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Karen J. Hayes ’85 COPY EDITORS

Laura Gomes, John Sippel DESIGN

Michelle Sauvé ’84 WRITING

Karen Hayes, Ellen Keelan, John Sippel, Maureen Turner, Faye Wolfe PHOTOGRAPHY

John Solem The data in this report reflects activities from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016. For additional copies, contact University Relations Whitmore Administration Building University of Massachusetts Amherst, MA 01003 (413) 545-9586 or visit

This 6.5-carat Faceted Zincite formed as a smelter product in the Olkusz Mine, Silesia, Poland. The specimen is one of the more than 250 large mineral specimens from locations around the world on display at the Rausch Mineral Gallery, located in the Department of Geosciences. The eye-catching collection can be viewed in the halls of the Morrill Science Center and serves as a resource for students, teachers, and budding geologists.


Vice Chancellor’s Message  3 Research Highlights  30 Technology Transfer  34 Sponsored Activity  36 UMass Press  37 Creative Accomplishments  38

Outrageously Luminous Galaxies  4 A UMass Amherst undergraduate discovers the brightest galaxies yet found.

An Epicenter for Life Sciences  6 Its new state-of-the-art R&D facility puts the Institute for Applied Life Sciences on the map.

Navigating Cybersecurity  10 The campus’s new Cybersecurity Institute addresses the many sides of data security and privacy.

RiverSmart Communities  12 Helping Massachusetts residents understand and withstand flooding.

On the Forefront of Health  18 A new venture moves tunable nanogels toward commercialization.

Building Bridges  22 The Computational Social Science Institute combines disciplines to analyze our social world.

Unequal Opportunity  25 Researchers ask tough questions about unconscious bias and racial inequality in schools.

Collidescope 2.0 28 Students add local flavor to a nationally acclaimed theater piece.

OFFICE OF THE VICE CHANCELLOR FOR RESEARCH AND ENGAGEMENT Whitmore Administration Building 181 Presidents Drive Amherst, MA 01003-9313 Vice Chancellor for Research and Engagement Michael F. Malone (413) 545-5270 Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Engagement Elizabeth S. Chilton (413) 577-1060 Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research and Engagement and Research Compliance Director Jennifer Donais 101 University Drive (413) 545-5896 Assistant to the Vice Chancellor and Associate Vice Chancellor Christine A. Burnett (413) 545-5270 Business and Personnel Manager Lisa Wegiel (413) 545-3881


RESEARCH AND ENGAGEMENT OFFICES Grant and Contract Administration Carol Sprague, Director Research Administration Building (413) 545-0698 Research Business Managers Network Ian Raphael, Director 101 University Drive (413) 545-5261 Research Development Loren Walker, Director 101 University Drive (413) 577-3726 Technology Transfer Robert MacWright, Director 101 University Drive (413) 545-1587 UMass Innovation Institute James Capistran, Executive Director 101 University Drive (413) 577-8644 University of Massachusetts Press Mary Dougherty, Director East Experiment Station (413) 545-4990

UMass Amherst Report on Research 2016

From the Vice Chancellor


am excited to provide you with this report on the campus’s fiscal year 2016 achievements in research, scholarship, and creative activity. As a Land Grant institution, our campus has a 150-year history of integrating the application of our research and learning with the needs of state and local agencies, organizations, citizens, and other community partners to create impact through engagement. Our mission to make relevant the work we do in order to serve the common good reflects our role as the flagship public research university of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The achievements we’ve selected to highlight in this report are but a small sample of the work our campus does to make our world a better place. Projects such as RiverSmart Communities (page 12) are helping citizens to better understand the challenges surrounding river and land management in times of increasing climate change. New funding from private and government partners to support research and training in cybersecurity (page 10) will help our campus provide essential knowledge and training to keep Massachusetts a leader in protecting our nation’s and its citizen’s privacy and security. The completion of the Institute for Applied Life Sciences’ research and innovation facility (page 6) is creating space for academic/industry collaborations designed to quickly move new knowledge in the form of health-related products and services out of the labs and into the marketplace. In our community and around the world, UMass Amherst is fulfilling its Land Grant mission to conduct programs of research and public service that advance knowledge and improve the lives of the people of the commonwealth, the nation, and the world. On behalf of the campus, I thank you for your interest in and support of our work. Sincerely,

Michael F. Malone ’79PhD Vice Chancellor for Research and Engagement, Ronnie and Eugene Isenberg Distinguished Professor of Engineering



Natural Sciences

A UMass undergraduate, working with astronomy faculty members, recently made discoveries that dazzled the astronomical world and have given us exciting new insights into galaxy formation

Outrageously Luminous Galaxies


stronomers are used to describing the brightest galaxies in the cosmos as “ultra-luminous” or “hyperluminous.” Kevin Harrington ’16 has discovered eight galaxies so much brighter than any previously known that they called for a new term: “outrageously luminous.” Harrington’s adventure began in 2013 with a somewhat impulsive decision to serve a summer internship with the Five College Department of Astronomy. A year later, he became the first undergraduate allowed to use the university’s 50-meter diameter Large Millimeter Telescope (LMT), situated on a mountaintop in central Mexico. Harrington then worked with his advisors to layer the information he had gathered in Mexico with data from two satellite telescopes. He soon realized that he was onto something. “The galaxies that we found were not predicted by theory to exist;

they’re too big and too bright, so no one really looked for them before,” says Professor Min Yun of the astronomy department. “Knowing that they really do exist and how much they’ve grown in the four billion years since the Big Bang helps us estimate how much material was there for them to work with. Their existence teaches us about the process of collecting matter and of galaxy formation, and suggests that it is more complex than many people thought,” says Yun. Harrington was the lead author of the report on his findings in the prestigious Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. He graduated in May with a double major in astronomy and neuroscience and is now pursuing a doctorate at Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy and the University of Bonn, continuing his research on galaxy evolution.

The 50-meter diameter Large Millimeter Telescope (LMT), shown at left, is the largest, most sensitive single-aperture instrument in the world for studying star formation. Operated jointly by UMass Amherst and Mexico’s Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica, Óptica y Electrónica, it stands in the Mexican central state of Puebla on the summit of Sierra Negra, a 15,000-foot extinct volcano, a companion peak to the nation’s highest mountain.


Kevin Harrington ’16



Life Sciences

An Epicenter for

Its new state-of-the-art R&D facility puts the Institute for Applied Life Sciences on the map

Life Sciences On October 21, a series of technical talks and building tours gave the general public a first look at the new state-of-the-art facilities at UMass Amherst’s Institute for Applied Life Sciences (IALS), a 65,000-square-foot site supporting world-class research and development. IALS aims to translate fundamental discoveries made on campus into novel candidate medical devices, biomolecules, and delivery vehicles that benefit human health. It offers a wide variety of tools needed to conduct research and development within one building. Moreover, it is advancing the university’s educational and economic development missions through training researchers skilled in the discovery, development, and manufacture of medical devices and biomolecules and in life science entrepreneurship. IALS works in close collaboration with industry partners to combine the best academic innovation with a goal-directed focus on delivering commercially significant products, services, and technologies. It combines deep expertise from more than 175 faculty members associated with five schools and colleges and 28 departments, and is organized as three centers: the Center for Bioactive Delivery, the Models to Medicine Center, and the Center for Personalized Health Monitoring. IALS manages 30 core equipment facilities, available both to academic researchers and industry partners. A few of them are briefly described on the following pages.


UMass Amherst Report on Research 2016

Biophysical Characterization Facility


This unique, state-of-the-art facility supports the study of interactions between biological macromolecules like proteins, nucleic acids, lipids and their complexes, and small molecule interactions with these macromolecules. It supports both discovery-based research and assay development for translational applications, such as the ability to pursue potential targets for drug discovery. The Biosaxs2000 (pictured) is used to elucidate and analyze crystal structures in proteins.

Sleep Monitoring Laboratory Equipped for studies assessing sleep and sleep physiology, this laboratory has three rooms that can be used for polysomnography, the gold standard for sleep measurement. On-line sleep monitoring from a central control room allows for manipulations specific to the various sleep stages.


Human Magnetic Resonance Center This facility houses a research-dedicated Siemens Skyra 3T scanner. It provides access to state-of-the-art noninvasive imaging and spectroscopy technologies for academic and industry-based research in central and western Massachusetts and beyond.


UMass Amherst Report on Research 2016

Human Motion Laboratory Designed and equipped for the assessment of human movement (with or without robotic assistance) and the evaluation of wearable technologies, the Human Motion Laboratory is a large open space within the Human Testing Center. It supports a variety of studies evaluating the effects and interactions of human motion with sensors and behavior, sleep, aerobic fitness, strength, body composition, and muscle function. The lab is equipped with nine high-speed infrared motion-analysis cameras, three force platforms, and a collaborative robot arm.

Nikon Center of Excellence This facility provides powerful resources for imaging cellular and biomaterials. It houses state-of-the-art equipment including a two-photon microscope, a resonant scanning confocal microscope, a spectral confocal microscope, a high-content microscope for automated imaging, and a FLIMenabled microscope. Mammalian cell culture facilities are available as well as other routine needs for biological imaging. The facility is one of only six designated Nikon Centers of Excellence providing unique opportunities for training, demonstration, instrument development, and research.




The campus’s new Cybersecurity Institute addresses the many sides of data security and privacy


rofessor Brian Levine labors in that house of mirrors where the fine points of Internet privacy are weighed and reconciled. A network-security expert who has researched privacy-enhancing technology, Levine has long partnered with law enforcement to protect children and fight the online sharing of child pornography. He sees the complex and colliding tensions between protecting an individual’s online data (against, among other things, its use by private enterprise) and the need for governments to access information for law enforcement and homeland security coming to a head. One example: the recent legal wrangling between the Department of Justice and Apple to unlock the iPhone of one of Professor Brian Levine


UMass Amherst Report on Research 2016


Information and Computer Sciences

security the attackers in the 2015 shooting rampage in San Bernardino, California. It’s a case where the right to privacy, data ownership, and corporate responsibility bump up against the government’s need to investigate crimes on behalf of victims. Add in the Fourth Amendment, which protects people, their property, and their personal effects from unreasonable search and seizure by the government, and you have a perfect storm of opposing positions. “The iPhone issue is a complicated one, where few people knew all the details,” says Levine. “On the one hand, people have qualms about the government’s demand that Apple unlock the phone. On the other hand, the government has a responsibility to protect society.” While our nation continues to grapple with network privacy and security issues, Levine and his UMass Amherst colleagues are working to advance research and build the workforce needed to increase security and privacy through the university’s new Cybersecurity Institute, which Levine directs. It brings together dozens of internationally recognized faculty from a variety of disciplines to address both the critical need to conduct innovative security research and to produce welltrained cybersecurity professionals. Funding from private and federal sources will help the institute achieve its objectives. This year, a $4.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation in partnership with the Department of

Homeland Security brought a CyberCorps Scholarship for Service (SFS) program to campus. SFS supports the educational and professional development of domestic students who will help the nation address threats to national security in such critical infrastructure as utilities, defense systems, and refineries. UMass Amherst is the first public university in New England to receive such an award. The Massachusetts-based MassMutual Foundation has also pledged to provide the campus with $3 million to support research and education activities such as the institute’s new Trust, Assurance, and Cybersecurity Certificate program. Aimed at professionals seeking comprehensive training in information technology policy and risk management, the eight-week program is offered at the MassMutual Foundation/ UMass Springfield Center for Training in Cybersecurity. The funds include support for new faculty hires to develop and teach the classes and to bring more research to campus. “The institute is where we’re linking it all together,” says Levine. “We’re offering training to people, expecting that they’ll come with backgrounds ranging from management to statistics. We’re offering classes on policy, risk management, and computer science to broaden the government’s and industry’s ability to address cybersecurity challenges. Problems in security and privacy can no longer be solved with better algorithms alone.”

In June, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito announced a $5 million grant to establish the UMass Amherst Data Science/ Cybersecurity Research and Education Collaborative, a public/private partnership designed to accelerate data science innovation in western Massachusetts. The investment will help drive the commercialization of new products and ideas, train a leading data science workforce, and support collaborative regional economic development activities. “In today’s rapidly evolving world, data science and cybersecurity are the fundamental building blocks of emerging technologies and essential to pushing the boundaries of commercial products and innovation,” said Governor Baker. “I am incredibly excited about the potential for this center and the truly groundbreaking ideas it will unlock for students and their future employers.” The grant follows the MassMutual Foundation’s 10-year, $15 million contribution to UMass Amherst to further the university’s world-class data science and cybersecurity research and education programs in western Massachusetts. “This public/private partnership will play a vital role in connecting the Pioneer Valley to the commonwealth’s innovation economy,” said Lieutenant Governor Polito. “It will strengthen the region’s technology cluster and build critical workforce skills.”


Eve Vogel (left) and Christine Hatch, pictured on the shore of the Connecticut River, help communities understand the challenges surrounding river and land management in flood-prone areas.


Ecological and Social Sciences

RiverSmart Helping Massachusetts residents understand and withstand flooding


ivers connect us. Parks run alongside them, bridges cross them, farms flourish in the rich soil beside them. When floods like those caused by 2011’s Hurricane Irene occur, they don’t just destroy parcels of land—they change the face of commerce and culture in affected communities for years to come. The RiverSmart Communities program, run by UMass Amherst’s Center for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment (CAFE), develops strategies for river management that help communities throughout river-rich New England prevent flood devastation. Under the direction of Associate Professor of Geosciences Eve Vogel and UMass Extension Assistant Professor Christine Hatch, researchers work with local residents and governments to address the ever-changing nature of rivers and streams.

Communities “Rivers need room to be rivers,” says Hatch, whose background in hydrology brings science expertise to the program. “If we give rivers enough space, our communities will be resilient to floods, and we end up with a much healthier ecosystem that can reset on its own.” In other words, allowing rivers to move and meander supports a natural process that helps dissipate force; straightening or constraining them can intensify problems upstream and downstream in rough weather. “They’re dynamic systems,” agrees Vogel, who brings a critical social-science focus to the program but also has a background in ecology and river science. “The notion that a river is a single channel that stays in one place is a fantasy.” River fluctuation is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, regular flooding is a component


“The notion that a river is a single channel that stays in one place is a fantasy”

of a healthy environmental system that, among other benefits, deposits nutrients into surrounding soil to create rich farmland. “Flood processes are really essential to the New England that we know and love,” says Vogel. Adds Hatch, “Flooding created this farmland to begin with. Figuring out how to relate these scientific realities to farmers whose fields are at risk, or to landowners seeking to build near the water, is one of our goals.” Through their original grant from CAFE and the subsequent awarding of federal monies from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Institute for Water Resources, Hatch and Vogel are compiling best practices for resilient rivers, promoting coordinated watershed management to help farmers before and after floods, and providing policy recommendations to improve federal and state programs that assist affected communities. Complementing that science and social science, UMass Extension/Outreach is the “equally important third limb,” according to Hatch. “This work,” she says, “isn’t just based on strong academic research.


UMass Amherst Report on Research 2016


­—Eve Vogel

Heavy rains from hurricane Irene in 2011 flooded the Deerfield River, causing environmental and economic damage to the town of Shelburne Falls and surrounding western Massachusetts communities.


Hatch and Vogel recently brought their interactive stream table to the Connecticut River Watershed Council’s 2016 Celebration of the River in South Hadley, Mass. The hands-on tool, which allows users to experiment with how rivers work, is designed to engage community members with the RiverSmart project.


There’s real action at the end of it.” That’s where Vogel’s knowledge of human/environmental dynamics comes in. “I’ve found Eve to be incredibly helpful in casting the information we generate in the right language before we take it out into the community,” continues Hatch. “We’re not just drawing up fact sheets; we’re workshopping with the people affected to make sure our solutions are viable.” Hatch and Vogel also meet with town residents, planning commissions, farmers, government officials, and other stakeholders to involve constituents in strategic decisionmaking in an inclusive, participatory way. That may mean bringing the program’s “stream table” to Farm Bureau meetings to visually demonstrate what happens when a river’s natural curves are artificially straightened or when culverts fail. In turn, farmers engage in discussions about which riverside parcels are appropriate for cattle, and where setbacks might be increased to avoid future loss. “We’ve found that people have done a lot of self-education,” says Vogel. “Communities have a pretty good idea of what is needed.” As a result of these dialogues, local groups and

UMass Amherst Report on Research 2016

councils have begun to pursue further funding to restore key sections of vulnerable rivers in ways that make them less dangerous to communities downstream. “Those actions speak loudly,” says Hatch. “We’ve helped shape their philosophy of keeping the river whole and keeping river processes in mind.” The impact goes both ways. “You think you know what’s needed, but the more you talk with people, the more you learn,” says Vogel. “Then it’s a matter of figuring out how to help them get assistance and funds.” Hatch and Vogel ultimately aim to work on a broader level by bringing changes to state and federal policy and management. Because of New England’s tradition of town rule, working with individual municipalities is essential—and challenging, given that each parcel’s actions affect communities miles downstream, and local officials are often shortterm unpaid volunteers. But policy and management changes don’t necessarily require an overhaul of agencies or laws, nor great increases in funding, says Vogel. There are ways to work effectively with existing agencies and policies to better assist communities—

for example, by teaching river-science and river-smart best practices to the people likely to be on the ground when future flooding occurs, such as state Department of Transportation and local public works employees. Such efforts both help existing workers do their jobs better and do much to promote long-term community resilience and reduce future costs. “If you have contingency plans for potential floods and droughts, you’re preparing for climate change,” says Hatch. “This is a perfect example of research with direct, practical applications for people in the community. That’s important to me.”

Jody Jellison, CAFE’s new director, comes to UMass Amherst with a lifelong commitment to engaged research and outreach. She sees RiverSmart Communities as a prime example of just that. “RiverSmart responds to significant ecological challenges in the context of community collaboration,” says Jellison. “The relationship between the research endeavor and the community is complex and often time-consuming. Researchers have an obligation to conduct investigations that produce useful information and results. Stakeholders have an obligation to act on that information and provide critical feedback to inform subsequent investigations.” Jellison’s background in both science and outreach

leadership includes 25 years as a professor and director at the University of Maine’s School of Biology and Ecology, and associate director of the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station at Virginia Tech. Since her arrival in January, Jellison has been working to support CAFE’s current endeavors and to position it to be sustainable well into the future. “The rural-urban interface in Massachusetts offers possibilities for moving forward in so many directions,” she says. “As we continue to respond to the changing needs of the state, CAFE supplies the underlying science to help individuals and businesses make smart decisions.”



UMass Amherst Report on Research 2016



On the Forefront of A new venture moves tunable nanogels toward commercialization



utside Sankaran “Thai” Thayumanavan’s 15th-floor office in Lederle Research Tower, fluffy white clouds drift across a bright blue sky. These days, the outlook for his research into nanomaterials seems just as bright. Cyta Therapeutics Inc., which Thayumanavan cofounded in 2014 with Bonnie Fendrock and Steve Faraci, recently got a boost when the Mass Technology Transfer Center awarded Thayumanavan’s lab a $40,000 Innovation Commercialization Seed Fund grant. Given in recognition of the promise of an innovative drug delivery platform that he and his UMass research team have invented, the award should further the platform’s development into a product that could prove uniquely effective in treating liver disease. The nanogel platform will ultimately move to Cyta for commercialization. Thayumanavan earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in science at the American College, India, and his PhD at the University of Illinois; he did postdoctoral work at Caltech and came to UMass Amherst in 2003. A professor of organic and polymer chemistry, he heads up an internationally diverse assemblage of about three dozen postdoctoral associates, graduate students, visiting scholars, and undergraduates investigating three main areas where, as the group’s motto puts it, “molecules become materials”: organic photovoltaics, supramolecular assembly and disassembly, and responsive nanomaterials. Since 2010, the group has been developing a “nanogel,” a minute network of polymers, or large molecules, designed to encapsulate a drug for intravenous delivery. One benefit of nanogels is that they may be able to target diseased cells and leave healthy cells alone

Sankaran “Thai” Thayumanavan



This nanogel is distinguished by how it’s made and by its versatility and adaptability. Developed to predictably tune more than eight variables in the nanoassembly, including size and surface properties, the platform can be tailored for optimal treatment of a particular disease.


so that a patient may suffer fewer of the side effects—nausea, fatigue, hair loss—of current treatments. According to Thayumanavan, this nanogel is distinguished by how it’s made and by its versatility and adaptability. Developed to predictably tune more than eight variables in the nanoassembly, including size and surface properties, the platform can be tailored for optimal treatment of a particular disease. Adjusting the surface density, for example, permits fine-tuning of the speed with which the drug is released, a potentially critical factor in its effectiveness. Being able to offer such “tunability” is a breakthrough that Thayumanavan, Fendrock, and Cyta’s chief scientific officer, Faraci, hope to build on. With a résumé

UMass Amherst Report on Research 2016

that includes a master’s in interdisciplinary science from MIT and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business, Fendrock also brings wide and deep professional experience to her role as Cyta CEO, including a stint as a vice president of the biotech giant Genzyme and cofounder and CEO of Hepregen Corporation. When Fendrock was scouting for a new venture, Abigail Barrow, interim executive director of the Office of Technology Commercialization and Ventures, proved instrumental. “Abi,” says Fendrock, “pointed me in Thai’s direction. I heard from other chemists that he was a very creative person. Then I met Thai, and from a personal chemistry standpoint, I just really liked him: he’s a wonderful teacher and listener. When you start a company with


Thayumanavan’s team has assembled polymers into spherical nanoparticles, or “nanogels,” that encapsulate drug molecules and can navigate the biological system to deliver on-target therapeutic benefits. The resulting “drug-loaded nanocarriers” can seek out pathogenic cells and pass by healthy ones. For patients receiving chemotherapeutics and other cytotoxic drugs, the nanogels may help provide a faster, less painful recovery.

someone, you need to like them and enjoy them, because you’ll be working together closely and for a long time.” “It’s a very long road; it takes years to commercialization,” Fendrock adds. Cyta’s first steps have involved choosing a focus for development. With the global surge in obesity has come a rise—some say an epidemic—in fatty liver disease. Fendrock says that during the development phase, Cyta will focus on producing a drug to treat this or other serious, potentially fatal maladies of the liver. She estimates it will take two years of development, followed by several years of clinical trials, before the drug can be introduced to the market. Faraci, whose background includes 25 years at the global pharmaceutical corporation Pfizer, says that much of the groundwork has already been laid. They have incubator space for their lab, and they’re ready to begin in vitro studies. As they proceed, they will be developing a drug to bring to market and actively pursuing collaborations with companies on other applications of the platform. With relatively little R&D being done into treating liver disease, Cyta’s venture could place it in the vanguard. “Thai’s platform has a number of outstanding characteristics and the potential to be applicable to treating a variety of diseases,” notes Robert MacWright, director of UMass Amherst’s Technology Transfer Office (TTO). That potential, he

believes, should make Cyta attractive to investors. Cyta was one of two start-ups to come out of UMass Amherst in 2014; in 2015, there were seven. By 2025, MacWright theorizes, dozens of these companies could be bolstering the commonwealth’s economy, providing jobs and stimulating commerce. TTO’s support has been “fantastic,” says Thayumanavan. “I’m learning a lot of science every day,” he says, “but I’m a novice when it comes to business.” While noting that teaming up with Fendrock and Faraci should make his learning go more smoothly, he realizes that Cyta faces many challenges. “Nature takes billions of years to evolve a figure of a specific shape or size,” Thayumanavan says. “Trying to do that in real time, we can’t hope to match the complexity of what nature does. But by mimicking some functional features of molecular design and applying certain principles, we can be opportunistic. We can bring new things into being.” Thayumanavan’s ultimate aspiration is simple but profound. He hopes that someday, because of the research he and his group are doing, and the efforts of Cyta, there will be new drugs on the market to alleviate suffering and cure disease. “I hope,” he says, “I can make a difference in people’s lives, make their lives better.”

Cyta Therapeutics cofounders Bonnie Fendrock and Steve Faraci.



Computational Social Sciences



Colored for Louvain Communities− No Isolates ● ●

The Computational Social Science Institute combines disciplines to analyze our social world

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s there social networking among bacteria? The question might seem whimsical, and it’s almost incidentally and rather lightheartedly posed by James Kitts, director of the UMass Amherst Computational Social Science Institute (CSSI), as he talks about the many directions that research in this relatively young institute might take. Yet asking such thought-provoking questions is the essence of intellectual inquiry, and CSSI aims to model and analyze social phenomena in innovative ways, combining insights from the new field of computational social science—an approach that could yield significant revelations about such central human concerns as health, harmony, and work. (And as it turns out, yes, bacteria do network, just not via Snapchat.) The campus’s efforts in computational social science began in 2010, when an interdisciplinary group of faculty led by computer scientist Andrew McCallum initiated the hiring of a handful of faculty members with expertise in computer science, statistics, and the social


sciences. Two years later, James Kitts came from Columbia University to join McCallum as a founding codirector of the institute. Now, with 68 affiliates in 23 departments and nine colleges across the university, it has grown to become the largest, most diverse academic institute of its kind. “CSSI is shaping an unrivaled population of experts into a cohesive scholarly community through programmatic support for research and training,” says Kitts. The research under its aegis explores a wide range of questions: Is obesity contagious? Does a diversified computer science faculty attract a more diverse pool of graduate students? Can computational analysis be used in innovative ways to help identify discriminatory employers? “More and more, computer scientists are thinking of social organizations as computational systems,” explains Associate Director David Jensen. “When we click on a link in a friend’s Facebook post to read the latest presidential campaign news, we’re using that social media channel and that friend as an information-processing tool. On the other hand, more and more scientists are realizing that computational methods can serve as an unparalleled lens for examining human activity. Rather than being confined to using traditional social science methodologies, such as questionnaires and lab experiments, computational social science applies new means to examine the dynamics of complex social behavior as it plays out in real time for large populations or groups.” Take, for instance, the question of whether one can “catch” obesity. Nationally, the number of obese children has more than doubled since 1980. In Massachusetts, nearly a third of children between grades 1 and 10 are overweight or obese. School-based interventions have had only limited success. Recent research suggests that friends may influence one another’s weight

gain or loss. But which comes first, the obesity or the friendships? Through CSSI, a team of experts from kinesiology, nutrition, sociology, and statistics proposes to use innovative statistical methods to study peer influence in diet and exercise among Massachusetts middle schoolers. The next step will be using computer models to help design better school-based interventions to promote healthful behavior. In addition to supporting interdisciplinary research projects, through its seminar series, CSSI fosters the cross-pollination of ideas. By bringing in speakers throughout the academic year, the seminars introduce the work of scholars at UMass and elsewhere to the campus community and, like the institute itself, encompass diverse areas of inquiry. This fall’s lineup

ABOVE: James Kitts (left) and David Jensen lead the Computational Social Science Institute. With 68 affiliates in 23 departments and nine colleges across the university, it has grown to be the largest, most diverse academic institute of its kind. OPPOSITE PAGE: This

networking image represents intellectual connections among different scholars within top journals in the field of international political economy. The different colors show various subcommunities within the same group of scholars writing about how the global economy is governed.


includes UMass Amherst Professor Kimberley Geissler, whose public health research found that patients enrolled in high-deductible health plans use about 7.5 percent fewer diagnostic tests such as MRI, X-rays, and CT scans

“More and more scientists are realizing that computational methods can serve as an unparalleled lens for examining human activity.” —David Jensen than patients without such plans. Geissler says that her findings were unexpected. “I think what we found most surprising,” she says, “are the large reductions in imaging use among people with high deductibles. We had hoped to find that patients were reducing the use of low-value imaging; instead, we found that they reduced all use similarly. It seems that patients are not informed enough to discern which tests are more optional and which are medically necessary.” According to Kitts, surprising findings are not uncommon in CSSI research. “The inter-


UMass Amherst Report on Research 2016

disciplinary nature of the projects allow for broader perspectives and a more complete picture of what needs to be addressed,” he says. CSSI also hosts “mixers” for researchers who investigate similar scientific questions in different disciplines. Organized around a public health theme, last spring’s event brought together researchers and administrators from 14 departments. Each researcher gave a two-minute “slam” presentation and a poster-discussion session on topics including access to malarial drugs, predicting and preventing epidemics, and distributing health information on social media. The event was a huge hit, stimulating animated conversations about possible collaborations. It also inspired researchers to organize a mixer to promote similar cross-fertilization between faculty at UMass Amherst and at UMass Medical School in Worcester. All of these activities prompt new questions and provoke “aha!” moments. The I-never-thought-of-it-that-way response can be the first step toward finding new ways of seeing, making new connections, and creating new solutions. The combinations of disciplines CSSI nurtures are already shedding light on important scientific questions, and the institute is poised to play an important role in computational social science in the coming years.


Education and Public Policy



Researchers ask tough questions about unconscious bias and racial inequality in schools


Linda Tropp, psychological and brain sciences (left) and Katie McDermott, education, sit in Furcolo Hall, home of the College of Education and the object of a just-completed, $22.5-million renovation. Tropp and McDermott explore how individuals’ perceptions and biases shape education policy. Their work is funded by a Spencer Foundation grant, which supports high-quality research focused on improving education.



athryn “Katie” McDermott has spent her academic career studying public policy that addresses inequality in education. Some of her work has examined desegregation programs that aim to make schools more diverse, and the various factors that can get in the way of that goal. In other research, she’s looked at curriculum standards and accountability measures designed to ensure that all students receive quality education. “I’ve always been someone who wanted to focus on the structural, the policy issues,” says McDermott, a professor in UMass Amherst’s College of Education and School of Public Policy. A political scientist by training, she says, “I’m used to thinking about institutions and structural issues.” But in recent years, she’s become more interested in the ways individuals’ perceptions and biases shape how education policies are or aren’t successfully implemented. “I’ve realized that what goes on in people’s heads ends up having structural implications,” she says.

UMass Amherst Report on Research 2016

McDermott will be able to pursue that question during the 2016–17 academic year thanks to a grant from the Spencer Foundation, which supports high-quality research focused on improving education. Spencer’s Midcareer Grant Program allows established scholars to build on their expertise by spending a year learning about new theories and methodologies that they can apply to their work. For McDermott, that will mean delving into the field of social psychology to better understand how individuals’ unconscious racial biases affect their behavior, specifically in the field of education. “I know a lot about racial inequality in education policy,” she explains. “I don’t know much about how people’s beliefs and micro-level actions contribute to entrenching racial inequality in schools.” In particular, McDermott is interested in how teachers’ and administrators’ day-to-day implementation of education policies are influenced by their personal beliefs about race. For example: How do schools decide which kids are put in honors classes, and what is the message to black and Latino students when they see those classes filled largely with white classmates? What keeps white teachers from directly and comfortably addressing issues of race in their classroom, and how does that affect their relationships with students of color? Are discipline standards applied equally to students of various backgrounds, or are some students more likely to be punished for subjective transgressions such as being “disrespectful”? And what are the long-term consequences for those students? Over the course of the year, McDermott will work with several experts in the psychology of bias and the ways that social psychology research can be applied to public policy. Her mentors include Rachel Godsil, a professor at Seton Hall University School of Law and

“I’m interested in how teachers’ and administrators’ day-to-day implementation of education policies are influenced by their personal beliefs about race.” —Kathryn McDermott

cofounder and director of research for the Perception Institute, a consortium of scholars and advocates who apply social psychology findings to reduce discrimination and other harms connected to race, gender, and other identity differences. McDermott also will collaborate with Phillip Atiba Goff and his colleagues at the Center for Policing Equity, a think tank focused on improving relations between law enforcement and the communities they serve. McDermott has also teamed up with UMass Amherst colleague Linda Tropp, a professor of psychology in the College of Natural Sciences who is also a research adviser to both the Perception Institute and the Center for Policing Equity. As a social psychologist, Tropp says, she’s especially interested in applying research findings to social justice issues; among other topics, her work focuses on racial and ethnic integration in schools, which, she notes, research has consistently shown to be beneficial to students. While McDermott’s work to date has been at the macro level of political and social institutions, Tropp’s research focuses on both the micro level—“what’s inside a person’s head: their thoughts and emotions, their perceptions of situations”—and the meso level, “the immediate social environment of their interactions,” she explains. In a longitudinal survey study that looks at middle school students’ experiences with kids from other backgrounds, for example, Tropp considers the way the racial climate and norms at their school influences their interest in making friends from other backgrounds. “[If] they see that this is a school where the principal and teachers encourage everyone to be friends, that leads the kids to develop greater interest in those friendships,” she notes. Tropp’s research also looks at how train-

Last year marked the 50th anniversary of what Katie McDermott calls “the most important U.S. education policy that most people have never heard of”: the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act, part of the Johnson Administration’s War on Poverty. Reauthorized over the years—and along the way gaining new, betterknown names, such as No Child Left Behind—the law aimed to create racial and socioeconomic equity in schools, with mixed results. Those results were examined in the December 2015 issue of RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences, for which McDermott served as coeditor. The law, she says, marked the first time the federal government put significant resources into education, using the money as leverage to get reluctant states and school districts to adopt policies. Some of those efforts have been successful: in 1965, for instance, low-income districts were persuaded to begin integrating their schools in order to quality for federal money. Other efforts have fallen short, such as programs for English-language learners that focused on teaching students to replace their home language with English rather than encouraging true bilingualism, which experts now agree is desirable for all students.

ing and other supports can help teachers feel comfortable addressing issues of race in the classroom and teaching students from diverse racial and socioeconomic backgrounds—an important issue, since the student population in the U.S. is increasingly diverse, while the great majority of teachers are white. That’s another area McDermott hopes to address in her future work. Unlike many grants for scholars, the Spencer Foundation grant doesn’t support a specific research project, but rather allows the recipient to pursue a more open-ended course of study—something McDermott is especially excited about. “I’m not going to have any answers at the end of the year,” she says. “What I’m hoping to have are really good questions about how bias works itself out in a school setting.” Those questions will then shape McDermott’s research priorities over the coming years, as she explores the connections between individuals’ personal beliefs and perceptions and public policy. Further down the road, McDermott hopes to work with teachers to help them find ways to effectively address issues of race and to best reach all their students, from all backgrounds. “Getting back to the structural issues that I began with, are there policies that can be put in place that create a better environment for people to interact with each other? Even if politics and polices aren’t especially helpful, what can you do in the school?” While she is officially McDermott’s mentor under her Spencer Foundation grant, Tropp believes they’ll both benefit from their work together. “I hope to learn more from Katie about integration policies at the school level and the district level,” she says. “I hope there’ll be some mutual mentoring going on.”



Humanities and Fine Arts

Collidescope 2.0 Students add local flavor to a nationally acclaimed theater piece

What would visitors from another world think if they looked at the race history of the United States? A campus theater production, Collidescope 2.0: Adventures in Pre- and Post-Racial America, looked at the troubled, often violent history of race relations in our country through the eyes of aliens visiting on a spaceship—a device that encouraged the audience to consider that history through fresh eyes. Created and directed by Ping Chong and Talvin Wilks and produced in association with Ping Chong & Company, the play originated at the University of Maryland’s School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies in 2014, in reaction to the shooting death of Trayvon Martin and other young African American men in recent years.

Professor Judyie Al-Bilali ’78, ’01MFA and her devised-theater class worked with Chong and Wilks, UMass theater artists-in-residence, to create a version of the performance that included scenes from local history researched and written by the students. “Students went to the library, read editorials, found recordings,” Al-Bilali says. The project was the culmination of the Art, Legacy, and Community Project, a two-year investigation into local African American history. It used theater as a powerful means to interrogate where we have come from and where we are going as a society.

Collidescope 2.0 is particularly meaningful for Al-Bilali because of her longtime association with UMass Amherst. “It gave me an opportunity to look at this area, this community, this university, which I’ve been a part of since the ’70s,” she says. “There was this real excitement and radical thought and passion around the black arts movement and black scholarship and research.” Al-Bilali is eager to share that foundation with today’s students. “Their movement is Black Lives Matter; they’re looking at self-representation, inclusion, social justice,” she says. “I want to give them a taste of what their lineage is, as student activists, as artists who make political and social statements.”

Anderson Lara ’17, a Dominican-American theater major from Lawrence, Massachusetts, says that before his work on Collidescope 2.0 he didn’t know much about race or where he fit into American culture. “My political and social awakening really started with Judyie’s class,” says Lara. “It raised a lot of questions about what I can do as an artist to take these issues and make theater out of them.”


Research Highlights New Technology Improves Airspace Safety


UMass Amherst engineering students Chris Boselli, Alex Breger, Jason Danis, and Sandra McQueen have designed a solution to the problem of unmanned drone aircraft accidentally wandering into airspace around airports and creating hazards for commercial and other manned flights. Called ASPECTS (Airport Safety Perimeter Control System), it strives to eliminate the risk of accidental collision and strengthen national security. The ASPECTS team is working with officials at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, to develop their concept. “It works the way virtual fences


Higher Predictions of Sea-Level Rise

keep dogs in a yard,” said John Collura, emeritus professor of civil and environmental engineering and a lead researcher for the new Aviation Research and Training Center at Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee, Massachusetts.


UMass Amherst Report on Research 2016

A new study from climate scientists Robert DeConto at UMass Amherst and David Pollard at Pennsylvania State University suggests that the most recent estimates by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for future sea-level rise over the next 100 years might be too low by a factor of nearly two. “This could spell disaster for many low-lying cities,” says DeConto. “For example, Boston could see about five feet of sea-level rise in the next 100 years. But the good news is that an aggressive

reduction in emissions will limit the risk of major Antarctic ice-sheet retreat.” The revised estimate comes from including new processes in the threedimensional ice-sheet model the scientists use to consider the effects of surface-melt water on the break-up of ice shelves and the collapse of vertical ice cliffs in the Antarctic, as well as from testing the models against past episodes of high sea-levels and ice retreat. Details were published in the journal Nature.

Under the direction of biologist Duncan Irschick, UMass Amherst students have developed a new platform to create 3-D models of living animals and other objects. Trademarked as Beastcam, the system is high quality, low cost, portable, fast, and easy to use. It uses off-theshelf materials to create 3-D models of living geckos and sharks. With scale-up, Beastcam could be used to capture 3-D models of everyday objects and settings such as crime scenes, historical reconstructions, museum specimens, and archaeological digs. Irschick, a functional morphologist, is one of several co-inventors of Geckskin, a super-adhesive that can hold hundreds of pounds with an index-

card-size swatch and attaches and detaches for reuse without leaving any residue.

Saving the Wild Sumatran Rhinoceroses UMass Amherst researchers, in collaboration with the Wildlife Conservation Society’s (WCS) Indonesia Program, carried out an island-wide survey of the last wild popula-


Beastcam Provides Low-Cost, Accurate 3-D Modeling

tion of Sumatran rhinoceroses. The researchers now recommend that wildlife conservation managers consolidate the small population, strongly protect it, determine the percent of breeding females remaining, and “recognize the cost of doing nothing.” Lead author Wulan Pusparini, a UMass Amherst environmental conservation doctoral student who works for the WCS, says the new study provides vital data to support a final attempt to prevent the Sumatran rhinos’ extinction. She notes, “Sumatran rhinos can still be saved in the wild, but we must secure these protection zones, which would require significant investment in additional law-enforcement personnel.” The study for the first time identifies priority forestprotection zones “irreplaceable for saving the critically endangered species.” It identifies small and scattered populations that should be consolidated if they are to become viable. Details appear in the journal Plos One.

The W.E.B. Du Bois Center has received a $600,000 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant to “expand the impact of the research and scholarship Du Bois’s wisdom has inspired,” says center director Whitney Battle-Baptiste. The funding supports programs for faculty and student scholars to plumb the center’s archives and visit the Du Bois homesite in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. The Public History Program will share a $250,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support States of Incarceration, a traveling exhibit, web platform, and curricula series focusing on mass incarceration. Marla Miller, director of the public history program, calls mass incarceration “one of the most pressing civil rights issues of our time.” Rosie Cowell, psychological and brain sciences, Simi Hoque, environmental sciences, and Arya Mazumdar, information and computer sciences, have received competitive National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Awards in 2016. The awards are the NSF’s most prestigious in support of junior faculty who are outstanding teacher/scholars.


Polymer scientists Kenneth Carter and Gregory Tew have received $3 million from the National Science Foundation National Research Traineeship (NRT) program to explore new models for graduate education in the use of polymers and other soft materials in the life sciences. Carter and Tew say NRT will engage graduate students from varied disciplines such as polymer science, immunology, food science, and engineering to better reflect the collaborative nature of modern scientific research. The UMass Transportation Center received over $6 million from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to combine and run the state’s Local Technical Assistance Program, Transportation Training Institute, and Cooperative Research Program as one unit. Michael A. Knodler, center director and associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, says the new funding allows the center to consolidate programs under one umbrella, fostering innovation and idea-generation to benefit the commonwealth’s municipalities. UMass Amherst is an inaugural research partner in the Advanced Functional Fabrics of America Alliance, a new $317 million public/ private partnership designed to accelerate innovation in high-tech, U.S.-based manufacturing involving fibers and textiles. The partnership, supported by the U.S. Department of Defense, includes 32 universities, 16 industry partners, 72 manufacturing entities, and 26 start-up incubators across 28 states.



Research Highlights

State Apiary Opens at Ag Learning Center A new state apiary to be used for education, outreach demonstrations, and research related to agricultural sustainability, pollination, honeybee health, and hive management opened in June at UMass Amherst’s Agricultural Learning Center. A collaboration between the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources and the Stockbridge School of Agriculture, the apiary is a critical component of the school’s student farm pollinator habitat conservation project, providing valuable pollination services to the farm. It will also provide outreach education to farmers, land managers, beekeepers, and the public on topics related to honeybees and agriculture, helping to demonstrate how to maintain healthy hives in western Massachusetts.

UMass Amherst Report on Research 2016

Innovative Robotic Limbs Frank Sup, mechanical and industrial engineering, and Brian Umberger, kinesiology, have received a $630,331 grant from the National Science Foundation to develop a new type of robotic prostheses: better-fitting, more functional, and comfortable robotic lower limbs for persons—especially

those aged 65 and older— with below-knee amputations. Currently, 42 percent of people living in the U.S. with limb loss are 65 years or older, and that figure is expected to jump to 62 percent by 2050. Sup and Umberger are designing their new robotic limbs to relieve the commonly experienced pressure and discomfort that result from ill-fitting or poorly functioning prostheses. The research is funded as part of the National Robotics Initiative, supported by the NSF, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.


Funding to Tackle Substance Abuse The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded the College of Nursing $870,000 to develop a program to train student nurses in screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT). The project is one of only 12 to be funded nationally by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. The undergraduate training program, “SBIRT: The Power of Nursing to Change Health,” is an approach for delivering early intervention and treatment

$3.5M for Breast Cancer Research Scientists at Bay State Medical Center, the Pioneer Valley Life Sciences Institute (PVLSI), and the Rays of Hope Center for Breast Cancer Research in Springfield were awarded more than $3.5 million by the National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences to study breast cancer risk and environmental exposure to common chemicals found in cosmetics and household products. According to D. Joseph Jerry, veterinary and animal sciences and PVLSI science director, the funding supports investigations into possible effects of exposure during pregnancy to a group of environmental chemicals in

household products (including benzophenone-3, found in sunscreens and cosmetics) and the risk of breast cancer. The compounds display estrogen-like activity and have been measured in large numbers of pregnant women, many of whom have been exposed to substantial amounts with unknown consequences. Michael Malone, vice chancellor for research and engagement and current chair of the PVLSI board, says, “This is exactly the sort of project we see in the mission of PVLSI, since it advances knowledge through research and, thanks to terrific partners, has a terrific potential for impact in the community.”

to people with or at risk of developing alcohol or substance-abuse disorders. The grant addresses the growing need for medical care providers working across a variety of service delivery settings to be trained in SBIRT. Donna Zucker, nursing, is the principal investigator for the project along with coprincipal investigator Sally Linowski, associate dean for student affairs and campus life.


Technology Transfer FY2016 BY THE NUMBERS


Invention disclosures

A BANNER YEAR FOR START-UPS The UMass Amherst Technology Transfer Office (TTO) launched the “Envisioning Process” in FY2016 to encourage and support faculty, students, and staff interested in starting a company based on their inventions. TTO staff advise inventors about products, markets, and processes, such as how to incorporate, how equity works, and how to raise money, among other things. TTO then commits to license the needed patent rights to the company. The results? The following seven start-ups formed this year, compared to two in FY2015.

MicrobeElectric LLC Professor Derek Lovley and colleagues have shown soil bacteria geobacter produces an electric current as it grows, and this can be monitored to detect soil contamination. The start-up company MicrobeElectric will develop fielddeployable wireless sensors that can be used to monitor landfills, pipelines, gas-station tanks, and cleanup sites. PearlPod LLC Female horses can behave erratically during their mating season, which can be hazardous to riders. UMass Amherst veterinarian Carlos Gradil has developed unique intrauterine devices that can prevent this behavior. The company PearlPod will develop this device for horses, and develop it further as a contraceptive for pets, wild animals, and humans. AptaCrops LLC As the population grows and global warming progresses, growing enough food will be a challenge. Professor Om Parkash has developed genetic tools that allow plants to grow well under drought conditions and in salty water, which can expand usable farmland. AptaCrops will transfer capabilities to important food crops such as corn and soybeans. Treaty LLC Professor Ken Carter and graduate student Yinyong Li have developed a solution made from trees which prevents fogging when coated on glass or plastic surfaces. Treaty’s first


UMass Amherst Report on Research 2016


Patent applications filed


Patents issued

product, “FogKicker,” will be marketed for preventing fog on the inside of masks worn by divers and snorkelers. Its use will then be extended to various health and safety applications. Excipient Foods Company Professor Julian McClements has developed methods of adapting foods so that they enhance the absorption of drugs and vitamins in the digestive tract. Business development firm Kayon Partners ( will build a new company to develop these “excipient foods” for a variety of drugs and vitamins. Agum Technologies LLC Professor Dhandapani Venkataraman (“DV”) and postdoc Tim Gehan have developed solar panels that are tailored to light frequencies of interior lighting, and perform better than traditional solar panels indoors. Agum Technologies will adapt the technology for large-scale production and develop indoor solar panels that can power laptops, phones, and tablets. Lumme Inc. Professor Deepak Ganesan and graduate student Akshaya Shanmugam have developed software that uses a wrist-worn motion sensor to detect when a person is smoking. Lumme Inc. is developing a smoking cessation program that uses data from this software to predict when the craving to smoke will occur, and provide feedback to help patients resist lighting that cigarette.


License and option agreements executed


$1,000,074 Total revenue

New start-ups formed

Patents Issued FY2016

Chemical Engineering


Wei Fan, Chun-Chih Chang, Paul Dornath, Zhuopeng Wang

Derek R. Lovley, Kely P. Nevin, Hana Yi


Geobacteraceae Strains and Methods

Rapid Synthesis of Beta Zeolites George W. Huber,* Anne Mae Gaffney (Langmuir Research Institute), Jungho Jae, Yu-Ting Cheng 9,169,442


Derek R. Lovley, Kelly Nevin 9,175,408

Microbial Production of Multi-Carbon Chemicals and Fuels from Water and Carbon Dioxide Using Electric Current

Systems and Processes for Catalytic Pyrolysis of Biomass and Hydrocarbonaceous Materials for Production of Aromatics with Optional Olefin Recycle, and Catalysts Having Selected Particle Size for Catalytic Pyrolysis

Polymer Science & Engineering

Computer Science


Kevin E. Fu,* Jacob Sorber (Dartmouth College), Salajegheh Mastooreh (UMass) 9,158,361

Methods and Systems for Improving Security in Zero-Power Devices

Gregory N. Tew, Melissa A. Lackey, Jun Cui, Catherine N. Walker, Alfred J. Crosby Telechelic-Based Networks from Novel Macromonomers, Compositions, Preparation and Uses Thereof


Ion Sequestering Active Packaging Materials


Method of Forming Oriented Block Copolymer Line Patterns, Block Copolymer Line Patterns Formed Thereby, and Their Use to Form Patterned Articles Todd S. Emrick, E. Bryan Coughlin, Bon-Cheol Ku, T. Raganathan, Michael R. Beaulieu, Richard J. Farris** 9,175,131

*No longer at UMass  **Deceased


Methods of Inhibiting Cataracts and Presbyopia Alan J. Lesser, E. Bryan Coughlin, Brian M. Cromer 9,284,388

Semi-Crystalline Thermoplastic Polymers and Articles Manufactured Therefrom Thomas P. Russell, Soojin Park (Korea), Ting Xu (Berkeley), Dong-Hyun Lee 9,335,629

Self-Assembly of Block Copolymers on Topographically Patterned Polymeric Substrates

Deoxybenzoin-Derived Antiflammable Polymers

Thomas P. Russell, Sung Woo Hong, Dong Hyun Lee, Soojin Park (Korea), Ting Xu (Berkeley)

Julie Goddard, Eric A. Decker

Murugappan Muthukumar


Wayne P. Burleson, Vikram Belur Suresh

Food Science

Devices for Application and Load Bearing and Method of Using the Same (1Pad Geckskin with Roller and Handle)

Todd S. Emrick, E. Bryan Coughlin, Bon-Cheol Ku, T. Raganathan, Michael R. Beaulieu, Richard J. Farris**

Flame-Retardant Derivatives

Generate Random Numbers Using Metastability Resolution Time


Jayant Kumar, E. Bryan Coughlin, Todd Emrick, Bon-Cheol Ku, Sethumadhavan Ravichandran, Ramaswamy Nagarajan, Weeradech Kiratitanavit

Electrical & Computer Engineering 9,189,202 B2

Alfred J. Crosby, Michael Bartlett, Duncan J. Irschick (UMass Biology), Daniel R. King

Deoxybenzoin-Derived Antiflammable Polymers


Thomas P. Russell, Soojin Park (Korea), Bokyung Kim, Jia-Yu Wang 9,358,750

Method of Producing Nanopatterned Articles and Articles Produced Thereby

Veterinary & Animal Sciences James Robl,* Joseph Cibelli,* Amy Burnside* 9,249,388

Robl/Generation of Histocompatible Tissues Using Nuclear Transplantation


Sponsored Activity Research Activity Proposals Submitted  1,383 Proposal Dollars  $631.4 million Awards  1,116 Award Dollars  $188.7 million Total Research and Development Expenditures*  $213.9 million *FY2015 most current data

Distribution of Awarded Dollars by Sponsor Category FY2016

Distribution of Award Dollars Accepted from the Private Sector FY2016


Total Costs – $37,911,537

Other State & Local Govts. Private Sector: <1% Industry 7% Private Sector: Nonprofit 13%

Federal 57% Commonwealth of MA 23%

Foundations 10%

Health Agencies Other Sponsors 2% 3% Industry 34%

Other Colleges & Universities* 25% Institutes & Associations 26% *A significant portion of these awards are prime Federal Funds

Distribution of Award Dollars Accepted from Federal Agencies FY2016

Award Dollars Three-Year Rolling Averages FY2007–2016

Total Costs – $107,053,615 SBA  2%


DOEd  1%

NASA  2%

Other  2%

DOE  3%


DOI  3%





NSF 41% Millions

DOD  9%

USDA 12%

DHHS 25%




UMass Amherst Report on Research 2016

07– 09 08 –10 09 –11 10 –12 11–13 12 –14 13 –15 14 –16

Fiscal Year Period

UMass Press


he University of Massachusetts Press publishes scholarly and creative books that reflect the high quality and diversity of contemporary intellectual life on our five campuses, in our region, and around the country and the world. We serve interconnected communities—

scholars, students, and citizens—and with our publishing program seek to reflect and enhance the values and strengths of the university and the commonwealth. Editorial is overseen by a faculty board whose members represent a broad spectrum of academic departments.

Notable Awards Doug Bradley and Craig Werner. We Gotta Get Out of This Place: The Soundtrack of the Vietnam War. Rolling Stone Magazine #1 Best Music Book of 2015 and Paste Best Nonfiction Books of 2015.

Annie Liontas and Jeff Parker. A Manner of Being: Writers on Their Mentors. Poets & Writers Best Books for Writers. Andi Tucher. Happily Sometimes After: Discovering Stories from Twelve Generations of an American Family. Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2015.

Richard W. Judd. Second Nature: An Environmental History of New England. New England Historical Association James P. Hanlan Book Award 2015.

R. Bruce Stephenson. John Nolen, Landscape Architect and City Planner. 2015 John Brinkerhoff Jackson Book Prize of the Foundation for Landscape Studies.

Jessie Swigger. “History Is Bunk”: Assembling the Past at Henry Ford’s Greenfield Village. 2016 National Council on Public History Book Award, Honorable Mention.



New titles published

39,576 Books sold (8.09% e-books)

$739,534 Total revenue


Creative Accomplishments Architecture Sandy Litchfield Solo exhibition, Carroll and Sons Art Gallery, Boston: Filterscape (January 2016). Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation Fellowship. Studio for Artistic Mosaics, Stained Glass, and Art in Architecture: mural commissioned by New York’s Public Art for Public Schools “Sites for Students” program.

Art Robin Mandel

Steve Tracy plays the blues.

“The Hold Series” installation exhibitions: Currents 2016; the Santa Fe International New Media Exhibition and Festival (June 2016).

Afro-American Studies

Shane Mecklenburger

Steve Tracy

Included in the What Is Luxury? exhibition, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK. (April–September 2015).

Performance/presentation, “Mister Crump Don’t Like It:” James Baldwin on Beale Street, International Convention on James Baldwin, Paris, and International Visions, Paris, France (May 28). Performance/presentation, “Eliot Gets Hot,” International Conference on T. S. Eliot, Rapallo, Italy (June 20). Reappointed Hubei Province Chu Tian Scholar.

Included in Queens International 2016 exhibition, Queens Museum, New York, NY. (April–July 2016). Young Min Moon Suite of seven paintings shown at 2015 Seoul Museum of Art Collection Showcase, new acquisition exhibit. Seoul, South Korea (January 19–February 27, 2016).

FACULTY BOOKSHELF The Politics of Culture in Soviet Azerbaijan, 1920–1940, Audrey L. Altstadt (Routledge, 2016).

More Tsinoy Than We Admit: Chinese-Filipino Interactions Over the Centuries, Richard T. Chu, ed. (Academica Filipina, 2015).

The Public Professor: How to Use Your Research to Change the World, M. V. Lee Badgett (New York University Press, 2015).

Routledge Handbook of Theory in Sport Management, George B. Cunningham, Janet S. Fink, and Alison Doherty (Routledge Taylor and Francis Group, 2016).

Mapping Courtship and Kinship in Classical Japan: The Tale of Genji and Its Predecessors, Doris G. Bargen (University of Hawaii Press, 2015). This Program Is Brought to You by…: Distributing Television News Online, Josh Braun (Yale University Press, 2015). Fundamentals of Arts Management (6th edition), Dee Boyle-Clapp and Maren Brown, with Maryo Gard, eds. (Arts Extension Service, 2015).

Liberated Threads: Black Women, Style, and the Global Politics of Soul, Tanisha Ford (University of North Carolina Press, 2015). “The Life Cycle of Hedge Funds: A New Perspective,” Mila Getmansky and Rachel (Kyungyeon) Koh; chapter in Hedge Funds: Structure, Strategies, and Performance, H. Kent Baker and Greg Filbeck, eds. (Oxford University Press, 2016).

Birthmark, Stephen Clingman (Jacana Media, 2015; University of Massachusetts Press, 2016).


UMass Amherst Report on Research 2016

“Financial Crises and Evaporation of Diversification Benefits of Hedge Funds,” Monica Billio, Mila Getmansky, and Loriana Pelizzon; chapter in Hedge Funds: Structure, Strategies, and Performance, H. Kent Baker and Greg Filbeck, eds. (Oxford University Press, 2016). Youth Politics in Putin’s Russia: Producing Patriots and Entrepreneurs, Julie Hemment (Indiana University Press, 2015). The ABCs of CBM: A Practical Guide to Curriculum-Based Measurement (2nd edition), Michelle K. Hosp, John L. Hosp, and Kenneth W. Howell (Guilford Press, 2016). Alternative Investments: CAIA Level I, Donald R. Chambers, Mark J. P. Anson, Keith H. Black, and Hossein Kazemi (Wiley Finance, 2015).

Juana Valdes


International Biennial: SITElines.2016: New Perspectives on Art of the Americas exhibition, “much wider than a line.” Curators: Rocío Aranda-Alvarado, Kathleen Ash-Milby, Pip Day, Pablo León de la Barra, and Kiki Mazzucchelli (July 2016).

Edie Meidav

An Inherent View of the World, solo exhibition, Mindy Solomon Gallery, Miami, Fla. (2015). From Island to Ocean: Caribbean and Pacific Dialogues, two-person show, Center for Cultural Analysis at Rutgers, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J. Mettre Noir Sur Blanc, solo exhibition, Guttenberg Arts, Guttenberg, N.J. GROUP EXHIBITIONS

Intersectionaly, curated by Richard Haden, Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, Fla. (2016). Transmissions: algoritmos, polyrhythms, karuraqmi purina, curated by William Cordova, The Franklin, Chicago, Ill. Elmuseo @ SVA, curated by Rocio ArandaAlvarado, SVA Gallery, New York, N.Y. Dialogues in Cuban Art, symposium Pérez Art Museum Miami (April 28–29, 2016). Immersion Residency, Center for New Art, William Paterson University, N.J. (2015).

2016 Fulbright Award to Cyprus (May 2017– August 2017).

Music and Dance

Joseph Black

Jonathan Hulting-Cohen

Coinvestigator of The Thomas Nashe Project, awarded a Major Project Grant of $1.1 million from the British Arts and Humanities Research Council.

New work by UMass Amherst colleague Felipe Salles, Gaudi Sketches #1 for soprano saxophone and string quartet, premiered at The Firehouse Space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY.

History of Art and Architecture Timothy Rohan Resident Fellow, Newhouse Center for the Humanities, Wellesley College, Wellesley, Mass. Consultant, Getty Foundation’s “Keeping it Modern” Grant for Wellesley College’s Jewett Arts Center (2015–16).

Judaic and Near Eastern Studies Aviva Ben-Ur U.S. Fulbright Scholar Program, Grant to the Netherlands, Leiden University (Spring 2017). National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship (2015–16).

Alternative Investments: CAIA Level II, Hossein Kazemi, Keith H. Black, and Donald R. Chambers (Wiley Finance, 2016).

Making Space: Three Decades of Magnet Theatre, Megan Lewis and Anton Krueger (Intellect Press, 2016).

Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach (7th edition), Jim Kurose and Keith Ross (Pearson, 2016).

Self-Leadership: The Definitive Guide to Personal Excellence, C. P. Neck, C. C. Manz, and J. Houghton (Sage 2017).

Campaign Finance and Political Polarization: When Purists Prevail, Raymond La Raja and Brian Schaffner (University of Michigan Press, 2015).

Objects as Actors: Props and the Poetics of Performance in Greek Tragedy, Melissa Mueller (University of Chicago Press, 2016).

Music for Life: Music Participation and Quality of Life of Senior Citizens, C. Victor Fung, and Lisa J. Lehmberg (Oxford University Press, 2016). Performing Whitely in the Postcolony: Afrikaners in South African Theatrical and Public Life, Megan Lewis (University of Iowa Press, 2016).

Loewenstein-Wiener Fellow, American Jewish Archives Marcus Center (2015–16).

Competing on Supply Chain Quality: A Network Economics Perspective, Anna Nagurney, and Dong Li (Springer, 2016). Traffic Flow Theory, Daiheng Ni (Elsevier, 2015). Schools as Protection: Reinventing Education in Contexts of Adversity, Bjorn H. Nordtveit (Doredrech: Springer, 2016). A Manner of Being: Writers on their Mentors, Annie Liontas and Jeff Parker, eds. (University of Massachusetts Press, 2015).

Recorded saxophone and harp work, Whirlwind, by Stephen J. Rush for the Naxos label. Concerto soloist, Tulare County Symphony Orchestra. Concerto soloist, UMass Wind Ensemble at U.S. Coast Guard Academy for the College Band Director’s National Association regional conference. Director and performer, Silence, film premiered at the 17th World Saxophone Congress, Strasbourg, France. Solo recital and six performances by The Moanin’ Frogs, 17th World Saxophone Congress. Residency: Avaloch Farm Music Institute with saxophone/harp duo, Admiral Launch Duo, with harpist Jennifer R. Ellis (June 2015).

The Fractional Laplacian, Constantine Pozrikidis (CRC Press, 2016). Bone Rooms: From Scientific Racism to Human Prehistory in Museums, Samuel J. Redman (Harvard University Press, 2016). Topics in Parallel and Distributed Computing: Introducing Concurrency in Undergraduate Courses, Sushil Prasad, Anshul Gupta, Arnold Rosenberg, Alan Sussman, and Charles Weems, eds. (Morgan-Kaufmann Publishers, 2015). Designing Qualitative Research (6th edition), C. Marshall and G. B. Rossman (SAGE, 2016). An Introduction to Qualitative Research: Learning in the Field, G. B. Rossman and S. F. Rallis (SAGE, 2016). After Live: Possibility, Potentiality, and the Future of Performance, Daniel Sack (University of Michigan Press, 2015).


Creative Accomplishments Paul Dennis Solo dance concert, Fabbrica dell’Esperienza, Milan, Italy. Featuring works by Daniel Nagrin, Jose Limon, Pearl Primus, and Deborah Goffe (October 2016).

Theater Amy Altadonna

Designed sound and composed original music for the Equity production of The Hampton Years, Virginia Stage Company (a LORT theatre). (Opened January 2016.)

Christopher Baker

Sound-designed the world premiere of Cal in Camo with Colt Coeur and directed by Adrienne Campbell-Holt in coproduction with Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, New York City. (Opened May 20, 2016.)

Lincoln: An American Vaudeville, workshop of original play with music at Center Stage, Baltimore (April 2016).

Pride and Prejudice, premiere of adaptation of Jane Austen novel at Center Stage, Baltimore (September–October 2015).

Harley Erdman Fulbright Fellowship to teach dramaturgy and adaptation at the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka (Spring 2016).

Designed sound for The Bristol Riverside Theatre’s Equity production of William Inge’s Bus Stop. (Opened October 1, 2015.)

Paul Dennis

FACULTY BOOKSHELF Architectural Design with SketchUp: 3D Modeling, Extensions, BIM, Rendering, Making, and Scripting, Alexander C. Schreyer (John Wiley & Sons, 2015). The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition, Manisha Sinha (Yale University Press, 2016).

Analyzing Form, Function and Financing of the U.S. Health Care System, Paula Stamps Duston (CRC Press, 2015). Born Into a World at War (2nd edition), Maria Tymoczko and Nancy Blackmun, eds. (University of Massachusetts Press, 2015).

Information Hiding in Communication Networks: Fundamentals, Mechanisms, Applications, and Countermeasures, Wojciech Mazurczyk, Steffen Wendzel, Sebastian Zander, Amir Houmansadr, and Krzysztof Szczypiorski (Wiley-IEEE Press, 2016).

Decision Science for Housing and Community Development: Localized and Evidence‐Based Responses to Distressed Housing and Blighted Communities, Michael P. Johnson, Jeffrey M. Keisler, Senay Solak, David A. Turcotte, Armagan Bayram, and Rachel Bogardus Drew (John Wiley & Sons, 2015).

Translating Writers, Writers Translating, Francoise Massardier-Kenney, Brian Baer, and Maria Tymoczko, eds. (Kent State University Press, 2015).

C++ Plus Data Structures, Nell Dale, Chip Weems, and Tim Richards (Jones and Bartlett Learning, 2017).

A Theory of Nonviolent Action: How Civil Resistance Works, Stellen Vinthagen (University of Chicago Press, 2015).

Behind the Model: A Constructive Critique of Economic Modeling, Peter Speigler (Cambridge University Press, 2015).

Educational Measurement: From Foundations to Future, C. S. Wells and M. Faulkner-Bond (Guilford Press, 2016).

Proceedings of the Twenty-Fifth International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling (ICAPS 2015), Ronen Brafman, Carmel Domshlak, Patrik Haslum, and Shlomo Zilberstein (AAAI Press, 2015).

Merrell’s Strong Start K-2 and Merrell’s Strong Start Pre-K, Sara Whitcomb and Danielle Parisi (Brookes, 2016).


UMass Amherst Report on Research 2016

STEMulator Professor Nilanjana “Buju” Dasgupta, psychological and brain sciences, is part of an ongoing group of thought leaders from across the nation advising the National Science Foundation on strategies to scale up diversity in the nation’s education system and workforce in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Dasgupta investigates why many girls and women shy away from STEM fields or leave them prematurely, often despite good performance. Her research and remedies include understanding the role implicit bias plays in the so-called “leaky pipeline.”



University Relations Whitmore Administration Building 181 Presidents Drive Amherst, MA 01003


Our cover image was captured by a Nikon A1 microscope using enhanced resolution and deconvolution. It shows the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) localization of a novel adapter protein that contributes to cell organization. The image demonstrates colocalization (yellow/ orange) in CHO cells between TTC17 (green) and an ER marker (red); the cellâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nucleus is displayed in blue. This image is the product of research conducted in UMass Amherstâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Institute for Applied Life Sciences examining the processes involved in the maturation and degradation of proteins that cross the secretory pathway in living cells. A number of common human genetic diseases involve protein maturation defects, including cystic fibrosis, albinism, melanoma, and heart disease.


Report on Research 2016  
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