Carnegie Mellon University
December 20, 2019

2019 in Review

Carnegie Mellon University wrapped up the decade by laying the groundwork for the next 10 years. Among the highlights of 2019 are the launch of "Make Possible: The Campaign for Carnegie Mellon," new building openings and increased support for services related to student well-being and civic engagement. The soccer team became the first women's team in Carnegie Mellon history to reach the semifinals of an NCAA tournament. New deans will advance the university's world-renowned academic, research and entrepreneurial mission. Here's a quick glance at a selection of some of this year's top stories in no particular order.


Zoned for Innovation

The opening of Mill 19, the first buidling of the new Hazelwood Green development, signals a new era of manufacturing.

ansys-hall-opening-900x600-01-min.jpgAnsys Hall Opens

ANSYS Hall officially opened as a spacious maker facility where students, faculty and collaborators innovate and interact with cutting-edge simulation and fabrication tools.

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Grant To Promote Student Well-Being

A $35 million lead grant from Highmark Inc. supports an initiative to build integrated health, wellness and athletics facility.


"Make Possible: The Campaign for Carnegie Mellon"

The new campaign will accelerate CMU's trajectory as the leader at the nexus of technology and society, empower our ambitious people and programs, and fuel innovations that will transform life for people around the world.

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Dean Named for School of Computer Science

Martial Hebert, a leading researcher in computer vision, robotics and artificial intelligence was named dean of the School of Computer Science.

sanders-appointed-engineering-dean-900x600.jpgDean Appointed for College of Engineering

William H. Sanders, who researches secure and dependable computing and security, will lead the College of Engineering beginning Jan. 1, 2020.

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Cybersecurity Stars

In a field dominated by men, female researchers take the lead at CMU. Read more about CMU's leading security and privacy experts.

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Emmys Make History

Four CMU alumni won at the 71st Emmy Awards including Billy Porter, who made history as the first openly gay black man to win Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his work as Pray Tell on FX's "Pose."

lohmeier-900x600-min.jpgFootball Player Honored

CMU senior business major and defensive end Michael Lohmeier achieved a great return on investment and was one of 12 finalists for the 2019 William V. Campbell Trophy.



roboticists-eye-moon-exploration-red-2000x1500.jpgExploration of Space

CMU roboticists like Red Whittaker are helping to shape the future of space exploration.


Future of Education

OpenSimon is a learning engineering community that will catalyze a revolution in learning and teaching for the world's educational institutions.

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Gift To Nurture Civic Engagement

A gift from James and Sharon Rohr endowed the James and Sharon Rohr Director of Civic Engagement. Liz Vaughan, the associate dean of student affairs who has championed the university's civic engagement initiatives, is the inaugural recipient.

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Grammys Nomination Nods

From classical to country, Carnegie Mellon University was well represented as nearly two dozen faculty members and alumni received nominations for the 2020 Grammy Awards.

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Brand Blueprint Leads the Way

Common language and a set of refreshed visual identity elements will help the university community tell the CMU story in a powerful and unified way.


Soccer Makes History

The 25th ranked Tartans are the first women's team in Carnegie Mellon history to reach the semifinals of an NCAA tournament.

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Interdisciplinary Work

Researchers from three CMU colleges received a $2.8 million DARPA grant to enhance machine-human team collaborations.

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Janus Bases Recognized

The Scientist Magazine has named Janus bases as one of its Top 10 Innovations of 2019. Carnegie Mellon University Chemistry Professor Danith Ly invented the molecules, and they are being used to create new treatments for genetic diseases and disorders.

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Kigali Innovation City Building Opens

CMU-Africa's new location is the anchor of Kigali Innovation City, which aims to foster innovation and entrepreneurism to catalyze Rwanda's economic growth.

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Legacy of Leadership

Carnegie Mellon's President Farnam Jahanian reflected on the life and legacy of Andrew Carnegie. Read his letter commemorating the 100-year anniversary of Andrew Carnegie's death.

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Messages and Mortarboards

Alumnus and speaker Leslie Odom, Jr. told the CMU graduates to live intentionally at the 122nd Commencement on May 19.

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Neuroscience Highlighted by "60 Minutes"

Leslie Stahl returned to CMU to discuss new work by Marcel Just and colleagues on how humans think about abstract concepts.


Poker Win

An artificial intelligence program developed by Carnegie Mellon in collaboration with Facebook AI defeated leading professionals in six-player No-Limit Texas Hold'em poker.

World Cup team
Plaid Parliament of Pwning Wins DefCon

CMU's competitive hacking team continued its dominance in computer security by winning its fifth world championship in seven years.

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Pipe and Drums Win National Championship

The CMU band took first place in the 2019 American Pipe Band Championships, and competes internationally for the first time.

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Quality of Air Gets Worse

A CMU study finds recent increases in fine particulate matter are associated with more premature death in the United States.

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Research Becomes More Accessible

Carnegie Mellon University, a longtime proponent of open-access research, is championing an international movement to revolutionize academic publishing.

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Hall of Fame

The inaugural class in Athletics Hall of Fame includes 18 honorees from 12 sports, including the 1926 football team that shut out previously undefeated Notre Dame.

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Tartan Community Day

Students, faculty and staff took a break from their normal routine to relax, recharge, enjoy the company of others and have fun during the inaugural celebration.

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Task Force Activated

AFC Commander General John Murray gives Brigadier General Matthew Easley the patch for the U.S. Army Futures Command. The Army activated its Artificial Intelligence Task Force at CMU in February.

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Undergraduate Education

A violinist performs in front of an inflatable sculpture called "Raindrop." The sculpture was on display in during Meeting of the Minds on May 8 in the Cohon University Center.

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Vehicle Research

CMU and Argo AI formed the Center for Autonomous Vehicle Research with a $15 million multiyear grant.

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Exploring Mines with Robots

Team Explorer from Carnegie Mellon and Oregon State University deployed robots to autonomously map and search underground mines to win the initial scored event in the DARPA Subterranean Challenge.

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Forum Focuses on the Future of Work

CMU's strategic initiatives align closely with the World Economic Forum's discussions that take place among thought-leaders in government, education, technology, business and the arts. Justine Cassell has participated in the forum since 2011.