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News Clips - September 18, 2009

From September 10 to September 17, Carnegie Mellon Media Relations counted 541 references to the university in worldwide publications. Here is a sample.


Google Buys Start-Up for Book Scanning
The Wall Street Journal | September 17
Google Inc. acquired a Web fraud prevention start-up that can help the Internet giant on another project: Its effort to scan newspapers and books for Internet distribution. Google, Mountain View, Calif., said it is buying reCaptcha, a Carnegie Mellon University spinoff that presents puzzles to Web surfers as they register at sites or conduct online transactions.


Mythbusters: Who Says Women Can't Do Math And Science? | September 16
Half of all MIT undergraduates are now women. And last year at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh women made up 30% of undergraduate students in mathematics and science, up from 17% in 1986. ower-women-mythbusters.html


FBI: Murder, Violent Crime Dropped in 2008
Associated Press/The New York Times | September 14
The statistics are based on crimes reported to police, who then forward the information to the FBI. There were 14,180 murder victims in the United States last year. ''What has been impressive has been how flat all the violent crime rates have been since 2000. To a large degree that's still the case, but the striking change this year has been murder,'' said Alfred Blumstein, a professor of criminal justice at Carnegie Mellon University.


Carnegie Mellon goes green with Gates-Hillman complex
CNET News | September 10
Please raise your hand if you've spent a lot of time in a basement environment while attempting to master one computer-related art or another. Well, that universal rite of passage for computer lovers seems to be over for Carnegie Mellon University students thanks to a $20 million gift from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a $10 million gift from the Henry L. Hillman Foundation, and several other donors.

Education for Leadership

My Summer at NASA
NASA | September 11
Eric was assigned to NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif. A native of Webster, N.Y., Eric studies mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa. In eighth grade, he won a trip to U.S. Space Camp in Florida and saw a Saturn V rocket for the first time; its size in real life impressed him. "I made the connection from pre-school aircraft and space picture books to seeing something with my own eyes," he said.

Arts and Humanities

Beginnings at Carnegie Mellon
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Classical Musings Blog | September 10
The Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic starts a new chapter with Ronald Zollman, the Carnegie Mellon School of Music's newly hired director of orchestral studies. He will lead the group at 8 p.m. Sept. 16 in Carnegie Music Hall, Oakland. ngs-at-cmu.aspx

Information Technology

What information is "personally identifiable"? | September 11
Not if you're Latanya Sweeney, a Carnegie Mellon University computer science professor who showed in 1997 that this information was enough to pin down Mr. X's more familiar identity -- William Weld, the governor of Massachusetts throughout the 1990s.


Researchers craft automated surgical gear
EE Times | September 14
Carnegie Mellon University has prototyped a video-based control system that automates a form of microscopic eye surgery to create a procedure which could be both faster and more accurate than current methods. Separately, researchers at Johns Hopkins University are trying to fuse optical and electromechanical sensors to enable more accurate surgical instruments.


Coal Front
Pittsburgh City Paper | September 17
Inside the conference, some 400 engineers and other experts from 26 countries will hear talks with titles like "Making Clean Coal a Reality," by Carnegie Mellon professor M. Granger Morgan, and "The Urgency of Sustainable Coal," by Robert Beck, head of the National Coal Council, a trade group. They'll also tour the South Park research and development facility of Pittsburgh-based CONSOL Energy, which is among the country's largest coal producers.

Regional Impact

Triple Play: Propel Schools, Sima Products and CMU collaborate on math learning device
Pop City Media | September 16
Propel Schools, a successful charter school program here in the Pittsburgh region, has received a grant from Spark (a new initiative of the Sprout Fund) to collaborate with consumer electronics company Sima Products and the innovation whizzes at Carnegie Mellon University. They're seeking to create a prototype for a low-cost, handheld electronic device that parents and kids would use together to promote math literacy.


Carnegie Mellon professor's super adhesive inspired by the gecko
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | September 12
Carnegie Mellon University Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Metin Sitti is an authority on what he calls the gecko's "one-sided Velcro" adhesive ability. "It's not like glue, it's not a liquid, it's a temporary attachment," said Sitti, who is head of the university's NanoRobotics Laboratory and is on the faculty of Carnegie Mellon's Robotics Institute.


New PC? The spam pirates, ID bandits, are on the loose
Telegram | September 13
New Windows PCs typically come loaded with all kinds of third-party programs, many of which you will never use.  “In a lot of cases, that’s extra software that might have vulnerabilities” that hackers could exploit, says Chad Dougherty, a vulnerability analyst at the CERT Program at the Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute. “You can get compromised through some software you didn’t even know you had."


Why touch screens push our buttons
New Zealand Herald | September 15
"This is a dramatic evolution in how we interact with technology," says Chris Harrison, who is part of the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at America's Carnegie Mellon University. 55