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News Clips - July 11, 2008

From July 4 to July 10, Carnegie Mellon Media Relations counted 523 references to the university in worldwide publications. Here is a sample.


Book buzz: Second-quarter report promising for Pausch
USA Today | July 9
Two self-help titles —The Last Lecture and Oprah pick A New Earth — were the top sellers on USA TODAY's Best-Selling Books list in the year's second quarter. Eckhart Tolle's Earth, which was the No. 1 book on our list for the first quarter, dropped to No. 2 during April through June. Readers embraced the humor and wisdom in Randy Pausch's book, based on a lecture by the Carnegie Mellon professor, who is battling pancreatic cancer. Also dominating sales over the period: Stephenie Meyer, who had four of the top 20 sellers.


36 hours in Pittsburgh
The New York Times – Travel Section | July 6
The Oakland district teems with intellectual energy from the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University and a bunch of museums. Start out at the Nationality Rooms at the Cathedral of Learning (4200 Fifth Avenue; 412-624-6000;, a 42-story Gothic-style tower on the Pittsburgh campus with 27 classrooms, each devoted to a different nationality.


The coming of the car-bot
BusinessWeek | July 7
For now, GM can claim bragging rights among automakers for advancing autonomous driving. Last November, a Chevy Tahoe nicknamed "Boss," engineered by a team drawn from GM, Continental Teves, Caterpillar (CAT), and Carnegie Mellon University, beat out 85 other teams and entries for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, Urban Challenge.

Education for Leadership

Local graduate receives prestigious Cambridge Scholarship
WJHG-NBC | July 7
2007 Bay High graduate Tony Poor spent his freshman year of college studying computer science at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. His sophomore year he'll do so with one of the most prestigious scholarships a student can receive, the Cambridge International Fellowship Scholarship.


Local grad drafts winning letter on climate change
Record-Press | July 3
Township native Benjamin Flath, a 2003 graduate of Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School, recently graduated from Carnegie Mellon with his master's degree in civil and environmental engineering. While there, Flath was part of a team that drafted a letter challenging America's leaders to develop a sustainable energy policy, winning first prize in the "Tomorrow's Energy Ambassadors, Managers and Scholars" (TEAMS) competition and getting their views published in USA Today. […] Flath's victory earned Carnegie Mellon a $10,000 check for the school's scholarship fund and a $2,500 grant from Johnson Controls.

Arts and Humanities

The bad news keeps piling up
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | July 6
Homes around the country are sinking in value, stocks are mired in a bear market and escalating food and energy prices are eating into American incomes as wages fail to keep pace and unemployment rises. People are dining out less, giving up entertainment and scaling back summer vacations amid $4-a-gallon gas, higher airline fares and fewer flights. The current situation "is like a thumbscrew" to the average consumer, said George Loewenstein, a professor who studies the relationship between economics and psychology at Carnegie Mellon University. "It is not at all surprising that people are responding to the squeeze with pain and fear."


Quilter stitches together evocative works
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | July 6
To have the work of renowned quiltmaker Nancy Crow fill the three flawless floors that are the Regina Gouger Miller Gallery on the campus of Carnegie Mellon University is a rare treat indeed, but a seemingly odd juxtaposition to say the least. After all, why would one find what many view to be merely handicraft in a place known to display cutting-edge contemporary art?

Information Technology

Training and e-learning
IT Web | July 6
Carnegie Mellon notes that 25% to 40% of all spending on projects is wasted as a result of rework. Gartner says 50% of projects are rolled back out of production and 40% of problems are found by end-users. Forrester Research states that poorly defined applications contribute to 66% project failure rate.


Bay Area researchers in search of the real $6 million dollar man
San Jose Mercury News | July 6
One was described last month in the journal Nature by scientists at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. After two monkeys had tiny sensors implanted in their brains, the researchers said, the animals could control a robotic arm with their thoughts to feed themselves marshmallows and chunks of fruit.

Regional Impact

Here's why you shouldn't start a tech company in Silicon Valley
SiloBreaker | July 10
Going a step further, I think some cities like the ones I mentioned already – given how inexpensive they are – are really viable epicenters for technology companies. I’m not sure if it makes sense to move to Austin or Pittsburgh to start a company, but if you graduate from UT or Carnegie Mellon, it certainly makes sense to stay. Pittsburgh in particular has been working very hard to try to keep their engineering talent and foster a high-tech scene, offering lots of tax and other incentives to get people to stay. Rodrigo of Sonya Labs talks a little about the dynamics of Pittsburgh trying to become a startup hub, and the opening of Alpha Lab should help there.


Creative projects push technological envelope as part of city's 250th anniversary
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | July 9
"Pittsburgh is one of the best places in the world for behavioral sculpture because of the confluence of arts schools," says Ian Ingram, BigBots curator and a senior research associate and artist-in-residence at Carnegie Mellon University. "There aren't that many robotic artists in the world." […] Robot 250 came out of Carnegie Mellon and its Community Robotics Education and Technology Empowerment (CREATE) Laboratory, which is a hub for both robotics research and arts in the city. The goal of this yearlong initiative was to encourage robot design and building at a grassroots community level, says Robot 250 project director Dennis Bateman. "It seemed like a natural fit with Carnegie Mellon's history and Pittsburgh's history in robotic research."


Creative invasion of BigBots will tweak art, tech concepts
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | July 6
When planners of a citywide exhibition of large, robotic art that starts this week asked Ian Ingram to submit a piece, he had one goal in mind… His contribution to Robot 250, an event starting Friday with the public debut of Ingram's and 10 other so-called "BigBots," is a giant foam hand in black and gold, one finger raised, with the lettering: "You're #1."… If it stretches the definition of robot -- or art, for that matter -- that's the whole idea, said Illah Nourbakhsh. A professor at the Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Institute, Nourbakhsh is the motivating force behind the effort to highlight Pittsburgh's connection to robotics during the city's 250th birthday celebration.


Getting rid of the gang problem
City Messenger | July 9
Professor Alfred Blumstein, winner of the 2007 Stockholm Prize in Criminology the Nobel Prize of criminologists told the City Messenger the group of juvenile repeat offenders, believed responsible for home invasions and high-speed car chases, presented a "very tough case." ... Prof Blumstein, a founding faculty member of the Carnegie Mellon Heinz School of Public Policy, gave a lecture last week to Carnegie Mellon's Adelaide students, which was attended by top police officials including Police Minister Paul Holloway and Deputy Commissioner Gary Burns.


Carnegie Mellon Qatar 2008 business administration graduate launches business
AME Info | July 8
Tabra began Araboh, which is slang for Arabs, in December of 2007 while still in her senior year at Carnegie Mellon Qatar. The Web site is being officially launched this week. A top student at Carnegie Mellon Qatar, Tabra worked with communications professor Patrick McGinnis on developing her logo, vision and mission. And she worked with George White, Ph.D., professor of entrepreneurship, on the proper way to go about her venture.