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Hardy comments to Nature on the increasing difficulty of finding ice core samples

Douglas R. Hardy, Geosciences, commented in a story on about how scientists who study ice cores are having an increasingly difficult time finding valid samples because glaciers are melting and that is changing the composition of the ice that is left behind.

Rayner's research cited in story about speed reading

Research conducted by the late Keith Rayner, Psychological and Brain Sciences, was cited in a story about whether is it possible for some people to speed read. Gizmodo

Computer Science to become College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS)

Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy has announced the establishment of a new College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst effective Sept. 1. W. Bruce Croft, Computer Science, has been named the interim dean. Daily Hampshire Gazette, Republican, News release

Brennan featured in story about the Andean black tinamou

Patricia Brennan, Psychological and Brain Sciences, comments in a story about new video footage of the secretive black tinamou, a bird found in the foothills of the eastern Andes. Science World Report,, eScience News, Science Daily,

Center for Data Science launched to support acquisition and analysis of big data

UMass Amherst has launched a new Center for Data Science that will coordinate and significantly expand its capacity for research, education, and industry collaboration in support of the exploding demand for acquisition and analysis of big data. Andrew McCallum, Computer Science, directs the new center. In a related story MassMutual Financial Group announced it is opening an office in Amherst for research to be conducted with the new center. Boston Globe, Beta Boston, Daily Hampshire Gazette, Republican, Republican, Boston Business Journal,,,, Virtual Strategy magazine,,, News release

George Richason Jr. dies at 99 years old

We are saddened to report that George R. Richason Jr., Chemistry, has died at age 99. With his nearly 70-year career at UMass Amherst, his history is the history of the university. His many roles included professor and associate head of the chemistry department, and member of the university's Athletic Council. Retired in 1976, he stayed involved for 39 more years, including as the chief undergraduate advisor, chief scheduling officer, and major advisor. In 1991 he received an honorary Doctorate of Science from his alma mater. Douglas Funeral has information about the services.

Briseño wins Young Investigator award from ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces

Alejandro Briseño, Polymer Science and Engineering, has been given the inaugural Young Investigator award by the ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces and the ACS Division of Colloid and Surface Chemistry in recognition of an early career individual’s contribution to applied research or technologies.

Sela's breast milk research featured in National Geographic

The work of David A. Sela, Food Science, examining the ingredients in breast milk, especially complex sugars called oligosaccharides, as published in Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health, was featured in National Geographic.

Riley licenses new bacteriocin technology to ImmuCell Corp.

The ImmuCell Corp. of Portland, Maine, has announced that it has entered into an exclusive agreement to license new bacteriocin technology from UMass Amherst, developed by biologist Margaret Riley and colleagues, internationally recognized researchers in antibiotics.,, Bloomberg, Reuters, News release

Three of four record-setting UMass Amherst Goldwater winners are from CNS

CNS students were three of the four winners of the 2015 Barry Goldwater Scholarship in Education. All will pursue PhDs (from left): Yekaterina Kori '16, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Samantha R. Giffin '16, Microbiology/Public Health; and Aaron P. Dunbrack '17, Astronomy/Physics. In Massachusetts only UMass Amherst and MIT had all four nominees selected.

FogKicker, Innovation Challenge winner, featured in Republican

A feature story in the Republican looked at FogKicker, a product developed by Yinyong Li and Chia-Chih Chang, both PhD candidates in polymer science and engineering who won the $25,000 top prize at the recent Innovation Challenge with their new invention. FogKicker is a coating that prevents condensation on windows and allows people to see more clearly through windshields and eyeglasses.

Goddard wins IFT's 2015 Samuel Cate Prescott Award

Julie Goddard, Food Science, has been awarded the Institute of Food Technologists’ (IFT) 2015 Samuel Cate Prescott Award for “outstanding ability of research in food technology.” The award is given to outstanding young researchers under 36 years old or who earned their highest degree within the past 10 years. Goddard's expertise is in developing solutions at the intersection of food science and materials science to improve the safety, quality and sustainability of the food supply. IFT is the largest food science organization in the world, an international, non-profit professional organization for the advancement of food science and technology.

80th annual Livestock Classic featured in local press

The 80th annual Livestock Classic was held April 11 at the Hadley Farm featuring goats, sheep, horses, chickens, and cows. The event was run entirely by UMass Amherst students from the Pre-Veterinary and Animal Science Club. Among the students interviewed were Lindsay Anderson and Katherine Foley. Daily Hampshire Gazette, Stamford Advocate, Boston Herald, WSHM-TV 3

He, Goddard, Mangan, and Barros awarded $1.75 million in grants from USDA

U.S. Rep. James McGovern, D-Mass., announced four U.S. Department of Agriculture grants totaling $1.75 million to CNS researchers. Lili He, Food Science, will receive grants totaling $939,000, and Julie Goddard, also in Food Science, will receive $499,977, for research on food safety. Frank Mangan and Zoraia Barros, both the Stockbridge School of Agriculture, will receive $250,000 to work with Massachusetts farmers to grow crops popular among immigrant groups. Daily Hampshire Gazette,
Republican, News release

Arbor team's Bradford and Eicholtz win first place in PLANET 2015 competition

The UMass Amherst arbor team won first place for the third year in a row in the PLANET 2015 competition, out of 64 schools from across North America. Nicolette Eicholtz, Environmental Conservation, and Shayne Bradford, Stockbridge School of Agriculture, comprised the team. Robert Coffman, Environmental Conservation, took second in compact excavator operation, and Connor Reardon, Stockbridge School of Agriculture, was third in computer-aided landscape design. Alumna Marcy Carpenter placed third at the International Tree Climbing Competition.

Riley to give Distinguished Faculty Lecture; receive Chancellor's Medal

Margaret Riley, Biology, has been chosen to deliver the fourth 2014-15 Distinguished Faculty Lecture and be presented with the Chancellor's Medal, the highest recognition given for service to the campus on Monday, April 13, at 4:00 p.m. in the Bernie Dallas Room, Goodell Building. Riley, an evolutionary biologist and pioneer in fighting antibiotic-resistant bacteria, is founder and former president of the Massachusetts Academy of Sciences and the UMass STEM Ambassadors Program. Winner of numerous honors, Riley is also co-founder of the Institute for Drug Resistance, Bacteriotix, and the Pheromonicin Institute.

Park wins Timothy L. Mounts Award from AOCS

Yeonhwa Park, Food Science, has been given the Timothy L. Mounts Award from the American Oil Chemists’ Society (AOCS) for her “significant and important contributions in the area of bioactive lipids and their impact on health conditions such as obesity, osteoporosis, arthritis and cardiovascular disease.” A recognized international expert in edible oil applications and health and nutrition of lipids, Park will receive a plaque, an honorarium, and will deliver the award lecture at the AOCS annual meeting. Park studies conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a bioactive lipid or oil that like fish oil is edible and has health benefits.

Offner's work on star system formations is featured on Research Next

The work of astrophysicist Stella Offner about how two- and three-star systems form is featured on Research Next.

McGregor's algorithm design work on big data featured on Research Next

The work of Andrew McGregor, Computer Science—an algorithm designer and expert in processing massive data sets and data streams, clustering, and information theory—is featured on Research Next.

Hayward and Na's polymer origami featured on Research Next

The work of UMass Amherst polymer scientists Ryan Hayward and Junhee Na developing meta-materials from tiny self-folding polymer sheets is featured on Research Next.

Briseno awarded $385,000 from NSF

Alejandro L. Briseno, Polymer Science and Engineering, has received a grant for $385,000 from the National Science Foundation to study new material for organic transistors.

Zhang named 2015 Simons Fellow

Hong-Kun Zhang, Mathematics and Statistics, has been awarded a 2015 Simons Fellowship for her project titled “Stochastic perspectives of billiard dynamics.” Zhang's was one of 40 fellowships in mathematics by the Simons Foundation this year. The foundation awards up to 40 fellowships in mathematics annually to faculty in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. The Fellows Program funds faculty for up to a semester-long research leave from classroom teaching and administrative obligations. Simons Fellows are chosen based on research accomplishment in the five years prior to application and the potential scientific impact of the fellowship.

Bacteria exhibit social behavior, report Griffith, Hill, and Boguslawski

Kevin Griffith, Microbiology, and co-authors Patrick Hill, doctoral candidate, Microbiology, and alumna Kristina Boguslawski describe in Molecular Microbiology how they deciphered bacterial communication to reveal new mechanisms of regulating gene expression in the model bacterium Bacillus subtilis. Bacteria have traditionally been viewed as solitary organisms but scientists now realize that in fact, they exhibit social behavior within groups. Biology News, eScience News, Science Daily,, Daily Hampshire Gazette, News release

Dasgupta finds females in small STEM work groups enhances motivation, participation, aspirations

A research team led by Nilanjana Dasgupta, Psychological and Brain Sciences, have found that when girls and women are able to work in small groups—microenvironments—that are mostly female or that have equal numbers of men and women, they participate more actively, feel less anxious, and enhances career aspirations in engineering, as reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences., Times of India, Boston Globe,, WFCR-FM,, PBS Newshour,, Yahoo News India, Inside Higher Ed,,, News release

CNS students win big at the Innovation Challenge

Congrats to the 2015 Innovation Challenge winners, which included three CNS teams. Team FogKicker is Yinyong Li and Chia-Chih Chang, both PhD candidates in polymer science and engineering. They won the $25,000 top prize, a $2,500 Glass Prize, and the $250 Audience Choice Prize, and were named to the MassChallenge Fast Track. Team NanoSense is Ngoc Le and Gulen Yesilbag, both PhD candidates in chemistry. They won the $15,000 second prize and a $2,500 Glass Prize. Team DeepPap is Venkatesh Murthy, PhD candidate in computer science, and Pavitra Chikkegowda, master's degree candidate in animal science. They won $5,000.