In the News

Williams professors and others weigh in on the issues of the day. For a complete listing of media appearances, visit

“We saw it! … The diamond rings were spectacular,” astronomy professor Jay Pasachoff wrote on July 21 for “TierneyLab” (a blog hosted by The New York Times) while he was viewing the longest total eclipse this century from an observatory outside Hangzhou, China.

In a June 30 posting of “The Numbers Guy” (a Wall Street Journal blog) discussing statistical techniques used to uncover election fraud, mathematics professor Steven Miller cautioned that the appearance of an anomaly may be the result of lots of analysts running lots of tests: “If you don’t specify ahead of time what you’re looking for, you’d be surprised if you don’t find rare events.”

UMass-Amherst-based WFCR radio’s Field Notes for May 11 featured Joan Edwards, the Washington Gladden 1859 Professor of Biology, who called the oft-maligned dandelion an “amazing botanical engineering marvel” for its unique capabilities, which include reproducing without cross-pollination and its stem’s performance of a “dance” before releasing its seeds.

An April 14 column in The Record of Bergen County (N.J.) discussing the future of the estate tax quoted economics professor Jon Bakija as saying, “If you lower the tax rate, then there’s a lower incentive to leave more for charity, but there’s more left in the estate to give. … The incentive effect of the higher tax rate has the bigger impact.”