While summertime research efforts continue, everyone is actively planning to resume in-person campus life at UMass Amherst by the time the fall semester starts on September 1. The Center for Data Science (CDS) team will begin transitioning back to our campus workspaces very soon. I’m hopeful and optimistic that we will be able to safely restart the many face-to-face activities, programs, and collaborations that make the College of Information and Computer Sciences an intellectually stimulating environment for data science research, teaching, and learning. Read more
Shiri Dori-Hacohen was a doctoral student at the UMass Amherst College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS) in 2016 when she entered the Innovation Challenge, sponsored by the Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship at the UMass Isenberg School of Management. The Innovation Challenge is an annual series of competitions that take place over the course of a full academic year, designed to assist aspiring entrepreneurs to pursue and develop marketable ideas and products. With the support of Professor James Allan, her CICS doctoral advisor, Dori-Hacohen entered the competition and won $35,000 in seed money for her initiative to automatically detect controversy in online discourse. Her winning initiative ultimately became her startup, AuCoDe (pronounced “oh-code”) is the newest member of the CDS Industry Affiliates Program. Read more
Soon the Spring 2021 semester will be in the rearview mirror. The pandemic has been challenging, yet we are feeling optimistic as conditions improve. We are grateful for our campus community rising to the challenge, adhering to masking and social distancing policies, and keeping COVID-19 testing rates high and positivity rates low. Every day, more of us are receiving our vaccines and becoming “activated” against the threat. Planning for the Fall 2021 semester has begun, and the campus has announced that in person operations will largely resume. Read more
For Bruno Castro da Silva, joining College of Information and Computer Sciences as an assistant professor this year was a homecoming of sorts. Castro da Silva received his doctorate in computer science from UMass Amherst in 2014, studying under Professor Emeritus Andrew Barto. After graduating from UMass, he completed a postdoctoral appointment at the MIT’s Aerospace Controls Laboratory and served as an associate professor at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil. He is pleased to return to UMass to co-direct the Autonomous Learning Lab, where reinforcement learning was invented 30 years ago by Barto and CICS alumnus Richard Sutton ‘84PhD. Read more
Assistant Professor Laure Thompson joined CICS in the fall of 2020, after completing her doctoral degree in computer science at Cornell University, where she was advised by David Mimno (CICS '15PhD). Laure talked with us about her research focus and how it applies to industry. Read more
With the Fall 2020 semester behind us and the Spring 2021 semester starting on Monday, online education and research continue apace. Thanks to months of practice holding classes and events online, we’ve learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t. With vaccination programs ramping up, we’re more prepared than ever to continue delivering on our mission of “Computing for the Common Good” while looking forward to something that feels as close to pre-pandemic normalcy as possible.
Yair Zick joined the College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS) as an assistant professor last month, after four years as an assistant professor at the National University of Singapore. He was interested in joining UMass CICS because he found a group of faculty members already working on topics that he cares about, namely EQUATE (Equity, Accountability, Trust, and Explainability). One of Zick’s research interests is algorithmic fairness, particularly the allocation of public resources. Read more
The CDS Industry Mentorship Program is an exclusive benefit for members of the Industry Affiliates Program. The mentorship program matches small teams of data science master’s students with an industry-proposed project. Over the course of an academic semester, each team works under the guidance of an industry mentor, And many past teams have had papers accepted at prestigious conferences, such as EMNLP. This year’s cohort consisted of over 70 students working on 22 projects with Amazon, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Facebook, GE Healthcare, Goldman Sachs, IBM, Lexalytics, Microsoft, Oracle, Raytheon, Stanley Black & Decker, the UMass Classics department, and Voya Financial. Two of the teams have had papers accepted at conferences or workshops this year. Read more
Once again this summer, teams of graduate students participated in the center’s Data Science for the Common Good (DS4CG) program and tackled a variety of interesting and challenging data science problems. Working remotely proved no hindrance to the teams’ abilities to deliver quality analysis and insight for our partners. CDS is grateful to our industry affiliates, who provided volunteer professional data scientists to advise our teams throughout the summer. It was a great opportunity for our industry partners to participate in common good projects while being exposed to domains and data science problems outside the normal scope of their day-to-day business problems. Read more
When I last wrote to you in July, it was the middle of the quietest summer in memory due to the ongoing impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. It’s now over seven months since the campus shut down and CDS staff started working full time from home. In that time we’ve been resilient, adapted, and found new ways to continue our mission of data science research, education, and community service.
UMass College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS) Professor Erik Learned-Miller recently co-authored a white paper calling for a new federal authority to regulate facial recognition technology. On July 15, Learned-Miller held a Q&A session on the topic of facial recognition and regulation, attended by 160 participants from academia, industry, and government. The session was the first in the CICS Technology and Social Justice webinar series, which will “explore how computing innovation intersects with vitally important issues such as structural bias, civic participation, economic inequality, and citizen privacy,” according to CICS Dean Laura Haas, who hosted the session. Read more
Marco Serafini joined the College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS) as an assistant professor in the fall of 2018. Prior to coming to UMass, he was a senior scientist at the Qatar Computing Research Institute. After receiving his PhD in computer science from TU Darmstadt (Germany), Marco was a postdoctoral research fellow at Yahoo! Research in Barcelona. His research focuses on data management systems, particularly graph data management systems and cloud databases. Read more
It’s early July in Amherst. Except for a few brief campus visits to collect papers and check mail, my students and I have worked remotely since mid-March. The shift to fully online work was awkward at first but now feels routine. In many ways we feel closer and more connected than ever before, as video conferencing provides a window into each other’s lives. Even so, I will be thrilled when the days no longer begin and end with news about the pandemic. Read more
UMass College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS) professors Gerome Miklau and Daniel Sheldon have received a $75,000 gift from Oracle Labs to support their work on tunable, differentially private synthetic data. Synthetic data is created by generating artificial records in a way that preserves important properties of the original data. This allows analytics and machine learning models to be applied while protecting the original data. However, subtle privacy violations can still occur unless a formal privacy standard, such as differential privacy, is adopted. Read more
Brittany Johnson joined the College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS) in 2017 as the first fellow in the CDS postdoctoral fellowship program after completing her PhD in computer science at North Carolina State University. Working with Associate Professor Yuriy Brun, Johnson has spent the past three years developing Causal Testing, a new technique that helps developers understand the root causes of software bugs. Read more
“It’s been a brilliant experience. The students have pushed us to learn and better understand more things.” Pavan Kapanipathi, IBM research scientist, had this to say about his participation in the CDS Industry Mentorship program. The program, an exclusive benefit for members of the CDS Industry Affiliates Program, matches small teams of data science Master’s students with an industry-proposed project. Read more
Community nonprofits often collect or have access to large amounts of data, but lack the staffing, resources, and expertise to analyze and make sense of it. The Data Science WAV (Wrangle, Analyze, Visualize) project aims to address this issue. DSC-WAV is a National Science Foundation-funded project with two goals: to address the inability of community-based and nonprofit organizations to tackle data science problems, and to give real-world experience to undergraduate students studying data science. Read more
Circumnavigating COVID-19 restrictions, nearly 100 colleagues recently joined an online celebration to honor professor Hava T. Siegelmann of the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS) as she received the rarely awarded Meritorious Public Service Medal from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) of the United States Department of Defense (DoD). Read more
This summer, nine UMass Amherst graduate students will put their data science skills and experience to work helping organizations measure their carbon footprint, detect misinformation in public forums, analyze healthcare data on veterans, and automatically identify objects in images. The nine fellows participating in the Data Science for the Common Good (DS4CG) program, administered by the Center for Data Science (CDS), hail from diverse backgrounds, but all are passionate about using their skills for the public good. Read more
Assistant Professor Mohit Iyyer, a CDS-afilliated faculty member, was recently awarded the 2020 IBM Faculty Award for his project titled “Exploring Modeling and Evaluation for Long-form QA.” Long-form QA (question answering), a natural language generation (NLG) task in which answers are free-form paragraphs, is crucial in real-world settings such as community and conversational question answering. However, researchers are still presented with unsolved long-form QA challenges, such as maintaining logical structure, and avoiding hallucinating (producing false facts) or altering facts. Read more
Tom Bernardin joined the Center for Data Science (CDS) in March as Senior Data Scientist. In this new position for the center, Tom will be working to bridge the gap between the data science needs of potential partners, such as companies and university departments, and the data science resources in the College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS). Tom received his PhD in economics from UMass Amherst in 2013, focusing his research on the relationship between mortgage securities and home prices during the 2008 financial crisis. After completing his degree, Tom took a faculty position teaching economics and statistics at St. Olaf College in Minnesota, wherehe mentored students on data science research projects such as predicting patient readmissions to hospitals. Tom has also worked for industry on projects ranging from predictive modeling on patient payments of hospital bills, to modeling alternative data to gain insights on the performance of financial markets. Read more
Adam O’Neill joined the College of Information and Computer Sciences as an assistant professor in the spring of 2019. His research focuses on cryptography, in particular the problem of secure outsourced databases—which have the ability to share proprietary data without compromising privacy. Let’s say that a pharmaceutical company wanted to run a study on DNA sequences without violating the privacy of participants. A secure outsourced database would allow individual DNA sequences to be encrypted before sharing, thus protecting privacy, but still allowing studies to be run on the data. O’Neill explains, “I want people who are using other people’s data to have as little information about the data as possible, so that they can only get the information that the data owners want them to have, and nothing else.” Read more
As an undergraduate math major at Lewis & Clark College, Katie Keith incorporated as much computer science and economics into her studies as she could, including doing the programming for a simulation study run by a Lewis & Clark economist. This experience opened her eyes to the connections between social science and computer science. Tying in her experience with language--she minored in Chinese and spent a year teaching English in Taiwan--Katie decided that her focus for graduate school would be studying human behavior through language. After being accepted into the doctoral program at UMass Amherst’s College of Information and Computer Sciences, she immediately began working with Assistant Professor Brendan O’Connor, doing research in the fields of computational social science and computational text analysis. Read more
Doctoral students in the Computer Vision Lab at the UMass Amherst College of Information and Computer Sciences have had three papers accepted to CVPR 2020 (Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition), the country’s premier computer vision conference, organized by The Computer Vision Foundation and the IEEE Computer Society. Read more
When I wrote to you last December, CDS was winding down a highly successful Fall 2019 semester. We reported a slew of faculty accomplishments, new corporate members of our Industry Affiliates Program, and plans for both the Data Science Research Symposium and the summer run of Data Science for the Common Good (DS4CG). All that energy and momentum carried over into the Spring 2020 semester. A new round of faculty recruiting kicked into high gear, with nine searches running in parallel. Our Industry Mentorship Program launched with a cohort of more than 70 master’s students tackling twenty-two company-defined team projects. We announced two wonderful keynote speakers for our Symposium (Susan Dumais, Director of Microsoft Research for New York, New England, and Montreal; and Professor Erik Learned-Miller of UMass CICS) and had a diverse technical program well in development. We were in discussions with over nine prospective DS4CG partners, and had received significant financial sponsorship for the program from MassMutual. We hired the Center’s first Senior Data Scientist to help us connect more strongly with industry partners.
Then, in the space of a few days, everything changed.
In what the authors believe is one of the first studies to examine climate change impact on the timing of bird migration on a continental scale, researchers report that spring migrants were likely to pass certain stops earlier now than they would have 20 years ago. Also, temperature and migration timing were closely aligned, with the greatest changes in migration timing occurring in the regions warming most rapidly. Timing shifts were less apparent in fall, they add. Read more
When you apply for a credit card or a mortgage, who or what is behind the decision-making process that approves or denies your application? Increasingly, banks are using software algorithms to make decisions like these. But how fair are the algorithms? Will you be approved because of your stellar credit score, or declined because of the zip code you live in? Read more
The Fall 2019 academic semester is now in its final week. The university campus will go quiet from December 20th until classes resume on January 21st. Although the semester went by quickly, it was filled with a remarkable number of notable faculty accomplishments, new industry partnerships, and activities that are setting the stage for great achievements in the months ahead. Read more
Przemyslaw Grabowicz joined the College of Information and Computer Sciences as a Research Assistant Professor at the end of 2018. Before coming to UMass he completed a master’s degree in applied physics from the Warsaw University of Technology, and a PhD in interdisciplinary physics from the University of Balearic Islands. He was also a postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems in Saarbruecken, Germany. Read more
In a paper presented at the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP), Master’s student Kriti Myer, along with Master’s students Pallavi Patil, Ronak Zala, and Arpit Singh, doctoral student Sheshera Mysore, Distinguished Professor Andrew McCallum, and industry mentors Adrian Benton and Amanda Stent from Bloomberg, described a new approach to predicting how a member of Congress will vote on a bill, using information about the member from news articles and Freebase, a manually curated knowledge base. Read more
The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently awarded a collaborative team led by Andrew McGregor, computer science, a three-year, $1.5 million grant to further develop the foundations of data science in a project that will create NSF’s national TRIPODS Institute for Theoretical Foundations of Data Science. Read more
UMass Amherst and Stanford team designs new framework for fairer, safer algorithms. Read more
On October 21, UMass Amherst Vice Chancellor of Research and Engagement Michael Malone addressed a room of 65 people who had gathered to hear about Data Science for the Common Good (DS4CG), a summer program administered by the Center for Data Science. He shared the second goal in the university’s strategic plan: Establish UMass Amherst as a partner of choice in advancing and applying knowledge and innovation for the betterment of society. “There is no more fitting example of this than Data Science for the Common Good,” Malone said. Read more
College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS) Professor Erik Learned-Miller, along with CICS alumnus Gary Huang, and UNC Chapel Hill Associate Professor Tamara Berg, have received the Mark Everingham Award from the International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV), sponsored by the Institute of Electrical Engineers (IEEE). Read more
This summer, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) staff in Massachusetts partnered with data science graduate students at the College of Information and Computer Sciences’ (CICS) Center for Data Science to enlist the power of data science to address the problem of thousands of motor vehicle accidents caused by collisions with wildlife. Read more
Congratulations to CDS affiliated faculty members on their promotions! Read more
Classes resumed on September 3rd, and the Commonwealth’s flagship campus is again humming with energy and activity. The incoming undergraduate class is the largest in the University’s history, hailing from 45 states and 61 countries. Read more
Researchers at the College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS) are creating a tool to analyze the profile and skills of workers, and then recommend training and education to help them grow in their career path. Read more
The Center for Data Science (CDS) has an impressive track record of connecting data science students to jobs with Industry Affiliate Program (IAP) members. Read more
Madalina (Ina) Fiterau’s research lies at the intersection of machine learning and healthcare. Read more
UMass Amherst was proud to be awarded the SPAIG (Statistical Partnerships Among Academe, Industry, and Government) award “for fostering a diverse and inclusive community around statistics and data science that celebrates academic research, excellence in higher education, and innovative data-driven solutions.” Read more
In a paper that will be presented at the ICCV 2019 conference, CICS doctoral candidate Yang Zhou and Associate Professor Evangelos Kalogerakis describes a new approach to automatically populate a 3D scene with appropriate objects, based on context. Read more
AMHERST, Mass. – Industry figures show the global rate of solar energy installations grew by 30 percent in one recent year, and the average cost of installing solar has fallen from $7 per watt to $2.8 per watt, making rooftop solar attractive to many...Read more
Katie House, a College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS) master’s student, has been concerned about the issue of gun violence since she was a child. She is also passionate about data science, and at TechTogether Boston, Boston’s largest all-female and non-binary hackathon, she had the opportunity to merge the two. Read more
The CDS Industry Mentorship Program gives CICS (College of Information and Computer Sciences) Master’s students experience with real-world problems while also providing partner companies the opportunity to make cost-effective progress on business issues. Read more
I’m pleased to share another edition of CDS news and events, significant faculty and student achievements, and noteworthy research that is relevant to your organization’s business and mission. Read more
Data science professionals, faculty, and students, learned about the latest developments in areas such as natural language processing, disease forecasting, autonomous vehicles, and more, at the 4th annual Data Science Research Symposium at UMass Amherst on April 24. Read more
UMass Center for Data Science professor Benjamin Marlin has received a three-year, $250,000 National Science Foundation grant from its Computer and Information Science and Engineering Community Research Infrastructure program to develop mResearch, a platform for reproducible and extensible research in mobile health. Read more
College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS) doctoral students Su Lin Blodgett and Hamed Zamani were recently selected to receive the Accomplishments in Search and Artificial Intelligence Award, sponsored by Microsoft. The awards recognize CICS graduate students who have achieved significant research accomplishments in the broad areas of search and artificial intelligence (AI). Read more
UMass College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS) professors Yuriy Brun and Alexandra Meliou have received a $100,000 gift from Oracle Labs to support their work on software fairness, focusing on testing software for bias using an automated test generation technique. Read more
Shlomo Zilberstein, CICS professor and associate dean of research and engagement, will give a UMass Amherst Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series talk on April 18 at 4 pm in the Old Chapel. Professor Zilberstein's lecture, "AI Will Change Everything, But Not So Fast," will focus on the future of scientific breakthroughs in artificial intelligence. Read more
How do you bring together art, architecture, biology, engineering, computer science, the humanities, and more? The answer may very well be: through virtual reality and augmented reality (VR/AR). The VR/AR Working Group, formed by biology professor Duncan Irschick and sponsored by the Center for Data Science, brings together faculty, students, and other interested individuals, from within and beyond campus and across many disciplines, to talk and learn about virtual reality and augmented reality. Read more
The event was organized by a team of UMass Amherst students, and sponsored by twenty-four organizations, including the Center for Data Science and several of its industry affiliate partners. Read more
Can you train health scientists, social scientists, and business professionals to look at their discipline through a computational lens? The College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS) believes the answer is “Yes,” and that doing so can benefit other disciplines, as well as humanity at large. Read more
The Spring 2019 MS Mentorship cohort consists of 15 projects (described below) with a team of three to four Master's students assigned to each. In every project, student teams are connected with a key contact from the sponsor organization, whom they communicate with regularly on the project. CDS faculty and PhD students also support the student teams. Read more
We received great feedback on December’s inaugural newsletter! It’s clear that you appreciate being informed about Center news and events, significant faculty and student achievements, and noteworthy research that is relevant to your organization’s business and mission. I’m delighted to continue the conversation! Although only three months have elapsed since the last newsletter, I have plenty of updates to share with you. Read more
Narges Mahyar joined the College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS) as an assistant professor in 2018. Prior to her appointment, Mahyar completed two postdoctoral fellowships, first in the Department of Computer Science at the University of British Columbia, and later in the Design Lab at the University of California San Diego (UCSD). Read more
Thanks to new computing infrastructure acquired by CDS, Professor David Jensen and his research team are proceeding with a project to improve the supply chain of a major aerospace manufacturer. Aerospace manufacturing is extremely expensive, time-consuming, and complex. Wouldn’t it be great if there were a way to predict what manufacturing processes are needed and when? Helping to optimize the supply chain in this way is the work of Jensen and his team of computer science graduate students, in a project sponsored by a CDS partner company. Read more
A new course co-sponsored by the computer science and statistics departments is designed to teach non-computer science and non-math/statistics students the basics of data science, and encourage them to think about how data analysis can solve problems in their own field of study. Read more
Quantiphi, Inc., a Massachusetts-based artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) software and services company, has joined the Industry Affiliates Program of the Center for Data Science. Read more
AMHERST — Striving to lose weight and become more fit, Rosemarie LaPierre of Greenfield began going to her city’s YMCA last year.
It was after several weeks of workouts on the treadmill, and finding the routine increasingly difficult to continue, that LaPierre learned about MiCoachee, a motivational app downloaded to her smartphone. The app has helped her drop 40 pounds since last spring, a result that led her doctor to take her off two medications.
“Doing MiCoachee I...Read more
Andrew McCallum and Akshay Krishnamurthy have received a four-year, $1.1 million grant from the National Science Foundation to study new ways to use machine learning for automatically grouping massive numbers of objects based on similarities, also known as extreme clustering. Read more
What do health management, energy conservation, and online education have in common? They are all complex issues that benefit from data-informed decision-making, and they are all being brought to the next level by researchers at the University of Massachusetts Center for Data Science. Read more
Planning is underway for the third year of the Master's Mentorship Program, scheduled for the Spring 2019 semester. This innovative program, an exclusive benefit for members of the Industry Affiliates Program, involves small teams of data science Master’s students collaborating on an industry-sponsored project. Read more
Mohit Iyyer joined the College of Information and Computer Sciences in September of this year. Prior to coming to UMass, Mohit was a Young Investigator at AI2, and received his PhD at the University of Maryland, College Park. His interests lie broadly in natural language processing, and using machine learning to generate language at the discourse level. Read more
CDS recruiting events and activities help companies find great talent. Here are examples of successful student-employer matches. Read more
The Center for Data Science Career Mixer was a busy and high-energy event, connecting more than 100 data science students with scientists and engineers visiting from the Center’s industry partners. Read more
The Center for Data Science is delighted to introduce our quarterly newsletter. Our goal is to help you stay connected to opportunities for recruiting, research collaboration, and faculty access. We hope you’ll find it informative and useful as you consider the many ways we can help you satisfy your hiring needs as well as conquer your university-grade research challenges. Read more
The Gypsum Compute Cluster got an upgrade this summer, more than doubling in size from 400 to now 824 GPUs (graphics processing units). Read more
Computer science researchers Deepak Ganesan and Tauhidur Rahman at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, as part of a multi-institution team, have received a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to explore how work performance may be affected by shift work and disrupted circadian rhythm, the 24-hour internal body clock that cycles between sleepiness and alertness. (...Read more
Raytheon Company, a technology and innovation leader in defense, civil government, and cybersecurity solutions, has joined the Industry Affiliates Program of the Center for Data Science. Read more
Voya Financial, financial services company dedicated to helping Americans plan, invest, and protect their savings, has joined the Industry Affiliates Program of the Center for Data Science. Read more
Bose Corporation, a consumer technology company dedicated to innovation and scientific inquiry, has joined the Industry Affiliates Program of the Center for Data Science (CDS). Read more
Computer science researchers Alexandra Meliou and Yuriy Brun at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have received a four-year, $1.05 million grant from the National Science Foundation to study how software systems can exhibit bias and how software engineers can develop fairer, more equitable systems.
Meliou says, “Software makes decisions in what products we are led to buy, who gets a loan, self-driving car actions that may lead to property damage or human injury, medical...Read more
What would the world be like if cryptocurrency millionaires could share some of their wealth with impoverished villages in Nigeria?
Jim Flynn, a Northampton resident and lifelong innovator, wants to find out.
An entrepreneur in residence at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Flynn has been working on an ambitious project to employ data science to create a free and open system of distribution for a universal basic income -- UBI.
How does one do that,...Read more
The Kuwa Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to creating a decentralized identity platform, has joined the Industry Affiliates Program of the Center for Data Science (CDS). Along with five graduate students from the College of Information and Computer Sciences, the Kuwa Foundation (...Read more
Erik Learned-Miller, professor of computer science, recently received a four-year grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to support fundamental research that he says will be “especially open to creative approaches” in the quest to build “visual common sense” into computers and robotic assistants. He will lead the multi-institution DARPA project, part of its Lifelong Learning Machines (L2M) program, which is expected to bring about $1.6 million to the campus....Read more
We are happy to announce an upgrade of the Gypsum GPU compute cluster. 53 new nodes have been added with eight GPU’s per new node, for a total of 424 new GPUs.
The new GPUs are NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti cards. They each have 11GB of memory and have similar performance to the TitanX cards that are already part of the cluster.
Two new queues have been added to access...Read more
Su Lin Blodgett, a graduate student in computer science at the University of Massachusetts, recently presented a paper at the annual meeting of the Association of Computational Linguistics in Melbourne, Australia. Her research is focused on improving English language parsing tools relating to words, phrases, and alternate spellings used by millions of African American on social media.
Current Natural Language Processing (NLP) tools “learn” and are trained on mainstream American...Read more
The interior of the Fitbit office at the Boston waterfront has the feel of a Silicon Valley start-up - open workspaces, a ping-pong table, multiple couches, and a fully-stocked snack bar with free chips, candy, roasted almonds, single-serve juices, and a keg. When a team of CDS (Center for Data Science) students and staff arrived in early May, sunlight streamed in from tall windows on three sides of the open office space.
Brant Cheikes, Executive Director of the CDS,...Read more
Andrew McCallum, director of the Center for Data Science in UMass Amherst's College of Information and Computer Sciences, was appointed Distinguished Professor following approval by the Board of Trustees at its June 20 meeting.
The title Distinguished Professor is conferred on select, highly accomplished faculty who have already achieved the rank of professor and who meet a demanding set of qualifications.
In their letter of nomination, Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy and...Read more
Shlomo Zilberstein & the UMass Resource Bounded Reasoning Lab
Artificial intelligence used to be about teaching machines to fit in with humans. Now, it’s all about collaboration, according to Shlomo Zilberstein of University of Massachusetts Amherst College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS) Center for Data Science (CDS).
Computer science was born of a rebellious, hacker culture, a spirit that lives on in the publishing culture of artificial intelligence (AI). The burgeoning field is increasingly turning to conference publications and free, open-review websites while shunning traditional outlets—sentiments dramatically expressed in a growing boycott of a high-profile AI journal. As of 15 May, about 3000 people, mostly academic computer scientists, had signed a petition promising not to submit, review, or...Read more
Computer science graduate students Haw-Shiuan Chang, Amol Agrawal, Ananya Ganesh, Anirudha Desai and Vinayak Mathur, with professor Andrew McCallum, director of the Center for Data Science, and Alfred Hough, lead artificial intelligence (AI) researcher at Lexalytics Inc. of Boston, presented a paper at the annual conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies on June 6 in New Orleans.
Chang delivered the...Read more
After three semesters studying computer science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS), recently graduated master’s student Ankur Aggarwal has secured a bright future with a job at Google’s headquarters in Sunnyvale, California.
There are many unanswered questions regarding data in the natural sciences, especially those related to ecology and conservation. Daniel Sheldon and his team at the Machine Learning for Data Science (MLDS) lab at the University of Massachusetts Amherst College of Information and Computer Sciences’ (CICS) Center for Data Science (CDS) are working to answer those questions at the intersection of data science and conservation.
Within the lab, ...Read more
The University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Center for Data Science (CDS) November Career Mixer has already worked its magic, according to student Kristin Lieber, recently hired by Microsoft shortly after meeting company representatives at the event.
Lieber, who will receive her master’s degree in statistics this May, knew that her background in statistics would fit perfectly with the growing opportunities available in data science.
“The data...Read more
For soon-to-be college graduates in data science deciding whether to pursue a master’s degree or enter their field full-time, the MassMutual Data Science Development Program (DSDP) makes it possible to have their cake and eat it too.
The Amherst-based program develops promising data scientists by supporting their pursuit of a master’s degree while providing hands-on training from experts in...Read more
AMHERST, Mass. – The Center for Data Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has been selected by IBM to join the company’s AI Horizons Network, an international consortium of leading universities working with IBM to develop technologies needed to help fulfill the promise of artificial intelligence (AI). The collaboration builds on the international reputation of the University’s College of Information and Computer Sciences as a research leader in artificial...Read more
Taking the traditional career fair to a higher echelon, the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Center for Data Science (CDS) hosted students and industry representatives at the third annual Data Science Career Mixer on November 2, 2017
This year’s event saw a significant increase in both student and industry registration, with over 100 students and 23 companies participating. Held in the Campus Center Auditorium and catered by UMass Dining, the evening...Read more
Computable Knowledge project will harness artificial intelligence to enable breakthroughs in scientific research and development
AMHERST, Mass. – Distinguished scientist and professor Andrew McCallum, director of the Center for Data Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, will lead a new partnership with the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to accelerate science and medicine. The goal of this project, called Computable Knowledge, is to create an intelligent and navigable...Read more
The new iPhone X knows your face.
You don’t need a passcode or fingerprint to unlock it. Through the wonders of face recognition, you just hold the screen up to your face and you’re in. You may be awed at the split-second accuracy of the iPhone X’s ability, but Erik Learned-Miller, a professor in the College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS) at UMass Amherst, saw this coming a...Read more
Postdoctoral research fellow Brittany Johnson wants to make engineered software more equitable through her research at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Johnson joined the College of Information and Computer Science’s (CICS) Center for Data Science (CDS) to improve software developer productivity. She works at the Laboratory for Advanced Software...Read more
AMHERST, Mass. – Andrew McCallum, computer science professor and director of the Center for Data Science in the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS), has been named a fellow by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) for “contributions to machine learning with structured data and innovations in scientific communication.”
McCallum is one of just 54 new ACM Fellows, representing 1 percent of the association’s...Read more
Nearly 50 Five College researchers, entrepreneurs, and leaders of local businesses and institutions convened for an evening of dining and networking at AmherstWorks on Tuesday, Oct. 24, an event sponsored by MassMutual and the University of Massachusetts Amherst Center for Data Science.
Honeybees are dying at an alarming rate. Six University of Massachusetts Amherst engineering students are using their senior design project to develop a system that makes beekeeping easier for commercial and hobbyist beekeepers.
Virginia Ng, Benjamin Palazzi, Manali Palwankar, Max Aukshunas, Amy Morin and Phuoc Truong are designing a honeybee...Read more
AMHERST, Mass. – One of the newest, most challenging problems facing experts in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning is called “explainability,” says David Jensen at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. However, it’s a problem he is delighted to have because it means that machine learning systems can now learn such complex models of the world that the scientists who wrote them have a tough time understanding what the machines have learned.
He says, “...Read more
Abhinav Parate and Akshaya Shanmugam co-founded Lumme Labs to develop products that learn people’s baseline health and habits in order to predict disease and offer recommendations for healthier living.
AMHERST, MASS. – The University of Massachusetts Amherst College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS) is utilizing an unprecedented $15 million gift from the MassMutual Foundation to grow the College’s data science faculty.
The gift, one of the largest donations in the university’s history, will fund eight of the 14 tenure-track faculty the college’s Center for Data Science plans to hire over the next five years. Two assistant professors were hired in the fall of...Read more
In recent years, research efforts such as the Materials Genome Initiative and the Materials Project have produced a wealth of computational tools for designing new materials useful for a range of applications, from energy and electronics to aeronautics and civil engineering.
But developing processes for producing those materials has continued to depend on a combination of experience, intuition, and manual literature reviews.
A team of researchers...Read more
This news-reading AI could scan for police shootings nationwide
Posted Sep 23, 2017 by Devin Coldewey
Ask how many people have been killed in the last couple decades by police officers, and results vary widely. Local and federal authorities may track them differently, likewise activist and research groups. One project hopes to keep better tabs on police-related fatalities...Read more
The UMass Amherst College of Information and Computer Sciences’ Accomplishments in Search & Mining Award recognizes CICS doctoral students who have research achievements in the broad areas of search and text mining. This award was created by industry sponsors to acknowledge our college’s distinguished reputation in these two areas. The recipients are chosen by a CICS faculty committee.
The 2017 CICS Accomplishments in Search & Mining Awards are sponsored by ...Read more
The Visual Analytics Science and Technology (VAST) Challenge is an annual contest with the goal of advancing the field of visual analytics through competition. The VAST Challenge is designed to help researchers understand how their software would be used in a novel analytic task and determine if their data transformations, visualizations, and interactions would be beneficial for particular analytic tasks. VAST Challenge problems provide researchers with realistic tasks and data sets for...Read more
UMass Amherst, Cornell researchers team up for new analysis of bird migration data
Over 160 people from industry, higher education and the student population attended the 2nd Annual Center for Data Science Research Symposium on Thursday, April 27, 2017. Seventy-three of those in attendance were members from industry representing 45 companies.
The morning was framed with lightning talks, spotlighting contributions from Google, NVidia, Dell-EMC, and others, along with faculty members describing...Read more
Aditya Shastry of India had two years of statistics experience in the finance field, the start of what would have seemed a lucrative career. But he found his work limiting; he wanted to work on his own project.
He applied to the ...Read more
With a new cluster of specialized graphics processing units (GPUs) now installed, the University of Massachusetts Amherst is poised to attract the nation’s next crop of top Ph.D. students and researchers in such fields as artificial intelligence, computer vision and natural language processing. UMass Amherst’s new GPU cluster, housed at the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center in Holyoke, is the result of a five-year, $5 million grant to the campus from Gov. Charlie Baker...Read more
Lexalytics, a Boston-based text analytics company with local research offices in Amherst and Hadley, has announced a new research partnership with the Center for Data Science in UMass Amherst’s College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS). Currently a member of the Center’s Industry...Read more
AMHERST, Mass. – For the past 30 years, computer science researchers have been teaching their machines to read, for example, assigning back issues of the Wall Street Journal, so computers can learn the English they need to run search engines like Google or mine platforms like Facebook and Twitter for opinions and marketing data.
But using only standard English has left out whole segments of society who use dialects and non-standard varieties of English, and the...Read more
Antimicrobial resistance in disease-causing microbes has garnered attention in recent years, but another persistent area of drug resistance is the ability for tumors to evade chemotherapy drugs. Methotrexate is one of the oldest chemotherapy agents, and although it can be quite effective against many types of cancer and other conditions, in many cases it stops working because the patient becomes resistant to the drug's effects.
In a new study, researchers have developed a rapid,...Read more
UMass Amherst Professor and Center for Data Science Director Andrew McCallum is a keynote speaker at the 2016 Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence (UAI). McCallum’s talk is entitled Structured Prediction and Deep Learning: Past, Present, and Future. This is the 32nd UAI conference which is one of the premier international conferences on research pertaining to knowledge representation, learning, and reasoning in...Read more
UMass Amherst Center for Data Science affiliated biostatistician, team, develop new data analytics
Communicable disease epidemics place a huge burden on public health systems around the world, and techniques for predicting outbreaks to date have not adequately addressed public health officials’ need for real-time information, say biostatistician Nicholas Reich at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and co-authors of a new case study of dengue hemorrhagic fever in Thailand....Read more
Andrew McGregor, Associate Professor at UMass Amherst and Sudipto Guha, Associate Professor at University of Pennsylvania, will present a tutorial entitled Graph Sketching, Streaming, and Space-Efficient Optimization at the 2016 International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML). Graph sketching is a form of dimensionality reduction for graph data that is based on using random linear projections and exploiting connections between linear...Read more
SPRINGFIELD -- MassMutual announced Friday that its MassMutual Foundation will donate $15 million to University of Massachusetts computer science programs over the next 10 years.
Of the $15 million, $12 million will support the University of Massachusetts Amherst's Center for Data Science with additional faculty, a doubling of the number of available courses and an expansion of the master's degree program.
In Springfield, the company will donate $3 million over 10 years to...Read more
UMass Amherst computer scientist leads team using new techniques to handle huge data sets.
Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Mount Holyoke College are teaming up to apply recent advances in machine learning, specifically biologically inspired deep learning methods, to analyze large amounts of scientific data from Mars.
10-Year, $15 Million Grant Aimed at Driving Education, Economic Opportunity in Western Massachusetts
The MassMutual Foundation, Inc.—a dedicated corporate foundation established by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual)—today announced it is providing the University of Massachusetts Amherst $15 million over 10 years to further strengthen its world-class data science and cybersecurity research and education programs in Western Massachusetts.
The grant...Read more
AMHERST — If the film "The Graduate" were being made today, the one-word piece of career advice for Dustin Hoffman's character might plausibly be "analytics" instead of "plastics."
"The real skill set now, and it is everywhere, is analytics," said Nic Wegman, executive director of the Chase Career Center at the University of Massachusetts Amherst's Isenberg School of Management.
It's data...Read more
April 22 at the UMass Computer Science Building.Read more
Although my background is in machine learning, much of my recent work has been in the emergent field of computational social science. At a high level, computational social science is the study of social phenomena – i.e., is phenomena that occur in social processes – using digitized information and computational and statistical methods. These social processes might be anything from in-person interactions between friends all the way up to the activities of government organizations or...Read more
Assistant Professor Daniel Sheldon
I’m currently engaged in a research project sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to assess the vulnerability of road networks in Western Massachusetts to disruptions caused by extreme weather events. This is part of a larger interdisciplinary project at...Read more
The UMass Amherst Center for Data Science announced four new courses towards the College of Information and Computer Sciences graduate concentration in data science, expanding the education and training opportunities for students and professionals looking to become data scientists. These include:
CMPSCI 590D: Algorithms for Data Science
CMPSCI 590S: Systems for Data Science
CMPSCI 590V: Data Visualization and Exploration
This year’s Five College DataFest took place April 1-3 at the UMass Amherst campus. In total, 140 students participated in the annual event. The American Statistical Association (ASA) DataFest is a nationally-coordinated undergraduate competition where small teams of students work over a weekend to extract insight from a rich and complex data set. Previous years’ data sets have included crime data from the...Read more
HOLYOKE -- An experimental, solar-powered "microdata center" called MassNZ will be unveiled beside the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center at 100 Bigelow St. Friday at 10:15 a.m.
"MassNZ reinforces Holyoke's growing reputation as a leader in green energy, a hotbed of innovation and a magnet for academic and industrial investment," Mayor Alex B. Morse said in a press release. "It will also serve as an educational asset for local high schools and community...Read more
AMHERST — These students already know the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority buses pretty well. They know certain buses tend to run a few minutes behind. They know that on weekend evenings, leaving downtown Amherst, they’ll have to squeeze.
And sometimes, if traveling from one spot on the University of Massachusetts campus to another, it can be faster to walk.
These are patterns they’ve gleaned from regular ridership, from taking the bus to class in the morning and home...Read more
SUNNYVALE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Yahoo Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) today announced the public release of the largest-ever machine learning dataset to the academic research community. With this release, the company aims to advance the field of large-scale machine learning and recommender systems, and to help level the playing field between industrial and academic research.
"Many academic researchers and data scientists don't have access to truly large-scale datasets because it is...Read more
AMHERST, Mass. – Thanks to the work of computer science researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the online database of the country’s millions of inventors and patents will be much better to navigate for innovators, business and policy makers.
A team of UMass Amherst computer scientists took the top prize in an international competition sponsored by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and U.S. Department of Commerce. They designed a computer algorithm that...Read more
AMHERST, Mass. – Two University of Massachusetts Amherst computer scientists who are helping to shape the intellectual agenda of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Big Data Research and Development Initiative attended the first Northeast Big Data Hub workshop at Columbia University in New York City today.
Professors Beverly Woolf, co-leader of the Northeast “Big Data in Education” focus area, and Andrew McCallum, director of UMass Amherst’s Center for Data Science and a...Read more
UMass Amherst scientists link brain architecture to consciousness and abstract thought
Contact: Janet Lathrop 413/545-0444
AMHERST, Mass – Using 20 years of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data from tens of thousands of brain imaging experiments, computational neuroscientists Hava Siegelmann and a postdoctoral colleague at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have created a geometry-based method for massive data analysis to reach a new understanding of how...Read more
The College of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of Massachusetts is pleased to offer its first course at the university's new Boston location at One Beacon St., COMPSCI 589: Machine Learning.
This course is ideal for:
- UMass and non-UMass graduate students and advanced undergraduate students who would like to complete coursework towards their degrees
- Computer science and information technology professionals who want to build their ...Read more
By DAVE EISENSTADTER
AMHERST — Well-known businesses and organizations in Massachusetts and beyond are lavishing both time and money on the new Center for Data Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
The center, established earlier this year, has received more than $1.5 million worth of computer hardware, cloud computing infrastructure, data sets and research funding from companies including Amazon, Google, MassMutual, Microsoft...Read more
Alexandra Meliou, assistant professor of computer science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, recently received a five-year, $549,996 National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development award to design and develop new technologies that will assist scientists, data analysts and casual users in obtaining deeper insights about their data.
The CAREER award is one of NSF's most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-...Read more
The University of Massachusetts Amherst today launched a new Center for Data Science that will coordinate and significantly expand its capacity for research, education and industry collaboration in support of the exploding demand for acquisition and analysis of “big data.”
The launch was announced at a symposium that featured an array of business leaders from organizations including Google, Amazon, Yahoo, Thomson Reuters, MassMutual, Pratt and Whitney and the New England Venture...Read more
In a recent review of the various methods used to reconstruct the relationship between past sea-level rise and climate change, climate scientists including Robert DeConto of UMass Amherst say we are on the verge of understanding how quickly the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets may respond to warming, and what the rates of sea-level change might be. Writing in the current issue of Science, DeConto and colleagues at several U.S. and European universities examine how understanding...Read more
IESL has a new postdoc, Ajay Nagesh. He was a joint-PhD student of IIT Bombay and Monash University, Australia, working with Professor Ganesh Ramkrishnan and Dr. Gholamreza Haffari. His areas of interest are information extraction, computational linguistics, and machine learning. He has done internships at Xerox Research and IBM Research. He most recently presented his work at HLT in Denver (where he also met IESL alum Pallika Kanani).Read more
March 22, 2015
Professor James Allan, co-Director of the UMass Amherst Center for Intelligent Information Retrieval, is collaborating with Northeastern University’s NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks on a half million dollar grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to develop the Proteus toolset for information retrieval and visualization.
Allan is working with Northeastern Professors David Smith (adjunct UMass Amherst CS faculty), Ryan Cordell, Elizabeth Maddock...Read more