Translational Science

Navajo Language Academy

The Navajo Language Academy is a non-profit educational organization committed to promoting the scientific study and preservation of the Navajo language. Since 1997, Navajo linguistics workshops for language teachers and scholars have been held every summer. The NLA covers complicated areas of grammar and teach students how to apply scientific methods to language studies. UMass Amherst is represented on the NLA's board of directors.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Outsmart Invasive Species Project

The goal of the Outsmart Invasive Species Project is to strengthen ongoing invasive-species monitoring efforts in Massachusetts by enlisting help from citizens. Using web- and smartphone-based approaches, volunteers identify and collect data on invasive species in their own time, with little or no hands-on training. Because increasing numbers of people are equipped with smartphone technology, this approach will expand the scope of invasive-species monitoring, and is an effort to help control outbreaks of new or emergent invasive species that threaten our environment.

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.

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.

The Sunwheel Project

The long-running Sunwheel Project involves the construction of sun wheels all over the world starting at UMass Amherst. The project brings a greater awareness and understanding of astronomy to school children, University community members and the general public. In Amherst, the sunwheel - located south of the football stadium - is a gathering spot for people to visit and learn about the sky together through regular public gatherings posted on the website (and usually timed with the equinox and solstice events).

Heritage Assessment and Community Development, Eleuthera, Bahamas

The Center for Heritage & Society has initiated a partnership with a community development organization on the island of Eleuthera, Bahamas (oneeleuthera.org). We have conducted a pilot research project (Historic Building Survey) in Governor's Harbor, and we have developed a community engagement web portal for use by our partners. Finally, we are now in the development phase of an archaeological survey and excavation project in Millars on the site of a former plantation in collaboration with the descendent community.

Nano Test Strips for Drinking Water Tests in Pakistan

Chemist Vincent Rotello will develop, test and deploy new, sensitive, reliable and affordable inkjet-printed, nanoparticle-based test strips for detecting disease-causing bacteria in drinking water, with researchers at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Pakistan. Rotello will address drinking water safety in Lahore, the largest city in the nation’s Punjab region, where it is estimated that more than 60 percent of water sources in the city are contaminated with disease-causing bacteria and rates even higher in rural areas.

UMass Cranberry Station

The mission of the UMass Cranberry Station is to maintain and enhance the economic viability of the Massachusetts cranberry industry through research, extension and to serve the public welfare by supporting economic development and protection of the environment. We have specialists in Plant Pathology, Entomology, Environmental Physiology, Plant Nutrition/Cultural Practices, Weed Science/Integrated Pest Management, and Floriculture. In our programs we emphasize efficiency, environmental protection, and profitability.

UMass Extension Building Energy

The Building Energy Extension Program conveys current energy efficiency, renewable energy, and building science information to stakeholders, including those in the building trades, design professionals, state government agencies, building owners and occupants through workshops, web publication, and consulting. Applied research in building energy systems is conducted to respond to perceived stakeholder need.

UMass Extension Sustainable Greenhouse Management

The Sustainable Greenhouse Management project applies research and educational opportunities to address key problems and opportunities facing the industry and the public. Programs on greenhouse crop production, integrated pest management, water and nutrient management, waste management and energy are delivered through a variety of newsletters, websites and message board, publications, workshops, conferences, training programs, diagnostic services and applied research. Applied research considers organic growing media and fertilizers for ornamental greenhouse crops.

UMass Extension Sustainable Cranberry Production

The goal of the UMass Extension Sustainable Cranberry Project is to provide cranberry growers with pertinent and timely information so they may sustain their operations in Southeastern Massachusetts. Research projects include evaluating automated frost cycling, upright dieback, sustainable reduction in use of phosphorus, and new insecticides.

Wildlife Conservation

The Wildlife Conservation project engages in applied research and provides information, educational materials and programs based on current research to promote wildlife conservation including efforts to better understand the impacts of roads and highways on wildlife and ecosystems and to develop and evaluate techniques for mitigating those impacts.