DecemberSo far in the month of December, Carnegie Mellon Media Relations has counted hundreds of references to the university in worldwide publications. Here is a sample.
Hello, Chateau: Your neighborhood has potential | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
In the new livable Pittsburgh, shorelines are being rebuilt for vibrant lifestyles, so Chateau was a perfect target for the fall semester's Urban Lab architecture class at Carnegie Mellon University.
The students took the neighborhood, simmered it in the juices of their creative minds and turned it into a hip new destination with an expanded campus for the craftsmen's guild, some high density housing, a pier and streets alive with young people on bikes and in kayaks. The forthcoming North Shore light-rail connection is the spur of reality entering this picture and presents a great opportunity.
Study: Nearly one in three people will be arrested by the time they are 23 | USA Today/Chicago Sun-Times
Criminologist Alfred Blumstein says the increase in arrests for young people in the latest study is unsurprising given several decades of tough crime policies.
“I was astonished 44 years ago. Most people were,” says Blumstein, a professor of operations research at the Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University who served with Christenson on President Lyndon Johnson’s crime task force.
Now, Blumstein says, youth may be arrested for drugs and domestic violence, which were unlikely offenses to attract police attention in the 1960s. “There’s a lot more arresting going on now,” he says.
Siri-ously hilarious! | Gulf News
"The future is very bright," says Richard Stern, the iPhone user in Pittsburgh, who is also an engineering professor at Carnegie Mellon University. "We're turning the corner and approaching an era where it's going to be just as natural to talk to our computers and personal electronic devices, and we really are beginning to reap the fruits of that as consumers."
Research shows hands-free phones just as risky | Associated Press/The Guardian
Marcel Just, director of Carnegie Mellon University's Center for Cognitive Brain Imaging, isn't surprised.
It's counterintuitive to think that hands-free talking is dangerous because people don't have any sense that their conversation is draining brain power away from driving, but that's exactly what's happening, he said.
Just is the co-author of a 2008 study that used driving simulators to test the performance of drivers not engaged in conversation and drivers who could hear someone talking to them through headphones. Drivers took the simulator tests inside an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) machine that recorded images of changes in their brains while driving, including which areas of the brain were used for driving. The amount of the brain devoted to driving was 37 percent less in drivers who could hear someone talking to them than for drivers not using cellphones.
New ways to Captcha bots | Bloomberg Businessweek
It’s not your vision going bad: Those blurry words that some websites force you to retype when you log in are getting blurrier. They’re known as captchas, and they’re designed to stop malicious software from accessing a site and, say, using speedy algorithms to snatch up all the tickets to a concert in seconds. Computers have a hard time deciphering the wavy characters, but they are getting better, says Luis von Ahn, the Carnegie Mellon computer science professor who invented captchas in 2000. ReCaptcha, the company he founded and sold to Google (GOOG) in 2009, still provides more than half of the 280 million captchas solved each day and has had to steadily ratchet up the difficulty, von Ahn says. “It’s tiny, tiny tweaks, making them harder over time.”
Mysterious, massive black holes grew fast by pigging out | MSNBC.com
Researchers have long wondered what fueled the rapid growth of these huge black holes, which were already monsters shortly after the first galaxies came together. The new study, based on supercomputer simulations, may provide an answer — thin strands of cold gas flowing straight into the black holes' maws at breakneck speed.
"We didn't know they were going to show up," study co-author Rupert Croft, of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, said in a statement on Monday. "It was amazing to measure their masses and go, 'Wow! These are the exact right size and show up exactly at the right point in time.' It's a success story for the modern theory of cosmology."
‘Steel City’ Pittsburgh develops a soft side | Financial Times
Local universities, most notably Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh, attracted and advised new business. Community colleges were expanded to retrain workers. City Hall sought federal and state aid to update its international airport. Foundations toiled to create cultural and sports districts and reclaim the riverfront. Murphy’s tenure was called “a roller-coaster of governance’’ by a local newspaper, but Pittsburgh looks better for the ride.
The 10 most hipster campuses | CollegeMagazine.com
Artsy hipsters can also feel comfortable at Carnegie Mellon, which is one of the best fine arts schools in the country. Architecture, design, studio art and drama are top majors at Carnegie Mellon, but their unique College of Humanities & Social Sciences (H&SS) lets students explore several different fields. Instructors in H&SS focus on helping students solve “real world” problems rather than just memorizing lecture notes and encourage them to collaborate with students of different majors for projects and assignments. Think of it as a non-conformist liberal arts program… and isn’t anti-conformity what hipsters are all about?
Losing face | Essential Public Radio
Marlene Behrmann, one of the world’s leading researchers on the condition, is a psychology and cognitive neuroscience professor at Carnegie Mellon University. Her specialty is in the ways that the brain makes sense of what the eyes see.
“It seems fairly natural to them that this is how the world really is, and only when they’re older and they realize that other people can do face recognition so effortlessly and so naturally does it dawn on them that there’s something different about their own skills and their own abilities,” she said.
GM buys batteries less volatile than Volt’s for spark model | Bloomberg.com
Now suppliers are ready, and carmakers are starting to choose lithium phosphate, said Jay Whitacre, assistant professor in materials science at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
All lithium ion batteries can catch fire because they have flammable electrolytes in the pack, he said. Lithium batteries, like gasoline, are combustible under certain conditions. Lithium-ion batteries are safe, while some are less likely to burn than others, he said.
CMU prof joins U.S. poetry panel | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Terrance Hayes, a Carnegie Mellon University English professor who won the 2010 National Book Award for poetry, has been appointed as a panelist for President Barack Obama's new National Student Poets Program.
Mr. Hayes is one of four literary leaders who will judge students who received a National Scholastic Art & Writing Award for poetry. The winning student poets will receive college scholarships and opportunities to present their work in writing and poetry events.
CMU tackles a tough play in the chilling 'Mad Forest' | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Carnegie Mellon director Jed Harris remembers all this well, which underscores the chutzpah of deciding to stage such a famous but audience-challenging play now, and to do it with students who doubtless have no knowledge of that era, or even the meaning of the Iron Curtain.
The play proceeds in a series of short scenes generally focusing on two families and framed as a kind of basic language lesson, by slow accretion dramatizing the banality of repression and fear and how ordinary citizens survive. Suddenly it begins, the revolution they all expected but were afraid to start, through something like spontaneous combustion.
Guatemalan sets sights on translating the Web | Fox News Latino
"We thought that maybe we could do it with a computer but we saw we couldn't, that (machine) translations are really bad for now and we need human beings," Luis Von Ahn, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, said.
That realization led to duolingo.com, a platform in which anyone can learn a language by translating sentences on the Web, with beginners working with simple sentences and more advanced users handling more complex ones.
Computer mimics human ability to match images | MSNBC.com
"The language of a painting is different than the language of a photograph," Alexei Efros, an associate professor of computer science and robotics at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Penn., said in a news release. "Most computers latch onto the language, not what's being said."
In the video below that explains how this all works, for example, a standard computer algorithm tasked to find images similar to a painting of a temple returns images of clouds and the ground that most closely match the image, not the temple that's of most interest to humans.
College leaders meet with Obama to discuss costs and productivity | The New York Times
Participants said that everyone understood that additional financing for education would be scarce in the coming years, making it crucial to improve affordability and graduation rates through innovation, including online learning.
“The key message was a challenge to us to question all our strongly held assumptions, including getting our faculty to think differently about teaching,” said Jared L. Cohon, the president of Carnegie Mellon University, which has developed online classes that provide instructors real-time information about each student’s progress. “I personally get very uncomfortable when people start talking about replacing faculty with technology,” he said, “But I do think technology can help us educate more students faster and better.”
Globalization, the environment and the effects of media | Hyperallergic.com
In his new book, Contemporary Art: World Currents, Terry Smith argues that three concerns dominate contemporary art: (1) world-picturing, or the imagination of global interconnectedness, (2) environmental problems and awareness, and (3) the effects of social media. On a recent trip to Pittsburgh, I had the opportunity to hear Smith, who teaches at the University of Pittsburgh, speak about these “currents” of art created since the 1980s. When I visited Carnegie Mellon University’s Miller Gallery later that day to review the Pittsburgh Biennial, Smith’s ideas were fresh in my mind and I found myself comparing the exhibition to his understanding of art history.
Return of the human computers | The Economist
In one proof-of-principle experiment, published earlier this year, human computers were used to create encyclopedia entries. Like performing mathematical calculations, this is a skilled job, but one that can be broken down into simpler parts, such as initial research, writing and editing. Aniket Kittur and colleagues at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania created software, known as CrowdForge, that manages the process. It hands out tasks to online workers, which it contacts via Mechanical Turk, an outsourcing website run by Amazon. The workers send their work back to CrowdForge, which combines their output to produce surprisingly readable results.
A keyboard in the palm of your hand | Sydney Morning Herald
More radical possibilities are on the horizon. Microsoft researchers Hrvoje Benko and Andrew Wilson, along with Chris Harrison of Carnegie Mellon University in the United States, recently showed off a system they call OmniTouch, which turns any surface into a touch screen.
OmniTouch is made up of a shoulder-mounted projector and depth-sensing camera combination. The projector displays interactive images on any nearby surface – a wall, a table, a pad or even parts of the user's body. The camera tracks the user's fingers, working out where and when they touch other objects.
CMU building awarded energy efficient status| Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
The Carnegie Mellon University building that houses both the Gates Center for Computer Science and the Hillman Center for Future-Generation Technologies has been awarded gold status under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program.
The U.S. Green Building Council approved the distinction for the building at 4902 Forbes Ave., Oakland, that opened in 2009. Ralph Horgan, an associate vice provost with CMU, said the construction "offered a great opportunity for Carnegie Mellon to demonstrate its commitment to energy and water conservation and to sustainable practices."