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Feb. 2: Media Advisory: Carnegie Mellon Experts Offer Insights, Both on and off the Field


Ken Walters                   

Media Advisory:
Looking for a Super Angle on the Big Game?
Carnegie Mellon Experts Offer Insights, Both On and Off the Field

What: With Super Bowl XLIV set for Sunday, Feb. 7, Carnegie Mellon University experts have some interesting perspectives on the big game, whether they are coming from the fields of engineering, the social sciences or music. Consider the following:

The Nature of Sports Superstitions

With Indianapolis favored to win the Super Bowl, whom will Colts fans blame if their team loses? Social scientist Carey Morewedge, an assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon and an expert in judgment and decision making, recently published research that shows when something goes wrong, fans tend to blame external influences — other people or supernatural forces — but not when things happen the way they want or expect. For example, when a heavily favored team loses, fans seem prone to believe that the referees were conspiring against their team or that the league is fixed. However, fans attribute their teams' victories to the talents and skills of the players.

Saving Your Voice for the Game

We're always hearing about the importance of crowd noise and its effects during the game. Douglas Ahlstedt, associate professor of voice and chairperson of Carnegie Mellon's Vocal Department, has tips for fans who want to have their voices in tip-top shape for the game. Want to scream into overtime? He can explain how.
No Need for Review
Imagine the NFL playoffs with referees who don't make mistakes (and don't need to spend minutes under the hood reviewing replays). While human experience may never be replaced by computing, Carnegie Mellon engineering professor and football fanatic Priya Narasimhan and her research group are working on technology that will change officiating significantly. Through embedded GPS and accelerometer systems in footballs and gloves, Narasimhan, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, hopes to improve the accuracy of officiating in the future.

To learn more or arrange an interview, contact Ken Walters at 412-268-1151 or