News

Michael Zink of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and his graduate student Cong Wang received the Best Research Paper Award at the second Global Environment for Network Innovation (GENI) Research and Educational Experiment Workshop, held from March 21 to 22 in Salt Lake City, Utah. GENI is a national research and education network for exploring future internets at scale, that is, similar in size to the current Internet. The title of the winning paper wasGENI WiMAX Performance: Evaluation and Comparison of Two Campus Testbeds.” Go to Geni workshop website: geni.GREE2013.

On March 21, alumnus Rafael D. Guzman (B.S. ’88, EE), celebrated the grand re-opening his Lawrence Training School Inc., an occupational training center operating since 1998, which just moved into a remodeled building in the Arlington Mills Plaza at 530 Broadway Street in Lawrence, Mass. Guzman, the president and CEO of RM Technologies, Inc. (RMT) of Lawrence, is also the part owner of the Lawrence Training School and its new building. RMT, acquired by Guzman in 1997, is a small specialty contractor that deals in demolition, asbestos, and other hazardous material abatement. In fact, construction crews from RMT worked nonstop on the old mill building to convert it in just 60 days into a beautiful new training facility and office space.

This winter three young researchers at the College of Engineering have scored a collective hat trick by pulling in a trio of $400,000 awards from the prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program. The much sought-after grants were received by Paul Dauenhauer of the Chemical Engineering Department, and David Irwin and Qiangfei Xia of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. Nearly one-third of all faculty members at the college have won the esteemed NSF awards.

The FEAST algorithm proposed in 2009 by Eric Polizzi of the University of Massachusetts Amherst Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department – an algorithm that represents a radical departure from "textbook approaches" to solving the legendary eigenvalue problem – received a major endorsement in early February when it was integrated into the Intel® Math Kernel Library, one of the world’s leading and most used mathematical libraries. Polizzi’s FEAST algorithm is now featured as the Intel library’s main eigenvalue solver, and it can be found under the name "MKL Extended EigenSolver."

On February 17, David McLaughlin, a professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and the director of the Engineering Research Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA) at the College of Engineering, spoke about Chasing Storms Across Disciplines during the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. McLaughlin gave his presentation during a symposium entitled "Dynamics of Disasters: Harnessing the Science of Networks to Save Lives," organized by Anna Nagurney, the John F. Smith Memorial Professor at the Isenberg School of Management. The symposium took place between 3:00 and 4:30 p.m. in Room 208 of the convention center.

Csaba Andras Moritz, a professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and the director of the Nanoscale Architectures Laboratory, was featured prominently in a story in Popular Mechanics about how scientists are developing ways of storing data using synthetic DNA. As the Popular Mechanics story explains, scientists in Nature report that they have converted a record number of digital megabytes into genetic code. The entire set of Shakespearean sonnets, a 26-second clip of Martin Luther King’s "I Have a Dream" speech, a photograph—they’ve all been recorded onto synthetic DNA, where they could be safely stored for thousands of years. But, as the article says, “don’t start shopping around for a DNA hard drive yet. It takes a lot of time to both write and read DNA sequences, and it also requires laboratory equipment.”

David Irwin of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has been issued a five-year, $461,434 grant from the prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program. The NSF grant will support Irwin’s research for boosting energy efficiency in houses and buildings, which represent the largest segment of society’s energy usage. The title of Irwin’s project is “Model-based Energy Management for Sustainable Buildings.”

The National Science Foundation (NSF), National Weather Service, and the City of Fort Worth have given the Engineering Research Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA), centered at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, a two-year, $1.34-million grant designed to accelerate the application of CASA’s revolutionary weather-tracking radar system, now being tested in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The CASA radars provide high-resolution, near-surface views of hazardous weather events such as tornadoes, thunderstorms, and flooding and allow emergency managers to broadcast faster, more accurate, more targeted storm warnings and forecasts to the public.

UMass Amherst alumnus Patrick Ascolese, who graduated from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department in 2002, is currently working on République, an upcoming game for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, PC, and Mac. It is the first full-length project for Camouflaj, the new video game company he joined in 2011. In Republique players control a network of cameras, computers, and everything else electronic to keep a woman named Hope safe from pursuers. The idea for the game came from the increased surveillance people face on a daily basis, according to Ascolese. He said it is a “what if” look if legislation such as the Stop Online Piracy Act ever leads to an Orwellian state.

Qiangfei Xia of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has been issued a five-year, $400,000 grant from the prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program to develop emerging nanoelectronic devices. The title of his project is “CAREER: Scaling of Memristive Nanodevices and Arrays." Xia’s NSF research addresses the biggest obstacle for the continued operation of Moore’s Law, which states that the number of transistors on integrated circuits doubles approximately every two years. The law is named after Intel co-founder Gordon E. Moore, who first predicted the trend in his 1965 paper.