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News Clips - May 30, 2008

From May 23 to May 29, Carnegie Mellon Media Relations counted 209 references to the university in worldwide publications. Here is a sample.


How to win the Google Lunar X Prize and beat NASA to the moon
Popular Mechanics | June Issue
"One kilogram of cremated remains soft-landed near the Apollo 11 site could be worth $5 million," says Red Whittaker, head of the Astrobotic team, a serious contender with backing from Raytheon and Carnegie Mellon University. Odyssey Moon, which developed a for-profit lunar-rover-based business plan before the X Prize was announced, says it already has $40 million in payload fee commitments.


Monkeys control a robot arm with their thoughts
The New York Times | May 29
The researchers, from the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, used monkeys partly because of their anatomical similarities to humans and partly because they are quick learners. In the experiment, two macaques first used a joystick to gain a feel for the arm, which had shoulder joints, an elbow and a grasping claw with two mechanical fingers.


Higher ed gold rush?
Inside Higher Ed | May 29
In 2002, Pittsburgh-based Carnegie Mellon University established software engineering programs at Moffett Field, Calif., the site of NASA research. The idea was to connect the tech-savvy university to Silicon Valley, which is the “center of technology in the universe,” according to Ray Bareiss, director of educational programs at the California campus.


Despite rising gas costs, smaller, fuel-efficient cars selling for less
USA Today | May 28
"It's perplexing. It's amazing," says George Loewenstein, professor of economics and psychology at Carnegie Mellon University. Perhaps, he says, buyers don't bargain as hard on SUVs because they assume prices have been deeply cut already. Or perhaps Americans are ever-so-slightly accepting high fuel prices and don't feel compelled to avoid big SUVs.


Coming to a school near you: Gigapixel photography?
PBS | May 23
If that five-megapixel camera isn’t cutting it for your students any more, have I got the gizmo for you. Carnegie Mellon University is prototyping a robotic camera mount that will allow any consumer digital camera to capture gigapixel-resolution - yes, I said gigapixel - images. They’re already working to get these photo-taking robots into the hands of students, and in the meantime, I’ve gotten to try one out for myself.

Education for Leadership

Trailside art on the South Side
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | May 25
Things may look a little different along South Side's Hermitage Trail these days. The Southside Trail Green Art (08) Project, with Austin Green Art, has installed several art pieces and a "peace walk" along the trail… One project is a "moss chair," created by Carnegie Mellon University student Jonathan Park and his team of three others. Using quarter-inch plywood, the team built a 3x4-foot "egg crate" chair structure, filled it with soil and planted moss over it.

Information Technology

Automatic for the programmer
Tech World | May 22
William Scherlis is a professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University and director of the Institute for Software Research there. He specializes in software assurance, software evolution and technology to support software teams. He has a long association with NASA and the US Department of Defense. Scherlis spoke with Techworld's sister publication Computerworld's Gary Anthes about progress in software development.


Research highlights
Nature | May 22
But a new study by Christopher Weber and Scott Matthews of Carnegie Mellon University in Washington, DC, suggests that a dietary shift may be more effective in reducing your emissions than eating local produce. They conducted a life-cycle analysis of all greenhouse gas emissions, not just carbon dioxide, associated with the production of food consumed in the United States, compared against those associated with long-distance distribution. Food production far outstripped transport as a source of emissions, accounting for 83 per cent of the 8.1 tonnes of greenhouse gases that an average US household generates each year by consuming food. Although transport distances were considerable, they led to only 11 per cent of total emissions.

Regional Impact

Pittsburgh no longer built on foundation of steel
Chicago Tribune | May 28
Much of the city's hopes for new jobs come from its large university presence—there are about 140,000 college students in the region—particularly Carnegie Mellon University, a private university that is home to cutting-edge computer and robotics research. Indeed, the number of students has grown over the last two decades.,0,2243503.story


Musical robots put on a show at Children's Museum
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | May 29
The "LEMURtron" traveling exhibit opens Saturday at the North Side museum and runs through Sept. 7. […] LEMURtron's presenting partner is Robot 250, which is a series of events, exhibits and activities organized by the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. Robot 250 is part of Pittsburgh's 250th birthday being celebrated throughout the year.


Man who helped transform Carnegie Mellon retires
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | May 28
After 38 years at Carnegie Mellon University, Bill Elliott leaves June 27 as vice president for enrollment, a job that oversees not only recruitment and financial aid but other duties such as student housing and dining and more.


Carnegie Mellon announces new vice president for campus affairs
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | May 26
Michael Murphy will become vice president for campus affairs at Carnegie Mellon University, effective July 1. Dr. Murphy, an associate vice president since 2005, succeeds Vice President for Enrollment William Elliott, who is retiring June 30 after 38 years with the university, Carnegie Mellon officials said.


Digitizing Management
Bangkok Post | May 28
Randy Pausch is a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University (Carnegie Mellon) in Pittsburgh. He has been diagnosed as suffering from one of the deadliest forms of cancer - pancreatic cancer. He is a 47-year-old family man with a loving wife and three small children. He has won the "parent lottery" (as he put it) of being lucky enough to have supporting parents (who happened to have done charitable work in Thailand) as he was growing up.


How games will change the world
BBC News | May 28
Its great success has produced a stream of similar projects, not least the cluster of word and image based games now housed at Carnegie Mellon's Gawp. Projects like the Firefox plug-in PMOG show how the application of tried and tested gaming incentives - experience points, levels, medals - can change how people interact with software they use for work every day.


HOPE floats for special needs kids
The Gulf Times | May 25
The Indian envoy stated that "HOPE gives us a new meaning to life and it is when we join hands with organizations such as HOPE and the visionary organizers behind it that we become better human beings." Carnegie Mellon faculty member Jarrod Mock and business administration student Mohamed Abu Zeinab spoke about their association with HOPE Qatar and the whole new life experience that this association has brought about for them.


UK entrepreneur to advise Carnegie Mellon students
The Peninsula | May 25
Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar is celebrating the official launch of the second year of its Executive Entrepreneurship Certificate Program with "An Evening with Doug Richard," in June at Doha's Four Seasons Hotel.