Carnegie Mellon University

The Piper

CMU Community News

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December 15, 2011

News Briefs

Staff Council Food Drive Collects More Than 4 Tons of Food

This year's food drive, sponsored by Staff Council, collected 8,667 pounds of non-perishable food items and $3,982.90. "Last year had been our largest year for both pounds and dollars, collecting 9,026 pounds and $2,607.90. However, given we were down only 359 pounds of non-perishables, but up $1,375 – and given the Food Bank's 'buying power' – we can certainly boast that, once again, our campus community rose to the occasion to do even better, making this is our best drive ever!" said Food Drive Co-Chair Carole Panno. "On behalf of Staff Council, the Food Drive Committee, and all building and area representatives, THANK YOU to the entire campus community."

Pittsburgh City Paper Includes Miller Gallery in "Best of" Issue

The Pittsburgh Biennial, whose multiple venues include the Miller Gallery, was recognized by the Pittsburgh City Paper in its 2011 Best of Pittsburgh issue. The unprecedented effort to encompass five distinct venues, programmed by curators from each, was named "Best Super-Friends Imitation on the Art Scene" and was called "an ambitious and audacious survey of area artists." Curators for the event included The Carnegie Museum of Art's Dan Byers; The Andy Warhol Museum's Eric Shiner; Astria Suparak, of Carnegie Mellon's Miller Gallery; and Pittsburgh Filmmakers/Pittsburgh Center for the Arts' Adam Welch. This is the second year in a row the Miller Gallery has been recognized following last year's award for its "Watever It Takes" Steelers fan culture exhibition. For more:

'Dark Knight' Preview Coming to Pittsburgh

"The Dark Knight Rises" prologue — the first six minutes of the 2012 movie — will be shown with the documentary "Tornado Alley" at the Carnegie Science Center starting Dec. 16. In a Post-Gazette interview, Ann Metzger announced the booking coup. "We are delghted to provide our visitors, both new and veteran Batman fans, a chance to see the opening sequence of 'The Dark Knight Rises' on a giant screen." The movie will open in theaters July 20, and the first time the prologue is likely to play is at 12:15 p.m., Dec. 16. Parts of the movie were filmed at CMU.

Remember To Close Windows, Check Spaces and Unplug

As a reminder from Facilities Management Services, please check your department's occupied and unoccupied areas to be sure windows are closed and thermostats are set so that pipes will not freeze over the holiday break. Also remove any food trash containers and recycling from office spaces to your department's central location for pickup on Wednesday night, Dec. 21. Devices that create phantom loads can sometimes be recognized because of clocks or lights that continue to operate after the appliance is turned "off." For more information, contact Kyle Tomer at 412-268-6332 or

Snackbot Featured in Good Morning America Promos

ABC News shot video of Carnegie Mellon's snack-delivering robot,  Snackbot, and several students in the Gates Center high bay for use in an upcoming series of promos for Good Morning America. In the spot, Snackbot, developed by Sara Kiesler, Jodi Forlizzi and Paul Rybski, says "Carnegie Mellon Loves Good Morning America" as part of a montage with other Pittsburghers, including Hines Ward. ABC anticipates that the spot will run through the NFL season.

Petitioning for a Smoke-Free Campus

Patrick Coles, a postdoctoral research associate in the Physics Department, has launched an online petition calling for CMU's Pittsburgh campus to be entirely smoke-free, thus eliminating the 34 designated smoking areas. You can access and sign the petition at

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.

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.

CIT Staff Awards To Be Presented Jan. 23

The annual CIT Staff Awards Ceremony & Luncheon will be held at noon, Jan. 23 in the Singleton Room of Roberts Engineering Hall in Pittsburgh and at 9 a.m. in Room 118 on the Silicon Valley campus. Invitations will be sent via campus mail before the holiday break. Please RSVP via the CIT Staff Awards website at by Jan. 13.

Tickets Now on Sale for "From the Top" Taping, Feb. 14

Tickets for the live taping of "From the Top" with host Christopher O'Riley at 8 p.m., Feb. 14 at Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland are now on sale. "From the Top" is the pre-eminent showcase for young musicians heard weekly on WQED-FM 89.3. The popular NPR radio program features the amazing performances and captivating personal stories of extraordinary young classical musicians from across the country. Purchase tickets now.

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

Nominations Open for Graduate Student Awards

The Graduate Student Service and Teaching Award nominations are now open and will be due on Friday, Feb. 10. The committees would greatly appreciate your support in soliciting and submitting nominations of graduate students who have excelled in teaching or service so that their efforts can be recognized by the university community. Nomination information can be found at Awards will be presented on Thursday, April 5, at the "Innovation with Impact: Graduate Student Celebration of Research, Teaching and Service" during Graduate Student Appreciation Week. Recipients will also be recognized at the Celebration of Education on Wednesday, April 25.