Along the Mall citations: Fall 2015


Dan Sandweiss was invited to speak at the Presidential Plenary Session on “Climate Change and Human Society Past, Present, and Future” at the Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America in San Francisco. The professor of anthropology and climate studies presented Jan. 7 on “Nature’s Naughty Child: El Niño in Peruvian Prehistory.”

John Thompson, associate professor of physics, has been elected vice chair of the Topical Group on Physics Education Research for the American Physical Society.

Doug Allen, Philosophy, gave a keynote address at the International Summit on Peace and Harmony, Dec. 18–20 in Varanasi, organized by the UNESCO Chair for Peace and Intercultural Understanding, the Malaviya Center for Peace Research and Banaras Hindu University. Allen is on sabbatical in India, where he is writing a new Gandhi-inspired book and serves as the first Visiting Chair Professor in Gandhian Philosophy at IIT Bombay.

Ali Abedi, a professor of electrical and computer engineering; Casey Clark and Kenn Bundy, students in the Master of Science in Electrical Engineering program; and Lonnie Labonte, a Ph.D. student in the program, will participate in the 2015 IEEE International Conference on Wireless for Space and Extreme Environments (WiSEE) in Orlando, Florida from Dec. 14–16. The group will present two papers: “Wireless Leak Detection Using Airborne Ultrasonics and a Fast-Bayesian Tree Search Algorithm with Technology Demonstration on the ISS” and “Collection and Analysis of Leak Spectral Signatures for Application to the ISS.” About 110 representatives from universities, government agencies and companies around the world are expected to attend. Abedi founded the conference in 2010 in Orono under the name Fly By Wireless. The conference was held in Montreal in 2011 before changing its name to WiSEE in 2013 when the event was held in Baltimore. In 2014, the conference was held at the European Space Agency facility close to Amsterdam. This year, Abedi is serving as technical program committee chair. The conference is being co-chaired by Robert Youngquist of NASA and Donald Malocha of the University of Central Florida.

In May and June 2016, Pianist Phillip Silver, professor of music, will perform under the auspices of the Rafael Schacter Institute in New York City and as part of the Israel Festival in Jerusalem. Silver will perform in Murry Sidlin’s concert-drama “Hours of Freedom: The Story of the Terezin Composer,” showcasing music by 15 composers imprisoned at the concentration camp in World War II. The performances are made possible by the Defiant Requiem Foundation.

Sandra Caron, professor of family relations and human sexuality at the University of Maine, presented a paper at the annual meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality Nov. 12–15, 2015 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her paper was titled “The Sex Lives of College Students: A Quarter Century of Attitudes and Behaviors.” Caron will presenting a paper in Dec. at the National Sex Education Conference in New Brunswick, New Jersey titled “Human Sexuality in Europe: Lessons Learned.” She will be accompanied by Lauren Powers, a junior psychology major and Hayli Weitz, a junior child development and family relations major, who will co-present the paper.

Jordan Barrett, second-year student at Syracuse University, had his research “From Metric to Topology: Determining Relations in Discrete Space,” presented at the 2015 Conference on Spatial Information Theory this past October. It was one of 22 papers accepted after a comprehensive review of 52 entries. Hailing from South Paris, Maine, Barrett began the Upward Bound program the summer before his junior year of high school. The program provides resources for first-generation college students from low-income families such as scholarship opportunities, financial aid and college application preparation. The program involves a six-week summer camp at UMaine, which includes classes, workshops, community meetings and educational field trips. During Barrett’s first summer with Upward Bound, he completed a self-designed project involving aircraft navigation systems. This project became the foundation for his future work. The following summer, he began researching with Matt Dube, Ph.D. candidate in spatial information science and engineering at UMaine, who is first author on the paper and remained Barrett’s mentor even after he began at Syracuse University.

Leslie Forstadt, University of Maine Cooperative Extension child and family development specialist, received second place for the Human Development-Family Relationships award for the Northeast Region of the National Extension Association of Family & Consumer Sciences (NEAFCS). Her award was announced at the November NEAFCS meeting in North Carolina. NEAFCS educates and recognizes Extension professionals who improve the quality of life for individuals, families and communities.

Dan Sandweiss, professor of anthropology and climate studies, was an invited participant in the Humboldt Lab Dahlem workshop, “Thin Ice: Facing Environment and Climate Change in Ethnological Museums,” at the Ethnological Museum in Berlin, Germany, Oct. 13–15, 2015. Sandweiss presented, “Nature’s Naughty Child: El Niño and Cultural Change in Ancient Peru,” as part of a panel on El Niño in Archaeological Research. The workshop was convened to advise the museum on the design and content of exhibits to be installed in a new building scheduled to open in 2019.

Ivan Fernandez, a professor of soil science who studies the biogeochemistry of ecosystems, has been appointed chair of the Secondary NAAQS Review Panel for Oxides of Nitrogen and Sulfur, a panel of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC). He was appointed to CASAC earlier this year. Under the Clean Air Act, EPA is required to carry out a periodic review and revision, as appropriate, of air quality criteria for primary and secondary standards for the six criteria air pollutants, which include sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, ozone, carbon monoxide, lead and particulate pollution. Secondary standards set limits to protect public welfare, including protection against decreased visibility, damage to animals, crops, forests, other vegetation and buildings. An early step in EPA’s new process for revising the secondary NAAQS is to develop a plan for reviewing the science associated with the secondary NAAQS. EPA has requested that CASAC provide advice on EPA’s upcoming Integrated Review Plan for Secondary (welfare-based) NAAQS for Nitrogen Dioxide and Sulfur Dioxide, a process that begins later this fall. Fernandez is in the School of Forest Resources, Climate Change Institute, and the School of Food and Agriculture at the University of Maine.

Sociology majors Haleigh Moran and Katrina Ogden have received funding from Alpha Kappa Delta, the sociology honor society, to present their research at the Eastern Sociological Society’s annual meeting in Boston in March. The research is being conducted in collaboration with professor Steve Barkan, who also received funding from Alpha Kappa Delta and will attend the conference.

At the 44th Triennial Council of Phi Beta Kappa held in Denver, Oct. 8–10, 2015, George Markowsky served as chair of the Credentials Committee and was elected vice chair of the New England District of Phi Beta Kappa.

A special issue of Communications in Statistics, Theory and Methods on distribution theory and statistical methods for lifetime data is dedicated to Ramesh Gupta in recognition of his contributions. The issue’s guest editors, Syed N.U.A. Kirmani and Ram Tripathi, noted that Gupta’s widely cited work has made a significant impact on such areas as characterization of provability distributions, modeling of discrete data, study of failure rates and residual life, minimal repair, frailty modeling, weighted distributions and parametric inference. Gupta is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association and a member of the International Statistical Institute.

On Sept. 27, Naya Clifford, graduate student at the University of Maine, will release her new novel, Into the Woods, at the Common Ground Fair in the Maine Authors Publishing area.The novel takes the reader on an adventure across the Appalachian Trail, into the lives of a local family that finds themselves immersed in an environmental controversy. The book explores issues about environmental action, racism and religious radicalism. The print version of her book can be found online and an e-book version will be available on Amazon at the end of September. Clifford is doctoral student in the IPhD Disability Studies program at UMaine and has lived in Maine for nearly twenty years.

Seasonality in Stock and Bond ETFs (2001-2014): The Months are Getting Mixed Up but Santa Delivers on Time, by Pankaj Agrrawal and Matthew Skaves, has been published in the fall 2015 issue of “Journal of Investing.” Agrrawal, associate professor of finance, and Skaves, a lecturer in finance and accounting, are faculty members in the Maine Business School at the University of Maine. The article examines the current state of seasonality in returns using a set of 10 highly liquid exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The analysis extends beyond the traditional stock market framework to include bond, real estate and gold assets. This use of ETFs is a new approach compared with existing seasonality literature. Four well-known effects are researched — the January effect, the Halloween effect (“Sell in May and Go Away”), the Mark Twain effect and the Santa Claus rally. The article provides reference tables that include probabilities and averages for each month and for each effect. The Altman-Wald and Friedman tests are utilized for statistical significance, given the relatively short return histories for ETFs. The authors also introduce the bond-based “Safety in Summer” effect.

Robert Glover, Department of Political Science and Honors College, was selected as one of eight finalists for New England Resource Center for Higher Education (NERCHE) and the Center for Engaged Democracy’s (CED) 2015 Ernest A. Lynton Award for the Scholarship of Engagement for Early Career Faculty.

Charlsye Diaz, associate professor of English, was selected as the 2015 recipient of The Rudolph J. Joenk, Jr. Award for Best Paper in the IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication.