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News Clips - April 3, 2009

From March 27 to April 2, Carnegie Mellon Media Relations counted 285 references to the university in worldwide publications. Here is a sample.


The greening of Pittsburgh
The New York Times | April 1
With innovations that would later become widely accepted, like a rooftop garden and photovoltaic roof panels, the local Green Building Alliance's first project, in 1998, retrofitted a 100-year-old former soap factory and art gallery as office space for Conservation Consultants Inc. "Nonprofits became the test market," said Ms. Flora, with local foundations underwriting new designs. Working with advisers from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh, the alliance also provided technical advice for more complex renovations for other nonprofit groups.


The G-20's funny money
The Wall Street Journal | April 1
The reason was easy to understand: The U.S. has 16.8% of the votes and the cost to U.S. taxpayers of SDRs is already substantial. In a 2004 paper for Congress's Joint Economic Committee, Carnegie Mellon economist Adam Lerrick explained that SDRs cost U.S. taxpayers $330 million per year. With the U.S. "contribution" to the 1997 resolution total U.S. exposure would be about $12 billion. Mr. Lerrick estimated that the total cost of this proposed expansion to U.S. taxpayers could reach $750 million annually. With this in mind and given the lack of conditionality for what amounts to foreign aid, Congress refused to approve the IMF proposal.


Nuclear-power industry enjoys revival 30 years after accident
The Wall Street Journal | March 29
The accident spurred sweeping changes as companies poured money into safer designs and better safety systems. The cleanup helped spark advances in robotics technology. Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh built a series of robots to aid in the process. "There were a great deal of operational firsts that occurred with those robots, which opened the way for other working robots," says William L. "Red" Whittaker, director of CMU's Field Robotics Center.


Opportunities, interest rise in nuclear energy careers
Science Magazine, AAAS Careers Blog | March 30
At nearby Carnegie Mellon University, engineers at the Field Robotics Center have built robots to clean up the sites of nuclear accidents, and are researching others with potential uses in that industry. There are still concerns about what to do with the spent nuclear fuel. Plans to reprocess fuel into plutonium raise serious security concerns, since plutonium is used to make nuclear weapons.  And plans to store spent fuel at a new facility in Yucca Mountain, Nevada, have been put on hold by the Obama Administration.

Education for Leadership

Don't mind the singing on the bus -- it's just Bus Stop Opera.
Pittsburgh City Paper | April 2
Squeezing onto a crowded bus for your daily commute hardly invites friendly conversation. Dawn Weleski plans to change that. Weleski, a Carnegie Mellon University art major, created the Bus Stop Opera to highlight the lives of commuters and initiate interactions between riders.


Submissions now open for 2009 Randy Pausch Scholarship Fund
FOX Business | March 21
The scholarship fund honors Dr. Randy Pausch, professor of computer science, human-computer interaction and design at Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Pausch, a co-founder of CMU's Entertainment Technology Center (ETC), has had great influence within the industry through his teachings, sabbaticals at Walt Disney Imagineering and Electronic Arts and consultation with Google on user interface design.

Arts and Humanities

Hitting the Road: Getting the most out of your summer college tour
Stage Directions | April 1
"Faculty can give very specialized answers to specific questions about our program that other people might not be able to do," says David Boevers, an associate professor of drama at Carnegie Mellon University and TD at their Purnell Center For The Arts. But faculty members need time to prepare, and you may have to massage your schedule to fit with a professor's.


Don Marinelli
Variety | March 26
Videogames are, in many ways, the ultimate marriage of technology and art. So it's perhaps fitting that the co-founder and head of Carnegie Mellon's Entertainment Technology Center comes not from the world of computers, but theater. Don Marinelli helped start the ETC in 1998 in hopes of addressing "the world of what young people are already doing."

Information Technology

Pulling back the curtain on "anonymous" Twitterers
Ars Technica | March 31
The fact is that we're not as anonymous as many of us would like to think. Back in 2000, a Carnegie Mellon researcher took a look at 1990 US census data and concluded that 87 percent of all Americans could be uniquely identified based on only three items: ZIP code, gender, and date of birth.


Forget the smart grid, we need smart spending (on the grid)
Popular Mechanics | March 25
The term smart grid is being reused in different technology domains, and I think it's actually confusing people," says H. Scott Matthews, research director at Carnegie Mellon University's Green Design Institute. "There are smart grid issues that are grid management issues."

Regional Impact

Community Connect working to enrich the lives of students | April 2
At the elementary level, community members such as Tom Sullivan, an associate teaching professor at Carnegie Mellon University, have come into the classrooms to teach students about subjects like robotics.


Newsmaker: Nathan Urban
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | April 2
Occupation: Associate professor, department of biological sciences and Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, Carnegie Mellon University. Education: Doctorate in neuroscience and bachelor's degree in neuroscience, math and philosophy, both from the University of Pittsburgh; bachelor's degree in math and philosophy, Oxford University.


Qatar students, top Shell official discuss future of energy
The Peninsula | April 2
Shell's lead technologist was in the country to celebrate the inauguration of the Qatar Science and Technology Park, where Shell has a technology centre. Around 40 of the brightest technical students from Qatar University, Texas A&M, Carnegie Mellon and College of North Atlantic discussed how the world¹s energy needs are driving advances in science and technology, at Shell¹s facility in Qatar Science and Technology Park.


Qatar project drives e-learning
IT Web | Aprl 1
Qatar is playing a key role to shine the light of learning into the lives of the visually-impaired in developing communities across the world, thanks to an initiative from Carnegie Mellon University. The Pittsburgh and Qatar campuses are spearheading a Braille Tutor project, which explores how computing technology can be utilised to teach Braille writing while providing immediate audio feedback.


Bill Gates picked as keynote speaker at Qatar conference
Qatar Living | Aprl 4
Microsoft founder Bill Gates will be the keynote speaker at a conference to be held in Qatar next month. Gates, who is also co-chairman of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, at the global conference on Information and Communication Technologies Development (ICTD) to held at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar from April 17-19.