Martin, Fred: July 2011 Archives

Assoc. Prof. Fred Martin has accepted an offer to serve as Associate Dean for the College of Sciences, working with Dean Robert Tamarin.

Prof. Martin will be responsible particularly for initiatives relating to undergraduate education.

Prof. Martin will serve in a part-time capacity, and will continue to teach, advise students, and conduct research in the Department.

Assoc. Prof. Fred Martin

Prof. Haim Levkowitz has been selected to serve the College of Sciences as academic advisor for students who have not yet declared a major.

Prof. Levkowitz will conduct the 91.112 Seminar for Undeclared Majors in the fall semester.

Students may reach Prof. Levkowitz at

Assoc. Prof. Haim Levkowitz.
Beginning July 1, several Computer Science faculty are serving new roles in the department:

  • Prof. Holly Yanco will serve as Associate Chair, along side of Prof. Jed Wang, who has returned from his sabbatical.
  • Prof. Cindy Chen will serve as Graduate Coordinator. Students may reach her in this capacity using the email address
  • Prof. Byung Kim will serve as Undergraduate Coordinator. Students may reach him at
The Department very much appreciates their generosity in serving in these important roles.

yanco.jpg cchen.jpg kim.jpg
(L-R): Prof’s. Holly Yanco, Cindy Chen, and Byung Kim.
Associate Professor James Canning has accepted an offer to become Director of the Honors Program at UMass Lowell.

Prof. Canning, who has been teaching the Computer Science department's first-year course sequence for many years running, was selected by the Provost's office because of his passionate commitment to teaching excellence and student success.

Canning will be responsible for overseeing the Honors Program, which spans all departments and colleges, including the Sciences, Engineering, and Fine Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences.

“The UMass Lowell Honors Program has grown tremendously over the past 15 years. I
am thrilled to be part of its future,” remarked Canning.“There are over 400 students in the program and I look forward to getting to know them.”

Assoc. Prof. James Canning
On July 20, John Fertitta successfully defended his Master's thesis, entitled “Design and Evaluation of Dedicated Smartphone Applications for Collaborative Science Education.”

Fertitta’s work involved the development of a set of custom apps that were used in a high school physics classroom. Fertitta worked closely with a local high school teacher to conceive of the apps, and then implemented them and supported the teacher in using them in this classroom.

Fertitta's project extended the Engaging Computing Group's Internet System for Networked Science Experimentation (iSENSE), which Fertitta also helped develop. In his thesis work, Fertitta's apps allowed students to gather acceleration data on Android smartphones. These data were then uploaded to iSENSE, and then students collaboratively made sense of the data by overlaying views of their various data sets.

In one of the projects, students went on rides at the Canobie Lake amusement park, and used Fertitta's app to collect acceleration data. Then, back in the classroom, the students completed worksheets where they predicted what their graphs would look like. Finally, students viewed the actual data, and had to figure out which graph matched which ride.

In analyzing student work and in a post-interview with the teacher, Fertitta argued that in this case “smartphones were ‘far superior’ to other technologies” for data collection, and that the use of the iSENSE system, which easily allowed students to overlay each other’s data, “facilitated more in-depth discussion” than other tools.

Fertitta's thesis was advised by Profs. Fred Martin (Computer Science) and Michelle Scribner-MacLean (Graduate School of Education). Fertitta's work was supported by grants from the National Science Foundation (DRL-0546513 and DRL-0735597) and a gift from Google Inc. A copy of the thesis is online here.

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Student prediction graph (left) and actual data from the iSENSE web system. Also, interact with the visualization live on the iSENSE site at this URL:

About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries written by Martin, Fred in July 2011.

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