tom barrasso

student scientist and self-taught software engineer

Summit Sunrise at Mt. Tom, Holyoke, Massachusetts
Track Buddies on a Frozen Charles River, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Paw Prints on a Summer's Day
Boston's 100th Annual Cherry Blossom Festival

Miscellaneous photos taken during my existence

ego sum

I was born in Cambridge, MA and currently attend UMass Amherst. There I am pursuing a degree in chemistry and currently working on my senior thesis.

Although much of my time is spent studying the sciences, I am also interested in the visual & performing arts, social justice, and human health. Much of my spare time is spent in the gym, rock climbing, cycling, hiking, or just exploring.


Circa Now

I am a motivated, full-time student in the College of Natural Science and Commonwealth Honors College at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. My concentration is in chemistry, although I have taken just as many courses outside of the sciences as I have for my major. There I spend most of my time as an undergraduate research assistant in the Biogeochemistry Lab and as a resident assistant in the Creative Expressions (Van Meter/ Butterfield) dorm cluster.

Renowned Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson called the 21st-century the Century of the Environment. Our research focuses on the Norse Vikings in the Eastern Settlement (√ėsterbygden) and their demise during the mid 15th-century. Climate is believed to be a major factor in this population crash; however, evidence to date does not conclusively link human populations to local climate conditions. Our technique utilizes organic biomarkers (molecular fossils) to accurately reconstruct a model relating temperature, hydrology, and human occupancy. I also work on the reconstruction of the paleoclimate of Lake El'gygytgyn, a sediment record dating back 3.6 million years ago.

familiar lab instrumentation & techniques

  • IR-Spec
  • Mass Spec
  • GC
  • TLC
  • HPLC
  • UV/Vis
  • NMR
  • PCR
  • Distillation
  • Column Chromatography
  • Crystallization

mon passé

Circa Then

In 2012 I graduated from CRLS. During that time, I learned to build websites and mobile apps. Leveraging these skills, I instructed courses at the Harvard Extension School and even started my own business (a technology service & education non-profit organization called Digital Independence). In my free time I audited computer science courses at Harvard and MIT, experimenting with my own app and website ideas. For all twelve seasons, I ran track (indoor & outdoor) as well as cross-country.

familiar programming languages & frameworks

  • Java
  • Android
  • Ruby on Rails
  • PHP
  • Objective-C
  • iOS
  • SQL
  • JavaScript
  • jQuery
  • CSS3
  • HTML5



Want to walk? Let's connect on LinkedIn or Google+. You can also reach me via email.