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News Clips - October 24, 2008

From October 17 to October 23, Carnegie Mellon Media Relations counted 318 references to the university in worldwide publications. Here is a sample.


Are money worries making you sick?
ABC News | October 21
As the economy plummets to dramatic lows, the stress levels of Americans -- and possibly their susceptibility to cold and flu -- are soaring to stratospheric highs. Dr. Brownfield answers the question: 'Does Stress Increase Cold, Flu Chances?' "My best guess is that those most impacted by the economic downturn will be at greater risk [of cold and flu]," said Sheldon Cohen, a professor of psychology at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, and one of the country's leading experts on the relationship between stress and vulnerability to viral infections.


The money man
Newsweek | October 18
"He created a lot of uncertainty" by rescuing Bear Stearns, then letting Lehman Brothers fall, says Allan Meltzer of Carnegie Mellon, author of a history of the Fed. "You either have to say you're going to save everybody [what the Europeans did] or not going to save anybody," Meltzer says. Bernanke strongly disagrees. He argues that Lehman was just too far gone to save "legally." Even critics like Meltzer concede that when Bernanke did move, his actions were revolutionary.


Advertising feature: Catalyst for change
New Scientist | October 17
Most academic research funding for green chemistry comes from private industry. "There is no federal funding for green chemistry worth speaking about," says Terry Collins, director of the Institute for Green Science at Carnegie Mellon University. "The good news is that, for leaders of the first generation of green chemists, private funding has stepped in to make sure the field can grow and one day flourish."


Bad at multitasking? Blame your brain
NPR | October 16
Marcel Just, a neuroscientist at Carnegie Mellon University, says that's why people learning to drive don't do anything else. "Novice drivers turn off the radio, they ask you not to talk to them. They need all the brain participation they can get for the driving," Just says. But the level of focus required changes with experience. Over time, the brain rewires itself to do the tasks involved in driving. So when our eyes see a red light, our foot hits the brake, with no conscious thought involved. Just says driving becomes automatic.

Arts and Humanities

Some investors grow leery of stocks in grim market
Associated Press | October 19
Many investors are similarly sickened by their investment losses but too stunned or fearful to make changes. George Loewenstein, a behavioral economist at Carnegie Mellon University, says inertia is a huge behavioral phenomenon behind investors' actions, or inaction.

Information Technology

FCW insider: IT advice for the next president
Federal Computer Week | October 21
I propose that a new president re-establish the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee. This, combined with a strong science/technology adviser to the president, would provide the White House with much-needed help in technology policy. ***This article was written by Carnegie Mellon professor David Farber.


Carnegie Mellon University selected for EPA brownfields grant
U.S. EPA News | October 16
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has selected Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh to receive an estimated $900,000 grant to help support community revitalization. The EPA brownfields grant -- to be spread over five years -- will be used by the university in partnership with the Western Pennsylvania Brownfields Center to train representatives from up to 150 communities on how to reuse contaminated land.


SUV, pickup sales increase on incentives
Environmental Leader | October 16
Lester Lave, a professor of economics at the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University, told MSNBC that he is skeptical the automotive market will return to the late 1990s, when the popularity of large pickup trucks and SUVs were at its peak. Lave says the move away from large vehicles is likely to be permanent as long as fuel prices do not drop significantly.

Regional Impact

Computer workshop in Oakland aims to protect kids
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | October 18
A group of computer experts from Carnegie Mellon University will have a workshop today for children and their parents to help youngsters protect themselves online and avoid the dangers of cyber bullying. The session, which is open to the public, will be from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Oakland branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh on Forbes Avenue.


The brilliant professor
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | October 23
Like a locksmith with a master key, Carlos Guestrin has created a computer algorithm that can do everything from figuring out the best way to detect water contamination to revealing which political blogs do the best job of staying on top of the news. The Carnegie Mellon University computer science professor's work landed him on this year's "Brilliant 10" list created by Popular Science magazine, showcasing some of the nation's top young researchers.


Carnegie Mellon hosts hundreds at autism conference
KDKA-TV News | October 17
At Carnegie Mellon University, it's standing room only for this autism conference. Organizers expected just 120, but 400 to 500 people showed up, including professors, students and parents. "The more we know, the more we don't know. And I'm not here to hear a cure, or fix anything. I want to do what's best for the child..." says Natalie Bennett of Squirrel Hill, the mother of an 8-year-old with autism, and a 10-year-old with Asperger's syndrome.


Course for entrepreneurs starts at varsity
Gulf Times | October 20
The Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program, a nine-month, part-time course for entrepreneurs, kicked off its second year with a welcome dinner on Saturday at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar. The training initiative was earlier known as the Executive Entrepreneurship Certificate Program. “Corporate innovation plays a very important part in transforming societies into knowledge-based economies,” program director and associate teaching professor Mohamed Dobashi said. He explained that the CIEP program provided corporate leaders with the tools necessary to assist in growing their organizations and turning them into knowledge leaders in the marketplace. The CIEP is offered in Doha as a five-year partnership between Carnegie Mellon University and Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP).


Bionic suit: the Iron Man cometh
London Times | October 19
Some technology visionaries see HAL as just the start. “An exoskeleton is a baby step towards telepresence – technology that enables a human to feel and sense as if they were really somewhere else,” says Hans Moravec, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University who has been building robots since the early 1960s. “This would mean making direct use of the operator’s multiple senses, but without the cost of putting that operator in the location of highest risk."


Society for history of technology presents Leonardo da Vinci Medal to Carnegie Mellon professor
Yahoo! Canada | October 16
For the second consecutive year, the Society for the History of Technology has awarded its Leonardo da Vinci Medal to a Carnegie Mellon University faculty member. Joel A. Tarr, the Richard S. Caliguiri University Professor of History and Policy in the Department of History, received the award at a celebration earlier this month in Lisbon, Portugal.