All posts by Melissa Lau

James Schafer BSCSE ’10 presents “Android Platform Development”

speaker: James Schafer, BSCSE ’10
time: Friday, 30 Nov 2012 at 3:00 PM
location: M5, UMass Amherst, Marcus Hall, Room 5 (Lower Level)

You will be entered for a DOOR PRIZE RAFFLE by registering on Eventbrite. You MUST register at to be eligible!!!

Please join us for refreshments after the talk.

*Are you interested in developing for Android?
*Do you want to learn more about what it is, and how to get started on it?
*Is “Learn to develop apps in Android” one of those things that has been on your to-do list forever?
*Are you putting it off, or just don’t know where to start?


If you answered YES to any of these questions, here’s your chance to learn the ins and outs of Android development from a skilled and experienced Android developer who got his bachelor’s right here from ECE at UMass! Come to this Friday’s M5 TALK for an exciting and informative presentation by our own Mr. James Schafer on the Android platform. If you’ve been thinking about getting started in Android for awhile, or even if you’re just interested in finding out more about the Android platform and the many versatile things you can do with it, attending this talk is essential.

Learn the fundamentals of the Android platform and the differences between Android and other mobile platforms. Get answers to questions such as, “What is the Android Platform?”, “Why choose the Android Platform both as a Developer and a Consumer?”, and “What do you need to get started Developing on Android?” Learn how to get started with a walkthrough demonstration of a simple “Hello World” script. Lastly, learn about the future of the platform as Mr. Schafer describes his work in Professor Ganz’s 5G Mobile Evolution Lab!

James Schafer obtained his bachelor’s degree in Computer Systems Engineering from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2010. He is currently a System Engineer in the 5G Mobile Evolution Lab at the University of Massachusetts Amherst under the direction of Professor Aura Ganz.  His focus is to use IT to elevate human potential.  He has worked on several National Institute of Health funded projects including, DIORAMA, a disaster scene management system aimed at reducing the evacuation time of critically injured victims, and PERCEPT, an indoor navigation system for the visually impaired.

M5 TALK: Michael Grabscheid presents Dance Floor 64: the world’s largest dance pad featuring high-power RGD LEDs!

speaker: Michael Grabscheid, Executive Director of Marketing, UMass
time: Friday, 16  Nov  2012 at 3:00 PM
location: M5, UMass Amherst, Marcus Hall, Room 5 (Lower Level)
You will be entered for a DOOR PRIZE RAFFLE by registering on Eventbrite. You MUST register at to be eligible!!!

Please join us for refreshments after the talk.


Hey ECEs! Do you like…
…and most importantly, do you like to have FUN???

If you’re interested in any of the above awesome things, attending this Friday’s M5 TALK is a must!!!
UMass’ own Michael Grabscheid, digital sound & light innovator, presents Dance Floor 64: the world’s largest dance pad. Michael introduces his passion for creating digital sound & light instruments with demonstration of his laser harp and digital marimba. His current project – Dance Floor 64 – is an 8×8 grid of 64 one-foot square tiles. Each tile is independently lit by full-color RGB LEDs and can detect pressure when stepped upon to trigger both color change and sound. Michael will discuss his concept, and describe its components, including high-power LED circuits, pressure sensing circuits, modular circuit board design, microprocessor signal processing, and control & audio processing on a laptop using Max/MSP and Ableton Live.


In addition to his presentation and demonstration of the Dance Floor 64, Mr. Grabscheid will also talk about some of the other sound and light electronics projects he has been working on over the past 4 to 5 years, namely his Laser Harp, Digital Xylophone and Monome projects, with some demonstrations.


Michael Grabscheid: Bio

Michael Grabscheid has served as a marketing and management executive for numerous organizations large and small. He currently directs marketing for enrollment management at UMass Amherst. Prior positions include Vice President of Product Marketing for McKesson, a Fortune 50 company; founding Vice President, Marketing with Lumigent Technologies, named a Computerworld Top 100 Emerging Company during his tenure; and Executive Director of NESEA (an alternative energy NGO), where Michael produced more than 10 conferences/trade shows for 200-2000 people representing industry, government, and environmental/community organizations; organized 4 U.S. Solar-Electric championship car rallies; and conceived, funded and promoted a sustainable building and park demonstration project.

In 2007 Michael organized “Unbroken Chain: The Grateful Dead in Music, Culture and Memory” at UMass Amherst, the first and only academic symposium and artistic celebration focused on the Grateful Dead to be hosted by a major research university. He has since presented three papers at the Dead Studies Caucus, part of the annual American Popular Culture conference, an academic symposium attended by hundreds of popular culture scholars from around the world.

As a passionate hobby, Michael conceives, designs and builds digital electronic sound and light instruments, combining sensing devices, circuit design, and computer based signal processing. He is currently working on a 64-tile dance floor, which can sense pressure on each tile to trigger audio; this instrument features independently controlled high-power, full color LEDs to light each tile in response to sound and human interaction. Michael also dabbles in digital image design, and has had his art featured at the Hard Rock Cafe and on security laminates for numerous music festivals.

Michael earned an MBA from the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and BS degrees with honors in both Mathematics and Engineering from Trinity College, Hartford, CT.

M5 Talk: T. Walley Williams presents the Boston Digital Arm

Join us this Friday for a talk about the Boston Digital Arm: the first prosthetic limb to incorporate microcontrollers.

speaker: T. Walley Williams, III – Director, Product Development, Liberating Technologies, Inc.

time:    Friday, 2 November 2012 at 3:00 PM

location: M5, UMass Amherst, Marcus Hall, Room 5 (Lower Level)

Register at for a chance to win DOOR PRIZES!

Website and more details:
^^^Check out this websites for more info about Boston Digital Arm!!!^^^

Please join us for refreshments after the talk.

Come to M5 this Friday to learn all about microcontrollers, CPLDs, and digital prosthetic limbs! T. Walley Williams, Director of Product Development at Liberating Technologies, Inc., will be giving a talk on the Boston Digital Arm, a smart and powerful prosthetic technology. In 2001, the Boston Digital Arm was the first prosthetic limb to ever make use of a microcontroller. Since 1973, Mr. Williams has worked directly with prosthetists and amputees to design and update products to meet the challenges of upper limb amputation vytorin 10 40 generic. As new technologies have become available, he has continuously upgraded the Boston Digital Arm. Using this arm, he designed the first multi-degree-of-freedom arm used to test the concept of Targeted Muscle Reinervation. Among his recent contributions to upper limb prosthetics is his patented  locking shoulder joint. Mr. Williams earned his BS in Physics from the University of Virginia in 1954 and his MS in Physicas from Columbia University in 1960. He is an Honorary Member of the Americam Academy of Orthotists and prosthetists and a recipient of its award for Creativity in Orthotics and Prosthetics.

Third Fall 2012 M5 Community Meeting

Come to the M5 Community Meeting tomorrow, Saturday the 13th at 6 PM in Euler’s Good Room.
Don’t forget that there will be pizza ordered for attendees!
The agenda for tomorrow’s meeting will be as follows:
– Matt “The Cook” Hunt will demo Ultraviolet, a (really fast!) highly maneuverable motorized robot built for moving Theater stage props
– Alden “Radcakes” Michaels will demo a high power full-color LED lightshow controlled via wifi, raspberry pi and iPhone
– Sam “Samurai” Baldwin will talk about the MAME Cabinet Raspberry Pi Project Group
Meeting and SIGS
– General ideas/M5 discussion
– SIG (Special Interest Group) information – organization, info, etc
– Split into SIGs

M5 Workshops for this Saturday, October 13

Personal Finance Seminar Series

Arber Doci, EE ’13, will be teaching a Personal Finance Seminar Series as a part of M5 SaturdayWorkshops. Learn about economic matters and how to manage your money in this essential seminar series. You can (and should!) come to all of them, listed below, or you can pick and choose which individual seminars you would like to attend.
The first seminar will be held this Saturday, October 13th, at 1:00 PM in M5. The topic will be Banking, Credit, Introduction to IPOs.
Contact Arber at for questions!
Other seminars in this series include:
Saturday October 13th, 1pm – “Banking, Credit, Introduction to IPOs”
Saturday October 20th, 1pm – “Getting Involved in the Stock Market”
Saturday November 3rd, 1pm – “Money Matters”
Saturday November 17th, 1pm – “Taxes?”
Saturday November 24th, 1pm – “Getting Involved in the Options Market”
Saturday December 1st, 1pm – “Why is your Money Losing Value”


Machine Shop

There will be a Makerspace Workshop this Saturday, October 13th, from 2-5pm taught by David Elentukh.

This will be the second in the several part series to make a new bike rack behind M5. Learn to use bench grinders, reciprocating metal saws, pipe benders and other metalworking tools. No prior experience is required. Only the first 10 people to RSVP will be taken. Other people are welcome to come and watch and learn, but due to limited space, not everyone can be working simultaneously website here.

If you’d like to come out and work on a personal project, just sit and watch, or help out, all are always welcome.

If you plan on attending, please RSVP to David at





MAME Cabinet: Raspberry Pi and Arcade Games

Raspberry Pi + Monitor + MAME (Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator) + Control pad + Cabinet = MAME Cabinet! M5 constituents are embarking on a project to develop a fully functioning arcade cabinet, running on a Raspberry Pi and using the Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator to allow user(s) to play almost any arcade game as if they had an actual original arcade cabinet in front of them! THE 80’s ARE NOW!

For more information, see:

If you’re interested in joining this project of virtual glory, contact:
Sam ‘Samurai’ Baldwin <sbaldwin ‘at’ student ‘dot’ umass ‘dot’ edu>

Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari


M5 TALK: Apple’s Spyros Michail, Worldwide Operations Manager

Speaker: Spyros Michail, Apple Inc., Worldwide Operations

Time: 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM

Date: Friday, 28 September 2012

Location: Euler’s Good Room, M5

Come to M5 this Friday for a meet-and-greet with UMass ’88 MSME alum Spyros Michail, who currently works at Apple leading the Worldwide Operations team. This is a great opportunity to network and learn the the journey he took from being a student right here at UMass to working at Apple. Ask him questions and gain insight from his own experiences over refreshments in this relaxed environment! This exclusive event is limited to 40 attendees so please RSVP as soon as possible at this link to reserve your seat:

Spyros’ Bio: Spyros Michail is leading the Worldwide Operations team for Soft Goods at Apple Inc.Spyros joined Apple in 2000 and held various positions in Manufacturing Design Group responsible for the manufacturing and supply chains of enclosure parts for all Apple products. Previous to Apple,Spyros held engineering, marketing, and sales positions at GE Plastics. Spyros holds a Diploma in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering from National Technical University of Athens, Greece, an MSME and MS in Manufacturing Engineerings from University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and MBA from Thesues Institute (currently part of EDHEC) at Sophia Antipolis France.

Spyros grew up in Athens, Greece and moved to the USA in 1985 to join the Graduate School in School of Engineering at University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Spyros has been living in the USA since spending considerable time in France and various Asia countries for job assignments. Spyrosis married and has three children.

Second Fall 2012 M5 Community Meeting

There is an M5 Community Meeting TOMORROW, Saturday 9/22 at 6:00 PM in Euler’s Good Room medication vytorin. Project ideas and general discussion to be followed by Special Interest Group (SIG) meetings.
SIGs organized from the first meeting include:
-Audio (studio, audio engineering)
-Radars, Antennae, RF, Microwave
-Raspberry Pi
-LUG: Linux User Group

Come join one of these SIGs or organize your own!

The dates for the rest of the M5 Community Meetings this semester are as follows:
Saturday, October 13
Saturday, November 3
Saturday, November 17

M5 TALK: Christ Montoya, EE ’06 – “Capacitors! Real vs. Ideal”

M5 TALK on Friday, 2 March 2012 at 3:30 PM
Chris Montoya, EE ’06
“Capacitors! Real vs. Ideal”
time: Friday, 2 March 2012 at 3:30 PM
speaker: Chris Montoya, Principal RF Engineer at Test Evolution (TEV,
location: Euler’s Good Room in M5, UMass Amherst, Marcus Hall, Room 5 (Lower Level)
tickets: FREE at eventbrite. DOOR PRIZES FOR REGISTERING!
Please join us for refreshments after the talk.
Have you ever wondered how real capacitors differ from their ideal cousins? Have you ever wondered how to choose between electrolytic, tantalum, thin film and ceramic capacitors? Why does Digi-Key carry over 65,000 capacitors? Alumnus Chris Montoya will shed some much-needed light in this mysterious corner of the circuit design world.
Mr. Chris Montoya graduated from UMass Amherst in 2006 with the BSEE. For his Senior Design Project Chris and his teammates, designed and built a 3D computer mouse called The Bat. It used ultrasound sensors to resolve the mouse position. His first engineering position was with Kollmorgen in Northampton, Mass. He is currently the Principal RF Engineer at a small start-up called Test Evolution (TEV, in Hopkington, Mass. His most ambitious design to date is the AXRF automated test system, a low-cost general-purpose RF semiconductor tester.

M5 TALK: Professor Salthouse, Friday 24 Feb 2012 at 3:30 PM

Professor Salthouse will be speaking at this Friday’s M5 TALK at 3:30 PM to speak about making things and why he loves engineering.

speaker: Christopher Salthouse, Dev and Linda Gupta Assistant Professor

brief bio: Dr. Salthouse received his Ph.D. from MIT in 2006 and is the director of the Biomedical Electronics Lab at UMass Amherst. Some of his research interests include IC design and biomedical imaging devices. time: Friday, 24 Feb 2012 at 3:30 PM

location: M5, UMass Amherst, Marcus Hall, Room 5 (Lower Level)

tickets: FREE at


DOOR PRIZES for registering on eventbrite.

Please join us for refreshments after the talk.