Carnegie Mellon University

News Clips - November 6, 2009

From October 30 to November 5, Carnegie Mellon Media Relations counted 342 references to the university in worldwide publications. Here is a sample.

National

Google's Schmidt on what sets Silicon Valley apart
The Wall Street Journal | November 5
Q: As Google starts hiring again, what percentage of your new hires will come from the Bay Area, and how does that compare to previous years? A: I suspect it will be pretty similar. The supply lines are pretty much the same every year. Top universities, key technical companies, talent that wants to move to Google and so the primary hiring has been, if you think of universities, has been Stanford and Berkeley. And then you have a couple places like MIT and Carnegie Mellon. But I would say that if you include people who are currently students and therefore they already live in Bay Area, it is probably a very healthy percentage.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125737184163029037.html

 

Stimulus creates 640,000 jobs
CNNMoney.com | October 30
Boehner also pointed to a memo from Carnegie Mellon professor Allan Meltzer, who said that the White House is misleading the nation by saying the Recovery Act has saved jobs. "One can search economic textbooks forever without finding a concept called 'jobs saved,' " wrote Meltzer, who served as an economic adviser under President Ronald Reagan. "It doesn't exist for good reason: how can anyone know that his or her job has been saved?"
http://money.cnn.com/2009/10/30/news/economy/Stimulus_jobs_created/?postversion=2009103014

Education for Leadership

Behind the quest for the ultimate Dungeons & Dragons machine
TechFlash | November 5
Microsoft is still trying to move its Surface tabletop computer beyond the realm of glorified tech demo into more commercial settings. In the meantime, a team of graduate students at the Carnegie Mellon Entertainment Technology Center have given it a purpose a lot of geeks would enjoy.
http://www.techflash.com/seattle/2009/11/the_story_behind_the_ultimate_dd_machine.html

 

Carnegie Mellon grad students build 3-D snowball fight
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | November 4
The students are all in the first semester of the master's degree program at the Carnegie Mellon Entertainment Technology Center. The goal of the exercise, in addition to building that virtual world, was to show the students they don't need to be good at everything to create a successful computer game, they just need to be really good at something and be able to work with others who have other skills.
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09308/1010559-96.stm

Arts and Humanities

Carnegie Mellon exhibit blurs line between artist, tools
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | November 5
Art that whispers, learns and evolves is on display at Carnegie Mellon University's recently opened Gates Center for Computer Science. Six of the seven installations that integrate elements of art and computer science were created by students and faculty members inspired by a class called "Art That Learns." The class was jointly taught last spring by Carlos Guestrin, an associate professor of computer science and machine learning at Carnegie Mellon's School of Computer Science, and Osman Khan, a visiting associate professor of art in the College of Fine Arts.
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/ae/museums/s_651726.html

 

All about food: For flu, nothing beats hot chicken soup
Coastline Pilot | November 5
One cannot fully discuss the benefits of chicken soup without discussing the psychological rewards. At a National Institute of Health seminar, Dr. Sheldon Cohen, a psychology professor at Carnegie Mellon who has been studying the effects of social support on immunity for 10 years, believes that it plays an important role in determining our resistance to upper respiratory illness. “Chicken soup may provide soothing relief for a cold, but it’s the friend who brings it to you who may help ward off the virus."
http://www.coastlinepilot.com/articles/2009/11/06/dining/cpt-aboutfood110609.txt

Biotechnology

Carnegie Mellon, UPMC researchers look at how melodies affect the brain
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | November 1
Carnegie Mellon University's Richard Randall, who teaches music theory, has long been fascinated by how we perceive music. He's teaming up with UPMC's Dr. Anto Bagic to be among the first to use one of these technologies — a magneto-encephalogram, called MEG — to study music cognition.
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/ae/music/s_650554.html

Environment

How to create a cheap(er) urban electric car
EV World | October 31
Carnegie Mellon University professors Illah Nourbakhsh and his co-principle investigator, Greg Podnar are exploring, through their ChargeCar project, an interesting avenue for reducing the cost of electric cars. Instead of engineering the car to replace the IC engine vehicle, they believe it makes far more sense to design the car around actual driver usage patterns, which turns out to be relatively short commutes, easily achievable using fewer low cost batteries in combination with an appropriate number of ultracapacitors optimized to handle the bulk of the car's acceleration and regenerative braking. The concept of mating ultracaps with lead-acid batteries isn't new, but the idea of scaling the car's energy storage system to specific commuting regimes is.
http://evworld.com/EVWORLD_TV.CFM?storyid=1774

Regional Impact

Air we breathe hazardous to our health
ThePittsburghChannel.com | November 2
Both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and a recently published study by Carnegie Mellon University state the problem plainly: everyone in Allegheny County is inhaling the toxic chemical benzene at levels that raise the cancer risk, Parsons reported.
http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/team4/21499634/detail.html

Local

Futurists' report acknowledges dangers of smart robots
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | November 2
But at least one scientist believes intelligent machines could pose threats to human beings. Another, Carnegie Mellon University's Tom Mitchell, said most alarming is what people might do with computers that are based on artificial intelligence.
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/pittsburgh/s_651056.html

 

Carnegie Mellon bridge to be named in honor of 'Last Lecture' professor
WPXI.com | October 30
A Carnegie Mellon University professor who gave an inspirational speech about facing terminal cancer will be honored Friday in Oakland. A 230-foot pedestrian bridge on the Carnegie Mellon campus will be renamed in honor of Randy Pausch. A dedication ceremony is planned for 7:30 p.m.
http://www.wpxi.com/news/21476558/detail.html

International

'Hope can prevent happiness'
The West Australian | November 5
A spoonful of hope might not be the best medicine, according to a new study that asserts that optimism can actually be harmful to mental health. The study, authored by Carnegie Mellon University's George Loewenstein and several researchers at the University of Michigan, measured the emotional wellbeing of patients in two groups: those with permanent colostomies and those with colostomies that might be reversed.
http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/world/6437571/hope-can-prevent-happiness/

 

PlayPower: 1980s computing for the 21st century
The Guardian | November 4
"Even some basic computer skills such as touch-typing can be economically transformative – making the difference between making a dollar a day as an urban labourer, or a dollar an hour as a back-office worker," says Lomas, who is now a researcher at Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2009/nov/04/playpower-80s-computing-21st-century

 

Animated ink-blot images keep unwanted bots at bay
New Scientist | November 3
That could be a problem, says Luis von Ahn at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, co-creator of the written captchas found on the web today. His ReCaptcha update to the technology was recently bought by Google. "For ReCaptcha, it takes approximately 10 seconds for users to do the test, and over 96 per cent of all attempts made by humans are correctly answered," von Ahn says. "It's hard to beat that."
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18078-animated-inkblot-images-keep-unwanted-bots-at-bay.html