Research

Green Latrine Project

The Green Latrine was developed to compost human waste and produce electricity. It aims to prevent water contamination as well as provide a source of electricity, critical in developing countries. The multipurpose invention is called the Microbial Fuel Cell Pit Latrine and has been installed in Ghana in May of 2012 and is currently in active use. Graduate students are currently researching designs that can modify existing latrines. The team hopes to visit its host community in Agona Nyakrom in fall of 2014.

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.

Tick-Borne Disease Network

The Tick-Borne Disease Network program allows free tick testing to people in 32 Massachusetts towns. The TBDN program is funded through the MA Governor’s office, the first network of its kind, and will increase the volume of people using the service giving researchers in the Laboratory of Medical Zoology on campus more data to work with. More information will help identify ticks, the diseases they are carrying and who is getting sick to help prevent future occurrences. Testing and results will be reported to residents, local boards of health and the state Department of Public Health.

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.

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.

The Inter-American Network for Integration, Research and Development in Higher Education

The Inter-American Network for Integration, Research and Development in Higher Education focuses on improving quality, access, equity and development of education in the Latin America and the Caribbean region. The College of Education at UMass Amherst is collaborating with University of Missouri and Universidad de los Andes in Colombia to be the first multinational association that will promote regional and global partnerships and improve the integration of policy and practice across tertiary institutions.

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.

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.

The Adult Transitions Longitudinal Study

The Adult Transitions Longitudinal Study (ATLAS) is a research project documenting the educational outcomes for adult basic education students who participated in an ABE- to- College Transition project (an adult literacy program for graduates to prepare for and succeed in postsecondary education). The project studied a group of 225 adult students to discover whether they enrolled, persisted and succeeded in post-secondary education following completion of a 15-week transition course.

Learning Initiatives for Rural Education

The LIRE project was created by the Center for International Education, addressing the challenge of providing primary education in rural areas such as Senegal and The Gambia. CIE will increase access to primary schools and work with education departments to provide multi-grade training in all areas of teaching. Workshops are available to help teachers enhance their knowledge of classroom management, how to use local resources in schools and integrate the community into the classroom.

CIE and IGH at UMass work with Kabul Medical University

The Academy for Education Development in consortium with three U.S universities will work through the Higher Education Project to strengthen The Kabul Medical University in Afghanistan. UMass Amherst's participation is being led by its Center for International Education and the Institute for Global Health to work in partnership with Kabul Medical University, Ministry of Higher Education and Ministry of Public Health. Their goal is to create a new School of Public Health and designing a new Masters in Public Health.

Faculty Development in Foundations

Faculty Development in Foundations was a two-year project started by the Center for International Education in collaboration with Al-Azhar University in Gaza, Palestine. The project assisted three universities in Gaza to assist their education faculty and improve the quality of instruction in teacher education programs. They plan to enhance their knowledge of creative, interactive and dialogue-based techniques to one-day use with Gazan children. A study tour took place in October 2012 that focused on observing undergraduate and graduate teacher education and courses at UMass.

VAS-Y Fille!

The VAS-Y Fille! Project, which began in the summer of 2013 aims to enroll 5,000 girls in primary and early secondary schools to help increase girls’ access to education in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The International Rescue Committee project, Save the Children, and Catholic Relief Services are working as a consortium to implement evaluation studies throughout VAS-Y Fille! Provinces.

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.

Himalayan Climate Change Adaptation Programme (HICAP)

This research provides design/build services to a village in North India, where, due to chronic drought caused by climate change, an entire community is moving to a new site. Faculty work with villagers through community design charettes to help envision this process and plan with digital tools. In addition to drafting master plan documentation and various community land infrastructure, locals are engaged to construct new prototypes on the community space in the new village.

Holyoke/ Chicopee Community Shannon Safety Initaitive

This project examines prevention and intervention strategies to prevent youth violence and gang involvement. Dr. Krezmien, the project's research partner, has developed a unique community-based research site and coordinates activities to ensure that programming is driven by empirical evidence. He is currently working on a risk assessment study that will examine the individual, familial, and community-based factors associated with risk for violence, substance abuse. and gang involvement.

The Ronald H. Frederickson Center for School Counseling Outcome Research

The Ronald H. Frederickson Center for School Counseling Outcome Research (CSCORE) is dedicated to improving the practice of school counseling by generating, identifying, and disseminating research related to the field, providing evaluation and consultation to support best practices, developing interventions with demonstrated efficacy and positive outcomes, and building the capacity of school counselors. CSCORE provides a range of services, including professional development training, intervention and program evaluation, and consultation.

Center for Educational Assessment

The Center for Educational Assessment provides technical expertise in areas such as test development, item response theory applications, equating, standard setting, test selection and evaluation, and program evaluation. The Center is a valuable resource for educational policy makers and others who use tests to make important decisions regarding individuals, organizations or institutions.

Leadership and Teacher Development

The Leadership and Teacher Development project is a comprehensive teacher education reform in the Middle East’s West Bank and Gaza. The project aims to improve classroom instruction, policies within the Ministry of Education departments and enhance pre-service teacher education. The Center for International Education (CIE) was awarded a $1 million from AMIDEAST, with USAID West Bank & Gaza funding to help implement enhancement and assessment programs such as the Teacher Education Enhancement Program and Teacher Performance Assessment System.