March-Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences - Carnegie Mellon University

March

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Looking Forward in Women's History

Lauren ChurillaBrowsing popular bookstores, Lauren Churilla can't help but notice the predominance of male figures in history books. She is one history scholar who sees an opportunity to reverse the trend.

Churilla joined the Department of History two years ago as a graduate student. She is also a full-time curator at St. Vincent College's Foster and Muriel McCarl Coverlet Gallery. She currently pursues a research interest in women empowerment and self-defense tactics from 1880-1930.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Sach Takayasu and a Large Voice for Small Business

Sach TakayasuAs president and CEO of the Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce & Entrepreneurship (ACE), Carnegie Mellon University alumna Sach Takayasu played an instrumental role in what she describes as "giving a voice to the business interests of Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI)."

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Monday, March 20, 2017

Adult Subcortex Processes Numbers With Same Skill as Infants

Subcortex Number ProcessingDespite major brain differences, many species from spiders to humans can recognize and differentiate relative quantities. Adult primates, however, are the only ones with a sophisticated cortical brain system, meaning that the others rely on a subcortex or its evolutionary equivalent.

CMU scientists wanted to find out whether the adult human subcortex contributes to number processing at all. Published in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences, their study found that the adult subcortex processes numbers at the same level as infants and perhaps other lower-order species, such as guppies and spiders.

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

NY Times Bestselling Author Lauren Groff Stops By CMU English Classes

Lauren GroffAuthor Lauren Groff visited CMU and advised students to find in classmates what she found in Kevin González, assistant professor of English.

"Find the brilliant readers and writers that you know, put your little claws into them and never let them go," Groff said. "They will end up being not only a source of amazing critique for the rest of your life, but a source of inspiration."

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Grandma Knows Best: New Research Explains How Family Members Can Impact an Autism Diagnosis

When it comes to autism diagnosis, grandma knows bestEarly detection is critical for improving treatment efficacy for those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and it’s often those closest to a child who notice the first signs.

New research reveals that children who had frequent interaction with grandparents or older siblings were diagnosed earlier with ASD. Published in the journal Autism, the study was the first to ask not only parents, but also friends and family members who had contact with the child about their early observations of the child.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

CMU Offers New Minor in Arabic Studies

Minor in Arabic StudiesCarnegie Mellon University students interested in studying Arabic language and culture now have the opportunity to earn a minor in Arabic Studies. While the Department of Modern Languages has offered courses in Arabic Studies since 2008, this is the first time that students have a chance to gain more depth in this area.

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Monday, March 13, 2017

Faces of Identity: CMU’s International Film Festival Brings 16 Award-Winning Films to Pittsburgh, March 23 – April 9

2017 International Film FestivalThe significance of identity knows no bounds, and its complexity is something people from every walk of life grapple with in some way.

CMU's International Film Festival will bring 16 award-winning films to Pittsburgh that explore identity on a personal level, as a collective group, as a specific race or gender and through different languages and cultures. Fifteen of the films will be making their Pittsburgh premieres, and following the festival’s eleven-year tradition, each screening also will feature a special event, such as appearances by the director or someone else associated with the film, panel discussions, presentations and culinary displays relevant to the films’ themes.

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Monday, March 13, 2017

Artist Puts a Face on CMU Film Festival

Baron BatchCommissioned by festival director Jolanta Lion, local artist Baron Batch has created a piece of artwork that portrays this year’s festival theme. Batch will host a viewing of his artwork and a Q&A at 7 p.m., Friday, March 31 in the Cohon University Center’s McConomy Auditorium

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Friday, March 10, 2017

Information Avoidance

Information AvoidanceDrawing on research in economics, psychology and sociology, Carnegie Mellon University’s George Loewenstein, Russell Golman and David Hagmann illustrate how people deliberately avoid information that threatens their happiness and wellbeing.

Published in the Journal of Economic Literature, they show that, while a simple failure to obtain information is the most clear-cut case of "information avoidance," people have a wide range of other information-avoidance strategies at their disposal. They are also remarkably adept at selectively directing their attention to information that affirms what they believe or that reflects favorably upon them, and at forgetting information they wish were not true.

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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Group Tolerance Linked to Perceptions of Fairness and Harm

Group ToleranceLook for the fault line in any modern conflict and it likely follows a familiar division between the opposing groups. Whether that divide is sectarian, ethnic or ideological, people's devotion to the values that define their communities  can make it seem as if violence along their boundaries is inevitable.
 
But new study published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, alters thinking about the dynamics of conflict or tension between groups.

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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Staff Spotlight: Scott Kurdilla

Scott KurdillaAs a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) research technologist and MRI safety officer, Kurdilla manages day-to-day operations at the Scientific Imaging and Brain Research (SIBR) Center in CMU’s Psychology Department. His responsibilities range from safety training and scheduling to scanner maintenance, quality assurance and metal screening.

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