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December 20, 2012

Personal Mention

The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) has named Wanda P. Dann, senior systems scientist in the Computer Science Department and director of the Alice Project, as a 2012 Distinguished Educator, one of just six ACM members so honored this year. Dann assumed leadership of the Alice Project in 2008, taking over for the late Randy Pausch. Prior to becoming director, Dann had been an associate professor of computer science at Ithaca College and had collaborated for 10 years with Pausch and the other members of the Alice team, co-authoring a popular textbook for Alice. "This year's Distinguished Members demonstrate the advantages of ACM membership, which empowers self-improvement and inspires a bold vision for the future," said Vinton G. Cerf, president of ACM.

Biomedical and Chemical Engineering Professor Robert D. Tilton, director of the Center for Complex Fluids Engineering, has been elected a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. Tilton, a member of the CMU faculty since 1992, is being recognized for is expertise and leadership in academic medical and biological engineering. Research in Tilton's group addresses biopharmaceutical formulations, microfluidic biotechnologies, and nanotechnologies for environmental remediation, as well as fundamental studies of the influence of surfaces on macromolecular structure, dynamics and function. He will be honored as a fellow at the annual AIMBE event, Feb. 17-19 in Washington, D.C.

Jesse Schell, distinguished professor of the practice at the Entertainment Technology Center and CEO of Schell Games, will be among leaders in the video game industry speaking at the 2013 D.I.C.E. (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) Summit at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Feb. 5-8. Schell will be presenting a follow-up to his provocative 2010 D.I.C.E. session on game development beyond Facebook, also known as Design Outside the Box. D.I.C.E. is hosted by the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences.

Sam Thompson, a senior cornerback and punt returner on the CMU football team, was named first-team Capital One Academic All-American by the College Sports Information Directors of America. Thompson, a mechanical engineering major with a 3.95 grade-point average, was a second-team Academic All-America pick a year ago. Thompson had two punt returns for touchdowns — one a 92-yarder against Wabash College — and ranked fifth nationally with an average of 15.35 yards per return. He was a first-team All-University Athletic Association selection as a cornerback and punt returner. Read more about Thompson.

Fatema Akbar, a senior at Carnegie Mellon Qatar who is a double major in business administration and information systems, recently gave a keynote address to more than 500 education and technology professionals at the Ellucian Live conference in Abu Dhabi. Ellucian, a company that provides software to higher education institutions worldwide, hosts a regional event each year to discuss trends and challenges in education and technology. The theme of the conference was the use of technologies to create dynamic learning communities. Akbar spoke about her experience as a CMU student, how technology is used in the classroom and about her senior research project that is examining the factors that influence people’s acceptance and use of new technologies in an educational environment, specifically in Qatar.

Carnegie Mellon in Qatar students Baljit Singh and Sabih Bin Wasi were members of a team that developed a viable computer assisted language learning (CALL) iPad application in the “Hot Summer, Cool Research” internship program at Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI). The goal for the students’ research project was to develop an eLearning application for the Arabic language using speech and pattern recognition. The students were required to make the application intuitive, interactive and intelligent. They recently presented their final project, titled “Arabia,” to QCRI’s management team and scientists, university faculty and other stakeholders involved in Arabic language technologies efforts in Qatar. Read the full story.


Donald H. Jones, internationally recognized entrepreneur, adjunct professor (1989-2003) and longtime benefactor of the Tepper School of Business, formerly known as GSIA, passed away on December 15, 2012. He was 75 years old. Generations of alumni as well as hundreds of current Tepper School students are familiar with the Donald H. Jones Center for Entrepreneurship as well as its reputation for excellence and innovation in entrepreneurship. He blended insight with philanthropy and helped the school realize its vision for educating entrepreneurs. Read more about his legacy.