Personal Mention-Faculty & Staff News - Carnegie Mellon University

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Personal Mention

R. Ravi has been named the Andris A. Zoltners Professor in Business at the Tepper School.  Zoltners, who earned his Ph.D. in operations research at the Tepper School in 1973, endowed the new faculty chair through a $2.5 million gift to the Tepper School to support excellence in the field of operations research. Ravi, a leading expert in the field, has been a CMU faculty member since 1995 and formerly held the Tepper School’s Carnegie Bosch Professorship of Operations Research and Computer Science. In 1983, Zoltners co-founded ZS Associates, a global sales and marketing consulting firm recognized for its work in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. The company now employs more than 2,000 across 20 offices worldwide. Ravi, a popular teacher among MBA students, is known as an exceptional educator and researcher. His wide-ranging academic interests include computational biology, logistics, social networks and auctions. Read more.

Ed Schlesinger, the David Edward Schramm Memorial Professor and head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) since 2005, has accepted the position of dean of the School of Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. Schlesinger has been a faculty member at CMU since 1985.  “Ed has been an excellent academic leader with an outstanding record as a scholar, teacher, innovator and manager,” said CIT Dean James Garrett Jr. in an email to the CIT community. “He has also been an excellent citizen of the university and I will personally miss his wise advice and counsel on many challenging and diverse issues. The deanship at JHU is an excellent opportunity for Ed and I know that I speak for our entire CMU community when I wish him much future success in this new position.” ECE Professor Larry Pileggi will chair the search committee for Schlesinger’s successor as head of ECE.

Nathan Michael, assistant research professor of robotics, was part of a team at Penn cited by Popular Mechanics as one of “Ten Innovators Who Changed The World in 2013." The Penn team, led by Vijay Kumar, is developing tiny quadrotors that can autonomously fly in squadrons to map and assess dangerously compromised buildings. Michael, who joined the Robotics Institute in 2012, told the magazine small, unmanned aerial vehicles “may change how we think about the whole cycle of disaster — not just responding to the aftermath but preventing losses beforehand by mapping out challenging environments."

Assistant Professor of History Ricky Law has been awarded the Fritz Stern Dissertation Prize by the German Historical Institute in Washington, D.C. The prize recognizes the best doctoral dissertations on German history written at North American universities on all aspects of German history. Normally, two dissertations are recognized each year, but this year Law is the sole winner.

Carnegie Mellon sophomore Abhishek Alla captured the United States Tennis Association/ITA National Small College Championship this past Saturday in Ft. Myers, Fla. Alla, who was unseeded, defeated the No. 3 seed Skylar Butts of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, 6-4, 6-1, in the championship match. Alla becomes the second male from CMU to win the ITA National Singles Championship. In 2000, current Carnegie Mellon Computer Science Professor Kayvon Fatahalian won the event.

For the second straight year, Baruch Fischhoff, a leader in bringing together the social, behavioral and decision sciences into the emerging area of the science of science communication, co-organized a conference at the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) that included scientists with stories to tell and scientists who can help them to tell those stories. The colloquium attracted more than 500 scientists and communicators, with more than 10,000 watching live webcasts. CMU also was represented by Julie Downs, associate research professor of social and decision sciences, and Gabrielle Wong-Parodi, a research scientist in engineering and public policy. Fischhoff is the Howard Heinz University Professor of Social and Decision Sciences and Engineering and Public Policy. Read more and watch videos of the conference sessions at http://www.hss.cmu.edu/pressreleases/pressreleases/sciencecommunication.html.

Obituaries:

Imero Fiorentino (A’50), a renowned lighting director who transformed television lighting from engineering into art, died Oct. 1 at the age of 85. Over more than 50 years Fiorentino, who started his career at ABC, worked with some of the biggest names in entertainment, including Frank Sinatra, Bill Cosby, Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand, and with sports stars such as Muhammad Ali, Sonny Liston and Joe Namath. He worked the first presidential debate in 1960 between Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy and more than a dozen national political conventions. He left ABC in 1960 for form his own company, Imero Fiorentino Asociates. He sold the company in 1996 and became an independent consultant. Read his obituary in The New York Times.

Robert J. Cosgrove Jr., who retired in December 2012 after 11 years as director of computing facilities for the School of Computer Science, died suddenly near his home in Naples, Fla., on Oct. 9. He was 62. Cosgrove first came to Carnegie Mellon in the 1980s as part of the Andrew Project, which created the world’s first wired campus. He later worked in the computer and information technology industry, filling a variety of leadership positions at such companies as Alcoa and NeXT Computer. He was later brought back as a consultant to the School of Computer Science to help improve the operations of the school’s computing facilities. Among other achievements as director, he created a responsive help system, professionalized the operation, reduced needed customization of software and upgraded disk, email and backup systems to keep pace with changing technology and usage patterns. Cosgrove was honored at the SCS Founder’s Day ceremony on January 31, 2013, where he reminisced about his experiences as director.  He is survived by his wife, Liz Hines, and his daughter, Kate Cosgrove. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations in his honor be made to the Folds of Honor Foundation, a charity that provides scholarships and other assistance to the families of soldiers killed or disabled in service to the nation.