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News Clips - January 19, 2007

From January 12 to January 18, Carnegie Mellon Media Relations counted 242 references to the university in worldwide publications. Here is a sample.


Polling for an educated citizenry
The Chronicle of Higher Education | January 19, 2007
Two years ago, when a student at Carnegie Mellon University became concerned about perceived grading bias, he proposed an amendment to the university's student-rights policy. Drawn from David Horowitz's "academic bill of rights," the proposal included assertion of a student's right to have his or her "work evaluated based on the stated course and program criteria and appropriate knowledge of the subjects and disciplines they study, as outlined by the relevant faculty." ***This article was written by Robert Cavalier and Michael Bridges. Robert Cavalier is a teaching professor of philosophy at Carnegie Mellon University, and Michael Bridges is associate director of assessment at the Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence and an adjunct professor of psychology at Carnegie Mellon.


The voices in my head say ‘buy it!’ Why argue?
The New York Times | January 16
Now that scientists have spotted the pain and pleasure centers in the brain, they’ve moved on to more expensive real estate: the brain’s shopping center. They have been asking the big questions: What is the difference between a tightwad’s brain and a spendthrift’s brain? ... Even the most rational economists, though, realize that the shopper’s mind is more complicated. The brain’s “impartial spectator,” as Adam Smith warned, has to duel with “the passions.” Last year, after surveying shoppers’ passions, behavioral economists at Carnegie Mellon University developed what they call the Tightwad-Spendthrift scale. ... The lazy insula is a rarer affliction than you’d guess by looking at Americans’ indebtedness. Tightwads slightly outnumber spendthrifts, according to surveys by George Loewenstein and his colleagues at Carnegie Mellon, Scott Rick and Cynthia Cryder.


Justice Department outlines plans to combat uptick in violent crime
McClatchy Newspapers | January 16
Bush administration officials are scrambling to demonstrate that they're addressing sharp jumps in violent crime in some cities, in an attempt to reclaim a traditionally Republican issue amid criticism from some Democrats, mayors and police chiefs. Senior Justice Department officials sought Tuesday to highlight the administration's multipronged programs for combating growing gang violence and outbreaks of juvenile crime. The renewed emphasis comes as some experts, as well as politicians, cite federal cuts in city and state law enforcement funding as a possible contributor to spikes in murders, robberies and assaults in medium-sized cities. ... Alfred Blumstein, a Carnegie Mellon University professor who studies crime trends, said that in many cases, the gun violence isn't generated by a formal gang but by loose groups of young men who "have a low threshold of insult" and will do whatever is needed to take revenge.


Opting out of the rat race
MSNBC | January 15
Everyone wants to be promoted, right? Wrong. Megan Gatewood did the unthinkable. She chose to stay a marketing specialist at a Tennessee hospital system instead of going for the bigger job of marketing manager — even though her supervisors encouraged her to apply for the higher position. n the past, says career expert Roberta Chinsky Matuson, "It was unheard of not to accept a promotion even if it meant relocating your family. That would have been the end of your career." But with all the focus on work-balance issues in recent years, she adds, employers are starting to realize "it’s OK for employees to be an individual contributor." If you’re penalized for not moving up, then the company might not be the best place for you. So look closely at the history at your company. "If everyone left in individual contributor roles are those who upper management thinks don’t have potential, then chances are you don’t want to stay there long term," says Dr. Robert Kelley, Adjunct Professor of Organizational Behavior and Theory at Carnegie Mellon's Tepper School of Business.


Do you need an undergrad business degree?
BusinessWeek | January 11
Deciding whether you need an undergraduate business degree or something broader? Then you don't want to miss the live chat event on Jan. 17 at noon EST, where you'll be able to get the scoop from people who have been in your shoes. Our guests will be Milton Cofield, executive director of the undergraduate business program at Carnegie Mellon University; Jacqueline Morris, an associate with the Carlyle Group and a 2002 summa cum laude Boston University graduate with a B.S. in business; and Scott Menzer, a senior at the Lehigh University College of Business & Economics. They will answer your questions about life in an undergraduate business program and the career possibilities awaiting graduates.

Education for Leadership

Job market picks up for MBA graduates
San Francisco Chronicle | January 16
Flocks of MBA students from East Coast schools headed west this month, hoping to land jobs in the beating heart of the tech world. This year, many said, the uptick in the economy has given them new confidence that their trek will result in multiple offers as companies vie for good candidates. It's quite a turnaround from just a few years ago, after the dot-com bust. ... For MBA graduates, the job market has rebounded to such an extent that career counselors at business schools say they have to fend off eager-beaver employers from recruiting too soon. "We had to set strict guidelines about how soon employers can come to campus to recruit," said Stephen Rakas, associate director of the career opportunities center at Carnegie Mellon's Tepper School of Business in Pittsburgh. "We don't want students hit on their first day on campus when they're still trying to buy their books.


Company blooms from Carnegie students' creativity
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | January 14
Four smart, talented students met while studying at Carnegie Mellon University. Each had distinctive skills and mindsets, but Adam Farmerie, William Harris, Greg Bradshaw and Kristina O'Neal discovered that they shared a passion for innovative, provocative design. In 2000, the young friends brought together their diverse expertise to establish AvroKO (, one of the most forward-thinking design firms in the market. AvroKO's press materials describe the New York City-based firm as an "idea engine." Its name is reportedly inspired by the Avro 512 aircraft: "a collection of parts, each with its unique role, seamlessly combines in a high-functioning machine."

Arts and Humanities

'Urban' renewal
The Gazette | January 18
Pittsburgh-area artist Ayanah Moor has always been fascinated with the transformation of the hip-hop or urban culture, which, she says, is often another word for ‘‘black” culture. ‘‘Everyone wants to be ‘ghetto’, but nobody wants to be poor,” she said in a recent artist statement. Moor and her fresh ideas on popular culture will be showcased in the exhibit ‘‘Our Radio is Bigger than Yours” to be held Jan. 23 through Feb. 16 at McDaniel College’s Esther Prangley Rice Gallery in Westminster. An opening reception for her work will be held from 7 until 9 p.m. Tuesday at the gallery. ... An art teacher at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University, Moor also exhibits her work in different venues across the United States, although she says she loves showing at universities best where she can engage students.


In the wings: 1/18/06
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | January 18
The great South African actor, playwright, artistic director and humanitarian activist spoke with passion and humor Tuesday at Carnegie Mellon, using the South African experience to urge drama students to use their education not just to entertain and make money but to work for a better world. His account of civic, artistic and personal life under apartheid was hair-raising but also funny, with the system's absurdities veering from Kafka to Durang. His brother was killed and he was nearly so. But the state also banned "Black Beauty" because of the title. And asked why, as Othello, he actually kissed his white Desdemona, he pointed out that it was the advantage he had over Laurence Olivier and Maggie Smith: Olivier's makeup would leave a smudge, "but I don't have that problem." The censor was not amused.


Weekend hotlist, 1/18/07
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | January 18
Cuarteto Latinoamericano plays a much broader repertoire than its name suggests, but this time it is indeed offering some seductive Latin music. With guitarist Manuel Barrueco, the group, long in residence at Carnegie Mellon University, will perform his arrangement of Piazzolla's "Tango Sensations" and other works in a free concert 7:30 p.m. at Alumni Concert Hall, Carnegie Mellon University.


Places: 'Gritty' brings new London architecture to Oakland
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | January 18
"Gritty Brits: New London Architecture" presents the work of six young firms and opens Friday at Carnegie Museum of Art's Heinz Architectural Center with a talk by African-born London architect David Adjaye. Heinz curator Raymund Ryan organized the exhibit, which comes with a 120-page catalog and runs through June 3. ... Adjaye, who has collaborated frequently with artist Chris Ofili, is known for his innovative use of color, materials and light. His free lecture begins at 6:30 p.m. in Carnegie Lecture Hall, 4400 Forbes Ave., rear, Oakland, and will be followed by a reception on the museum's Hall of Sculpture balcony. Adjaye's talk also opens Carnegie Mellon University's Jill Watson Distinguished Lecture Series, which also features architect, artist and theorist Elizabeth Diller of the New York firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro.


Point A to Point Q
Mankato Free Press | January 17
Sharon Dilworth’s characters can go from being obsessed with a Scottish neighbor to adopting a Chinese baby. Her stories can go from being about a real estate assessment to an elephant escaping from a zoo. Wherever you think Dilworth’s stories are leading, you should probably think again and just keep reading. Because even Dilworth, herself, doesn’t know where a story is headed until she gets there. “I start writing and then I read what I’ve written and it kind of informs me about where it will go next,” said Dilworth, a fiction writer from Pittsburgh, who will visit the Good Thunder Reading Series Thursday, Jan. 25, with poet and children’s author Pamela Porter. ... Dilworth, an associate professor of English at Carnegie Mellon University, says she learns a lot about her style from reading reviews of her work. For instance, she reads all the time that her narrative is fast-paced, even frenetic, which she had never noticed beforehand.

Information Technology

Gamasutra Podcast: 'How to prototype a game in under 7 days"
Gamasutra | January 16
Gamasutra is proud to present the latest Gamasutra Podcast, part of our weekly podcasts, which include both the Tom Kim-presented Gamasutra Podcast show, alongside the best lectures, tutorials, and roundtables from this and previous years' Game Developers Conferences. Today's edition of the Gamasutra Podcast comes from the archives of the 2006 Game Developers Conference, with Carnegie Mellon University's Experimental Gameplay Project co-founders Kyle Gabler and Kyle Gray, both now part of Electronic Arts, giving advice on how to make games fast with an arsenal of tips, tricks, and examples on extremely rapid high quality prototyping.


Carnegie Mellon University unveils cyber cadets game
WPXI | January 15
According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, 89 percent of children are using the Internet for social networking, but less than 34 percent of their parents are aware of this activity. And Pittsburgh television station WPXI reported that a survey by Carnegie Mellon University found 97 percent of the Allegheny County residents wanted to know more about cyber safety and wanted simpler tools to monitor their children's online activities. Because of information like that, Carnegie Mellon developed an online game to teach young kids how to play it safe online.The game is called Carnegie Cadets. Dena Haritos Tsamitis, director of Carnegie Mellon's Information Networking Institute, said, "They learn about the benefits of cyberspace but also learn about what risks are associated with being online."


Keep connectivity surging
Campus Technology | December 2006
Carnegie Mellon University (PA) Network Manager for Electrical and Computer Engineering Lou Anschuetz has an easier way to monitor network activity in real time, as well as document trends. Neon Software’s CyberGauge 7.0 allows network administrators to monitor and manage network bandwidth by automatically creating real-time utilization graphs as well as daily, weekly, and monthly quality of service (QoS) and billing reports. “We who do networking want to know what the historical bandwidth usage is on interfaces,” explains Anschuetz. “In the past, a number of scripts were used to poll the network devices and get that data. You had to do a lot of manual, time-consuming configuration.


In service and study, area people will honor King's legacy on today
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | January 15
Today is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a federal holiday. These events have been scheduled today in observance of King's legacy: ... Carnegie Mellon University will host a tribute starting at 12:30 p.m. with a speech by university President Jared L. Cohon, an awards program at 1:30 p.m., a panel discussion at 2:30 p.m., a lecture by historian John Brewer at 3:45 p.m., a candlelight procession at 4:30 p.m. and an address by author John Edgar Wideman at 5 p.m., all in Carnegie Mellon's University Center on Forbes Avenue.


The great giveaway
Guardian | January 17
In Nigeria, Kunle Adejumo, an engineering student at Ahmadu Bello University, is using print and video materials downloaded from an American university to prepare for an exam in metallurgical engineering. Thousands of miles away in France, Brigitte Bouissou, a teacher at an elementary school, is logging on to an internet video lecture being conducted by a professor of mathematics to prepare for the next day's lessons. ... Welcome to the world of Open Courseware (OCW), where some of the best universities in the world are offering teaching, learning and research resources to education-hungry people across the globe. And the fees? Zero. ... So, what future challenges will educators face in an OCW-led world? Candace Thille, the director of Open Learning Initiative at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, warns that sustaining this new trend requires results and that more studies of the impact of open education resources are needed. "Much of the data remains anecdotal," she says. "The careful studies that have been done have hopeful results, but in the end, data about the value of the efforts is part of maintaining the current high level of enthusiasm.,,1992343,00.html


The triumph of unreason?
Economist | January 11
Neoclassical economics is built on the assumption that humans are rational beings who have a clear idea of their best interests and strive to extract maximum benefit (or “utility”, in economist-speak) from any situation. In this account, price is a signal that helps you decide the combination of work, spending and saving that suits you best. Neoclassical economics assumes that the process of decision-making is rational. But that contradicts growing evidence that decision-making draws on the emotions—even when reason is clearly involved. ... One of the people who thinks that it does not is George Loewenstein, an economist at Carnegie Mellon University, in Pittsburgh. In particular, he suspects that modern shopping has subverted the decision-making machinery in a way that encourages people to run up debt. To prove the point he has teamed up with two psychologists, Brian Knutson of Stanford University and Drazen Prelec of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to look at what happens in the brain when it is deciding what to buy.