Carnegie Mellon University

The Piper

CMU Community News

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December 01, 2011

News Briefs

Industrial Design and Architecture Programs Rated Among Best

Carnegie Mellon's undergraduate industrial design program is ranked third in the nation — tied with Rochester Institute of Technology and Syracuse University — and its industrial design graduate program ranks ninth in Design Intelligence's 2012 ratings of America’s Best Architecture and Design Schools. In specialty categories the programs ranked first in research and theory — tied with Arizona State University (ASU) and Illinois Institute of Design — third in cross-disciplinary teamwork and fifth in communication — tied with Auburn University, College for Creative Studies and Pratt Institute.

In a dean's survey, the undergraduate program ranked fourth — tied with ASU, Savannah College of Art and Design, and University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Dean's said they admired the program for its focus on interdisciplinary design, industry partnerships and integration of design and thinking.

Design Intelligence ranked the undergraduate architecture program 11th, tied with USC.

Astrobotic's Lunar Robot Named to "Best of What's New" List

Popular Science has named the Astrobotic Technology lunar robot to its Best of What’s New list, noting the team headed by the Robotics Institute's Red Whittaker "took the lead this year over 26 competitors" in the race to win the $20 million Google Lunar X Prize.

Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center Wins High-Performance Computing Award

HPCwire, a leading electronic-news outlet for high-performance computing and communication (HPC), has awarded a 2011 Reader's Choice Award to the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC) for Best Use of HPC in an Edge HPC application. The award recognizes PSC for its work with Blacklight, PSC's SGI® Altix® UV1000 system, the world's largest shared-memory system, a resource of XSEDE, the National Science Foundation cyberinfrastructure program. Because of Blacklight's large amount of shared memory, scientists have been able to access up to 16 terabytes at a time, a feature that has enabled ground-breaking work in several fields, including fields of computer science — natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML) — that haven’t traditionally made substantial use of HPC. Read more about Blacklight.

CMU Discount for Toy Robots

Bossa Nova, a CMU spinoff that makes toy robots, is offering the CMU community a 20 percent discount on its Mechatars, an innovative palm-sized robot that connects to an online game. The Mechatars, for children between the ages of 6 and 11, have wireless communication, Flash memory, USB connectivity and are connected to the cloud. Robot play is transmitted online via USB and provides in-game credits. Conversely, online play unlocks new robot features, missions and weapons that are downloaded to the robot. The online game is free to play at, so users can register and try it out without a robot. To purchase the robot, priced at $39.99, go to, click Buy Now, and use the coupon code CMU20 for the instant 20 percent discount. The promotion, only valid for the CMU community, runs through Dec. 15.

Staff & Faculty Appreciation Sale

The University Store will be having its annual 20 percent off Staff & Faculty Appreciation sale on Friday, Dec. 2, in store and online at Standard exclusions apply, for more information visit the website.

Carnegie Mellon Women's Association Plans December Events

The Carnegie Mellon Women's Association is reserving seats for the School of Music Holiday Concert at noon on Friday, Dec. 9. The group is also planning a tour of the Phipps Conservatory Candlelight Winter Flower Show at 5 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 13 at the Phipps Conservatory. The winter flower show is candlelit in the evenings with live entertainment. Admission is $11 for adults, $8 for children (2 to 18) and free for Phipps members. RSVP to Krista Campbell at for either event by Thursday, Dec. 8.

Bookfair Benefits Children's School

Join The Children's School from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., on Saturday, Dec. 3 at Barnes & Noble at the Waterfront, 100 West Bridge Street, Homestead, Pa. A percentage of purchases will benefit the Children's School. The event will include CMU musicians, special guest author Dave Crawley of KDKA-TV and storytime with Cara Sapeda of Channel 11 News. Can't attend in person? Visit from Dec. 3-8 and enter Bookfair ID#10515344 at checkout.

Purchase Discounted Tickets to Cultural Trust Events

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is offering students, faculty and staff discounted tickets to several performances in January and February. They include Memphis (Dec. 27-Jan. 1 at Heinz Hall); The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs (Jan. 21 at the Byham Theater); Suite Bill (Jan. 21 at the August Wilson Center); Sean Jones Duets Generations (Jan. 26 at the August Wilson Center); PMT’s Spring Awakening (Jan. 26 – Feb. 6 at the Byham); and Billy Elliot (Jan. 31-Feb. 12 at the Benedum Center). To order tickets, go to and login using the promo code CMU1112 to receive the discount.

"From the Top" Taping Scheduled for Feb. 14

This past weekend, the School of Music hosted auditions for "From The Top with Christopher O'Riley," the popular NPR show that features talented pre-college musicians. "From The Top" is coming to Pittsburgh on Feb. 14 for a live taping of the program. Thirty-four Pittsburgh area young classical musicians between the ages of 8 and 18, including about 15 from the School of Music's Preparatory School, auditioned. Tickets for the 8 p.m., Feb. 14 taping at the Carnegie Music Hall will be available beginning at 9 a.m., Monday, Dec. 5. See the School of Music website for ticket information.

16th Annual Swimming Challenge To Benefit CMU's Swimming Teams

Carnegie Mellon's swimming teams are hosting the 16th annual 1,650 yard swim challenge fundraiser on Sunday, Feb. 26 in the University Center pool. The entry fee is $25 and all proceeds benefit CMU's men's and women's swimming and diving teams. Entries are due Feb. 10. For an entry form, contact Jimmy Goldman at 412-683-0856 or

Bookstore Streamlines Textbook Adoption Process

The Carnegie Mellon Bookstore has a new streamlined textbook adoption process for this year at For a brief tutorial visit For assistance, contact Matt Senvisky 412-268-2967 or or Chris Coleman at 412-268-1033 or

Review Online Directory

Human Resources reminds faculty and staff to review their department and individual information in the Faculty/Staff online directory ( Changes/edits can be made throughout the year. Quick search tip: When searching individuals ( you may use an * as a wild card to search for a partial name. Contact Darlene Scalese with directory questions at

Are You a Notary Public?

Human Resources is updating notary public information listed in the online Faculty/Staff Directory. If you are a notary public and willing to provide notary public services free of charge to employees and students for official university business, and would like to be included in the directory, please send email to Darlene Scalese at and include your name, department, location and phone number.