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News Clips - December 5, 2008

From November 28 to December 4, Carnegie Mellon Media Relations counted 399 references to the university in worldwide publications. Here is a sample.


Deflation: Bargains abound, which could be a problem
USA Today | December 2
"It's natural that the discussion of deflation has started," says Marvin Goodfriend, a Carnegie Mellon professor and former Federal Reserve economist, noting falling commodity prices. "On the other hand, the broader measures of consumer inflation … haven't fallen as much at this point. It's a little premature to be worried." Jeremy Siegel, professor of finance at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, says he thinks the country will avoid deflation, primarily because of all the money the Federal Reserve and the Treasury have been pumping into the market.


Ex-Fed economist looks to new administration
National Public Radio | December 1
Government officials have been working to restore confidence in the economy. Allan Meltzer is a former Fed economist and currently teaches at Carnegie Mellon University. He says he has been unimpressed so far with the government's actions. Meltzer tells Steve Inskeep that he has higher hopes for President-elect Barack Obama's economic team.

Education for Leadership

Graduate students at Carnegie Mellon center blend technological and artistic talents
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | December 3
Carnegie Mellon University's Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) doesn't look like an academic building, but rather a geeky playground for very bright, creative young adults -- which in many ways it is. The walls are covered with colorful artwork and graphics, and a group of motion-activated robots, including "Star Wars" characters R2-D2 and C-3PO, greets visitors at the entrance.

Arts & Humanities

Artist activists bring ideas to Carnegie Mellon
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | November 30
Obviously not a real issue of The New York Times, it was a hoax masterminded by longtime liberal pranksters The Yes Men, who are showcasing the prank along with several more they have perpetrated over the past decade in their first ever solo-exhibition, "Keep It Slick," at the Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University.


Art: Waffle shop produces art that's off the grid
Pittsburgh City Paper | November 27
When it comes to art appreciation, "People being drunk goes a long way," allows Jon Rubin, an assistant professor of art at Carnegie Mellon University. Or so it seemed late one Saturday night (or early Sunday morning, but who's counting?) at a former tuxedo shop at the corner of Baum and Highland avenues, in East Liberty. Here, in an emerging cultural nexus formed by the Shadow Lounge and a spate of trendy new restaurants, students from Rubin's Contextual Practice course hosted a combination art happening, waffle house and reality-TV show.

Information Technology

Looking for carbon disclosure from the IT sector
Green Biz | December 3
Although many companies are looking at their own operations, MacKerron thinks the big story lies in corporate supply chains. A recent report from Carnegie Mellon University estimated that two-thirds of U.S. industries fail to measure 75 percent of their total greenhouse gas emissions because they exclude supply chain emissions.


Eating less red meat could cut climate-changing emissions
Voice of America | December 1
There is an environmental cost in just moving food from the farm to your table. The farther food travels, the greater the emissions from the truck or boat or plane that carries it. The argument goes, if you could minimize that energy use, you could minimize the associated carbon dioxide emissions, says Christopher Weber, associate professor of environmental and civil engineering at Carnegie Mellon University and the study's lead author.

Regional Impact

Plain fact: The Pittsburgh region gets a good reality check
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | November 28
The Pittsburgh Regional Indicators Project is only 3 years old, but it is already a wise old sage, judging by the sober and balanced report it released on the region's pros and cons this week. Eschewing mythologies that have often misled journalists, academics and all too many residents, the project, sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, is an attempt to provide fact-based information, relative to comparable regions, that will paint the most accurate portrait of Pittsburgh possible.


A fresh look: Speaking clearly in Pittsburghese
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | December 1
To dig deeper, I decided to find a dialectologist and found one in Barbara Johnstone, professor of linguistics and rhetoric at Carnegie Mellon University. She and her sociolinguist associate, Scott F. Kiesling, associate professor of linguistics at the University of Pittsburgh, have put together a Web site ( that offers a compressive look at what and why and how and when and who of Pittsburghese. Although it's user-friendly, the site is too academic for me, with occasional "big" words such as "monophthongization" rearing their six-syllable heads.


The next page: How to build better leaders ... An engineer's recipe
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | November 30
(About the author) Marcel Bergerman is a systems scientist at The Robotics Institute of Carnegie Mellon University. He holds a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Carnegie Mellon ( […] Marcel Bergerman, a robotics engineer, spends his days making things work better. But he also thinks about how people can work better together. Humans, in some ways, are like robots: They need wise humans to get them going.


Antispam weapon recaptures lost text
The Guardian | November 27
Realising this, Luis van Ahn, professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon and the inventor of the Captcha (it stands for Completely Automated Public Turing Test To Tell Computer and Humans Apart), rethought the puzzle and came up with reCaptcha, which is more user-friendly, harder for spammers to crack — and helps to digitise text at the same time.


Canadian eyes could guide lunar rovers | November 27
Riding on a rover built by Carnegie Mellon University, the TriDAR found routes across the Hawaiian mountainside, picked good areas to drill, and then pinned down the best exact locations. It's like a camper picking a campsite, then inspecting more closely to find a spot without tree roots for the tent. "The idea is to drive around the lunar surface, drill these core samples, and analyse them, to find the best place to go back and actually produce oxygen, " said Ross Taylor, Neptec's project manager in the Hawaii test.


Carnegie Mellon University hosts talk on robotics
The Peninsula | November 28
Takeo Kanade, pioneer in the field of robotics and vision, spoke at the Distinguished Lecture series at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar recently. He is the fourth speaker in lecture series aimed at bringing people from all over the world to Doha so students could meet successful professionals and see how they can take their education and apply it in the workplace.