A team of University of Maryland computing researchers is exploring how autonomous robots whisking smoothly through crowds of pedestrians could encourage social distancing, while at the same time remotely monitor individuals for signs of illness.

Such a system could offer all the advantages robots bring, like tirelessness, consistency, and immunity, to the icy glares (and occasional enraged bellows) of the offended—plus, they can’t get infected and pass the virus along like a human minder might. But in addition to the major technical challenges of creating an autonomous, “social” robot that’s technically advanced enough to mingle with groups, there’s even more complex terrain to maneuver—human reactions to that interaction.
No one ever rolled the most active hurricane season ever, a wave of apocalyptic fires and a global pestilence all into a single nightmarish scenario—until reality did, said Sandra Knight, a senior research engineer in the University of Maryland's Center for Disaster Resilience, part of the University of Maryland's A. James Clark School of Engineering. 

Intentionally seeking to diversify the subjects used in research—from cells and serums to data from patient populations—is a pillar of Alisa Morss Clyne’s vascular kinetics lab. She and her students study how the mechanical properties of blood vessels, particularly at the microscopic and molecular levels, change in response to elevated glucose, stress hormones, and other compounds present in blood. Clyne’s lab seeks to contribute to potential new therapies and approaches for treating disease.

The Clark School moved up three spots, to No. 22 from 25 nationally, among undergraduate engineering programs in U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 Best Colleges report released today. The Clark School ranks as No. 12 among public institutions. In addition to its overall ranking, four of the Clark School’s engineering disciplines ranked in the top 25.

In response to the novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), researchers at the University of Maryland’s A. James Clark School of Engineering are working tirelessly to create solutions and pool resources in efforts to minimize the spread of the disease, provide critical aid to health care workers and their patients, and monitor the impact of social distancing and travel restrictions. We've curated a selection of media coverage of the Clark Schools response efforts.