The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Congratulations to Dragana Perkovic-Martin '08 PhD for the successful operation of the landing radar for the Mars 2020 rover, Perseverance. She led the system engineering team for the mission's landing radar, which is now in a pile of rubble somewhere in the Jezero Crater after the descent stage safely lowered the rover.


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.

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.

Professor Ramakrishna Janaswamy of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department recently released his groundbreaking eBook, Engineering Electrodynamics: A collection of theorems, principles, and field representations, published by IOP Publishing (Institute of Physics).

Professor Joseph Bardin (principal investigator) of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at UMass Amherst and College of Engineering and Dean Sanjay Raman (co-principal investigator) have received a $500,000 grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), administered by the Office of Naval Research.