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8 1/2 x 11 News

November 29, 2001

Vol. 12, No. 20

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.

Previous editions are available online.


Multidisciplinary Fine Arts Professor Akram Midani, former dean of the College of Fine Arts (CFA) and longtime member of the university faculty, died on Nov. 28 at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital after a long battle with heart disease. He was 73. Visitation will be from 2 - 8 p.m. , Thursday, Nov. 29, at Freyvogel Funeral Home, 4900 Centre Avenue. The funeral will be private.

—Midani joined the faculty as an associate professor of drama in 1965 and became dean of CFA on July 1, 1972, the same day the late Richard M. Cyert became president of Carnegie Mellon. In 17 years as dean, Midani is credited for leading significant interdisciplinary curriculum developments and enhancements in the university's architecture, art, design, drama and music programs. CFA also began to educate non-fine arts majors during Midani's deanship as more than 50 courses were made available to students across the university. Students were given the opportunity to minor in a fine arts discipline.

—Under Midani, freshman applications for 250 places in CFA rose dramatically, from 900 in the early '80s to 1,700 in the late '80s. CFA became recognized as an important cultural center in Pittsburgh with its art galleries and many musical performances and stage productions.

—After stepping down as CFA dean in 1989, Midani returned to the faculty after a one-year sabbatical. Upon returning to the university, he was the College Professor of Multidisciplinary Studies. In that capacity he has taught in the schools of Drama, Art, Architecture and Music as well as in the Master of Arts Management Program.

—He is survived by his wife, Watfa, a prominent artist.

—An obituary is posted on official.cmu-news for Nov. 28.


Leaders of the Pittsburgh region's health care and bioscience industries, economic development organizations and local government have united with Pittsburgh BioVenture, a biotechnology planning effort launched by Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh last spring, to release a 10-year strategic plan to position the region as a global leader in the bioscience industry. The prospectus was submitted to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as southwestern Pennsylvania's request for funding for the development of a Life Sciences Greenhouse, one of three authorized by legislation signed into law in June 2001. The proposal requests $40 million of the $100 million in Greenhouse funding allocated by the state over five years. The projected overall cost of the region's comprehensive 10-year plan is $600 million, including public and private dollars. See official.cmu-news for Nov. 19.


Graduate School of Industrial Administration (GSIA) Professor Paul Goodman's documentary "The Dabawallas" will premier in Pittsburgh at 4 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 2 at the Carnegie Museum of Art Theatre. The documentary focuses on India's 4,000 Dabawallas (box persons), who deliver more than 100,000 lunches each day by bicycle, cart and train without the use of computers or information technology. The Dabawallas have built a system around ingenuity and supportive social arrangements. The film focuses on how developed countries, such as the U.S., can learn from less developed countries. Admission is free.


More than 300 Pittsburgh- area middle-schoolers, aged 9-14, will compete in the annual FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Lego League robotics competition at 9 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 1 at Carnegie Mellon's National Robotics Engineering Consortium (NREC) in Lawrenceville. Keynote speaker at the event will be Pennsylvania Congressman Mike Doyle.

—The event is being sponsored by the university and AT&T, which is providing financial support. This is the second year that the university has sponsored this tournament through the NREC's Robotics Academy, a university educational outreach program.

—The students use LEGO Mindstorms kits to develop robots that will compete in meeting a challenge. The theme this year is "Arctic Impact." The students have built autonomous robots designed to help a group of researchers studying climate change above the Arctic Circle who are in danger of becoming trapped in a huge storm.


—Staff Council is sponsoring a Book Fair, 10:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 4 - 5 in the Rachel Mellon Walton Room, Posner Hall, Graduate School of Industrial Administration.

—Effective Jan. 1, 2002, the Internal Revenue Service has increased the standard mileage rate for operating a car from $0.34 to $0.36 per mile for all business miles driven. The standard mileage rate to use when computing deductible moving expenses was adjusted from $0.12 to $0.13 per mile. The moving rate ($0.13/mile) versus the standard business mileage rate must be used when submitting requests for moving expense reimbursements. See official.cmu-news, Nov. 21.

—The Entertainment 2002 coupon books will be on sale from noon to 1 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 3 - 4, outside the Connan Room, 1st floor of the University Center. Staff Council is selling the books as a service for $28 each. (A check payable to Carnegie Mellon is the preferred method of payment.)


—Vice Provost for Computing Services and Chief Information Officer (CIO) Tracy Futhey will leave the university in mid-March to become vice president for information technology and CIO at Duke University. Futhey has been a member of the Carnegie Mellon community since 1980.

—Three Navy midshipmen from the Carnegie Mellon Naval ROTC unit, Meaghan Kelly, Michael Myers and Kurt Kunkle, have been accepted into the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program. This highly competitive engineering program trains junior naval officers in nuclear reactor and power plant systems used aboard the Navy's most sophisticated submarines and aircraft carriers. In recognition of their achievement, the midshipmen were each presented with a $10,000 salary bonus. In addition, Midshipman Lance Brown was accepted into the Naval Nuclear Reactor Program. The most exclusive of the Naval nuclear training programs, this program trains officers in designing nuclear reactors for naval applications.

—Stephen E. Fienberg, the Maurice Falk University Professor of Statistics and Social Science, and acting director of the Center for Automated Learning and Discovery in the School of Computer Science, delivered the keynote address, "The Interplay Between Research Innovation and Federal Statistical Practice," to the Federal Committee on Statistical Methodology Research Conference, Nov. 14. He was also the Wei Lun Visiting Professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Nov. 17 - 26.

—Chuck Bartel, director of operations for Computing Services and project director for Wireless Andrew, has been elected to a three-year term on the EDUCAUSE Committee for Evolving Technologies.

—Kacey Marra, an award-winning research faculty member in the Institute for Complex Engineered Systems, was named one of Pittsburgh's "40 Under 40 (years of age)" in the November issue of Pittsburgh Magazine. Marra was selected for her contributions to science and education and outreach activities.


—Monday, Dec. 3: University Lecture Series. "Global Implications of HIV/AIDS," Janice Kopelman, director of the Bureau of Communicable Diseases, Pa. Department of Health. 4:30 6 p.m., Rangos 1, University Center (UC).

—Tuesday, Dec. 4: Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Workshop. This workshop will explain the importance of intellectual property to Carnegie Mellon, how the proceeds get split through the university, as well as patents, licenses, and new company formations. Presenters: Susan Burkett, associate provost, research and academic administration, and Casey Porto, director of Technology Transfer. 9-11:30 a.m., Connan Room, UC. Register at:

—Wednesday, Dec. 5: Cancer Support Group brown bag lunch. Noon to 1 p.m. , Caffee Room, UC. All cancer survivors are invited to attend. For further information, contact Margie Hinebaugh (8-2161), Anne Humphreys (8-3420), Mari Alice McShane (8-7834) or Linda Plazinski (8-5290).

—Wednesday, Dec. 5: Soup and Substance Lecture. "Trends in Conflcit Resolution." Martha Harty, lecturer in Philosophy. A movement to increase the use of mediation and other alternative dispute resolution approaches has been under way for nearly 20 years. Harty will discuss how the movement interfaces with values, culture and other social trends. Lunch will be served. 12:30 p.m., McKenna Peter Wright rooms, UC. Archives of the Hunt Institute" on the fourth floor of the Hunt Library. See official.cmu-news for Nov. 20.

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