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NEWS FROM UML - March 22, 2005


A notice of upcoming events, photo opportunities and story ideas at UMass Lowell, compiled by the Communications and Marketing Office, 978-934-3224. For more stories on UML, visit and click on "UML in the News."

Click on the following links to learn more about what's in this issu e:

Writer-in-Residence Presents Public Reading Tomorrow

Students Engage in Dialogue with Playwright, MRT Director

Parker Lecture Asks, "What's the Big Deal about the Very, Very Small?"

Robots Will Kick 'Bot' at UML


Writer-in-Residence Presents Public Reading Tomorrow

When: Wednesday, March 23, 3:30 to 5 p.m.

Where: O'Leary Library Auditorium, UMass Lowell South, 61 Wilder St.


Playwright and UML Kerouac Writer-in-Residence David Hancock will do a public reading from his works on Wednesday, March 23 at 3:30 p.m. in the O'Leary Library Auditorium on UML South. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

For information, contact Prof. Diana Archibald at 978-934-4195 or

Contact: Rick Sherburne, University Communications, 978-934-3232 or


Students Engage in Dialogue with Playwright, MRT Director

When: Thursday, March 24 at 8 p.m.

Where: Merrimack Repertory Theatre, East Merrimack Street, Lowell


More than 1,000 UML English students will attend a series of performances of MRT's production of "Constant Star" by Tazewell Thompson beginning on March 24 at the theatre on East Middlesex Street. After the first performance, they will also have a chance to talk with the playwright and the director.

The educational partnership between UML and MRT will culminate in the 37 sections of freshman English students attending the play over six evenings from March 24 to April 14. "Constant Star" is about the 19th century civil rights activist Ida B. Wells.

According to Prof. Nancy Selleck, the coordinator, "We're trying to enhance the first-year experience by adopting ways students will have a shared cultural experience. At the same time, we're encouraging them to spend an evening downtown - to meet for dinner and make their way to the theatre together."

Contact: Rick Sherburne, University Communications, 978-934-3232 or

Parker Lecture Asks, "What's the Big Deal about the Very, Very Small?"


When: Thursday, March 31 at 7 p.m.

Where: O'Leary Library, Room 222, 61 Wilder St., Lowell


            Nanomanufacturing has been generating quite a buzz on the UMass Lowell campus. A special Parker Lecture will be held to answer the question, "What's the big deal about something very, very small?"

Mechanical engineering Prof. Julie Chen and Plastics Engineering Assoc.

Profs. Joey Mead and Carol Barry will present information about current

and potential research and business opportunities in nanomanufacturing. They will also

demystify the various projects - the state-supported Center of Excellence, the National Science Foundation science and engineering center, and the collaborations with other universities. Chemistry Prof. Emeritus Arthur Watterson will moderate the discussion and describe other nanotechnology research on campus.

            The Moses Greeley Parker Lectures is a Lowell institution, dating from

1917. UML is a partner in the presentation of the series.

Contact: Sandra Seitz, 978-934-3225, or

Robots Will Kick 'Bot' at UML


When: Saturday April 2 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Where: UMass Lowell Campus Recreation Center, corner of Perkins and Aiken streets


Twenty high school and middle school teams will participate in a high-tech, high-energy competition, as UML hosts the regional competition of the national Botball program.

Student teams had just seven weeks to create robots - using kits from the KISS ("Keep It Simple, Stupid") Institute for Practical Robotics - that can compete completely on their own, with no remote control.

            The Botball team competition starts with the seeding rounds, from 10 a.m. to noon, in which each team will show off its robot's capabilities. The double elimination tournament of head-to-head competition will be from 1 to 4 p.m. 

An associated event, the Botfest, is an exhibition of robotics and animatronics for inventors of all ages - from fourth grade through graduate students. Botfest will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

            More information about the tournament and exhibition can be found at

Participating teams:

      Algonquin Regional High School - Northboro, MA

      Arlington High School - Arlington, MA

      Ashland High School - Ashland, MA (2 teams)

      Ashland Middle School - Ashland, MA

      Burncoat Middle School - Worcester, MA

      Central High School - Bridgeport, CT

      Greater Lowell Technical High School - Tyngsboro, MA

      Martha's Vineyard Public Charter School - West Tisbury, MA

      Needham High School - Needham, MA

      Northbridge High School - Whitinsville, MA (2 teams)

      North Kingstown High School - North Kingstown, RI

      Roxbury Latin School - West Roxbury, MA

      South Kingstown High School - Wakefield, RI

      Tewksbury Memorial High School - Tewksbury, MA

      Waltham High School - Waltham, MA

      Wellesley High School - Wellesley, MA (2 teams)

      Westerly High School - Westerly, RI                           

Contact: Sandra Seitz, 978-934-3225, or

For more information, contact or 978-934-3224