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News Clips - January 8, 2010

From December 31 to January 7, Carnegie Mellon Media Relations counted 282 references to the university in worldwide publications. Here is a sample.


When play means pay: Video game jobs on the rise
NPR’s “Morning Edition” | January 7
Analysts and developers point to a common thread: The entire video game universe is maturing. "I'd say game industries are sort of coming out of their adolescence," says Drew Davidson, the director of the entertainment technology center at Carnegie Mellon University. "They're in their late teens and so there's still a lot of growing to do."


Japan’s robot revolution moves from factory to the home
The Christian Science Monitor | December 31
More recently, the Japanese have been touting robots for use in the kitchen. At recent expos, Toyo Riki showcased a robo-chef, spatula in hand, that flipped pancakes. Other robots served sushi and sliced vegetables. Researchers envision them handling repetitive jobs in restaurants and in homes. Japan is “doing a great job on manipulation and hardware – the ability to make robots do what you want to do,” says Curt Stone, an expert at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

Education for Leadership

Carnegie Mellon students devise RFID-enabled mirror
RFID Journal | January 5
Five graduate students at Carnegie Mellon University have designed a mirror system that includes an RFID interrogator and a touch-screen LCD monitor to provide consumers with information regarding clothing in a store as they shop. Since mid-December 2009, the system, known as the Smart.Mirror, has been trialed at Charles Spiegel for Men, a clothing boutique in Pittsburgh.


Carnegie Mellon senior puts focus on food with 4th start-up
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | January 3
Like any CEO, David Chen often had to drop what he was doing and resolve problems that arose at his company. Thing was, Chen was 12, in the sixth grade, and what he had to drop sometimes was math or science class when he'd receive a text message from one of his technicians. "Some of my teachers knew about it," said Chen, 21, said of his days at Marlboro Middle School in New Jersey when he was managing his second online start-up company, which operated people's Web sites before software appeared that enabled Internet users to do it themselves. Today Chen, a Carnegie Mellon University senior, is heading his fourth Web-based company, Fooala.

Arts and Humanities

Memories in light: The Pausch bridge at Carnegie Mellon
Live Design Magazine | January 6
Christopher Popowich and Cindy Limauro of C&C Lighting, LLC, used 7,000 color-changing LEDs in lighting The Pausch Bridge on the Carnegie Mellon University campus in Pittsburgh. Randy Pausch—who was a professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon—gave a popular talk called “The Last Lecture,” followed by a book of the same name, when he knew he was dying of pancreatic cancer (he passed away in 2008). “The lighting looks for The Pausch Bridge are inspired from visual metaphors in Randy’s book,” says Limauro. “The lighting runs for 15 minutes before repeating on a continuous loop.” Financed by Carnegie Mellon, the bridge connects the new Gates & Hillman Centers for computer science with The Purnell Center for the Arts.


Our critics highlight some of 2009's notable theater, dance and visual art.
Pittsburgh City Paper | December 31
Carnegie Mellon's Miller Gallery continued its recent trends with Experimental Geography, drawing again from the well of intersecting cultural studies and social practices. This time, guest curator Nato Thompson assembled a show featuring exemplary feats of data-visualization, conceptual land-art and urban anthropology, to name a few, and impressively managed to glean a strong collective resonance out of the multidisciplinary hodgepodge.

Information Technology

Washington technology: HHS wants contractor to test privacy of ‘anonymous’ data | January 7
Carnegie Mellon professor Latanya Sweeney has been researching the issue of de-anonymization or re-identification of data for years. In 1998, she explained how a former governor of Massachusetts had his full medical record re-identified by cross-referencing Census information with de-identified health data. Sweeney also found that, with birth date alone, 12 percent of a population of voters can be re-identified. With birth date and gender, that number increases to 29 percent, and with birth date and zip code it increases to 69 percent.


Newsmaker: Philip LeDuc
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | January 7
Background: Associate professor of mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University since 2002. Notable: Phillip LeDuc and collaborators from Taiwan and Massachusetts discovered a new function for a protein they believe could unlock the mystery of what role proteins play in biological processes within the body. The researchers' discovery was published in the Dec. 21 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and the Nature Protocols journal.


Explaining climate
Pittsburgh City Paper | January 7
I tried the sick-person analogy on Rosenmeier and Carnegie Mellon University engineering and public-policy professor M. Granger Morgan. Both rated it "not bad," though with caveats. Rosenmeier worries that any analogy risks oversimplifying something as complex as climate change. And Morgan, director of Carnegie Mellon's Climate Decision Making Center, says the problem isn't so much that people can't understand climate science; it's that, compared to their daily worries, its dangers seem far away into the future.

Regional Impact

Robotics match is a test of teamwork for Tuscarora School District students
The Public Opinion | January 4
A group of students from Tuscarora School District, Mercersburg, and Big Spring School District, Newville, competed as a team this fall in a regional robotics competition at Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute in Pittsburgh. The robotics program is sponsored by FIRST Lego League, a worldwide organization with a mission to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders. […] Local students finished fifth overall, taking home first place in programming, third place in the research project and 10th in robot design.


Staying connected a status (update) symbol
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | January 6
According to Carnegie Mellon University professor Lorrie Faith Cranor, there hasn't been a tipping point in American culture yet that demands heightened security for our computers (pocket-size and otherwise). We still value convenience over safety. Her example: home burglary systems, which too often rely on quick-footed owners to avoid unnecessary alarms. After a few involuntary mishaps, the owner may just stop turning the alarm on and hope the sticker wards off bandits.


What will 2010 hold for economy?
WTAE-TV News | January 4
Economists predict the 2010 economic recipe has a long list of the usual ingredients, including unemployment, the stock market and retail and home sales. However, terrorism at home and abroad could have an impact on everyone's wallet as federal money could be focused more on defense than domestic issues. "For whatever reasons, the bad guys and girls are starting to have frightening effects inside our borders, and all of this is going to make consumers very, very worried and travelers worried, and it's going to make the president look older yet," said Carnegie Mellon University economics professor Bob Strauss.


Private investigations in the Information Age
Computerworld | January 5
Richard Power is a Distinguished Fellow at Carnegie Mellon CyLab and a frequent contributor to CSO Magazine. He writes, speaks and consults on security, risk and intelligence issues. He has conducted executive briefings and led professional training in forty countries. Power is the author of six books. Prior to joining Carnegie Mellon, Power served as Director of Security Management and Security Intelligence for the Global Security Office (GSO) of Deloitte Touche Tomatsu and Editorial Director of the Computer Security Institute.


The end of the revolution is nigh
The Economist | January 5
MBA curricula typically reflect the skills that make students marketable in the most competitive and desirable industries. Why else would anyone take on the considerable expense of such a thing? Also it is unfair to generalise—top business schools such as Sloan (MIT) and Tepper (Carnegie Mellon) have strong operations programmes in addition to finance.