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News Clips - May 2, 2008

From April 25 to May 1, Carnegie Mellon Media Relations counted 295 references to the university in worldwide publications. Here is a sample.


Building your first business Web site
CNN Money | April 29
There are several factors to consider when establishing a Web presence, including the type of business, what you want to do online, and your level of technical savvy, says Robert Monroe, who co-coordinates the business and technology program at Carnegie Mellon's Tepper business school.


More than shock value
Inside Higher Ed | April 29
“There are no hard and fast rules. You are looking at each case on an individual basis. You are looking at the sincerity of that artist,” said John Carson, head of the School of Art at Carnegie Mellon University. “If I feel that I can defend the work and it’s controversial, then I would stand behind it,” said Carson — adding that a responsibility of professors is to encourage students to take risks, be provocative and examine uncomfortable subjects. “I don’t think that there should be any subject that should be taboo for art.” But, Carson continued relative to a student responsibility, “I’ve got to be able to stand behind it. I need the justification from the artist. If they can’t give me that, if they can’t adequately defend the work, then why should I?"


New Music-Technology Program at Carnegie Mellon U.
The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription) | April 28
Bridging its left and right brains, Carnegie Mellon University is starting a new music-technology program. Carnegie Mellon is known for its strength in two disparate academic areas—fine arts and engineering. The music-technology program, which will teach students skills such as music-equipment design, will play to both strengths by culling courses from the College of Fine Arts, the Carnegie Institute of Technology, and the School of Computer Science. It will initially admit four undergraduate students and eight master’s students, according to The Tartan, the university’s student newspaper.

Education for Leadership

Wii: More than just a game
The Independent | April 30
Johnny Chung Lee, a computer engineer at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, and hero to the Wii-jacking community, has developed a "head-tracking" program. The software enables users to create a 3D virtual reality display on their monitors. The user wears a pair of glasses fitted with two small infrared lights, and the image on the screen shifts with each movement of the player's head. Lee has also designed software that allows people to use their Wiimotes to create interactive whiteboards, as well as a system that allows them to manipulate on-screen files simply by using their fingers and a bit of reflective tape. Think Tom Cruise moving computer files with his hands in Minority Report.


High-tech home offers help to elderly, disabled
Pittsburgh Tribune–Review | April 28
Carnegie Mellon University graduate student Henry Kang (left) tracks the location of Carnegie Mellon junior Maladau Mou via video recognition technology at Carnegie Mellon in Oakland. The computer can determine location on a floor plan by matching the images from the camera with images in a database. The research is being conducted by Carnegie Mellon students and faculty in conjunction with the Quality of Life Technology Center. QoLT is a partner with Blueroof Technologies, that has the McKeesport Independence Zone.

Arts and Humanities

Playing games in classroom helping pupils grasp math
Education Week (subscription) | April 30
Few family rituals have as fixed a place in the American household, and in the popular imagination, as board games, those impromptu or regularly scheduled contests played by parents and children on kitchen tables and living room floors. Now, a growing body of research is revealing the potential benefits of using board games in the classroom to strengthen the mathematics skills of children, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds. […]  “Young people learn a great deal about the world through play, and games are one source of play,” said Mr. Robert Siegler, a professor of cognitive psychology at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. And when it comes to learning math, he added, “the games that build understanding of numerical magnitudes are crucial."

Information Technology

Patch paper redux: Move along please
Security Focus | April 30
The paper -- written by computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon University, the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Pittsburgh -- claimed that the authors technology could create exploits for specific vulnerabilities in a matter of seconds, given only a specific patch that fixes the vulnerability. While the technique appears to create specific inputs that can cause denial-of-service conditions -- and potentially hijack program control -- the trick is to do it reliably, Gunter Ollman, a researcher at IBM Internet Security Systems, stated in a critique of the paper.


Carnegie Mellon researchers urge development of low carbon electricity
Bright Surf | April 28
Carnegie Mellon University's Constantine Samaras and Kyle Meisterling report that plug-in hybrid electric vehicles could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions that fuel global warming, but the benefits are highly dependent on how the electricity system changes in the coming decades. In a recent article in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, the authors urge federal legislators and the electricity industry to increase the deployment of low-carbon electricity technology to power plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Regional Impact

Seniors to live in 'research cottages' in McKeesport
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | May 1
The Blueroof Research Cottage will enable older individuals and those with physical disabilities to take part in the Quality of Life Technology research program by Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh and funded by the National Science Foundation. The Bosch Research and Technology Center North America, with offices in Pittsburgh, Cambridge, Mass., and Palo Alto, Calif., also is involved.


Deep, dark space: A major gift to Carnegie Mellon will shine a scientific light
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | April 26
Scientists have no idea how dark matter and dark energy interact, but thanks to a gift of more than $5 million from Bruce McWilliams, a Carnegie Mellon alumnus and trustee and the chairman and CEO of Tessera Technologies, Carnegie Mellon University will be able to put additional professors in endowed chairs to beef up its already stellar lineup of astrophysicists in the search for answers.


Fed cuts rates and signals a pause
International Herald Tribune | April 30
"My view is that the Fed is back doing the silly things it did in the 1970s, of trying to make judgments that have long-term consequences based on short-term data," said Allan Meltzer, professor of political economy at Carnegie Mellon University. "It should get back to the period of 1985 to 2003 known as the Great Moderation."


Elite Australian University invites Bruneians to apply
Borneo Bulletin | April 30
The prestigious Heinz School of Carnegie Mellon University, currently ranked Number 1 in the US for studies in IT Management, has opened a campus in the city of Adelaide in South Australia. The campus was opened in 2006, with the assistance of both the South Australian and Federal Governments, and lies in the heart of the city center in a renovated heritage building. Historically, it is the first foreign university to operate in Australia and confers US degrees to its graduates.


Specializing in software engineering
The Hindu | April 29
There’s a strange situation emerging in global technology industries — and it’s opening up a lot of new opportunities for enterprising Indian engineering students. “Thousands of people are out there writing software for devices who have never been trained to write software,” says Anthony J. Lappanze, associate professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science.


Students at Carnegie Mellon Qatar trade on first-of-its-kind virtual Doha Stock Market
AME Info | April 29
"We wanted to give Carnegie Mellon students what they deserve - something new, interesting and fun," says Siddharth Arora, junior Business Administration student who came up with the idea with classmate Saad Al-Matwi. "There are a lot of games that simulate the U.S. Stock Market, but we wanted to make it more relevant to our classmates and that's why we created the first virtual simulation of the Doha Stock Market."


Which comes first: perception or language?
The Financial Express, Bangladesh | April 26
Scientists are conducting elaborate research on the relation between perception and language. Christine Kenneally of the New York Times writes in details about the current researches in this basic area of human cognition. Faced with pictures of odd clay creatures sporting prominent heads and pointy limbs, students at Carnegie Mellon were asked to identify which "aliens" were friendly and which were not. The students were not told that the aliens fell naturally into two groups, although the differences were subtle and not easy to describe.


Driven to distraction
The Economist | April 25
This was the third such challenge DARPA has sponsored. This year’s first prize, worth $2m, went to a team from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, which completed the 60-mile obstacle course at an average of 14 mph—about the same speed driven during rush hour in Los Angeles. Six of the 11 finalists (out of 89 original entrants) finished the course.