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News Clips - February 9, 2006

From February 2 to February 8, Carnegie Mellon Media Relations counted 429 references to the university in worldwide publications. Here is a sample.


On the record, all the time
The Chronicle of Higher Education | February 9
The first day I came home with a digital audio recorder hanging around my neck, along with a sign that said "Warning: This conversation may be recorded," my wife shook her head in a way that conveyed deep embarrassment. Then she said: "Have you ever heard of Nixon?" ... But they also predict that in the future everyone is going to be "lifelogging" — continually recording images from their vacations, conversations from business meetings, and even intimate confessions to friends. ... Many of the winning projects deal with health. Doctors already record physiological data, like heart rhythms, through mobile devices, but researchers imagine that lifelogging tools could give physicians an even clearer picture of the factors influencing a person's health. Lifelogging itself could even be a form of therapy. For example, Anind Dey, an assistant professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University, is using digital photos to try to exercise and improve the memories of early-stage Alzheimer's patients. He uses a lifelogging device invented by Microsoft Research called a SenseCam — a little black box, with a fisheye lens, that hangs around a lifelogger's neck and automatically snaps a picture about once a minute. A day recorded by a SenseCam looks like a stop-action film. ***To view this article online you must have a subscription to this publication.


Carnegie Mellon Course Dissects Statistics About Sexual Orientation
The Chronicle of Higher Education | February 9
"From 10 Percent to Couples Per County: The Statistics of the Gay and Lesbian Population," Carnegie Mellon University. Most statistics courses emphasize the power of statistics. Michele DiPietro's course focuses on the failures. "Those are two sides of the same coin," says Mr. DiPietro. "As a statistician, the power and the limits are one and the same." Gay and lesbian studies are certainly fertile ground for bad guesses and unreliable statistics. The most famous number, that 10 percent of the population is gay, was taken from a biased Kinsey sample of white men ages 16 to 55 in 1948, and referred to sexual history rather than orientation, says Mr. DiPietro. ***To view this article online you must have a subscription to this publication.


Pa. group spurs biotech growth
Forbes (AP) | February 5
Doctors detected 16-year-old Alison Fritz's juvenile rheumatoid arthritis through traditional methods of diagnosis: talking with her, examining her joints and studying samples of her blood. That followed several years of aching joints that other doctors attributed to growing pains. The condition, it turned out, was a consequence of Lyme disease contracted by the Erie resident when she was five. ... The organization - part incubator, part investment fund, part consultancy - is one of three started in Pennsylvania with $100 million in state money from a tobacco settlement five years ago. The others are the Life Sciences Greenhouse of Central Pennsylvania, in Harrisburg, and the Biotechnology Greenhouse of Southern Pennsylvania, also known as BioAdvance, in Philadelphia. Founded partly by the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University - both major research centers - the Pittsburgh Greenhouse spent years setting the stage for bioscience entrepreneurs to take their ideas to market.


46 Nations Back Body to Protect Planet
ABC News (AP) | February 4
Forty-five nations answered France's call for a new environmental body to slow inevitable global warming and protect the planet, perhaps with policing powers to punish violators. Absent were the world's heavyweight polluter, the United States, and booming nations on the same path as the U.S. China and India. ... The world's scientists and other international leaders also said now that the science is so well-documented, action is clearly the next step. "It is time now to hear from the world's policymakers," Tim Wirth, president of the United Nations Foundation, said Friday. "The so-called and long-overstated 'debate' about global warming is now over." Granger Morgan, an energy expert at Carnegie Mellon University in the United States predicted the new climate report "will kick a few more folks to get on board." ... Despite White House resistance to carbon-cutting measures with teeth, de Boer and Carnegie Mellon professor Morgan said they see movement in the United States anyway."We are certainly building critical mass among opinion leaders and nontechnical folks," Morgan said from Pittsburgh, citing recent calls to action by corporate CEOs, even in the energy industry. "We are at the point over the next three to five years where the U.S. is going to get quite serious about it.

Education for Leadership

Region's annual competition puts excellence on display
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | February 8
On display at the Three Rivers Arts Festival Gallery, Downtown, "Context" is the result of American Institute of Graphic Arts Pittsburgh's annual design competition. Formally known as the "Pittsburgh 100 Show," the competition is open to graphic artists, photographers and publishers, as well as students of those disciplines, throughout the Pittsburgh region. ... Works in last year's exhibition, also displayed in Three Rivers Arts Festival Gallery, were nearly all confined to the walls. But this year's presentation is different, thanks in part to undergraduates in Carnegie Mellon University's design department who, under the tutelage of assistant professor Kristin Hughes, were asked to rethink how the exhibition should be displayed.


Web site expresses emotion through color
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | February 7
Ian Li feels like a jumble of colors. "Today I just have so much to do," said Li, 25, a Carnegie Mellon University doctoral student. "It's been hectic, so that would be a bunch of different colors -- reds and then maybe some browns, and then maybe I'd add some blue to it. It wouldn't be in a pattern; it would be all jumbled up." Expressing emotion through color is the basis for MoodJam, a popular Web site Li and eight other Carnegie Mellon students developed "just for fun." ... People can attach any words they want to the colors they use to describe their emotions, resulting in entries such as "caffeinated," "cloudy" and "fantabulously magical." MoodJam could have research possibilities, said Jodi Forlizzi, an assistant professor in the Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science's Human-Computer Interaction Institute. "It's definitely becoming a social phenomenon," she said. "It could be part of a larger effort to understand how giving people information about themselves might motivate them to change their behavior.

Arts and Humanities

Art: Jump in
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | February 8
When it comes to writing about what you know, Vaclav Havel may easily be the best candidate to create a satirical play about government bureaucracy and workplace insanity. The last president of Czechoslovakia, the first president of the Czech Republic and one of the leaders of the country's 1989 revolution, Havel knows this world first-hand. His play, "Memorandum" explores the madness, mayhem and opportunism that erupts in a government office when its workers are forced to conduct business in a new language that no one has ever heard, much less speaks or understands. ... "Memorandum" is being performed by students of the Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama through Saturday in the Philip Chosky Theatre in the Purnell Center on the Carnegie Mellon University campus at 5000 Forbes Ave., Oakland.


Human resources expert say workers could benefit more from art than from math and science
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | February 7
Math and science are the big talking and testing points in education these days. But human resource experts believe that to truly succeed in the global economy, tomorrow's workers may benefit most from studying and participating in the arts. ... Arts education "nurtures many transferable skills, including creativity, innovation, teamwork, lateral thinking, intuitive reasoning and thinking outside the box," added Hilary Robinson, dean of the College of Fine Arts at Carnegie Mellon University.


A talent for design
New Haven Register | February 4
The industrial designer creates with the inspiration of an artist, one who, instead of using a painter's palette, draws on her inventive and mechanical abilities. Born of an American mother and a father from Ghana, Bilson, 47, grew up during her formative years in Ghana, West Africa. There she would give her sketches to the family carpenter so he could help her construct items such as toys made from wooden sewing spindles. Today, Bilson is a vice president at Pitney Bowes Inc. who works in the company's Shelton facility. She is part of Black Creativity 2007: Designs for Life, an exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry Chicago, which showcases 30 African-American industrial designers. The exhibit runs through Feb. 28. ... Bilson is joined in the Chicago exhibit by people including Michael Burton, a director of interior design at General Motors; Kimberly Glover, the first African-American footwear designer at Nike; and Eric Anderson, an associate professor at the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University.


Guest to conduct orchestra's 'Battle of the Sexes'
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | February 4
Washington Symphony Orchestra concert planners put on their thinking caps when they came up with the idea of staging a concert with the title "The Battle of the Sexes." After searching the catalog of available music for compositions with a distinct yin or yang flavor, they came up with pieces such as "Mars" from Gustav Holst's "The Planets," "The Triumphal March" from Giuseppe Verdi's "Aida," and two excerpts from Edward Elgar's "Enigma Variations," the introspective "Nimrod" and "Dorabella." All will be featured at Saturday's 8 p.m. concert in Trinity High School Auditorium. In addition to its sexy masculine-feminine theme, the concert will feature special guest conductor, Efrain Amaya, artist lecturer in music theory and resident conductor at Carnegie Mellon University.

Information Technology

Hackers sift gaming, social networking sites for victims
PC World | February 7
Insecurely written software still looms as one of the greatest threats to Internet commerce, and user-generated Web content is becoming a vast new vulnerability hackers want to exploit, according to experts at RSA Conference. Cross-site scripting attacks on Web sites can lead to malware taking over the browsers of machines that use the sites, said Caleb Sima, a member of the Secure Software Forum and co-founder of SPI Dynamics. ... Better frameworks for how software is written could help, said William Scherlis, computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University. That includes looking at the software as it is being written using a hacker’s perspective to find potential vulnerabilities. “We should try to find patterns of behavior against the application that might damage the site,” he said.,128835/article.html


Q&A: Jeannette Wing talks about upcoming NSF
Computerworld | February 2
The National Science Foundation this week chose Jeannette Wing, head of the computer science department at Carnegie Mellon University, to lead its new Computer & Information Science & Engineering Directorate, beginning on July 1. Wing, an expert on security, trustworthy computing and formal methods in safety- and mission-critical systems, will oversee $527 million in annual government spending on computer science and engineering. Wing, who coined the term "computational thinking," has worked or consulted for several major players in the IT industry, and said in an interview with Computerworld that she hopes to take that experience and use it to encourage computer science education in the U.S.


3D you
Government Technology | February 2007
At the scene of an automobile accident, several vehicles are engulfed in a raging inferno. Firefighters and other rescue personnel arrive on scene and receive a report that multiple victims are trapped in the flaming wreckage. Hundreds of gallons of water are quickly expelled to extinguish the blaze. In all likelihood, the vehicles' occupants are dead. Nevertheless, firefighters examine each smoldering heap and find one person with faint vital signs. ... Welcome to the world of 3-D holograms. But these holograms, officially known as "dynamic physical renderings," are not merely figments of light and color -- they have mass, weight and texture. They move in real time and interact as if they were actual physical objects -- even actual people. If it seems like science fiction, it is. But for a team of researchers at Intel and Carnegie Mellon University, science fiction becoming science fact may be far closer to happening than anyone imagined. Just over three years ago, a couple of computer science/engineer types found themselves at a brainstorming session and wound up with the next big idea. Todd Mowry and Seth Goldstein, both associate professors of computer science at Carnegie Mellon, hit on an idea that could fundamentally change the world.


In 100 years, it may be balmy here in February thanks to global warming
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | February 3
Global warming is a fact, but its impact on Western Pennsylvania remains a matter of scientific speculation, a Carnegie Mellon University scientist said. Nevertheless, noticeable change will occur here over the next 100 years, according to M. Granger Morgan, who heads the Department of Engineering and Public Policy. Dr. Morgan expressed reluctance to speculate but said local climate in 2107 could resemble the current climate of the Carolinas. And if Greenland's glaciers continue melting, which Dr. Morgan said seems to be occurring faster than expected, oceans could rise many feet, which would threaten coastlines and create serious problems in New Orleans and Miami.

Regional Impact

High-tech 'smart' community planned
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | February 8
Blueroof Technologies, a McKeesport nonprofit, presented city officials this week with a plan to develop an "independence zone" that they said would see McKeesport grow as a leading independent living community for senior citizens in the state. The organization built a model home in McKeesport last year and displayed how a two-story, wood-frame house could be converted into a hi-tech home designed to enhance independent living for the disabled and elderly. Now it is proposing to build at least 20 such homes in McKeesport in the next few years. ... Blueroof has partnered with the Quality of Life Technology Center, a collaboration between Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh that is dedicated to researching quality of life issues. It plans to build a "cluster community" of cottages in McKeesport that are affordable and equipped with the technology to meet the needs of challenged individuals, Mr. Bertoty said.


Carnegie Mellon institute seeks to match societal needs, entrepreneurship
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | February 3
Mahatma Gandhi once advised, "Be the change that you wish to see in the world." This past year, students and faculty at Carnegie Mellon University's H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management took that advice to heart. They formed the Institute for Social Innovation, which aims to influence how the public and private sectors work together to address societal concerns. ... "Social entrepreneurs,'' the name given to individuals pursuing these dual goals, tend to be "passionate, smart and motivated, just like entrepreneurs in the for-profit sector, but they apply their energies to solving intractable social problems,'' said Tim Zak, an adjunct faculty member at the Heinz School and the Tepper School of Business and co-director of the institute. "We want to inspire more people to pursue those dreams." ... Indeed, the Heinz School's Dr. Denise Rousseau and Marie Coleman, faculty director and co-director of the institute, respectively, note Carnegie Mellon faculty ranging from the fields of arts and robotics to business and international relations have collaborated with the institute. So far, 20 masters students have chosen to concentrate in social entrepreneurship since it was offered a year ago.


Carnegie Mellon scholarship gift
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | February 4
A major gift to Carnegie Mellon University from Carnegie Mellon alumnus Robert Gariano and his wife, Linda, will help the school establish the Joan Knowles Memorial Scholarship. The fund, in honor of Robert Gariano's mother, will provide scholarships to African American, Hispanic and Native American undergraduate students who qualify for financial aid at Carnegie Mellon and wish to study in one of the technology or science disciplines. Robert Gariano, a 1971 graduate of Carnegie Mellon and now of Lake Forest, Ill., is founder, president and CEO of Robert Gariano Associates, a recruiting firm that serves clients at the senior management and board of directors' level.


IT admins are security risk, says research
Techworld | February 7
Workers who sabotage corporate systems are almost always IT workers suffering from some form of mental derangement, according to recent research. That is the conclusion of the U.S. military in conjunction with Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) program, which together analyzed insider cyber-crimes across a variety of critical industry sectors. The research suggests that potential troublemakers should be easy to spot. Nearly all the cases of cyber-crime investigated were carried out by people who were "disgruntled, paranoid, generally show up late, argue with colleagues, and generally perform poorly". ... As a result, Carnegie Mellon has developed a methodology that it said can help detect insider threats as early as possible, involving management, IT, human resources, security officers, and others who "must understand the psychological, organizational, and technical aspects of the problem, as well as how they coordinate their actions over time".


A test for new physics, including string theory
PhysOrg | February 5
Detractors of string theory have been deriding it for years, claiming that there is no way to test it. However, with a paper published in Physical Review Letters titled “Falsifying Models of New Physics via WW Scattering”, that could change. Coauthors Jacques Distler at the University of Austin in Texas, Benjamin Grinstein from the University of California, San Diego, and Rafael A. Porto and Ira Z. Rothstein at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, address a way of falsifying some models of string theory in their letter.


Carnegie Mellon in Qatar gets several new faces on faculty
The Peninsula | February 3
Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar has announced the addition of several new faculty members for the Spring 2007 semester. Joining the university are Bill Brown, Ph.D., professor, Starling Hunter, Ph.D., visiting teaching professor, Aziz Lookman Ph.D., assistant professor and Majid Sakr Ph.D., faculty member.