The Economics Department has a variety of seminar groups designed to promote graduate student research:
The Analytical Political Economy workshop meets 4-6 times each semester. The topics are wide ranging (Growth, Distribution, International Economics, Development Economics, Macroeconomics, etc.) and the presentations involve some kind of modeling effort (including empirical estimation of a new or existing model). Members are expected to attend most if not all sessions and participate actively through presenting their own work, and reading and commenting on the papers that are to be presented at each meeting. The main objective is to enable students to get helpful feedback in a friendly, relatively informal environment. Visiting scholars and other faculty are also welcome. To participate in the workshop, please contact Peter Skott (email@example.com) or Arslan Razmi (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Environmental Working Group is a very informal group of UMass graduate students (from economics but also from other departments, such as resource economics, environmental conservation and political science) and faculty (mostly from UMass) that meets intermittently (roughly every other week) in Gordon Hall. "Environmental" is construed very broadly to include a variety of topics in development and geography as well as environmental quality and natural resources. Most EWG sessions are presentations of work-in-progress by participants who volunteer when sessions are scheduled at the beginning of each semester. There is no obligation for participants to present and no obligation to attend all sessions. PhD students have used the EWG as a sounding board in their dissertations, presenting initial ideas, prospectus drafts and trial-run job talks. Occasionally we host presentations by outside speakers. The EWG listserv provides news of other events and opportunities of interest. The EWG coordinators are Michael Ash (email@example.com), Jim Boyce (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Ceren Soylu (email@example.com).