Carnegie Mellon University

The Piper

CMU Community News

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May 03, 2012

Personal Mention

Chuck Thorpe has been named senior vice president and provost at Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y., effective July 10. Thorpe is a former head of the Robotics Institute and the founding dean of Carnegie Mellon Qatar (2004-2010). “We at Carnegie Mellon wish Chuck Thorpe much success at Clarkson University. In all of his roles at CMU since joining the faculty in 1984, he has proven himself over and over as a visible and approachable leader who encourages collaboration and problem-solving. He has left a lasting imprint on the CMU Robotics Institute and our campus in Qatar,” said CMU President Jared L. Cohon. In a December 2009 email to the university community announcing Thorpe’s decision to step down as dean of Carnegie Mellon Qatar, Provost and Executive Vice President Mark Kamlet praised Thorpe for overseeing an “extraordinary set of changes and transformations” at CMU’s Education City campus. He noted the increase in the number of students and staff, degree programs, course offerings and outreach activities within the community. “To those who visit the campus now, it is doubtless hard to imagine how far we have come in the past six years. Chuck has been instrumental in every one of these developments. In this role, he always displayed a sense of optimism and patience that was both infectious and motivating,” Kamlet said. Read the announcement from Clarkson University.

Luis von Ahn, the A. Nico Habermann Associate Professor of Computer Science, has won the Association for Computing Machinery's Grace Murray Hopper Award for his work enabling humans and computers to work together to solve problems that neither humans nor computers could solve alone. The Google-sponsored award, which includes a $35,000 prize, recognizes the outstanding young computer professional of the year. He will receive the award at the ACM Awards Banquet June 16 in San Francisco. Von Ahn pioneered methods he originally called "human computation" but now are known as crowdsourcing. For instance, he created Games with a Purpose, which harness human gameplay to tackle challenging problems beyond the current capability of computers, such as image recognition. Read the full story.

Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Radu Marculescu, Ph.D. alumnus Umit Ogras (currently with Intel Corporation) and post-doc Paul Bogdan have earned the 2011 Donald O. Peterson Best Paper Award for their paper, "An Analytical Approach for Network-on-Chip Performance Analysis." The award, sponsored by the IEEE Council on Electronic Design Automation, recognizes the best paper published in Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems. Read the full story.

Don Carter, director of CMU’s Remaking Cities Institute, will be a guest on WQED-TV’s “Pittsburgh 360” at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, May 3.  The topic of the program is healthy communities. For more on the program, go to

Judith Hallinen, assistant vice provost for educational outreach and director of the Leonard Gelfand Center for Service Learning and Outreach, will appear on “Our Region’s Business” with host Bill Flanagan at 11 a.m., Sunday, May 6 on WPXI-TV. Hallinen will be discussing the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), the world’s largest pre-college science competition that will bring to Pittsburgh more than 1,500 high school students from 65 countries May 13-18. Hallinen, who is in charge of the Local Arrangements Committee, said Carnegie Mellon will be involved in many ways, including judging, interpreting, presenting special awards, and hosting an Expo table and campus tours for students. The public is invited to attend the fair from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m., Thursday, May 17 at the David Lawrence Convention Center. Student finalists will be presenting their projects from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. that day.  Read more about the fair at “Our Region’s Business” is rebroadcast on PCNC-TV at 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday and 3:30 p.m. on the subsequent Monday.

Wendy Arons, associate professor in the School of Drama, published the book "Readings in Performance and Ecology" (co-edited with Theresa J. May), Palgrave Macmillan 2012, and delivered a plenary talk on celebrity in 18th century Germany at the annual American Society for Theatre Research Conference.  She will be hosting the third "Earth Matters on Stage Festival & Symposium" at CMU from May 31-June 3 ( and has been invited to be a member of the creative development team for Hiawatha Project's new play "Helicopter Parents Anonymous," written and directed by Anya Martin and produced and designed by Michelle Carello.

Following the 2009 revival of Fortunato Depero’s famous "Balli Plastici" in digital version, Franco Sciannameo, director of the BXA Intercollege Degree Programs, and his team of students at the Entertainment Technology Center (ETC), Noah Alzayer, Chengfu Chen, Dong Kan, Steven Jones, Maria Tartaglia, Mohit Sadhu, Paola Soriano, and MZ Zhang will present in DVD format Depero’s ballet "Anihccam del 3000" at Casa d’Arte Futurista Depero in Rovereto, Italy, on May 2. Read the full story.  On May 3, Sciannameo will present "Scelsi as Subject-in-Process and Subject-on-Trial: A Seminar at Carnegie Mellon University" as part of the series "Notes from the Archives" promoted by Fondazione Isabella Scelsi in Rome. Sciannameo will discuss the reactions of a group of CMU students at their first listening to the music of Giacinto Scelsi and their reflections about the composer’s personality and philosophical ideas. On May 5, Sciannameo will meet in Rome with Oscar-winning composer Ennio Morricone to discuss the making of a new book on the film "The Mission" (1984) for the Scarecrow Press’ renowned "Film Scores Guides."

Reza Vali, associate professor of composition in the School of Music, has been invited to Costa Rica to participate in the Contempo 2012 Festival in San Juan, where his composition "Kismet" (Calligraphy No. 7) for multiple flutes will receive its Latin American premiere, performed by Gabriel Goñi, on May 2 and May 3. While in Costa Rica, Vali will be giving lectures at the Escuela de Artes Musicales about composing for indigenous instruments and will demonstrate his work "Toward that Endless Plain, Concerto for Persian Ney and Orchestra."

Junior computer science majors Sidra Alam and Hanan Mohammed Alshikhabobakr, who are studying at the Qatar campus, are among 40 women who were chosen this year in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region to receive 2012 Anita Borg Memorial Scholarships. The students will receive a scholarship equivalent to 7,000 euros and an invitation to an all-expenses-paid Google Scholars' Retreat, which will be held in Zurich, Switzerland, June 17-20. Read the full story.

Kathy M. Newman, associate professor of English, wrote a piece for the Working-Class Perspectives blog on how slapstick comedies portray the working class. Read more at

Curt Stone, an executive-in-residence and the founder and former director of the QoLT Foundry, died suddenly on April 26. Stone, 50, was a highly inventive, seasoned medical device industry entrepreneur with 25 years experience in finance, product development, business development, strategic relationships, marketing and sales. At the QoLT Foundry, part of the Quality of Life Technology Center, he identified, evaluated and advanced technology for near-term commercial opportunities. Read more about Stone.