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Symposium on Computing for the Common Good

The Symposium on Computing for the Common Good will feature keynotes, research talks, and interactive discussions on applying computing and data science to address society’s big problems. Join your tech colleagues from higher education, industry, nonprofits, and government to learn about the ways UMass researchers are applying artificial intelligence, machine learning, and computing at scale to serve the common good, now and in the future.

This event is co-presented by the UMass Amherst College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS) and the UMass Amherst Center for Data Science. 

Watch recordings of all sessions on the Symposium playlist on the CICS YouTube channel.

Also, check out the video gallery of faculty research presentations not featured at the event.

Symposium on Computing for the Common Good 
March 16 and 17, 2021 | 12:00 to 5:00 p.m. EST
Virtual via Zoom 


(all times are US Eastern Daylight Time)

Tuesday, March 16


Wednesday, March 17

Keynote Speakers

Jay Ash is the President and CEO of the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership, a non-profit, non-partisan, 501(c)(4) public policy group comprised of the CEOs of 16 of the Commonwealth’s largest businesses. His work there to focus on policies and initiatives that make the Massachusetts economy stronger and more competitive comes after serving as the Commonwealth’s Secretary of Housing and Economic Development in Governor Charlie Baker’s first cabinet.

As secretary, Ash was responsible for directing and executing Governor Baker’s agenda on housing and community development, job creation, business development, consumer affairs, and business regulation. During his four-year tenure, Ash headed-up efforts to retain and attract businesses, promote the revitalization of communities, and support the prosperity of the state’s residents. In addition to championing four major economic development bills into law, Ash was the Governor’s lead on the attraction of GE to Boston and the PawSox to Worcester; the implementation of more than 100 community revitalization initiatives, including the groundbreaking of the Berkshire Innovation Center in Pittsfield and the Paramount Theater renovations in Springfield, and the development of strategies that led to greater state support for workforce development and a 96% decrease in the use of hotels & motels to shelter homeless families.

He previously served for 14 years as the city manager in his native Chelsea, where he grew the city’s housing stock by over 10 percent, expanded its commercial base with two dozen major projects, led all Gateway Cities with a 15 percent increase in new employment, developed 10 new parks, secured five credit rating increases, and won two All-America City designations. Jay previously served as co-founder and vice-chair of the Metropolitan Mayors Coalition, as past president of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, as a board member of the public policy think tank MassINC, the staff director to the Massachusetts House Majority Leader, and as an elected trustee of his alma mater, Clark University.

Francine Berman is the Hamilton Distinguished Professor at RPI, Faculty Associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard, and former Director of the San Diego Supercomputer Center.  She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Council on the Humanities, co-founder of the Research Data Alliance, and a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. 

Berman is a data scientist and public interest technologist whose work focuses on the societal implications of technology.  She received the inaugural 2009 ACM/IEEE-CS Ken Kennedy Award for “influential leadership in the design, development, and deployment of national-scale cyberinfrastructure,” and the 2020 Paul Evan Peters Award, jointly sponsored by EDUCAUSE, the Coalition for Networked Information, and the Association of Research Libraries, recognizing “notable, lasting achievement in the creation and innovative use of network-based information resources and services that advance scholarship and productivity.”   


James KuroseJim Kurose is a Distinguished University Professor in the College of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he has been on the faculty since receiving his PhD in computer science from Columbia University. He received a BA in physics from Wesleyan University. He has held a number of visiting scientist positions in the US and abroad, including the Sorbonne University, the University of Paris, INRIA, Technicolor, and IBM Research. He has served in a number of administrative positions at UMass, including Chair of Computer Science, Dean of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and (currently) Associate Chancellor for Partnerships and Innovation. His research interests include computer network architecture and protocols, network measurement, sensor networks, and multimedia communication. He is proud to have mentored and taught an amazing group of students, and to have received a number of awards for his research, teaching and service, including the IEEE Infocom Award, the ACM SIGCOMM Lifetime Achievement Award, the ACM Sigcomm Test of Time Award, and the IEEE Computer Society Taylor Booth Education Medal. With Keith Ross, he is the co-author of the best-selling textbook, Computer Networking: a Top Down Approach (Pearson), now in its 8th edition. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the ACM and the IEEE.

Questions? Email us at symposium [at] cs.umass.edu.