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News Clips - October 3, 2008

From September 26 to October 3, Carnegie Mellon Media Relations counted 378 references to the university in worldwide publications. Here is a sample.


FCC finally fills long vacant chief technologist post
The Washington Post | October 1
The Federal Communications Commission appointed a Carnegie Mellon University professor as its new chief technologist, a position that has been vacant for the last three years. Jon M. Peha, a professor of electrical engineering and public policy, started his one-year assignment today. He was picked by Chairman Kevin J. Martin and will serve as the chairman's senior adviser on communications technology in the FCC's Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis. "I am confident that Dr. Peha's expertise will be beneficial to the Commission as it moves forward to address numerous complex, technical issues," Martin said in a statement.


Carnegie Mellon modular snake robots for cave rescue ... and Mars? Hands-on first look (with video!)
Popular Mechanics | September 30
Menacing, mechanical snakes slithered their way all around the robotics exhibits this weekend here at Wired NextFest. Some did barrel rolls around cinder blocks, while others wormed their way up their owners' pant legs, squeezing and relaxing like living, breathing reptiles. In the not-so-distant future, developers at Howie Choset's biorobotics laboratory at Carnegie Mellon University hope to follow in the footsteps of successful grads of Carnegie Mellon's standout bot program—from DARPA Challenge winner Boss to the car-stomping Crusher—by sending their customizable (and, eventually, self-healing) Modular Snake Robots on search-and-rescue missions into caves, mines, collapsed buildings and maybe even to Mars.


Economist: Bailout makes little economic sense
NPR | September 26
One opponent to the $700 billion financial rescue plan is Allan Meltzer, a former Fed economist and a professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa. Meltzer tells Steve Inskeep he's against the proposal because he thinks if Wall Street created the problem, then Wall Street should solve it.

Education for Leadership

Pittsburgh: An environmentalist and ice cream lover debate watch
Huffington Post | September 28
A trendy little ice cream shop in Pittsburgh's Shadyside district became home to a sizable debate-watch party last night, thanks in part to ingenuity of Carnegie Mellon PhD student Kari Lundgren and some other Carnegie Mellon graduate students. Lundgren, a community organizer and member of "Catholics for Obama," helped to orchestrate the event by posting it on the Obama website and spreading the word through Carnegie Mellon's campus email and Facebook.

Arts and Humanities

Sept. 30: Scenes from the Arts-burgh
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | September 30
"The Battle for Fort Duquesne," created by Chris Norman, was based on historical research by his ensemble, Concerto Caledonia, and four members of Carnegie Mellon's School of Drama. The narration was modern and deft. Excerpts from official proclamations and military reports as well as private letters and diaries from the 18th century were evocative. And the music fulfilled the society's mission to re-create music in a historically authentic manner.


Groundbreaking findings on autism to be presented at Carnegie Mellon international symposium
International Business Times | September 29
Today's autism research draws on a variety of scientific disciplines, from genetics to functional magneticresonance imaging (fMRI) to neural development. At the 35th Carnegie Symposiumon Cognition, "Development and Brain Systems in Autism," 16 of the world'smost prominent autism researchers will present their latest groundbreakingfindings on the disorder and discuss the direction of future study that willcontinue to improve scientists' understanding of autism. The symposium, hosted by the Department of Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University, will take place Oct. 17-18 in the Adamson Wing, Baker Hall.


Deliberative poll on same-sex marriage
Feminist Law Professors Blog | September 27
Today I served on the resource panel (i.e., a panel of legal, social work, theological, and statistical experts) for a deliberative poll on the question of same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania. The poll was taken at four sites across the state—I was on the resource panel at the southwestern Pennsylvania site at Carnegie Mellon University. The poll was sponsored by the Southwestern Pennsylvania Program for Deliberative Democracy.

Information Technology

Refining insider threat profiles
Security Magazine | September 26
Internal attacks, on the other hand, may not be detected by internal controls or audits. Instead, customers, supervisors or other non-security personnel were found to alert company authorities to insider attacks, according to research conducted jointly by the U.S. Secret Service and Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute (USSS/Carnegie Mellon-SEI).


Dateline Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | September 28
Carnegie Mellon University named Yu-Li Wang to head its biomedical engineering department. Mr. Wang succeeds Todd Przybycien, who has returned to the faculty after serving five years as department head.


Living roof is 'green' in every sense
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | September 27
"A building that looks like it has hair is totally cool," said Eric Fisher, 49, an adjunct assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon University. A built-in-place living roof like Mr. Fisher's is more commonly found on large commercial or institutional buildings; the Shadyside Giant Eagle and Hamerschlag Hall at Carnegie Mellon University both have them. The modular system Ms. Tuck used at CCI is more often found on houses or other smaller roofs. It's more portable and easier to repair if a leak develops (a rare problem) and the modules can be rearranged to create paths or for maintenance.

Regional Impact

Keystone Innovation Zone gives fledgling tech firms a lift
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | September 28
Pennsylvania's Keystone Innovation Zone program won't quickly create tens of thousands of new jobs, officials involved with the initiative say. That's because the four-year-old venture -- referred to by the acronym KIZ -- focuses on helping small start-up technology companies and entrepreneurial ventures with limited staffing. […] The program was developed after officials discussed the need to fund entrepreneurs, said Donald Smith, director of economic development for Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.


Disney's and Pixar's Ed Catmull says energy at Carnegie Mellon will enrich the world
Pop City Media | October 1
Ed Catmull sits casually at a table in Carnegie Mellon’s University Center, the first Randy Pausch prize before him, a whimsical glass rocketship that looks suspiciously like the rocket ride in Walt Disney World’s Tomorrowland. The co-founder and president of Pixar, the computer animation studio that  ratcheted the technical bar on movie animation to unfathomable heights, was in Pittsburgh to accept the first Pausch Prize from the Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) and address the 7th annual International Conference on Entertainment Computing (ICEC).


Will the next election be hacked?
Global Research | October 5
Even before the 2004 election, experts warned that electronic voting machines would undermine the integrity of the vote. "The system we have for testing and certifying voting equipment in this country is not only broken but is virtually nonexistent," Michael Shamos, a distinguished professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University, testified before Congress that June. "It must be re-created from scratch."


Homebuilders seek higher tax credit
Turkish Daily News | September 30
The odds that homebuilders will get what they want are slim because the proposal will boost the budget deficit, said Robert Strauss, an economics and public policy professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh who has advised the U.S. Treasury and Congress on taxes. “I wish them luck,” Strauss said. “I think the chances of them getting that enacted are the square root of zero."


APC and Carnegie Mellon University Announce the APC Fellowships for Data Center Efficiency Research
International Business Times | September 30
APC by Schneider Electric, a global leader in integrated critical power and cooling services, together with Carnegie Mellon University today announce the  establishment of the APC Fellowships for Data Center Efficiency Research. The APC Research Fellowships support Ph.D. students at Carnegie Mellon with research foci in the broad area of data center efficiency. APC Research Fellowships are part of an ongoing collaboration between APC and Carnegie Mellon focused on data center efficiency. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, data center energy costs account for 1.5 percent of the total USA energy consumption, at approximately $4.5 billion per year. Worse, trends indicate that such consumption will double by 2011.


AT&T Awards Annual Environmental Fellowship Grants
The Globe Investor | September 29
Carnegie Mellon University, for a project titled "The Role of Information and Communications Technology in Carbon Risk Management." The research team will analyze the impact of information and communications technology (ICT) in helping other industries manage the risks associated with carbon emissions.