2011 Press Releases
Friday, December 9, 2011
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University’s Bruce and Astrid McWilliams Center for Cosmology have discovered what caused the rapid growth of early supermassive black holes – a steady diet of cold, fast food. The simulations, completed using supercomputers at the National Institute for Computational Sciences and the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center and viewed using GigaPan technology, show that thin streams of cold gas flow uncontrolled into the center of the first black holes, causing them to grow faster than anything else in the universe. The findings will be published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters. MORE
Thursday, December 8, 2011Carnegie Mellon University's Roberto R. Gil and Rongchao Jin have successfully used NMR to analyze the structure of infinitesimal gold nanoparticles, which could advance the development and use of the tiny particles in drug development. MORE
Tuesday, November 29, 2011Irene Fonseca, the Mellon College of Science Professor of Mathematics at Carnegie Mellon University, has been elected president of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), an international professional society for applied mathematicians with more than 13,000 individual members and almost 500 institutional members. MORE
Monday, October 31, 2011It's a Halloween tradition in the Chemistry Department. Teaching Professor Karen Stump dons her witch's hat and stirs her steaming cauldron—which is full of dry ice, of course—to show off some tricks of the chemist's trade that bring out the kid in all of us. MORE
Monday, October 3, 2011Rudolph Marcus, who received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1992 for his contributions to the theory of electron transfer reactions in chemical systems, will deliver Carnegie Mellon University's Second Biennial John A. Pople Lecture in Theoretical and Computational Chemistry at 4:45 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 4.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar has launched two new undergraduate degree programs in biological sciences and computational biology. The programs are a collaborative effort with Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar (WCMC-Q), with students receiving their degrees from Carnegie Mellon. MORE
Tuesday, September 27, 2011Carnegie Mellon University biologists have developed an MRI-based technique that allows researchers to non-invasively follow neural stem cells in vivo. The recently patented technology could be used to further the study of neural stem cells and inform the development of new treatments for brain injury caused by trauma, stroke, Parkinson’s disease and other neurological disorders. MORE
Monday, September 19, 2011David C. Heath, professor emeritus and former Orion Hoch Professor of Mathematical Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University, died August 11 of complications related to Alzheimer's disease. David was a world leader in theoretical and applied research in financal risk management and the co-creator of one of the financial industry's most widely used models for interest rate risk management, the Heath-Jarrow-Morton (HJM) model.
Thursday, August 11, 2011The transport system inside living cells is a well-oiled machine with tiny protein motors hauling chromosomes, neurotransmitters and other vital cargo around the cell. These molecular motors are responsible for a variety of critical transport jobs, but they are not always on the go. They can put themselves into “energy save mode” to conserve cellular fuel and, as a consequence, control what gets moved around the cell, and when.
Friday, July 1, 2011Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) isn’t just for capturing detailed images of torn knee ligaments or the brain. A novel technology developed by Carnegie Mellon University scientist Eric Ahrens will soon allow doctors to use MRI to monitor, in patients, the delivery of a dendritic cell vaccine for treating colorectal cancer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized the technology’s use in a Phase I clinical trial at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI). MORE
Wednesday, June 8, 2011It looks like it’s time to get a new periodic table of the elements. The Joint Working Party for the Discovery of New Elements, chaired by Carnegie Mellon University Chemistry Professor Paul Karol, confirmed the discovery of two new elements in a paper published online in the journal Pure and Applied Chemistry.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation has announced that Carnegie Mellon University’s Rongchao Jin is a 2011 Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar. Jin is one of 13 researchers in the United States this year to receive the award, which supports the research and teaching careers of talented young faculty in the chemical sciences. MORE
Friday, May 13, 2011The U.S. Student Fulbright Program has named three Mellon College of Science students 2011 Fulbright Scholars. The program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, is the largest U.S. international exchange program offering opportunities for students to undertake international graduate study, advanced research and English teaching assistantships. MORE
Thursday, May 12, 2011PITTSBURGH—Three Carnegie Mellon University students have received Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships to encourage their pursuit of careers in the sciences. Benjamin Cowley, Robert Tisherman and Stephanie Guerra were among 278 sophomores and juniors nationwide chosen from more than 1,000 nominations to receive scholarships this year. Carnegie Mellon students have earned 13 Goldwater Scholarships since 2007. MORE
Wednesday, May 4, 2011On May 2, faculty, staff and administrators gathered in the Mellon Institute to honor MCS staff members for their dedication and service to the Mellon College of Science. MORE
Wednesday, May 4, 2011The Mellon College of Science (MCS) presented its awards for education and research during the college's annual faculty meeting on Monday, May 2. Winners included Colin DeGraf, Jane Herriman, Michael Klipper, Kellie Kravarik, WenWen Li and Huifeng Qian. MORE
Wednesday, May 4, 2011Tom Bohman, a professor in the Mathematical Sciences Department, is this year’s winner of the Mellon College of Science’s (MCS) Julius Ashkin Award, which is presented to a faculty member who has shown unusual devotion and effectiveness in teaching undergraduate students. MORE
Friday, April 29, 2011Graduate students Colin DeGraf and Wenwen Li have been awarded Astrid and Bruce McWilliams Fellowships in the Mellon College of Science in recognition of their outstanding creativity, dedication and commitment to carrying out leading-edge research MORE
Tuesday, April 26, 2011Scott Aaronson, an expert in the realm of computational complexity theory and the founder of ComplexityZoo.com online encyclopedia of computational complexity theory will deliver Carnegie Mellon University's annual Buhl Lecture at 4:30 p.m., Friday, April 29 in the Mellon Institute Auditorium, 4400 Fifth Ave., Oakland. MORE
Monday, April 25, 2011From the nanoscale wiring of a computer to the macroscale beams of steel in buildings and bridges, most materials are aggregates of crystals. The underlying theories that govern how these polycrystalline structures evolve to form the final end product have been of immense interest to materials scientists for years, but fully understanding the process — called coarsening — is exceedingly complex. Now, new research from a team of Carnegie Mellon University mathematicians and materials scientists has shed some light on how these polycrystalline structures evolve. MORE
Thursday, April 21, 2011Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute have leveraged the latest browser technology to create GigaPan Time Machine, a system that enables viewers to explore gigapixel-scale, high-resolution videos and image sequences by panning or zooming in and out of the images while simultaneously moving back and forth through time. Viewers, for instance, can use the system to focus in on the details of a booth within a panorama of a carnival midway, but also reverse time to see how the booth was constructed. Or they can watch a group of plants sprout, grow and flower, shifting perspective to watch some plants move wildly as they grow while others get eaten by caterpillars. Or, they can view a computer simulation of the early universe, watching as gravity works across 600 million light-years to condense matter into filaments and finally into stars that can be seen by zooming in for a close up. MORE
Thursday, March 31, 2011Scientists led by Carnegie Mellon University chemist Krzysztof Matyjaszewski are using electricity from a battery to drive atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP), a widely used method of creating industrial plastics. The environmentally friendly approach, reported in the April 1 issue of Science, represents a breakthrough in the level of control scientists can achieve over the ATRP process, which will allow for the creation of even more complex and specialized materials.
Friday, March 25, 2011There are billions of neurons in the brain and at any given time tens of thousands of these neurons might be trying to send signals to one another. Much like a person trying to be heard by his friend across a crowded room, neurons must figure out the best way to get their message heard above the din.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011The DSF Charitable Foundation has given a $3.9 million grant to Carnegie Mellon University's Center for Nucleic Acids Science and Technology (CNAST) to further the development of novel biomedical tools targeted at monitoring and manipulating gene expression. MORE
Thursday, March 10, 2011Carnegie Mellon University will award its prestigious 2010 Dickson Prize in Science to world-renowned chemist and materials scientist David Tirrell. Tirrell is best known for creatively applying principles from the realms of biology and chemistry to address problems in polymer synthesis. MORE
Wednesday, February 16, 2011Krzysztof Matyjaszewski, the J.C. Warner Professor of the Natural Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University's Mellon College of Science, has been named a recipient of the 2011 Wolf Prize in Chemistry from Israel's Wolf Foundation. MORE
Monday, February 14, 2011Carnegie Mellon University physics major Rebecca Krall has been selected as one of 14 students in the United States to receive a Churchill Scholarship, which funds a year of postgraduate study at the University of Cambridge in England. The Churchill Scholarship is one of the most prestigious awards for studying abroad in the United Kingdom. Krall is the third Churchill Scholar from CMU in the last four years. MORE
Wednesday, February 9, 2011The Pittsburgh Foundation announced that Carnegie Mellon University research professor Stephanie Tristram-Nagle was awarded the third annual Charles E. Kaufman Award of $50,000 for her ground-breaking research in lipid membranes, the underlying structure of all living cell membranes, which may one day lead to a breakthrough in the treatment of AIDS. MORE
Thursday, February 3, 2011On February 3, the Carnegie Science Center announced that Sara Majetich, professor of physics, received the 2011 Award for Excellence in the Emerging Female Scientist category, and, Ragunathan Rajkumar, the George Westinghouse Professor in Electrical Engineering received the Award for Excellence in the Information Technology category. The Awards for Excellence will be presented at a banquet on May 6. MORE
Monday, January 24, 2011PITTSBURGH-Carnegie Mellon University faculty members Michael J. Tarr and Nathan Urban, have received professorships for their significant contributions to further understanding the brain and mind. Tarr was named the George A. and Helen Dunham Cowan Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, and Urban was named the Dr. Frederick A. Schwertz Distinguished Professor of Life Sciences. MORE
Friday, January 7, 2011Carnegie Mellon University researchers have found that within the brain's neocortex lies a subnetwork of highly active neurons that behave much like people in social networks. Like Facebook, these neuronal networks have a small population of highly active members who give and receive more information than the majority of other members, says Alison Barth, associate professor of biological sciences at Carnegie Mellon and a member of the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition (CNBC). By identifying these neurons, scientists will now be able to study them further and increase their understanding of the neocortex, which is thought to be the brain's center of higher learning. The study has been published in the journal Neuron. MORE