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8 1/2 x 11 News

June 7, 2001

Vol. 11, No. 46

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.


The late Paul Mellon, one of America's greatest philanthropists who played a key role in the creation of Carnegie Mellon University, continues to be one of the school's most important benefactors. Representatives of Mellon's estate recently announced that the university will receive a second $20 million gift from the estate. Carnegie Mellon received an initial $20 million gift from Mellon's estate following his death in 1999 at the age of 91.

—Portions of the first $20 million gift were used toward construction of the Purnell Center for the Arts and to build the endowment for use by the College of Fine Arts (CFA) and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (H&SS).

—President Jared L. Cohon and Provost Mark Kamlet said these new funds will again be used to support the endowment for the creation of distinguished professorships, career development professorships for talented young faculty, undergraduate scholarships and graduate fellowships in CFA and H&SS. The chairs, scholarships and fellowships will bear the name of Paul Mellon.

—The gift will also be used to endow new programs in the arts and humanities. The fledgling Center for the Arts in Society, which funds interdisciplinary education and research projects in the arts and humanities, and supports courses in the Bachelor of Humanities and Arts (BHA) program, will also be a beneficiary.


Alan Mackay Fletcher, former provost and dean of Boston's New England Conservatory (NEC), has been appointed head of the School of Music, replacing Ken Keeling, who has returned to the faculty.

—Musically, Fletcher concentrates on composing. His "Piano Sonata," premiered by Serget Schepkin, was declared "one of the most important new works of 1996" by the Boston Globe. More recently, Fletcher presented the premiere of a cello concerto featuring Andres Diaz with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. Fletcher's wind ensemble piece, "An American Song," was selected to honor the bicentennial of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. It will be featured at The World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles conference in Switzerland this July. Further information is posted on official.cmu-news for June 11.


Carnegie Mellon will hire a senior administrator to provide full-time legal counsel to the university, President Jared L. Cohon has announced. The university's chief general counsel will become a member of the senior management team and report to the president. Cohon said the decision was based on the recommendation of a committee of trustees, faculty and administrators that reviewed the issue over the past year.

—"The committee applauded the counsel that has been provided to the university by Walter DeForest and Jackie Koscelnik of DeForest & Koscelnik," Cohon said, "but it felt it was important to have an on-site, in-house counsel to be involved in key management and policy decisions on a full-time basis." The Pittsburgh firm, DeForest & Koscelnik, has acted as the university's primary legal counsel during the past decade.

—"Walter DeForest and Jackie Koscelnik have provided the university with outstanding legal representation on a wide range of issues," Cohon said. "They have served the university with great distinction and their legal services have been crucial to our success. The university expects to continue to call on them when outside legal counsel in their areas of expertise is needed."

—A national search for in-house legal counsel will be conducted by a committee of trustees, faculty and staff. DeForest & Koscelnik will continue to represent the university until the search is completed.

"VIVISIMO" RATED NUMBER ONE INTERNET SEARCH ENGINE, a new software system developed by Carnegie Mellon researchers that quickly and automatically groups Web search results into easily browsed clusters of related information, has been ranked the number one search engine by Yahoo! Internet Life magazine in its July issue. Vivisimo, which means very lively and clever in Spanish, was developed by a team of faculty, post-docs and students in the Computer Science Department. The Vivisimo software queries various search engines, extracts the relevant documents, groups them based on this summarized information and finally displays them in hierarchical categories in the style of Windows Explorer.

—Vivisimo was founded last year by Computer Science Department members Chris Palmer, Jerome Pesenti and Raul Valdes-Perez. "Vivisimo's greatest feature is its uncanny ability to track down what you're looking for," the magazine said. "Dare we dub it the best new search service on the Web? Categorically, yes."


—The Heinz School's Master of Public Management (MPM) program will host information sessions from 5:30 - 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, June 19 and Thursday, June 21 in Hamburg Hall, Room 1511. Prospective students will be introduced to the many areas of study in the MPM program including health systems management, information systems, financial resources, public and non-profit organizations and human resources. A leadership in higher education concentration and a principal's certification program are also available. RSVP Michelle Wirtz at x8-2194.

—Equal Opportunity Services is seeking volunteers to read books onto audiotape for learning disabled and visually impaired students. Supplies such as tapes and recording equipment will be delivered to you and picked up. If you're interested in volunteering, contact Larry Powell at x8-2013 or


Stephanie Byram, 36, whose life with breast cancer was chronicled in photographs, videotape and in her own words, died Saturday, June 9. She had received her doctorate in behavioral decision theory from Carnegie Mellon and was a researcher in the Psychology Department. A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m., Sunday, June 17 at the First Unitarian Church, 605 Morewood Ave., Shadyside. A message from her husband, Assistant Professor Garth Gibson, is posted on official.cmu-news for June 13.

Dick Tucker, professor and head of the Modern Languages Department, has been elected chairman of the Board of Trustees of the TESOL International Research Foundation. The TESOL Foundation is a Washington-based non-profit organization that supports research, information dissemination and policy formation to improve the teaching and learning of English as an additional language around the world.

Chriss Swaney, director of public relations for the Graduate School of Industrial Administration (GSIA) since 1995, has been appointed director of media relations for the College of Engineering. During her tenure at the business school, Swaney was editor of the award-winning GSIA Magazine and developed the Cyert Distinguished Lecture Series and the Media Bookmark Series which brought national business leaders and journalists to the school. This past fall, Swaney played a key role in the National Press Foundation's seminar on e-commerce held at Carnegie Mellon.

—School of Computer Science graduate students Stefanie Shriver, Laura Dabbish and Elissa Newman have received 2001 National Defense Science & Engineering Graduate Fellowships. Sponsored by the Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Science and Technology and the Office of Naval Research, the fellowships provide three years of support for tuition and fees.

—Fredkin Research Professor of Robotics William "Red" Whittaker, alumni Kim Shillcutt and Yu Wang, and robotics doctoral students Peter Staritz, Sarjoun Skaff and Chris Urmson were honored for their outstanding papers and presentations at the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Seoul, Korea. This year's conference theme was "Frontiers of Robotics and Automation in the New Millennium." For more information, visit the Web at


Friday, June 15: Software Engineering Institute Blood Drive. 8 a.m.- 2 p.m., Training Room B. Participants receive a TGI Friday's certificate. Contact Dawn Owens, x8-6753 or to make a reservation.

Monday, June 18: Master's of Science in Information Technology information session. 6 - 7 p.m., Monday, June 18, Hamburg Hall, Room 1511. The program offers evening classes and a distance learning format. Classes start in January, May and August. Information: contact Amy George, x8-4720 or visit

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