Carnegie Mellon University

CMU Climbing Team Ascends to New Heights

May 08, 2019

CMU Climbing Team Ascends to New Heights

Neuroscience, computer vision collaborate to better understand visual information processing

By Michael Henninger

Julie Mattera

Months after tearing a tendon in her ankle at a National Cup Series bouldering competition, Carnegie Mellon University junior Erika Giuse pulls on her climbing shoes. She's healed, and back in the swing of things coaching practices of the CMU Climbing team at Ascend, a climbing gym in Pittsburgh's South Side neighborhood. 

Giuse chalks up her hands, reducing any moisture that might affect her grip, and walks to the base of a bouldering wall at the gym. She chooses her route, one of dozens delineated by hand grips of various colors, and proceeds to scale the wall. She moves quickly, familiar with this particular path. From a distance, she makes reaching the top look effortless. Up close, every muscle in her arms, back, and legs exerts ample effort.

Giuse is an information systems major. Her father, Dario Giuse, was on the faculty of CMU's School of Computer Science for 14 years before taking a position at Vanderbilt University.

Erika Giuse swam competitively in high school in Nashville, but lost interest in the sport. She searched for a new activity and fell in love with climbing when she came to CMU.

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