Media Highlights-CMU News - Carnegie Mellon University

CMU in the Media, 2015

May

Route Fifty

Transit Guide-Bots for Blind Passengers?

A blind person is traveling on the subway. The train they’re riding on pulls into a stop, the doors open and the person exits. Waiting there on the platform, to help guide them through the station, is a robot.

“Making a robot do that, there are some challenges, but it’s not as challenging as it used to be,” said Aaron Steinfeld after describing the scenario involving the guide-bot during a recent interview. Steinfeld is an associate research professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute in Pittsburgh, where he specializes in human-robot interaction.

Reuters

The future of cuddly robots

Disney's Big Hero 6 star Baymax has captured the hearts of millions around the world. But while the health monitoring balloon-like machine is a work of science fiction, researchers are working towards making soft, human-friendly robots a reality. 

Chris Atkeson's work in the field of soft robotics inspired the creation of Baymax. He, along with researcher Yong-Lea Park, both computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon University, say the public's perception is changing with the realization that robots don't necessarily want to take over the world.

The Atlantic

Long-Range Iris Scanning Is Here

An officer pulls someone over on the side of the highway. The cop sits in the car a moment, runs the plates—they’re fine—and gets out of the car. As he or she approach the driver’s side window, the driver pulls out a gun, shoots the officer, and flees.

Marios Savvides, a Carnegie Mellon engineering professor, says he’s invented the fix: a long-range iris scanner that can identify someone as they glance at their rear-view mirror. In other words, it’s technology that could potentially identify a dangerous suspect before the cop even gets out of the car.

National Monitor

Water vapor is erupting from Saturn’s moon Enceledus — does it harbor life?

The water found in a geyser-like plume on Saturn's moon Enceladus has a composition similar to waters here on Earth, raising hope among scientists that it could harbor life.

Researchers were able to learn about the pH level of the water coming from a plume on Eceladus based on research by a team from Carnegie Mellon University led by Christopher Glein, which was attempting to see whether life could have ever existed on Saturn's sixth-largest moon, a geologically active celestial body that scientists believe has a liquid water ocean beneath the its frozen surface, according to media reports. 

Quartz

Earthlings, today is your last chance to send a doodle to the moon

In 1969, a “museum” was established on the moon. A tiny wafer attached to the leg of a lunar landing module contained works by artists including Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, and Claes Oldenburg. Forty-six years later, the moon is ready for a new exhibit, this time, featuring your artwork.

“Moon Drawings,” a project at the Carnegie Mellon University has put out a call for 10,000 drawings to be included in an “ark” that will travel to the moon via a Space X Falcon 9 rocket next year.

Wired

There’s a Way to Control Phones With Sound, Not Electronics

GIERAD LAPUT THINKS the future of smartphone interaction could look a lot like playing the flute. For his most recent project, Acoustruments, Laput, a researcher at Carnegie Mellon’s Future Interfaces Group and Eric Brockmeyer, from the Disney Research Lab, have developed a series of phone accessories that function less like the electronic gadgets you see at Best Buy and more like simple, tiny woodwind instruments.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

CMU chemistry professor earns prize for polymer research work

Carnegie Mellon University chemistry professor Krzysztof Matyjaszewski has won another major award for his pioneering work in polymer research -- the 2015 Dreyfus Prize in the Chemical Sciences.

April

Associated Press

Computer Program to Take on World's Best in Texas Hold 'Em

Carnegie Mellon University researchers are going all in, pitting a computer program against some of the world's best professional poker players.

The Washington Post

Carnegie Mellon students invent apps to head off sexual assaults

A freshman girl stumbles glassy-eyed at a crowded party, and a guy steps in, leading her upstairs to his room. Maybe a couple of people notice, and wonder: “Shouldn’t her friends, whoever they are, walk her home?” then turn back to their conversations.

Soon, some students at Carnegie Mellon hope, bystanders will have an easy, anonymous way to ask her friends if everything is okay, and head off some bad situations.

Forbes

New Technology Cracks 'Strong' Passwords -- What You Need To Know 

A new paper built on five years of research by a team led by three professors from Carnegie Mellon University, and which will be presented tomorrow at the Human Computer Interaction conference in Korea, shows how long, “complex” passwords can often be far more easily and quickly cracked than most people would tend to believe.

Discovery News

Iris Scanner Identifies a Person 40 Feet Away

Police traffic stops are in the news again, tragically, sparking a new round of discussion on whether and how to outfit police with cameras and other technology.

For several years now, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University’s CyLab Biometrics Center have been testing an iris recognition system that can be used to identify subjects at a range of up to 40 feet.

TechCrunch.com

You Can Now Use Your Cellphone As A 3D Modeling Tool

Researchers have created a new technology that uses the camera and accelerometers in an average cellphone to measure real objects in 3D space. Created at Carnegie Mellon University, you can use the system to build “3D models of the world” just by waving your phone around an object or scene.

CNET

Unpowered exoboot takes some of the hard work out of hiking

A newly designed, unpowered boot by researchers at Carnegie Mellon and North Carolina University uses spring power to reduce the energy expended in walking by around 7 percent. That seems like a small amount, but it's on a par with powered devices of a similar nature, and will help optimize the human gait.

March

The Wall Street Journal's Digits blog

Where Were You 3 Minutes Ago? Your Apps Know

Computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon University concluded that a dozen or so popular Android apps collected device location – GPS coordinates accurate to within 50 meters – an average 6,200 times, or roughly every three minutes, per participant over a two-week study period.

The Guardian

Learning the Duolingo – how one app speaks volumes for language learning

Behind the online phenomenon are founders Luis von Ahn and Severin Hacker, two computer scientists who generated the idea while working on a project to translate web pages at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. What emerged is an app in which the user answers multiple-choice questions, speaks translations into a microphone, and types in phrases in a structured tree of learning.

CNBC

Does Mars have the answer to storing energy?

Pittsburgh-based Aquion Energy believe they have developed a potentially game-changing energy storage device by using what the company describes as a 'twist' on saltwater batteries, a 200 year old technology according to Aquion.

Jay Whitacre is the founder and CTO of Aquion Energy. Before his role at Aquion, Whitacre worked on energy storage for NASA's Mars rover program.

As an Assistant Professor at Carnegie Mellon University, Whitacre was able to research and develop, "the chemistry that is the basis for Aquion Energy's product line," according to the company's website.

February

IEEE Spectrum

Manuela Veloso: RoboCup's Champion

Stepping out of the elevator on the seventh floor of Carnegie Mellon University's Gates Center for Computer Science, I'm greeted by an ungainly yet courteous robot. It guides me to the office of Manuela Veloso, who beams at the bot like a proud parent. Veloso then punches a few buttons to send it off to her laboratory a few corridors away.

The Huffington Post

The Right to Breathe Easy

I have written before about air quality as an issue for community-centered deliberation and action, and as a place where technology fluency can change the world. Air quality is never far from recent news tropes; but the past month we have witnessed an explosion in coverage, and for good reason.

Forbes

Google Lunar XPrize Teams To Hold 'Nascar' Race On The Moon

Japan's Hakuto and Carnegie Mellon University spin-off Astrobotic are two of the teams competing for the $20 million grand prize that requires the teams to safely land a robot on the moon, then ambulate it 500 meters on, above or below the surface and send back an HDTV video signal to Earth.

The New York Times

It's Tradition

At Carnegie Mellon, students plot their takeover of the fence, encased in layer after layer of paint. The rules call for use of paintbrushes only.

The Associated Press

Ride-hailing service Uber is partnering with Carnegie Mellon University on a Pittsburgh research lab both hope could lead to the development of driverless cars.

Uber, Carnegie Mellon Partnering on Pittsburgh Research Lab

January

The Huffington Post

Justine Cassell, Associate Vice Provost at Carnegie Mellon University, said the advancement of technology, while scary, could foster new creativity and doesn't necessarily mean humans will be replaced by machines.

Justine Cassell: Microchips In Humans Not A Question Of 'If,' But 'When'

The Huffington Post

Sleeping Bag That Turns Into Tent Could Help Homeless People This Winter

Earlier this month, students at Carnegie Mellon's Integrated Innovation Institute partook in an "Impact-a-Thon," a competition that tasked groups with devising innovative and affordable solutions to help homeless people survive the winter.

CNN

Traffic lights on your windshield could get you home faster

Being stuck in traffic is one of the most infuriating experiences for a driver, but researchers at Carnegie Mellon University may have found a solution.

The New York Times

Tony Award for Teachers

A new Tony Award will be given annually to a theater teacher who has made a "monumental impact" on the lives of students, executives who oversee the Tonys and officials at Carnegie Mellon University announced on Sunday.

Fast Company

How Duolingo's CEO Keeps Innovating

Luis von Ahn has always been passionate about education, so the Carnegie Mellon computer-science professor decided to start a business that would teach people something.

News Mentions by Year

2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006


About News Clips

Each day, CMU makes news in media outlets far and wide, from local stories on how the university's research impacts Pittsburgh to faculty experts who weigh in on important national and international issues.

CMU monitors media hits and offers a summary of the biggest news clips.

Media hits range between 200 and 400 each week. This is just a sampling of CMU's presence in the local, national and international media.