• David S. Hall, associate professor of physics, won a $469,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to support his studies of gases cooled to a billionth of a degree above absolute zero—the lowest possible temperature in the universe—and his research on Bose-Einstein condensates.
  • Kristin Bumiller, professor of political science and women’s and gender studies, won the American Political Science Association’s 2009 Victoria Shuck Award for her book In an Abusive State: How Neoliberalism Appropriated the Feminist Movement Against Sexual Violence.
  • A computer program called LangBot, which will use artificial intelligence to help students learn Chinese, Spanish and Portuguese, is being developed by Academic Technology Services Director Scott Payne, Senior Lecturer in Chinese Weijia Li and UMass Assistant Professor of Spanish Luiz Amaral. They have a $221,000 U.S. Department of Education grant.
  • A new play, Something Blue, by Playwright-in-Residence Constance Congdon, was read on Sept. 12 as part of a benefit—featuring actors Debra Messing, Jason Alexander and others—for the Human Rights Campaign and its opposition to the California gay marriage ban.
  • Edward Melillo, assistant professor of environmental history, was named the 2009 Sherman Emerging Scholar by the history department at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington.
  • The music department’s new Parallels Series, created under the leadership of Eric Sawyer, associate professor and department chair, will bring to campus top-of-the-line performers in jazz, new music and world music.