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News Clips - September 10, 2010

From September 3 to September 9, Carnegie Mellon Media Relations counted 468 references to the university in worldwide publications. Here is a sample.


Carnegie Mellon pupils in Rwanda laptop mission
Gulf Times | September 9
A group of Carnegie Mellon Qatar students along with pupils from the university’s home campus in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US, embarked on a two-week journey in Kigali, Rwanda, to work with the One Laptop Per Child programme. Waleed Khan (computer science), Abhay Valiyaveettil (information systems), and Jimmy Briggs Musili (business administration) were the Carnegie Mellon Qatar students who participated. They met up with the Pittsburgh students in Kigali and spent several hours each day working in partnership with local teachers to develop a two-week summit for elementary school children and design up to six lesson plans per day for a primary school.


VMware expands its cloud infrastructure strategy
DQC News | September 7
VMware expanded its vision for modern IT infrastructures and announced six new products and services that will help enterprises and service providers achieve the benefits of cloud computing while maintaining the control and freedom of choice they require. IT as a Service is the transformation of IT to a more business-centric approach, focusing on outcomes such as operational efficiency, competitiveness and rapid response. This means IT shifts from producing IT services to optimizing production and consumption of those services in ways consistent with business requirements. This changes the role of IT from a cost center to a center of strategic value. “Enterprises are embracing a new model of infrastructure to deliver IT as a Service through hybrid cloud computing,” said Raghu Raghuram, Senior VP and GM -Virtualization and Cloud Platforms, VMware. "We are excited about our new state-of-the-art cloud, based on open standards and robust, manageable software. VMware cloud infrastructure solutions are helping us to transition to a new computing paradigm that provides greater agility, while also allowing us to study data intensive computing and security in a cloud environment." said Professor Greg Ganger of Carnegie Mellon University.


CMU proud of Qatar campus: Cohon
Qatar Tribune | September 3
The achievements of Carnegie Mellon University at Qatar (CMU-Q) have been lauded by President of Carnegie Mellon University Jared L Cohon whose tenure has just been extended by one year. Cohon’s current and third five-year term ends in June 2012. With the extension he will have three years remaining as president through June 2013, allowing him the time necessary to complete and make significant progress on key initiatives. Mark Kamlet, executive vice-president and provost of the university, agreed to extend his term as well for another year through June 2013. “Jared Cohon has been an exceptional leader for Carnegie Mellon University. His vision and passion have defined the university’s place in history as we have increased our global presence.


Going Deep: Future technology in the NFL | September 8
The NFL's embrace of technology will continue to benefit the game and its fans, Priya Narasimhan said. She is a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University and heads the Football Engineering Research Group, the only academic program of its kind. "Everything [the NFL does] is incredibly progressive without spoiling the spontaneity and fun of the game," Narasimhan said, "because you don’t want technology to get in the way."


Acoustic trick gives 'dumbphones' touchscreen feel | September 8
The notion of acoustic fingerprinting hit the headlines earlier this year when Chris Harrison at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, developed a human-skin-based cellphone control system called Skinput. Skinput uses compact projectors, dubbed picoprojectors, to turn skin into a 'touchscreen' that, for instance, allowed people to tap an icon projected on their forearm to answer a call. The tap's acoustic signature – a resonant ricochet through the arm's bone, muscle and fat – activated the phone's answering mechanism. "Acoustics fingerprinting is really neat in that you can turn a totally passive item like a table or, in this case, a cellphone, into an interactive surface," says Harrison.

Education for Leadership

Green building design targets New Orleans | September 8
The competition is offered in collaboration with the Salvation Army’s EnviRenew. The four finalists are (1) “The Little Easy” – by a team that came together to lead Cornell University’s 2005 DOE Solar Decathlon Team, and went on to found ZeroEnergy Design (which recently won an award from Ecohome Magazine) for a design which includes an “outdoor living room,” a wheel chair lift, and a storm water collection system; (2) “RAMPed Up” – by a team from Buro Happold Consulting Engineers and Rogers Marvel Architects, which placed high importance on a structural system built to resist gravity, wind and flood and utilizing a rainwater harvesting system to mitigate storm water runoff while covering 100% of the home’s irrigation demand; (3) ”E.A.S.Y. (Efficiency. Accessibility. Safety. You) House” – by Wuijoon Ha, a five-year Carnegie Mellon architecture student, which includes operable skylights, a green roof and a wheelchair lift; and (4) “Greenboy Productions” – by a team from the University of Hawaii that includes members from Thailand, Vietnam, and the United States(Los Angeles and Las Vegas, and designed to be elevated to 8′-0″ above grade, allowing the space below the home to serve as a carport.

Arts and Humanities

Art of the Steel
Pittsburgh City Paper | September 9
The first thing you notice, as you walk into Carnegie Mellon University's Miller Gallery, is that this exhibit is big. On the first floor, there's a huge screen playing Steelers fan videos -- four videos at a time, in split-screen. There's also a gift shop and information desk, and if you ask the attendant whether he's weary of hearing "Here we go, Steelers," he grimaces and says, "Well, yeah." Upstairs, you find a voluminous loft, every wall of which is covered with maps, pictures and artifacts. The floor-space is taken up with swaths of fake-grass and mini-bleachers. In the middle of the gallery, an entire shack has been built out of cheap lumber, and every inch is packed with Steelers memorabilia.


VIA is coming, a major, new media, light tech festival-esque in Pittsburgh
Pop City | September 7
The event is so hot, in fact, it was named one of the top 10 festivals in the country for October by Resident Advisor. Goshinski and Leonowicz are leading a team of Pittsburgh producers and promoters in a grassroots effort to define a new niche for Pittsburgh music and media arts programming. Helping with the effort is the Carnegie Mellon STUDIO for Creative Inquiry and School of Art, Pittsburgh Filmmakers and the Sprout Fund, to name a few of the educational and non-profit strategic partners.

Information Technology

Users more likely to share secrets with unofficial looking sites | September 6
It might seem a little counterintuitive, but according to a study from Carnegie Mellon University, users are actually more likely to answer questions on a website honestly if the site seems less reputable in appearance. Researchers created three different sites that asked a series of highly personal questions. One site used muted colors, an official-looking seal and a professionally appropriate font, a second appeared somewhat less serious, while a third used bright colors, a cartoon devil and "less professional fonts" (perhaps comic sans?). Oddly participants were far more likely to admit to engaging in socially and legally questionable acts with the third site instead of the first. Researchers rationalized this by saying the volunteers may have been afraid the more official-looking site would store and track their answers.


Patriotic snake robot slithers up a tree | September 3
We're betting some of our readers will spend the long weekend communing with nature, where they'll hopefully encounter sunshine, blue skies, and the fresh smell of pine trees--and robotic snakes climbing up trees. Actually, the last sight is fairly unlikely, unless they're hanging out near Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon University. The reptile-inspired Snakebot out of the school's Biorobotics Lab can make its way up a tree impressively, as the new CMU video below demonstrates.


Environment to be studied before drilling work begins
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | September 4
Scientists looking at the impact of Marcellus shale gas drilling said they first need to measure the quality of the water, air and wildlife before the work starts. With that goal, the Heinz Endowments is providing grants worth about $2 million for local universities to study the industry by first setting baselines for the environment in areas where the drilling has not started, said Caren Glotfelty, director of the Heinz Endowments' Environment Program. […] Scientists there are planning to look at microbes in the water, fish and salamanders, while officials at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University are establishing baselines for water and air quality.

Regional Impact

Google in Pittsburgh signals tech burst
Marketplace Public Radio | September 7
MARK NOOTBAAR:  Google has more than 100 employees housed in a small building on the Carnegie Mellon University Campus. Its bursting at the seams. So the company is about to move two miles down the street. Google first partnered with Carnegie Mellon in 2006. Rick McCullough is the vice president for research at the school. RICK MCCULLOUGH: A lot of universities thought that we were insane, to have companies polluting the purity of the ivory tower and the academics and that turns out to be what we believe is the future of research.


CMU professor reflects on time at National Science Foundation
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | September 8
Just as Jeannette Wing has made time for karate and ballet amid the rigors of top-level academia, the computer scientist has made key moves to promote advances in her field. She's just back from three years as assistant director of the National Science Foundation, presiding over Computer and Information Science and Engineering. Dr. Wing returns to Carnegie Mellon University to resume her positions of professor and head of the computer science department.