News Briefs-Faculty & Staff News - Carnegie Mellon University

Thursday, December 19, 2013

News Briefs

Shop Small, Shop Oakland This Season!

Shop OaklandThe Oakland Business Improvement District (OBID) has been working with Carnegie Mellon to make improvements to the Oakland area, and the OBID reminds the CMU community that there are many eclectic and convenient shops and restaurants to enjoy on Craig Street this holiday season. From imported sweaters to the latest electronics and restaurant gift certificates, you can find the perfect gift for everyone on your list. For more information, please visit www.OnlyInOakland.org.

SMART ID Card Update

If you have not yet exchanged your Carnegie Mellon ID card for the new SMART card, please visit The HUB to make the exchange as soon as possible to ensure that you are carrying the official CMU identification card. Please note the following important upcoming dates regarding the SMART card transition:

  • Beginning Jan. 13, Port Authority Transit (PAT) riders will be required to tap their SMART card on the fare box reader.
  • Through July 31, older style ID cards that are not expired will still be accepted on PAT vehicles.
  • Beginning Aug. 1, you must use a valid, active SMART card to ride PAT vehicles.

For additional information regarding the SMART card transition and to view a list of frequently asked questions, visit The HUB website at http://www.cmu.edu/idplus/smart/index.html.

CMUPD Takes the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics

Members of the Carnegie Mellon Police Department braved the frigid air and water temperatures this past Saturday to raise more than $5,000 at the Polar Plunge, the annual event in which participants take a dive into the Allegheny River to support the Special Olympics.

CMUPD team members included: Leah Boehler, Craig Bauer, Randall Bauer, Melissa Delval, Stacey Griffin, Ryan Magill, Joseph Meyers, Heather O'Brien, Gary Scheimer and Natalie Sullivan.

CoBots Featured in NSF Video

Collaborative robots, or CoBots, developed by Manuela Veloso and her Carnegie Mellon research team, have been running errands for occupants of the Gates and Hillman centers for more than two years. Now, they are the subject of a “Science Nation” video and special report by the National Science Foundation.

The robots operate autonomously, navigating their way through the buildings as they deliver mail and messages, or guide visitors. But they also employ what Veloso, professor of computer science, calls “symbiotic autonomy,” in that they recognize their own limitations. Without arms, they must ask people for help pressing elevator buttons, opening doors and placing items in its delivery basket. They also can search the Internet for information that they lack.

The CoBots move on an omnidirectional base, ask questions using a synthesized voice and accept input from people through a touchscreen interface. Gates and Hillman center occupants can schedule tasks for CoBot through a special website.

Build Your Dreams: TechShop Offers Discounts to CMU Community

Do you have a project in mind that you want to create? Do you need equipment, software or simply a physical space where you can work on it?

TechShop is offering some great membership packages exclusively to the Carnegie Mellon community through a new partnership with the university.

Billed as a prototyping studio, a hacker space and a learning center, TechShop can provide laser cutters, plastics and electronics labs, a machine shop, a wood shop, welding stations and more. Classes are even available to learn how to use the equipment.

The partnership is one of many being forged through Carnegie Mellon's new Integrative Design, Arts and Technology Network (IDeATe), which is building on the connections already thriving between the world-class technology and arts units at the university.

TechShop has several locations including one in Pittsburgh at 192 Bakery Square on the ground floor, immediately below Urban Active, and three near Carnegie Mellon's campus in Silicon Valley, in San Carlos, San Francisco and San Jose.

For more information on the IDeATe Network and discounts, visit http://www.cmu.edu/ideate/people-and-partners/community-partners.html.

C-MITES Offers Programs for Gifted Students

C-MITES offers weekend and summer classes for gifted students in kindergarten through 10th grade. Eligible students in 3rd-6th grade may register to take the EXPLORE test and become a member. C-MITES members receive first priority consideration and discounted tuition for our competitive Summer Program, as well as early access to program registrations. Testing is available at many sites throughout Pennsylvania. Financial aid is available for all C-MITES programs. For more information, visit www.cmites.org or contact C-MITES at 412-268-1629 x1 or cmites@cmu.edu.

Nominations Now Open for Graduate Student Awards

The nomination period for the Graduate Student Service and Teaching Awards is now open and nominations are due on Friday, Feb. 7, 2014. The committees would greatly appreciate your support in soliciting and submitting nominations of graduate students who have excelled in teaching or service so that their efforts can be recognized by the university community. Nomination information can be found at http://www.cmu.edu/celebration-of-education/graduate-student/index.html

The awards will be presented on Thursday, April 3, 2014, at "Innovation with Impact: Graduate Student Celebration of Research, Teaching and Service" during Graduate Student Appreciation Week. Recipients also will be recognized at the Celebration of Education on Tuesday, April 22, 2014.

Heinz Club Collecting Flash Drives for Students in Need

During the month of December the Heinz College Education Policy Club will be collecting flash drives for students in need. From Dec. 6 until the end of the month there will be a box in the University Center recycling center where anyone can donate new or gently used, working flash drives. These will be collected and donated to The Education Partnership (http://www.theeducationpartnership.org/).

The club encourages everyone to donate their extra flash drives or to purchase flash drives for donation. There are no size or space requirements. Students will typically use these to help with basic Microsoft Office files and do not need much storage space.

For more information contact Andrea Zimmer at azimmer@andrew.cmu.edu.

University Store To Renew Reading Series

The University Store is renewing its Faculty and Staff Reading Series. If you have recently published a book and would like to give a reading or short talk, please RSVP to Katie Charles-McGrath at katiec@andrew.cmu.edu. Presentations will be scheduled from 5:30 – 7 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month beginning in January and running through April (Jan. 21, Feb. 18, March 18 and April 15). Please RSVP by Jan. 2. (Overstock books must be returnable to the publisher without penalty after the event.)

Purchase Discounted Tickets to Kennywood’s Holiday Lights

Staff Council is offering discounted tickets to Kennywood Park’s Holiday Lights, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 22. Tickets for CMU staff are $13 ($16.99 regular price). Children 2 years old and younger are free. The park is open from 5 – 9 p.m. those days, weather permitting. There is a limit of 12 tickets per person. For more information on Kennywood’s Holiday Lights, visit http://www.kennywood.com. For discounted tickets contact Nicole Stenger at nstenger@cs.cmu.edu.

Spring Textbook Adoptions Due

Faculty and departmental administrators are reminded to submit Spring course material adoptions as soon as possible via cmu.verbacollect.com or by email to Matt Senvisky at msenvisk@andrew.cmu.edu. Early adoptions mean more rental textbooks, more used books and better textbook pricing for students.