Carnegie Mellon University

Winter 2010


Student Fashion Mag Debuts

Magazine CoverSophomore professional writing major Efi Turkson has a passion for fashion, so she recruited four friends with majors in design and professional writing — Brier Avil, Anh Bui, Hanah Ho and Victor Ng — to launch d’Arte Magazine (pronounced "dart").
“Our mission is to foster greater appreciation of various forms of art, particularly design and fashion, not only at Carnegie Mellon University but in the greater Pittsburgh community,” Turkson said. “We also want to highlight the achievements of students in various colleges at CMU and bring attention to their work.”
Carnegie Mellon students serve as models, photographers, stylists and writers. The debut cover (right) features first-year economics major Mimi Mayaki modeling a necklace of colorful roses created by senior drama major Jillian Wilschke. In addition to student creations, Designer Days Boutique on Ellsworth Avenue provided clothing and accessories featured in the premier issue. The National Council of Jewish Women uses proceeds from the consignment boutique to support its charitable work with women, children and families.
Inside d’Arte, readers will find an editorial about a 2009 Bank of England memo which stated women should look “professional, not fashionable” in the workplace. Features include senior design major Luther Young’s bag and jackets collection inspired by his semester studying in Amsterdam, as well as a behind-the-scenes look at Carnegie Mellon’s annual Lunar Gala fashion show.
d’Arte will be published twice each semester and is recruiting new team members and advertisers.
“We hope that in the coming years d'Arte will grow and that new members across various disciplines can bring something new and interesting to the table,” Turkson said.

Abby Houck


Guinness: Dragon Runner is "Most Durable" Military Robot

Dragon Runner UpdatedDragon Runner, the 20-pound "throwable" reconnaissance robot developed at the Robotics Institute, is the world's most durable military robot, according to the editors of the 2010 edition of Guinness World Records.

Hagen Schempf, principal systems scientist at the Robotics Institute, led the development of the ultra-rugged Dragon Runner. Twelve prototypes, built by spin-off Automatika Inc., were delivered to the U.S. Marines in 2004. Several models of Dragon Runner are now produced commercially by QinetiQ North America, which purchased Automatika in 2007. Hundreds of units have since been sold into explosives ordnance disposal duty in the Middle East.

Pictured at left is an updated model of Dragon Runner.

Byron Spice


Carnegie Mellon Offers Dual Ph.D. Program with University in Singapore

Carnegie Mellon and Singapore's Nanyang Technological University (NTU) have established a dual Ph.D. program in engineering. Candidates who successfully meet the academic requirements of both NTU and CMU will be awarded doctoral degrees by both universities. Students will spend at least two academic years at NTU and another two academic years at CMU with a co-adviser from each university to guide them in their research.

"We are delighted that Carnegie Mellon's Mechanical Engineering Department will be involved with this innovative dual Ph.D. degree program with Nanyang Technological University," said President Jared L. Cohon. "Carnegie Mellon has a longstanding tradition of collaborating with top universities around the world to provide opportunities for our students to learn in competitive and entrepreneurial environments. This agreement will enable Ph.D. candidates, both in Pittsburgh and Singapore, to work with some of the top minds in a variety of academic disciplines.''

Chriss Swaney


Hopper Celebrates National Grammar Day

Grammar rules can be confusing. Especially with texting abbreviations, lyrics, slogans, 140-character limits and internet slang contributing to what seems like more generally accepted flexibility in grammar. To promote awareness of proper grammar and its importance for clear communication, the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar (SPOGG) designated March 4 as National Grammar Day. It is intended to encourage people to speak and write well and to celebrate language.

Paul Hopper, the Paul Mellon Distinguished Professor of the Humanities, doesn't need a special holiday to commemorate grammar. A world-renowned linguist, Hopper focuses on the relationship between the structure of language and rhetoric. Last summer, he took a sabbatical and spent it pursuing research and lecturing as a Senior Fellow at the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies at Albert Ludwigs-Universität in Germany.

His current research questions how grammar is approached in spoken language. "People tend to think grammar is just about writing correctly," Hopper said. "Historically, linguists have been interested in written language, but now technology allows us to study spoken language. When we talk, we string together phrases that we’ve heard before. This creates its own structure as time goes on, and written grammatical rules are not used."

Hopper feels that his quest to understand how people speak will uncover the nature of communication in an entirely different way. "What I'm seeing is that spoken grammar follows routines," he said. "It's not that we're obeying rules of correctness, but more like we're following routines."

In addition to teaching classes in the English Department, Hopper travels abroad to give various lectures. Last fall he was the keynote speaker at a conference at the University of Helsinki with a paper on "Phrase Building Strategies in Longer Utterances." And, on March 9, he will celebrate National Grammar Day a few days late with a talk at Carnegie Mellon Qatar on "Language in Global Hotspots."

Shilo Raube