Carnegie Mellon News Online Edition
In This Issue

"Night Before Christmas" Series Reveals Evolution of St. Nick

Carver Offers Tips To Avoid Tearful Holidays

Computing Services Offers Tips for Legal, Safe Computing

Study Uses Genetic Model To Combat Computer Viruses

University Celebrates Life and Work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

SWE Connects High School Girls with Engineering

Product Development Course Wins Curriculum Award

Amon Honored as Hispanic Engineer of the Year

Babcock: "Women Don't Ask"

Admission Counselor Takes Stage as Stand-up Comedian

News Briefs
SpongeBob Square Dance

Food Drive a Major Success

Doctoral Students Win Heinz Scholarships

Independent 529 Plan Locks in Tomorrow's Tuition at Today's Prices

Hart, Rendell Make Visits to Campus

Cohen Honored for Groundbreaking Psychology Research

Lady Tartans Win ECAC Championships

Researchers Take Prize for High-Performance Computing

Intelligent Technology Enhances Underexposed Photographs

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Roboceptionist- Valerie
Say Hello to Valerie
Recent visitors to Newell-Simon Hall have had the pleasure of meeting Valerie, the university's new roboceptionist, "hired" by the schools of Computer Science and Drama. According to co-creators Reid Simmons, research professor in the Robotics Institute, and Anne Mundell, associate professor of design for the School of Drama, the "selection process" was long and arduous. Simmons' robotics students developed Valerie's speech recognition, speech generation and computer vision. Mundell and her students created Valerie's personality. "Being a roboceptionist is something my motherboard always wanted me to be," Valerie said upon her appointment. Find out more about Valerie at

"Night Before Christmas" Series Reveals Evolution
of St. Nick

Nearly 400 Editions Housed in Hunt Library
The image changes throughout the years: Santa sporting knee britches, Santa in a Father Christmas-style coat, Santa clad in a hot pink Santa suit.

But the evolution of Santa's fashion sense is only one of the many stories told by the Anne Lyon Haight Collection of "A Visit from St. Nicholas." Housed in Carnegie Mellon's Hunt Library, the collection contains close to 400 editions of the poem, more commonly known as "'Twas the Night Before Christmas."

The collection was started in the 1930s by author and bibliophile Anne Lyon Haight and donated to Carnegie Mellon by her children after her death in 1982. The collection contains nearly all of the editions of the poem published in its almost 200-year existence. The only one missing is the first one that appeared in the December 23, 1823, issue of The Troy Sentinel. More...

Computing Services Offers Tips for Legal, Safe Computing
Opening your email can be a dangerous thing these days.

In a world filled with computers, the problems they cause can be inescapable. Lately, copyright issues and viruses have been in the spotlight, prompting Carnegie Mellon's Computing Services to issue official memos on both subjects. But confusion still seems to hang over both issues. What can you download? What is protected by copyright? And on the other hand, what can you do to protect yourself from computer viruses and the disruptions they cause in your day-to-day computer operations?

One of the first things to remember about information found on the Internet is that, while it's in digital format, it is still owned by its author or creator. "One needs to consider anything found in digital format copyrighted by the author and not something that can legally be reproduced without the author's permission," said Joel Smith, Carnegie Mellon's vice provost for computing services.

Almost all Web content (audio, video, text or executable programs) is copyrighted material. For example, if you visit the Miami Herald's Web site each week to read the latest Dave Barry column, then print it to share with co-workers, you've technically broken the law. "Strictly speaking, that's a violation of copyright," said Smith. "Viewing and reading it on the Web is not. Printing it and distributing it is."

Sharing music and movie files has become more of a widespread, highly publicized problem. Smith explains that Carnegie Mellon acts as an Internet service provider (ISP) for the members of its community. As such, the university is required by laws spelled out in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to respond to complaints about copyright infringement that come from different outlets, like the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and authors of text printed on the Web. More...


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