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News Clips - April 25, 2008

From April 18 to April 24, Carnegie Mellon Media Relations counted 511 references to the university in worldwide publications. Here is a sample.


"Eating local" has little effect on warming, study says
National Geographic | April 22
"In terms of the average American diet, 'food miles' are not so important as what you're eating," said study leader Christopher Weber of Carnegie Mellon University.


Tryouts for the rest of your life
The New York Times | April 20
On the 16th floor of the Ripley-Grier Studios in midtown Manhattan, Adam Pelta-Pauls nervously paced the hallway. It was a rainy morning in early February, and this 17-year-old senior from Winston Churchill High School in Potomac, Md., was awaiting his turn to audition for Carnegie Mellon’s vaunted drama school. So were about 30 others.


The green issue: Learn
The New York Times | April 20
Carnegie Mellon and the University of Texas at Austin offer master’s degrees in sustainable design. At the University of Texas, students can take classes like Topics on Sustainable Development, in which the teacher, Steven Moore, brings together architecture, law, engineering and business students to tackle environmental problems. College students who want to blend the old (beer drinking) with the green should look up a group of students and their professor at M.I.T. Their solar-powered bottle sorter should do the trick.


Celebrated Carnegie Mellon U. professor's book sells out
The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription) | April 18
The book, The Last Lecture, by Randy Pausch, a Carnegie Mellon computer-science professor and a Wall Street Journal reporter is proving very popular, according to a blog post today on Librarian and Information Science News. Barnes and Nobles, and Amazon bookstores have sold out of the book, and Amazon’s Web site states that the book will be in stock again May 7. It is based on Mr. Pausch’s inspirational “last lecture” he gave at the university after discovering he had terminal pancreatic cancer. The book offers advice on how to live life to the fullest.

Education for Leadership

Johnny Chung Lee’s surprise appearance
BusinessWeek | April 22
Ok, the maestro of Carnegie Mellon University didn’t make a real-live appearance at the conference this afternoon. However, the organizers showed a video of the interaction designer-cum-hacker’s much-praised presentation from this year’s TED. Check out this slideshow of Lee’s projects and this recent question-and-answer with him.


Carnegie Mellon unleashes its first mascot
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | April 18
Carnegie Mellon University has dubbed its mascot "Scotty" and given this Scottish terrier the task of making a school known for hard work a little more fun. […] The dog's name and costume were introduced Thursday during Spring Carnival. The name was chosen by a survey of students, faculty, staff and alumni. Appearing at the announcement was Carnegie Mellon's original mascot, Bob Beatty, an alum originally from Natrona Heights who lives in Hilliard, Ohio.

Arts and Humanities

Sadness spurs spending, experiment shows
National Public Radio | April 19
Cynthia Cryder, a doctoral student at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, recently explored the issue of emotion and spending in a simple experiment. She got some young people to come into the psychology lab, then showed film clips.

Information Technology

Patches pose significant risk, researchers say
Security Focus | April 23
The technique, which the researchers refer to as automatic patch-based exploit generation (APEG), can create attack code for most major types of vulnerabilities in minutes by automating the analysis of a patch designed to fix the flaws, the researchers stated in a paper released last week. If Microsoft does not change the way its patches are distributed to customers, attackers could create a system to attack the flaws in unpatched systems minutes after an update is released by the software giant, said David Brumley, a PhD candidate in computer science at Carnegie Mellon University.


Newsmaker: Jeffrey O. Hollinger
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | April 23
Jeffrey O. Hollinger is professor of biomedical engineering and biological sciences at Carnegie Mellon University, where he is director of the Bone Tissue Engineering Center.


Hope builds for 'greener' skyline
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | April 22
Other green roofs have been installed at Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, Heinz History Center, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens and the Shadyside Giant Eagle.

Regional Impact

Job creation numbers good news for Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh Business Times (subscription) | April 18
About the author: Harold D. Miller is president of Future Strategies LLC, a management and policy consulting firm in Pittsburgh, and adjunct professor of public policy and management at Carnegie Mellon University. He may be reached at


Gift helps Carnegie Mellon probe cosmic mystery
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | April 21
The universe is shrouded in a dark mystery that Carnegie Mellon University astrophysicists hope to solve, with help from a major contribution. Here's the cosmic plot: The physics of the universe cannot be explained without adding a humongous portion of black matter -- matter that cannot be seen and resembles no other matter known to humankind. But dark matter is necessary to describe the large gravitational forces at work in the universe.


Boffin tinkers on, dreaming of a ‘smart car’
The Gulf-Times | April 23
Robotics research progressing in Qatar could contribute significantly in making cars that drive themselves a reality for the masses in the not too distant future, ushering in unprecedented traffic safety. Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar (Carnegie Mellon Qatar) is anchoring an initiative in this direction, with graduate student in robotics, Justin Carlson’s doctoral work.


Soweto schoolchildren go hi-tech to share their world
BusinessDay | April 23
The GigaPan project was developed to help children from different backgrounds understand each other. It is funded by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (Unesco’s) International Bureau of Education, and other partners are the Carnegie Mellon University, Google and National Geographic. At its heart is the Mars Rover system developed by Nasa for creating explorable images. This week, Carnegie Mellon’s professor of robotics, Illah Nourbaksh, was teaching Lavela pupils how to use the camera and the robotic arm that guides it.


Robot revolution closer, but not here yet
Computer World | April 21
James Kuffner, an associate professor at the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, warns that any revolution could be lengthy, as robots likely won't soon be doing dishes and walking dogs for about 20 years.