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News Clips - March 26, 2010

From March 19 to March 25, Carnegie Mellon Media Relations counted 634 references to the university in worldwide publications. Here is a sample.


Fed exit fraught with dangers, monetary experts say
The New York Times | March 24
The Federal Reserve has not been clear enough about how it intends to unwind its unprecedented monetary easing campaign, and some of the tools it expects to use may not work, monetary experts will tell Congress on Thursday. [...] But this approach has serious shortcomings, Martin Goodfriend, a professor of economics at Carnegie Mellon University, will testify. For one thing, the reverse repurchase agreements through which the Fed plans to drain funds from the system would make its policy success too dependent on the whims of the private sector, Goodfriend said in his prepared testimony.


Could open courseware be a boon at liberal arts colleges?
USA Today | March 22
Open courseware has been a transformative boon for do-it-yourself learners and institutions — particularly foreign universities — that lack the resources to develop top-flight courses and course materials on their own. [...] The notion of using technology to spare professors the task of walking students through the fundamentals so they can spend more class time discussing concepts at a higher level is not new. Carnegie Mellon University, for example, has researched the possibility of using e-tutoring software to teach the basics, thereby optimizing the time professors and students spend together.

Education for Leadership

CMU to host TEDx conference centered on speeches
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | March 24
It's taken almost a year for the April 4 TEDx conference at Carnegie Mellon University to come together -- a long time for an event built on 18-minute presentations. TEDx is a mini-version of the annual TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conferences held in locations around the world that bring together luminaries as varied as green advocate Al Gore and musician Imogen Heap with one instruction: Deliver the speech of your life.

Arts and Humanities

Economic stress and your health | March 23
The recession may be putting more than your money at risk. If economic uncertainty has you feeling stressed out, your health may also be on the line. Chronic stress has long been associated with increased risk for heart disease and other serious health problems. The reason? Prolonged stress, experts say – such as anxiety over the downward economy – can weaken the immune system. "My best guess is that those most impacted by the economic downturn will be at greater risk," Sheldon Cohen, a professor of psychology at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, and a leading expert on the relationship between stress and vulnerability to viral infections, told ABC News.

Information Technology

China attack on Google stirs cybersecurity action
Smart Planet blog | March 24
The cyberattack originating from China against Google seems to have stirred both the Administration and Congress to take up the issue of cybercrime. [...] Besides there already is a cybersecurity act under consideration by the Senate, S. 773. The Commerce Committee could approve it as early as today, thanks in part to new support from the Internet Security Alliance, originally formed among various business trade groups and the CyLab at Carnegie Mellon.


Water, water…Nowhere?
Conducive Chronicle | March 24
Approximately two thirds of our planet is covered by water.  But how much of it is usable for humans?  The answer: 1%.  That’s it. Only 1% of the water on our planet is considered fresh water and usable by humans.  The other 99%, we can’t really use. Let that sink in for a few seconds. Now think about this:  It takes roughly 2,500 to 5,000 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef.  (Another excellent reason to go meatless more often than not).  And, according to a recent Carnegie Mellon University study that investigated actual water use across 428 U.S. economic sectors, it takes over 4,000 gallons of water to produce one $20 bag of dog food and 283 gallons of water to produce one $1 bag of sugar.

Regional Impact

'Life sciences century' spurs new wave of med-tech companies in Western Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | March 21
In many cases, the concepts come from researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh and other campuses. Leaders at the greenhouse, the region's primary funding and support source for medical startups, "troll the halls there, looking for light bulbs going off" then weigh whether the ideas are marketable, Manzetti said. Pennsylvania's medical technology industry ranks seventh in size nationwide, with $5.49 billion in sales in 2006, according to an AdvaMed report.


NETL: Energizing the region
Pop City Media | March 24
In 2009 alone, NETL expects to funnel nearly $290 million to such projects in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, a healthy infusion for the regional economy. "Ours are not always technologies looking for a market," Sarkus says. "We're quite proud of that. They're technologies designed to fill a market need. That means we have a close, cooperative and quite successful working relationship with industry. We don't go in and order or direct. We ask, 'How would you do this?'" Joe Culver, NETL spokesman, notes that this collaborative approach has another important benefit. "The federal government must hire something like 12,000 people to replace folks who are leaving," he says. "Through our projects with Pitt, Carnegie Mellon, Penn State and West Virginia University, we're helping develop the next generation of engineers and scientists."


CMU film fest puts face on globalization
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | March 25
Bright ideas often look duller later - "globalization" chief among them. It was supposed to integrate regional economies into a planet-wide network of free trade, capital flow and technology, thereby spreading entrepreneurship, higher living standards, education, public health - in a word, "prosperity." But some of the things it has spread weren't on the to-do list - things such as climate change, mega-shopping malls and pop-idol "reality TV." Those are among the subjects of the most fascinating entries in this year's bigger-and-better Carnegie Mellon International Film Festival, subtitled "Faces of Globalization," featuring 14 cutting-edge feature films and documentaries from 18 countries, with a host of related side events, through April 11.


Creative industry grows in Pittsburgh, US
Xinhua | March 23
Students display the Surface Scape project, a tabletop role-playing game on the Microsoft Surface Table, at the Entertainment Technology Center of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, the United States, March 22, 2010. Pittsburgh has been endeavored to transform from industrial base relied solely on steel to a more diversified regional economy through technology innovation. It has emerged as the hub of creative industry on the U.S. East Coast in recent years.


Activism among Muslim women rising
Qatar Tribune | March 23
Doha US-based professor of divinity Leila Ahmed said that activism among Muslim women was gaining ground in the American society. Ahmed, a renowned author, said that more Muslim woman activists were gaining prominence in America as they stand for justice and equality in their communities and that most of the women prefer not to be called feminists. She was the guest speaker at the Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar’s Distinguished Lecture Series, on Sunday.