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8 1/2 x 11 Newsletter - December 17, 2009

December 17, 2009
Vol. 20, No. 23

In this issue:

Calendar Highlights

  • Dec. 24-25 and Dec. 31-Jan. 1: University offices closed. Happy Holidays!
  • Monday, Jan. 11: Spring Semester begins.

Foundations Grant Carnegie Mellon $4M for Open Learning Initiatives

Carnegie Mellon has been granted $4 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Lumina Foundation for Education and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to launch the Community College Open Learning Initiative. This new project builds on the success of the university's innovative Open Learning Initiative (OLI), which offers courses in a variety of subjects, including French, statistics, chemistry and visual communication design.

In collaboration with community college faculty across the country, Carnegie Mellon will blend the best of learning science and technology to create virtual learning environments that support teachers and accelerate students' academic progress. The grants will be dedicated to creating a partnership with these faculty members to create open "gate keeper" courses that will help more community college students achieve success. Creating such open courses is part of the White House's education proposal to be considered by Congress in the coming months. The "American Graduation Initiative" sets aside $500 million to provide open online learning courses to community college students. The White House has recognized OLI as a possible model for those courses.

For more:

Flip for Good! Carnegie Mellon Designs Available on Flip Cameras

flipYou can support Carnegie Mellon student initiatives by purchasing a Flip camcorder adorned with unique university-inspired designs. Developed by alumnus Jonathan Kaplan and distributed by Cisco, the Flip camcorder is an easy-to-use, highly portable video camera. Through the Flip For Good program, a $10 donation for every Flip purchased will go to support student initiatives.

The cameras are available for purchase at

Carnegie Mellon's Free iPhone App Now Available

The university recently unveiled a free iPhone application that ties into the university's directory,, ScheduleMan and more. It also includes access to up-to-the-minute updates on news feeds, homepage stories and YouTube content, as well as map features designed to help newcomers and visitors navigate campus.

The app development team was led by Jay Brown, director of marketing for Web communications, with developers John Przyborski, multimedia producer, and Isaac Lim, a first-year computer science student, and designer Steve Chabassol, assistant Web designer.

For more information about the app, watch the video below. To provide feedback, visit

Carnegie Mellon To Provide Services to National Energy Technology Lab

A consortium of universities — Carnegie Mellon, the University of Pittsburgh, West Virginia University, Penn State and Virginia Tech — has been awarded contracts to provide a range of research and engineering services to the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). The collective value of the three contracts is expected to exceed $465 million over a five-year period.

The NETL, part of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) national laboratory system, conducts research in coal, natural gas and oil technologies, analyzes energy systems and international energy issues for the DOE Office of Fossil Energy, and performs contract and project management for a number of other DOE offices.

"Carnegie Mellon University has a proud history of research in energy and the environment and currently has more than 70 faculty members involved in numerous energy and environmentally related research projects. I am looking forward to leading a very talented, multi-disciplinary team from both academia and industry as we work to support the DOE's premier fossil energy and development laboratory," said Andy Gellman, consortium research director and head of the Chemical Engineering Department.

For more:

Andrew ID Password Change Required By Jan. 27

You must change your Andrew ID password by Jan. 27 or it will expire. Users who do not change their password will not have access to services such as email, calendar, Carnegie Mellon Web Portal and more. Joel M. Smith, vice provost and chief information officer, provided more details on this change in a recent email to the university community. "The most important reason we are asking you to make this change is the security of your own information, the university's information, and the university's computing resources," Smith said. "Until now, it has been possible for most individuals to set their Andrew password to a string of characters and/or symbols that is 'weak' in the sense of being vulnerable to efforts to break into accounts."

Your new password must contain the following:
  • At least 8-characters.
  • At least one uppercase alphabetic character (e.g., A-Z).
  • At least one lowercase alphabetic character (e.g., a-z).
  • At least one number (e.g., 0-9).
  • At least one special character (e.g., ~!@#$%^&*()_-+=).
Details on password requirements and steps for changing your Andrew account password are available at

News Briefs

  • A new Web site has been launched, categorizing the many awards that Carnegie Mellon faculty, students and alumni have won over the years. Browse the impressive list, including Nobel Prizes, performing arts awards, professional societies and student awards, at
  • The School of Design has a new feed on Carnegie Mellon's iTunes U channel. Check out the more than 300 lectures and podcasts from across the university at
  • The 15th annual CIT Staff Awards will be held at noon on Wednesday, Jan. 6 in the Singleton Room of Roberts Engineering Hall to recognize and honor the winners of the 2009 Staff Awards. To attend, please RSVP at by Wednesday, Dec. 23.
  • Carnegie Mellon's United Way campaign has been extended through December. The United Way fund supports many social and community programs for at-risk children, senior citizens and needy families in the region. To pledge online or download a paper pledge form, visit
  • The Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation on the fifth floor of the Hunt Library is offering Carnegie Mellon faculty, staff and students a 25 percent discount on gifts, including cards, address books and journals. All proceeds benefit the institute's scholarly programs and mission of preserving the history of botany. Operating hours are 9 a.m. – noon and 1 – 5 p.m., Monday-Friday, and 1 – 4 p.m., Sunday. For more information, contact the Hunt Institute at 412-268-2434.
  • The next issue of the 8.5 x 11 News will be published on Thursday, Jan. 7.

Personal Mention

  • Dean of Student Affairs Karen Boyd has resigned, effective at the end of this month. Boyd said, "It was an honor to serve Carnegie Mellon University with you even for this brief time. I wish the university and the Division of Student Affairs continuing success in forging our collective futures." Michael Murphy, vice president for campus affairs, will serve as interim dean until a permanent replacement has been named.
  • President Jared Cohon was the keynote speaker at the first Athens Information Technology (AIT) Niki Award ceremony on Dec. 14 in Greece. AIT, Carnegie Mellon and the Information Networking Institute operate a joint Master of Science in Information Networking (MSIN) Program. For more:
  • Doug Cooper, the Andrew Mellon Professor of Architecture and renowned muralist, has created a poster-sized 2010 calendar featuring his drawings of Pittsburgh. Cooper combines elements from different time periods in the panoramic images of some of Pittsburgh's most iconic places and neighborhoods, including Forbes Field, the Jones and Laughlin Steel Mill, the Westinghouse Bridge, St. John's Church and Polish Hill. For details on where to purchase "Doug Cooper's Pittsburgh," visit
  • CIT's Neil Donahue and Allen Robinson are helping to lead a global team in developing a more holistic approach to improving climate and air quality prediction models. Donahue, head of the Center for Atmospheric Particle Studies, created a chemical map that provides some of the first clear images of how organic aerosols change once they become part of the atmosphere, while Robinson led an experimental team demonstrating those changes for aerosols emitted from diesel engines and wood fires. For more:
  • Kelsey Murray, a junior biology major; Emily Ferris, a junior English major; and Nicole Reilly, a junior materials science and engineering major, have been awarded Gilman International Scholarships to study abroad. Murray will go to Mexico next summer, and Ferris and Reilly will spend next semester in Jordan and France, respectively.
  • Carnegie Mellon's BowGo technology was featured on a Discovery Channel Canada episode of Daily Planet during "High Tech Toys Week." Inventor and Robotics Institute Project Scientist Ben Brown appears in this clip at the 7:50 mark:
  • Carnegie Mellon's Sanna Gaspard won an honorable mention student award at the National Biomedical Engineering Society annual meeting in Pittsburgh. Gaspard, a Ph.D. student in biomedical engineering, is developing a tool to ease the cost and stress of deadly bedsores. At the same conference, Carnegie Mellon's Graduate Biomedical Engineering Society that Gaspard founded in 2005 received a meritorious award.
  • Andreea Deciu Ritivoi, associate professor of English, was a featured speaker at the Narrative Identity Conference at Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany. Her lecture discussed the relationship between the political recognition of immigrants in the United States and immigrant narratives in the media and popular discourse.

For more events, visit

For daily news updates, visit

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The "8.5 x 11 News" is published weekly by the Internal Communications Team. To submit news of campus interest, email Abby Ross at

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