Carnegie Mellon University

The Piper

CMU Community News

Piper Logo
December 20, 2012

News Briefs

HCII Launches Master's Program in Learning Science

A new one-year professional master's program in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute will train graduates to apply evidence-based learning science research in re-examining the goals of education and in designing educational technology. The inaugural class of students in the Learning Science and Engineering program will begin in fall 2013. Applications are due Jan. 31, 2013. Read the full story.

Sun Life Financial To Replace MetLife Jan. 1

Effective Jan. 1, 2013, Sun Life Financial will replace MetLife as the provider of all life and disability insurance coverage available through Carnegie Mellon. Benefit levels will not change, and current life insurance and disability coverage amounts will remain the same. And, in no case will any participant pay more in 2013 than he/she paid for the same coverage in 2012. In addition, the university will pay less for basic life and disability insurance for all eligible faculty and staff. In addition to the current coverage participants will have access to three new services from Sun Life: Emergency Travel Assistance provided by Assist America; Identity Theft Protection provided by SecurAssist, an Assist America program; and Online Will Preparation provided by ComPsych.

Plan information, including a benefits booklet, will be provided in February to all eligible employees. Any faculty or staff member required to provide a Statement of Health based on an election for Supplemental or Dependent Life coverage for 2013 during Open Enrollment will receive a Statement of Health directly from Sun Life.

While information about designated beneficiaries will automatically be transferred to Sun Life, this is a good time to review those designations. Questions about life or disability benefits? Contact Jan Provenzano at 412-268-5072 or

Make an Impact: Give to the United Way Today

Tomorrow (Dec. 21) is the deadline to support Carnegie Mellon's United Way Campaign. Your gift can be directed to specific health and human services organizations supported by the United Way or you can choose to give to the Impact Fund, which addresses the most critical needs in the community. You can search for an organization's United Way agency code and make your pledge at

A contribution of any size makes an impact to those in need. For more information about CMU's United Way Campaign, contact Megan Worbs at

Electrical Shutdowns Scheduled for Scott Hall Construction

From 11 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 20, until 7 a.m., Friday, Dec. 21, there will be electrical shutdowns in Hunt Library; Skibo Gym, the College of Fine Arts building; Margaret Morrison Carnegie Hall; Posner Hall; GSIA; Posner Center; Boss, McGill, Scobell and Hamerschlag residence halls; and the Margaret Morrison Apartments and Plaza. Hunt Library will have no power the entire eight-hour period (11 p.m. – 7 a.m.), and power in Skibo Gym and CFA will be off for two to three hours during the time period. Each of the other buildings will first experience a two- to three-hour outage and then a second 30-minute outage to test the transfers.

The shutdowns are necessary to prepare for the first phase of construction for Scott Hall.  Questions should be directed to Kyle Tomer at 412-268-6332 or or to Marty Altschul at 412-268-2529 or

Network Maintenance Scheduled

Computing Services will be performing maintenance work to the university’s wired and wireless networks in multiple buildings between 5 and 8 a.m., Dec. 21 through Jan. 10. The work may cause intermittent loss of access to email, Web browsing and other network-dependent services. The building schedule is as follows:

  • Dec. 21: 6555 Penn Ave., Hunt Library and 4615 Forbes
  • Dec. 26: Baker and Porter halls
  • Dec. 27: CFA and SEI
  • Jan. 2: Wean Hall and Margaret Morrison Carnegie Hall
  • Jan. 3: Wean Hall, Hamburg Hall, Scaife Hall, Bramer House, Smith Hall, Warner Hall, Collaborative Innovation Center and Whitfield Hall
  • Jan. 4: Wean Hall, University Center, Hamburg Hall, Newell-Simon Hall, Doherty Hall and GSIA
  • Jan. 7: UTDC and East Campus Parking Garage
  • Jan. 8: Gates Hillman centers, Purnell Center, Mellon Institute, Doherty Hall and PTC
  • Jan. 9: Hammershlag House, FMS, Mellon Institute and Doherty Hall
  • Jan. 10: Skibo Gym, 300 South Craig and Mellon Institute

Please direct any questions or comments to the Computing Services Help Center (412-268-HELP or or to your departmental administrator or DSP consultant.

Women’s Mentoring Program Seeks Participants

The Barbara Smith Women Supporting Women Committee is seeking participants
 for its 2013 Mentor Program for Women Staff. The program is designed to facilitate supportive relationships by matching women who are willing to act as mentors with those who
 wish to be mentored. Mentor relationships are expected to center on 
professional interests and aspirations, including but not limited to
 career advancement, educational opportunities and job related issues.
 Since 1994 the project has matched more than 300 women with mentors.

Individuals are matched based on the experience of mentors and the needs of those being 
mentored. If you would like to participate in this 
program as a mentor or mentee, please fill out an information sheet and 
return it by tomorrow, Dec. 21. Every effort is made to 
accommodate all interested individuals, however, this is a volunteer 
activity and sometimes the pool of mentors and those who wish to be
 mentored does not match, either by number or by area of expertise.

To participate in the Barbara Smith Women’s Mentoring Program, go to and download the easy-to-complete 
information sheet. Completed forms with a copy of your resume should be 
sent to Pattye Stragar at

Miller Gallery Holiday Sale Runs Through Dec. 23

The Miller Gallery Store holiday sale offers T-shirts, videos, stuffed toys, booklets and more by The Yes Men, Justseeds, subRosa and others. Enjoy 20 percent off games, stationery and select publications and posters from previous exhibitions, featuring Dee Briggs, Nancy Crow, Joyce Kozloff, Patricia Maurides, George Nakashima and more. In store and online stock vary slightly. Browse online at The Miller Gallery is open from noon – 6 p.m., Tuesday – Sunday through Dec. 23. The current exhibition is Imperfect Health: The Medicalization of Architecture. Read about it at

CMU-Rwanda Accepting Student Applications

Carnegie Mellon in Rwanda is now accepting applications for its Master of Science in Information Technology (MSIT) degree program for the 2013-14 academic year. The 16-month MSIT program in Kigali, Rwanda, delivers expertise to students in practice and theory. Students develop expertise in programming, networking and information security. They design and create mobile applications and products, learn how to leverage broadband Internet and cloud computing, and explore areas of business management, including market analysis, strategic business planning and entrepreneurship. CMU-Rwanda’s inaugural MSIT class this year is made up of 26 students. Read more about CMU-Rwanda at

Roberts Road and Sidewalk Closed During Construction Project

Two separate sections of sidewalk along Roberts Road will be removed, closing the sidewalk and center door along the road to Roberts Hall through Jan. 6. The center door will be available for emergency exit only.  Detour signs will be posted at the south and north ends of the sidewalk.
Robert Roads will be closed on weekends throughout December. The schedule for closings is as follows:

  • 7 a.m., Saturday to 5 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 22 - 23, Dec. 29 - 30 and Jan. 5-6.

The contractor will trench across Roberts Road for a new duct bank and steel plating will be installed for weekday traffic.

Students Deliver NOOK Accessibility Application

Software Engineering graduate students Neha Sinha, Sheng-Hao Tsao and Xiao Pan’s summer practicum with Barnes & Noble has resulted in the recent release of NOOK for iOS 3.3 with Accessibility in the iOS app store. The team’s work on accessibility, including support for Apple’s VoiceOver feature, headlined the new features of the iOS update. The app, which is free and works on iPad, iPhone and iPod touch devices has already garnered positive reviews for its innovative approach to improving ease-of-access to e-books for the visually impaired. The students conducted the work at the Silicon Valley campus as part of a course in which students work for a Silicon Valley client for their capstone project. The team, advised by faculty member Edward Katz, joined with the Barnes & Noble Digital Products Team to address accessibility issues in the NOOK and was led by Tom Terrill, engineering manager at NOOK and a CMU Silicon Valley Software Engineering graduate in 2008. Read the full story.