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News Clips - October 9, 2009

From October 2 to October 9, Carnegie Mellon Media Relations counted 346 references to the university in worldwide publications. Here is a sample.


Computer Science Professor David Farber explains his opposition to net neutrality
The Washington Post | October 8
David Farber, a professor of computer science and public policy at Carnegie Mellon, opposes net neutrality rules proposed by the Federal Communications Commission. Here's why: Farber doesn't think there are enough examples of bad players in the telecom, cable and wireless industries to justify more regulation. And even if there were problems, consumers and companies can complain to the Federal Trade Commission or Justice Department, he says. Ultimately, net neutrality rules would be bad for innovation, says Farber, who was one of the early technologists involved in the formation of the Internet.


Will airports screen for body signals? Researchers hope so | October 6
"I haven't seen any research that shows that those measures from the autonomic nervous system ... measuring blood pressure, measuring breathing, measuring heat on the face, are at all related to intent," said Stephen Fienberg, professor of statistics and social sciences at Carnegie Mellon University. Fienberg, who participated in a government study critical of the use of polygraphs, said he worries that a lot of money is being spent on a program that in the end will show "the emperor has no clothes."


Serious child's play
TIME | October Issue
Bossa Nova robotics is a neat example of one city's transformation from 20th century industrial relic into a more entrepreneurial 21st century metropolis. It's a start-up specializing in robotic toys "designed in Pittsburgh, made in China and distributed everywhere," says co-founder David Palmer. Bossa Nova's babies are called Penbo and Prime-8. […] These are smart little toys, having grown up at Carnegie Mellon University (Carnegie Mellon), the renowned tech-computer-engineering school. In the aftermath of steel's fade-out, Carnegie Mellon emerged as the city's high-tech incubator.,9171,1929205,00.html

Education for Leadership

Carnegie Mellon students illuminate the Cultural District
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – Show Blog | October 2
The students also surveyed visitors on their perceptions of the Cultural District, what they like and what they are concerned about. The biggest concern is safety and the amount of dark areas that currently exist downtown and make people feel insecure when walking at night. The project hopes to address these issues by illuminating these areas as well as using light to help people navigate about the area.

Arts and Humanities

Miller Gallery's 'Moon' exhibit opens minds
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | October 7
So it is that a curious exhibition has opened recently at the Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University. "29 Chains to the Moon" features 29 projects by artists who have put forth radical proposals, from "seasteads" and tree habitats to gift-based cultures, in hopes of making the world a better place.


Outsmart your emotions, cut your fees, keep it simple -- and reap higher returns.
Yahoo! Finance | October 8
Now recall the mood in September 2008. The real estate sector is crumbling, and the stock market has been slipping for nearly a year. Uncle Sam has taken over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers have failed. Investors, who couldn't wait to check their account balances when the market was rising, monitor them much less frequently now. They are suffering from the ostrich effect, a term coined by George Loewenstein, a professor of economics and psychology at Carnegie Mellon University.


Carnegie Mellon adds computational biology center to computer science
Campus Technology | October 8
Carnegie Mellon University has become the first institution in the country to add a computational biology department to its School of Computer Science (SCS). The center, named after benefactors Ray and Stephanie Lane, has actually existed for two years, but recently moved into a new complex that includes the Hillman Center for Future Generation Technologies and the Gates Center for Computer Science.


Technological devices offer glimpse into future | October 8
A group from Carnegie Mellon University proposed sensors in cellphones to test the air quality. "We're used to using our mobile phones as a communication tool, but it can also be a measurement instrument," said Eric Paulos, assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon. "We know what happened when people added a camera, we got citizen journalism. . . . What happens if you could measure things? You could talk about the air quality in your neighborhood."

Regional Impact

Pittsburgh needs to encourage entrepreneurs
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | October 4
Back then, our economic assets were natural resources such as rivers and minerals. Today, Pittsburgh's biggest assets are technology and innovation. The transformation of Carnegie Mellon, Pitt and UPMC over the past three decades into some of the leading centers for research in the world has given our region one of the key ingredients for successful economic development in the future.


HR leaders play crucial role in helping their companies grow
Pittsburgh Business Times | October 9
Not only does Barbara Smith, associate vice president and chief human resources officer at Carnegie Mellon University, spend her day addressing various HR issues, but she’s also responsible for the child care center at Carnegie Mellon. Rather than complaining about this extra role, she says “it’s just great."^2212821


Fomer professor's Nobel Prize medal presented to Carnegie Mellon
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | October 8
On Monday, the children of the late John A. Pople honored his bequest and presented his gold Nobel Prize medal to Carnegie Mellon University at the inaugural John A. Pople Lectures in Theoretical and Computational Chemistry. The presentation and lectures attracted a standing-room crowd to the Mellon Institute Auditorium.


Carnegie Mellon completes $3.3M addition to business school
Pop City Media | October 7
Carnegie Mellon University's Tepper School of Business has completed as 4,700-square-foot, three-story addition. Designed by Friendship/Garfield-based EDGE studio, the $3.3 million addition includes a new accessible entrance on the west side of the building, a first-floor undergraduate student lounge (with floor-to-ceiling windows and a flat-screen TV), eight faculty offices (all with outward-facing windows) and a technologically advanced conference center and seminar space. Intended for Tepper academic and social events, this top floor space can be divided by a movable partition, and can accommodate up to 100 people.


Get a byte of rare literature
Times of India | October 6
IISCs' Digital Library of India has now digitized 1.5 lakh books or roughly 48 million pages. Along with Carnegie Mellon University and 19 other institutes, IISc is undertaking the `Million Books Project' -- the aim is to digitize a million books sourced from every part of the world. The project, which has set a target of 250 million pages or 500 billion characters, is being undertaken under the ministry of communications and information technology.


American engineers create robots that walk on the water
Globo Online | October 6
Mechanical Engineers of the University Carnegie Mellon had created new models of robots capable to walk on the water. The devices, that have between 5cm and 15cm and weigh few gram, can be moved quickly on a watery surface. The name of the automaton is STRIDE (Surface Tension-based Robotic Insect Dynamic Explorer) and uses the superficial tension of the liquid as bracket, exactly as they make it natural insects that if move on water blades.


If you must talk, text or twitter, do not do it while driving | October 2
Cognitive researchers at Carnegie Mellon University reckon that just listening to a conversation can reduce activity in the region of the brain associated with spatial- and visual-information processing (the part used for driving) by as much as 37%. Cognitive distraction causes drivers to focus on a narrow space ahead, with little awareness of what is going on around them—something researchers call “inattentional blindness”. This is what causes motorists to miscalculate distances and drive too close to the car ahead.