All posts by Edmar Goncalves

M5 Sponsors CVSA’s Alternative Spring Break Trip

The Cape Verdean Student Alliance is a student run organization that was founded in 1982 at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Its main mission is to educate the university and its surrounding communities about the Cape Verdean culture, history and traditions and at the same time giving educational access to the Cape Verdean diaspora living in the New England states.

For the third consecutive year, CVSA is putting together an Alternative Spring break trip to the mother land to continue to build on a relationship between Cape Verde and the UMass and to expose our students to the rich history and culture of the islands and at the same time have them be of some service to the community they will be visiting. This trip not only will enrich the students’ knowledge of Cape Verde but will hopefully build a relationship between CVSA and other educational institutions in the island.

Of course, it wouldn’t be possible to realize this activity without support. For the second time in a row M5 has been one of those supporters. Following the great success with t-shirt sales last year to raise funds, M5 has once again provided its space and equipment for t-shirt manufacture.

Check out the cool pictures bellow. Those are the portraits of two HUGE figures of the Cape Verdean culture. Amilcar Cabral was the revolutionary leader who drove both Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde to independence in the 1970’s. Cesaria Evora who is considered the queen of Morna, was an international sensation whose voice captured the attention of many, including pop superstar Madonna who has long been a fan of hers.

T-shirt making in Euler's Room, M5
Amilcar Cabral t-shirts
Cesaria Evora t-shirts
DIY t-shirt making YUDU machine

-Edmar G.


M5 Talks: Peter Petrakis

On Friday, Feb. 17th, M5 kicked off its first talk session of the year featuring Peter Petrakis in Euler’s room at 3:30pm.

Peter Petrakis is a Software Engineer at Canonical Ltd. who received his undergraduate degree in Computer Systems Engineering at UMass in 2008. He is a storage architecture and has been an Open Source advocate since 1999.

During the talk Petrakis talked about his career as a Kernel Engineer for Canonical, which is the backbone support company for Ubuntu Linux distribution. With 30+ students present at the talk, Petrakis engaged the engineering students into trivia contests with prizes for the winners, and hung around for some chatter after the session ended.

Petrakis chatter
Petrakis chatting with students


Edmar G.

M5 Superstar: Christian Haughwout

As many of you know, M5 is home to ECE makers. But as you have probably found out, M5 is also a makerspace for a few exceptional students from other departments at UMass. Today you will find out that M5 is home to Christian Haughwout, who is a double major in ChemE and PoliSci.

Christian Haughwout is a very talented and active maker. He built a digital clock at the age of 8, and is now working on a magnetic levitation device. There is a lot that I could tell you about Christian, but I’m going to let the video below speak for itself.



Edmar G.

The Y-Zone

For those of you who know about M5’s DIY t-shirt printing machine, and wondering what happened to it, don’t worry….M5 will soon create a YUDU Zone, where anyone in the ECE Department will have the opportunity to put their creativity to the test. For those who would like to know more about this, I’ll just say that when in the Y-Zone you will design and print your own pictures, quotes and more on your own t-shirt.

If you’d like to get a feel for it, check out this YUDU tutorial:
And stay tuned for more info on the Y-Zone.

UMass Amherst engineering students get into Intel sponsored competition

In exactly 5 months and 7 days, two senior design project teams along with their faculty advisers from our ECE department will be participating in the Intel-sponsored Cornell Cup USA competition that will be taking place at Disney World!!!!!

The two teams are the Automated Aero-Painting System (AAPS) and the Augmented Reality teams, whose advisors are Professor Moritz (with Professor Grupen from the Compsci department serving as co-advisor) and Professor Wolf, respectively. To find out more about these teams and their projects visit the links bellow:


Augmented Reality –

For those who don’t know about the Intel sponsored college-level embedded design competition please visit The competition is a great way to apply the skills you attained throughout your college career, and it is an exciting way to wrap up your college career as well. I mean its Disney World!!!



-Edmar G.

Linux Workshop

“An older computer of mine once had a string of blue death screens and so I deleted Windows. Then installed Ubuntu. Then was happy again :)” ~ Sean Klaiber

On Saturday November 19th, Sean Klaiber hosted the second Linux workshop ever in M5, followed after the first one on Thursday the 17th. With a really cool PowerPoint presentation Sean took 12 engineering students through the basics of Linux based operating systems. Students engaged in basic yet very important command line actions that involved creating/deleting files/directories, directory navigation, sorting words within a text file and more.

So, Sean, why Linux?

Well…”Linux has been hugely successful as far as efficiency is concerned but remains difficult to use for most”. With this workshop Sean hoped to clear away some of the confusion and give students the opportunity to “boost their resume skills, teach them enough that all UNIX like systems will make less confusion, and expose the awesomeness of the command line”.

The presentation slides will be posted on M5’s website soon for those of you who would like to take a peek at them. For more info, reach out to Sean.

Attenders: Shamit Som (EE ’14), Matthew Wojick (EE ’15), Trevor Elkins (CSE ’13), Fabien Ahmed (EE & Physics ’13), Michael Brown (EE ’15), Colin Morrisseau (EE ’15), Andrew Sousa (EE ’15), Scott Arnold-Stanton (EE ’14), Guillermo Velasco (CSE ’14), Sharon Santana (CSE ’15), Chris Paika (CSE ’15) and Christian Haughwout (PoliSci & ChmE ’15).

-Edmar G.



Saturday workshops at M5

Let it snow… Let it snow

While NE anticipates a storm

very little know

M5 is ground zero.


It is 12 pm, October 29th, M5 opens its doors for engineering students to come expand their traits upon Chuck’s Xbee and Sean’s PCB design workshops.

Why Xbee? Well… XBee radios can be used to replace long wires in distributed electronic projects. These radios can replace serial communications links as well as pass digital and analog data. They are small (the size of a quarter), inexpensive, and can be configured to run a long time on a coin-cell battery. Applications include monitoring power consumption, instrumentation and control of distributed processes, investigation of network topologies and protocols, and cool gestural enhancement of electric guitars. Chuck’s hands-on seminar focused on digital and analog line passing and serial communications.

Across from the XBee workshop room, other students learn PCB layout and circuit prep for manufacture. By using Eagle Editor, Sean and his assistants, Edmar and Rodrigo, took students through the fundamental steps involving circuit layout/design and circuit preparation for manufacture.The coolest thing about this workshop is that students get the opportunity to materialize circuits that are products of their own ideas for their own purposes. The workshop allowed these engineering students to absorb the necessary specs behind the organization of circuit components before the design is sent for the ultimate PCB product.

**Pictures will soon be posted…

-Edmar G.