Deven Bowman Named 2023 Goldwater Scholar

Deven Bowman, a junior physics and mathematics double-degree student at the University of Maryland, has been awarded a 2023 scholarship by the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation, which encourages students to pursue advanced study and research careers in the sciences, engineering and mathematics.

Deven Bowman. Courtesy of same.Deven Bowman. Courtesy of same.Bowman and UMD bioengineering majors Corinne Martin and Neel Panchwagh are among 413 Goldwater Scholars selected from 1,267 nominees nationally. Goldwater Scholars receive one- or two-year scholarships that cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to $7,500 per year.

Over the last 15 years, UMD’s nominations yielded 49 scholarships—the most in the nation. The Goldwater Foundation has honored 79 UMD winners and five honorable mentions since the program’s first award was given in 1989. In the last decade, 16 physics students have received Goldwater recognition: Bowman, Patrick Kim, Ela Rockafellow, Scott Moroch, John Martyn, Nicholas Poniatowski, Mark Zic, Paul Neves, Christopher Bambic, Eliot Fenton, Prayaag Venkat, Nathan Ng, Geoffrey Ji, Stephen Randall and Noah Roth Mandell.  

“We are immensely proud of all that Deven, Corinne and Neel have accomplished to this point and the bright futures ahead of them. Their success is a win for everyone at the University of Maryland and highlights the commitment of the university to provide opportunities for our students to advance knowledge in their research disciplines and address grand challenges that impact people and communities, both locally and globally,” said Robert Infantino, associate dean of undergraduate education in the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences. Infantino has led UMD’s Goldwater Scholarship nominating process since 2001.

Bowman started working remotely in a UMD research group the summer before his freshman year—during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. He spent the next two years in that group led by Eun-Suk Seo, a professor of physics with a joint appointment in the Institute for Physical Science and Technology, studying the cosmic ray spectrum by fitting physically motivated models to data and investigating the connections to atmospheric neutrinos.

This research resulted in a first-author paper published in the journal Advances in Space Research, as well as a co-authored paper and a conference proceeding.

In summer 2021, Bowman joined the lab of physics chair and Joint Quantum Institute Fellow Steve Rolston, where he continues to work today on long-distance quantum communication.

Taking advantage of an eight-mile-long fiber optic cable buried on campus, the researchers in Rolston’s lab want to send polarization-encoded quantum information through the fiber for long distances. However, optical fibers can perturb and scramble the polarization signals due to stresses and temperature variations along the path, especially for long fibers like this one.  

To address this challenge, Bowman first measured the amount of variation in the signal and then devised a feedback system to correct for the perturbations of the fiber and the environment. Then, he designed two unique, complex polarimeters to compensate for signal drift and allow for continuous calibration. He presented this work at the Frontiers in Optics+Laser Science conference in 2022.

“Over my career, I have interacted with many undergraduates and graduate students—and it is clear Deven has an exceptionally bright future,” Rolston said. “He is highly motivated and very self-sufficient in both understanding the science and figuring out technical solutions.”

Outside the lab, Bowman spent time tutoring two high school students in math, science and English and advised them on preparing for college for the past three years. He also competed in the William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition in 2021.

Bowman spent the spring 2022 semester studying abroad in Italy through the Maryland-in-Florence (PHYS) program. There, he took three classes taught by UMD Physics Professor Emeritus Luis Orozco, who has since become a key physics mentor for Bowman.

“Studying in Florence, Italy, was a great opportunity to delve into advanced physics coursework, form enduring professional relationships and benefit from the unique experience of touring the gravitational wave detector Virgo,” Bowman said.

Visiting Virgo also set Bowman on a new research path for the coming summer, where he’ll work at Caltech on the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), the U.S.-based gravitational wave detector, as part of a National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program.

During his time at UMD, Bowman received the President’s Scholarship and the Angelo Bardasis Scholarship from the Department of Physics.

After graduation, Bowman plans to pursue a Ph.D. in physics, following in his father’s footsteps. Bowman’s father Steven received his M.S. and Ph.D. in physics from UMD in 1980 and 1986, respectively. His mother Anuradha is also a Terp, receiving her B.S. in physics in 1986 and M.A. in geography in 1997 from UMD.

“Their unwavering support for my education has been paramount to my success thus far,” Bowman said of his parents. “Their support played a vital role when I first sought out research opportunities. Their encouragement helped me take myself seriously as a researcher and gave me the confidence to speak up in meetings, ask questions and seek help when confused. I hope that my parents will continue to be active in my academic life and we can continue to connect over our shared passion for physics.”

Three UMD Undergrads Named 2024 Goldwater Scholars

Three undergraduates in the University of Maryland’s College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences (CMNS) have been awarded 2024 scholarships by the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation, which encourages students to pursue advanced study and research careers in the sciences, engineering and mathematics. Over the last 15 years, UMD’s nominations yielded 49 scholarships—second in the nation only to Stanford.

Junior physics and mathematics double-degree student Yash Anand, sophomore atmospheric and oceanic science (AOSC) and physics double-degree student Malcolm Maas, and junior biological sciences and mathematics double-degree student Jerry Shen, who works with physics Prof. Wolfgang Losert,  are among 438 Goldwater Scholars selected from 1,353 nominees nationally. Goldwater Scholars receive one- or two-year scholarships that cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to $7,500 per year.

“The Goldwater Scholarships awarded to Yash Anand, Malcolm Maas and Jerry Shen are a result of their years of diligent effort, commitment, and seizing the research and extracurricular opportunities available at Maryland,” CMNS Dean Amitabh Varshney said. “These experiences have distinguished them among the nation's top STEM candidates.”

The Goldwater Foundation has honored 82 UMD winners and five honorable mentions since the program’s first award was given in 1989.

“Our 2024 Goldwater winners are reflective of the tremendous young research talent that is incubating at UMD,” said CMNS Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education Robert Infantino, who has led UMD’s Goldwater Scholarship nominating process since 2001. “They continue a legacy of winners that have gone on to leading graduate programs and are pursuing careers that greatly impact science and society.”

Yash Anand

Anand, a student in the Gemstone program in the Honors College, has been investigating quantum materials in UMD Physics Professor Johnpierre Paglione’s lab since 2021.Yash Anand. Photo courtesy of same.Yash Anand. Photo courtesy of same.

He has grown, characterized and fine-tuned several new quantum materials that have unusual magnetic and physical properties. As part of this work, he spent time at TRIUMF, Canada’s particle accelerator facility. To fill in the long periods it takes to grow these materials, Anand took on another project studying the properties of sperrylite, the natural source of platinum. His work in Paglione’s lab resulted in two co-authored papers submitted for publication and a presentation at the 2024 American Physical Society March Meeting.

“Yash’s efforts in quantum materials synthesis and characterization have helped us advance several extremely promising avenues, including a new project on high-entropy alloys that is forging a path to a new research avenue for our team that will likely form the basis for future grant proposals,” said Paglione, who also directs the Maryland Quantum Materials Center. “His contributions have shown strong potential and have supported several facets of our research program, and I am excited to see where this work takes him next.”

Anand joined UMD Physics Associate Professor Zohreh Davoudi’s group in April 2023 to study the speed limit at which information propagates in a quantum system. More recently, he joined UMD Physics Professor Jay Sau’s group to analyze a proposed theory on non-linear quantum mechanics using phonons in crystal lattices.

A Regeneron Science Talent Search Scholar, Anand received the Angelo Bardasis Scholarship from the Department of Physics. He serves as treasurer of UMD’s Society of Physics Students chapter.

After graduation, Anand plans to pursue a Ph.D. in condensed matter physics.

“I am particularly interested in magnetic structures, such as skyrmionic bubbles, due to their potential to introduce innovative approaches for data storage and transfer, thereby advancing current electronic systems,” he said. “I also want to study the evolving field of superconductivity and the use of superconductors to reduce energy dissipation and cost of medical equipment.”

Malcolm Maas

Malcolm Maas. Photo courtesy of same.Malcolm Maas. Photo courtesy of same.In high school, Maas helped build the first global tornado climatology database. He gathered and processed historical data for over 100,000 tornadoes that occurred around the world. The project’s website raked in 160,000 page views during its first year.

When Maas arrived at UMD, he joined a group of AOSC students installing and managing a micronet—a small-scale network of weather sensors—across the university’s campus. Five weather stations now provide minute-by-minute updates on the temperature, wind speed, pressure, dew point and rain rate on campus. Maas helped create the data collection system and user-friendly graphs to visualize the data, which are displayed on the UMD Weather website.

When the university and the Maryland Department of Emergency Management installed their first weather tower as part of the Maryland Mesonet in October 2023, they asked Maas to quickly adapt his micronet visualization tools to work with the mesonet data. The eight towers operational now around the state—with more than 70 planned in total—help to advance localized weather prediction and ensure the safety of Maryland's residents and visitors.

Since December 2022, Maas has been working with AOSC Assistant Professor Jonathan Poterjoy on fundamental challenges associated with environmental prediction and validation of atmospheric modeling systems. Specifically, he is quantifying the degree to which commonly used data assimilation methods shift models away from physically plausible solutions due to commonly adopted but incorrect assumptions.

“I have been very impressed with Malcolm’s level of understanding of the abstract concepts we are working with and his ability to take the lead on a project,” Poterjoy said. “Malcolm always comes to me with excellent questions and directions for our research and he has demonstrated an impressive depth of knowledge for such a young scientist.”

Last summer, Maas participated in the undergraduate summer intern program at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and worked on a project with Kostas Tsigaridis, a research scientist at Columbia University and the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Maas used an extremely large dataset of Earth system model simulations to explore the effects of volcanoes on climate and atmospheric sulfur. Using machine learning, he developed a tool to estimate where unidentified historical eruptions happened based on ice core data. He has two papers in preparation on this work, which has been presented at three conferences.

For his Gemstone honors research project, Maas and 11 teammates have been working with UMD Mechanical Engineering Professor Johan Larsson to optimize the shape of marine propellers.

Outside of class, Maas plays the pipe organ, advocates for infrastructure with the Student Government Association, serves as webmaster for UMD Weather and is a member of the Ballooning Club. He received a National Merit Scholarship, a President’s Scholarship and the Angelo Bardasis Scholarship from the Department of Physics.

After graduation, Maas plans to pursue a Ph.D. in atmospheric science.

“I’m excited about applying advanced data science methods to problems in the physics of the atmosphere,” he said. “Modern atmospheric sensing and simulation capabilities continue to increase in fidelity and the power of implementing sophisticated big-data processing techniques grows accordingly.”

Jerry Shen

Shen began his research career in high school with John Strang, director of the Gender and Autism Program at Children’s National Hospital. He developed a psychometric measure to quantify gender identity that is available in the public domain for use by clinical providers and researchers. Shen co-authored a paper on the work in The American Psychologist.

Since 2021, he has been working in Maureen Goodenow’s lab at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) using bioinformatics to identify genetic and immunogenic factors that contribute to HIV viral suppression. Shen submitted for publication a co-authored paper on this work, which was presented at the 2024 Congress on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, one of the premiere international HIV conferences. He is also preparing a paper on his work exploring how THC and tobacco use can modulate gene expression in people with HIV.

“Jerry is thriving as a developing researcher in a real-world environment,” said Goodenow, chief of the Molecular Host and HIV Interactions Section in the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “He is intellectually curious and highly motivated to understand all aspects of the projects and to integrate across-disciplines approaches.”

Since 2022, Shen has been working with UMD Physics Professor Wolfgang Losert and UMD Chemistry and Biochemistry Professor John Fourkas to explore the role of surface characteristics in modulating the assembly of actin filaments, which are proteins that keep cells connected. Using advanced computer vision techniques, Shen showed that cells can mechanically sense their environment through subcellular actin dynamics localized to the surface of nanotextured ridges. This work, which he presented at the 2024 American Physical Society March Meeting, is motivated by a desire to better understand cancer cell dynamics—a crucial element for developing new therapeutic strategies.Jerry Shen. Photo courtesy of same.Jerry Shen. Photo courtesy of same.

Shen was named a Regeneron Science Talent Search Scholar and received a Banneker/Key Scholarship and M3 Math Modeling Challenge Silver Technical Prize. At UMD, he volunteers as an EMT and hospital patient care advocate. He is also the founder and president of UMD’s American Physician Scientist Association, treasurer of the UMD Science Olympiad and a member of a group called Science Competitions Advocating for Learning Equity.

After graduation, Shen plans to pursue an M.D./Ph.D. in molecular medicine with a focus on cancer therapeutics.

“Designing cancer therapeutics requires careful consideration of biochemical, immunological and patient care-related factors,” Shen said. “My Ph.D. training will provide me with the skills to evaluate the efficacy of treatments and the M.D. will equip me with the skills to apply these treatments effectively in a clinical setting, taking into account factors such as treatment timing, patient responses and drug side effects.”


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April 26, 2023: The Future of Nuclear Deterrence and Arms Control


“The most significant event of the past 60 years is the one that did not happen: the use of a nuclear weapon in conflict.”

Thomas Schelling (1921-2016), Nobel laureate and UMD Distinguished University Professor, in 2006.Click to read Maryland Today's coverage.Click to read Maryland Today's coverage.

After the fall of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1991, the Doomsday Clock of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists—which gauges the likelihood of nuclear war—stood at 17 minutes to midnight. Today, that interval is down to 90 seconds, amid hostilities involving heavily-armed countries, the quest of smaller nations to build nuclear weapons, ongoing economic rivalries and increasing nationalism.   

The avoidance of nuclear conflict since the unspeakable destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 has required diligent work by the arms control and nuclear deterrence experts of the world's superpowers.

On Wednesday, April 26, at 4 p.m. in Room 0224 of the Edward St. John building, four physicists who are renowned experts on deterrence and arms control will discuss the current global situation.  

  • Roald Sagdeev, former heard of the USSR space agency IKI and advisor to USSR leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Prof. Sagdeev, a pioneer in plasma physics and controlled nuclear fusion, is the recipient of the American Astronautical Society's Carl Sagan Memorial Award and the American Physical Society's James Clerk Maxwell Prize.  He is UMD Distinguished University Professor Emeritus and member of the National Academy of Sciences.

  • John Holdren, former Director of  the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama on science and technology from 2009-17.  Prof. Holdren is now a Research Professor in Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and Co-Director of the Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program in the School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

  • Frank von Hippel, former Assistant Director for National Security in the OSTP from 1993-95. Prof. Von Hippel is now a Senior Research Physicist and Professor of Public and International Affairs Emeritus with Princeton’s Program on Science & Global Security, which he co-founded.  

  • Richard Garwin, IBM Fellow Emeritus at the Thomas J. Watson Research Center. Garwin was a member of the President’s Science Advisory Committee from 1962-1965 and 1969-1972, and a member of JASON Defense Advisory Group since its inception. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, and the National Academy of Engineering, and is a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Moderating the panel will be Susan Eisenhower, author and expert on international security and arms control.  William E. “Brit” Kirwan, chancellor emeritus of the University System of Maryland, will open the forum.

All are welcome to attend, ask questions, and engage the panel. Questions sent in advance to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. will have first consideration. 

Roald Sagdeev  Roald SagdeevJohn HoldrenJohn HoldrenFrank von HippelFrank von HippelRichard GarwinRichard GarwinSusan EisenhowerSusan Eisenhower


Writeup of the event by the University of Maryland School of Public Policy:

Manuel Franco Sevilla Receives Junior Faculty Award

Manuel Franco Sevilla installs ODMB modules into the CMS detector at CERN. (Photo: Jeff Richman)

Manuel Franco Sevilla has received the 2022 Junior Faculty Award from the Board of Visitors of the College of Computer, Mathematics and Natural Sciences in recognition of his “exceptional accomplishments that have raised the profile and prestige of the college”.

Franco Sevilla is a particle physicist doing research at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider’s beauty (LHCb) experiment, which employs “beauty” (or “b”) hadrons produced in high-energy collisions of protons to study the fundamental laws of our Universe.Manuel Franco Sevilla Manuel Franco Sevilla

His research focuses on measurements that test lepton universality, a fundamental assumption within the Standard Model of particle physics that states that the interactions of all charged leptons (electrons, muons, and taus) differ only because of their different masses. His thesis in 2012 saw the first hints of possible lepton universality violation, and since then, several measurements in experiments across the world have found similar hints. He has covered this topic in multiple international forums and in reviews for Nature and Review of Modern Physics.

Additionally, Franco Sevilla works on the Upstream Tracker (UT), a new silicon tracker that is a crucial part of LHCb’s ongoing upgrade to achieve data taking rates five times larger than previously possible. Together with Professor Hassan Jawahery, he co-led the development and production of the readout electronics for the UT, a total of over 600 main boards and 3,000 ancillary ones. This immense effort included contributions from an electronics engineer, three postdocs, four graduate students and the recruitment and training of a group of 12 undergraduate students who were instrumental during the testing and assembly phases of the project.

Last year Franco Sevilla was named deputy project leader of the UT and spent the second half of 2022 at CERN coordinating the assembly and installation of this subdetector into the LHCb experiment, an effort that involved a team of over 25 engineers, technicians, postdocs, and students as well as other CERN resources such as survey, transportation, or radiation protection teams. Some pictures of theses activities are shown below.