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News Clips - December 12, 2008

From December 5 to December 11, Carnegie Mellon Media Relations counted 544 references to the university in worldwide publications. Here is a sample.

National showcases 10 amazing stories of courage, generosity and faith.
ABC News | December 11
Former Carnegie Mellon University professor Randy Pausch was voted as's most inspiring person of 2008. In this picture, Pausch gives his final lecture on time management at the University of Virginia campus on Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2007. Pausch, who learned in August 2007 that his pancreatic cancer left him only a few months of good health, passed away on July 25, 2008. But before he died, he inspired millions through his "Last Lecture" video and book, as well as through interviews with Diane Sawyer on "Good Morning America."


A diet plan that works: Pay for weigh
TIME Magazine | December 10
There are few things people won't do for money. That's the thinking behind a new weight-loss study published by behavioral economists Kevin Volpp of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the Wharton School and George Lowenstein of Carnegie Mellon University. With a shocking 71% of Americans now considered overweight or obese and most weight-reduction plans proving helpful at getting pounds off but far less so at keeping them off, Volpp and Lowenstein decided it was time to quit fooling around.,8599,1865645,00.html


Overachievers we love
Popular Science | December 8
Building on their victory at last year's Darpa Urban Challenge autonomous road race, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have teamed with construction-equipment giant Caterpillar to develop the world's biggest robotic dump trucks. The collaboration will give autonomous upgrades to the next generation of Caterpillar's largest hauler, a 47-foot-long monster that can carry 380 tons of dirt or mined goods.

Education for Leadership

Carnegie Mellon students come up with creative inventions
KDKA-TV News | December 8
Some Carnegie Mellon University students may be giving a glimpse into the future. They've come up with inventions that could make your life easier. A weed wacker redesigned so it's easier to handle and a device that makes walking in ski boots less annoying. They are just two senior projects from Carnegie Mellon engineering students that you might wish were available in stores now. There's even an intelligent baby stroller. "It recognizes the parents and locks the baby stroller so nobody can use it," said student Brad Hall. "It can't roll away. The only person who can use it is the parent."


Carnegie Mellon competition engages, encourages students' scientific curiosities
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | December 7
Future scientists came together Saturday to show their creativity in an annual robot design competition hosted by the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy. The group of roughly 1,000 middle school students gathered at the National Robotics Engineering Center in Lawrenceville as part of the First LEGO League, an international program aimed at getting middle school students interested in science.

Arts & Humanities

Secrets of the super-healthy
CBS News/Web MD | December 8
There are personality factors associated with individuals who are resistant to getting colds when they're exposed to a virus, says Sheldon Cohen, PhD, professor of psychology at Carnegie Mellon University whose research examines the effects of stress and social support on immunity and health. For example, extroverts are less likely than introverts to get colds when exposed to a virus. "We actually control for their immunity," he says.


East Liberty Waffle Shop merges food, reality video
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | December 8
According to its mission statement, Waffle Shop "celebrates the stories and lives of its customers. ... Waffle Shop is an experimental platform for community participation and local media production." The shop/reality show is the project of an advanced undergraduate art course at Carnegie Mellon University called the Storefront Project. It's taught by Jon Rubin, an assistant professor in the School of Art.

Information Technology

War of views: IT vs. security
MX Logic | December 9
Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute, told DarkReading the key for the two groups was to find common ground so they could "wage this security battle together." News of this follows a Carnegie Mellon University survey that found only a third of board directors were involved with managing security and cyber risks. The scale may be leaning a bit more on the security side, since 2008 saw cybercriminals evolve their strategies for more innovative attacks.


Whitepaper: Mobile robot for cardiac intervention
Motion System Design | December 12
A fascinating new paper from researchers at Carnegie Mellon University describes the development and construction of a mobile robot driven by miniature ultrasonic piezoelectric motors (Squiggle) for minimally invasive cardiac therapy. The robot design builds on previous prototypes of HeartLander, a miniature mobile robot that moves in an inchworm-like fashion. Construction of the system included motor selection, body design, and development of the control system. This paper describes the design of the robotic platform and preliminary testing results in vitro.


Greening the supply chain
Scientific American | December 2008
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University are urging companies to broaden their carbon-footprint calculations. They report that many U.S. companies in a variety of industries do not account for the entire supply chain that results in final goods and services—overlooking up to 75 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions involved. Most factories, it seems, assess only carbon dioxide released directly and not from materials processing or production of parts done by suppliers, which contributes significantly to the ultimate footprints. Similarly, most retailers analyze only their stores and not their merchandise supply lines.

Regional Impact

CCBC, Carnegie Mellon team up on robotics
Beaver County Times | December 10
The Community College of Beaver County and Carnegie Mellon University have teamed up to offer an Introduction to Robotics course beginning with the spring semester. A Carnegie Mellon professor will teach the course, which will alternate between campus classes and online instruction. “The class will cover such topics as STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) literacy, project management, developing ‘systems’ ways of thinking and working, the engineering process and an introduction to “C” programming,” according to a CCBC release.


Economic experts discuss forecasts with city council
Pittsburgh Business Times | December 8
Thus far, the federal government’s response has been sporadic, although that may change with the coming administration, said Allan Meltzer, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business and former member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors. “My biggest problem with the administration is they have been reactive,” Meltzer said. “I think the next administration will do better."


Carnegie Mellon, Pitt, Penn State earn top rankings in best universities list
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | December 7
Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh and Penn State University rank among the top 200 universities in the world, according to U.S. News & World Report's first World's Best Colleges and Universities rankings. Carnegie Mellon placed 14th among all U.S. universities and 21st in the world and Pitt, 13th among public universities in America, 35th among all universities in the country and 97th in the world. Penn State ranked 17th among public universities in America, 41st among all universities in the nation and 105th in the world.


US central bank plan could enter Treasury territory
The Australian | December 11
Some private economists worry that Fed-issued bonds could create new problems. Marvin Goodfriend, an economist at Carnegie Mellon University's Tepper School of Business and a former senior staffer at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, said that issuing debt could put the Fed at odds with the Treasury at a time when it is already issuing mountains of debt itself. "It creates problems in co-ordinating the issuance of government debt," Mr Goodfriend said. "These would be very close cousins to existing Treasury bills. They would be competing in the same market to federal debt.",28124,24784489-36375,00.html


CMU-Portugal partnership receives note positive
Semana Informática | December 11
(Translation from Portuguese may not be exact) The External Commission of accompaniment of the CMU-Portugal Program congregated in Lisbon to advance with an evaluation of the works that have come to be developed in the scope of the partnership between Portugal and the University of Carnegie Mellon. Made the accounts, the note “was positive”, as it announced the Cabinet of the Minister of Science, Technology and Upper Education. The CMU-Portugal Program, to the similarity of the remaining international partnerships in course, has come to be evaluated continuously, “being to collect compliments of the independent international appraisers”.


Australia to provide $30.5m in development assistance
The International News | December 6
The scholarships have been awarded under a number of programmes offered by the Australian government, including Australian Development Scholarships, Australia Pakistan Scholarships Programme, AusAID-Carnegie Mellon University Scholarships Programme and the Agriculture Sector Linkages Programme Awards. Students will study in the areas of health, education, environment, agriculture, governance, information technology, business, administration and economics.