111 Seeley Mudd Building
PO Box: AC# 2240
Please call the college operator at 413-542-2000 or e-mail info@amherst.edu if you require contact info@amherst.edu

Andy Anderson

Academic Technology Specialist


Courses in Spring 2011

Courses in Spring 2013

Courses in Spring 2014

Courses in Spring 2015

Academic Technology Services


Mathematical and Spatial Data Analysis, et al.

There's always a way to hack your data!

imageI work with faculty and students to support their use of the software applications ArcGIS, Mathematica, and Matlab, along with mapping technologies such as GPS and Google Earth, academic applications of Excel, R statistics, various programming languages, Unix applications, and high-performance computing. I also support our classroom response systems (aka clickers) and build interactive web sites when appropriate. I provide secondary support for statistics programs such as SPSS, graphics applications such as Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign, and academic use of the College web sites and the Moodle learning management system.

I teach short courses on these technologies, I’m occasionally involved in semester courses to varying degrees, and I provide one-on-one assistance. 

I have a Ph.D. in Physics, and more than thirty years experience in research, teaching, and using and supporting academic technology in higher education.

My Activities

Teaching                Projects              Presentations              Conferences

Faculty Projects and Student Theses for Which I've Provided Support

Some Older Stuff


A Research Seminar, Cities, Schools, and Space

A write-up of the first offering of this seminar in Spring 2011 has appeared in Amherst Magazine; scroll down to “Improving Faculty-Student Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences”.

An Interterm Course, Web Programming
An Interterm Course,  Mapping Knowledge with GIS
Summer Research Gatherings & Workshops

Mathematica, ArcGIS, Data Visualization on the Web, Scientific Programming with Python, Manipulating Images with GIMP, Designing Posters with InDesign

A workshop for faculty, Spatial Techniques for the Digital Humanities
Mathematica Basics for Chemistry

A workshop for Quantum Chemistry and Spectroscopy students.

Macromolecular Random Walks

A presentation for Biochemistry and Biophysics 46, “Molecular and Cellular Biophysics”, analyzing macromolecular structure using Mathematica.

An Interterm Course,
     Problematic Species and the Quabbin Reservoir:
     Balancing Ecological Diversity, Recreation, and Water Quality


Assessing the Impact of the Inner Belt: MIT, Highways, and the Housing Market in Cambridge, Massachusetts

A research paper to be published in the Journal of Urban History,
written with Prof. Hilary Moss and Yinan Zhang ’12.

Amherst Explorations: A Celebration of Student Research and Creative Work
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Tutorial
Mapping Beyond Shangri-La
Cityscapes, An Online Discovery Tool for Urban and Cultural Studies
Pioneer Valley Soundscapes Map
Logarithm Tutorial, with webMathematica Exercises

The Sciences use them often, but students understand them rarely.


Cities, Schools, and Space: Successes, Failures, Lessons Learned   Powerpoint PDF

Student-Faculty Research Collaboration in the Humanities and Social Sciences, Amherst College, December 2012

Spatial Humanities in the Five Colleges Powerpoint PDF

GIS and Spatial Thinking in the Undergraduate Curriculum, Bucknell University, November 2012

Assessing the Impact of the Inner Belt: The Local Community, MIT, and the Housing Market

Teaching Workshop: Using Local and Regional History in History and Foundations Classrooms

HES Digital Drop-In Session: Online Mapping 

History of Education Society Annual Meeting, Seattle WA, November 2012

Making Census of Cambridge, Massachusetts: Schools, Highways, and Historical GIS Powerpoint PDF

NEArc Spring Conference, Smith College, May 2012

Elementary School Construction in Cambridge, 1960-1979: Reconstructing the Role of Space, Race, and Class in School Assignment Decisions

Social Science History Association Annual Conference, Boston MA, November 2011

Cities, Schools, and Space (Long Talk)   Powerpoint PDF

NEArc Fall Conference, Saratoga Springs NY, November 2011

Cities, Schools, and Space (Lightning Talk)   Powerpoint PDF

NEArc Spring Conference, Smith College, May 2011

Cityscapes: An Online Discovery Tool for Urban and Cultural Studies   Powerpoint PDF

CGA Conference on Geospatial Collaboration: New Common Ground, Harvard University, May 2011

Cities, Schools, and Space: Collaborative Research as Pedagogy   Powerpoint PDF

Liberal Arts Education, Collaborative Research, and the Humanities, Swarthmore College, April 2011

Cityscapes: An Online Discovery Tool for Urban and Cultural Studies   Powerpoint PDF

ICT Summit, University of Massachusetts, March 2011

GTiler: A Python Script to Generate Google Tiles From a Georeferenced Image 
     Movie PDF

ESRI Developers Meet-Up, Boston MA, December 2010

Building Historical Maps for Cityscapes,
     An Online Discovery Tool for Urban and Cultural Studies   Movie PDF

NEArc Annual Conference, Newport RI, November 2010

Circles (●) and Squares (■) and Diamonds (◆), Oh My!

NEArc Spring Conference, Smith College, May 2010

GIS, Gratis: Free Clients for Web Mapping Services

NITLE Geospatial Technologies in the Liberal Arts Conference, Skidmore College, September 2009

Open Sesame: Open Source GIS Servers, Databases, and Clients

NITLE Geospatial Technologies in the Liberal Arts Conference, Skidmore College, September 2009

Creating Cartograms: Making Geographic Areas Speak Volumes

NEArc Spring Conference, Smith College, May 2009

Moran's I: Are Those Clusters Random or Meaningful?

Skidmore Regional GIS Conference, January 2009

Telling Tales and Solving Mysteries with Maps:
New World Explorations, an example of a presentation using Google Earth
The Presidential Election of 2004, an example of cartograms in a PDF

Teaching and Technology Lunch for Amherst College Faculty, October 2008

Introducing GIS via College-Sponsored Community Service Activities

NEArc Fall Conference, Burlington, VT, November 2007


Co-organizer,  Amherst Explorations: A Celebration of Student Research and Creative Work, March 2014

Co-organizer,  NEArc Spring Conference, May 2013

Co-organizer,  Amherst Explorations: A Celebration of Student Research and Creative Work, April 2013 (News: Amherst Explorations: A Glimpse of Current Research)

Co-organizer,  NEArc Spring Conference, May 2012

Co-organizer,  NEArc Spring Conference, May 2011

Co-organizer,  NEArc Spring Conference, May 2010

Co-organizer, Geospatial Technologies in the Liberal Arts Conference, September 2009

Co-organizer, NEArc Spring Conference, May 2009

Primary Organizer, Five College GIS Day, November 2006

Faculty Projects for Which I've Provided Support

Professor Larry Hunter

News: Physicist’s Work Sheds New Light on Possible “Fifth Force of Nature”

Article: Using the Earth as a Polarized Electron Source to Search for Long-Range Spin-Spin Interactions

Professor George Greenstein

Web Site: Interesting Problems for Astronomy 101 or 102

Professor Fulvio Melia

Article: Photon Geodesics in Friedmann–Robertson–Walker Cosmologies

Professor Ilan Stavans

Map of Mexico City for the book: Return to Centro Histórico: A Mexican Jew Looks for His Roots

Professor Javier Corrales

Isomorphic cartogram of world oil reserves for the bookDragon in the Tropics: Hugo Chávez and the Political Economy of Revolution in Venezuela

News: The Promise of Participation: “Civicness” Can Be Stimulated in Unlikely Areas, Prof and Alum's Book Argues

Book: The Promise of Participation: Experiments in Participatory Governance in Honduras and Guatemala

Professor Kate Sims

News: Conserving Land May Be Good for the Economy

Article: Conservation and Development: Evidence from Thai Protected Areas

Professor Hilary Moss

NewsBook on Educating Blacks in the U.S. Before the Civil War

Book: Schooling Citizens: The Struggle for African American Education in Antebellum America

Professor Deborah Gewertz

Map of New Guinea for the book: Cheap Meat: Flap Food Nations in the Pacific Islands

News: New Book on “Cheap Meat”

Professor Geoffrey Sanborn

Updated map of New Zealand for the paperback edition of the book:

Whipscars and Tattoos: The Last of the Mohicans, Moby-Dick, and the Maori

Student Theses for Which I've Provided Support

History Major Larissa Davis ’13

News: A Staunch Advocate for a Better Amherst College

Economics Major Sid Salvi ’12E

Thesis: Does Increased Lighting Reduce Crime?

History Major Juliet Silberstein ’10

Presentation: A Road to Nowhere: Interstate Highways and Racialized Space in Omaha, Nebraska (1956-2010)

Chemistry Major Jonathan Thrope ’10

Presentation: Monitoring and Modeling Atmospheric Mercury in the Pioneer Valley

Economics Major Joshua Stein ’08

Presentation: Economic Effects of Recent Legislation on the Geography of Matchday Attendance in English Football

Thesis: Come On England! How Globalization is Transforming Attendance Patterns in English Football

Economics Major Ira Yeung ’08

Thesis: The Influence of Campaign Contributions on Legislative Voting: A Case Study of the 1996 Farm Bill