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The E-newsletter of the UMD College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences

MARCH 2023

Grand Challenges Grants logo
Students taking the Putnam Exam Professor Ann Simon standing in a room lines with shelves of young citrus trees
Science Terps Shine in Prestigious Putnam Mathematical Competition

Undergraduates Clarence Lam, Isaac Mammel and Daniel Yuan ranked fourth among 456 institutions, the best UMD finish in four decades. More »
Super Sleuthing to Save Citrus

Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics’ Anne Simon launched a startup to unravel the unsolved mystery of a lethal plant disease. More »
Geology graduate student Liam Peterson, recent graduate Silvia Castilla Montagut and graduate student Kyle Kim are pictured with Assistant Professor Megan Newcombe during a trip to sample volcanic tephra at Cinder Cone in California’s Lassen Volcanic National Park. Photo courtesy of Newcombe. This is the last complete image of Dimorphos and its bouldery terrain, taken by the DRACO imager on the DART mission approximately 7 miles from the asteroid. Photo courtesy of NASA/Johns Hopkins APL.
Geology's Megan Newcombe Receives NSF CAREER Award

The award will be used to develop a new tool for understanding the underlying causes of volcanic eruptions. More »
UMD Astronomers Help Prove Viability of Asteroid Deflection to Protect Earth

Tony Farnham, Derek Richardson and Jessica Sunshine played critical roles in studying the effectiveness of NASA’s DART asteroid deflection mission. More »
A farm field with irrigation equipment The research team, including Equinor's Swapan Sahoo (center right) and George Mason University's Geoff Gilleaudeau (right), investigates the rock samples taken from the Bakken Shale Formation. Photo courtesy of Alan Jay Kaufman.
Innovative, Web-Based Decision-Support Tool Launches for Farmers

Led by Atmospheric and Oceanic Science’s Xin-Zhong Liang, the DAWN project is developing tools to improve water use and nutrient management in agricultural operations. More »
Major North American Oil Source Yields Clues to One of Earth’s Deadliest Mass Extinctions

Geology’s Alan Jay Kaufman studied the Bakken Shale Formation and discovered a critical kill mechanism behind a series of extinctions some 350 million years ago. More »
A promotional image of Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal from the TV series The Last of Us. Credit: HBO A promotional image of the ensamble cast of the superhero movie Quantumania. Credit: Marvel
Entomology’s Raymond St. Leger Puts ‘The Last of Us’ Under the Microscope

The show’s mushroom apocalypse may not hold up to scientific scrutiny, but it’s far from utter fantasy. More »
‘Quantumania’ Meets Quantum Reality

Physics’ Steve Rolston watched Marvel’s latest hit to see how well it explains the science. More »

Cover of Odyssey Magazine

For more in-depth stories, read


The site of a biomass burial project site in Motreal. Credit: Ghislain Poisson One of the Terrapin Teachers in an elementary school classroom. A still from Sean Carroll's interview about the move All That Breathes. Credit: NBC4 Washington D.C.

A Deceptively Simple Technology for Carbon Removal [GreenBiz]

How Terrapin Teachers is Helping Address the STEM Teacher Shortage [WTOP]

Film Produced by Biology’s Sean Carroll Receives Critical Acclaim [NBC Washington]


APR 10

Science on Tap
"Looking Up: A Molecular Perspective at Astronomical Complexity"
Speaker: Leah Dodson, Assistant Professor, UMD Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry More »

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