Carnegie Mellon University
Skip navigation and jump directly to page content

News Clips - December 7, 2007

From November 30 to December 6, Carnegie Mellon Media Relations counted 414 references to the university in worldwide publications. Here is a sample.


High stakes robot-racing
CNN (Fortune Magazine) | December 4
Hard core robot experts tend to turn up their noses at remote-control bots like Robotex's - even if they're fully armed. Their idea of real robots is more like the camera-studded vehicles that raced in November's so-called DARPA Grand Challenge, a kind of Indy 500 for driverless cars. ... The winner of the $2 million first prize, having successfully navigated the 60-mile course - including left turns across traffic - was a souped-up Chevy Tahoe out of Carnegie Mellon University.


Universities' revenue from licensing inventions increases, report says
The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription) | December 4
The number of universities earning more than $10-million annually from their licensing of inventions inched up in the 2006 fiscal year, according to survey results released on Monday. ... Carnegie Mellon University is among the universities that have been making spinoffs a high priority. It reported forming 12 such companies in 2006, versus just two in 2003.


Scientists beg for climate action
Associated Press | December 5
For the first time, more than 200 of the world's leading climate scientists, losing their patience, urged government leaders to take radical action to slow global warming because "there is no time to lose." ... Granger Morgan, a professor of engineering and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University, said he sees "a growing realization among a wide variety of players that we've got to stop talking about this and start some action." But, he added, "I'm not going to hold my breath that we're going to get anything."


Lost gloves seek mates on student's website
USA Today | November 30
It's like an online dating service for long lost gloves. No, that's not a typo. A Texas native who experienced her first snowflakes in Pittsburgh last year was miffed by the lost gloves she spotted all over the city last winter. ... So Jennifer Gooch, who is pursuing her master of fine arts degree at Carnegie Mellon University, started in an effort to reunite dropped gloves with their mates — and in the process spread some goodwill.


Robot Hall of Fame in Pittsburgh, PA
Associated Content | November 30
There seems to be a common tradition that no matter what field of work you are in somebody will want to do something that will give credit to the best of the best in that line of work. A common way to do this is with a Hall of Fame. ... The Robot Hall of Fame was created by the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Education for Leadership

Local Eagle Scout candidates get creative
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | December 6
Not long after becoming executive of the Boy Scouts' Greater Pittsburgh Council this fall, Mike Surbaugh heard about the work of Spencer Huff and Alex Pazuchanics. ... An Eagle Scout project, in part, is meant to teach a young man how to provide leadership to others and leave a meaningful impact on the community, Mazzuca said. About 150,000 Scouts finish projects every year, he said. That might sound like a lot at first glance. But only about 5 percent of the millions of Boy Scouts attain the rank of Eagle Scout, said Bob DeWitt, spokesman for the Pittsburgh Council. And even fewer achieve something of national significance, as Huff has. The Carnegie Mellon University freshman, who graduated from Fox Chapel Area High School in May, first thought about building a gazebo for his church.


South notes: Amy's Army visits college
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | December 6
Amy's Army is teaming up with students at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University and the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation to enlarge the ranks of the National Bone Marrow Registry. The Mt. Lebanon-based group and volunteers from both universities are holding a bone marrow donor drive today from 2 to 9 p.m. at the Hillel Jewish University Center at 4607 Forbes Ave.


Local kids give kids a start in school
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | December 6
Children from 10 local schools have collected nearly 1,400 sets of school supplies so that refugees in Iraq can go to school. ... Gathering the supplies were students from Carnegie Mellon University Children's School, The Children's Institute, The Ellis School, Montessori Children's Community, St. Edmund's Academy and Baldwin, Gateway, Oakland Catholic, Schenley and Woodland Hills high schools.

Arts and Humanities

Secret Shame
Psychology Today | December 6
Lisa would watch us with moist eyes from the classroom window during recess. Born with rheumatoid arthritis, she wore leg splints until the eleventh grade, at which point the splints came off and the brooding genius graduated high school early. Years later she told me that throughout adolescence she woke up depressed, pleading with her mom to let her stay in bed. Yet the shame of her childhood was soon forgotten at CalTech where she was quickly absorbed by a supportive group of variously stigmatized geeks. Others aren't so lucky. ... Stress—of all types—has been linked to depression, cardiovascular disease, and the rapid progression of illness. Sheldon Cohen at Carnegie Mellon, who has been studying the association, explains that the damage comes from two directions. People under stress often develop bad habits, like sleeping less, skipping the gym, eating junk food, smoking more, and drinking more. Second, the body reacts to mental stress.


Review: A closer look
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | December 6
Carnegie Mellon University's Regina Gouger Miller Gallery is featuring solo exhibits of work by three women artists at the top of their game. ... Patricia Maurides' works are on the first of three floors that the exhibits cover. Through an installation made up of photos, projected images and recorded sounds, the artist, who also happens to be an adjunct assistant professor in Carnegie Mellon's school of art, explores her familial past.


Stage review: Carnegie Mellon gives us the innocent, cartoon version with sassy 'Guys and Dolls'
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | December 6
Seasonal presents come in different guises. But a "Guys and Dolls" by the talented dramats at Carnegie Mellon certainly qualifies. I count Frank Loesser's masterpiece (book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows) as perhaps the greatest American musical comedy -- securely in the top five, anyway. This has a lot to do with its urban gangster landscape, which is, along with the Wild West, one of our two great story-generating national myths.


Art Review: Show of botanical art evolves and thrives
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | December 5
The 12th International Exhibition of Botanical Art & Illustration brings 111 artworks by 64 artists from 14 countries to Carnegie Mellon University's Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation. The prestigious triennial event was initiated by the Institute in 1964 to encourage and support contemporary botanical artists and has become increasingly competitive.

Information Technology

What's that content doing?
EContent Magazine | December Issue
It’s funny how, once you get an idea in your head, you start seeing things in a different light. I recently got on a tear about repurposing information, whether it’s electronic content, virtual worlds, blogs, or just email discussion lists. I have moved from “just in case” reading of blogs and discussion lists to “just in time” searching of list archives for what I need right now. ... Another news item I ran across was about a creative use of the CAPTCHA utility—those boxes on some websites that require you to retype hard-to-read characters to confirm that you are, in fact, human and not a spambot. Luis von Ahn, a computer scientist from Carnegie Mellon University, looked at the way CAPTCHA boxes work and thought that this ability in humans to recognize characters that machines can’t read might be applicable in other situations.

Regional Impact

Mine safety technology on rise in region
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | December 6
A small device that can save workers' lives by alerting them to an explosive mixture of coal and rock dust may be in the hands of miners next year, say researchers who helped develop the monitor at a South Park laboratory. ... The agency is working with robotics experts from Carnegie Mellon University in Oakland on a "snake robot" that can go into small areas with a camera, Terry Hoch said. The snake robot is attached to a tether, so it can be pulled back, Hoch said.


Carnegie Mellon Building Virtual Worlds class draws high profile companies to local talent
Pop City Media | December 5
What do you get when you put a computer scientist together with a graphic artist, violin player and business administration student? At Carnegie Mellon’s popular “Building Virtual Worlds” class, you get four different people speaking four different languages and some highly creative art. You also might get a great job.


Write a business development plan
Pittsburgh Business Times (subscription) | November 30
A business development plan is simply a company's growth strategy in a nutshell. But Art Boni sees many entrepreneurs make the same critical mistake -- not understanding their industry and/or their customers. And that really comes down to not understanding their own business. "What you really need to do is immerse yourself in how your business operates," said Boni, who is executive director of the Donald H. Jones Center for Entrepreneurship at Carnegie Mellon University and has previously worked as a venture capitalist. "What are its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities? What isn't in the mix? And what differentiates it from its competitors? It sounds pretty simple, but it's significant. If you don't understand what you're trying to do, you're pushing your solution on people who aren't interested in it."


Dying professor honored as teacher of the year
United Press International | December 5
A Pittsburgh professor with terminal cancer has been honored with an award from the Association for Computer Machinery as its 2007 Educator of the Year. In September, Randy Pausch gave his final lecture at Carnegie Mellon University. The lecture has been viewed by more than 1 million people online, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. Pausch and Jeff Zaslow, a columnist for The Wall Street Journal, have received a $6.7 million advance for a book based on the lecture.


Carnegie Mellon developing robo-tank
PC Pro | November 30
Carnegie Mellon's National Robotics Engineering Center has won a $14.4 million contract to continue development of its unmanned ground vehicle technology for the US Army. The team says that the majority of the budget will go towards updating Crusher, a 6.5 tonne, unmanned support vehicle it developed in 2006.