The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Research Highlights

As a 2013 article on in The Economist said about neuromorphic computing (meaning microprocessors configured more like human brains than like traditional chips): “Computers will help people to understand brains better. And understanding brains will help people to build better computers.” In that general context, Professors Joshua Yang and Qiangfei Xia of our Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department led a 24-person international team of researchers that has just published the second of two defining papers on neuromorphic computing, which mimics neuro-biological...

Memristors are basically a fourth class of passive electrical circuit, joining the resistor, the capacitor, and the inductor, which exhibit their unique properties primarily at the nanoscale and represent one of the most promising circuit elements for information storage and processing in future computing technologies. But one major problem with current memristors is their inability to perform effectively at extremely high temperatures, such as those in aircraft engine control systems or in wearable electronics for firefighters.

The Arctic region is among the places on earth most profoundly impacted by recent climate changes. For example, according to the New York Times, each year Greenland loses 270 billion tons of ice as the planet warms, a rate that would contribute about two inches to sea level rise by the end of the century. Now Assistant Professor Colin Gleason of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has been awarded a five-year grant of $529,000 from the prestigious National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER)...

What will the marvelous future of “connected vehicles” mean for drivers in the real world? To answer this crucial question, Toyota Motor North America Research and Development is collaborating with the University of Massachusetts to award Associate Professor Daiheng Ni of our Civil and Environmental Engineering Department a four-year research grant so he can explore connected vehicle technology. As Professor Ni explains, “The outcome of this research can serve as the input to better powertrain management and further optimize vehicle control that can potentially transform the way that we...

A highly influential paper by Professor Chaitra Gopalappa of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department was recently cited by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Volume 66, November 28, 2017, as well as other publications. Gopalappa’s expertise is in advancing mathematical methodologies to derive information that might help in decision-making for public health strategies.

Colin Gleason, an Assistant Professor in our Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, was part of a huge, UCLA-led, 23-person team whose 2015 research on the Greenland ice sheet recently graced the front page of the December 5th New York Times and could revolutionize how scientists regard sea-level rise due to climate change.

Read New York Times article »

As Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department Head Sundar Krishnamurty says, “We had a banner year this year with six of our alums taking up faculty positions” at various institutions. Banner year indeed! Robert Hyers’ student, Jongyun Lee, is now an assistant professor at Iowa State University. Zana Cranmer, an IGERT student with Erin Baker, has moved on as an assistant professor at Bentley University. Rachel Koh, IGERT student with Matthew Lackner and Robert Hyers, is currently an assistant professor at Lafayette University.

Sarah Perry of our Chemical Engineering Department is working with a colleague at the University of Illinois to create new bioinspired materials using electrostatic charge to direct the self-assembly process of long molecules. The research team, working with a class of polymers called coacervates, found they could be modified by changing the sequence of charges along the polymer chain. Coacervates are commonly used in food products and cosmetics. The findings are published in the journal Nature Communications. See media coverage:...