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News Clips - December 11, 2009

From December 4 to December 10, Carnegie Mellon Media Relations counted 385 references to the university in worldwide publications. Here is a sample.


Reading practice can strengthen brain 'highways'
NPR’s “All Things Considered” | December 9
Intensive reading programs can produce measurable changes in the structure of a child's brain, according to a study in the journal Neuron. The study found that several different programs improved the integrity of fibers that carry information from one part of the brain to another. "That helped areas of the brain work together," says Marcel Just, director of the Center for Cognitive Brain Imaging at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.


Learning to love to hate robots
New Scientist | December 9
That has let anthropologists and roboticists give these mechanical workers their first report cards - and results are mixed. Despite evidence that we can find robots useful, even lovable colleagues, they can also trigger annoyance and violence. The results should help make future robots easier to work with. One study by Jodi Forlizzi at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, highlights how popular culture can affect a robot's reception.


Groups far apart on online privacy oversight
The New York Times | December 7
“Generally speaking, they know very, very little about what goes on online, under the screen, under the hood. The kinds of things they don’t know would surprise many people around here,” said Joseph Turow, a professor at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. Lorrie Faith Cranor, an associate professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon, said that not only did consumers not understand behavioral advertising, but they also “are confused about which part of a Web page is advertising."

Education for Leadership

Student designers re-imagine Pennsylvania bridge as a bike path
Design Training | December 9
The Hulton Bridge that crosses the Allegheny river near Pittsburgh is in danger of being torn down when a replacement is built just a short distance upstream. In an effort to preserve the 101-year-old local landmark, a group of engineering students at the nearby Carnegie Mellon University have proposed a bold re-working of the bridge as a scenic bike path.

Arts and Humanities

'Likeness' looks at the evolution of the portrait
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | December 8
Organized by Carnegie Mellon University professor and art critic/curator Elaine King, "Likeness" explores how artists are conceptualizing human depiction in the first decade of the 21st century. "In an age when direct experience can be convincingly simulated and infotainment merges with the evening news, fact and fiction become more difficult to disentangle," King says her statement, "Today, we have been launched into a new age of human portrayal due to alterations in lifestyle, identity and technology.

Information Technology

Which products at the 2010 CES will be life-changers?
IT News Online | December 9
Jim "Oz" Osborn, executive director of the Quality of Life Technology (QoLT) Center at Carnegie Mellon University, will keynote the half-day Silvers Summit conference, which showcases products and services that keep baby boomers engaged, entertained, and connected. Exhibitors include First Street, the leading direct marketer of innovative products for Boomers and Beyond, and WellCore, Myine Electronics, Jitterbug, and Doro, all offering new lifestyle companion products that allow boomers and seniors to enjoy their retirement years with ease.


Mobile lab checking air quality in Liberty
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | December 10
Biology II students at South Allegheny High School yesterday got the chance to tour the $2 million Mobile Air Quality Lab that Carnegie Mellon University has had stationed at the campus for the past two weeks to measure air quality. The university chose Liberty Borough, where the high school and middle school are located, because it is among the areas in the county with the highest particulate levels in the air.

Regional Impact

5 ways we are already acting like a region
Pop City Media | December 9
3. Water knows no boundaries!  And everyone needs it. That was the impetus behind the University of Pittsburgh's Institute of Politics' creation of the Regional Water Task Force in 2006. Representatives from eleven counties under the leadership of Carnegie Mellon President Jared Cohon and President of California State University Angelo Armenti, came together to address regional water challenges such as flooding, sewage overflows, outdated infrastructure, and abandoned mine draining.


Gates grant to help Carnegie Mellon develop online classes
WPXI-TV News | December 4
Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh will develop online classes to be used by community colleges with the help of a $2.5 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Carnegie Mellon's computer interaction experts will work with software engineers and faculty from some 40 community colleges to develop the curriculum. Carnegie Mellon has been working on the project through the school's Community College Open Learning initiative. Friday's grant is part of an ongoing effort by the Gates Foundation to improve graduation rates at community colleges.


The Thinkers: Libraries finger way to a digital tomorrow
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | December 7
Gloriana St. Clair has been a library administrator for more than 25 years, but she bought a Kindle the first day they came out. She loves Amazon's electronic reader, especially when she's reading in bed at night and she might otherwise be trying to manipulate an unwieldy 500-page fantasy novel. Her Kindle love affair seems appropriate for a woman who has become a national leader in digitizing library material. […] Dean of Carnegie Mellon University's libraries since 1998, Dr. St. Clair this year was named academic-research librarian of the year by the national Association of College Research Libraries and recently began a Web site called Research Showcase, offering free access to scientific papers authored by Carnegie Mellon faculty and students.


City student numbers set to soar in 2010
Messenger News | December 10
Carnegie Mellon University, on Victoria Square, is predicting a record intake in 2010. Marketing manager Francesca Doyle said there had been a 30 per cent increase in applications each year since the university opened in 2006. “Many students want to study at an American campus in Australia it’s the best of both worlds,” she says. “We also ran strong social media campaigns on Facebook in Pakistan and the Philippines and got good results."


Greek astrophysicist and NASA robotics expert to be honored
ANA-MPA | December 10
The Niki 2009 Award will be presented to Dr. Economou by Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece during a special ceremony in a central Athens hotel on Monday, December 14, at which Carnegie Mellon University president Dr. Jared Cohon will be the keynote speaker, while the proceeds of the event will be donated to the AIT Scholarships, Awards and Financial Assistance Fund. Attending the Ceremony will be representatives from major Greek scientific and academic institutions, businesses, banks, organizations, diplomatic corps, the media, and interested individuals.


Think outside the box, students urged
The Gulf Times | December 7
Students should make use of all the opportunities that come their way, Carnegie Mellon Qatar’s computer science major Keghani Kristelle Kouzoujian, the only recipient of the 2009 Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship from the country, has urged. […] “I really want to apply computer science into music or the arts,” said the achiever who has inspired her juniors to apply for the Google scholarship. Once Kouzoujian graduates from Carnegie Mellon Qatar in 2010, she will head to the home campus in Pittsburgh, US, for a year to work as a Fifth Year Scholar and also attend classes in hopes of earning a minor in music.