The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Professor Csaba Andras Moritz and his Ph.D. student Sourabh Kulkarni received some healthy publicity on their probabilistic artificial intelligence (AI) work for COVID-19 modeling, as funded by Facebook’s AI group. A paper from the UMass researchers demonstrated how essential COVID-19 modeling and analysis can be massively accelerated with emerging hardware.

A group of brilliant and dedicated students from the College of Engineering and the Computer Science Department managed to hold a very Successful HackUMass VIII, which they ran on December 19 and 20 in a totally virtual format because of the pandemic. According to the lead for the event, undergrad Kevin Sie of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, “Overall, I believe the event went smoothly considering it was the first virtual hackathon that we hosted.”

Several faculty and students from the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department were recognized for innovative research, creativity, and impact for the greater good at Supercomputing 2020 (SC20), the largest international conference for high-performance computing, held in November.

The Electricity Growth and Use in Developing Economies (e-GUIDE) Initiative, a multi-university partnership led by Assistant Professor Jay Taneja of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department, recently released a service for forecasting household electricity consumption in Kenya using satellite imagery.

Geek Tech online (“Everything about technology and gadgets”) has included a new device developed in the laboratories of Jun Yao of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and Derek Lovley of the Microbiology Department on its listing of “most interesting scientific discoveries of the year.”

Associate Professor Marco Duarte of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department has been selected to receive the 2020 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) SPS Signal Processing Magazine Best Paper Award, which will be recognized at the 2021 International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, & Signal Processing (ICASSP) Awards Ceremony.

Professor Michael Henson has been chosen to serve as the next Department Head of Chemical Engineering (ChE) at UMass Amherst for an initial 3.5-year term, which began on January 3, 2021. As College of Engineering Dean Sanjay Raman said, “Mike has been a strong and steady hand in leading the department as interim head for the past very challenging seven months, and we look forward to working with him to advance the vision and goals of the department and college.”

At the Materials Research Society (MRS) Meeting in early December, juniors Nicholas Sbalbi and Kyle Schoenberg of the Chemical Engineering (ChE) Department collaborated with doctoral student Heather Hamilton of the Polymer Science and Engineering (PSE) Department to win a first-place prize in the annual Science as Art competition. Their winning entry was a scanning electron microscope (SEM) micrograph titled “Jellyfish Janus Particles.”

Chemical Engineering (ChE) undergraduate student Hansen Tjo was recently awarded "Best Presentation” in the Biomolecular Engineering Session at the Gulf Coast Undergraduate Research Symposium, hosted by Rice University. Tjo was also a recent awardee at the 2020 Future Leaders in Chemical Engineering Symposium.

Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department doctoral students Akansha Singh Bansal and Noman Bashir, both advised by ECE Professor David Irwin, won prizes at the “Lightning Talks Competition” during the Energy Data Analytics Symposium, hosted by the Duke University Data Analytics Lab on December 8 and 9.

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