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Raymond La Raja, Professor of Political Science at UMass Amherst and Associate Director of the UMass Poll, served as moderator for a virtual discussion on the first 100 days of the Biden presidency, featuring NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith, as part of the Springfield Public Forum’s spring speaker series on Thursday, May 6. (MassLive, 5/6/21)

Kira Tait, Doctoral Candidate in the Political Science Department accepts a one year UCI Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellowship in Criminology, Law & Society. The UCI Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellowship Program in Criminology, Law & Society offers postdoctoral research fellowships and faculty mentoring to qualified scholars in the field whose research, teaching, and service will contribute to diversity and equal opportunity. These contributions may include public service addressing the needs of our increasingly diverse society, efforts to advance equitable access to higher education for women and minorities, or research focusing on underserved populations or understanding issues of racial or gender inequalities. The award is made for applicants who show promise for tenure-track appointment at the University of California. It is a one-year terminal fellowship in residence at the Irvine campus. Congratulations to Kira!!!

 

Leah Wing was elected Vice President of the International Council for Online Dispute Resolution. Leah is a founding board member of the International Council for Online Dispute Resolution. She heads the Ethical Principles for Online Dispute Resolution initiative of NCTDR and serves on the ABA Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) Standards Taskforce and the ABA Committee on Technology and Dispute Resolution. Leah has taught dispute resolution since 1993 and served as a researcher on early experiments in online dispute resolution. Leah serves on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution and of Conflict Resolution Quarterly, served two terms on the Association of Conflict Resolution Board of Directors, and is on the advisory board of ODREurope. Leah is the founding director of the Social Justice Mediation Institute. (NCTDR, 5/11/2021)

Paul M. Collins Jr. and colleagues across campus have received a Mutual Mentoring Team Grant to expand the UMass Prison Education Initiative. This mentoring community will help prepare UMass faculty to teach effectively in jail and prison, to administer an expanded prison education program, and to provide a support network for faculty interested in teaching in jail or prison. (Paul M. Collins Jr. Blog, 5/10/2021)

As Earth Day 2021 approached, a peculiar object began to take shape on the campus of UMass Amherst. The timing was apt, as the structure, a 24-foot-diameter art installation called Earth! One, is also a message about the imminent dangers of climate change and the hope it can inspire to combat it. A multidisciplinary effort, Earth! One brought together students from the Department of Theater in the College of Humanities and Fine Arts; the School of Public Policy; the Department of Political Science; the Department of Environmental Conservation; and the School of Earth & Sustainability– students who may not normally collaborate on academic projects. “Having Professor Charlie’s class come in and say what if we do it this way, what if we represent it this way, has been a breath of fresh air,” said Tomasz Dvorak, a political science major. (UMass News, 5/6/2021; Video)

The University of Massachusetts Amherst will honor the exemplary achievement, initiative and leadership of some of its most talented and accomplished graduating seniors during Undergraduate Commencement ceremonies taking place Friday, May 14 at McGuirk Alumni Stadium. Rania Marie Henriquez and Carla Montilla Jaimes from the graduating class will be honored as 21st Century Leaders at Undergraduate Commencement. (UMass News & Media Relations, 5/6/2021)

The law in computation: What machine learning, artificial intelligence, and big data mean for law and society scholarship. 
Abstract: Computational systems, including machine learning, artificial intelligence, and big data analytics, are not only inescapable parts of social life but are also reshaping the contours of law and legal practice. We propose turning more law and social science (LSS) attention to new technological developments through the study of “law in computation,” that is, computational systems’ integration with regulatory and administrative procedures, the sociotechnical infrastructures that support them, and their impact on how individuals and populations are interpellated through the law. We present a range of cases in three areas of inquiry - algorithmic governance, jurisdiction and agency - on issues such as immigration enforcement, data sovereignty, algorithmic warfare, biometric identity regimes, and gig economies, for which examining law in computation illuminates how new technological systems’ integration with legal processes pushes the distinction between “law on the books” and “law in action” into new domains. We then propose future directions and methods for research. As computational systems become ever more sophisticated, understanding the law in computation is critical not only for LSS scholarship, but also for everyday civics. (DoCarmo T, Rea S, Conaway E, Emery J, Raval N. Law & Policy. 2021;1–30)

For his impassioned teaching, his groundbreaking research, and his leadership of the UMass Poll, Tatishe Nteta, a faculty member since 2007, was recently named a UMass Spotlight Scholar. Read more about Tatishe's achievements at the link below. Congratulations, Tatishe! (UMass Amherst, 5/3/2021)

Raymond La Raja, Professor of Political Science and Associate Director of the UMass Poll at UMass Amherst, will moderate a virtual discussion on Biden’s first 100 days as President, featuring NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith, as part of the Springfield Public Forum’s Spring Speaker Series on Thursday, May 6. (MassLive, 5/2/21)

Half of Americans surveyed worry about potential voter fraud, two-thirds find Georgia law prohibiting giving food or water to voters as unnecessary, and nearly half think sports leagues should stay out of politics.

new nationwide University of Massachusetts Amherst/WCVB poll released today finds that Americans support a wide variety of election reforms, including both those that make voting easier, but also enacting voter ID requirements.

“From automatic registration to making the option to vote by mail a permanent fixture of American elections, clear majorities of Americans favor making voting easier in the United States,” says Tatishe Nteta, associate professor of political science at UMass Amherst and director of the poll.

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