UMass Data Students Rub Elbows With Industry Leaders
Apr28

UMass Data Students Rub Elbows With Industry Leaders

Aditya Shastry of India had two years of statistics experience in the finance field, the start of what would have seemed a lucrative career. But he found his work limiting; he wanted to work on his own project.He applied to the University of Massachusetts Amherst master’s degree program in data science.“Instead of learning in the industry specific programs where you have one model you develop, I wanted to get a broader...

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Cinemadope: This Is Spinal Tap deadpans for gold
Apr24

Cinemadope: This Is Spinal Tap deadpans for gold

While the idea of a “mockumentary” now seems almost old-hat, in 1984 director Rob Reiner gave birth to the zany medium.His ridiculously entertaining satire about life on the road with aging, British metal band Spinal Tap during their American comeback tour was mostly improvpotised, with stars Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, and Harry Shearer leading the charge. At the time, it was almost puzzling in the strength of its deadpan.Not...

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Suffocating in Silence: Winner of Valley Advocate Juniper Writing Scholarship puts displacement in its place
Apr24

Suffocating in Silence: Winner of Valley Advocate Juniper Writing Scholarship puts displacement in its place

For writer Elinam Agbo, words are like air.“If I go too long without expressing my thoughts in one way or another, I begin to feel suffocated and distant from my memories as well as my lived moments,” said Agbo, this year’s winner of the Valley Advocate’s Juniper Summer Writing Program scholarship at UMass Amherst.The Juniper program focuses on poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, and is hosted by the UMass Master of Fine Arts program for...

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The Resistance is Just Getting Started: Today Science, Tomorrow (May  Day) Workers’ Rights
Apr24

The Resistance is Just Getting Started: Today Science, Tomorrow (May Day) Workers’ Rights

On a hill of gravelly mud in Kendrick Park — that little strip of grass in downtown Amherst flanked by Triangle and Pleasant streets — a family of protesters are passing around plastic instruments and bird masks in preparation for the March for Science.“Everyone got one?” the mother asks. “Just like we practiced.”And the big plastic band starts playing a buzzy, flatulent “When the Saints Go Marching In.”A man with a tambourine and a...

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UMass student tries to combine online anonymity and positivity
Apr21

UMass student tries to combine online anonymity and positivity

The Internet has a problem, and that problem is that many of the people who use it are bullies and cowardly naysayers who hide behind their anonymity.On the other hand, Peter Tao, a junior and biochemistry major at UMass Amherst, is upbeat and positive to a fault. I am skeptical as I sit across from him at the Blue Wall when he tells me an iPhone app he developed called Spotlight is designed specifically to let people post photos...

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