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News Clips - March 27, 2009

From March 20 to March 26, Carnegie Mellon Media Relations counted 415 references to the university in worldwide publications. Here is a sample.


When did your dreams come true?
The New York Times – Tierney Lab Blog | March 25
The psychologists, Carey Morewedge of Carnegie Mellon University and Michael Norton of Harvard, collected responses from Lab readers who filled out a survey mentioned in a previous post that appeared along with a Findings column on the psychologists’ dream research. These self-selected volunteers aren’t a random or representative sample of either Lab readers or the general population, but the researchers find their answers revealing in other ways.


Cautionary tales from the social-networking universe
Christian Science Monitor | March 25
Now, I’d like to believe that people would be smart about their privacy control settings. I’d also like to believe that AIG was only thinking of the public good when it gave out bonuses. I am always guided by the words of a security expert at Carnegie Mellon’s cybersecurity unit who said to me years ago, “Given the choice between computer security and dancing penguins, people will take dancing penguins every time."


Why plug-ins will make (dollars and) sense
IEEE Spectrum | March Issue
John Voelcker’s article “How Green Is My Plug-In?” delves into the carbon impact of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), and it generated quite a bit of discussion. After that article appeared in March 2009, IEEE Spectrum’s David Schneider spoke with Jeremy Michalek, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering and of engineering and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University (Carnegie Mellon). Michalek’s upcoming study in Energy Policy looks at the sizing of batteries for such cars; in it, he calculates that plug-in hybrids with large battery packs—like the 2011 Chevrolet Volt—may never save consumers any money.

Education for Leadership

'Sneakerology 101' at Carnegie Mellon delves into impact of footwear on identity and culture
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | March 22
Students in a lecture class at Carnegie Mellon University were packing up to leave when Elliott Curtis, their instructor, called them back to their seats, saying he'd forgotten a key part of the lesson. It was time for them to come forward and show their sneakers. One by one, volunteers stepped to the front of the room, removed a shoe and -- in the name of higher learning -- placed it on an overhead projector so the class could study and admire the footwear.

Arts and Humanities

Humanities journals confront identity crisis
The Chronicle of Higher Education | March 27
Jeffrey J. Williams, the longtime editor of the minnesota review and a professor of English at Carnegie Mellon University, calls it "the speedup of the profession." In an e-mail message to The Chronicle, he wrote that "most senior people write on demand and have a docket of things they have to do."


GBA recognizes Pennsylvania's green leaders
Custom Home Online | March 19
The Green Building Alliance (GBA) has announced the recipients of the 2009 Shades of Green Awards, who will be honored at the organization's annual conference, Green$ense 2009: Beyond Buildings, March 30-31 in Pittsburgh. The awards program recognizes the green practices and efforts of businesses, nonprofits, government officials, and individuals in Western Pennsylvania. […]   Community Leader - Pittsburgh: Vivian Loftness, professor of architecture, Carnegie Mellon University—Loftness is being honored for her 30-plus-year career in environmental design and sustainability, advanced building systems and systems.

Information Technology

InfoSec's challenges, changes
ComputerWorld | March 24
A lot has changed in the 20 years since Rich Pethia first took the reigns as director of Carnegie Mellon University's CERT. CERT, which was initially launched as the first Internet security response organization, has evolved over the years to focus more on research and training role. Pethia, a CSO Compass Award winner, spoke with CSO about how much IT security and vulnerabilities have changed in two decades.


Fitwits program aimed at good health, preventing obesity
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | March 24
Fitwits and Nitwits, two food-inspired critters, are leading a health program designed to promote good health and prevent childhood obesity. The Fitwits program -- developed by the Carnegie Mellon University School of Design and the UPMC St. Margaret Family Health Center -- aims to educate the community through family doctors, schools and families. The interactive program includes play activities, lessons and games using animated cartoon characters. Fitwits will debut with a storewide scavenger hunt from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Centre Avenue Giant Eagle Market District.


Market-based mechanisms for CO2 reduction will be insufficient to attain mid-century goals
Green Car Congress | March 24
A new paper from the Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center concludes that while a market-based mechanism (e.g. cap and trade or a carbon tax) is a likely key part of a US strategy to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, such a market-based approach alone will not induce the investments in long-lived technology required to achieve a 50 to 80% reduction in emissions of carbon dioxide by mid-century.

Regional Impact

City pollution levels vary with wind direction
WPXI-TV News | March 19
Pollution levels in parts of the city of Pittsburgh may vary upon which way the wind is blowing at the time a measurement is taken. According to a Carnegie Mellon University study, there are a disproportionate number of “dirty” air days when the wind is blowing from the southeast instead of the southwest.


Black holes shed light on nature of universe
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | March 21
Once cosmological curiosities -- for years scientists weren't sure they even existed -- black holes hold a key to understanding galaxy formation and the structure of the universe. "How black holes interact with what's around them has a large effect," said Tiziana Di Matteo, the Carnegie Mellon University physics professor who is an expert on the significance of black holes in the evolution of galaxies.


Climate poses challenge to green architecture
The Peninsula | March 20
The Carnegie Mellon University-Qatar recently hosted a round-table discussion on “Green Building Matters”, in which leaders in building design participated. The discussion tackled the issue of the challenge of sustainable building design in Qatar and the region.


Burning holes in pockets
The Economist Blog | March 21
Back in 1999 Marvin Goodfriend, then at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and now at Carnegie Mellon University, also proposed ways of imposing negative interest rates—make banks pay a fee on reserves left on deposit at the Fed, and equip all currency with a magnetic strip so that when it was deposited, some of its value was automatically deducted depending on how long it had been in circulation.