Facilities & Equipment

Computer Science Department

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UMD Computer Science
Computing Facilities

Campus & Computer Science Department Computing Facilities Include:

* CS Dpt. Systems Lab (MWAH 187)
* CS Dpt. Student Computing Facility (HH 314)
* CS Dpt. Member of PlanetLab Global Research Platform (Prof. Wang)
* CS Dpt. Buddy Lab (Prof. Khan)
* CS Dpt. Operating Systems, Efficiency & Security Lab (Prof. Peterson)
* CS Dpt. Virtual Environments Lab (Willemsen)
* Campus MadLab (Campus Motion Capture Lab)
* Campus VizLab
* 8 Campus Class Labs (ITSS – UMD Technical Service)
* 3 Campus Open Access Labs (ITSS – UMD Technical Service)
* Interactive TV Classrooms (ITSS – UMD Technical Service)
* Multi Media Hub (ITSS – UMD Technical Service)
* For additional UMD computing facilities visit ITSS Facilities and MMAD Lab and Viz Lab

MWAH 187 Computer Systems Lab:

At many schools, CS students use share computer labs with students from other departments. This limits the kinds of software available. The UMD CS Systems Lab solves this problem. Every machine has a bay for a removable hard drive. Students are assigned removable hard drives, allowing them to change virtually everything about the software running on their lab computer, including operating systems, software packages, and more -- essentially giving them "administrator access" to a computer for the term. (This also means that they don't have to tamper with their personal computers to do homework.) The lab also features advanced hardware for use in our networking course. In total, the lab gives CS students much-needed hands-on experience with real computing and networking systems in a safe and supportive environment.

HH 314 Student Computing Facility:

HH 314 is a CS student only lab that affords our students access to Mac, Linux, and Windows computers with additional computing power. It also provides space for CS study groups and consulting hours for student to meet with CS Teaching Assistants.

UMD is part of the PlanetLab global research network:

UMD students have access to the PlanetLab research platform. This platform enables students to run experiments/codes on over 1,342 computers around the globe. For example, some of our students are currently using this platform to study the performance of cloud gaming and content delivery systems. This experience helps our students better understand the design of such large-scale computer systems.
Planet Lab Link: https://www.planet-lab.org/

Buddy Lab:

Professor Khan’s Buddy Lab researches biomedical and health informatics where wireless sensor based mobile assistive technology and robotics are used to enhance the delivery of care. Khan’s research studies how robotic assistive technology can use robotics to help patients recover after open heart surgery. In addition, we are also exploring the use of robots in identifying and predicting wandering behavior among individuals with dementia.
Sensor based mobile technology utilizes sensors for tracking heart rate, blood pressure, body surface temperature, oxygen saturation, accelerometer, and pressure sensors to monitor and track various physiological conditions that play a role in prevention of pressure ulcers, tracking, monitoring and management of bipolar disorder, and detection of wandering in patients affected with dementia.


Peterson’s Laboratory for Advanced Research in Systems (LARS) investigates issues “behind the scenes” of typical computer operation. This includes investigating the efficiency and security of operating systems, libraries, frameworks, and hardware of those components that generally support computer operation. Research from LARS has included improving the security and efficiency of encrypted and compressed data to mitigate side-channel attacks as well as improving the efficiency of unencrypted communication channels using Adaptive Compression. LARS produces and maintains various computer security exercises and also publishes the weekly UMD Information Security News newsletter covering the biggest stories in information security each week.

LARS is currently the host of a vintage PDP-12 minicomputer from the 1970s that is available for student use and experimentation, and is also developing a testbed for security and education that will include the ability to measure the energy consumption of computers running various software loads.

Virtual Environments Lab:

Willemsen’s Simulation and Interaction in Virtual Environments (SIVE) lab demonstrates the principles of virtual reality. When students or visitors don a SIVE headset or head-mounted display, they enter another world. Using data provided by NASA, Willemsen programed a virtual environment that simulates the planet Mars. When the user puts on the headset, they see the surface of Mars with craters, hills, mountains, and all of its topographic features. As the user walks towards objects, the landscape changes in real time, just as if the user was on the real planet.

Soon Willemsen will use haptic devices so people can touch, feel, and potentially manipulate objects in a virtual environment. Inside this ‘Smart Shoe’ are tiny bladders that fill with air enabling the user to feel some of the features on which they are standing, such as rocks or uneven terrain. Another use for the Smart Shoe is in the medical field. For instance, if a person has trouble with balance, the shoe would allow them to walk on a cobblestone street without feeling unstable.