Carnegie Mellon University

The Piper

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May 17, 2012

Personal Mention

Carnegie Mellon physicist Rachel Mandelbaum was awarded a five-year, $750,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to study the elusive dark matter and dark energy that make up the majority of the universe. Mandelbaum, an assistant professor of physics and a member of the Bruce and Astrid McWilliams Center for Cosmology, is one of 68 researchers nationwide to receive funding from the DOE's Early Career Research Program this year. Read the full story.

Head of Science Libraries Matt Marsteller has been elected to a three-year term, beginning this July, as Vice Chair-Chair Elect of the Association of College and Research Libraries' (ACRL) Science & Technology Section (STS). The ACRL/STS provides a national forum for 1,400 librarians in scientific and technical subject fields. 

Prashanth Balasubramaniam, a rising junior computer science major, has received one of 30 Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Engineering Fellowships, which pairs exceptional students from across the U.S. with innovative startups in Silicon Valley. This summer Balasubramaniam will work for Klout, a San Francisco-based company that provides social media analytics to measure a user’s influence across his or her social network on a scale of 0-100.  To complement the work experience, KPCB Fellows will be invited to exclusive events hosted by KPCB-funded companies, where they can network with other students and technology luminaries and explore the San Francisco Bay area. KPCB is a world-leading venture capital firm in Silicon Valley. Ray Lane, chairman of Carnegie Mellon’s Board of Trustees, is a managing partner of KPCB.  Read more about the program at

Chriss Swaney, media relations director for CMU’s College of Engineering, has won an Association of Marketing and Communciation Professionals 2012 Platinum Hermes Award for her "Meet the Press-No Geek Speak." The 42-page booklet is part of a CIT campaign to help train engineering faculty about how the media work. Swaney won the first-place award in the writing/publications category competing against 4,700 entries from corporate and nonprofit institutions nationwide.

Senior English and Social and Decision Sciences major Yulin Kuang, who will graduate on Sunday, took the $15,000 first prize at the 2012 Steeltown Film Factory Competition this past weekend. Kuang’s script, titled “Perils of Growing Up Flat Chested,” is a screenplay about a high school girl named Katya. “This is a story I feel particularly compelled to tell, mostly because 16-year-old me needs to hear it,” Kuang told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Something I couldn’t have known then was that the horrible agonies of adolescence would be useful to me in a few years; that insecurities I had about my chest size, my acne, my total lack of coolness could be exploited for the sake of comedy and screenwriting.” Kuang will use the prize money this summer to make her short film. Read the story in the Post-Gazette.

Jai Pausch (S'88), wife of the late Randy Pausch, has authored a new book titled “Dream New Dreams: Reimagining My Life After Loss,” which gives a look at her life through Randy’s diagnosis, treatment and death. "I first started writing it for me. For that person who had started off in this process of being a caretaker. Starting on this journey and looking back and thinking what I know now that I could pass on to her,” Jai told ABC News. For more on the book and a video interview with Jai, go to

For the second consecutive year, Ian Bangor of the men's golf team was named to the 2012 PING Mid-Atlantic Region team by the Golf Coaches Association of America. This year, Bangor, a sophomore, led the team in scoring with a 76.2 average, posting four victories, seven top three finishes and eight top 10 finishes. In the final outing of the season, the Tartans' Annual Spring Invitational at Longue Vue Country Club, Bangor shot a one-over-par 71 for his sixth career victory to become the team's all-time leader in wins. Bangor's father, Paul, was an award-winning golfer for the Tartans in the 1980s.

Rich Lyons, a dedicated Copy Centers service technician for more than 25 years, died Monday, May 14, after a brief battle with cancer. He was 55. Lyons was well known by many at CMU as he serviced copy machines in many departments across campus. "We will all miss him greatly as he was not just our co-worker but good friend as well," said Ryan Wolfe, director of Campus Services.