Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series

Four UMass Amherst faculty members will deliver lectures in the 40th year of the University's Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series. All lectures begin at 4 p.m. in the Massachusetts Room at the Mullins Center. The lectures are free and open to the public. A public reception follows each lecture.

Lisa Chasan-Taber, Department of Public Health
Monday, December 9, 2013

It's Never Too Early: Diabetes Prevention in Pregnancy
An unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, and stress at the time of conception and during pregnancy may have profound implications for the child, who could be at increased risk for heart disease and diabetes as an adult. Professor Chasan-Taber has led a national research team studying the impact of lifestyle factors on high-risk pregnant women. She will present scientific findings on introducing healthful lifestyle changes that protect mothers and babies against both short-term and long-term illnesses.



Richard Palmer, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Tuesday, Febuary 4, 2014

Climate Change and the Sustainability of Cities and Natural Resources: Characterizing Uncertainties for Citizens and Decision Makers
The increasing frequency of extreme weather – from hurricanes, droughts, forest fires, to extreme heat – presents unique challenges for natural resource and infrastructure management and suggests the need for climate adaptation. These changes will affect critical systems, including the sustainability of cities, access to water, and food production. Professor Palmer will explore how computer models and other tools that forecast the impacts of climate change can be used to inform public decision-making and the opportunities that will be encountered by the next generation of scientists and engineers.


Alice Cheung, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Birds and the Bees: How Do Plants Produce Seeds?
Professor Cheung’s research has long focused on understanding the mating games that go on inside a flower. She will tell a story of high drama detailing the scheming by the female to lure or reject a mate and a tour-de-force journey of the male to target and fertilize a female. Her lecture will examine these interactive events, captured in stunning images, which lead to the production of seeds, the life form that ensures preservation of an ecologically balanced planet and provides food to feed its people.


James Kurose, Department of Computer Science
Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Design and Analysis of a Content-Oriented Internet
Computer scientists are re-architecting the Internet to improve video streaming, provide fast access to large data files, increase security, and introduce other advances. The newest innovation is content-oriented networks that use massive in-network storage to efficiently and opportunistically connect users with content, rather than retrieving that content from specific sites. Professor Kurose, a leading researcher in computer networking, will present an overview of the evolution of Internet architecture and discuss challenges and approaches for the next transformation of the Internet.