Tag Archives: amherst

Updating Air Pollution Measurement Methods with UMass Amherst Air Quality, Health Effects Research

AMHERST, Mass. – Launching a natural research experiment in Kathmandu, Nepal, this month using advanced monitoring methods to assess health risk from air pollution, environmental health scientist Rick Peltier at the University of Massachusetts Amherst hopes to demonstrate for the first time in a real-world setting that air pollution can and should be regulated based on toxicology variables rather than simply on the volume of particles in the air.

Recent technological advances in air quality measurement methods now make it possible and practical to monitor air pollution in a much more sophisticated way than before, Peltier says. Researchers now use X-ray fluorescence spectrometry to measure air pollution metal content, ion chromatography to identify other chemicals and other tactics to assess organic and elemental carbon levels. (more…)

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Physicists explore fundamental laws of biological materials

Physicists at the University of Chicago and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, are uncovering the fundamental physical laws that govern the behavior of cellular materials.

“We don’t have any tools or formalism to think about these types of materials, and that’s what we’ve been trying to go after,” said Margaret Gardel, professor in physics at UChicago. Gardel and Jennifer Ross of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, are supported in this work by a four-year, $800,000 INSPIRE grant from the National Science Foundation. (more…)

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‘Memories of Buenos Aires,’ Edited by Max Page, Maps the Terror of Argentina’s ‘Dirty War’

AMHERST, Mass. – Throughout Central and South America, there remains the palpable awareness of the decades-long “Dirty War,” in which the military and oligarchy joined forces in brutal and relentless repression of democratic institutions, and many tens of thousands people were simply marked for disappearance. That war has retained its own emotional and physical topography in the region, especially in Argentina, where as many as 30,000 citizens were killed after the generals seized power in 1976.

Now, Max Page, professor of architecture and history at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, has edited a new book that explores that topography and serves as an interpretive guide to the terror in Argentina, invoking the memory of the disappeared, the desaparecidos, in the memorials and hidden places of torture that mark the capital. (more…)

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New Research from Sociologists Finds the Racial and Educational Preferences of Internet Daters

Study of nearly one million dating website users shows opportunities for white daters, hurdles for blacks

AMHERST, Mass. – New research from sociologists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has found specific racial patterns in the outreach and response habits of heterosexual men and women using online dating sites.

In a study published in the upcoming issue of the American Journal of Sociology, vol. 119, no. 1, UMass Amherst doctoral recipient Ken-Hou Lin and associate professor Jennifer Lundquist tracked the racial and educational characteristics of almost one million online daters searching for relationships from the 20 largest cities in the U.S. They then analyzed the inquiries sent and received by each dater, in order to gain an understanding of how members of each race interact with one another in an online dating setting. (more…)

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Indian foresters learn state-of-the art methods in mid-career training at Yale

Officers of the Indian Forest Service (IFS) arrived on the Yale campus July 21 for a two-week training session on state-of-the-art concepts and practices in forestry and environmental management. The session is part of a partnership between the Global Institute of Sustainable Forestry at Yale, TERI University (The Energy and Resources Institute in India), and the Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy acting under the auspices of the Indian Ministry of Environment and Forests.

The Indian Ministry of Environment and Forests conceived the idea of holding short, intensive training sessions as a way of injecting fresh ideas, tools, and techniques into its forest service. The Yale Global Institute has participated from the beginning of the program, making this the fourth year, and the sixth group of Indian foresters welcomed to campus.  (more…)

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UMass Amherst Survey Shows Widespread Public Opposition to ‘Killer Robots,’ Support for New Ban Campaign

Active and former military among those most opposed to autonomous weaponry

AMHERST, Mass. – The results of a new survey by the University of Massachusetts Amherst show that a majority of Americans across the political spectrum oppose the outsourcing of lethal military and defense targeting decisions to machines. The opposition to autonomous weaponry is bipartisan, with the strongest opposition on the far left and far right, and among active and former members of the military.

A random sample of 1,000 Americans was asked how they felt about military technology that could take humans out of the loop altogether, dubbed “killer robots” by the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, an international coalition of non-governmental organizations launched in April that is working to ban-fully autonomous weapons. The survey was posted today at the website Duck of Minerva, an international affairs blog. (more…)

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Research by CU-Boulder Physicists Creates ‘Recipe Book’ for Building New Materials

By showing that tiny particles injected into a liquid crystal medium adhere to existing mathematical theorems, physicists at the University of Colorado Boulder have opened the door for the creation of a host of new materials with properties that do not exist in nature.

The findings show that researchers can create a “recipe book” to build new materials of sorts using topology, a major mathematical field that describes the properties that do not change when an object is stretched, bent or otherwise “continuously deformed.” Published online Dec. 23 in the journal Nature, the study also is the first to experimentally show that some of the most important topological theorems hold up in the real material world, said CU-Boulder physics department Assistant Professor Ivan Smalyukh, a study senior author. (more…)

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Transactional Memory: An Idea Ahead of Its Time

Nearly 20 years ago, two Brown University computer scientists were working on a largely theoretical problem: How could multiple parallel processors make changes to shared resources safely and efficiently? Their proposal — transactional memory — is sparking fresh interest as a new generation of processors seeks improved power and speed.

In 1993, Maurice Herlihy and a colleague published a paper on transactional memory — a new, clever tactic in computing to deal with handling shared revisions to information seamlessly and concurrently. Few noticed.

Nearly 20 years later, transactional memory is an idea that’s now the rage in hardware computing, and Herlihy, computer science professor at Brown University, has morphed into a prophet of sorts, a computing pioneer who was far ahead of his time. Intel recently announced that transactional memory will be included in its mainstream “Haswell” hardware architecture by next year. IBM has adopted transactional memory in the Blue Gene/Q supercomputer. The original paper by Herlihy and Eliot Moss has been cited more than 1,300 times. (more…)

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