AugustSo far in the month of August, Carnegie Mellon Media Relations has counted hundreds of references to the university in worldwide publications. Here is a sample.
Studies warn on dangerous liaisons in drug supply chain as shortages loom large | International Business Times, Australia
A baffling report from cyber security experts at Carnegie Mellon University states: "A growing number of illegal online pharmacies are flooding the web trying to sell dangerous unauthorized prescriptions." This research supported by a public health alert by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) warns Americans on the dangers of purchasing medicines through illicit online pharmacies. The NABP reports that 98 percent of illicit web pharmacy sites continue to operate out of compliance with U.S. pharmacy laws.
Nicolas Christin, associate director of the Information Networking Institute (INI) and a senior systems scientist at the INI and CyLab along with Nektarios Leontiadis from the Department of Engineering and Public Policy (EPP), and Tyler Moore from Wellesley College found that unscrupulous websites were directing consumers to illicit pharmacies on the Web.
Running robot breaks speed records (now all it needs is a head) | Wired.com
The creation of a team of engineers at the University of Michigan, MABEL has just clocked a record of 6.8 miles per hour, but it’s been a tough training regime to get the robot from walking smoothly to running like a human.
She was originally built by Jessy Grizzle, a professor in the University’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Jonathan Hurst, who was then a doctoral student at the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. Doctoral students Koushil Sreenath and Hae-Won Park have since joined the project working on the feedback algorithms that allow MABEL to balance even when faced with uneven ground. The team says in a release that the robot “took its first jog” in July.
International students give big boost to Pa. | Associated Press/WFMJ.com, Ohio
A new report says the roughly 8,000 international students attending Western Pennsylvania colleges and universities this fall will bring nearly $220 million a year into the region.
Although instructing international students might not appear to be an export, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports Monday that in 2010 such education brought $21.3 billion into the United States.
International students make up about 3.7% of the nation's college students. At Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, where their numbers soared from 1,061 in 1992 to 3,330 today, they account for one-third of students.
Newest New Yorkers at play | The New York Times
I’m with six of the seven members of PigPen Theater: Arya Shahi, Ben Ferguson, Ryan Melia, Alex Falberg, Daniel Weschler and Curtis Gillen. (The seventh, Matt Nuernberger, is acting in Williamstown, Mass.) Last August they won an award for general excellence at the New York International Fringe Festival, then returned to Pittsburgh to graduate from Carnegie Mellon University. With “The Mountain Song,” they’re bringing their inventive mix of folk storytelling, music, puppetry and shadow play back to the festival beginning Saturday night. They’ve also come here to live.
Coming soon, video games that send shivers down your spine | ANI/Times of India
The technology is based on rigorous psychophysical experiments and new models of tactile perception.
In the demonstration developed in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University and others, the technology will enhance a high-intensity driving simulator game in collaboration with Disney's Black Rock Studio. With players seated in a chair outfitted with inexpensive vibrating actuators, Surround Haptics will enable them to feel road imperfections and objects falling on the car, sense skidding, braking and acceleration, and experience ripples of sensation when cars collide or jump and land.
Economic uncertainty feels like the new normal | MSNBC.com
Losing your job — or worrying that you might lose your job — is naturally going to cause people to do things like save more for a rainy day, or put off buying a new car or renovating a home.
That’s being reflected in the latest national data, which showed that Americans spent less and saved more in June.
“People are actually behaving pretty rationally given the economic circumstances,” said George Loewenstein, a professor of economics and psychology at Carnegie Mellon University.
Catching obesity from friends may not be so easy | The New York Times
Dr. Fowler acknowledged the difference was not statistically significant but said that the same pattern occurred in every study he and Dr. Christakis had performed and that other evidence supported it, making him think it is real.
Cosma Shalizi and Andrew Thomas, statisticians at Carnegie Mellon University, contend that it is mathematically impossible to use observational data to establish that contagion is a major reason behaviors spread. In a recent paper, the two researchers published a proof that the three explanations for the spread of behavior cannot be teased apart.
Don't blame Facebook for facial recognition's creepiness | TIME.com
We all know Facebook is an easy privacy punching bag. The social network has a tendency to tinker with our personal data, and deservedly lands in hot water now and then with paranoid users, pundits and politicians.
But the latest episode in Facebook's ongoing privacy drama has little to do with Facebook itself. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University's Heinz College have discovered how to use Facebook profile pictures and facial recognition software to match people's names to their faces, with a success rate of 31%, according to CNet.
The science of cyber security | U.S. News and World Report
The center is a National Science Foundation (NSF) Science and Technology Center based at Berkeley, with research partners at Carnegie Mellon University, Cornell University, San Jose State University, Stanford University and Vanderbilt University. There also are more than a dozen industry collaborators, including Intel, Cisco Systems, IBM, Symantec and Qualcomm. NSF supports the center with about $40 million over ten years.
The center has an ambitious research agenda to improve the state-of-the-art in cyber security, including the security of physical infrastructure, and preventing identity theft and privacy issues, especially with medical records. The center also is developing an education plan to teach the next generation of computer scientists, engineers and social scientists, as well as outreach programs to attract women and minorities in science and engineering.
Free cell phones for the needy | CNN iReport
George Loewenstein, economics and psychology professor at Carnegie Mellon University, said phone companies could lose money from the programs if customers seek free service when they otherwise might have found a way to pay for it. However, he said, the programs likely benefit the overall economy as having a phone can help people find jobs. "We've hit a tipping point," he said. "It used to be that a public phone was on every corner. As cell phones become more prevalent, public phones are gradually disappearing."
Who needs a wallet when you've got a smartphone? | Marketplace.PublicRadio.org
Also on today's show: researchers in Japan have created a robot that can learn to do tasks it wasn't programmed to do. The robot can adapt to input from humans, the Internet and other robots.
What could possibly go wrong?
Carnegie Mellon Professor Manuela Veloso says a future with smart robots is nothing to worry about. "It's actually a rewarding thought to think we will have machines to help us in our limitations," she says. Veloso says robots could fetch our slippers, clean our house, accompany people with disabilities, "all sorts of things that have been science fiction, but we are getting closer to be able to bring robots to daily life."
Online photos can reveal our private data say experts | BBC News, United Kingdom
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University combined image scanning, cloud computing and public profiles from social network sites to identify individuals in the offline world. Data captured even included a user's social security number. Experts have warned of the privacy risks faced by the increased merging of our online and offline identities.
Another goodbye to unlimited data | Marketplace.PublicRadio.org
Allesandro Acquisti is a professor at Carnegie Mellon's Heinz School. In a new study (PDF), he and his colleagues Ralph Gross and Fred Stutzman used facial recognition software, public information and photos of people's faces to predict Social Security numbers.
The big picture, says Acquisti,"is because there is so much public info about us, and because we have very cheap and powerful computing available to us through cloud computing, and because facial recognition has made such progress in recent years, if you combine those all together, you end with the ability of merging the online and offline worlds together." He says on one hand, it's pretty exciting, but that this research should also kick start a new conversation about privacy.
Apollo group to buy maker of math courses | The New York Times
Hoping to keep more of its students from dropping out, the Apollo Group, which operates the profit-making University of Phoenix, said Tuesday that it would pay $75 million to buy Carnegie Learning, which offers computer-based math instruction.
Carnegie Learning, based in Pittsburgh, was founded in 1998 by scientists from Carnegie Mellon University who developed an approach to teaching math that combines classroom work with computer instruction. Its Cognitive Tutor software analyzes students’ weaknesses as they work through problems and offers new problems until they are ready to move on.
The power of negative thinking | Scientific American
Researchers at New York University and Carnegie Mellon University conducted seven experiments to determine how people’s expectations shape their memories. In one test, they exposed 30 students to the noise of a vacuum cleaner for 40 seconds. Afterward, half were told they would have to hear the noise again, whereas the rest were told the study was over. Everyone was then asked to rate how irritated they were by the noise. Students who expected to hear it again consistently found it more irritating. Other tests involving stimuli that bored and annoyed subjects all yielded the same results.
Jeff Galak, a Carnegie Mellon behavioral scientist who worked on the study, suggests that we remember hardships as worse than they actually were so that when we face those experiences again, they will be less painful than we expect. Galak thinks that by understanding this “bracing” strategy individuals can learn to overcome it and stop fearing exaggerated pain. He acknowledges that doing so may backfire, however—it is possible, he says, that by bracing for the worst, we actually suffer less.
Where do profiles go when networking sites die? | Discovery News
Recycling user databases like that isn’t an uncommon practice in the United States, which is still hammering out online privacy standards and laws.
Facial recognition software can ID your SSN | MSNBC.com
As if there weren't enough insecurity about Social Security numbers, now there's more reason to worry: University researchers have found that using facial recognition software and social media profiles — like those on Facebook and Twitter — can make it easier to figure out individuals' SSNs.
"It is possible to identify strangers and gain their personal information — perhaps even their Social Security numbers — by using face recognition software and social media profiles," Carnegie Mellon University said, in announcing the findings of CyLab researcher Alessandro Acquisti and his team.
Face-ID tools pose new risk | The Wall Street Journal
As Internet giants Facebook Inc. and Google Inc. race to expand their facial-recognition abilities, new research shows how powerful, and potentially detrimental to privacy, these tools have become.
Armed with nothing but a snapshot, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh successfully identified about one-third of the people they tested, using a powerful facial-recognition technology recently acquired by Google.
Can Microsoft make you 'bing'? |The New York Times
Qi Lu, president of Microsoft’s online services division, sees the situation this way: “To break through, we have to change the game. But this is a long-term journey.”
MR. LU, 49, knows about long journeys — and persistence. His grandparents raised him in rural China, in a home without running water or electricity. A bright student, he won a scholarship to the doctoral program at Carnegie Mellon.
After stints at the Almaden Research Center of I.B.M. and at Yahoo, where he was in charge of its search and search ad technology, he joined Microsoft at the end of 2008. He was recruited by Mr. Ballmer, who assured him that Microsoft was committed to search and competing with Google for the long haul.