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News Clips - May 22, 2009

From May 15 to May 21, Carnegie Mellon Media Relations counted 435 references to the university in worldwide publications. Here is a sample.


Toxic 'carbon tet' lingers in air near schools
USA Today | May 19
Allen Robinson, a Carnegie Mellon University engineering professor who has studied toxic air in Pittsburgh, says carbon tet, which once held an honored place in laundry rooms across America as an effective spot remover, serves as a particularly resonant cautionary tale.


Google CEO urges grads: 'Turn off your computer'
ABC News/Associated Press | May 18
The head of the world's most popular search engine urged college graduates on Monday to step away from the virtual world and make human connections. Speaking at the University of Pennsylvania's commencement, Google chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt told about 6,000 graduates that they need to find out what is most important to them — by living analog for a while. […] It was Schmidt's second honorary degree in as many days. On Sunday, he received one at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, where he delivered a similar speech.


Are computers transforming humanity?
The New York Times | May 18
"We're in a big social experiment. Where it ends up, I don't know," says Dan Siewiorek, a professor of computer science and electrical and computer engineering and director of the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.


Write an Aria, Graduate and, Oh, Right, Get Married
The New York Times – Cityroom Blogs | May 15
The Allison aria will get written one of these days. The clock is ticking. The world premiere is scheduled for May 22. But first, the librettist had to get married. “Just one more thing to check off the to-do list,” said the librettist, Dawn Weleski, who tied the knot on Friday. Other items on the to-do list may delay the creative process a few more days. On Sunday, Ms. Weleski, 28, is scheduled to graduate from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

Education for Leadership

Carnegie Mellon Start-Up In the Pink
Pop City Media | May 20
Both Selzer and Williams first encountered the notion of service design in a class with Associate Professor Shelley Evenson of Carnegie Mellon’s School of Design. “I never thought service design could mean rearranging furniture in a waiting room,” says Selzer.  […] (About the author: Julina Coupland, who lives in Point Breeze, graduated this past week from Carnegie Mellon’s School of Design with a Masters of Design in Communication Planning and Information Design.

Arts and Humanities

More city buildings cultivate savings by covering roofs with plants
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | May 19
Carnegie Mellon University art professor Bob Bingham and his students were involved in designing the campus green roofs. "Hamerschlag Hall is the best model," he said of the school's first effort, in 2005. "Two-thirds of the plants are sedums, with eight to 10 species. It's almost at ground level and can be seen by people walking by."

Information Technology

Study: Secret questions don't safeguard passwords
PC World | May 19
Another authentication mechanism could be an SMS (Short Message Service) sent by the e-mail provider to a person's mobile phone. But that also poses security questions, since phones are stolen and lost, and SMS transmission has security concerns, they wrote. The study was written by Stuart Schechter and A.J. Berheim Brush of Microsoft Research and Serge Egelman of Carnegie Mellon University.


Intelligent Workplace Lab Designs Offices of Future
Voice of America | May 19
Buildings are a big environmental headache. They account for 40 percent of the world's energy use and are the largest source of climate-changing emissions. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh are addressing these problems in a roof-top laboratory called the Intelligent Workplace.

Regional Impact

Certification changes, student performance eyed
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | May 20
A Carnegie Mellon University professor will be permitted to present a long-awaited study on teacher quality today as lawmakers battle Gov. Ed Rendell over a $201 million no-bid contract for high school exit exams. Robert Strauss, professor of public policy and economics at Carnegie Mellon, is scheduled to address the state Board of Education this afternoon after months of trying to schedule a briefing.


Real science doesn't matter for movie's plot
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | May 15
The role of scientific fact-checking is left to Manfred Paulini, a particle physicist at Carnegie Mellon University, whose lecture on the topic is available on Joe Boudreau, a University of Pittsburgh physicist, also offered a recent lecture about scientific issues raised by "Angels & Demons."


Carnegie Mellon-Q teams shine in UAE competition
The Peninsula | May 20
“It was challenging to compete against the other teams. Nonetheless, it was a rewarding experience to apply the knowledge we gain from Carnegie Mellon’s faculty and courses to a real-life situation, and to actually win the top two positions in the competition,” says Hatem Alismail, computer science major at Carnegie Mellon Qatar who was on the first-placed team. “The victory was due to the teamwork skills and the ability to stay focussed for extended periods of time, which were some of the important skills we learned at Carnegie Mellon."


Detroit will dodge Obama's fuel rules
Financial Times | May 21
A petrol tax is a rare example of a policy that would be simple, let the market operate, and be likely to achieve Mr. Obama's aims. "This is a noble long-term goal, but a gas tax is an immediate incentive to change," says David Gerard, an economist at Carnegie Mellon University.