Science & Technology

Initiative for Maximizing Student Development

The Initiative for Maximizing Student Development program aims to increase the number of underrepresented minority doctoral students who complete Ph.D. degrees and postdoctoral fellowships to become leaders in biomedical and behavioral science research. The IMSD program provides academic support, specialized multi-stage mentoring, state-of-the-art professional training and awards fellowships to support the recruitment of underrepresented minority students into doctoral programs in STEM, behavior sciences and public health.

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Club

The Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Club is a non-profit, student-driven, scientific and educational service organization dedicated to serving students in the biochemistry and other life sciences majors with respect to academics, research and careers. Supported by our daily fundraisers throughout the school year, we are able to offer interesting and informative events each month, for example, networking opportunities with speakers from top life sciences companies, tours to these companies’ labs, workshops with Career Services, and student to student panels for peer mentoring.

Computer Science Education Week

Twelve schools, colleges and community organizations offer workshops, technology showcases, field trips and contests to help raise awareness of the importance of computer science education during CS Ed Week each December. With support from NSF, CAITE and BPC Alliance, students are exposed to an array of activities that encourage computer science education for students K-12 from the Amherst, Holyoke, Greenfield and West Springfield areas.

Laboratory for Advanced Software Engineering Research

The Laboratory for Advanced Software Engineering Research (LASER) is a research lab in the School of Computer Science at UMass Amherst. LASER investigates techniques for reducing software development and maintenance costs while improving the quality of the systems produced. The lab engages communities and corporations to develop techniques, tools and processes which support the most challenging kinds of systems making it applicable to wide classes of properties.

Climate System Research Center

Climate System Research Center focuses on the climate system, climatic variability and global change issues. Issues span from contemporary climate variations to paleoclimatic and paleoenvironmental changes. The center brings together graduate students, post-docs, research scientists and University faculty who are interested in the variability of the climate system in time and space. Faculty are working in more than 24 countries with studies ranging from ancient lake sediments in Siberia to the impacts of Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

Knowledge Discovery Laboratory Prevent Securities Fraud

The Knowledge Discovery Laboratory is a research group that has created a program that helps investigators of the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) identify brokers who are likely to commit a crime. Data from public records are analyzed for social, professional and organizational connections among brokers that may indicate possible illegal activity. The application helps investigators in a way not humanly possible to rank brokers’ propensity for fraud and create complex statistical models from the data.

Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing

The Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing is an NSF Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center (NSEC). CHM aims to be a leading research and education center for the development of cost-efficient manufacturing of nanostructured components, devices and systems. The center provides educational programs that reach K-12, community college, undergraduate & graduate students as well as the general public and has a significant industry relations program via MassNanoTech Institute.

Association for Women in Science

UMass Amherst is an institutional partner in the Association for Women in Science (AWIS). AWIS is the largest multi-disciplinary organization for women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in the country. Its mission is to achieve equity and full participation of women in all disciplines and employment sectors. The organization provides networking, online resources for career opportunities, leadership training and other benefits that will promote women in the STEM fields.

The Large Millimeter Telescope Project

UMass Amherst, in collaboration with the Instituto Nacional de Astrofiscia, Optica y Electronica in Mexico, successfully built a 50 meter diameter telescope at a high altitude site in Mexico. The LMT is known to be the biggest millimeter-wave telescope in the world. Designed for astronomical observations it assists in the exploration of the physical processes that lead to the formation and evolution of planetary systems, stars, black-holes and galaxies throughout the 13.7 billion year history of the Universe.

Orchard Hill Observatory

The Orchard Hill Observatory is UMass Amherst's optical observatory. It is located on the highest point on the UMass campus and is home to a 16-inch Cassegrain telescope. It is used for public events and for holding open observatory nights. It is supported by members of the Five College Astronomy Club.

Agricultural Learning Center

In 2013, UMass started the Agricultural Learning Center (“ALC”) as a hands-on living “classroom” or field laboratory for undergraduates, graduate students and residents of Massachusetts to pursue active learning about all forms of agriculture. The ALC will provide experiential learning opportunities in a wide variety of farming, horticultural, nursery and landscape industries. With small areas devoted to livestock, fruits, vegetables, turf, and landscape crops, the ALC will offer a broad array of agricultural topics to both UMass students and the general public.

Center for Forensics

Bringing together partners across industry, government, and academia to advance scientific and societal understanding of the issues raised by digital forensics technologies, the Center develops and applies novel research and technology in forensics and privacy to address the interests of society, law, and government. To date, over 4,000 arrests for Internet-based child sexual exploitation have been made based on our research and technology. Since April 2012, more than 85 children have been rescued from sexually abusive situations as a result of cases started with our tools.

American Society of Civil Engineers

The goal of the American Society of Civil Engineers is to enhance infrastructure, environment, and the quality of life of the public and to promote engineering excellence through public policy activities. The UMass Amherst Chapter of ASCE is a student run organization which participates in three design competitions including Concrete Canoe, Steel Bridge and Seismic Design projects. The organization holds monthly general body meetings in which guest speakers from the community lecture about the civil engineering profession.

Engineers Without Borders

Engineers Without Borders is a student run organization driven to help local and international communities create sustainable solutions to improve their quality of life and future. EWB aims to develop, fundraise, construct and implement tools necessary for communities to help themselves. The student chapter at UMass Amherst has managed projects in Ghana and Kenya to help develop sustainable methods for clean water.

Amherst Center for Fundamental Interactions

The Amherst Center for Fundamental Interactions goal is to expand research in theoretical and experimental physics in a quest to seek the elusive answer to how the universe works. The collaboration between physicists from three frontiers of fundamental physics: Energy, intensity and cosmic physics hold the key to understanding the laws of nature. International topical workshops, research programs and student exchanges with partner institutions support the mission to represent these experimental approaches.

Electronic Navigation System for Visually Impaired

PERCEPT is an electronic navigation system that provides verbal directions, electronic signs and a virtual information booth for helping the visually impaired around subway stations. The innovative system can be used with a smartphone through a special application with pre-set instructions and near field communication software (NFC) which allows the phone to communicate with electronic tags installed throughout the station. The system hopes to enhance the perception of the blind and visually impaired in unfamiliar indoor environments.

Fish & Fisheries Public Seminar Series in Gloucester

A series of four seminars organized by the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Large Pelagics Research Center at Hodgkins Cove (LPRC) will begin on April 3rd, 2014 at 7 p.m.at Maritime Gloucester. The LPRC is notable for its international research and partnership with fisherman on the study of giant Bluefin tuna, leatherback turtles and other open-ocean wandering species, or pelagics. Four expert speakers will discuss topics based on the latest research of the Atlantic bluefin tuna, fisheries and food webs, ocean ecology and right whale conservation.

Supporting STEM Teaching and Learning through Communities

S²TLC is building and supporting a community and pipeline of STEM educators that explore deep content knowledge, inquiry-based and culturally responsive practices, and the integration of technology in grades 6-12 STEM classrooms. Face-to-face and virtual communities of practice are hallmarks of the project that will connect teachers in western Massachusetts during and beyond the project. It is a six-year NSF-funded partnership of UMass Amherst, Greenfield, Holyoke, and Springfield public schools, Mahar Regional school district and Hitchcock Center for the Environment.

Futurescape City Tours

Futurescape City Tours is a national public engagement project that enables citizens to explore how new technologies are changing their cities. Springfield, MA, was one of six participating cities in 2013. In addition to UMass/CPPA, partners included the Center for Nanotechnology and Society at Arizona State University, the Loka Institute, the Springfield Science Museum, Putnam Technical High School, the UMass Design Center, and U.S Congressman Richard Neal’s office, among others.

Innovate to Mitigate: A Crowdsourced Carbon Challenge

"Innovate to Mitigate: A Crowdsourced Carbon Challenge"-- directed by Dr. Gilly Puttick of TERC, a non-profit educational organization-- is a crowdsourced open innovation challenge for high school students to come up with creative solutions for mitigation of climate change. Crowdsourcing promises a novel approach to engaging students in science while addressing a significant societal challenge. Dr. Leschine’s role is to serve as an adviser, assist in the design of the challenge, and select resources that will be necessary to support the work of high school student participants.

The Fergus M. Clydesdale Center for Foods for Health and Wellness

The Fergus M. Clydesdale Center for Foods for Health and Wellness brings together scientists, educators, government, policy makers and industry executives to develop and implement innovative solutions to food-related health issues. The Center is a world-class academic research center that consists of state-of-the-art laboratories and instrumentation to conduct research on food components that can improve the health and wellness of our food supply.

Science Quest

High school students in grades 10-12 from across the Northeast and beyond are encouraged to visit the UMass Amherst campus to engage in hands-on science activities, demonstrations and guided lab tours. Students are allowed to select their own schedule of mini-classes offered to explore physics labs and learn more about science. A panel of UMass undergraduate science students are available to talk about their experiences as a science major and an admission representative will briefly present and answer questions about preparing for college/applying to UMass.

Computer-Based Math Tutor

A computer-based, emotionally perceptive math tutoring software system has been developed by UMass Amherst computer scientists and colleagues to help improve standardized test scores such as the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS). After extensive analysis and studies on gender relations with math done with elementary aged children in Holyoke, MA and Springfield, MA schools and elsewhere, the software was written to offer emotional support, found to be appreciated more by girls than boys who are less affected by it.

Academic Practice Partnership: Nursing Leaders & Baystate Health

The College of Nursing at UMass & Baystate Health have a partnership designed to address the goals of all partners. This partnership has many outcomes including multiple sustained evidence based educational, clinical practice, and organizational programs. Some examples are three successful dedicated education units (DEUs), new models for Nursing policy review, a systematic evaluation of the Shared Governance Structure, a program evaluation of the Nursing Falls Prevention program, and a new research based individualized Falls Risk Assessment tool.

Water Geographies: Conflict & Sustainability

Water Geographies: Conflict & Sustainability is a service-learning course which aims to connect students with people’s active efforts to learn about and protect water, and to help students make a difference in water-related issues they care about. To this end, students undertake two action projects of their choice, which constitutes about one-third of their grade.