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News Clips - January 30, 2009

From January 23 to January 29, Carnegie Mellon Media Relations counted 522 references to the university in worldwide publications. Here is a sample.


US Roads, Water and Basic Systems Earn 'D' Grade
The New York Times | January 28
"That absolutely makes sense," said Granger Morgan, head of Carnegie Mellon University's engineering and public policy program and an expert who wasn't part of the 28-engineer panel that handed out the grades. Morgan said just traveling the world shows that American infrastructure, especially in transportation, "is certainly not in the same league as parts of the developing world and parts of Europe."


Central Banks Are Creatures of Financial Crises
The Wall Street Journal | January 27
Some worry that the current crisis will make for a less-independent Fed. "You see the chairman of the Fed standing side by side with the secretary of the Treasury, cozying up to Congress -- is that a sign of an independent central bank?" asks Carnegie Mellon University economist Allan Meltzer.


Terror Fears Tougher on Minorities, Disabled
The Washington Post | January 26
"Sadly, that failure is greatest with those who are already most vulnerable," said Baruch Fischhoff, a psychologist and decision scientist at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. "I hope that the researchers will get to repeat their study and find that we are doing a better job."

Arts and Humanities

Carnegie Mellon Eyes High-Tech for Playground Fun
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | January 27
When Carnegie Mellon University asked four students for ideas to shape playgrounds of the future, they didn't kid around. The team from CMU's Entertainment Technology Center spent the fall semester researching the history of playgrounds, materials, safety and accessibility. They interviewed children and developed prototypes to provide a glimpse into how playground designers might use technology to get kids outside.

Information Technology

Report Calls for Boost in IT Research, Policies
Science Magazine Blog, AAAS | January 23
The government should also step into the yawning gap between purely academic research and industrial R&D, says Katz. He cites the High-Performance Computing and Communications initiative of the 1980s and '90s as a successful example of what he calls "programmatic research [that can] build communities of researchers that collaborate and also compete while pursuing a particular goal.” The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) no longer funds such research, notes another panelist, economist Steven Klepper of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


Pittsburgh Makes Plans for Becoming a Solar City
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | January 27
Such heaters are one of the better solar investments. It takes only five to seven years for a solar water heater to save more money than it cost, even though a backup heat source is used in the winter, said Stephen Lee, interim head of Carnegie Mellon University's School of Architecture and a solar researcher, who attended the seminar.

Regional Impact

Region's First Digital Charter High School to Open
Pop City Media | January 28
The school is a community-oriented educational facility for high-school students, explains Eric Graf, CEO designate. The mission is to provide an intellectually stimulating curriculum that combines a core academic program and state-of-the-art digital focus to prepare students for existing and emerging digital careers. “Pittsburgh is ideal for this type of school because of the private and college resources like Carnegie Mellon and Pitt that exist here,” explains Graf. “Our schools will be tied in with some of the best companies in the region, like deeplocal."


Super Bowl: Scalping Tickets Ain't What It Used To Be
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | January 26
"There's a supply and demand for everything," said Bob Strauss, a professor of economics and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University. "I would guess, all things held equal, that prices would be lower than last year." Ticket prices at viagogo, a London-based secondary ticket exchange, are down about 40 percent to $2,900, according to Reuters. Ticket prices at, based outside Hartford, Conn., are down about 26 percent to an average of $2,200. Even last week, prices dropped on


IBM Advances Research Through Cloud Computing To Help Solve Real-World Problems
AME Info | January 29
Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, Qatar University, Texas A&M University at Qatar One of the first projects to bring cloud computing to the Middle East, the Qatar Cloud Computing Initiative, is operational and initially located at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar. Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, Qatar University, and Texas A&M University at Qatar will collaborate on this environment, along with a community of industry experts, researchers and clients, to develop a cloud solution to help solve industry problems.


World History Course Goes the Distance
Gulf Times | January 27
Marking a path-breaking initiative, Carnegie Mellon University’s Qatar and Pittsburgh campuses are to teach a class simultaneously this semester through live video conference, bridging a distance of over 11,000km. Titled ‘Inward Odyssey: Travelogues as Windows into World History’, the discussion-based course, being offered by the history department in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, is described as a unique opportunity for the students from both campuses to interact with each other.