Alexandra Meliou

UMass Amherst Computer Scientists Receive Grant to Improve Software Fairness

AMHERST, Mass. – Computer science researchers Alexandra Meliou and Yuriy Brun at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have received a four-year, $1.05 million grant from the National Science Foundation to study how software systems can exhibit bias and how software engineers can develop fairer, more equitable systems.

Meliou says, “Software makes decisions in what products we are led to buy, who gets a loan, self-driving car actions that may lead to property damage or human injury...

Su Lin Blodgett

Data Science Student Aims to Improve Inclusion of African-American English

Computer science Ph.D. student Su Lin Blodgett presented a paper on improving English-language parsing tools by analyzing tweets written in African-American English at the annual meeting of the Association of Computational Linguistics on July 17 in Melbourne, Australia. The paper represents work she did with undergraduate Johnny Tian-Zhen Wei and her advisor, assistant professor Brendan O’Connor.

Current natural language processing (NLP) tools “learn” and are trained on mainstream...

Olufunmilayo (Funmi) Adebayo

Graduate School Appoints Adebayo Assistant Dean for Inclusion and Engagement

Olufunmilayo (Funmi) Adebayo has been named assistant dean for inclusion and engagement at the Graduate School.

Adebayo, who began her appointment earlier this month, holds a doctoral degree in biomedical engineering from Cornell University and recently completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. During her career, she has supervised or implemented a wide array of initiatives designed to increase diversity in higher education.

“I am...

Video: Jazz in July Workshops Challenge Performers at All Levels

For more than three decades, the annual Jazz in July program has included intensive backstage workshops that bring budding performers together with accomplished mentors.

Kelly Gray

Gray Named Assistant Dean, Executive Director of SBS Advising Resource Center

Kelly Gray, currently associate dean of students for student life, has been named assistant dean and executive director of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Advising Resource Center, effective Aug. 6.

She replaces Carolyn Bassett, who has been appointed associate provost for student success.

Gray has worked at UMass Amherst for 11 years and has held positions in residence education, the College of Humanities and Fine Arts, and most recently in the Dean of Students...

“Reframing Islam: A Photographic Resolution” exhibit

Hathaway’s Photo Exhibit ‘Reframing Islam’ on Display in Boston

At the invitation of state Attorney General Maura Healey, a 17-photograph exhibit by Brittany Hathaway, digital asset manager for University Relations, will be on display through Aug. 10 in the employee lobby of the John W. McCormack state office building, One Ashburton Place, Boston.

Hathaway created “Reframing Islam: A Photographic Resolution” in early 2017 in response to political unrest regarding fear and acceptance of Muslim Americans. Since then, the photos have been exhibited...

Chancellor Announces Actions to Address Issues of Sexual Harassment, Violence

At the direction of Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy, the campus is undertaking a series of steps to address concerns raised by graduate students around the issues of sexual harassment, violence and assaults.

The chancellor detailed the actions in a reply to the Graduate Women in Science Task Force on Sexual Harassment and Assault, which submitted its recommendations in mid-April.

“We are committed to creating a culture of respect, dignity and support on campus; one that is free...

Ramsey-Musolf Speaks on Physics, Intersectionality, ‘Lavender Ceiling’

Michael Ramsey-Musolf, professor of physics and director of the Amherst Center for Fundamental Interactions, delivered multiple presentations in June, first highlighting physics and intersectionality at the National Nuclear Physics Summer School at Yale University on June 25 and 26.

He lectured on the theoretical physics of neutrinos and then, with Agnes Moczy, professor of math and science at the Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, co-led a roundtable discussion on diversity and inclusion....

UMass Amherst Receives $1 Million to Enhance STEM Learning, Inclusive Excellence

AMHERST, Mass. – The College of Natural Sciences (CNS) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has received a five-year, $1 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) to increase institutional capacity for inclusion of all science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) majors.

CNS researchers say the UMass Inclusive Excellence program in CNS will enhance the learning experience for life science students by transforming the learning environment and developing...

Jennifer M. McDermott

CNS Names First Director of Diversity and Inclusion for Graduate, Postdoctoral Studies

Jennifer M. McDermott, an assistant professor in psychological and brain sciences, has been named the College of Natural Sciences’ first director of diversity and inclusion for graduate and postdoctoral studies, effective July 1.

In this new role, McDermott will work with graduate students and graduate program directors and collaborate with the assistant dean for inclusion and engagement in the Graduate School to promote the CNS vision for diversity and inclusion.