Faculty Recruiting Support CICS

Computing for the Common Good Fellowships Support Graduate Student Research with Societal Impact 

Computing for the Common Good Fellows

Ten UMass Amherst College of Computer Sciences (CICS) graduate student and faculty teams recently received Computing for the Common Good Fellowships in support of research projects that align with the college’s vision for “computing that enhances the well-being of our citizenry.” 

“We are pleased to support these graduate student researchers and faculty advisors as they work across computing fields and disciplines on projects that have the potential to positively impact society,” says James Allan, professor and chair of the faculty. “The depth and breadth of the submissions we received demonstrate our community's commitment to our vision for safe, fair, and equitable computing that improves people's lives.” 

The 2021 fellowship program was open to all CICS MS/PhD and PhD students. Students and faculty were asked to complete proposals that clearly outlined how their research relates to the college’s vision for computing research.

The 2021 Computing for the Common Good Fellowship recipients are: 

Purity Mugambi and Assistant Professor Ina Fiterau will examine the equity of patient care for patients with Acute Myocardial Infarction. Specifically, they will automatically examine differences in pain management, lab tests, and procedures scheduled for patients of different genders and ethnicities. 

Kunjal Panchal and Assistant Professor Hui Guan will develop an efficient and privacy-preserving federated learning system which trains deep learning models on edge devices from users’ local data. 

Mahmood Jasim and Assistant Professor Narges Mahyar will work with Town of Amherst officials to design and develop CommunityClick-virtual—an online collaborative tool that combines machine learning, data visualization, and citizen-sourcing technology for inclusive public input collection and analysis. 

Blossom Metevier and Assistant Professor Phil Thomas will work to produce supervised learning algorithms that provide high-probability guarantees that they will not increase long-term measures of social inequality.

Binbin Xie and Assistant Professor Jie Xiong will focus on sensor-free and contact-free wide-area LoRa sensing. The long sensing range and strong through-wall capability make LoRa sensing useful in disaster survivor detection and can be applied to monitor the vital signs of patients in a contact-free manner through walls.

Nazanin Jafari and Professor James Allan will tackle the fake news problem using a claim verification framework. Their approach is based on two main steps: retrieving facts and evidence from online sources and detecting their stances towards a candidate claim. 

Hochul Hwang and Assistant Professor Donghyun Kim will develop a baseline two-legged biped locomotion control algorithm and ankle-actuated hardware that can ultimately assist people with paraplegia to regain their independent biped locomotion. 

Hamza Elhamdadi and Assistant Professor Cindy Xiong will explore the role trust plays in how people perceive scientific information and make critical decisions with data. They will decode the criteria to help scientists and journalists build trustworthy visualizations to improve public trust in data.

Mohit Yadav and Associate Professor Dan Sheldon will develop new methods to map bird migration at high resolution using weather radar data, which can help set conservation priorities and advance scientific understanding.

Forsad Al Hossain and Assistant Professor Tauhidur Rahman will work on a digital epidemiology project to develop a generalized computational framework for harnessing syndromic signals (i.e. symptom information) from crowds in different public spaces within a community in a passive and privacy-sensitive manner.