Christopher J. Phillips was recently awarded a grant for approximately $132,000 from the National Institutes of Health for 2022-2024. The grant will support his forthcoming book, “Number Doctors: The Emergence of Biostatistics and the Reformation of Modern Medicine.”
Joel Greenhouse, professor of statistics, was invited to give the Presidential Address at the annual meeting of the International Biometric Society (Eastern North American Region) in Houston, Texas. The society was celebrating the 75th anniversary of its founding.
Alex John London, the Clara L. West Professor of Ethics and Philosophy, has been appointed the new National Academies Committee on Creating a Framework for Emerging Science, Technology, and Innovation in Health and Medicine. The committee will develop a cross-sectoral coordinated governance framework founded upon core ethical principles with a focus on equity, for considering the potential benefits and risks that emerging science, technology, and innovation in health and medicine can bring to society.
Alessandro Rinaldo, professor of statistics and data science and associate dean of research for Dietrich College, and Ryan Tibshirani, professor of statistics and data science, have been named fellows of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (IMS). Rinaldo was honored for his pathbreaking work on algebraic statistics, high-dimensional inference, network theory, topological inference, privacy and clustering. Tibshirani was honored for fundamental contributions to the applications, algorithms and inference problems related to LASSO and convex optimization methods, conformal inference, high dimensional statistics and public health. IMS is a member organization that fosters the development and dissemination of the theory and applications of statistics and probability. Founded in 1935, IMS has 4,200 active members throughout the world.
Sue-mei Wu, a teaching professor of Chinese studies, worked together with the CLTA conference organizing committee to successfully prepare and lead the Chinese Language Teachers Association (CLTA) 2022 Annual Conference and 60th Anniversary Celebration, which was held virtually from April 6 through April 10. The conference attracted around 500 Chinese educators and featured around 200 presentations on Chinese language and culture education. Wu has also been a pioneering leader in incorporating DEI issues into K-16 Chinese education. With her devotion and leadership nationally and internationally, Wu has had a substantial positive impact on language teaching and learning.
Michal Friedman, the Jack Buncher Endowed Chair in Jewish Studies at CMU, and Edward Serotta, a photographer, writer and filmmaker with Centropa Vienna, hosted “On the Ground in Ukraine: Journalists and Historians on the Russian Invasion” on March 27. Speakers included Tim Judah, correspondent for The Economist and contributor to the Financial Times; Ruslan Kavatsiuk, deputy director general of Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial; Marta Havryshko, historian at National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine; and Natalia Aleksiun, professor of modern Jewish history at Touro College. Four CMU School of Drama students read from Centropa's Ukrainian teacher and student wartime diaries. The event concluded with a slideshow featuring Centropa's Ukraine seminars and photos of the current war taken by photojournalist Maks Levin, who has been missing since March 13. View a video of the event.
Henry Posner III, an adjunct faculty member in the Dietrich College and chairman of Railroad Development Corporation (RDC), worked aboard one of the first trains taking Ukrainian refugees from the Polish border town of Frankfurt/Oder to HannoverMesse-Laatzen in Germany. On March 10, the private railroad company RDC Deutschland GmbH, headquartered in Hamburg, started to run a daily special train on behalf of the German government. The train consists of 11 cars and seats up to 660 passengers. Prior to forming RDC, Posner entered railway service at Conrail, serving the Operating, Marketing and Sales departments in Detroit, New York and Philadelphia. He has lectured and published extensively on railway matters. Learn more about Posner, and read about how he’s laying track for the future of rail transit.
Society for Military History (SMH) has awarded Wendy Goldman’s book, “Fortress Dark and Stern. The Soviet Home Front during World War II” the Non-American Military History prize for the best book in military history. In this recognition, the committee noted Goldman’s scope of research and compelling blend of over-arching analysis with intimate personal detail. Goldman, the Paul Mellon Distinguished Professor of History, will receive a plaque, a prize of $1,000 and an invitation to the annual SMH awards reception in April.
Kathy Newman, associate professor of English and director of graduate studies, was invited to speak on the Bully Pulpit podcast in late January about a recent uptick in book banning across the United States. Newman, who teaches a course on banned books, also shares the history and significance of Banned Books Week in a video.
Marten Scheffen at Wageningen University and his colleagues published an article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America that performed a massive language analysis to demonstrate that the rise of fact-free but emotion-driven argumentation may perhaps be understood as part of a deeper change in society. Simon DeDeo, assistant professor in Social and Decision Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University and external professor at the Santa Fe Institute, expanded on their thesis in a commentary, also published in PNAS. His editorial reflection explores the challenges of this approach, and the dynamic and changing roles played by rationality and emotion in the last two hundred years.
Jon Klancher, professor of English, received the 2021 Keats-Shelley Association’s Distinguished Scholar Award during the 2022 MLA conference. Klancher was recognized for his “career-long excellence in scholarship” in the Romantic period.
David Klahr’s book, “Cognitive Development,: an Information Processing View” first published in 1976, has been republished by Routledge. Klahr, the Walter van Dyke Bingham Professor Emeritus, noted the published is trying to restore "to print books by some of the most influential academic scholars of the last 120 years."
Stephanie Larson, assistant professor of Rhetoric, published her latest book What It Feels Like: Visceral Rhetoric and the Politics of Rape Culture. The book examines the reason for our failure to abolish rape in the United States: the way we communicate about it.
Joe Trotter, the Giant Eagle Professor of History and director of Center for Africanamerican Urban Studies and the Economy (CAUSE), was interviewed by Jeffrey Williams for the Los Angeles Review of Books about his book, “Workers on Arrival: Black Labor in the Making of America.”
Chris Warren, associate professor of English and associate department head, and Stephen Wittek, assistant professor of English, have received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). In addition, Kenya Dworkin, associate professor of Hispanic studies, has received an NEH Fellowship to continue her scholarship on theater and race in the Cuban immigrant community in Tampa, Florida. Warren joins co-applicants Max G’Sell, assistant professor in the Department of Statistics & Data Science, Samuel Lemley, curator of special collections at Carnegie Mellon University Libraries, and Matthew Lincoln, collections information architect at CMU Libraries, on a project titled “Freedom and the Press before Freedom of the Press.” They received $324,931 to scale-up tools and methods to allow scholars to identify and decipher illicit printing in documents predating and associated with the First Amendment. Wittek was awarded $100,000 for the project titled “Shakespeare-VR.” Wittek will use the grant to create a virtual reality experience that will allow users to explore Shakespeare’s plays from the point of view of a performer. Dworkin’s fellowship provides $60,000 in funding to research and write a book about theater and the Cuban community in Tampa, Florida, from 1886 to the 1960s.
New York University’s Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia featured a blog post by Andreea Ritivoi, the William S. Dietrich II Professor and head of the Department of English, in December. In “The Americans Are (Not) Coming’: Rescue and Self-Defense in the Cold War,” Ritiovi writes about how the rescue of refugees, or the promise thereof, can become a political ploy for nations to “show off their compassion” while acting in self-interest or making other political maneuvers.
Cleotilde Gonzalez, research professor in Social and Decision Sciences, participated in a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine committee on developing a report entitled, “Human-AI Teaming.” The report provides an overview of the state of research on human-AI teaming to determine gaps and future research priorities and explores critical human-systems integration issues for achieving optimal performance.
Personal Mentions Archives
Uju Anya, associate professor of second language acquisition, organized and led a conference at the University of Pennsylvania along with Nelson Flores from the University of Pennsylvania and Tia Madkins from the University of Texas, Austin. The conference, which explored the challenges of equity for Black students in language education, received funding from a grant from The Spencer Foundation.
Robert Cavalier, teaching professor and director of CMU’s Program for Deliberative Democracy, delivered a case study during the annual meeting of the National Conference on Citizenship. It was featured in a session on the NCoC’s “Civic Health Index,” which described how the PDD used data from its 2010 Regional Deliberative Poll (R) on Good Governance as part of the civic health data for the 2013 City of Pittsburgh's Civic Health Index. Recommendations from the project focused on the use of deliberative forums for improving city government. Mayor William Peduto endorsed these recommendations thus leading to the use of these forums and in 2016 the publication of a “Handbook for Deliberative Community Forums.”
Gary DiLisio, associate director of undergraduate education for the Information Systems program, has received the 2021 Andy Award for Commitment to Students. Read more about DiLisio’s work with students in The Piper. In addition, Amy Patterson, principal financial analyst in the Dietrich College Dean’s Office, and Paulette Williams, research assistant and administrative coordinator for the Center for Cognitive Brain Imaging, were nominated for the Andy Award in the Commitment to Excellence (Veteran) category.
Edda Fields-Black, associate professor in the Department of History, completed Part II of her interview for the NPR program “Reclaiming History.” Fields-Black speaks about Harriet Tubman — a black female patriot. The interview aired on June 9.
Antony John Kunnan has joined the Department of Modern Languages as a senior research fellow in second language acquisition. Kunnan is a principal assessment scientist at Duolingo, Inc., as well as an honorary professor for the University of Hong Kong. Kunnan brings with him an extensive background in language testing and assessment, including scenario-based and integrative language skills, ethics and standards in language assessment, evaluation of assessments, and immigration and citizenship examinations.
Laurie Zittrain Eisenberg, teaching professor in the Department of History, presented at the Eradicate Hate Global Summit held Oct. 18-20 at Pittsburgh’s David L. Lawrence Convention Center. Her presentation, titled “The Role of Art in Fighting Hate,” examined a public art installation, which solicited positive, uplifting artwork from students 18 and under from across the country, that were displayed at the Tree of Life synagogue in Squirrel Hill. The objective was to reject the victim role by projecting optimism and strength in the aftermath of the attack, as well as to thank the neighborhood for its support by turning a dismal, empty murder site into a place of beauty and hope. The project is called “#HeartsTogether: The Art of Rebuilding.” Eisenberg is a member of Tree of Life Congregation, where she sits on the board.
Jessica Cantlon, the Ronald J. and Mary Ann Zdrojkowski Professor of Developmental Neuroscience, was included in a special edition of Science News, which catches up with 10 noteworthy Scientists to Watch alumni.
Robert Cavalier, along with numismatist Wayne Homren, published an article on the website CoinWeek titled "Tubman, Jackson, and Boggs: How Art Predicted the Future of US Paper Money.” Cavalier is an emeritus faculty member in the Department of Philosophy.
Gabriela Gongora-Svartzman, assistant teaching professor of information systems, recently published an article in the Risk Analysis Journal titled “Social Cohesion: Mitigating Societal Risk in Case Studies of Digital Media in Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.”
An essay from Emanuela Grama’s prize-winning book, “Socialist Heritage: Politics of Past and Place in Romania,” was published on the Los Angeles Review of Books’ website. Grama is an associate professor of anthropology and history and director of Global Studies.
Gabriela Gongora-Svartzman, assistant teaching professor in Information Systems, recently published an article in the Risk Analysis Journal titled “Social Cohesion: Mitigating Societal Risk in Case Studies of Digital Media in Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.”
An essay from Emanuela Grama’s prize-winning book, “Socialist Heritage: Politics of Past and Place in Romania,” was published on the Los Angeles Review of Books. Grama is an associate professor of Anthropology and History & Director of the Global Studies Program.
Robert Cavalier, along with numismatist Wayne Homren, published an article on their experience J.S.G. Boggs in the 1990s on the website CoinWeek entailed "Tubman, Jackson, and Boggs: How Art Predicted the Future of US Paper Money.”
Simon DeDeo, an assistant professor of social and decision sciences and external faculty at the Santa Fe Institute, published the article “Ian and the Limits of Rationality,” on the website Nautilus.
Marlene Behrmann’s recent study in Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience has been highlighted by the journal in a recent article. Her work sought to investigate the adolescent brain through a real-world medium, film. Her group has found that the neural coherence was similar within age groups but differed across groups in certain regions of the cortex.
Simon DeDeo, assistant professor of social and decision sciences, joined Sean Carroll’s Mindscape podcast to discuss “How Explanations Work and Why They Sometimes Fail.” The talk complements many of the topics he discussed during his Dietrich Deep Dive lecture on April 21, “The Psychology of Conspiracy Theories.”
Edda Fields-Black, associate professor in the Department of History, was interviewed for the NPR program “Reclaiming History,” which aired on March 29. Fields-Black speaks about Harriet Tubman – a black female patriot.
Lauren Aulet received a Presidential Postdoc Fellowship and will be joining Jessica Cantlon’s lab in July.
Gary Dilisio, associate director of Undergraduate Education in Information Systems, was part of the inaugural class of the CMULead program, which began in 2019. A graduation ceremony for the participants will be held on Sept. 11.
Rebecca Nugent, the Stephen E. and Joyce Fienberg Professor and Department Head, Statistics & Data Science, Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Sam Ventura (DC 2011, 2015) hosted the podcast, “Sports Teams Win Big with Data-Driven Decision Making” on July 22.
Marlene Williams and Jarrion Manning have joined CMU’s new Center for Shared Prosperity as operations director and documentarian, respectively.
Sue-mei Wu, teaching professor of Chinese Studies in the Department of Modern Languages, successfully organized and ran the Chinese Language Teachers Association (CLTA) 2021 Annual Virtual Conference, which attracted around 500 registrants and over 200 presentations on Chinese language and culture education. Wu serves as the Executive Director (2019–2023) of CLTA, the premier association for Chinese language teachers in the United States. In her role as Executive Director of CLTA Wu has helped the association develop smoothly and successfully during the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. She has brought the CLTA headquarters to the Department of Modern Languages of Carnegie Mellon University. With her devotion and leadership nationally and internationally she has had a great positive impact on language teaching and learning.
Andrew Meade McGee, a visiting professor in the Department of History, prepared a course, entitled “From the Atom Bomb to 9/11: United States History 1945-2001.” It will be used in The History Makers Digital Archive to examine the political, social and cultural history of the United States after 1945. The course seeks to answer the question: How did we get from there to here, and what did the momentous post-World War II years mean for the ordinary Americans who experienced them?
Stephen Wittek, assistant professor of English, edited a new book, “Performing Conversion: Cities, Theatre and Early Modern Transformations,” which will be released in March 2021.
Linda Flower, professor of English, received the 2020 James R. Squire Award for her transforming influence and lasting intellectual contribution to the teaching profession. Flower studies cognitive processes and local public rhetoric.
The Bulletin of Symbolic Logic is celebrating 25 years old as an organization by awarding seven papers from their first quarter-century with 25th Anniversary Prizes. Jeremy Avigad, a professor in the Department of Philosophy and the Department of Mathematical Sciences, received the award for his 2014 paper, titled “Forcing in Proof Theory.”
Chris Phillips, associate professor in History, was featured on the Stats+Stories podcast, which is sponsored in part by the American Statistical Association. The podcast examines "the stats behind the story and the story behind the stats..
Lisa Tetrault, associate professor in History, is featured in “Amend: The Fight for America,” a six-part Netflix documentary hosted by Will Smith on the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment. Tetrault appears in the fourth episode, titled “Control.” In addition, Tetrault also participated in the podcast “We the People” on the topic, “Women Constitutional Visionaries.”
Edda Fields-Black, associate professor in History, contributed to the exhibit “Reckoning: Grief and Light” at the Frick Art Museum in Pittsburgh. The immersive installation includes a recording of “Unburied, Unmourned, Unmarked: Requiem for Rice,” a contemporary classical symphonic work about the enslavement of Africans and people of African descent in the New World composed by Emmy Award-winning classical music composer, John Christopher Wineglass, based on the libretto written by Dr. Fields-Black.
John Soluri, associate professor in the Department of History and Director of Global Studies, recently released the script for a Ted-Ed video called darkhistoryofbananas, which has received more than one million views to day. An updated edition of the book, Banana Cultures, for which the script was based will be re-released in March 2021 by the University of Texas Press.
Kathryn Roeder, UPMC Professor of Statistics and Life Sciences, was named as one of the world’s most highly cited in the sciences, according to a list published by Clarivate Analytics.
Cleotilde Gonzalez, a research professor in Social and Decision Sciences, has been named a 2021 fellow of the Cognitive Science Society for her sustained excellence and impact on the cognitive science community.
The American Psychological Association has awarded Nazbanou (Bonnie) Nozari, associate professor of psychology, an award for Distinguished Scientific Early Career Contributions to Psychology, in the area of human cognition and learning.
Tatyana Gershkovich, assistant professor of Russian studies, whose article titled, “Suspicion on Trial: Tolstoy’s The Kreutzer Sonata and Nabokov’s ‘Pozdnyshev’s Address’” was awarded the 2020 Gene Barabtarlo Prize for best essay on Nabokov by the International Vladimir Nabokov Society.
Timothy Verstynen, associate professor of psychology, is part of a multi-institutional team of researchers who received a $500,000 grant from the National Artificial Intelligence Research Institutes program to design a new class of Turing Tests that assess both biological intelligence and AI.
Adam Bjorndahl’s paper, "Knowledge Second," was selected as the winner of the 2020 Res Philosophica essay prize. The article is available to the public and will be published as part of the special issue on “modal epistemology,” through the journal.
Emanuela Grama’s book “Socialist Heritage: The Politics of Past and Place in Romania” has been awarded the 2020 Ed A Hewett Book Prize for “an outstanding monograph on the political economy of Russia, Eurasia and/or Eastern Europe published in the previous year.”
Joel Greenhouse and Kathryn Roeder gave keynote lectures during the Novartis Pharmaceutical Corp's U.S. Fall Analytics Conference. In addition, Zach Branson presented a short course on Causal Inference.
Sara Moussawi was selected for the inaugural Innovative Models for Undergraduate Research (IMUR) Faculty Fellows Program for her proposal “Promoting Undergraduate Research in Information Systems” to create a scalable and sustainable model to promote undergraduate research in Information Systems at CMU.
Sina Fazelpour, a visiting post-doctoral fellow in the Philosophy Department, has been named to the World Economic Forum's network of Global Future Councils for the 2020-2021 term.
Tim Verstynen and his colleague Eric Yttri in the Mellon College of Science received a $1M grant from the National Science Foundation through the Collaborative Research in Computational Neuroscience program.
Felipe Gómez, Necia Werner and Christina Bjorndahl are recipients of the Provost’s Inclusive Teaching Fellows program, a new initiative to support the development, implementation and dissemination of inclusive teaching techniques among CMU faculty.
Simon DeDeo received a joint CMU-Santa Fe Institute grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support the creation of a new Institute for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities. The Institute will train the next generation of humanities and social science crossovers.
Alex Reinhart, assistant teaching professor in the Department of Statistics & Data Science presented at the Pitt Biostatistics seminar on his work the Delphi COVIDcast.
Christopher Phillips, associate professor of history, has received the Leon and Joanne V.C. Knopoff Fellowship from the American Philosophical Society. The funding provides Phillips with one to three months of support to work on his project, “Number Doctors: The Emergence of Biostatistics and the Reformation of Modern Medicine.”
Edda Fields-Black’s “Casop: A Requiem for Rice” was selected as a 2020 Vibrancy Award honoree in the “Community Partners: Identity” category by New Sun Rising. The awards, which took place Saturday, June 20, support charitable programs and organizations with criteria based on “planning, connectivity, leveraged resources, engagement, equity, innovation and need.” "Casop" incorporates Fields-Black’s primary research from Works Progress Administration and slave narratives, travelers' accounts and archeological reports to recover the voices of enslaved Africans and bear witness to the humanity, labor, skill and suffering of Blacks engaged in rice production.
Jeffrey Williams spoke with Jamia Wilson about her role as the executive director of the Feminist Press.
On June 25, Joel Greenhouse participated in a podcast sponsored by Miami University of Ohio and the American Statistical Association called "Stats & Stories: the stats behind the stories and the stories behind the stats."
Jay Aronson, director of CMU’s Center for Human Rights Science (CHRS), was quoted in an announcement about four new international members named to the Partnership on AI (PAI). In addition to CHRS, The Alan Turing Institute, Wadhwani Institute for Artificial Intelligence and SoftBank Group joined PAI. The organization cited CHRS for its ability to provide “technical assistance in empowering voices devoted to advancing human rights.” Read more.
John Lehoczky, chair of Carnegie Mellon’s Faculty Senate and the Thomas Lord University Professor of Statistics & Data Science, has been elected one of five new members of CMU’s Board of Trustees. He has been a CMU faculty member for nearly 50 years, and he was one of the founders of the CMU MS Program in Computational Finance. Read more
Carnegie Mellon University has elevated Kathryn Roeder and Joe William Trotter, Jr. to University Professors. According to Provost Jim Garrett, University Professors are distinguished by international recognition and for their contributions to education, artistic creativity and/or research. Congratulations to Katheryn and Joe. Read more
Robin Mejia, who is leading the CMU effort in the multi-institutional Center for Statistics and Applications in Forensic Evidence (CSAFE), helped secure renewal funding for the next five years. She plans to focus her portion of the funds on two projects – proficiency testing of blind samples for forensic labs to gain accreditation and statistics training associated with questions that arise in the field of forensics.
Jim Daniels, the Thomas Stockham Baker University Professor of English at CMU, will present the commencement address at his alma mater, Alma College on April 18.
Marcel Just presented the Graham Goddard Lecture at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia entitled, "The new science of thought imaging" on March 6, 2020.
Alex John London joins the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity.
Mame-Fatou Niang is pleased to announce her first book, “Identités françaises,” has been published by Brill. In the text, Niang interrogates notions of marginalization and national identity through an analysis of French banlieues.
Kevin Zollman has been selected to deliver the 2020 Wittgenstein Lectures at the University of Bayreuth in September. He talk, titled Network Epistemology: What Economics and Philosophy Tell Us About Learning in Groups, explores how groups might communicate and the incentives that can influence how communication occurs.
Joel B. Greenhouse, professor of Statistics, has been selected as a National Associate of the National Academies of Sciences in recognition of his contributions to the National Research Council, "in its role as adviser to the Nation in matters of science, engineering, and medicine."
Mishaela DiNino was awarded a competitive postdoctoral training grant from the NIH to support her training titled, “Neural measures of temporal processing deficits affecting speech comprehension in listeners with normal hearing thresholds.”
Charles Wu, a Department of Psychology graduate student pursuing a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience, was awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation to support his dissertation research, titled “Doctoral Dissertation Research: Mechanisms of adaptive plasticity in speech perception.”
Jasmine Kwasa was awarded a competitive grant from the National Institute of Health to “facilitate completion of the doctoral dissertation and transition of talented graduate students to strong neuroscience research postdoctoral positions, and will provide career development opportunities relevant to their long-term career goal of becoming independent neuroscience researchers."
Kasey Creswell is the recipient of the APS Rising Star Award. This honor is designated by the Association for Psychological Science for outstanding psychological scientists in the early stages of their research career whose work has already advanced the field and signals great potential for future contributions.
Joel Tarr and coauthor Edward Muller published a new book, “Making Industrial Pittsburgh Modern: Environment, Landscape, Transportation, and Planning,” which examines important aspects of the modernizing efforts to make Pittsburgh and Southwestern Pennsylvania a successful metropolitan region.
Marcel Just contributed a chapter, titled “Brainwaves reveal your thoughts, strengths and weaknesses,” to the book “Electric Brain: How the new science of brainwaves reads minds, tells us how we learn, and helps us change for the better.” The book is published by BenBella Books, Inc. in Dallas, TX.
Rebecca Nugent received the Stephen E. and Joyce Fienberg Professorship in Statistics and Data Science.
Simon DeDeo participated in a NOVA program that aired November 20 that examines “The Violence Paradox.”
Bonnie Nozari led a research study that uses brain waves triggered while typing to explore the similarities between typing and speech production.
Jeria Quesenberry, associate teaching professor of information systems, has been named associate dean of faculty in the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, effective Jan. 1, 2020.
Danielle Wenner will receive the Best Formal Paper by an Early Career Scholar Award by the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics for her work, titled “Clinical Research as Basic Structure & the Ethics of Health Research Priority-Setting.” This is one of the highest awards presented by the Association and represents a significant milestone in academic achievement.
Christopher Phillips was awarded a 2020 Michael E. DeBakey Fellow in the History of Medicine from the National Library of Medicine for his research project, titled “Number Doctors: Health, Statistics, and the Reformation of Medical Knowledge.”
Ayana Ledford presented at the National Academy of Neuropsychology Foundation and Women in Leadership Sunset Cruise on November 14.
Marlene Behrmann received the Fred Kavli Distinguished Career Contribution award from the Cognitive Neuroscience Society. She will present her public talk on March 14, 2020 in Boston, Mass.
Barbara Shinn-Cunningham received the George A. and Helen Dunham Cowan Professorship in Auditory Neuroscience on November 6, 2019.
Marcel Just sat with Lesley Stahl, a correspondent with 60 Minutes, to revisit the breadth of his research to uncover the inner workings of the mind over the past decade.
David William Miller is missed by the Dietrich community. Miller, an internationally recognized scholar of Irish and religious history at Carnegie Mellon University, passed away on Sunday, Oct. 20. He was 79.
Michael J. Tarr has been reappointed as the head of the Department of Psychology.
Linda Babcock has been reappointed as head of the Department of Social and Decision Sciences.
David Danks has been reappointed as the head of the Department of Philosophy.
Chris Genovese has been reappointed as the head of the Department of Statistics and Data Science.
Ryan Tibshirani, who co-leads the Delphi Group with Roni Rosenfeld (Computer Science Department) at CMU, received a CDC grant to establish one of two forecasting centers to improve the usefulness of seasonal influenza forecasts. Their previous work has contributed the FluSight Network, a website informed by digital modelling that predicts the timing, peak and short-term intensity of the flu season.
Aaditya Ramdas received an Adobe Data Science Research Award to pursue his research studies.
Alex John London gave the presentation “Is there a moral dilemma at the heart of research with humans?” at the Health Law Workshop at the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology and Bioethics at Harvard Law School during the Health Law Workshop.
Jay Kadane’s research was lauded in the American Association for the Advancement of Science review, presented at the 19th International Forensic Science Managers Symposium.
Silvia Saccardo received a grant from the National Science Foundation for $384,000 to investigate transparency initiatives to promote ethics in STEM fields.
Alex John London participated in a plenary discussion on artificial intelligence at the American Heart Association Research Leaders Academy, an event that engages more than 300 research thought leaders to exchange ideas and debate topics with the goal of advancing science around cardiovascular care and stroke.
The Dietrich College’s A.I.M. Committee hosted its annual staff picnic in August. Committee members include Eyona Bivins, Rosemarie Commisso, Sue Connelly, Mary Anne Hunter, Kathy Majors and Ginger Placone. View photos from the picnic.
The Greenwall Foundation has named Carnegie Mellon University's Danielle Wenner among its Faculty Scholars for 2019-2022.
Carnegie Mellon University’s Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence and Educational Innovation has named Dani Nedal, an Institute for Politics and Strategy postdoctoral fellow, one of four 2019-2020 Wimmer Faculty Fellows.
Adam Causgrove, Dietrich College’s associate director of corporate relations, has been named co-president of the Network of Academic Corporate Relations Officers (NACRO). In addition, David Danks, Philosophy Department Head and L.L. Thurstone Professor of Philosophy and Psychology, gave the closing keynote at the NACR conference.
Matt Ewalt (DC2002, DC2003) has been appointed vice president and head of the Chautauqua Institution’s educational programs, which oversees the institutions dynamic and thought-provoking lecture series.
CMU Professor of Statistics Joel Greenhouse is the co-author of a National Institutes of Health-funded study that found the suicide rate among people aged 10 to 17 increased by nearly a third in April 2017—one month after the show “13 Reasons Why” aired. Following the study, Netflix cut a controversial scene from the program. The study authors hope the action will serve as a wake-up call to the media that the portrayal of suicide affects young people. The decision was covered by The Wall Street Journal, Vice and numerous other national news outlets.
Marge Maallo, a post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Psychology, launched the first Pittsburgh-based Pint of Science Festival in May at Pastoli's Pizza, Pasta & Paisans in Squirrel Hill. The annual festival aims to deliver interesting scientific research in an accessible format to the public. This is the first year Pint of Science has been introduced in the United States, and Pittsburgh was among nine cities represented. The Department of Psychology’s Anna Fisher and Lori Holt presented a session on “Listening, Learning and the Brain,” while College of Engineering faculty member Costa Samaras and Heinz College faculty member Karen Clay presented “Climate Change: How are we Affected?” The festival wrapped up with a talk by Social and Decision Science’s Gretchen Chapman and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine’s Basil Zitelli on “Let’s Talk About Vaccines, Shall We?”
More than 15 staff members were recently honored for their years of service to the Dietrich College. Learn more
Alex John London, the Clara L. West Professor of Ethics and Philosophy, has delivered numerous invited talks in 2019 on ethics and AI in relation to the environment, medicine, finance and autonomous vehicles. He gave the April 12 keynote address at “Pushing the Boundaries: Scientific Innovation and Biomedical Ethics,” a conference at the University of Cincinnati’s Center for Clinical & Translational Science & Training. He will speak at a June 6–7 National Academies public workshop and webcast titled “Algorithms, Air Pollution, and Adverse Outcome Pathways: Leveraging Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to Advanced Environmental Health Research and Decisions.” Register for the event or free webinar.
History department faculty members Jay Aronson, Laurie Eisenberg and Michal Friedman, along with graduate Avigail Oren, contributed essays to “Speaking Justice to Power: Local Pittsburgh Scholars Respond to the Tree of Life Shooting.” The project was hosted by the Political & Legal Anthropology Review (PoLAR), a publication of Association for Political and Legal Anthropology. Read the essays.
Jim Daniels, the Thomas Stockham Baker University Professor of English, recently launched his new book, “The Perp Walk,” at a City of Asylum event in Pittsburgh. “Perp walk” is a far too familiar a term for many who have loved ones, or first-hand experience, with criminal defense: the public walk of shame into the police station after being arrested. For Daniels, the title also holds within it a reference to the larger arc of the book — all the guilt and shame for the mistakes we make as we stumble into adult life. Watch Daniels read from “Perp Walk.”
Kathryn Roeder, UPMC Professor of Statistics and Life Sciences, was a keynote speaker at the International Society for Autism Research’s 2019 Annual Meeting. BMC’s On Biology blog published a Q&A with Roeder prior to her talk.
Two members of the Department of Social and Decision Sciences will present at the sixth annual Women in CyberSecurity (WiCys) Conference on March 30. Palvi Aggarwal, a post-doctoral research associate, and Cleotilde Gonzalez, a research professor and member of CMU’s CyLab, will deliver a talk titled “The Role of Deception in Attack Decisions Using Cybersecurity Scenarios.” CMU is co-hosting the conference with WiCys in Pittsburgh this year. Learn more.
Adam Bjorndahl, assistant professor of philosophy, was featured on Course Hero’s Best Lessons series in February for his approach to teaching mathematical models of modal logic. He is a 2018 recipient of the Course Hero-Woodrow Wilson Fellowship for Excellence in teaching. Read the Course Hero feature.
Kenya Dworkin, associate professor of Spanish in the Department of Modern Languages and director, CubaCivica, and Robert Cavalier, emeritus faculty member in the Department of Philosophy and director of the Program for Deliberative Democracy, helped to cultivate and support a working group interested in bringing “deliberative forums” to bear on local and national issues in Cuba. This work began in 2013 and culminated in January 2019 with the establishment of a Cuban Centro de Democracia Deliberativa. The center is located in Havana and Camagüey, with several chapters in Pinar del Rio, Ciego de Avila, Santi Spíritu and Isla de La Juventud.
Carnegie Mellon University President Farnam Jahanian was the keynote speaker at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's official opening of its Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing. David Danks, Philosophy Department head and the L.L. Thurstone Professor of Philosophy and Psychology, also spoke on a panel during the MIT event. Danks discussed the interaction between ethics and policy in computer science. Learn more.
Kathryn Roeder gave the 2018-2019 Norman Breslow Endowed Lecture at the University of Washington on Feb 7. She presented the lecture, “Transcriptome: Analysis of Single Cell and Bulk RNA Sequence Data.” The Norman Breslow Endowed Lecture was established in 2006 in recognition of the late Norman Breslow’s contributions to the field of biostatistics. The lectureship is awarded to a biostatistical scholar who has significantly contributed to methodology and applications in the health sciences. Roeder is vice provost for faculty and a professor of statistics and computational biology in the Department of Statistics and Data Science.
Edmund Russell, a trailblazer in the field of environmental history, has joined the Dietrich College as a professor of history. Russell’s major research topics have included the environmental and technological history of war, coevolution of human and non-human populations and the environmental and technological history of capitalism. Learn more.
David Shumway, director of CMU’s Humanities Center, was among lead organizers of the fourth annual Pittsburgh Humanities Festival, held March 21–24. The festival, “Smart Talk About Stuff That Matters,” is part of an ongoing collaboration between CMU’s Humanities Center and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. Featuring 16 events and one partner event, the 2019 festival included a talk with Kevin Kwan, author of “Crazy Rich Asians,” and core conversations with CMU’s Molly Wright Steenson, journalist and poet Eliza Griswold and entertainer Lee Terbosic. Learn more.
Wilfried Sieg’s paper “The Cantor-Bernstein Theorem: How many proofs?” appeared in the March issue of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A. On March 13, Sieg, the Patrick Suppes Professor of Philosophy, delivered the Ruth Manor Memorial Lecture at Tel Aviv University. His lecture was titled “Thinking, Computing, Thinking or How Mathematics Got its Computations.” Learn more.
Sue-mei Wu, teaching professor of Chinese Studies, has been appointed executive director of the national Chinese Language Teachers Association (CLTA) through 2023. The CLTA is the premier international organization for Chinese language teaching and learning. Wu, who has earned a strong international reputation as a leader in chinese studies, plans to bring the CLTA's headquarters to CMU. As executive director, she will oversee the daily operations of the CLTA and represent the association in working with government entities and other academic organizations. Her new role will enable her to have a greater impact on the field of Chinese teaching and learning. Wu also is director of the master's degree program in Second Language Acquisition in the Modern Languages Department. Learn more.
James Duesing, director of CMU’s Center for Arts in Society, was recently elected to the international advisory board of The Arts in Society Research Network. Founded in 2000, the network offers an interdisciplinary forum for discussion of the role of the arts in society. It is a place for critical engagement, examination and experimentation, developing ideas that connect the arts to their contexts in the world — on stage, in studios and theaters, in classrooms, in museums and galleries, on the streets and in communities. The Center for Arts in Society is a faculty research center affiliated with the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the College of Fine Arts. Learn more.
Cleotilde Gonzalez, research professor of decision science and founding director of the Dynamic Decision Making Laboratory, has been elected to the 12-member governing board of the Cognitive Science Society. The mission of the international society is to promote cognitive science as a discipline, and to foster scientific interchange among researchers in various areas of study, including artificial intelligence, linguistics, anthropology, psychology, neuroscience, philosophy, and education. Learn more.
Kathryn Roeder, UPMC Professor of Statistics and Life Sciences and vice provost for faculty, has been named to Clarivate Analytics’ 2018 Highly Cited Researchers list. The list recognizes scientists for exceptional research performance, demonstrated by production of multiple highly cited papers that rank in the top 1 percent by citations for field over a decade (2006-2016) in Web of Science. Learn more about the Highly Cited Researchers List. Roeder’s latest paper, “Semisoft clustering of single-cell data,” was published in the Jan. 8 edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. Lingxue Zhu and Jing Lei of the Department of Statistics and Data Science were among the paper’s co-authors. Read the PNAS paper.
Barbara Shinn-Cunningham, professor of psychology and director of the Carnegie Mellon Neuroscience Institute, has been named the recipient of the Acoustical Society of America’s Helmholtz Rayleigh Interdisciplinary Silver Medal in Psychological and Physiological Acoustics and Speech Communication. The award is “for understanding the cognitive and neural bases of speech perception in complex acoustic environments.” Shinn-Cunningham is an ASA Fellow and served as a member of the ASA Executive Council, including a term as vice president in 2016. She was awarded ASA’s Student Council Mentor Award in 2013. Learn more.
Danielle Wenner and Kevin Zollman were named winners of the 2018 Public Philosophy Op-Ed Contest by the American Philosophical Association. Their winning piece, “How to End International Tax Competition” appeared in the New York Times in November 2017. The contest honors up to five standout pieces that successfully blends philosophical argumentation with an op-ed writing style. Wenner is an assistant professor of philosophy and associate director of the Center for Ethics and Policy. Zollman is an associate professor of philosophy and director of graduate studies in the Department of Philosophy. Read more.
Mara Harrell, teaching professor and director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Philosophy, has been selected as the winner of the 2018 Prize for Excellence in Philosophy Teaching. The recipient is selected by the American Philosophical Association (APA), the American Association of Philosophy Teachers and the Teaching Philosophy Association. The award recognizes a philosophy teacher who has had a profound impact on the student learning of philosophy in undergraduate and/or pre-college settings. Selected from 39 nominations across the U.S., Harrell will receive $1,000 and a commemorative plaque at the APA’s Eastern Division Meeting in January. Harrell won Carnegie Mellon’s Teaching Innovation Award in 2016 for her development and implementation of argument diagramming as a central tool in teaching Introduction to Philosophy. Learn more.
Simon Cullen’s paper on argument visualization was published in Nature’s Science of Learning. In the paper, “Improving analytical reasoning and argument understanding: a quasi-experimental field study of argument visualization,” Cullen and a team of researchers explored which pedagogical approaches are most effective for cultivating analytical-reasoning skills. They investigated the effectiveness of a 12-week undergraduate seminar in which students practiced a software-based technique for visualizing the logical structures implicit in argumentative texts. Their findings deepen the understanding of how visualizations support logical reasoning and provide a model for improving analytical-reasoning pedagogy. Cullen is an assistant teaching professor in the Department of Philosophy. Learn more.
Jason England presented a CMUThink webinar titled “Confounding Fathers: Liberty and Paternalism in American Professional Sports” on Dec. 12. The CMU Alumni Association's CMUThink program provides intellectual experiences for alumni through in-person faculty talks and online webinars. England, an assistant professor of creative writing in the Department of English, highlighted football’s popularity in the U.S. sports landscape and explored why its appeal is mostly confined to its home country. He has written extensively on race, sports and societal issues for publications including Sports Illustrated, The Root and The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Jessica Cantlon, Brian MacWhinney and Michael Scheier from the Department of Psychology received professorships during a Nov. 26 ceremony in Posner Center. Cantlon received the Ronald J. and Mary Ann Zdrojkowski Career Development Chair in Developmental Neuroscience. MacWhinney was named the Teresa Heinz Professor of Cognitive Psychology, and Scheier was named the Walter van Dyke Bingham Professor of Personality and Health Psychology. Learn more.
Edda Fields-Black recently spoke with Alan Yu of WHYY’s health and science show, “The Pulse,” about the influence of West African irrigation techniques on the rice industry in South Carolina and Georgia. These techniques ensure crops receive a good balance of saltwater and freshwater to stop weeds from growing and to keep the rice alive. Fields-Black is an associate professor of history and a specialist on West African rice farmers, peasant farmers in the pre-colonial Upper Guinea Coast, and enslaved laborers on rice plantations in the South Carolina and Georgia Lowcountry during the Antebellum period. Find out more.
Jim Daniels, the Thomas Stockham Baker University Professor of English, and Charlee Brodsky, professor of photography in the School of Design, have collaborated on the exhibit “American Patriot.” The exhibit is comprised of 66 photographs by Brodsky that show American flags that she finds in residential neighborhoods throughout the southwestern Pennsylvania region. Daniels’ poems, which accompany several photographs, are rousing interpretations of Brodsky’s photos. New bodies of work for both of the artists, the photographs and poems are on view in Pittsburgh, for the first time, at JCC Berger Gallery: Robinson Building until Sunday, Dec. 30.
Jim Daniels’ poem “Talking About the Day” from his book “Street Calligraphy” was selected as a featured poem for American Life in Poetry by Ted Kooser, U.S. Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004 to 2006. Daniels is the Thomas Stockham Baker University Professor of English in the Department of English. Read more »
Kevin Zollman wrote “What It Means When Scientists Disagree” for Scientific American. In his piece, Zollman discusses scientific disagreements throughout history and what they mean today, including English chemist John Dalton’s proposal that all matter was made up of tiny atoms which was proposed by Democritus — the “laughing philosopher” — centuries earlier. Zollman is an associate professor and director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Philosophy. Read his piece »
New research from the Department of Psychology’s Michael Murphy and Sheldon Cohen and University of Pittsburgh’s Denise Janicki-Deverts found that hugs increased positive feelings and reduced negative ones on days when people experienced relationship conflicts. The researchers analyzed data from 404 adults who were interviewed by phone every night for two weeks. Participants were asked about their mood, whether they had experienced conflict and if they had received a hug that day, among other questions. Learn more »
David Danks is part of a team that submitted one of four winning proposals for CIFAR’s open, international AI & Society Call for Workshops competition. His collaborators include Kerstin Vignard of the U.N. Institute for Disarmament Research in Switzerland and Ambassador (ret.) Paul Meyer of Simon Fraser University in Canada. CIFAR will provide $50,000 to $80,000 in funding for their workshop, “Regulation of defense and security AI technologies: Options beyond traditional arms control.” The event will bring together AI technologists, arms control practitioners and researchers, and other experts in regulatory and control regimes to develop a better understanding of arms control in the age of AI. The organizers will produce a non-technical, lay publication to inform and engage policymakers, NGOs and the broader public following the workshop. Danks is head of the Department of Philosophy and the L.L. Thurstone Professor of Philosophy and Psychology. Learn more »
The American Statistical Association honored Bill Eddy with its 2018 SPAIG award, which recognizes outstanding partnerships between academe, industry and government organizations. Eddy and his collaborators at the Center for Statistics and Applications in Forensic Evidence (CSAFE) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) were recognized “for building a statistically sound and scientifically solid foundation for the analysis and interpretation of forensic evidence and contributing to the statistical training of forensic practitioners and legal professionals.” This is the second year in a row Eddy has been honored with the SPAIG Award. In 2017, he accepted the award on behalf of a CMU team for work with the Laboratory for Analytic Sciences, National Science Foundation and the U.S. Census Bureau. Both award-winning projects were initiated by the late Stephen Fienberg. Eddy is the John C. Warner Professor of Statistics, emeritus.
The Department of Psychology's Robert Mason and Marcel Just received a $549,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to investigate the brain representations of physics concepts in college students and determine their relation to the students’ academic performance. Although the goal of most educational practices is to advance what students know, this project will assess how the neural growth of the new knowledge is related to performance in course exams. This will build on groundbreaking research that identified the brain representations of elementary physics concepts. Learn more »
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has granted Carnegie Mellon University $225,000 for a prestigious 2019–2020 Sawyer Seminar on “Bread and Water: Access, Belonging and Environmental Justice in the City.” The seminar will bring together a set of international scholars and Pittsburgh-area practitioners to explore policies and practices that promote access to urban food and water systems based on equity, inclusion and resiliency. “Bread and Water” was the brainchild of Abigail Owen, visiting assistant professor of history, and John Soluri, associate professor of history. Other key History Department faculty involved in the project include Joel A. Tarr, the Richard S. Caliguiri University Professor of History and Policy; Edda Fields-Black, associate professor of history; and Noah Theriault, assistant professor of history. Learn more »
Michael Scheier, the Water van Dyke Bingham Professor of Personality and Health Psychology, has been awarded the American Psychological Association’s 2018 Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions. The award, among the highest honors for scientific achievement by psychologists, recognizes senior scientists for distinguished theoretical or empirical contributions to basic research in psychology. For the past 40-plus years, Scheier and his colleague, Charles Carver of the University of Miami, who also is being honored by the APA, have been trying to understand the processes that support purposive, goal-directed action and, later, effective self-management. They provided a framework that explains where goals come from, the mechanisms that underlie goal pursuit and what happens when there are difficulties attaining goals. Then, they examined different aspects of the model, most notably, the role optimism plays in overcoming challenging goals. Scheier is the eighth Carnegie Mellon faculty member to receive this lifetime achievement award. Learn more »
Danielle Wenner, assistant professor of philosophy, has been selected as a Caroline Miles Visiting Scholar at the Ethox Centre at University of Oxford. The scholarship is awarded annually to a post-doctoral or early researcher to visit the Ethox Centre, where they will spend up to a month pursuing a research project on a topic relating to one of the centre’s four main research programs: global health ethics, clinical ethics, public health ethics and research ethics. Wenner will focus on questions in research ethics, specifically, a new framework she developed that conceptualizes the ethical obligations of researchers and research sponsors and their moral obligations not only to the subjects who participate in research, but to individuals who will be impacted by the downstream implications of their research. While at the University of Oxford, Wenner will work on how to fill out precisely what those obligations look like.
Colin P. Clarke, an assistant teaching professor in the Institute for Politics & Strategy, testified before the House Financial Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance on Friday, Sept. 7, in the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C. Clarke began his testimony by defining terrorist financing and placing it in proper historical context. He offered an analysis of how terrorists generate income and how this has changed over time. Clarke also identified current trends in the financing of terrorism, including the so-called crime-terror nexus, and described what he views as one of the most significant threats to international security, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). He concluded his testimony with an assessment of the current campaign to counter ISIS finances and the implications for U.S. national security.
Roberta Klatzky, the Charles J. Queenan Jr. University Professor of Psychology and Human-Computer Interaction, has been named one of three recipients of the Association for Psychological Science’s 2019 James McKeen Cattell Fellow Awards. The award honors APS members for their lifetime of significant intellectual achievements in applied psychological research and their impact on a critical problem in society at large. Learn more »
Kiron Skinner, the Taube Professor of International Relations and Politics at Carnegie Mellon University, has been named senior policy adviser to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Skinner also will serve as director of policy planning, one of the State Department’s most influential positions. Skinner is the founding director of Carnegie Mellon’s Institute for Politics and Strategy (IPS). The center for research, undergraduate and graduate education focuses on university-wide initiatives in the fields of political science, international relations, national security policy and grand strategy. Learn more.
In September, the world’s most influential behavioral scientists will participate in the inaugural Summit for Financial Services. The elite group includes CMU’s George Loewenstein, the Herbert A. Simon University Professor of Economics and Psychology. Loewenstein will join experts Dan Ariely, Hal Hershfield, Nina Mažar, Kelly Peters and others to collaborate with business leaders to apply scientific thinking to business challenges. Learn more.
Robert Cavalier wrote an article about cities as centers for deliberative democracy for the blog Public Agenda. In his piece, Cavalier says whether dealing with climate change, immigration or even trade, cities and metropolitan areas have taken initiatives and formed networks to address pressing social and economic issues. Cavalier is a teaching professor emeritus in the Department of Philosophy and is currently the director for the department’s Program for Deliberative Democracy, which won a 2008 Good Government Award from the Pittsburgh League of Women Voters. Read the piece »
Kathy M. Newman, associate professor of English and literary and cultural studies, wrote an entry for the blog Working-Class Perspectives on the impact of the film “Sorry to Bother You.” The movie, Newman says, offers important, pro-union viewpoints that everyone can learn something from. “If you’ve ever walked a picket line you know how it changes your relationship with your co-workers, your job and your street — how being out and loud and proud shows your community that you deserve a better deal, and that everyone else does too,” Newman wrote. Working-Class Perspecitves offers commentary on working-class culture, education and politics. Read the piece »
The Department of Psychology’s Charles Kemp and researchers from the Hebrew University and University of California, Berkley have developed a computational model that explains why languages categorize colors the way they do. The work, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, provides a new understanding of the evolution of color naming. Learn more and watch a video.
Carnegie Mellon University has selected Joseph Mertz as interim director of its Information Systems Program (IS) in the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, effective July 1. Mertz, a teaching professor in IS and in the Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy, succeeds Randy Weinberg, who has led the program for 18 years and is retiring from CMU in December.
A special issue of the Negotiation and Conflict Management Research journal recently focused on transforming society from theory to practice by celebrating the achievements of the International Association for Conflict Management’s Rubin Award recipients. Linda Babcock, who received the award in 2007 for her professional contributions that emphasized her ability to move effectively and skillfully between theory and practice in professional activities, was featured in the issue with a paper titled, “Linda Babcock: Go‐getter and Do‐gooder.” It was written by CMU’s George Loewenstein and Harvard University’s Max H. Bazerman, Iris Bohnet and Hannah Riley Bowles and outlines Babcock’s contributions to diverse lines of research, her tireless and effective efforts to put the insights of her research into practice and the impact she has had on the co-authors’ lives. Babcock is the James M. Walton Professor of Economics in the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Heinz College and head of the Department of Social and Decision Sciences.
Marlene Behrmann has been selected as the recipient of the 2018 William E. Brown Outstanding Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) Mentor Award. Students in the MSTP nominated Behrmann in recognition of her extraordinary performance and achievement in mentorship. She will receive the award on Friday, Aug. 3, as part of the MSTP Annual Scientific Retreat. Behrmann is the Cowan University Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience and the first female scientist from CMU inducted into the National Academy of Sciences. Her research specializes in the cognitive basis of visual perception, with a specific focus on object recognition.
Assistant Professor of Philosophy Adam Bjorndahl has received the Course Hero-Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation’s Excellence in Teaching Fellowship. Course Hero provides study aids online, and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation administers programs that support leadership development and build organizational capacity in education. Aimed at young faculty members, the program is meant to help tenure-track professors elevate their teaching. Bjorndahl's work focuses on modal logic, game theory and decision theory and formal epistemology.
Michal Friedman, a visiting assistant professor of history, co-organized an international symposium to mark the centennial of the establishment of the modern Jewish community of Madrid, Spain. The symposium, held July 2-4 in Madrid, featured academics, writers and filmmakers from Spain, the U.S., Israel, Italy and Poland, and included panel discussions, roundtables, film screenings and public talks. The participants were received by the director of the Academy of the Spanish Language (Real Academia Española), who discussed the academy´s establishment of a new institute devoted to the study of Judeo-Spanish, the language of the Sephardi Jews. The academy also declared Judeo-Spanish an Hispanic language.
After 20 years in the Department of English, Barbara Johnstone retired this spring. A professor of English and linguistics, Johnstone wrote the widely used textbook “Discourse Analysis,” was editor of the journal “Language in Society” and became an expert in Pittsburghese. Johnstone authored “Speaking Pittsburghese: The Story of a Dialect” in which she analyzed the origins of the city’s most iconic words, such as “yinz” and “nebby.” In her retirement, Johnstone will continue her academic research with two forthcoming papers and a book in progress.
Agustin Medici has joined the Dietrich College Dean’s Office as director of financial planning and analysis. Medici, who received his Master of Public Management degree from CMU’s Heinz College in 2011, was previously a financial analyst for the School of Computer Science and an accountant at the Software Engineering Institute.
In a new study published in Nature Genetics, Kathryn Roeder and a team of researchers established a computationally integrated approach to investigate the functional impact of missense mutations in DNA. Their approach analyzed genetic structures of individuals with autism spectrum disorder who had mutations as well as their siblings who did not have the mutations. They found that the framework successfully identified and prioritized missense mutations that contribute to disease or disorder risk. "Identifying genetic mutations that increase the likelihood of disease is a major challenge to progress for personalized medicine. Using a machine learning model that predicts which mutations are likely to perturb the human interactome network, we showed that these mutations are much more likely to occur in autistic children than their siblings,” Roeder said. "This result extends to several other mental disorders suggesting that our finding may have even broader applicability.” Roeder is the UPMC Professor of Statistics and Life Sciences in the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
The New York Times’ Brent Staples, a member of the editorial board, included Associate Professor of History Lisa Tetrault’s award-winning book, “The Myth of Seneca Falls,” as a reference point in his opinion piece, "How the Suffrage Movement Betrayed Black Women.” In the book, Tetrault demonstrates that Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Lucretia Mott and their peers — who are credited with founding, defining and leading the women's suffrage campaign — gradually created and popularized the original story. She details how they created the legend during the second half of the 19th century in response to the movement's internal politics as well as racial politics following the Civil War.
Chris Warren, associate professor of literary and cultural studies in the Department of English, wrote a piece for Aeon on Network visualisations show what we can and what we may know. Warren co-founded the Six Degrees of Francis Bacon project, which reconstructs early modern social networks 1500-1700. His most recent book, "Literature and the Law of Nations, 1580-1680," was awarded the Roland Bainton Prize for Literature.
The May-June 2018 issue of “Exchange,” an early childhood education magazine, featured Sharon Carver, director of the Children’s School. Carver wrote an accompanying article, “Campus Learning Laboratory,” which outlined the school’s 50-year history and what makes it important at the university, in Pittsburgh and for researchers and students worldwide.
Jim Daniels, the Thomas Stockham Baker University Professor of English, wrote a piece for PublicSource titled, "I’m a slow learner when it comes to race, but I’m trying.” Daniels, who has taught at CMU since 1981, founded the CMU Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Writing Awards in 1999 and addressed writing about race and using the awards program to give students a safe creative space: "Given my background, I know how easy it is to spout platitudes about unity while safely ignoring personal complicity and complications. When it comes to writing about minorities in America, us white folks quickly become the minority. We have the choice about whether we want to write about race or not, and many of us choose not to wake up those slumbering ghosts in our closets or wherever we've conveniently hid them.”
In April, thought leaders from industry, academia, government and the media gathered to discuss ethical, social and policy issues surrounding emerging technologies at the first Carnegie Mellon University - K&L Gates Conference on Ethics and AI. David Danks, head of CMU's Philosophy Department and the L.L. Thurstone Professor of Philosophy and Psychology, served as a co-chair of the conference. Danks also attended the “AI for Good Global Summit” in Geneva, Switzerland, and spoke on the benefits of artificial intelligence. The AI for Good series is the leading United Nations platform for dialogue on AI. This year’s summit identified practical applications of AI and supporting strategies to improve the quality and sustainability of life on Earth.
Mara Harrell, teaching professor of philosophy, will be the new editor of Teaching Philosophy. Since 1975, the journal has been a peer-reviewed journal devoted to the practical and theoretical discussion of teaching and learning philosophy.
Alex John London, the Clara L. West Professor of Ethics and Philosophy, co-authored a viewpoint article in PLOS: Neglected Tropical Disease on the ethics of clinical research during public health emergencies.
Earlier this month, George Loewenstein, the Herbert A. Simon University Professor of Economics and Psychology, and Saurabh Bhargava, assistant professor of social and decision sciences, won the Behavioral Science and Policy Association’s 2018 Best Paper Award for their paper, “Choose to Lose: Health Plan Choices From a Menu with Dominated Choices.”
Roberta Klatzky, the Charles J. Queenan Jr. Professor of Psychology, and Larry Wasserman, the UPMC Professor of Statistics and Data Science, have both been named University Professors, the highest designation a faculty member can achieve. The faculty members were nominated and recommended for the title of University Professor by academic leaders and the community of CMU University Professors.
The Wimmer Faculty Fellowships, which are made possible by a grant from the Wimmer Family Foundation, are designed for junior faculty members interested in enhancing their teaching through concentrated work designing or re-designing a course, innovating new materials or exploring a new pedagogical approach. Robin Mejia, adjunct professor of statistics and data science, was one of five fellowship recipients this year.
Raja Sooriamurthi, a teaching professor in both the Dietrich College and Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy, was named the 2018 recipient of the Heinz College’s Martcia Wade Teaching Award. The award, which was created in memory of former faculty member Martcia Wade, is given annually in recognition of outstanding teaching. Sooriamurthi was presented with the award at Heinz College’s diploma ceremony during commencement weekend.
Jesse Wilson, a staff member in both the History Department and the Dietrich College Dean’s Office, earned his earned his master’s degree in user experience design from Carnegie Mellon’s School of Design.
Linda Babcock was part of a research team that investigated gender equality in the workplace, specifically with women undertaking necessary job duties without receiving appreciation and which also have no relevance to career growth. Babcock, the James M. Walton Professor of Economics and head of the Department of Social and Decision Sciences, is working with organizations from law and consulting firms to government agencies and educational institutions on ways to address the problem.
Gretchen Chapman, professor of social and decision sciences, and a team of researchers investigated the factors that underlie vaccination-related behavior. They found that although vaccination campaigns commonly focus on changing people’s perceptions and attitudes about vaccines, there is little evidence that these campaigns are effective.
Doug Coulson, assistant professor of English, and Gregory Laski, visiting assistant teaching professor, participated in a “Book Salon” conversation on topics related to their recent publications, both of which investigated racial themes in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Correy Dandoy, coordinator of undergraduate programs in the Department of Philosophy, was recently featured in The Piper's staff spotlight. Dandoy advises and helps recruit students in the department’s four majors: philosophy; linguistics; logic and computation; and ethics, history and public policy.
New research from Simon DeDeo, assistant professor of social and decision sciences, suggests that rhetorical innovations may have played a significant role in winning acceptance for the new principles of governance that built the French republic’s foundation. The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and was a collaboration of historians, political scientists and statisticians.
The 2018 Celebration of Education ceremony will honor four members from the Dietrich College. Aidan Kestigian, a doctoral student in the Department of Philosophy, is this year’s recipient of the Graduate Student Teaching Award. Baruch Fischhoff, the Howard Heinz University Professor of Engineering and Public Policy (EPP) and Institute for Politics and Strategy, will receive the William H. and Frances S. Ryan Award for Meritorious Teaching. Kevin Jarbo, a doctoral student in the Department of Psychology is the winner of the Graduate Student Service Award. Gary DiLisio, the principal academic advisor for Information Systems, received the Award for Outstanding Contributions to Academic Advising and Mentoring. The college’s teaching award winner, Associate Professor of History Lisa Tetrault, and Wimmer Faculty Fellows will also be recognized at the ceremony.
Baruch Fischhoff was named a 2018 Carnegie Corporation of New York Andrew Carnegie Fellow. He is one of 31 scholars and writers who will receive $200,000 to devote significant time to research, write and publish in the humanities and social sciences. Fischhoff’s project, “Decisions,” will produce a book drawing together his decades-long experiences studying and observing individuals and institutions facing difficult decisions in diverse settings.
Christopher Genovese, head of the Department of Statistics & Data Science, was named the 2018 American Statistical Association’s Statistician of the Year. Genovese received the award for his tireless efforts as department head at a time of unparalleled growth.
A new cross-federal agency effort is underway to consider whether to revamp technology commercialization rules for U.S. national labs. To address the issue, leaders from top federal agencies and Mark Kamlet, Provost Emeritus and University Professor of Economics and Public Policy in the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences and Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy, spoke at a symposium “Unleashing American Innovation” that was held in Washington, D.C.
Alex John London, the Clara L. West Professor of Ethics and Philosophy, co-authored an opinion piece for Stat News on his latest clinical trials and ethics research. Read “Cancer Centers Sell Out Science When They Advertise Clinical Trials as Treatment.”
Ph.D. student William Penman from the Department of English won first place and the People's Choice Award at the 2018 Three Minute Thesis Competition. At the competition, doctoral students took the stage to describe their research and its significance in three minutes or less.
Casey Roark, a graduate student in the Department of Psychology, was recently selected as an early career policy ambassador by the Society for Neuroscience. The one-year program is open to scientists interested in science policy and advocacy, and provides them with the opportunity to interact with leading neuroscience advocates and the policymakers who make the decisions that determine the future of scientific research.
Why does software cost so much? A team from the Software Engineering Institute is exploring the causes and are being trained by Dietrich College Dean Richard Scheines and the Department of Philosophy’s David Danks, Peter Spirtes, Kun Zhang, Joseph Ramsey and Madelyn Glamour. Learn more about the work.
Kevin Zollman, associate professor of philosophy, received an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation New Directions Fellowship, which is designed to enable mid-career scholars to pursue systematic training in areas outside of their specializations. The two-year, $190K award will enable Zollman, a philosopher and game theory expert, to study behavioral and complexity economics.
Earlier this month and for the first time in Pittsburgh, the Women in Data Science (WiDS) conference, made up of many satellite events in cities around the world, was held at CMU and hosted by the Department of Statistics and Data Science. Marlene Behrmann, the Cowan University Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience and the first—and to-date only—female scientist from CMU inducted into the National Academy of Sciences, gave the opening keynote on her brain research in the pursuit to find a biomarker for autism. Rebecca Nugent, associate department head and director of undergraduate studies for the Department of Statistics, organized the event.
Additionally, Behrmann, Michael J. Tarr, the Kavčić-Moura Professor of Cognitive and Brain Science and head of the Department of Psychology, as well engineers Pulkit Grover and Shawn Kelly received a new grant from the Chuck Noll Foundation for Brain Injury Research to further refine a custom EEG to identify brain injuries that are likely to worsen.
Research recently published in Nature Neuroscience from CMU and the University of Pittsburgh examined the changes that take place in the brain when learning a new task. The team, which included associate professor of biomedical engineering and the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition’s Steve Chase, found that the brain operates under a more stringent set of constraints than originally thought, resulting in good learning on the short term, but nevertheless suboptimal performance in controlling the BCI cursor.
English Professor and satirist Gerald Costanzo’s new poetry book, “Regular Haunts,” deconstructs a fleeting, popular and consumer American culture. Published by the University of Nebraska Press and part of the Ted Kooser Contemporary Poetry series, “Regular Haunts” contains nearly 30 new poems and a selection of Costanzo’s life’s work.
Foreword Reviews has announced the finalists for the 2017 INDIES Book of the Year Awards, and Jim Daniels, the Thomas Stockham Baker University Professor of English, has two books on the list: “Challenges to the Dream: The Best of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Writing Awards at Carnegie Mellon University” and “Street Calligraphy.”
Carnegie Mellon is set to host the first “Carnegie Mellon University - K&L Gates Conference on Ethics and AI” conference on Monday, April 9 and Tuesday, April 10. Thought leaders from a variety of industries will explore the ethical, social and policy issues surrounding emerging technologies. David Danks, head of the department of philosophy and the L.L. Thurstone Professor of Philosophy and Psychology, will be the conference co-chair.
Sharon Dilworth, associate professor of English and the director of the Creative Writing Program, had two new books publish this year. “My Riviera” is a novel set in the mid-century French Riviera, and the short story collection “Two Sides, Three Rivers” is about a dozen Pittsburgh neighborhoods.
Wendy Z. Goldman, the Paul Mellon Distinguished Professor of History, and Joe W. Trotter, Jr., the Giant Eagle Professor of History and Social Justice, wrote a piece about their recently published book, “The Ghetto in Global History.” The book is a product of an interdisciplinary A. W. Mellon Foundation funded Sawyer Seminar on the ghetto that was conducted at Carnegie Mellon during the 2014-2015 academic year.
A team led by Baruch Fischhoff, the Howard Heinz University Professor in the Institute for Politics and Strategy and Engineering and Public Policy, was part of a team that created an educational technology video game, “Night Shift,” that improves doctors’ recognition and triage of severe trauma patients better than text-based learning. The team and their research, competed earlier this month in #StatsMadness, the bracket-style tournament designed to pick the best ideas in biomedical science, and made it to the third round of the competition.
Alex John London, the Clara L. West professor of Ethics and Philosophy, gave the opening keynote for the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) Annual Convention Career Fair in Pittsburgh. He spoke on artificial intelligence and ethics.
History Professor Katherine Lynch, recently wrote a piece highlighting the third annual graduate Research Forum. The Research Forum, which has been in existence since the early days of CMU’s Department of History’s Ph.D. program, became a joint enterprise between the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon History Departments in 2016. The conference meets during spring semester on alternating campuses.
Psychology Professor Brian MacWhinney has spent the past 30 years researching how we learn, use and understand spoken language. With support from hundreds of researchers in 48 countries, he has built a system called TalkBank, a network of databases that has revolutionized the study of human communication and advanced the development of standards and tools for researchers to use to create, share, search and comment on source materials.
The Shakespeare Association of America (SAA) recently awarded Noémie Ndiaye, assistant professor of English, its annual J. Leeds Barroll Dissertation Prize for distinguished scholarship related to Shakespeare’s life, times and works. Ndiaye earned the award for her dissertation “Marking Blackness: Embodied Techniques of Racialization in Early Modern European Theatre,” which she produced while getting her Ph.D. at Columbia University.
Ph.D. student in the Department of English, Will Penman, won the fifth Three Minute Thesis preliminary round earlier this month. He will be competing next month at the Three Minute Thesis Championship, hosted by the University of Queensland in Australia.
Ph.D. candidate in rhetoric in the Department of English, Maria Poznahovska, was among the recipients of the Association of Teachers of Technical Writing (ATTW) grants. Poznahovska earned $750 and a featured spot on one of ATTW's panel presentations during its 2018 conference in Kansas City earlier this month.
Earlier this month, the National Humanities Alliance held their annual meeting and Humanities Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. David Shumway, professor of English and director of the Humanities Center, and Christopher Warren, assistant professor of English, participated in the events aimed at advocating for federally funded humanities programs, which seemed to have worked. On March 21, Congress released their spending deal, which included $3 million in increased NEH funding for the remainder of fiscal year 2018 and other increases for humanities-related initiatives and programs.
Larry Wasserman, UPMC Professor of Statistics and Data Science, presented the 2018 John M. Chermerda Lectures in Science at Penn State University earlier this month. Wasserman gave a public lecture, “The Greatest Debate in the History of Science,” where he discussed the ongoing debate around how to define uncertainty and the practical consequences of using different approaches to uncertainty in statistical methods, for example when analyzing data from drug trials. He also presented a scientific lecture, “High Dimensional Multinomials and Unsmooth Densities.”
Marian Aguiar, associate professor in the department of English, is the author of “Arranging Marriage: Conjugal Agency in the South Asian Diaspora,” a cultural studies book which examines the transnational discourse around arranged marriage as it appears in literature, film, pop culture, policy and the law. She also teaches the course “Love: A Cultural History.”
Saurabh Bhargava, assistant professor in the Department of Social and Decision Sciences, co-authored a piece for the Wall Street Journal on “Common Errors When Buying Insurance.” He discussed how consumers can make smarter choices when buying insurance plans and how plan sponsors and the government can help.
Paul Fischbeck, professor of social and decision sciences and engineering and public policy, is part of a research team that recently used data from U.S. Energy Information Administration’s 2017 Annual Energy Outlook to examine projected power sector carbon dioxide emissions. Their calculations showed that the U.S. can meet and possibly beat the near-term carbon dioxide emission reductions required by the United Nations Paris Agreement.
In a study published by Frontiers in Psychology, Coty Gonzalez and Prashanth Rajivan identified how adversaries may be more successful when exploiting specific phishing strategies than when they use other less successful ones. In the Department of Social and Decision Sciences, Ravijan is a post-doctoral fellow and Gonazlez is a research professor.
Psychology Professor Lori Holt gave a CMUThink Webinar, part of the Alumni Association’s series to showcase faculty research. Holt’s discussion was on "Dispelling the Myths of Dyslexia," and she provided insight into how the pioneering research taking place at CMU is influencing how the world views the disability.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) held its annual meeting in Austin, Texas from Thursday, Feb. 15 through Monday, Feb. 19, 2018. Rob Kass, the Maurice Falk Professor of Statistics and Computational Neuroscience, moderated the scientific session, “Advanced Techniques for Understanding Brain Function.”
Robin Mejia, manager of the Statistics and Human Rights Program in the Center for Human Rights Science, co-edited an edition of CHANCE Magazine focused on the use of statistical analyses in human rights investigations.
David Shumway, professor of English and director of the Humanities Center, helped found the Pittsburgh Humanities Festival in 2015 and talked about the festival’s goals, his vision for its future and what he’s looking forward to the most. Read more of what Shumway had to say.
Michael J. Tarr, head of the Department of Psychology and a member of the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition (CNBC), was named one of four recipients of the new Kavčić-Moura Professorships, designed to provide sustained, long-term support for scholars across the university whose breakthroughs and discoveries have the potential to impact the world where human life and technology meet.
Celebrating her silver year this year as director of Carnegie Mellon University’s The Children’s School, Sharon Carver has been with the laboratory since 1993 when she carried the torch following founding director Ann Baldwin Taylor’s retirement. Learn more.
Sheldon Cohen has been named American Psychosomatic Society’s 2018 Distinguished Scientist. A member of the National Academy of Medicine, Cohen investigates the effects of behavioral factors in immunity and physical disease. Cohen was the first to provide scientific evidence that stress increases susceptibility to the common cold. Learn more.
“Rowing Inland” by Jim Daniels, the Thomas Stockham Baker University Professor of English, was chosen for the 2018 Michigan Notable Books list by The Library of Michigan. Each year the MNB list features 20 books published the previous calendar year, which are about or set in Michigan or the Great Lakes region, or are written by a Michigan author. This is Daniels’ 15th book of poetry. Learn more.
Baruch Fischhoff, the Howard Heinz University Professor in the Institute for Politics and Strategy and Department of Engineering and Public Policy, spoke on February 2, 2018 at Cambridge University for a joint Zangwill and Winton Lecture. He discussed his career with Cambridge University’s David Spiegelhalter, Winton Professor for the Public Understanding of Risk in the Statistical Laboratory, Centre for Mathematical Sciences.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has allocated more than $6.7 million to a team of researchers to fund research into improving the understanding of how social information travels and transforms online. Three members of the team are from Carnegie Mellon University, including Research Professor of Social and Decision Sciences Coty Gonzalez; Research Psychologist Christian Lebiere and Professor of Psychology David Plaut. Learn more.
Ken Koedinger, professor in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute and Department of Psychology, accepted the Hillman Professorship of Computer Science in a ceremony Dec. 6 in the Gates and Hillman centers. Learn more.
Ayana Ledford has been selected as a Lead Now Pittsburgh Fellow. Leadership Pittsburgh Inc. launched the major new initiative, Lead Now, to develop and cultivate the region’s ranks of transformational community leaders to help meet the social and economic opportunities and challenges arising from the region’s ongoing resurgence. Ledford is the director of diversity and inclusion in the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the founding executive director of Heinz College’s Program for Research & Outreach on Gender Equality in Society (PROGRESS). Learn more.
Researchers Kathryn Roeder, the UPMC Professor of Statistics and Life Sciences and David Choi, assistant professor of statistics and information systems at the Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy, along with Statistics and Data Science Ph.D. student Fuchen Liu, have developed a new dynamic statistical model to visualize changing patterns in networks, including gene expression during developmental periods of the brain. Learn more.