when compared to data from the Bureau of Labor statistics. They also found that the image results affected perceptions of female representation in those occupations. “It’s part of a cycle: How people perceive things affects the search results, which affect how people perceive things,” Matuszek told The Washington Post.

Click here to read “What one simple Google search tells us about how we view working women” in The Washington Post.

Additional Coverage:

Be Careful What You Google (The Atlantic)
Google Image Search Has A Gender Bias Problem (Huffington Post)
Google Search thinks the most important female CEO is Barbie (The Verge)
On Google Images, the most influential woman CEO is Barbie! (The Economic Times)
Why gender bias in the workplace continues to exist (Human Resources Online)
Female CEOs under-represented on Google Image Search: Study (Tech2)
Who’s a CEO? Google image results can shift gender biases (
Barbie is the ‘top women CEO’ on Google Images (Times of India)
Is Google Search Biased Against Female CEOs? (Science 2.0)
Study puts Google image search results to the gender bias test (GeekWire)
On Google Images, the most influential woman CEO is Barbie! (
Who’s a CEO? Google image results can shift gender biases (UW Today)

Curtis Menyuk, CSEE, Wins Humboldt Research Award

CURTISmenyukCurtis Menyuk, computer science and electrical engineering, won the prestigiuos Humboldt Research Award. The award is granted by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to scholars who have made a significant contributions to their discipline and plan to continue cutting-edge research.

Menyuk’s research concentrates on optical and photonic systems, including optical fiber communications and switching, solid state device simulations, and nonlinear optics. In 2013, he received the IEEE Photonics Society Streifer AWard, another major international award. Menyuk said, “I was delighted and very honored receive this award.  It is really a tribute to UMBC and the members of my research group, past and present, since the award recognizes the 30 years of work that my group has carried out at UMBC.  The link that this award will create between UMBC and the Max-Planck Institute for Light in Erlangen, Germany — one of the world’s leading institutes in optics and photonics — will be of great benefit to UMBC’s students and other researchers.”