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Whitbourne tells KOMO AM that Seahawks fans may be enjoying victory more because of the many losing seasons they have endured

Susan K. Whitbourne, Psychology, is interviewed by Seattle's KOMO Newsradio AM about fan reaction to the Seahawks’ victory over the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl, saying they may be enjoying victory more because of the many losing seasons they have endured. KOMO Newsradio AM

DeConto to give S.T. Lee Lecture on Antarctic Science, New Zealand

Rob DeConto, Geosciences, has been asked to give the S.T. Lee Lecture on Antarctic Science in Wellington, New Zealand. This prestigious lecture is the country's highest form of recognition for international contributions to Antarctic science.

Kevrekidis wins two international prizes

Panayotis Kevrekidis, Mathematics and Statistics, has won two international prizes that recognize his work on nonlinear waves and wave equations. The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics’ activity group on dynamical systems awarded him its John David Crawford Prize for “contributions to our understanding of localized solutions of nonlinear wave equations and for developing these for a variety of applications in nonlinear optics and condensed matter physics including Bose Einstein condensates and granular crystals.” Kevrekidis also won the Aristides F. Pallas Prize from the Academy of Athens, Greece, for his paper on “Nonlinear Waves in Lattices: Past, Present, Future.”

Whitbourne tells Time that being a fan of a struggling sports team can have positive effects on mental health

Susan K. Whitbourne, Psychology, is featured in a Time magazine about the Super Bowl and super fans, saying that struggling teams often help to build stronger camaraderie among fans, and that can have positive effects on mental health. Time

Shenoy is analyzing tools to help utilities understand how to most efficiently utilize new technology

Prashant Shenoy, Computer Science, is coleading a team of researchers focused on analyzing smart meters and other tools that could transform the way energy is utilized, monitored, and controlled in U.S. buildings. Their goal is to help utilities understand how to most efficiently utilize new technology. Research Next

CNS faculty organize Amherst Makerspace workshop

Charles Schweik, Environmental Conservation, Steven Brewer, Biology, and graduate student Don Blair, Physics, joined Amherst Media in organizing and hosting an Amherst maker community workshop in beginning Arduino for children and adults. Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform; maker communities emphasize technology-based do-it-yourself learning in an informal, peer-led environment. Read more

Whitbourne finds that adults report different perceived benefits from playing online games based upon their age

Susan Krauss Whitbourne (Psychology) and undergraduates Stacy Ellenberg and Kyoko Akimoto find that while a majority of adults cite the ability to compete with friends as their primary reason for playing online casual video games, they report differing perceived benefits from playing the games based upon their age, as published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. Business Standard, Cambodian Times,, Times of India, Newstrack India,, Science Daily, News release

State funding supports unprecedented research on campus and in region

With its Institute for Applied Life Sciences (IALS), UMass Amherst is leading the way in life science research and innovation, says a Research Next article, which notes that Massachusetts is investing $100.5 million in the campus and its partner, Baystate Health Systems, to leverage existing assets, build translational capacity, and expand the life sciences industry ecosystem in western Massachusetts and beyond. Research Next

Wise says new mechanisms revive a neglected, simpler lunar origin model

Donald Wise, Geosciences (emeritus), says that new models of how the moon formed assume conditions similar to those in a long-abandoned lunar origin model he and several others put forward in the 1960s, that the moon formed directly from the Earth’s mantle with no need for a giant impact, as published in Physics Today. The Recorder, News release

Kilham writes a column for Fox News about dust mites

Chris Kilham, Stockbridge School of Agriculture, writes a column about dust mites, microscopic creatures that live in pillows, bedding, and carpets that can cause allergies and asthma, and says it's important to learn to deal with them. Fox News

Lin's research on mole behavior is featured in The New York Times

The research of Yi-Fen Lin, a doctoral student in organismic and evolutionary biology, and her advisor, Elizabeth Dumont, Biology, is featured in a New York Times story about how moles dig underground. Lin says moles seem to swim through the ground and that they have a very powerful stroke for their shovel-like paws. The New York Times, Hamilton Spectator

Dennehy is subject of Chicago Tribune story about her research about how skin color is remembered

Tara C. Dennehy, Psychology doctoral candidate, is the subject of a Chicago Tribune interview about her research into how skin color is remembered based on stereotypical word prompts. She and her coauthors found that with black men, when shown a positive prompt such as “educated,” people remembered the man as having lighter skin than if the prompt was negative, like “ignorant.” Chicago Tribune

Meyer develops biomarker for stress hormones in polar bears and other wildlife affected by global climate change

Jerrold Meyer, Psychology, and colleagues are helping to establish hair cortisol concentration as an important new biomarker for stress in wild animals facing global climate change, as demonstrated in the current issue of the Journal of Visualized Experiments., Red Orbit, Science Newsline, Science Codex,, Science Daily, Terra Daily,, Research Next, News release

Sen. Warren visits UMass Amherst, tours Life Sciences Laboratories

Senator Elizabeth Warren made her first campus visit as part of her swing through western Massachusetts. She visited the Life Sciences Laboratories and talked to professors including Kenneth Carter, Polymer Science and Engineering, and Sandra Petersen, Veterinary and Animal Sciences. She also led a discussion about student debt and higher education costs with a dozen students in the Integrated Sciences Building.

Dumont develops new tool to answer natural selection questions about the evolution of bats

Elizabeth Dumont, Biology, and colleagues have discovered a new tool that opens a way of discovering evidence for selection for biomechanical function in very diverse organisms and of reconstructing skull shapes in long-extinct ancestral species, as reported in Evolution. They studied the evolutionary histories of the adaptive radiation of New World leaf-nosed bats based on their dietary niches. Science Codex,, Science Newsline, Bio-Medicine, Production Design & Development, Science Daily, Medical Design Technology, News release

UMass Amherst campus named a finalist for Second Nature Climate Leadership Award

UMass Amherst has been named a finalist for a Second Nature 2014 Climate Leadership Award, an annual competition among U.S. colleges and university signatories of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). The winner will be chosen through public, online voting during Earth Month in April. News release

Barto given Hebb Award by the International Neural Network Society

Andrew Barto, Computer Science professor emeritus, has been selected as the 2014 recipient of the International Neural Network Society’s Hebb Award “in recognition of long-standing contribution and achievements in biological and computational learning.” This award is “presented annually to senior, highly accomplished researchers for outstanding contributions made in the field of neural networks.” News release

Computer Science at UMass Amherst ranked 24th in the nation

The School of Computer Science has been ranked 24th in the nation by, which listed the top 25 U.S. computer science undergraduate programs in order of their greatest future earning potential. The University of Amherst is "one of the best public schools in the United States and is ranked among the top computer science universities in the world," the story notes, adding that the program offers top level computer science research, has a strong 30-year net ROI ($701,500), and features one of the highest acceptance rates on the list.

Griffin elected chair of the International Programs Committee of NAUFWP

Curt Griffin, head of Environmental Conservation, has been elected chair of the International Programs Committee of the National Association of University Fish & Wildlife Programs (NAUFWP). News release

Whitbourne Elected to APA’s Board of Educational Affairs

Susan Whitbourne, Psychology, has been elected to a three-year term on the American Psychological Association’s Board of Educational Affairs. News release

NSF grant to CIRTL Network supports teaching development for UMass Amherst STEM grad students and postdocs

Graduate students and postdoctoral scholars in the STEM fields will have a new array of teaching development programs and resources through UMass Amherst’s involvement in the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL) Network, which has received a three-year, $5 million grant from the National Science Foundation. UMass Amherst's grad students and postdocs are eligible to participate in a wide range of online courses, workshops, and coffee hours taught or facilitated by faculty from the 23 CIRTL member institutions, as well as a variety of on-campus events. Read more

UMass Amherst senior Morgan Opie receives Churchill Scholarship

Morgan Opie '14, Mathematics and Physics double major, is one of 14 students nationwide to receive a 2014 Churchill Scholarship from the Winston Churchill Foundation of the United States. The $50,000 scholarship funds a year of postgraduate study in the STEM fields at the University of Cambridge, England. Susan Whitbourne, Psychology, and director of the Office of National Scholarship Advisement at the Commonwealth Honors College, noted this was the first year the university was invited to participate in the Churchill Scholarship Program, so the award is "a particularly notable achievement for Morgan and the entire campus.”

McClements finds that micro-particles of whey protein could help food manufacturers cut calories

David J. McClements, Food Science, and colleagues, have found that using micro-particles of whey protein, possibly as a fat and starch replacer in sauces, dressings, and desserts, could help food manufacturers cut calories in food products. Food Navigator, Dairy Reporter

Xiao receives four-year, $491,220 grant to study nanoemulsion-based food delivery systems

UMass Amherst food scientist Hang Xiao has received a four-year, $491,220 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to study the biochemical fate of nanoemulsion-based food delivery systems in the gastrointestinal tract, hoping to reshape them and enhance the absorption of beneficial food components encapsulated in delivery systems. News-Medical Net,, Bio-Medicine,, News release

Perry-Jenkins named fellow of National Council on Family Relations

Maureen Perry-Jenkins, Psychology, and director, the Center for Research on Families, has been named a fellow of the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR), which said, “Perry-Jenkins is nationally and internationally recognized for her research on the intersection of work and family and the challenges facing low-income and working poor families as they cope with work-family life demands and with the transition to parenthood.” Her many honors include working on the federal level to develop workplace flexibility policy, serving on the editorial boards of several journals, and several UMass Amherst awards.