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News Clips - August 8, 2008

From August 1 to August 7, Carnegie Mellon Media Relations counted 478 references to the university in worldwide publications. Here is a sample.


In California, retro-tech complicates budget woes
The New York Times | August 6
David J. Farber, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University, said using Cobol was roughly equivalent to having “a television with vacuum tubes. There are no Cobol programmers around anymore,” Mr. Farber said. “They retired centuries ago."


You really are just six degrees from Kevin Bacon
Popular Science | August 5
Researchers Eric Horvitz of Microsoft and Jure Leskovec of Carnegie Mellon studied more than 30 billion chat sessions by 180 million users to arrive at the finding, which was presented at the WWW 2008 Conference in Beijing. “This is the first time a planetary-scale social network has been available to validate the well-known ‘six-degrees of separation finding,’” the researchers wrote.


Your shop: How to attract clients
CNN Money | August 5
Your first step, says Bob Monroe of the business and technology program at Carnegie Mellon's Tepper Business School, is to ask yourself these questions: Why do you want to be on the Web? What image do you want to present? What do you want people to be able to do when they visit your site?


No affairs worth remembering
The Wall Street Journal | August 1
Many critics refer to the movies of the 1930s and 1940s as part of an elysian period of well-written works. "The characters in [earlier] movies do not talk realistically. They are much more witty and articulate and finally interesting than ordinary people are," says David Shumway, a professor of English at Carnegie Mellon University and author of "Modern Love: Romance, Intimacy, and the Marriage Crisis." "And that's what people in the '30s and '40s wanted -- highly crafted speech," he says. These older films offered witty retorts and double entendres, sexual inhibition and socioeconomic clashes -- but, for a variety of reasons, these attributes have faded.


Can coal and clean air coexist in China?
Scientific American | August 4
Fundamentally, however, a good portion of China's air pollution is simply outsourced smog: industry that has migrated from the U.S. and E.U. to China to help maintain low prices or clean Western skies. A full 23 percent of China's greenhouse gas emissions can be linked to Western exports, according to an analysis by researchers at the Tyndall Center for Climate Change Research in England. And researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh put the percentage even higher: 33 percent.

Education for Leadership

Local students conjure up fun at robotics camp
The Independent | August 2
The competitions are designed by Danville graduate Mike Phillips, a senior at Carnegie Mellon University majoring in computer science and electrical engineering. Phillips himself had just recently returned from an international robotics competition in China.

Arts and Humanities

Facing stress
Allure Magazine | August Issue
A person's face can reveal whether he or she is handling stress in a healthy way. That's what Carnegie Mellon psychologist Jennifer S. Lerner and her colleagues found in a study of 92 people. All performed math challenges (such as counting backward by 13) while being informed of every error, goaded to go faster, and told that their scores would reveal their overall intelligence. The researchers checked the participants' heart-rate patterns and levels of salivary cortisol, a stress hormone, and called in experts to analyze videotapes of the subjects' facial expressions.


Remediation may rewire dyslexic brain
United Press International | August 6
Researchers at the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh found 100 hours of remedial instruction increased brain activity in several areas of the brain and the neural gains were solidified during the year following instruction.


Nanomagnets tackle cancer
Science News | August 16
Nearly all research groups work with iron-oxide nanomagnets. But in the April 1 Journal of Applied Physics, Michael McHenry’s group at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh reported developing a non-oxide iron-cobalt particle with a magnetic strength five to 10 times that of oxide magnets. This could permit treatment using fewer magnetic nanoparticles, McHenry says, or a lower-powered external field to heat the nanobeads.


Just what is sustainability?
Machine Design | August 4
Prof. Cliff Davidson, a civil-engineering instructor at Carnegie Mellon University and public policy director of the Center for Sustainable Engineering, agrees there are hundreds of published definitions with a variety of meanings. “A single definition understood by all does not exist,” he says. “This sometimes leads to communication problems when discussing the term. Our organization frequently refers to a well-known definition from the World Commission on Environment and Development, a U.N. organization also knows as the Brundtland Commission."

Regional Impact

Pittsburgh one of few cities where hotel industry has been growing
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | August 3
"Where we're located, it's pretty recession-proof," he said. It's the closest hotel to Carnegie Mellon University and surrounded by the University of Pittsburgh. During the week, the rooms are filled with people doing business with the universities. On the weekends, the proximity to Heinz Memorial Chapel is a draw. Last weekend there were bookings for 10 weddings and one family reunion.


Kaplan releases new college guide 2009 featuring 25 green colleges and 10 hot green careers
Yahoo! Canada | August 5
Today's students are going green and the move towards a sustainable future is impacting many of their decisions, including college and career choices. In recognition of this movement, Kaplan, a premier provider of education services for more than 70 years, has focused its new Kaplan College Guide 2009 for the first time on environmentally responsible schools and green careers. ***Carnegie Mellon was named one of Kaplan’s top green colleges.


Prototype robot-capsule sticks to animal intestines without damaging tissues
Thaindian | August 3
A group of Carnegie Mellon University researchers have developed a prototype robot-capsule which is adhesive enough to anchor inside an intestine, and yet gentle enough not to tear soft tissue. The researchers say that the anchoring robot can be swallowed like a normal pill, and move through the body until it reaches the gut.