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News Clips - September 25, 2009

From September 18 to September 25, Carnegie Mellon Media Relations counted 674 references to the university in worldwide publications. Here is a sample.


How Pittsburgh bounced back
CNN | September 24
The shape of today's research university, with its heavy dependence on federally sponsored research, can be traced to World War II and its immediate aftermath, with a major boost a decade later when the Soviet Union launched Sputnik. But what began as a response to national security threats has turned into the engine of America's -- and the world's -- prosperity. As my colleague, the Dean of Carnegie Mellon's College of Engineering, Pradeep Khosla has written, the industries that have fueled economic growth have come out of the American research university enterprise. ***Commentary written by Carnegie Mellon President Dr. Jared Cohon.


In Pittsburgh, a Road Map for a Recovery
The Wall Street Journal | September 24
Among the city's crown jewels, and in the eyes of many, the key to its survival, are two large universities: Carnegie Mellon, a leading technology center, and the University of Pittsburgh, which is closely affiliated with UPMC. "Having those two universities—one of them, which is very gung ho in engineering and robotics, the other with this wildly aggressive medical complex," creates a locomotive that has fueled the larger economy, says Marina Whitman, an economist at the University of Michigan.


Pittsburgh Shows How the Rust Belt Can Be Polished Up
The Washington Post | September 24
Luis Von Ahn moved to Pittsburgh in 2000 after graduating from Duke. Now a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University, he developed a Web feature called reCAPTCHA, which he sold to Google last week for an undisclosed but substantial amount. "The fact Google has a presence in Pittsburgh definitely affected my decision to sell to them," he said. "I guess I feel like it's my home now." In his nine years here, Von Ahn, 30, can appreciate Pittsburgh's physical changes.


Australia's Kevin Rudd gives G-20 address at Carnegie Mellon
MSN Money | September 24
Declaring himself a "nerd" and admitting that he used Google to learn about Pittsburgh last night, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd spoke at Carnegie Mellon University as part of the unofficial G-20 activities in Pittsburgh Thursday afternoon.


G-20 Host Pittsburgh Shows its Resilience
CBS Evening News | September 22
Why Pittsburgh? CBS News correspondent Anthony Mason reports it's a model of how to turn an economy around. On the outskirts of Pittsburgh, a robotic car gets a test run. There's no remote control. It drives itself. Developed at Carnegie Mellon University, it's guided by radar, GPS and lasers. "The thing that's spinning up on top is a laser, actually 64 lasers," says engineer Bob Bittner. In a way the robocar is emblematic of the remarkable turnaround in the former steel town. Bittner used to work in a steel mill. The town's been reinvented and so has he. The new Pittsburgh that will play host to world leaders this week is a potent symbol of economic recovery in a time of financial crisis: "By Pittsburgh's standards, these aren't tough times," said Carnegie Mellon professor Red Whittaker. "We've been there."


Pittsburgh Stars at the G20
Newsweek | September 22
If I had to pick a person to illustrate why my hometown endures, even thrives, I'd pick a young engineer from India by way of California named Priya Narasimhan. She teaches at Carnegie Mellon, worships the Steelers, and, among other things, has figured out how to embed a microtransmitter in a football to electronically measure first downs. Don't laugh: the National Football League is considering using the device.


At Carnegie Mellon U., a Gleaming Computer-Science Complex Worthy of M.C. Escher
The Chronicle of Higher Education | September 21
A few years ago Carnegie Mellon University showed Mack Scogin a 75-foot-deep chasm cluttered with old buildings and parking lots and asked him to put a new computer-science complex there instead. The university wanted 310 offices (all with windows, please), plus classrooms, computer labs, formal and informal meeting space, lounges, a workshop for things like planetary rovers, and underground parking. Also, the university wanted Mr. Scogin to give its long-neglected West Campus a sense of place. Oh, and how about a volleyball court? And lots of greenery. And could the building be LEED silver? Or better yet, gold?

Education for Leadership

Woman awarded scholarship
Asbury Park Press | September 23
Elaine Lee, who attends Carnegie Mellon University and majors in mathematics, was one of nine women to receive the award, which provides up to $8,000 to women college students entering their senior years who are majoring in computer science, computer engineering, Web design or related information-technology disciplines.

Arts and Humanities

G-20 and beyond, there's plenty of art to go around this fall
Pittsburgh City Paper | September 24
Elsewhere, artists tackle the very concept of portraiture in Likeness, a Mattress Factory group show opening Oct. 10, curated by Carnegie Mellon professor Elaine A. King. The Miller Gallery, already showcasing the future-visionary 29 Chains to the Moon, adds Experimental Geography (Oct. 9-Jan. 31), examining place with an eye toward the distinctions between art and geography.


Do women undercut their financial future?
Scripps News | September 23
In her book, "Women Don't Ask, Negotiation and the Gender Divide," Carnegie Mellon University economics professor Linda Babcock compares two equally qualified 22-year-old job candidates -- a man and woman. Each gets a job offer of $25,000. "John" negotiates his salary up to $30,000, while "Helen" quietly accepts her $25,000.

Information Technology

FCC Position May Spell the End of Unlimited Internet
Wired News | September 21
“As long as there have been networks, people have had to engineer them to ensure that congestion doesn’t occur,” Carnegie Mellon professor and telecom expert David Farber said Monday (he’s the co-author of a cautious anti-net neutrality opinion piece published in 2007). Farber is especially concerned about the impact of the FCC’s position on wireless networks, where bandwidth is already very limited.


Innovative Method Detects Genetic Causes of Complex Diseases
U.S. News & World Report | September 22
Computational biologists at Carnegie Mellon University have developed an analytical technique to detect the multiple genetic variations that contribute to complex disease syndromes such as diabetes, asthma and cancer, which are characterized by multiple clinical and molecular traits.


The G-20: 5 Green Things You Should Know About Pittsburgh
U.S. News & World Report | September 24
Instead of steel, Pittsburgh is a place for high-tech, green jobs. Biofuel, wind turbine and solar cell makers have placed their headquarters in Pittsburgh, where there is no shortage of engineers from Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh to employ. Better yet, many of the laid-off steelworkers have found new futures with clean energy corporations. The choice of Pittsburgh as the G-20 site further emphasizes the city's green revival, and will make it an even more attractive destination for job-seekers.


Google CEO Schmidt predicts information at forefront of growth
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | September 24
In 2006, Mountain View-based Google created a Pittsburgh Engineering Office on Carnegie Mellon University's campus. Last week, it announced the acquisition of Carnegie Mellon spinoff company ReCaptcha Inc., which uses word puzzles based on printing in old books to protect computer users from spam and fraud. Terms of the purchase were not disclosed.


Researchers find fertile field for innovation in labor-intensive agriculture
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | September 24
American apple growers can't predict the yield of each year's crop, nor the size of fruits that make up annual harvests. "Orchard agriculture is the exact opposite of a modern factory," said Sanjiv Singh, a research professor at Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute. "In manufacturing, managers can decide how many of something they produce and when."


US economist urges G20 summit to address "too-big-to-fail" issue
Global Times | September 24
"The most important change for the United States and many other countries is to eliminate too-big-to-fail in the banking system," said Allan H. Meltzer, a professor of Political Economy with Carnegie Mellon University. He warns if the problem is not appropriately tackled, it will be hard to avoid a repeat of the current financial crisis in the future.


Coal conference on the fringes of G20 summit
Radio France Internationale | September 22
As world leaders are meeting for the G20 summit in Pittsburgh later this week, Exxon and other major energy suppliers are sponsoring a coal conference on Monday with 26 researchers from 26 countries to talk about clean coal as energy. The conference, with keynote speaker Grange Morgan, the head of policy for Pittsburgh Carnegie Mellon University, is being touted as "America's fuel for America's future."


Pittsburgh showcases green economy at G20 summit
The Gulf Times | September 20
Central to a green economy are education, innovation and research, which Pittsburgh offers through schools like Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh. Also key are an educated work force and plentiful raw materials.