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News Clips - October 30

From October 21 to October 29, Carnegie Mellon Media Relations counted 348 references to the university in worldwide publications. Here is a sample.


Online data present a privacy minefield
NPR's All Things Considered | October 26
People exchange personal information for convenience, discounts and other benefits.  "Those exchanges happen daily. Constantly," says Alessandro Acquisti, an economist at Carnegie Mellon University. He says personal information is almost a kind of currency — something people spend. But there's a problem, he says. "We don't have infinite cognitive power, processing power, to consider all the options. And we take shortcuts," Acquisti says.


Minority architects rebuild Pittsburgh from the grassroots up
AIArchitect | October 23
If the colligate academy of architecture is criticized as a designer-centered ivory tower separate from the true-to-life state of cities and urbanism, consider the Carnegie Mellon School of Architecture’s Urban Design Regional Employment Action for Minorities (UDream) program as a rejoinder. This opportunity, run by Carnegie Mellon’s Remaking Cities Institute, gets minority architects working with minority communities at a grassroots level with projects that engage the public in bringing their neighborhoods back to life.


Preventing the next financial crisis
The Wall Street Journal | October 22
The United States is headed toward a new financial crisis. History gives many examples of countries with high actual and expected money growth, unsustainable budget deficits, and a currency expected to depreciate. Unless these countries made massive policy changes, they ended in crisis. We will escape only if we act forcefully and soon. […] About the author: Mr. Allan Meltzer is professor of political economy at Carnegie Mellon University and the author of the multi-volume "A History of the Federal Reserve" (University of Chicago, 2004 and 2010).


CNO speaks at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh
U.S. Navy News | October 21
The Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) delivered remarks at Carnegie Mellon University about "America's Global Navy: In the Middle East and Beyond," Oct. 21. Adm. Gary Roughead, CNO, met with students and faculty, along with the university's president, Dr. Jared Cohon to discuss computer science, future technology and the way ahead for the Navy. […] Roughead's lecture is part of the Carnegie Mellon International Relations and Politics Program's Speaker Series and is co-sponsored by the university's College of Engineering and Heinz College.

Education for Leadership

Carnegie Mellon's TechBridgeWorld takes solutions to developing nations
Pop City | October 28
Carnegie Mellon's TechBridgeWorld, a program that creates and uses the latest tech solutions to help the people of developing countries around the world, will present its annual showcase this Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Perlis Atrium in Newell-Simon Hall. This year, the project's 5th anniversary, focuses on the theme of Student Experiences. Most of the projects are developed abroad, such as the Braille Tutor, a small device that connects with a computer through a USB that helps blind students to write Braille.

Arts and Humanities

In rural India, learning English via cellphone
The Chronicle of Higher Education – Wired Campus Blog | October 21
A project based at Carnegie Mellon University will study how effective games on cellphones are at teaching English to students in rural India. Led by a professor at Carnegie Mellon, professors, graduate students and undergraduates have been working on developing games over the last six years. Now, because of financial support from Nokia, the professors will be able to lend 450 cellphones to children in villages in Andhra Pradesh, a region in the south of India. The children with games on the cellphones will be compared with children who will not play the games and will learn English in a traditional classroom setting.


Can stress make you sick?
MSN Health | October 29
“The stress at work is sending my blood pressure through the roof,” a patient told me. His instinct was good, because experts who study stress are increasingly seeing how it connects to illness. Stress affects your heart, weight, and skin. It’s also linked with “poorer wound healing, an increased risk for developing depression, the common cold, and influenza, as well as associated with increased symptoms among those with chronic illnesses,” says Dr. Sheldon Cohen, a professor of psychology at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

Information Technology

Newsmaker: Luis von Ahn
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | October 24
Occupation: Assistant professor, computer science, Carnegie Mellon University  Noteworthy: One of 16 recipients of the 2009 Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering. Each fellow receives an unrestricted research grant of $875,000 during five years. Background: Von Ahn has been the recipient of various other merits, including a 2006 John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. Discover magazine in 2008 named him one of the 50 Best Brains in Science, and Technology Review in 2007 selected him for its TR35 list of Young Innovators Under 35. Von Ahn has pioneered an area of computer science that he calls "human computation." The strategy seeks to blend human abilities with those of computers to solve problems that would be impossible for humans or computers to solve by themselves.


Microcapsule: Case study: Encapsulation | October 30
In November 2007, a research group at Carnegie Mellon University announced they had developed microcapsules capable of delivering genetically engineered adult neural stem cells into the brain where they then produce an essential enzyme. When such cells are re-implanted without a microcapsule, they elicit an inflammatory response, which causes them to differentiate into mature cells, rather than disperse throughout the brain.


'Green' doesn't necessarily mean savings
Chicago Tribune | October 25
If you're like most consumers, you're more than happy to buy green -- as long as it saves greenbacks. A recent study by the Shelton Group found that consumers who purchase eco-friendly products at least occasionally are more interested in spending their money wisely than in improving the environment. […]Myth: You can reduce your carbon footprint by eating locally grown foods. Reality: While locavores often cite "food miles" -- the distance food is shipped to market -- as a reason to eat local, Christopher Weber and H. Scott Matthews, professors at Carnegie Mellon University, say transportation accounts for only 11 percent of total greenhouse-gas emissions associated with food, while 83 percent is related to production.,0,1553460.story


UPMC say low use, not years of financial losses, led to decision to close Braddock hospital
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | October 25
"With any business, you have to cover your costs," agreed Martin Gaynor, a health economist and professor at Carnegie Mellon University's Heinz College. "It's clear that at some point, if a community has been declining, it's not going to be able to support certain institutions, and a hospital might be one of those."


Creativity of browse-and-discover culture may not survive a faster pace
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | October 25
Browsing is good in terms of personal relaxation, but it may have a downside if it's all browse and no buy. George Loewenstein, a Carnegie Mellon University professor who's an expert on the psychology of economics and consumer decision-making, believes "there is reason to panic" over the loss of community-centered businesses such as Barnes & Noble. Among the great appeals of Pittsburgh, he said, are its many great browsing areas of Walnut Street in Shadyside, Murray and Forbes avenues in Shadyside and Carson Street on the South Side.


Expert sees Qatar as a hub of production
Gulf Times | October 26
Qatar could become a major manufacturing hub and aim for a future that lasts well beyond the energy boom, noted inventor and entrepreneur Dr S. Thomas Emerson has said. “The competitive advantages include strategic location, excellent air and sea transportation, abundance of capital, very low-cost energy, ability to import low-cost labour, and the educational infrastructure,” he said in an interview. Dr Emerson, one of the creators of the now ubiquitous Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technology, is the David T and Lindsay J Morganthaler Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.


Green IT push goes wimpy
Metawerx | October 23
A fast but energy-efficient server architecture developed by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and Intel Labs goes by the somewhat improbable name of Fast Array of Wimpy Nodes (FAWN). Tests have shown that an experimental computing cluster based on FAWN was able to handle between 10 and 100 times as many queries for the same amount of energy as a conventional disk-based cluster. Now a next-generation FAWN cluster is being built with nodes that include Intel's Atom processor.


From the first email to the first YouTube video: a definitive internet history
The Guardian | October 23
Professor Scott E Fahlman worked at the computer science department at Carnegie Mellon in the early 1980s, at a time when it was making heavy use of online bulletin boards. Often someone would make a sarcastic remark and a few readers would fail to get the joke. At one point a humorous comment on the boards about a brainteaser involving mercury was interpreted as a safety warning, nearly causing the building to be evacuated.