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Mass. Green High Performance Computing Center is first university data center to achieve LEED Platinum

The Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center in Holyoke, Mass., has become the first university research data center to receive a LEED Platinum certification, the highest green building ranking. The center is operated by UMass, Boston University, Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Northeastern University. News release

Gierasch receives 2014 Cohn Award; named Biophysical Society Fellow

Lila M. Gierasch, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Chemistry, has been chosen to receive the 2014 Mildred Cohn Award in Biological Chemistry, awarded annually by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. The award is given to scientists who have made substantial advances in understanding biological chemistry using innovative physical approaches. She has also been named a fellow of the Biophysical Society in recognition of her “pioneering contributions to the understanding of the physical forces underlying protein folding.”

College Day Cookout is a rousing success

With a record 3,000 attendees, the 2013 College Day Cookout was a rousing success. Thanks go to everyone who helped celebrate the beginning of the academic year with delicious local food and live music—and virtually no trash. From the compostable plates and cups to the hay bale seating and pumpkin and cornstalk decorations, almost everything was recycled. Thanks, all!

Stockbridge School students complete landscaping projects for UMass Amherst

Four students from the Stockbridge School of Agriculture completed several landscaping projects on campus through summer internships with the UMass Amherst Physical Plant’s Building and Grounds Services. News release

Rotello named editor-in-chief of the ACS journal Bioconjugate Chemistry

Vincent M. Rotello, Chemistry, has been named editor in chief of the American Chemical Society journal Bioconjugate Chemistry. Chemical & Engineering News

Dasgupta awarded $1.5 million NSF grant to study why few women and minorities go into STEM careers

Nilanjana Dasgupta, Psychology, says the American workforce is losing out because too few women and
racial minorities pursue STEM education and careers, and has received a five-year, $1.5 million NSF grant to identify solutions., News release

Spencer says classroom naps support learning in preschoolers

Rebecca Spencer, Psychology, with students Kasey Duclos and Laura Kurdziel, published research in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showing that classroom naps support learning in preschool children by enhancing memory. CBS News, Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, Time, ABC News, ABC News Radio, The Guardian, USA Today,, WGGB-TV 40, Science Codex, Voice of America, WFCR,,, Yahoo! News, Fox News, Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, Good Morning America,, e! Science News, New York Times, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

CNS State of the College 2013

The College of Natural Sciences held its State of the College event on September 18. Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy and Dean Steve Goodwin had a lively discussion about the University's new budgeting model and we announced the College's Outstanding Awards 2013 for faculty and staff, which included: Faculty John Balise (Advising), Alfred Crosby (Research), Richard Yuretich (Outreach), Sheila Seaman and Panos Kevrekidis (Teaching), and staff Corliss Elizabeth, Jack Hirsch, and John Sweeney. New faculty were also introduced.

Wang's studies of new mathematical models and algorithms for visual computing is explored

Rui Wang, Computer Science, is featured in an article about his research encompassing precomputed light transport, photorealistic rendering of dynamic scenes, and stochastic sampling. Research Next

Autio's team controls cranberry bog weeds with open flame

A team of UMass Amherst scientists including Wes Autio, Stockbridge School of Agriculture, student Katherine Ghantous, and researchers at the UMass Cranberry Station Hilary Sandler and Peter Jeranyama has designed a method of controlling cranberry bog weeds using open flame. e! Science News,

Holden's deep-sea research receives grants from two foundations

James Holden, Microbiology, is researching the microbes living deep in the cracks and thermal vents around a mile-deep volcano in the Pacific with funding from philanthropists committed to supporting oceanographic research, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, which advances environmental conservation and scientific research, and the Schmidt Ocean Institute, which supports oceanographic research projects.

Giant new telescope ready to attempt imaging black hole at center of galaxy

Astronomy researchers, as part of an international team, have successfully completed a key test of the new Large Millimeter Telescope, a partnership between UMass Amherst and the National Astrophysics, Optics and Electronics Institute in Mexico. This paves the way to image the black hole at the center of our galaxy for the first time. News release

Muthukumar receives $1.08 million NIH grant

Murugappan Muthukumar, Polymer Science and Engineering, has received a $1.08 million grant from NIH’s National Human Genome Research Institute to develop platforms for more accurate DNA sequence reading.,,, News release

Katsoulakis and Rey-Bellet awarded $2.3 million multi-institution grant from DOE

Markos Katsoulakis and Luc Rey-Bellet, Mathematics and Statistics, have been awarded a $2.3 million multi-institution grant from the U.S. Department of Energy that focuses on developing and deploying computational methods for the design of materials for energy research.

Carter and Tew named American Chemical Society Fellows

Kenneth Carter (left) and Gregory Tew of Polymer Science and Engineering have been named American Chemical Society fellows. Carter was cited for his research on "advanced polymeric materials for future use in advanced electronics and optical technologies," and Tew for building diverse teams of scientists and engineers to enable "solutions to society’s most important problems including the understanding of biomimetic, multi-functional, and smart materials."

DeConto shows ice sheet on west Antarctica 20 million years earlier than believed

Robert M. DeConto, Geosciences, in research published in Geophysical Research Letters, shows the ice sheet on west Antarctica existed 20 million years earlier than previously believed. Geophysical Research Letters, Innovations Report

Lutcavage tags juvenile bluefin tuna for long-term data

Molly Lutcavage, Environmental Conservation and director of the Large Pelagics Research Center in Gloucester, Mass., is tagging juvenile bluefin tuna in order to provide long-term data to researchers seeking to deepen their understanding of the fish. Salem News

McClements finds that oil-filled hydrogel particles can reduce fat levels in food products

D. Julian McClements, Food Science, finds that oil-filled hydrogel particles can be used to significantly reduce the level of fat in food products and doesn’t affect the taste or texture. Food Navigator

Whitbourne examines the emotional tools needed for break-up recovery

Susan K. Whitbourne, Psychology, examines the emotional tools needed for successful recovery from a break-up. Psychology Today

Brandon receives Geological Society of America's Marie Morisawa Award

Christine Brandon, Geosciences doctoral candidate, receives the Geological Society of America's Marie Morisawa Award (Quaternary Science Geology and Geomorphology Division).

Wang solves longstanding mystery about black holes

Q. Daniel Wang led an international team of researchers using NASA’s extremely sensitive Chandra x-ray space telescope to solve a long-standing mystery about why most super massive black holes at the centers of galaxies have such a low accretion rate. Science, Innovations Report,, Nature World News,, Red Orbit, NBC News, Christian Science Monitor, Yahoo! News, Live Science,,,, Science World Report, Aerospace & Defense News,, Science Newsline, WGGB-TV 40, News Release

Beaudry awarded Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (of Canada) Postgraduate Scholarship

Isabelle Beaudry, Mathematics and Statistics doctoral candidate, has won a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (of Canada) Postgraduate Scholarship, or CRSNG (Conseil de Recherches en Sciences Naturelles et en Génie du Canada).

Levin publishes book on the plague

Robert E. Levin, Food Science, has published a book called The Plague: History, Clinical aspects, Immunology, Molecular biology, and PCR Detection of Yersinia pestis, the Causative Agent (Research Signpost: 2013). News release

Cox Fernandes finds genetically related electric fish produce different electric signals

Christina Cox Fernandes, Biology, finds newly discovered, genetically related electric fish from the Amazon produce very different electric signals, as published in ZooKeys. ZooKeys, Science Codex,

Whitbourne explains how hero worship can turn into anti-hero worship

Susan K. Whitbourne, Psychology, describes how hero worship can turn into support for psychopaths or anti-heroes, citing "Othello," "Dexter," and "Breaking Bad." Psychology Today