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News Clips - January 9, 2009

From December 19 to January 8, Carnegie Mellon Media Relations counted 869 references to the university in worldwide publications. Here is a sample.


America's 25 strongest housing markets
Forbes | January 7
It's a similar story for the old industrial town of Pittsburgh, Pa. The city built on steel had its crisis two decades ago. Now, it's one of America's cleanest cities. Carnegie Mellon University attracts some of the best and brightest students, and some of the old steel mills are being converted to research parks. Pittsburgh is grayer than most cities: 16% of the population is over 65, well above the national average of 12%. Retirees, living on social security and pensions, are less affected by job losses.


The case for optimism
Conde Nast Portfolio | January 7
And to encourage home buying, Allan Meltzer, an economist at Carnegie Mellon University, has proposed making some down payments tax-deductible. Unfortunately, even if Obama could wave a magic wand to mend the financial industry and stabilize the real estate market, the recession wouldn’t end overnight.


Reading my mind
CBS News-60 Minutes | January 6
Here I was enclosed inside a giant multimillion dollar functional MRI machine. A magnet creating a magnetic field 60,000 times stronger than the earth’s own magnetic field hummed around me as I stared up at a screen scarcely a foot from my face flashing drawings of igloos and corn on the cob. I knew I would have some unique experiences working at 60 Minutes but I never imagined I’d end up as a guinea pig in a science experiment that would be seen by millions of people. The experiment I volunteered for was research at Carnegie Mellon University to see if scientists could use fMRI scanning in conjunction with computer science to essentially read minds.


He put movie listings in an app
The New York Times | January 4
Friday, July 11, loomed as a big day this year for Jeff Grossman, a sophomore at Carnegie Mellon. He had created a digital application for local movie listings for the iPhone. The application had been accepted for the new App Store, the online marketplace for iPhone extras like games and mapping services. Now it was the store’s opening day. He was offering his service free as a promotion, but still he wondered: Would anyone want it?


Energy drain by computers stifles efforts at cost control
The Chronicle of Higher Education | January 9
Forcing employees to use centralized facilities is much more difficult at a university than in the business world, which makes it hard for colleges to control energy costs, says Gregory Ganger, director of the Parallel Data Laboratory at Carnegie Mellon University. Researchers do not trust that IT departments will be able to fit their individual needs, and they like to have direct access to their machines.

Education for Leadership

Pittsburgh Signs Project: Web site celebrates signs around city
WTAE-TV News | January 2
The Web project led to a poster, then a gallery show. Stroup; his wife, Elizabeth Perry; Jennifer Baron; and her husband, Greg Langel, eventually teamed up for the book project aided by a $50,000 grant as part of Pittsburgh's ongoing 250th birthday celebration. All four are fellows at the Studio for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University, which fosters the exploration of art and technology.

Arts and Humanities

New CMU drama head can't wait to mix art, high-tech
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | January 7
World-renowned theater designer Peter Cooke, the new head of Carnegie Mellon University's School of Drama, is bracing himself for Pittsburgh's colder climes. "I'm coming from baking summer of Australia to a snow drift," joked a very good-natured Cooke yesterday via telephone about 2 a.m. Sydney time. "It's going to be quite a challenge."


Yes Men exhibition at Carnegie Mellon | January 6
Merry media pranksters the Yes Men -- recently in the news for their part in creating and distributing a fake copy of the New York Times [see "Oh Yes They Did!," Nov. 20, 2008] -- are being spotlighted with their first travelling retrospective exhibition, now at the Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Penn., Nov. 14, 2008-Feb. 15, 2009.

Information Technology

Four insider threats to IT security
Government Technology | January 7
Nearly half of inside IT users "exhibited some inappropriate or concerning behavior" prior to an incident, according to the January 2008 report Insider Threat Study: Illicit Cyber Activity In the Government Sector by the U.S. Secret Service and Carnegie Mellon University. More than 85 percent of incidents were committed by staff with authorized access to IT systems, and 69 percent of the time access control gaps helped the insider abuse the system.


UPMC Web site aids breast cancer patients
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | January 8
Using software developed by Carnegie Mellon University, the UPMC Cancer Center and a private firm have started an interactive Web site designed to help connect breast cancer patients to clinical trials and provide online responses to patients' questions.


A greener alternative to plastics: Liquid wood
Happy News | January 6
Terry Collins, leader of the Carnegie Mellon Institute for Green Science in Pittsburgh, Pa., said in an e-mail that the German liquid wood manufacturing process “sounds very encouraging indeed,” though he warned that as “with all potentially green alternatives, devils can lie in the details."

Regional Impact

Suburban communities seeing rise in violent crime
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | January 8
Last year, suburban communities in Allegheny County hit a gruesome benchmark. County police logged 45 homicides, just two more than 2007, but the highest total in the department's history. That number may rise to 47 after investigations are complete. […] There were no dramatic rises in individual communities, and according to Alfred Blumstein, a criminologist at Carnegie Mellon University, the number represents a normal fluctuation.


Call 4 Action: Time is right to make economic resolutions for 2009
WTAE-TV News | December 31
“We're going to be a lot more realistic, a lot more prudent and a lot more careful with our money than we have been," said Bob Strauss, an economics professor at Carnegie Mellon University. Resolution number one might be to start saving now. With all of the uncertainty in the job market, it makes sense to save six months' worth of salary in case you're laid off.


Qatargas to boost capacity in three years
Zawya | January 6
The program was specifically designed to support the realisation and achievement of leadership excellence for Qatargas. The modules were built by the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University and Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar.


Credit crunched Americans resort to robbing banks
Times of India | January 2
“It’s hard to attribute the bank robberies to people who were let go from Lehman Brothers or other organizations that are in trouble,” said Alfred Blumstein, who has researched criminal justice for 20 years and is a professor of operations research at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College, told CNN. “I would anticipate that people who rob banks have been involved with crime before because that’s not where one is likely to start."


Capitalism is worst system except for the rest
Taiwan News | December 31
"I have no confidence regulation will solve the problem," says Allan Meltzer, professor of economics at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. "Lawyers and bureaucrats make regulations. Markets figure out how to circumvent the costly ones."