(1) Professor Wei Ding is the UMass Boston PI, with Professor Ping Chen from our Engineering Department as a Co-Investigator, of a multi-institutional project titled “Use of accelerometer and gyroscope data to improve precision of estimates of physical activity type and energy expenditure in free-living adults.”

This four-year project, led by the University of Tennessee, will be funded through the NIH R01 program with a total budget of approximately $2.6 million, including a $700,000 share for UMass Boston.

It will develop and validate machine learning algorithms using raw accelerometer and gyroscope sensor data collected at the hip and wrist for use in free-living adults. These algorithms will be able to estimate energy expenditure and classify the type of activity being performed, significantly improving upon current methods that typically only use accelerometer data. These algorithms will have direct benefit to those examining dose response relationships between sedentary behaviors, physical activity and health outcomes in adults, in the physical activity and public health fields.

(2) Professor Tiago Cogumbreiro is the recipient of a single-PI award through the NSF CISE program for his project “Static Verification for Fearless GPU Programming.” The total amount of funding for the three-year project duration is $546,610.

Programming Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) is an art currently reserved to a select few experts, as unlocking the full potential of these devices requires mastering an intricate hardware architecture and execution model. Scientists and domain experts need to adapt their algorithms to a programming model where simply changing the order in which data is accessed can have a 10× performance overhead, and off-by-one errors can silently corrupt their data. The intent of this project is to develop an infrastructure of complementary code analysis techniques that include bug prevention, performance profiling, and bug repairing. The project’s novelties are in developing a holistic understanding of performance and safety bugs, which considers the interactions between various classes of bugs.

(3) Professor Kenneth Fletcher won a Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship of $15,000 for his project titled “Postgraduate Curriculum Co-Development and Course Delivery Supported by Collaborative Research.”

The Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program (CADFP) is a program for African institutions to host an African-born scholar to work on projects in research collaboration, graduate student teaching/mentoring, and curriculum co-development. It is a way for African-born scholars to give back to the continent.

This fellowship will allow Professor Fletcher to work at the University of Mines and Technology in Ghana for a period of two months. For research, he will be focusing on developing Machine Learning algorithms to build expert systems for diagnosing crop diseases and managing farm environmental conditions. For teaching, he will be developing and teaching a modular course in software engineering for their postgraduate program in computer science.