Carnegie Mellon News Online Edition: April 18, 2001: $1.8 Million Given for New Software Center
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Goin' Buggy!

CMRI Reorganizes

Graduate Programs Earn High Marks

Daniel Resnick Earns H&SS Award

Meeting of the Minds Scheduled for May 9

Carnegie Science Center Rewards Excellence

Kevin Lamb Heads Analytical Team

Whitaker and Shull

Drama Presents Largest Stage Production Ever

$1.8 Million Given for New Software Center

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University Receives $1.8 Million from Sloan Foundation for New Software Center

Carnegie Mellon University has received $1.8 million from the Sloan Foundation to create the Software Industry Center, which will explore a variety of industry issues, including how different software practices are better suited to certain business environments.

Center researchers and co-directors Richard Florida, the H. John Heinz III professor of regional economic development, Mary Shaw, the A.J. Perlis professor of computer science, and Ashish Arora, associate professor of economics at the Heinz School, will focus on four areas of interest- innovation and new business models, software development, human capital and globalization.

"The center is being developed with a strong commitment to perform industry- relevant research and to broadcast the findings broadly to boost industry performance," said Donald J. McGillen, executive director of the new center.

Because software is used in every sector of the economy, the center will feature an interdisciplinary mix of scholars from the School of Computer Science (SCS), the Heinz School, the Graduate School of Industrial Administration and the Software Engineering Institute (SEI).

"The software industry has become what oil and steel were 50 years ago-the engine of economic growth and the provider of good, high-paying jobs," said Jeffrey Hunker, new Heinz School dean. "With the new Software Industry Center, Carnegie Mellon has an important tool to better understand and assist the software industry and promote its growth throughout the Pittsburgh region."

"Software systems will approach the complexity of cities," said Jim Morris, dean of SCS. "To understand them, we will need a new breed of thinker who views systems the way city planners do and the new Software Industry Center might break through to such a new intellectual discipline."

Old business models that emphasized fixed assets, working capital and economies of scale have become increasingly vulnerable to nimbler organizations that employ new technologies to reduce costs. Leading-edge technology developed at Carnegie Mellon's new software center will enable workers on the bottom rungs of the organization to seize opportunity as it arises, McGillen said.

The center will develop guidelines to enable small and medium-sized enterprises to better exploit rapid advances in information and software technologies. Research will be conducted at Pittsburgh-area engineering and manufacturing companies.

In addition to Sloan Foundation funding, the center will receive funding from the Pennsylvania Technology Investment Authority and the SEI's Technology Insertion Demonstration and Evaluation program, as well as membership fees from corporate sponsors.

Chriss Swaney

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