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8 1/2 x 11 Newsletter - September 25, 2008

September 25, 2008
Vol. 19, No. 12

In this issue:

Pausch Footbridge Design To Commemorate "First Penguin Award"

footbridge designAt the Randy Pausch Memorial Service this past Monday, President Jared Cohon announced that the aluminum panel sidewalls to the Pausch Memorial Footbridge connecting the Purnell Center for the Arts to the new Gates Center for Computer Science will have an abstract design of cutout penguins. The design commemorates the "The First Penguin Award" that Pausch established for his Building Virtual Worlds class, which was given to the team of students who took the greatest risk but failed to achieve their goal. "The title of the award came from the notion that when penguins are about to jump into water that might contain predators, well, somebody's got to be the first penguin," Pausch said in his book "The Last Lecture." The design was created by Mack Scogin, architect for the new School of Computer Science Complex.

In addition to the abstract design, Cohon said that the sidewalls would have programmable LED lights running continuously across the top and bottom. The LED lights are from Philips Color Kinetics, founded by Carnegie Mellon alumni George Mueller and Ihor Lys, who was recently named National Inventor of the Year by the Intellectual Property Owners Education Foundation. C & C Lighting Design, owned by Drama Professor Cindy Limauro and her husband, Christopher Popowich, are creating the lighting design. "We will be programming the lights to change colors in a variety of visual looks that can also be triggered by motion sensors. In addition to our lighting, students will be able to log on to the system at designated times to create their own lighting looks," Limauro said.

Near the Gates Center, the bridge also will have a brick wall covered with more aluminum penguin cutout panels and LED lights. The barrier serves as a reminder of Pausch's adage that brick walls exist to make you realize how badly you want something. "It is only when you get to the end of the bridge that you realize it isn't a dead end brick wall. There is a door to the right that goes into the building," Limauro said.

Duke, Carnegie Mellon To Study Environmental Issues of Nanotechnology

Gregory LowryAssociate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Gregory V. Lowry will co-direct the new Center for Environmental Implications of NanoTechnology (CEINT). The National Science Foundation and the Environmental Protection Agency have awarded $14.4 million to fund the center, which will be will be directed by Duke University's Mark Wiesner.

Nanoparticles are as much as a million times smaller than the head of a pin, and have unusual properties compared with larger objects made from the same material. These unusual properties make nanomaterials attractive for use in everything from computer hard-drives to sunscreens, cosmetics and medical technologies. The CEINT research team plans to define the relationship between a vast array of nanomaterials, and their potential environmental exposure, biological effects and ecological consequences.

According to Lowry, another significant goal of the center is to develop the human capital needed for the U.S. to be competitive in the global nanotechnology marketplace. "CEINT will prepare undergraduate and graduate students for careers in technology, and will use nanotechnology as a platform to promote science, technology, engineering and math to primary and secondary school students," he said.

For more:

School of Music, PSO Present "Vienna Days"

Manfred HoneckCarnegie Mellon's School of Music will partner with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) to present Vienna Days, a series of performances and lectures featuring Austrian music ensembles and Viennese music to welcome new PSO music director Manfred Honeck, who was born in Austria.

"Vienna Days evolved from many discussions with the PSO and staff of the Austrian Cultural Forum in New York," said Noel Zahler, head of the School of Music. "I'm very pleased to bring the School of Music and the PSO together on this special project, which will serve to celebrate Mr. Honeck's inaugural year and enhance the local cultural landscape."

Vienna Days will begin in October and last through the close of the 2008-09 season. Carnegie Mellon's Contemporary Ensemble will perform selected works by Viennese composers at four concerts this year. The series will culminate in two performances of Arnold Schoenberg's "Verklèrte Nacht" by Carnegie Mellon student ensembles in Heinz Hall.

For more:

News Briefs

  • Carnegie Mellon Today, the university's quarterly collegiate magazine, recently received two design awards. In the 2008 American Graphic Design Awards national contest, the magazine earned a Certificate of Excellence - the highest honor possible. In the 38th Creativity Annual Awards international contest, the magazine earned a silver medal for editorial design of the July 2008 Burton Morris feature, "Pop! Goes the Artist."
  • As part of Pride Month, ALLIES will show the film "DADDY & PAPA" followed by a panel discussion about gay and lesbian adoptive parents at 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 1 in Steinberg Auditorium, Baker Hall. Additionally, the group is sponsoring a GLBT faculty and staff lunch at noon on Wednesday, Oct. 8 in the Peter/Wright Room, University Center (UC). Please RSVP to Rowshan Palmer at by Friday, Oct. 3 and indicate any dietary concerns. For a full list of the Pride Month events, please visit
  • Flu vaccines, sponsored by Student Health Services, are being offered at the following times and locations:  9-11:30 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 30, Pake Room, UC; 1-4 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 9, Pake Room, UC; 9-11:30 a.m., Friday, Oct. 17, Student Health Services; 9-11:30 a.m., Tuesday, Oct. 21, Student Health Services; and 1-4 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 30, Student Health Services. The cost for students, faculty and staff is $15. The vaccines are free to faculty and staff who wait for the Benefits & Fitness Fair, sponsored by Human Resources on Wednesday, Nov. 5.
  • Carnegie Mellon's annual United Way Campaign, which supports programs and services in the regional community, is officially under way. To pledge online, go to In the UserID field type "cmu" plus the first four letters of your last name, your two-digit birth month and your two-digit birth date. If you prefer not to donate online, paper pledge forms are being sent in campus mail this week. Please contact Courtney Bryant at 412-268-3930 with any questions regarding the campaign. If you need technical assistance with the Web site, please contact United Way directly at 412-261-6010.

Personal Mention

  • Gloria Hill has been named the new assistant dean and director of the Academic Advising Center in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, effective Oct. 1. Hill, who has been with Carnegie Mellon for more than 30 years, will be transitioning to her new role from her current position as the assistant vice provost for education at Carnegie Mellon's Qatar campus. Hill also previously served as the director of the Carnegie Mellon Action Project for two decades prior to taking on her position in Qatar.
  • Carnegie Mellon's American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) student chapter at the School of Design recently elected its officers for 2008-2009. Co-presidents are Ash Huang and Caryn Audenreid; secretary is Beverly Hsu; public relations liaison is Joyce Kim; and the Junior Class representative is Sabrina Majeed. Stacie Rohrbach, assistant professor of Design, serves as the chapter's faculty advisor.
  • Ph.D. students Andrew Arnold, Suyash Shringarpure and Guy Zinman of the Machine Learning Department, and Jeehyun Lee of the Robotics Institute have been named the first four Presidential Fellows in the Life Sciences. Made possible by a generous grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation, the Presidential Fellows are chosen for their outstanding potential in a variety of life sciences fields.
  • Art Professor Lowry Burgess is featured in an exhibition at the French government's space agency. Burgess' "Lunar Antiphon" is an aspect of his work "Boundless Cubic Lunar Aperture," the first work of art ever taken into space by a NASA shuttle. For more:

Calendar Highlights

  • Thursday-Friday, Sept. 25-26: Steel beam signing. 9 a.m.-5 p.m., School of Computer Science Complex construction site. For more:
  • Friday, Sept. 26: "A Fantastic Voyage: Funk Music in Dayton, Ohio and Politics of African American Community - From the Ohio Players to Roger Troutman." 4:30 p.m., Steinberg Auditorium, Baker Hall A53. The Center for Africanamerican Urban Studies and the Economy presents Scot Brown, associate professor of history at UCLA. For more:
  • Saturday, Sept. 27: Household Hazardous Waste Collection. 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Station Square. A certified contractor will be on site to process the hazardous waste by sorting materials to be recycled, incinerated or safely buried in special landfills. The fee is $2 per gallon. For more:
  • Tuesday, Sept. 30: School of Art Lecture series. 5 p.m., Giant Eagle Auditorium, Baker Hall A51. Haegue Yang, an artist featured in the 55th Carnegie International Life on Mars exhibit, presents the free lecture. For more:
  • Wednesday, Oct. 1: Staff Council Ice Cream Social. Noon-1 p.m., Connan Room, University Center. Meet your 2008-09 staff council representatives. Carnegie Mellon staff ID is required. For more staff council news, visit or subscribe to the bboard, official.staff-council.
  • Thursday, Oct. 2: "Wisdom, Intelligence, and Creativity Synthesized: A New Approach to University Admissions." 4:30 p.m., Adamson Wing, Baker Hall 136A. The University Lecture Series presents Robert Sternberg, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Tufts University.
  • Thursday-Saturday, Oct. 2-11: School of Drama presents "The Other Shore." Performances take place at 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday. For more:
  • Friday, Oct. 3: Political Resource Fair, sponsored by the Graduate Student Assembly. 7-10 p.m., Rangos Ballroom, UC.
  • For more news and events, visit