AMHERST, Mass. - Statistics class has a reputation for tripping up even the brightest students. But a $2.4 million grant from the National Science Foundation is enabling University of Massachusetts researchers to develop software that helps middle-school students get a grip on stats before math anxiety grips them. And that''s important, says team leader Cliff Konold, because statistics and data analysis are becoming a bigger part of the world, not just for academic pursuits, but for everyday decision making. The group is working on the project under the auspices of the Scientific Reasoning Research Institute (SRRI), an interdisciplinary research organization devoted to the study of learning and instruction in the sciences and mathematics.
AMHERST, Mass. - Raymond Bradley, climate researcher and head of the geosciences department at the University of Massachusetts, is among the experts scheduled to appear on a two-hour special PBS program on Tues., April 18, at 9 p.m. Bradley is known for his work documenting global warming. The program, "What''s Up with the Weather?" explores the extreme weather of the past decade. It was produced by NOVA and Frontline.
AMHERST, Mass. - Derek Lovley, head of the microbiology department at the University of Massachusetts, and Robert T. Anderson, microbiology graduate student at UMass, have found that bacteria living just below the earth''s surface can be coaxed to rapidly convert oil to methane gas in oil-rich soil. Their findings, which are spelled out in an article in this week''s issue of Nature, could change the way the oil exploration industry operates, according to Lovley.
AMHERST, Mass. - A team of University of Massachusetts researchers has found a way to make molecules that are too tiny to be seen, under even the strongest microscopes, behave in a predictable and orderly way. The finding should have major implications in the development of faster computers and ultra-sensitive sensors, such as electronic "noses" that locate land-mines and diseases. The team, led by professor of chemistry Vincent Rotello, reports the details in the April 13 issue of the journal Nature.
AMHERST, Mass. - University of Massachusetts plant researcher and associate professor Susan Han discovered something several years ago that Easter-lily lovers will appreciate over the next few weeks. After experimenting with a variety of remedies for a condition that attacks the holiday lilies, Han tried a growth hormone readily available as a nursery product and sprayed it on the tall, leafy plants. This simple procedure, she said, protected the lilies from foliar chlorosis, the bane of the greenhouse industry''s third most important product.
AMHERST, Mass. - M.J. Alhabeeb, of the department of consumer studies at the University of Massachusetts, will report on his study of teen employment, its impact on schools and society, and how teen-agers spend their money, at a special seminar Wed., March 29. The talk, which will be held in Room 217 of Skinner Hall, is free and open to the public.
AMHERST, Mass. - A University of Massachusetts microbiologist is one of a group of six researchers offering a major step forward in developing a model explaining DNA repair, recombination, and replication, in a report appearing in today''s issue of the journal Nature. The study, "Re-establishment of Inactivated Replication Forks as a Bacterial Housekeeping Function," gives new insight into the sequence of events involved in cell division, information that will be of great help to molecular biologists involved in cancer and other medical research, according to Steven J. Sandler, professor of microbiology.
AMHERST, Mass. - University of Massachusetts exercise science Professor Richard E. A. Van Emmerik is conducting research into how aging changes upper-body motion and the ability to maintain balance while walking. The study is funded by a three-year $209,804 grant from the private, non-profit Whitaker Foundation. The research could have a major impact on efforts to reduce the risk of injury from falling among the elderly, says Van Emmerik.
AMHERST, Mass. - A UMass polymer scientist is among the researchers reporting a major step forward in nanoscopic pattern transfer in the Feb. 24 issue of the journal Nature. Tom Russell, polymer science and engineering, and postdoctoral esearcher Thomas Thurn-Albrecht collaborated with Ullrich Steiner and graduate student Erik Schaffer of University of Groningen, The Netherlands. The findings have implications in paving the way for still-smaller integrated circuits, magnetic storage in computers, and on-chip sensors; all of this without the use of chemicals.
AMHERST, Mass. - University of Massachusetts physicist Mark Tuominen may have some trouble finding a T-shirt small enough for the UMass logo recently sketched in his lab. Tuominen, in collaboration with Tom Russell and Jacques Penelle of polymer science and engineering, is researching nanotechnology, a field aimed at producing devices so small that they can only be seen with an electron microscope. Tuominen and graduate student Mustafa Bal recently created a UMass logo which is roughly the size of a red blood cell - some six micrometers in diameter.