Personal Mention-Faculty & Staff News - Carnegie Mellon University

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Personal Mention

Professors Krzysztof Matyjaszewski and Raj Reddy and President Subra Suresh have been elected fellows of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). NAI Fellows are recognized for their "prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions and innovations that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society."

  • Matyjaszewski, the J.C. Warner University Professor of Natural Sciences and professor of chemistry, is best known for the discovery of atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP), a novel method of polymer synthesis that has revolutionized the way macromolecules are made.
  • Reddy, the Mozah Bint Nasser University Professor of Computer Science and Robotics, was the founding director of CMU's Robotics Institute and is a former dean of the School of Computer Science. He developed the first system capable of recognizing continuous speech, and his research team subsequently developed many of the ideas underlying modern commercial speech recognition technology.
  • Suresh has had a long and distinguished career as a materials scientist, where he has focused on materials used in a range of industries and applications. His most recent work involves biomaterials, where, among other ideas, he and his colleagues have devised new microfluidic platforms for human disease diagnostics, therapeutics and drug efficacy assays.


Read more about CMU's NAI Fellows.

Distinguished Service Professor Jendayi E. Frazer, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs (2005-2009) and U.S. Ambassador to South Africa (2004-2005), was a panelist on ABC-TV's "This Week With George Stephanopoulos" this past Sunday, which focused on the legacy of Nelson Mandela. She also provided commentary during ABC's live coverage of Mandela's funeral this past Tuesday. "As U.S. Ambassador to South Africa from 2004-2005, we saw each other several times, both in Africa and the U.S. He was a towering figure of great wisdom, humor and kindness, and meeting him left you uplifted and feeling that you've been in the presence of a saint, an evolved human spirit," Frazer said in a statement following Mandela's passing. Frazer called Mandela "a beacon of light that inspired freedom, peace and justice for people of all races, creeds and cultures." Read more of her statementWatch her on "This Week With George Stephanopoulos."

James H. Garrett, Jr. recently spoke at the U.S. State Department about the university’s partnership with Sun Yat-sen University and the new Joint Institute of Engineering (JIE). Garrett, dean of CMU’s College of Engineering and the Thomas Lord Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, spoke at the U.S.-China Consultation on the People to People Exchange Education Working Group on Nov. 21. He said the new foray into China "represents an opportunity to create a new approach to engineering and research in China that is built on CMU’s highly-ranked educational and research model." To implement the collaboration, Garrett pointed out that CMU is helping SYSU hire and train faculty and that that SYSU is building a 250,000-square-foot building on its campus in Guangzhou to house JIE faculty, students, research and teaching laboratories. “Another aspect of our collaboration with SYSU is a complex for the SYSU-CMU International Joint Research Institute in the Shunde District of Foshan City,” Garrett said. “This is a place where students and faculty can work with companies, or start their own company, to transfer inventions from the lab to the marketplace." The facility also will house a cleanroom and other engineering labs. 

The Pennsylvania House Finance Committee has passed a resolution, titled the Marketplace Fairness Act, encouraging the U.S. Congress to embrace the findings of Professor Robert Strauss' studies and testimony in 2011 before the Pennsylvania House and Senate Finance Committees on taxing remote sales in Pennsylvania. Two years ago, Professor Strauss urged the committees to enforce the state's 6 percent sales tax on all online purchases originating in Pennsylvania to fairly and fully support the services funded by the state's retail tax structure. Pennsylvania adopted this rule in September 2012.

Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Burcu Akinci is co-leading a multidisciplinary research team charged with supporting bridge inspectors through the use of small autonomous aerial robots. "The proposed work utilizes small flying robots, coupled with three-dimensional imaging and state-of-the-art modeling, analysis and visualization to develop safe and efficient assessment of structures," said Akinci, co-director of the Smart Infrastructure Institute (SII), an interdisciplinary research lab at CMU. Read more of the story.

Carnegie Mellon’s Lynn M. Brusco participated in a White House Business Council briefing this past Monday to discuss President Obama’s economic priorities with top policymakers. Brusco, executive director of CMU’s Disruptive Health Institute (DHTI), is working with CMU researchers to help make health care products and services less complicated and more affordable and accessible. The DHTI, created with an initial $2.5 million grant from The Heinz Endowments,  recently announced a partnership with Highmark and the Allegheny Health Network.

Elisabeth Kaske, associate professor of Chinese Studies in the Department of Modern Languages, has received a Taiwan Fellowship to conduct research at the Institute of Modern History of Academia Sinica in 2014 on her book project, "Deploying Symbolic Capital: The Economy of Office Selling in Late Qing China." For more information, visit  http://taiwanfellowship.ncl.edu.tw/eng/about.aspx.

In his latest blog post for the Huffington Post, Jay Kadane imagines that it is 2016 and Israel and Palestine are at peace. Kadane is the Leonard J. Savage University Professor of Statistics and Social Sciences, Emeritus. Read Imagining Israeli-Palestinian Peace at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joseph-b-kadane/imagining-israelipalestin_b_4380277.html.

With a three-year, $1.9 million grant from the Department of Energy, CMU researchers Anthony Rowe, an assistant research professor of electrical and computer engineering, and Mario Berges, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, are developing sensor networks and an open-source software platform to optimize energy use in buildings, which annually consume 39 percent of total U.S. energy production. The project builds on results from a larger research effort to integrate all sensors on campus, called Sensor Andrew. The research team is using the university's 40,000-square-foot Scaife Hall as an open lab to test the network of more than 500 sensors placed strategically throughout the four-story building. The goal of the project is to develop open source software that helps building owners measure, monitor and adjust lighting, HVAC and plug-loads to save energy without compromising occupant comfort. Read more of the story.

David Garlan, professor in the Institute for Software Research, is among 50 innovators from the world’s leading universities and corporations named by the Association for Computer Machinery (ACM) as 2013 Fellows. The list also includes three additional Carnegie Mellon Ph.D. alumni:  James Gosling, Greg Morrisett and Milind Tambe. They will formally be recognized at the ACM annual awards banquet June 21 in San Francisco.

  • Garlan, who earned his Ph.D. in computer science at CMU in 1987, was cited “for contributions to the development of software architecture as a discipline in software engineering.”
  • The citation for Gosling, a 1983 grad, was “for Java, NeWS, Emacs, NetBeans, and other contributions to programming languages, tools and environments.” A long-time Sun Microsystems staff member, he is now with the startup Liquid Robotics.
  • Morrisett (CS ’95) of Harvard University was cited “for contributions to mathematically based methods for ensuring the efficient implementation and verification of practical programming languages.”
  • Tambe (CS ’91) of the University of Southern California was cited “for contributions to theory and practice of multi-agent systems, teamwork and security games.”