The University of Massachusetts Amherst

News

Thursday, Oct. 24-Sunday, Oct. 27

Homecoming Events in the Libraries

 

Digital Media Lab Experience

Friday, Oct. 25, 5-7 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 26, 11:45 a.m.-6 p.m.

Experience the intersection of technology and innovation in the Library's Digital Media Lab while witnessing firsthand how donor-funded 3D printing and virtual reality capabilities are used to support students and faculty across campus.

Explore the world of 3D printing in the Digital Media Lab where you can have a 3D scan done of your head, use a 3D print pen, and take home a 3D printed item. 

Then check out the latest virtual reality gear and technology, create a scan of an object and visualize it in real-time, and even test-drive a virtual reality roller coaster! 

No cost to attend. All are welcome. Sign up early—registration will close on October 18.

 

W. E. B. Du Bois Library Tour

Saturday, Oct. 26, 11:15 a.m.
Saturday, Oct. 26, 11:45 a.m.

Get an exclusive look at how the busiest place on campus is transforming its spaces, technology, and resources—marked by sustainability and social responsibility—to meet the needs of UMass Amherst and the commonwealth.

Our dedicated student workers will lead you on a personalized tour of the tallest academic research library in the world, while showcasing these new and updated facilities.

Tours depart at 11:15 and 11:45 a.m. from the W. E. B. Du Bois Library Main Entrance Lobby.

No cost to attend. All are welcome.Sign up early—registration will close on October 18.

 

Wednesday, Oct. 30
6 p.m.

Campus Center Auditorium

Please RSVP by Oct. 28.

Live stream information can be found here.

Exposing deceit on the part of U.S. administrations regarding the Vietnam War, the Pentagon Papers were a major component of the Watergate scandal and resulted in a high stakes prosecution against Ellsberg that ended in a dramatic mistrial in 1973. Undaunted, Ellsberg has toiled as an activist ever since, speaking out against war and nuclear weaponry, and defending the cause of whistleblowers and freedom of the press.

Daniel Ellsberg will speak at the Friends of the Libraries' 21st Annual Fall Reception at UMass Amherst. The reception celebrates the university's recent acquisition of Ellsberg's personal papers. This is an important acquisition for the UMass Amherst Libraries and will join other highly regarded collections in Special Collections and University Archives documenting the history of social unrest and change in the U.S.

Please contact the Office of External Relations and University Events at events@umass.edu or 413-577-1101 with questions, to discuss any special needs or to RSVP.

Click here for more information regarding the Ellsberg collection.

Photo credit: Tony Spina.

November 2019
Interactive Drawing Event Wednesday, Nov. 6, 6-8 p.m.

Science and Engineering Library, Lederle GRC Lowrise

This November, the UMass Animation Club comes to the UMass Amherst Libraries! A collection of collaborative exercises is on display in the stairwell between Floors 2 and 3 of the Science and Engineering Library (SEL), Lederle GRC Lowrise. Concurrently, a compilation of animated work created by the club is displayed on the video walls in the lobby of the W. E. B. Du Bois Library. Passersby may participate in the exhibit by playing drawing games with Animation Club members on Wednesday, November 6, 6-8 p.m. in the lobby outside the Science and Engineering Library’s entrance.

The exhibit runs through November and showcases the results of a number of activities involving character design, exquisite corpse style drawings, and pass-around comics to display the breadth and diversity of collaborative works created during the past few years of Animation Club. Media will include graphite and ink on paper, and visitors are welcome to approach drawings up close.

This exhibition was created as part of a project between ART 401: Professional Practices and the UMass Animation Club. By exhibiting these works, the club hopes to share its creative process with the rest of the campus and recruit new members.

The Animation Club is free and open to all UMass students, no matter their level of art experience, and meets on Fridays at 6 p.m. in Elm, Room 210, Commonwealth Honors College. The club was founded in 2014 by co-presidents Jade Saint Paul and Matt Gagnon with the mission of bringing together creators with various interests, skills, and backgrounds. The club aims to encourage people to further develop skills in the different areas of drawing, team building, animation, video, and creative thinking.

Friday, Nov. 8
4-6:30 p.m.

W. E. B. Du Bois Library
Lower Level

Legends of Stonewall: Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Marsha P. Johnson

A double film screening honoring the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, introduced and followed by a discussion led by Jen Manion, Associate Professor of History at Amherst College.

Presented in conjunction with the Stonewall Center at UMass Amherst.

Thursday, Nov. 21
7-10 p.m.

W. E. B. Du Bois Library

Registration is closed for this event. Please note: We received TRIPLE the response expected to this event, and will be ordering more t-shirts accordingly. If you do not receive your t-shirt tonight, we will get it to you as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience and enthusiasm!

UMass Amherst students, faculty, and staff are invited to register for the fifth annual Tower Run on Thursday, November 21, 7-10 p.m. in the W. E. B. Du Bois Library.

Registration is $10 and includes a commemorative t-shirt.

The Tower Run is sponsored by  the UMass Students of Recreation (USOR),UMass Campus Recreation, and the UMass Amherst Libraries.

December 12-19
W. E. B. Du Bois Library and Science and Engineering Library

 

December 11 Bonus Activity: Swing by the Du Bois Library at 1 p.m. for a Selfie with a Superhero!

Coloring/LEGOs/Origami/Knitting

December 12-19, all day

Free Coffee and Cookies

December 12, 13, and 16, 2 p.m.
While supplies last

Button Making

December 12 and 16, 4-6 p.m.

Unwind with Knitting! Live Demo at the W. E. B. Du Bois Library

December 13, 3-5 p.m.


The UMass Amherst Libraries Digital Media Lab (DML) is pleased to announce Edwood Brice ’19 as the winner of the Lenovo Mirage Solo Virtual Reality Competition. Celebrating the release of Avengers: Endgame, the competition invited students to submit a 30-second video describing how they envisioned virtual reality (VR) technology and applications that could enhance student life on campus. The DML awarded Brice with a Lenovo Mirage Solo VR headset.

Brice’s winning entry introduced VR “exergaming” (gamified exercising paired with virtual reality) as a way to provide a balanced source of physical activity for the UMass Amherst campus community. “With results that say that VR exergaming is objectively easier to conduct and more fun than traditional physical activity, it is apparent that more should be done to understand how VR technology can impact other people and their varying states of health,” he explains.

This is the second virtual reality pitch competition held by the DML. Last year, Parker Louison’s idea for a VR application to develop simulations of various career paths and areas of study won the grand prize: an HTC VIVE VR headset donated by Dr. Steve Acquah, Digital Media Lab Unit Coordinator and Associate Adjunct Professor of Chemistry.

“The VR competition reinforces our commitment to helping the university community learn more about and develop Apps for virtual and augmented reality, as part of a makerspace initiative. The DML is here to help you build Apps for teaching, research, or just for fun,” Acquah says.

As part of that commitment, the DML is also incorporating the Lenovo Mirage Solo VR headset, powered by Google’s Daydream VR platform, into its development support services to help students and staff create applications and immersive environments. The standalone headset uses 6 Degrees of Freedom (6DoF) tracking to allow a person to physically move around in a virtual environment, and is a crowd favorite at DML events.

Katy Greeley, a Business Development Manager for Connection, along with the Lenovo Team from Connection who made the competition’s prize available, says, “I love being able to see what these ingenious students come up with in their creative minds and are able to take an amazing, out of the box idea, design it, and bring it to life. It’s so cool that we are able to help equip them and empower them with this technology to take their futuristic ideas to the next level! Congrats, Edwood—very well deserved!”

Currently located on Floor 3 of the W. E. B. Du Bois Library, the Digital Media Lab is a campus makerspace specializing in providing support for all students, faculty, and staff on 3D printing, video and audio production, 3D modeling, and virtual and augmented reality application development.

The UMass Amherst Libraries Digital Media Lab (DML) recently supported Edwood Brice ’19 in his research on using virtual reality (VR) “exergaming,” or exercising through gaming, as an appealing alternative to traditional forms of exercise.

As detailed in his Commonwealth Honors College thesis, Brice measured step count and intensity of traditional physical activities like body weight squats, elliptical, and walking against those of three virtual reality games with comparable movements: Hot Squat, Fruit Ninja, and Tilt Brush by Google. He used the HTC Vive VR system available in the Digital Media Lab to conduct this experiment.

Brice concluded that although traditional physical activity was objectively more intense and generally produced higher exertion rates, exergaming was a preferred option for over half his participants and remains “a viable form of physical activity, easier to conduct and may be more enjoyable than [traditional physical activity] for college students.”

“Edwood’s work is a critical step forward for the use of VR as a way to promote health, especially as VR devices become untethered and take advantage of the upcoming 5G network infrastructure,” says Dr. Steve Acquah, Digital Media Lab coordinator. “At that point, VR would evolve into the tool we have been waiting for. The DML was able to provide the VR equipment and space to support his research.”

The Digital Media Lab currently offers immersive VR experiences in a dedicated space on Floor 3 of the W. E. B. Du Bois Library. The setup is open for reservations for all UMass Amherst UCard holders, including faculty and staff, from any major or department.

Sarah Hutton presenting at Creative Commons Global Summit. Photo courtesy of Sebastiaan ter Burg, CC BY 2.0.

UMass Amherst Libraries’ Sarah Hutton, head of undergraduate teaching and learning, and Lisa Di Valentino, law and public policy librarian, recently presented at the 2019 Creative Commons Global Summit in Lisbon, Portugal, where nearly 400 attendees gathered to discuss ways to make knowledge sharing more open and accessible.

Their topic, “Students’ Perception of Their Self-Efficacy in the Creation of Open Access Digital Learning Objects,” explored what students in Associate Professor Paul Musgrave’s Experimental Honors Course, Politics at the End of the World (POLSCI 390EW), thought about their own abilities to complete the class’s final group projects. Students were asked to create podcasts discussing political considerations in various “end of the world” scenarios, with the understanding that the projects would be made freely available online, including to students taking this course in the future.

“When you think about what typically motivates students to learn, grades are a common or typical concern,” says Hutton. “We wanted to look at other areas for motivation, such as knowing that their scholarship would be used to teach future students, that it would be freely available to scholars across the globe, and that other scholars could use and adapt it.”

Upon surveying the class, Hutton and Di Valentino discovered that, with those added factors propelling their work, students had “greater than 70 percent confidence in their capabilities across all categories,” including identifying key course concepts and applying them to their own research and conclusions.

Hutton, who learned about the course through the Commonwealth Honors College Curriculum Council, and Di Valentino were drawn to this project as an opportunity for the Libraries to work with, and learn from, Musgrave’s students. “This assignment clearly aligned with several facets of collaboration within the Libraries,” Hutton explains, “including digital media production for which we provide support in the Libraries’ Digital Media Lab; our advocacy for open access publishing, creative commons licensing; and teaching students about the importance of understanding their role in the global scholarship landscape.” Additionally, with her subject specialization in public policy, government, and legal studies, Di Valentino provided key instruction and support regarding attribution licensing and open scholarship tailored to the discipline of the course.

“The ultimate goal,” Di Valentino says, “is to support students both as learners and scholars.”

Final projects are available here for listening.

 

 Adam Quirós, Digital Media Lab Desk Supervisor at the UMass Amherst Libraries, recently won two Telly Awards for his films: gold in general-promotional for Profile of a Brewer: Wunderkammer Bier and bronze in craft-promotional for Making the Man Who Killed Hitler and then The Bigfoot.

Since 1979, the Telly Awards have honored "excellence in local, regional and cable television commercials with non-broadcast video and television programming added soon after. With the recent evolution and rise of digital video (web series, VR, 360 and beyond), the Telly Awards today also reflects and celebrates this exciting new era of the moving image on and offline.

The Telly Awards annually showcases the best work created within television and across video, for all screens. Receiving over 12,000 entries from all 50 states and 5 continents, Telly Award winners represent work from some of the most respected advertising agencies, television stations, production companies and publishers from around the world."