Making News

Published: 12/2/2018 3:55:32 PM
UMass Professor Partee joins British Academy 

AMHERST — Barbara Hall Partee, professor emerita of linguistics and philosophy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, was inducted into the British Academy as a corresponding member on Sept. 24 during ceremonies in London.

The Amherst resident is one of only 20 corresponding fellows elected from universities outside of the United Kingdom.

Earlier in the day, the academy recognized Partee’s career achievements with the Neil and Saras Smith Medal for her leading contributions to the study of semantics, syntax and pragmatics.

“It’s an exciting honor and a lovely surprise to receive this medal from the British Academy,” Partee said. “I’m most grateful to Neil and Saras Smith for generously establishing this award; linguistics has very few awards, and it’s wonderful to have such nice recognition of the value of work in formal semantics, a field that didn’t exist when I was starting out, but is now flourishing in the U.S., the U.K. and around the world.”

The medal was first presented in 2014 to Noam Chomsky, the first linguist to receive an honorary degree from UMass Amherst, says Partee. “I was in his first class of Ph.D. students at MIT, which makes it a delightful honor for me.”

In 1972, Partee became one of the founding faculty members of the newly formed UMass Amherst department of linguistics, at the time one of the first departments in the country to be dedicated to the study of formal linguistic theory. She served as head of the department from 1987-93. She retired in 2004, but continues to teach part time.

 Enghagen  honored at Isenberg School of Management 

AMHERST — Linda Enghagen, J.D., associate dean, graduate and professional programs, Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, has been selected as a 2018 Online Learning Consortium Fellow.

Enghagen was nominated by Frank Tomsic, director, Health Forum Education at American Hospital Association, for her exemplary service to the OLC. She was recognized for her capacity to translate the complexity of copyright and fair use law by training generations of distance educators.

The OLC is a collaborative community of higher education leaders and innovators, dedicated to advancing quality digital teaching and learning experiences designed to reach and engage the modern learner – anyone, anywhere, anytime.

UMass researchers  among most highly cited in the world

AMHERST — Among the world’s most highly cited researchers in 2018 are 12 from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

The analysis by Philadelphia-based Clarivate Analytics, owner of “Web of Science,” serves as the basis for regular listings of researchers whose citation records put them in the top one percent by citations for their field and year.

These scientists are judged to be “influential,” and their citation records are seen as “a mark of exceptional impact,” the company says.

Those honored include astronomers Daniela Calzetti and Mauro Giavalisco; polymer science and engineering professor Thomas P. Russell; microbiologist Derek Lovley,environmental scientist Baoshan Xing of the Stockbridge School, chemist Vincent Rotello and his former graduate student Chaekyu Kim, and food scientists Eric Decker, David Julian McClements, Yeonhwa Park, Hang Xiao and their former graduate student Cheng Qian.

Now in its fifth year, the citation analysis identifies influential researchers as determined by their peers around the world. They have consistently won recognition in the form of high citation counts over a decade.

Maji awardedNational Science Foundation grant

AMHERST — The National Science Foundation has awarded computer scientist Subhransu Maji at the University of Massachusetts Amherst its Faculty Early Career Development award, a five-year, $545,586 grant, to support his work in computer vision and artificial intelligence.

“My main research aims are to teach machines to reason, learn, take intelligent decisions and make sense of the tremendous amount of information we can gather from visual data,” says Maji. “It’s a hard problem but an incredibly useful one if you can master it. I believe it is tremendously important for robots to have a way of understanding the visual world,” he adds.

Machines now are being asked to analyze and “understand” visual data from many sources such as consumer and satellite cameras, video cameras, 3-D systems and depth sensors such as those used in navigation and calculating distance, Maji notes.

At present, Maji collaborates with ecologists using weather radar to extract biological information, which can be a useful tool for understanding bird migration, for example, while screening out weather-related data.

The NSF CAREER grant is its highest award in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of both.

Delgado appointed to HCC Board of Trustees  

HOLYOKE — Jose M. Delgado, a Springfield native who has been active in local and statewide government affairs for most of his professional career, has been appointed to the Holyoke Community College board of trustees by Gov. Charlie Baker.

Delgado, 32, is director of government affairs for MGM Springfield and a former aide to Springfield mayor Domenic Sarno.

“Despite my age, I’ve been out in the community for a while, particularly in Springfield,” Delgado said after his first HCC trustees meeting on Nov. 27. “It’s good to see some familiar faces on the board, but also some folks that I don’t know. It’s exciting to hear what’s going on at HCC. I’m honored to be part of it and looking forward to what’s to come.”

Delgado graduated from Central High School before going to Westfield State College, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in mass communications with a minor in business management. Earlier this year he completed his master’s degree in business administration from the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

“I’m a first-generation college student and not too different from many of the students here at HCC,” he said. “My mom didn’t make it to high school. My dad graduated high school and that was about it. So higher ed, education in general, is important to me because I’ve seen what it did in my life. I’m a kid who grew up on public assistance, was able to break that cycle, and I’m looking forward to doing the same thing here at HCC in terms of motivating students — whatever I can do to help.”

As a volunteer, Delgado has served as vice chair of the Springfield Puerto Rican Parade Committee and is a founding board member of Suit Up Springfield.


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