BOLDNESS A N E W S L E T T E R F OR S U PP ORT E R S OF T H E U N I V E R S I T Y OF M A RY L A N D / J U N E 2 0 16
TO TURN IMAGINATION INTO INNOVATION / CURIOSITY TO DISCOVER NEW KNOWLEDGE / PASSION TO INSPIRE MARYLAND PRIDE / INSPIRATION TO TRANSFORM THE STUDENT EXPERIENCE
BUILDING COMPUTER SCIENCE THE FUTURE OF
Iribe Center Breaks Ground, With a Surprise Announcement 0 PG. 4
Asian American Studies Fellowship Honors Son / PGS. 2-3 iSchool Gift to Help Digitize Historic Documents / PG. 7
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It was none other than Albert Einstein himself who said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world and all there ever will be to know and understand.” Here at the University of Maryland, we embrace Einstein’s worldview, and we seek to Turn Imagination into Innovation, to offer the right environment, faculty guidance and programs to create the next game-changing technology or thought-provoking art. Our campus rightfully prides itself on having some of the nation’s best programs in entrepreneurship and innovation. Because we believe that entrepreneurial thinking cuts across all disciplines, the Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is spearheading efforts to expose every Maryland student to curriculum in innovation. The academy’s work is so critical that we are building new spaces for it in two new facilities, Cole Field House and the Edward St. John Learning and Teaching Center. In fact, this focus on innovation is infused into all of our new buildings. A. James Clark Hall and the Brendan Iribe Center for Computer Science and Innovation will feature idea-generating spaces to inspire collaborative problem solving. It won’t be long before a new technology or Fearless Idea is born there. Harnessing the power of our imagination is the first step toward innovation. It is that initial spark of insight, that Fearless Idea, that will lead to compelling art, paradigm-shifting research advances and new businesses to drive progress and economic development. The support of Maryland alumni around the world will continue to help us inspire our students and faculty. In this issue, I am proud to share just a few programs we have to Turn Imagination into Innovation. As always, I welcome your comments at email@example.com. Go Terps!
SOLVING THE IDENTITY DILEMMA FELLOWSHIP TO STUDY SECONDGENERATION IMMIGRANTS By Liam Farrell
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0 CALVIN LI WAS FUN AND OUTGOING, a wide receiver on the Wootton High School team who loved cracking jokes and was overjoyed last year when he was accepted to the University of Maryland. Calvin was, in short, the sort of person called “all-American.” Yet, as the son of Chinese immigrants, he didn’t always feel accepted in his country. He chafed at strangers asking where he was “really from” and his family’s attempts to teach him about his ancestral culture. It was a complex identity crisis that was unresolved when Calvin tragically died in a drunk-driving car accident last June. “When I looked back, I felt there were
a lot of things about my son I didn’t understand because of the cultural experiences,” says Paul Li, Calvin’s father. In memory of his son, Li is giving $1.2 million to the University of Maryland to create the Calvin J. Li Endowed Fellowship in Asian American Studies. It will fund a postdoctoral fellow or visiting scholar to research the issues facing second-generation Asian Americans. These children face a complicated racial landscape, says Professor Janelle Wong, director of UMD’s Asian American Studies Program. They often can feel like “perpetual foreigners,” even as some more recently immigrated parents may rely on
them to navigate language and cultural barriers such as how to pay bills. “They become an authority in that role,” Wong says. “It can create an interesting but sometimes challenging family dynamic.” Li says Asian-American children like Calvin often struggle with the “model minority” stereotype of exceptional academic achievement, heaping even more pressure on kids struggling with their identity. “I wanted to turn this tragedy into something meaningful,” Li says. “I would say Calvin would be proud that I did this. I think there are a lot of kids like him.”
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VISION FOR IRIBE CENTER FLOWERS Donor Plans Rooftop Garden Memorializing Fellow Terp By Lauren Brown
THE AMBITIONS FOR THE BRENDAN IRIBE CENTER FOR COMPUTER SCIENCE AND INNOVATION are considerable. Imagine Silicon Valley being dropped into the heart of College Park, a high-tech hub for advances in augmented and virtual reality, robotics, artificial intelligence and computer vision. But even to Iribe, the Oculus Vr ceo and co-founder who sparked the project with a $31 million gift, something was missing. Or more accurately, someone. At the building’s groundbreaking on Maryland Day, April 30, Iribe surprised the crowd of 400 by announcing Andrew Reisse Park, a lush green space on its roof. He dedicated it to the 2001 UMD graduate and fellow Oculus co-founder (right) who had worked with Iribe for 15 years, from their days on campus until his death in 2013 at age 33. Iribe noted his friend’s kindness, brilliance as a computer graphics engineer, and love of nature. He said the center, with its Reisse Park and Michael Antonov Auditorium, named for the 2003 alum and Oculus co-founder who donated $4 million to the project and scholarships, symbolizes the partnership and friendship they shared—and will inspire a new generation of students to collaborate. “Students will be able to walk into the center and have access to everything they need to build the next great company or breakthrough technology,” Iribe said. “I’m excited to see what future engineers, entrepreneurs and ceos come out of UMD and these new facilities.” The 215,000-square-foot building, prominently located at the Campus Drive entrance from Baltimore
Avenue, will include makerspaces and augmented and virtual reality labs where students can create immersive multimedia experiences, and a motioncapture lab where dancers and athletes can record and perfect movement. Eight classrooms will feature interactive technology and enable collaborative group work, and the 300seat auditorium will bring innovation out of the labs through conferences, hacking competitions and lectures. Plans for the rooftop park include a peaceful sanctuary with native plant life and a natural water feature, which Reisse, an avid photographer and hiker, particularly enjoyed. The garden, like the green areas surrounding the building, will offer places to recharge and informally meet. Dana Reisse ’73 said her son spent nearly all his free time outside and particularly enjoyed searching for and shooting waterfalls. She said the park would be a fitting tribute to Andrew. “It really honors the fact that he believed in a balance of work and other activities,” she said. “One of his colleagues told me that if people (at the office) seemed to be under a lot of stress or had been working too much, he would recommend that they get away, or go take a hike. This will be a place where students can go up and relax a little bit, and be out in nature.” After a speeding car killed their son as he took a walk near his Los Angeles home, she and Bob Reisse ’70, Ph.D. ’76 and Oculus vr endowed a scholarship in his name for UMD computer science students. That effort, which reconnected Iribe and Antonov with the university, became the first step in developing the Iribe Center. It is expected to open in 2018.
From left, UMD President Wallace Loh, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, Brendan Iribe, state Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller and Michael Antonov don Oculus Rift headsets at the center groundbreaking to see a virtual reality version of how it will come to life.
THE BUILDING IS BEING BROUGHT TO LIFE THANKS TO A $30 MILLION GIFT FROM IRIBE, THE TERP ALUMNUS AND CO-FOUNDER AND CEO OF OCULUS VR; HE ADDED $1 MILLION FOR SCHOLARSHIPS IN COMPUTER SCIENCE. HIS LONGTIME BUSINESS PARTNER, OCULUS CO-FOUNDER AND CHIEF SOFTWARE ARCHITECT MICHAEL ANTONOV ’03, CONTRIBUTED $4 MILLION TO THE CENTER’S CONSTRUCTION AND SCHOLARSHIPS. IRIBE’S MOTHER, ELIZABETH STEVINSON IRIBE, DONATED $3 MILLION FOR NEW PROFESSORSHIPS IN COMPUTER SCIENCE.
# OF STAFF AND FACULTY MEMBERS WHO HAVE PLEDGED GIFTS
$1.04M AMOUNT PLEDGED
TO LEARN ABOUT SUPPORTING THE IRIBE CENTER, PLEASE CONTACT STACEY SICKELS LOCKE AT 301.405.4344 OR SLOCKE@UMD.EDU.
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Terp Tech CEO Donates $1M to Iribe Building Fund 0 BRENDAN IRIBE’S VISION for expanding the strength and reputation of Maryland’s computer science program has resonated with a fellow serial entrepreneur in Silicon Valley. Jagdeep Singh ’86, and his wife, Roshni Singh, gave $1 million to support the Brendan Iribe Center for Computer Science and Innovation Enhancement Fund. Jagdeep Singh is CEO and co-founder of QuantumScape, an electrical energy storage company in San Jose, Calif., developing a “disruptive” battery. It’s the fifth technology firm he’s helped launch since heading West right after graduating from UMD and earning graduate degrees from Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley. “What I found is that the foundation that I had at Maryland, in terms of computer science and the math that you have to have to graduate, was exactly what I needed for the rest of my career,” he says. Singh says unequivocally that computer science will change the world in the next 20 years. Unsurprisingly, he admires the continuing aspirations of Maryland’s computer science department, already highly ranked worldwide, and cites its outstanding faculty and growing body of talented alumni. “I feel like it’s an opportunity to give back and help the school build on its strengths,” he says. “There’s so much value being developed here—we’re going to have a lot more alumni creating value, and hopefully a lot of alumni will continue to help give back to the school.”
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A MAP OF DISAPPEARED TREES PROFESSOR TO MAKE HISTORY OF RAINFOREST DESTRUCTION By Liam Farrell
0 AS CLIMATE CHANGE and environmental preservation become ever more pressing issues, a University of Maryland geographer is embarking on an ambitious mission to collect the deforestation history of the world’s most important rainforests. Matthew Hansen, a professor in the Department of Geographical Sciences, will be using satellite images to map land-use changes in South America since 1985. The completed map, he says, will be a new baseline history for environmental destruction, showing how rainforests like the Amazon have been cut down and used to graze cattle or harvest commodities like soybeans and palm oil. “It’s trying to bring transparency to what’s going on in deforestation,” Hansen says. “What products are replacing rainforest? What are the trends in soybean and pasture expansion?” The work will be supported by a $1.2 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, which is dedicated to supporting efforts in scientific discovery, environmental conversation, patient care and the San Francisco Bay Area. In previous work, Hansen led a team that catalogued hundreds of thousands of satellite images to map worldwide forest losses and gains between 2000 and 2012. The research showed a net loss of 1.5 million square miles of forest. For his new project, Hansen will return to the field to spot-check land in South America. He hopes the finished project will both document trends like deforestation “leakage,” where effective regulations in one country may simply push the destruction over its border, and form the foundation for policy conversations. “You must have quality observational data to go to the next step of policy formulation and evaluation,” he says.
ETHICS AND ENTREPRENEURS Two Generations of Terps Support Business Education By Chris Carroll
0 MATT FISHLINGER ’07 GREW UP WATCHING with fascination as his father built a hugely successful insurance company from scratch. As he brought his son into the business, William Fishlinger ’71 realized that a culture of ethics and respect for regulations isn’t something that just appears—it must be carefully taught. That father-son dynamic helped motivate a recent $500,000 gift from the Fishlinger family that will promote both generations’ interests at Maryland. Half of the money establishes the Fishlinger Family Fund for Entrepreneurship in the Robert H. Smith School of Business’ Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship. The gift will support and expand the Dingman Jumpstart program, a weekend boot camp where Terp alumni with startup ideas can troubleshoot and strategize. Matt Fishlinger saw the power of entrepreneurship in action at the Wright
Insurance Group, started by his father and sold in 2014 for over $600 million. (The two have since started Gramercy Risk Holdings.) He saw some of that same spark from attendees at a recent boot camp. “Meeting with them and hearing their ideas and their excitement—I can listen to that stuff for hours,” he says. The other half of the gift establishes the Fishlinger Endowed Scholar Fund and provides crucial, early-stage support for the Center for the Study of Business, Ethics, Regulation and Crime (c-berc) in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences. The center is the first in the world to formally link business and criminology, drawing on a number of social science disciplines to strengthen ethics in business. “I thought a combination of those disciplines might produce better people entering the business world,” William Fishlinger says. “It’s important to educate people that being a better person gives you a better chance of succeeding.”
TO LEARN ABOUT SUPPORTING THE DINGMAN CENTER, PLEASE CONTACT JESSICA STEINKE AT 301.405.9162 OR JSTEINKE@UMD.EDU. TO SUPPORT C-BERC, PLEASE CONTACT DEB RHEBERGEN AT 301.405.7959 OR DRHEBERGEN@UMD.EDU.
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HISTORY AT A CLICK NEW ISCHOOL GIFT SUPPORTS CENTER’S DIGITIZATION EFFORTS By Karen Shih ’09
0 Historic records conjure up images of dusty attics, yellowed papers and piles of unsorted boxes, lit by a single, swaying lightbulb. At the Digital Curation Innovation Center (dcic) in the College of Information Studies, researchers are working to create the cyberinfrastructure needed for 21st century archival work, and to support projects in the areas of justice, human rights and cultural heritage. “In my life and career, the combination of education and archives has been very powerful,” says Associate Director Michael Kurtz (above), a retired National Archives administrator, who has taught at the university since 1990. Following a 2012 bequest of $500,000 to establish the Michael J. Kurtz Professorship in Archives and Digital Curation, he has made a new $500,000 bequest that will create an endowment fund to support the center’s efforts, including preserving data being produced today. “We’re going to have to preserve this information that’s being created digitally, including social media,” he says. “We’re really exposing students to the tools and technologies they’re going to need for contemporary careers in archives.” Kurtz spent nearly four decades at the National Archives, including leading the National Declassification Center to streamline efforts to make billions of pages of government records public. “If nobody knows about them and nobody gets to use them, historians can’t make judgments and opinions. If you’re concerned with government accountability, an accurate and complete historical record, you have to get them declassified.” At the dcic, his projects include creating a publicly accessible online database for historians and others to study the impact of emancipation on former slaves in Maryland and improving online access to Nazi-looted art to help Holocaust victims and their descendants identify and retrieve their property. He, Research Software Architect Greg Jansen and a team of graduate students are reworking a portal created at the Archives in 2011 to link the collections of art stolen during World War II and now held at 18 institutions across the United States and Europe. “Currently, artist names are rendered in different ways for different works of art,” he says. “There are language and translation problems. If you type in ‘violin,’ it won’t pick up anything in German because it’s not the same word.” They hope to complete the new, user-friendly portal in spring 2017.
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WHY I GIVE
BY SAM PIZZIGATI
The actuarial tables tell us that women in the United States who hit the age of 60 will on average live on to 85. My late wife Karabelle (left) only made it to 65. Cancer cost her two decades. Karabelle had big plans for those years. “I’m going to be an outrageous old lady when I grow up,” she used to quip. And Karabelle, a lifelong advocate for America’s most vulnerable kids and families, had plenty to feel outraged about. According to the latest United Nations statistics, the United States—the world’s richest nation— ranks only 26th internationally in children’s well-being. Karabelle can no longer labor to reverse that shameful reality. But her family and friends have realized that we can see her life’s work continue—through the University of Maryland. We’ve endowed a professorship in advocacy for children, youth and families, and that professor will be developing an initiative that will bring to College Park—for intensive summer learning experiences— men and women working for kids all across the United States. For Maryland students, the initiative will bring opportunities to live and study together and intern with child advocacy groups.
Those of us who so cherished Karabelle couldn’t be more excited about this initiative’s potential. And we couldn’t be more grateful for the support we’ve received from the University Relations office. Staff there hooked us up with College Park faculty and administrators and helped us all evolve some rough ideas about continuing Karabelle’s legacy into a truly innovative academic program. The experience we’ve had, I’m hoping, will help many of our fellow baby boomer do-gooders understand just how much they can accomplish with University of Maryland support. They can make a contribution to building a more just society that will endure way past the end of their lifetimes. And in the process they can help build our university into even more of a national—and global—pacesetter!
Sam Pizzigati, now retired from the labor movement, writes on issues related to economic inequality. Karabelle Pizzigati was a member of the University of Maryland College Park Foundation Board of Trustees and a past president of the Terrapin Club.