UMass Dartmouth professor helps ID stock market crash signal

April 12, 2011

levels_stock_market_tradersCharlton College of Business’  Dan Braha part of team that offers framework for early warning system so policy makers can mitigate the economic damage.

Using new statistical analysis tools of complexity theory, UMass Dartmouth Charlton College of Business Professor Dan Braha and his fellow researchers at the New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI) have shown that stock market crashes can be predicted.

“Current indicators and traditional models used by financial institutions of countries do not provide a complete description of systemic risk,’’ Braha said. “They also fail miserably to provide a reliable early warning system of financial instability. Our paper takes on the challenge of solving this precise problem by providing a framework and method (based on complex networks theory) for a useful early warning system that can measure and detect the rise of systemic risk — early enough for policy makers to intervene, mitigate, and stop the fire.”

The study was done in response to a challenge by world leaders at the G-20 meetings in Washington – in the midst of the 2008 financial crisis to create an early warning system that would provide continuous monitoring of the stock market to anticipate financial meltdowns.

It has long been thought that market crashes are triggered by panics that may or may not be justified by external news. This new research indicates that it is the internal structure of the market, not external crises, which is primarily responsible for crashes.

The number of different stocks that move up or down together is an indicator of the mimicry within the market, how much investors look to one another for cues. When the mimicry is high, many stocks follow each other’s movements – a prime reason for panic to take hold.

NECSI researchers show that a dramatic increase in market mimicry occurred during the entire year before each market crash of the past 25 years, including the recent financial crisis.

“We have demonstrated mathematically that there is significant advance warning to provide a clear indicator of an impending [stock market] crash,” explained Professor Yaneer Bar-Yam, president of NECSI and principal investigator on the research.

For additional information, please visit

UMass Dartmouth fraternity hosts Veterans Appreciation Banquet

April 7, 2011

This article was published in the Herald News on April 6, 2011, by Marc Munroe Dion.


The third annual Veterans Appreciation Banquet, to be held April 17 at 1 p.m. in University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s Woodland Commons conference hall, is more than a meal.
The event, held by the brothers of Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity, raises money for the Gold Star Mothers of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, an organizations of mothers whose sons have fallen in combat. Gold Star Mothers have supported the nation’s veterans and the families of our fallen heroes. UMass Dartmouth Sigma Tau Gamma member Brett Schricker is one of the event’s organizers.
“I’m a senior,” Schricker said. “I was on the executive board the first year we did this.” Schricker said that one reason the fraternity decided to start doing the yearly event was the increased presence of combat veterans on campus. “We see a lot of them” he said. “We got kids coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan.” Sigma Tau Gamma, a national fraternity, was started in 1920 by World War I veterans in Warrensburg, Mo. Anyone may attend the banquet and each ticket purchased includes a three-course meal sponsored by the university’s Student Senate and Student Affairs departments. One hundred percent of the event’s ticket sales as well as the total sum of the fraternity’s fundraising efforts go to the Gold Star Mothers of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Tickets are $20 and $10 for students and veterans.
“We raised about $3,000 each of the last two years,” Schricker said. “We want to do a lot better this year.” Schricker said the UMass Dartmouth chapter is the only chapter of Sigma Tau Gamma to hold an event for Gold Star Mothers. “We want this to spread to every college campus,” Schricker said. “Last year, we were setting this up and we were talking, and I said ‘What would we be doing if we weren’t doing this? Nothing,’” Schricker said. “We’re so glad we’re doing this. It makes you feel so good. “There’s no better thing to do than to honor our vets and the military,” Schricker said.
For more information, call Schricker at 774-284-0275 or email him at

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Career Expo 2011, Wednesday April 6, 2011 10am-3pm

April 5, 2011

The Career Development Center presents the Career Expo 2011.The event will be held in the Woodland Commons on Wednesday April 6, 2001 from 10am to 3pm. This event is free to attend.

Current students and alumni from all majors are invited to come and explore professional career opportunities for all fields in the work force.

Over 30+ companies in attendance, all majors are welcome. Please come in professional attire and bring plenty of resumes.

For more information contact the Career Development Center:, 508.999.8658 expo

Role of Youth in Middle East Change

April 1, 2011

Sherif El-Wakil, Chancellor Professor of Mechanical Engineering at UMass Dartmouth, will discuss aspects of Egypt’s ongoing crisis and the new dynamics in activism on Wednesday, April 13, from 11 a.m. to noon in Dion 114.

This event is sponsored by the Office of Equal Opportunity, Diversity and Outreach and is free and open to the public.

Highlights of the conversation will include:

The power of a peaceful protest
Social media impact
Secular revolution and democracy
Winners and losers
What were the demands?
What gains have been made?

For more information contact Michelle Cheyne at or
call Yolanda Dennis at 508.999.8192 or X8192.2881

Global Reputation Survey Ranks UMass as the 19th Highest-rated University in the World

March 31, 2011

imagesUniversity of Massachusetts President Jack M. Wilson today said the new Times of London survey that ranks the University of Massachusetts as the 19th best university in the world based on reputation for teaching and research, “confirms that the academic and research programs of the University of Massachusetts are being recognized for their cutting-edge excellence and quality.”

“The rising tide of quality that we see on all five campuses is something that we have been aware of for some time, but it is truly gratifying to see that this is being recognized by academic leaders throughout the world,” President Wilson added.

“This is a dramatic, global expression of approval,” said James J. Karam, chairman of the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees. “As a UMass trustee and UMass graduate, I am pleased to know that our reputation for excellence echoes across the globe.”

The Times of London’s 2011 World Reputation Rankings, released today, are based on a survey of more than 13,000 academic experts in 131 countries.

“This magnificent ranking is a testament to the work of the students, faculty, staff and administrators of the University of Massachusetts and to the power of five campuses working together to serve and advance the interests of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” President Wilson said.

In addition to placing 19th in the world, the University of Massachusetts is the 13th-highest ranked American university, according to the reputation-based survey. Two other Massachusetts institutions appear in the global Top 20: Harvard, ranked first, and MIT, which placed second.

The 2011 World Reputation Rankings was described as the first of its kind looking solely at the reputations of institutions for excellence in teaching and research.

Student Government Elections March 31 — April 8

March 30, 2011

2879Online elections for Student Government Association Representatives, Class Officers, Student Fee Allocation Committee and Student Trustee, as well as amendments to the SGA Constitution begin Thursday, March 31 and will run through April 8.

Please vote at VOTE.UMASSD.EDU

Students who would like their names placed on the ballot must turn in their election packets, available at the SGA office on the second floor of the Campus Center, by March 31 at 9 a.m. Write-in candidacies are also encouraged.

The full election schedule is as follows:

Thursday, March 24 – Election Packets Available at SGA Office
Thursday, March 31 – Election Packets Due by 9 a.m.
Thursday, March 31- 12 a.m. Constitution Election Begins
Saturday, April 2 – 11:59 p.m. Constitution Election Ends
Tuesday, April 5 — 12 a.m. Student Government Elections Begin
Friday, April 8 – 11:59 p.m. Student Government Elections End

For more information, please contact or stop by our office or visit UMass Dartmouth SGA on Facebook.

UMass Dartmouth Student Aids African Children with Operation Help Now

March 29, 2011

While many students rang in the New Year with close friends and family, Alex Saibu traveled to Sierra Leon and to Freetown Africa with Operation Help Now. From December 29, 2010  to January 17, 2011, Alex, a Political Science Major from Brockton, Massachusetts,  was aiding the youth of African villages. Originally from Lagos, Nigeria, Saibu participated in “Operation Christmas” which collects donations of clothes, shoes, and other small gifts which are then distributed to homeless children in Africa. However, what Alex brought to these kids was more than a shirt to wear, or food to eat. He, and others in the Operation Help Now group gave advice and recommendations on how these children could live a better life and get into the school system.

The work that Alex and his fellow group members did makes a dramatic difference on the lives of the homeless children they helped. Many of the children in the villages they visit rarely eat more than one small meal a day. Their food typically consists of rice, and has very little nutritional value. Due to the lack of protein and nutrition of the food they eat, many children contract diseases that leave them gaunt and unhealthy. To ensure that their efforts have made a lasting impact, Alex and other members of Operation Help now follow up with many of the children they have helped.

“We are still in touch with about 40 of the children we worked with over our trip. We follow up with them and ensure that they are working on their educations.”

Alex plans to return to Sierra Leon in December of 2011 with more donations. In addition to his recent trip to Africa, Alex has also been to Haiti twice since the tragic earthquake in January 2010. Saibu has worked with those that have been displaced, volunteered in medical clinics, and has also helped to reconstruct unity houses in many of the broken towns. In the future, Alex hopes to find himself in Thailand teaching young kids English, and bringing donations to the under privileged.

If you would like to get more involved, or make donations to one of Alex’s future trips, please e-mail him at


UMass Dartmouth faculty leveraging technology to enhance learning

March 25, 2011

dziubanUMass Dartmouth faculty are constantly looking for new ways to leverage technology to enhance their teaching and will continue that effort April 1 by welcoming one of the nation’s leaders in educating the “net generation” to campus to discuss emerging trends in higher education teaching.

In 2010, UMass Dartmouth received a grant from the Davis Educational Foundation to develop blended learning on campus. This opportunity, according to Academic Director of Online Education Jen Riley, demonstrates how the campus is “investing in faculty development, which in turn is bringing curricular innovations into the classroom using technology that not only engages students, but enhances their learning experience.”

Charles Dziuban, the Director of the Research Initiative for Teaching Effectiveness at the University of Central Florida (UCF), will present a lecture entitled, “Technology Enhanced Learning: Opportunities and Challenges” at the University’s Woodland Commons on April 1 from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Dziuban’s presentation, which will focus on blended learning practices and trends, is part of the first annual Teaching and Technology conference featuring faculty work in blended and online teaching.

Dr. Dziuban, a faculty member since 1970 at UCF, received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin.  Since 1996, he has directed the impact evaluation of UCF’s distributed learning initiative, examining student and faculty outcomes as well as gauging the impact of online courses on UCF.

He has published in numerous journals including Multivariate Behavioral Research, The Psychological Bulletin, Educational and Psychological Measurement, the American Education Research Journal, the Phi Delta Kappan, the Internet in Higher Education, the Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, and the Sloan-C View.

In 2000, Chuck was named UCF’s first ever Pegasus Professor for extraordinary research, teaching, and service. He has co-authored or contributed to numerous books and chapters on blended and online learning including Handbook of Blended Learning Environments, Educating the Net Generation, and Blended Learning: Research Perspectives, which he also co-edited. In 2005, Chuck received the Sloan Consortium award for Most Outstanding Achievement in Online Learning by an Individual. In 2007 he was appointed to the National Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Literacy Policy Council. In November of 2011, he was named an inaugural fellow of the Sloan-C Consortium.

Congratulations to the 2011 Robert S. Karam Scholarship Winners!

March 23, 2011

The following University of Massachusetts students have been awarded the 2011 Robert S. Karam Scholarship, made possible by a major donation from Fall River business leader Robert Karam, a 1967 graduate of UMass Dartmouth and a former chairman of the UMass Board of Trustees. The Karam Scholarship is designed to assist students from Fall River attending Durfee High School or of Lebanese descent, who are also attending or will be attending the University of Massachusetts.

“Each of these students is an inspirational example of the power of education to transform lives,’’ Mr. Karam said. “I am confident that they will achieve great success in whatever endeavor they pursue, and through their success contribute to the civic life of their communities.”

The 2011 Robert S. Karam Scholars are:

  • Karen Carreiro of Fall River,  a senior at UMass Dartmouth majoring in accounting.
  • Samuel Cordeiro of Fall River, a senior at UMass Dartmouth majoring in finance and accounting.
  • Nicole Sousa of Fall River, a senior at UMass Dartmouth majoring in business.
  • Nazih Yazbeck of Lebanon, a junior at UMass Lowell majoring in engineering.
  • Michael Grinnell of Fall River, a freshman at UMass Amherst majoring in biology-pre med.
  • Linda Hayek of Methuen, a junior at UMass Boston majoring in Boston.



From left to right: Nicole Sousa, Nazih Yazbeck, Robert Karam, Samuel Cordeiro, Karen Carreiro

Pulitzer Prize Winner to Speak at Women’s Resource Center/Women’s Studies Fundraiser March 29

March 22, 2011

Susan Faludi, former Wall Street Journal writer and author of Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man, will keynote event.

For the 4th Annual Women’s Studies Program and Women’s Resource Center Fundraiser on Tuesday, March 29th at UMass Dartmouth, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Susan Faludi will be the keynote speaker.

A compelling voice in American feminism, writer Susan Faludi is one of the most astute chroniclers of the changing roles and expectations of men and women. After winning the Pulitzer Prize in 1991 as an investigative reporter for The Wall Street Journal, Faludi “set off firecrackers across the political landscape” (Time) with her groundbreaking book Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women. An eloquent examination of the issues facing women today, the book was an international best-seller and winner of the 1992 National Book Critics Circle Award.

Faludi’s latest book, Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man, continues her exploration of modern culture. By analyzing the forces that shape men’s lives and attitudes, Faludi shows how all of us-women and men alike-are molded by assumptions and societal beliefs beyond our control.

At the fundraiser, Faludi’s talk, titled “Why Haven’t Women Remade the World Yet?,” will examine the strange fever dream America fell into after 9/11, with the media, popular culture, and politicians calling for a revival of “manly men” and a version of domesticity where women are viewed as victims. According to Faludi, our deeply-ingrained beliefs about masculinity, femininity, and sanctified violence have shaped the national psyche during the war on terror. These beliefs, Faludi argues, are at the very core of the mythology surrounding American culture, a myth of cowboy bluster and feminine frailty that is reanimated whenever threat and shame loom.

The event is being held at UMass Dartmouth’s Woodland Commons on Tuesday, March 29th. To attend the Women’s Studies Program and Women’s Resource Center Fundraiser, please go to:  All tickets must be secured by March 25th.2872