Today was the Data Science Center launch at UMass Amherst with a terrific program, many friends in attendance, and great talks and panelists.
The venue was the 6th floor of the new Life Sciences Lab building at UMasss Amherst and there were refreshments upon our arrival.
The first one I saw was Professor Andrew McCallum of the Computer Science Department, who is the Director of the new Data Science Center (and we hosted Andre in our UMass Amherst INFORMS Speaker Series a while back).
It was great to see my colleagues from Civil and Environmental Engineering, Professors Eleni Chritofa and Eric Gonzales, fellow transportation researchers.
Our Chancellor, Dr. Kumble Subbaswamy and Provost Dr. Katherine Newman had opening remarks as did Professor McCallum.
I left the event for 2 hours since one of my doctoral students, Sara Saberi, was defending her doctoral dissertation proposal (she passed, so congratulations are in order) and the photo below is of her with the dissertation committee: Professor Adams Steven, Tilman Wolf, and Michael Zink.
I then came back for the poster session with my doctoral student Shivani Shukla and got to see more colleagues from the College of Engineering and the Isenberg School as well as meeting a professor from Smith College and talking with more Comp Sci professors. Another highpoint was seeing Chris Hill of MIT who came up to me to reminisce about when we were at the U. of Illinois' Supercomputing Center one summer for several weeks - this was very special and I have fond memories of (massively) parallel computing, which I loved to do! Once a programmer, always a programmer!
As Professor Kurose said in his remarks, Congratulations to the Data Science Center,, and on a great launch event.