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8 1/2 x 11 Newsletter - October 21, 2010

October 21, 2010
Vol. 21, No. 17

In this issue:

Calendar Highlights

Picks of the Week:

  • Oct. 21-24: Carnegie Mellon Opera Series. "Mozart Scenes: the Trials of Love," 8 p.m., Philip Chosky Theater, Purnell Center for the Arts. The performance includes famous scenes from three of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's most popular operas — "Cosi fan tutte," (Thus Do They All), "Le Nozze di Figaro" (The Marriage of Figaro) and "Die Zauberflöte" (The Magic Flute). For tickets call 412-268-2407. Read more:
  • Sunday, Oct. 24: "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition." 8 p.m., ABC-TV. The popular television show will air an animation created by Entertainment Technology Center students. Read more below.
  • Monday, Oct. 25: The Master of Entertainment Industry Management presents John Tarnoff, head of industry relations for the program, who will present "Yes! Means Maybe, Decoding Hollywood and the Politics of the Entertainment Biz." Noon, Hamburg Hall 1000. Tarnoff is a former studio executive, content producer and technology entrepreneur. For more:
  • Tuesday, Oct. 26: Staff Council presents the Benefits Open Forum. Noon - 1 p.m., Rangos 1, UC. Hear about the upcoming changes in benefits from Associate VP and Chief Human Resources Officer Barbara Smith, Director of Benefits Joyce Heckmann and Benefits Specialist Lori Bell.

Featured Events:

  • Through Nov. 21: "New Perspectives of Pittsburgh: Interactive Urban Panoramas." Photo Forum at U.S. Steel Tower Upper Lobby, 600 Grant St., Downtown Pittsburgh. Twenty Gigapan panoramas of Pittsburgh by more than a dozen photographers are on display.
  • Oct. 21-23: Vanishing Point. 8 p.m., Helen Wayne Rauh Studio Theater, Purnell Center for the Arts. This stunning new musical explores the lost times of Agatha Christie, Aimee Semple McPherson and Amelia Earhart. The story explores their lives, charts new paths and rewrites history. For tickets, call 412-268-2407 or visit
  • Thursday, Oct. 21: Connecting with Indigenous Communities through Indigenous Art Collections. 6 - 7:30 p.m., Margaret Morrison Carnegie Hall A14. The Center for the Arts in Society presents James F. Brooks, president of the School for Advanced Research, who will discuss the collections and history of the Indian Arts Research Center (IARC), considered to be one of the most remarkable assemblages of Southwestern Native art in the world. Representing a broad range of works, this valuable collection was initially formed in 1922 as the Indian Arts Fund and has since grown to more than 12,000 items, which are housed in two vaults in the IARC building.
  • Friday, Oct. 22: Flu Vaccine Clinic. 9 - 11:30 a.m., Dowd Room, UC. For more clinic times and details, check the news item below.
  • Friday, Oct. 22-24: India Today: Economics, Technology and People. Porter Hall 100 (Gregg Hall). As a rising state in the world economy and with a rich history and culture, India's status is shifting. India Today is a 3-unit course, consisting of 14 hours of classes over a weekend, with a major paper assignment to be completed for credit. For more:
  • Saturday, Oct. 23: CMU Contemporary Ensemble. 5 p.m, Kresge Theater, CFA. The ensemble performs lesser-known works from the late 20th century to the present. Free admission.
  • Sunday, Oct. 24: CMU Philharmonic's Chamber Orchestra. 8 p.m., Katz Theater, Jewish Community Center, Squirrel Hill. An all-Mozart evening includes his Violin Concerto and Symphonies No. 33 and 39. Free admission.
  • Monday, Oct. 25: Cyberwar Impact on the University End-User. 1:30 - 3 p.m., Connan Room University Center. To register or more information on other Information Security Office events, visit
  • Monday, Oct. 25: Victor M. Bearg Science and Humanities Scholars Speaker Series. 4:30 p.m., Porter Hall 100 (Gregg Hall). Douglas Vakoch, director of interstellar message composition at the Searching for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute and associate professor of clinical psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies, will speak on "Aesthetics for Aliens: Art, Music and Extraterrestrials." He'll address what we should say to aliens and how could we let them know what it's like to be human. For more:
  • Monday, Oct. 25: The Center for International Relations and Politics and the Humanities Scholars Program present Serhiy Kudelia, who will discuss "U.S.-Russia 'Reset': Trading Democracy for Security?" 4:30 p.m., Adamson Wing, Baker Hall 136A. Kudelia is an assistant professor of political science at National University "Kyiv-Mohyla Academy" in Ukraine. For more:
  • Tuesday, Oct. 26: University Lecture Series. Cuban architecture author Julio Cesar Perez Hernandez will discuss "Sustainable Urbanism" at 6:30 p.m., Porter Hall 100 (Gregg Hall). An internationally recognized architect, consultant and urban planner, Hernandez has lectured widely in the United States, Canada and Europe about Cuban architecture. For more:
  • Wednesday, Oct. 27: Dowd-ICES Fellows to Present Research. 3 - 5 p.m., Singleton Room, Roberts Hall. The College of Engineering (CIT) and the Institute for Complex Engineered Systems (ICES) will showcase the research of the 2009 and 2010 Dowd-ICES fellows, as well as the educational research conducted by Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Marija Ilic during her year as the 2009 Dowd Teaching Fellow. The fellowships are supported by an endowment from Philip L. Dowd (E'63) and Marsha Dowd. Since the fellowship program was created in 2001, 29 graduate students and 13 faculty members from the CIT have benefited as recipients.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 27: Human-Computer Interaction Seminar. 4 p.m., Newell-Simon Hall 1305. Michael Muller, research scientist with IBM Research, will present "Grounded Theory Method in Human-Computer Interaction and Computer Supported Cooperative Work." For more:
  • Wednesday, Oct. 27: Heinz College information session. 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. PM6, 11th floor, PPG Place, downtown. The Heinz College offers two part-time master's degree programs for working professionals — the Masters of Public Management and the Masters of Science in Information Technology. RSVP at
  • Thursday, Oct. 28: Rhetoric Colloquium Series. 4:30 p.m., Baker Hall 136 (Adamson Auditorium). Leah Ceccarelli, associate professor of communication at the University of Washington, will present a talk. Her research focuses on interdisciplinary and public discourse about science.
  • Friday, Oct. 29: School of Art BYOB (Bring Your Own Beamer) 7:30 p.m., SPACE Gallery, 812 Liberty Ave. Riley Harmon and Rafael Rozendaal will curate BYOB - Pittsburgh (a.k.a. projector). Fifteen MFA candidates will arrive armed with projectors and video content for a one-night barrage of video, creating a strange constellation of overlapping and chaotically interconnected video work. Costumes are encouraged in observance & celebration of Halloween. Participating artists include Scott Andrew, Agnes Bolt, Sung Rok Choi, Jesse England, Craig Fahner, Harmon, Joonas Jokiranta, Luke Loeffler, Daniel Luchman, Felipe Castelblanco Olaya, Oscar Peters, Nina Sarnelle, Rob Southard, Dan Wilcox and Erin Womack.
  • Oct. 30-31: 200 Hands, 100 Pieces: Celebrating Chopin's Bicentennial. Noon, Kresge Theater and Alumni Concert Hall, CFA. Join the School of Music as it launches Piano Month, with performances by faculty members, piano performance majors and Music Preparatory School (K-12) students. Admission is free.
  • Monday, Nov. 1: Alex Hanna, principal bass for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra will perform. 8 p.m., Kresge Theater. Admission is free.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 2: Staff Council Presents an Open Forum with the President. Noon - 1:30 p.m., Rangos 1, UC. President Jared L. Cohon will provide a brief update on the university and answer questions from the audience.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 2: Worlds of Flavor - Scottish. 5 - 9 p.m., Resnik, Take Comfort Two. CulinArt invites the university community to indulge its taste buds in Scottish cuisine.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 3: Benefits and Fitness Fair. 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., Rangos Ballroom, UC. Open Enrollment for 2010 benefits runs Nov. 2-16, so stop by to speak with representatives from Human Resources, payroll and all of Carnegie Mellon's benefits carriers. The fair also features wellness screenings and several raffle drawings and giveaways. Visit for benefit workbooks, plan information, carrier links and to get started making your selections for 2011 in HR Connection.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 3: Homecoming Kick-off BBQ. 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., by the Fence. Sponsored by the Student Homecoming Committee.
  • Thursday, Nov. 4: "Identities in Conflict: The Recognition of Migrants." 4:30 p.m., Porter Hall 100 (Gregg Hall). The Humanities Center Lecture Series presents University of Miami Modern Languages Professor George Yudice. The lecture is co-sponsored by the Literary and Cultural Studies Colloquium of the Department of English.
  • Thursday, Nov. 4: "Reflections of Our Journeys" 4:30 p.m., Rashid Auditorium, Hillman Center 4401. Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award winners Stuart Card (TPR'70, HS'78), a leader in human-computer interaction and a pioneer in information visualization, and Naoko Matsubara (A'62), one of the foremost Japanese woodcut artists in the world, will share their journeys from their days at Carnegie Mellon through today, including the challenges, successes, decisions and joys they have encountered along the way.
  • Nov. 5-7: Homecoming. For a complete schedule visit
  • Friday, Nov 5: Institute for Software Research Open House and dedication of renovated space. 3 p.m., fourth and fifth floor lobby areas, Wean Hall. ISR Director William Scherlis will give an opening address. For more:

(If you have an event you'd like to publicize on the university's online public event calendar, complete the event form at Your information will be sent to the Internal Communications team for posting on the calendar.)

Steve Forbes To Provide Perspective on the Election and Economy

The Center for International Relations and Politics, the Humanities Scholars Program, and the Heinz College will host Steve Forbes, chairman and CEO of Forbes Media, for "A Conversation with Steve Forbes" from 3:30 - 4:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 5 in Rashid Auditorium, 4401 Hillman Center. President Jared L. Cohon will moderate a Q&A as Forbes provides perspective on the election and economic matters. A widely respected economic prognosticator, author and winner of several prestigious awards, Forbes also writes editorials for each issue of Forbes magazine. The event is open to the entire Carnegie Mellon community (students, faculty, staff and alumni). Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Students Create Segment for "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition"

Extreme MakeoverTy Pennington's popular ABC show "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" recently enlisted the help of students from the Entertainment Technology Center (ETC). Over the summer, the team created a clever animation involving the demolition of the Hamburg, Pa., family's house for this Sunday's episode.

"Usually on the show, they send the family away on vacation for a week and the first thing the design team does is tear down the old house in some spectacular way," said ETC team member Freddie Sulit, (CMU'11). "This particular home, however, has historic value because it was built out of logs that were over 300 years old."

So instead of destroying the house, they dismantled it and were then able to reuse some of the materials. The show's design team had the idea to make the demolition into an animated fairy tale with the family as the main characters. They contacted the ETC to see if there were any students who could donate their time to the project.

The animation team included Sulit, producer; Michael Honeck, director; Steve Geist, artist; Kim Kiser, artist; Franz Mendonsa, artist; Katherine Rubenstein, artist; Sue Choe, artist; Andrew Gartner, consultant; Tom Corbett, consultant; Ashok Nayar, consultant.

The episode will air at 8 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 24.

Mercolini, Danko, Pretz-Lawson, Panno and E-Health Records Team Win 2010 Andy Awards

Andy AwardsPresident Jared L. Cohon and Executive Vice President and Provost Mark S. Kamlet announced the 2010 Andy Awards winners yesterday (Wednesday, Oct. 20) before a standing-room only crowd in McConomy Auditorium. The Andy Awards honor individual staff members and teams whose outstanding performance and commitment to excellence have had a significant impact on the university.

This year's winners and their categories were:

  • Outstanding Dedication: James A. Mercolini, Office of the General Counsel
  • Outstanding Commitment to Students: Mike Danko, ROTC
  • Outstanding Innovation: Electronic Health Records System Team (Scott Ambrose, Nick Bertovich, Mary Ann Blair, Matt Blazevich, Kyle Carson, Joe Corey, Attila Csokai, Thomas Dugas, Marc Gabriele, Daryl Hollinger, Dan Kennedy, Joseph Kern, Shushan Klein, Doug Markiewicz, Randy Monroe, Chris Nolin, Bill O'Malley, Stephen Rhoton, Brian Richards, David Riel, Chris Ries, Joe Sciulli, Laura Walsh and Kevin Westling)
  • Outstanding Culture: Mary L. Pretz-Lawson, Computing Services
  • Outstanding University Citizenship: Carole M. Panno, University Advancement
Prior to presenting the awards, President Cohon paid tribute to Outstanding Culture nominee Pat Kleyle, a 20-year member of Enrollment Services who passed away last week. Kleyle was nominated for the positive atmosphere she created in Enrollment Services and for her commitment to self-growth and learning. President Cohon announced that Enrollment Services has established the Pat Kleyle Staff Recognition Award to recognize staff members who share her professionalism, devotion to service, dedication to CMU and passion for lifelong learning and development.

CMU Spinoff Receives $10 Million NASA Contract To Lead Moon Expedition

Carnegie Mellon spinoff Astrobotic Technology, led by CMU University Professor William "Red" Whittaker, has received a contract for up to $10 million from NASA to lead a robotic expedition to the moon in April 2013. The Astrobotic team includes CMU, Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Aerojet, Scaled Composites, International Rectifier, Harmonic Drive LLC and Caterpillar Inc.
The mission will explore the lunar surface near an Apollo site with a "social" robot able to Tweet and update its Facebook account as it chats with fans on Earth. The robot's high-definition cameras will show the Moon in 3-D as it is directed by amateur drivers over the Web and at science centers.
NASA will pay Astrobotic for data about how to land at a precise location, which hasn't been done by previous Mars and Moon robots, as well as how to avoid last-minute obstacles like boulders and small craters unseen from orbit. The NASA contract also pays for information about how the Astrobotic robot survives the lunar night — two weeks of deep freeze as cold as liquid nitrogen. Each accomplishment is worth $500,000 to $2.5 million. Astrobotic can collect up to $1.1 million with data delivered prior to launch, and the remainder after its spacecraft lands.
"This private-sector Moon expedition combines small and large companies, and taps into the intellectual capital of the world's leading computer science and robotics university," said Whittaker, founder of Astrobotic Technology and the Field Robotics Center at Carnegie Mellon. "Together we'll create a lunar exploration mission at a breakthrough cost that enables public participation from around the world."
A unique aspect of the expedition is the inclusion of interdisciplinary arts projects created by the students and faculty in CMU's STUDIO for Creative Inquiry. CMU Professor Lowry Burgess is coordinating the historic Moon Arts project. A renowned space artist, Burgess is overseeing musicians, architects, poets, designers, roboticists, engineers and visual artists involved in the arts effort. Burgess created the first official art payload taken into outer space by NASA in 1989 among his many space art works.

For more:

Benefits Open Enrollment Begins Monday, Oct. 25

HRThe 2011 Benefits Open Enrollment (OE) period will begin on Monday, Oct. 25 and will run through Nov. 23. This year, to reduce printing and mailing costs, the Benefits Office will make all OE details available online. Go to to access complete OE information, including upcoming changes, rates, plan details, and links to the HR Connection online enrollment system. Some current elections cannot roll over to 2011, so log on to the system to make the right choices for you.

For more information see our Web resources, contact the Benefits Office at, or attend the Staff Council Benefits Open Forum from noon to 1 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 26 in Rangos 1, UC. Also mark your calendar for the Benefits and Fitness Fair from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 3 in Rangos Ballroom, UC.

Flu Clinics Available

During the rest of the month of October, flu vaccine clinics will be available throughout campus. Human Resources will cover the cost of the vaccine for faculty and staff. There is no fee for students on the student health insurance plans. Students who are not covered by the student insurance plans will have the $15 fee charged to their student accounts. Sponsored students and staff may pay the $15 fee with a personal check. A valid CMU ID is required. Clinics will take place at the following times and locations:

  • 9 - 11:30 a.m., Friday, Oct. 22, Dowd Room, UC
  • 2 - 5 p.m., Monday, Oct. 25, Mellon Institute Social Room (328)
  • 3 - 6 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 27, Tepper Room 109
  • 3 - 6 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 28, Heinz College Foyer

Mobile Phone Games Help Chinese Children Learn Language Characters

MILLEEMobile phone-based games could provide a new way to teach basic knowledge of Chinese language characters that might be particularly helpful in underdeveloped rural areas of China, say researchers in Carnegie Mellon's Mobile & Immersive Learning for Literacy in Emerging Economies (MILLEE) Project.

Earlier this year, researchers reported that two mobile learning games, inspired by traditional Chinese games, showed promise during preliminary tests with children in Xin'an, an underdeveloped region in Henan Province, China.

"We believe that the cooperative learning encouraged by the games contributed to character learning," said CMU's Matthew Kam, assistant professor in the School of Computer Science's Human-Computer Interaction Institute and MILLEE project director. "The results of our studies suggest that further development of these games could make inexpensive mobile phones important learning tools, particularly for children in underdeveloped rural areas."

MILLEE researchers analyzed 25 traditional games played by children in China to identify elements, such as cooperation between players, songs and handmade game objects that could be used to design two educational mobile phone games.

For more on the project

CMU Earns EPA Green Power Leadership Award

GPLAThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has honored Carnegie Mellon with its 2010 Green Power Leadership Award as one of the country's leading green power purchasers and for its commitment and contribution to helping advance the development of the nation's voluntary green power market. This marks the first time that Carnegie Mellon has received the distinguished leadership award.

CMU is one of only 10 organizations nationwide, including corporations, government organizations and universities, to receive a Leadership Award in the Green Power Purchase category this year. Carnegie Mellon purchases nearly 87 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually, which is enough green power to meet 75 percent of the university's purchased electricity use. Carnegie Mellon's current green power purchase is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of nearly 12,000 passenger vehicles per year, or the amount of electricity needed to power nearly 8,000 average American homes annually.

Carnegie Mellon currently ranks second on the EPA's Top 20 College and University list of Green Power Partners. EPA updates its rankings quarterly at

News Briefs

  • Nominations are now being accepted for the 2010-11 Celebration of Teaching Awards, including the Academic Advising Award, the Robert E. Doherty Award and the William H. and Frances S. Ryan Award. Formerly called the Education Awards, the awards recognize the accomplishments of faculty who exemplify the university's standards of excellence in education. For nomination requirements and more information on each award, visit
  • Wombat Security Technologies, a CMU spinoff, recently was awarded a $750,000 Small Business Innovation Grant from the U.S. Air Force as a phase II grant to develop software for cybersecurity awareness and training. The company was founded by School of Computer Science Professors Jason Hong, Norman Sadeh and Lorrie Cranor.
  • The CIT Staff Awards Committee has announced its call for nominations for the 16th annual CIT Staff Awards. Nominations can be made by CIT faculty, staff or students by Friday, Nov. 5. Awards include: the Staff Recognition Award, open to all full- or part-time CIT staff members; the Burritt Education Award, open to any CIT staff member who is enrolled as a continuing education student at any degree level; and the Rookie Award, open to all full- or part-time CIT staff members who have been a part of CIT for six months to two years at the time of nomination. The Awards Ceremony will be held Jan. 5 in the Singleton Room, Roberts Hall. More information can be found at

Personal Mention

  • President Jared L. Cohon was elected chairman of the Executive Committee of the Association of American Universities (AAU). Cohon will have oversight responsibilities for the association and will lead discussions about the AAU's position on government policies. The AAU is a nonprofit organization representing 61 leading public and private universities in the United States, as well as two major universities in Canada. For more
  • "Lighthead," a book of poetry written by Carnegie Mellon English Professor Terrance Hayes, has been selected as a finalist for the 2010 National Book Awards. In the collection, Hayes combines different poetry styles, including the Japanese presentation format Pecha Kucha, to tell personal, political and historical stories. National Book Award winners in the categories of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and young people's literature will be announced on Wednesday, Nov. 17 in New York City. For more:
  • A paper by Bob Monroe, associate dean of the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon Qatar; David Garaln, a professor of computer science in the Institute for Software Research; and David Wile, a former research professor from the University of Southern California; has been selected as one of 14 papers to be published in a special 20th anniversary volume of CASCON, which will be available at the 20th Annual International Conference, hosted by the Centre for Advanced Studies Research (CAS), Nov. 1-4 at the IBM Canada Software Laboratory. The paper is titled "Acme: an architecture description interchange language" and was chosen from 425 papers from the first decade of CASCON. For more on CASCON 2010, go to
  • A new book by Franco Sciannameo, director and principal faculty of the BXA Intercollege Degree Programs, was recently published by Scarecrow Press. The book, "Nino Rota's/The Godfather Trilogy," discusses the sounds of the Godfather films, describing and analyzing the musical subtexts underscoring a group of pivotal scenes. Relying substantially on Rota's notes, which are discussed for the first time, the book reveals the composer's interpretation of Coppola's cinematic narrative and the scoring methodologies he employed.
  • In conjunction with Wisconsin-based Wicab, Inc., Yaser Sheikh of the Quality of Life Technology Center received $3.2 million in funding from the Defense Medical Research and Development Program to pursue improvements on the BrainPort device — a visual prosthetic that helps the blind regain sighted experiences. Sheikh will provide intelligent software enhancements and collaborate with Dr. Amy Nau of the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The BrainPort assists the blind in the areas of orientation, mobility, object identification and spot reading.
  • Dena Haritos Tsamitis, director of the Information Networking Institute and director of education, training and outreach at Carnegie Mellon CyLab, and Lorrie Faith Cranor, director of the CyLab Usable Privacy and Security Laboratory and associate professor of computer science and electrical and computer engineering, are panelists at the Alta Associates' Executive Women's Forum National Conference, Oct. 20-22, in Scottsdale, Ariz. Tsamitis will moderate and Cranor will be a panelist for the panel talk titled "Information Security, Privacy & Risk Management: From Research to Practice." Tsamitis also will be a panelist for the talk "Rethinking Social Networking — The Good, the Bad, and the Enablement." The Executive Women's Forum is an annual gathering of executive-level women in the areas of information security, risk management, governance, compliance, IT audit and privacy.
  • The Information Networking Institute (INI) and Alta Associates' Executive Women's Forum (EWF) on Information Security, Risk Management and Privacy will present Krystal Ying, a graduate student specializing in the study of mobile technologies, with the EWF INI Fellowship, an educational award providing full tuition and a mentor to support her studies in the university's bicoastal Master of Science in Information Technology-Information Security Program, which is conducted at CMU's Pittsburgh and Silicon Valley campuses. For more:
  • CMU's Director of Risk Management and Insurance Brian Cappo was co-chair, along with Penn State Chief Risk Officer Gary Langsdale, of the recent University Risk Management and Insurance Association Conference, "Bridging the Rivers of Risk," Oct. 9-13 at the Omni William Penn Hotel downtown. More than 530 people attended the conference, including more than 150 first-time attendees and 68 new members. Former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rocky Bleier was one of the keynote speakers at the conference.
  • Todd Przybycien, professor of chemical engineering and biomedical engineering, has been elected a fellow of the AIChE in recognition of his professional attainment and significant accomplishment in chemical engineering. He will be recognized by other AIChE fellows at the Annual AIChE Meeting, Nov. 7-12 in Salt Lake City.
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