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8 1/2 x 11 News

May 24, 2001

Vol. 11, No. 44

The "8 1/2 x 11 News" is published each week by the Department of Public Relations. News of campus interest should be sent to Ed Delaney, 412-268-1609 ( or Bruce Gerson, 412-268-1613 ( The newsletter is available on the official.cmu-news and bulletin boards.


Charles E. "Chuck" Thorpe, a principal research scientist in Carnegie Mellon's Robotics Institute and founding head of its master's degree program, has been named director of the Robotics Institute. Thorpe, who has served as acting head of the institute for the past year, replaces Takeo Kanade, who is stepping down after nearly 10 years to focus on his research activities.

—Thorpe, who joined the university community in 1979, has a long history of successful research in automated vehicles. He and his "Navlab" research group have built a series of 11 robotic cars, trucks and buses for military and civilian research, pioneering many new technologies. The fleet included automated Army HMMVs, several Pontiacs, a Honda Accord, two buses and three Oldsmobiles.

—In 1997, the Oldsmobiles and buses drove themselves in the HOV lane of Interstate 5 in San Diego at speeds of 60-100 miles per hour at the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Automated Highway Systems Consortium demonstration. This feat earned Thorpe and his team the School of Computer Science's Newell Award for Research Excellence.

—For more information, see the official.cmu-news posting "Thorpe Named RI Director" for May 23.


The Graduate School of Industrial Administration (GSIA) has announced its teaching award winners for this year.

Chris I. Telmer, associate professor of financial economics, received the George Leland Bach Award for outstanding teaching in the Master's of Business Administration program. The award, named in honor of the business school's founding dean, is given annually by graduating master's students.

Ray E. Reagans, assistant professor of organizational behavior and theory, earned the Undergraduate Teaching Award in Business Administration. Cheng Wang, assistant professor of economics, garnered the Undergraduate Teaching Award in Economics.

Steven Klepper, professor of social and decision sciences, received a special award for Sustained Teaching Excellence in the Classroom in the Undergraduate Economics program.

—Doctoral students Alberto Espinosa and Shibo Li were also honored for their teaching in the Undergraduate Business Administration program and the Undergraduate Economics program, respectively.


The School of Computer Science (SCS) has named Brian K. Reid as its first faculty member to be headquartered in Silicon Valley. Reid, who has a successful record of developing computer systems that have had a major impact on business and society, will play an important role in the High Dependability Computing Consortium, which the university established with NASA's Ames Research Center in December 2000.

—"As a principal research scientist, Brian is going to oversee research and teach in our dependability projects," said SCS Dean Jim Morris. "He brings broad experience in software development, strong academic credentials and an outstanding track record in industrial R&D to this new position."

—For the past 12 years, Reid has worked in industrial research and development organizations in Silicon Valley. Most recently, he was a department head at Bell Labs Research.

—For more information, see the official.cmu-news posting "SCS Faculty in Silicon Valley" for May 22.


The School of Computer Science's Language Technologies Institute (LTI) will host "Language Technologies 2001," a meeting of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics, June 2-7.

—More than 400 experts from academia and industry are expected to attend the event, which will include tutorials, workshops, exhibits and demonstrations of the latest in research and products related to language technologies.

—"The conference brings together the world's foremost university researchers with companies starting to use this technology in their products, and with students who may be interested in pursuing studies in any one of the language technologies," said conference chair Lori Levin, a senior research scientist in the LTI. "These are the people providing voice interaction with machines, machine translation, speech recognition and data mining."

—Complete details about the conference are on the Web at


Nominations for this year's Andy Awards are due July 2. The university-wide staff recognition program honors staff for innovation, enthusiasm, citizenship and dedication. Nomination forms are available on the Web at and will be published in the next issue of the Carnegie Mellon News. Each nomination form must be accompanied by at least two statements of support, but no more than five. Each supporting statement should not be more than one page. For more information, see the Andy Awards Web site.


—Donna Morosky, Carnegie Mellon's director of fitness and health, reports that the new Group Exercise schedule will begin May 29. The schedule is available on the Web at and at the University Center equipment desk. Morosky said the schedule features "new classes, varied times for the favorite classes and new instructors."


Tsuhan Chen, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, has been appointed editor-in-chief of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers' Transactions on Multimedia for a two-year term. The goal of the publication is to cover and integrate all aspects of multimedia systems and technology, signal processing and applications.

—The Kappa Chapter of Alpha Phi has announced that Susan Eitelman, a senior mechanical engineering major, has received the chapter's $500 Kent D. Schaffer Scholarship for her exemplification of the ideals of leadership, friendship and service. Eitelman was honored for her "significant contribution to the community through her service with Pittsburgh Action Against Rape."

Teddy Seidenfeld, the Herbert A. Simon professor of philosophy and statistics, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Seidenfeld was recognized as a "student of philosophically significant aspects of the foundations of probability, statistical reasoning and decision making, finitely additive probability, dilation, group decision making, fiducial reasoning and confidence interval estimation." Seidenfeld was elected to the academy's Humanities, Philosophy and Religious Studies section. For more information, visit the Web at

Shalini Vajjhala has won the first $10,000 Information Week Summer Fellowship award. Vajjhala, who has just earned a bachelor's degree in architecture, will complete work for a master's degree in engineering and public policy in August. Her research seeks to reverse the learning process in Geographic Information Systems so that a software program can learn mapping symbols that are already in use by individuals and communities.

Kyle Fisher Morabito, assistant vice president for university relations, and Ralph Vituccio, director of media design, received the Media Communications Association's Silver Reel Award in its Sales and Marketing category for co-writing and directing "Virtual March Madness," the university's 30-second commercial that aired during the NCAA Men's Basketball Championships on CBS last March. Vituccio also earned a Silver Reel Award in the External Communications category along with Media Design's Andres Tapia for their work on Carnegie Mellon's latest student recruitment video. The Media Communications Association's annual awards recognize "organizations and individuals whose work contributes to excellence in professional video communications."


Tuesday, May 29: Bone Tissue Engineering Center Seminar. "Controlled Gene Delivery for Guided Tissue Formation," Lonnie Shea, Department of Chemical Engineering, Northwestern University. 10:45 a.m., Newell-Simon Hall 3305.

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