Carnegie Mellon University

News Clips - July 8, 2011

From July 1 to July 7, Carnegie Mellon Media Relations counted 972 references to the university in worldwide publications. Here is a sample.


Why women earn less than men - 'they don't negotiate' | July 7
A research study by Carnegie Mellon University in the US reveals that while 51.5 percent of men negotiated their initial offers, only 12 percent of women did. This kind of behavior is not just limited to lean economic times. Even when the economy is looking up, women are less inclined to negotiate. In fact, according to Sara Laschever, co-author of Women Don't Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide, 20 percent of women say they never negotiate at all. And in the current recession, which has made many job seekers feel grateful for any work they can find, even a part-time toehold can feel like a victory.


Hackers are making news, literally
The Sydney Morning Herald | July 6
Marty Lindner, principal engineer for the Cert Program at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, said there were roadblocks to catching hackers internationally. Last month's arrest of a British teenager linked to the group Lulz Security - which claimed responsibility for hacking the US Senate and Arizona's Department of Public Safety - resulted from a joint effort between the FBI and Scotland Yard. But prosecution could hit a dead end if the source was in a country without clear cyberlaws. "Other countries don't have laws like we do," Lindner said, and hacking is "not a crime. If it's not a crime, then there's nothing we can do about it."


Congress with a woman's touch
The Economist Blog | July 5
I can understand why a feminist might want avoid the idea that the desirability of greater female participation somehow depends on the truth of the claim that women's more conciliatory, less combative approach would improve politics. Isn't the fact that women are just as capable as men, together with the very idea of democratic representation, enough? I think it is enough. But I also suspect Ms Gillibrand may be on to something. Recent research from Anita Woolley, a professor of organizational behavior at Carnegie Mellon, and Thomas Malone, a professor of management at MIT, finds that, "There’s little correlation between a group’s collective intelligence and the IQs of its individual members. But if a group includes more women, its collective intelligence rises."


Fly me to the moon
The Wall Street Journal | July 5
A robotics professor at Carnegie Mellon hopes to build a spacecraft capable of carrying one of his robots to the moon. Here, the process of building a lunar lander.


Breastfeeding truck coming to a city near you? | July 5
What would you do if you saw an ice cream truck with a giant boob--nipple and all--on its roof? You'd probably do a double-take. Then, tell your kids to stay away because they can't buy ice cream from it. It's not an ice cream truck, after all. It's The Milk Truck, an on-call mobile breastfeeding vehicle that performance artist and mom Jill Miller would like to turn into a reality. Miller--a faculty member at the School of Art at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon University--is looking to raise $10,000 in funding through pledge site Kickstarter. If the breastfeeding crusader succeeds, nursing moms in the Pittsburgh area (and eventually beyond, Miller hopes) will never have to worry about finding a private spot to pump or nurse again.

Education for Leadership

Recent findings from Carnegie Mellon University highlight research in neuroscience | July 4
New research, "Learning from delayed feedback: neural responses in temporal credit assignment," is the subject of a report. "When feedback follows a sequence of decisions, relationships between actions and outcomes can be difficult to learn. We used event-related potentials (ERPs) to understand how people overcome this temporal credit assignment problem," researchers in Pittsburgh, United States report. "Participants performed a sequential decision task that required two decisions on each trial."

Arts and Humanities

Calorie counts don’t change most people’s dining-out habits, experts say 
The Washington Post | July 6
Some experts question the wisdom of the labeling policies, even if they agree that people have a right to know the caloric content of what they are ingesting. (Recommended daily calorie intake varies based on age, weight, height and activity levels but is generally 2,500 for men and 2,000 for women.) “There is a great concern among many of the people who study calorie labeling that the policy has moved way beyond the science and that it would be beneficial to slow down,” said George Loewenstein, a behavioral economist at Carnegie Mellon University who studies calorie labeling. In a recent editorial in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, he asked: “Given the lack of evidence that calorie posting reduces calorie intake, why is the enthusiasm for the policy so pervasive?"

Information Technology

Attacks on websites spark demand for cyber-security experts
Los Angeles Times | July 5
The high-profile attacks on recognizable brands have intensified calls for beefing up Internet security, industry observers say. "Once it starts happening to big enterprises and it gets to the media, it gets the attention of chief executives," said Mickey Boodaei, CEO of Trusteer Corp., a security firm specializing in shielding companies from targeted hacker attacks. "And that's when enterprises are starting to look for solutions." With the stepped-up demand, salaries for security experts are expected to grow, said Ron Delfine, the director of career services for the cyber-security program at Carnegie Mellon University's Heinz College. So far, the pool of students with cyber-security majors or concentrations has lagged behind demand.,0,7934527.story


Study reveals animal deaths related to wind turbines
Associated Press/York Dispatch | July 5
State wildlife biologists aren't sure how the deaths will impact the long-term health of bat and bird populations. "We don't really have a good population estimate on bats, so 25 bats per turbine per year seems like a lot, and if you do the math with all of the turbines we have -- and how many are proposed -- it's a huge number," said Tracey Librandi Mumma, a supervisory wildlife biologist for the commission. "But whether that number will impact the population is something we're wrestling with right now." Experts said the impacts could vary greatly by species. With some endangered species the loss of a single bird could be detrimental, while with common species the loss of several hundred birds wouldn't have a major impact, Paul Fischbeck, a professor of engineering and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University, said Wednesday.

Regional Impact

New Allegheny County revaluation far behind schedule
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | July 6
Allegheny County's property-value reassessment is months behind schedule and on pace to miss a court-ordered deadline of January, according to court testimony on Tuesday. "You're not talking about a delay. You're talking about a power outage," said Carnegie Mellon University economist Robert P. Strauss, who has clashed with County Executive Dan Onorato over reassessments. "I fear it's the beginning of a circus. I can't imagine where it's going to lead."


Landmarks organization to set up CMU fellowship 
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | July 7
A local foundation that helps finance the preservation of historic structures will use a $25,000 grant to set up a fellowship program in community and economic development at Carnegie Mellon University. The Landmarks Community Capital Corp., a subsidiary of the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation, received the grant from the PNC Foundation. The program will be established this fall at CMU's Heinz College School of Public Policy and Management.


Opinion: American exceptionalism
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | July 3
This invocation in the Declaration of Independence of egalitarianism, individualism, liberty and the natural right to reject monarchical rule has became known as the American Creed. Early colonists drew guidance and inspiration from the doctrine and gave meaning to the concept of American exceptionalism. In the 19th century, Alexis de Tocqueville considered this set of founding ideas as the source of American exceptionalism and observed that "The Americans are in an exceptional situation, and it is unlikely that any other democratic people will be similarly placed." ***Carnegie Mellon faculty member Kiron Skinner wrote this OpEd.