Carnegie Mellon University

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November 29, 2012

Personal Mention

Michael Rusinek, principal clarinet for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) and a School of Music Artist Lecturer, will be the featured soloist at the PSO’s BNY Mellon Grand Classics concerts this weekend at Heinz Hall. The concerts will be at 8 p.m., Friday, Nov. 30 and 2:30 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 2. Rusinek will perform Mozart’s "Clarinet Concerto" on the basset clarinet, marking the first time this work is heard in Pittsburgh on the original instrument for which it was composed. Also, enjoy Tchaikovsky’s "Symphony No. 4" and PSO Composer of the Year Mason Bates' "Mothership." CMU student tickets start at $15 and faculty and staff tickets start at $20. To purchase tickets, visit

Burton Hollifield, a professor of financial economics at the Tepper School of Business, has been chosen as the first recipient of the PNC Professorship in Finance. The newly created faculty chair has been made possible through an endowment by the PNC Foundation to recognize excellence in teaching and sustained achievements in developing impactful research for the financial community. Hollifield joined the faculty at Carnegie Mellon in 1998 and has become highly regarded as a teacher in finance and investments, and as a researcher on a wide range of topics impacting world markets and financial institutions. His recent research has examined the term-structure of interest rates, the mortgage market and trading in over-the-counter financial markets. Hollifield received the 2009 George Leland Bach Teaching Award by the Tepper School’s graduating MBA class, and the Tepper School’s 2007 Business Teaching Award, bestowed by the school’s undergraduate teaching program. He received his master’s degree and Ph.D. in financial economics at Carnegie Mellon in 1989 and 1992, respectively.

Jeannette Wing has announced she will step down as head of the Computer Science Department (CSD) to join Microsoft Research in January. She will be vice president and head of Microsoft Research International, with responsibilities for research laboratories in Bangalore, India; Cambridge, UK; and Beijing, China. A leading figure in computer science research, particularly in formal methods, security and privacy, Wing joined the CMU faculty in 1985 and served in several academic leadership positions before becoming head of CSD in 2004.  "Jeannette has been an important contributor to computer science at CMU," said Randy Bryant, dean of the School of Computer Science. "Needless to say, we will miss Jeannette's energy and thoughtful leadership, but all of us wish her the best at Microsoft. I thank her for her many contributions to Carnegie Mellon." Read the full story.

Assistant Professor of Music Theory Richard Randall recently spoke to the  Northeast Music Cognition Group at Boston University. Randall's talk addressed the topic of "Magnetoencephalography in Music Cognition Research," which he lectured on earlier this year at the Listening Spaces Symposium and Workshop at CMU. Randall also has been invited to present a guest lecture at the Saxifrage School in Pittsburgh, titled "Experiencing Music in the 21st Century." 

Emeritus Professor of Physics Luc Berger has been named a winner of the 2013 Oliver E. Buckley Condensed Matter Prize by the American Physical Society (APS). The prestigious prize recognizes and encourages outstanding theoretical or experimental contributions to condensed-matter physics and is awarded for a highly important contribution to the advancement of knowledge in the field. For Berger and co-winner John Slonczewski, IBM research staff emeritus, that advancement was independently "predicting spin-transfer torque and opening the field of current-induced control over magnetic nanostructures." Fred Gilman, dean of the Mellon College of Science, said Berger is "richly deserving" of the honor. "Luc has made groundbreaking contributions to our understanding of the behavior of magnetic materials," Gilman said. Read the full story.

Internationally recognized artist and games designer Paolo Pedercini has accepted a full-time tenure-track faculty position with the School of Art. A Fine Foundation Visiting Professor with the electronic and time-based media area since 2009, Pedercini's work bridges the art world and the most forward-looking fringes of the game industry and academia, according to Head of the School of Art John Carson. His appointment, Carson said, signals the deepening relationship in society today among art, computer science, activism and media literacy — and the new directions the combination of any and all may take. "What makes Paolo special is that his games pose difficult questions not only about the society in which we live, but also the very industry and medium of video games themselves," Carson continued. "His approach positions games as a form of art, as well as a vehicle for critical perspective. Academia, the gaming industry, and the art world all need practitioners, thinkers and activists like Paolo." Read the full story.

Chemical Engineering Professor Ignacio Grossmann received the Luis Federico Leloir Award from Argentina's Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation on Nov. 23 in the Palacio de San Martin in Buenos Aires. Grossmann was given the award for his collaborations with Argentinean researchers in process systems engineering, and for strengthening their scientific and technological capabilities. Other recipients of this award included researchers in the areas of physics, nanotechnology, medicine, biology, oceanography and geology.

Kiron Skinner, associate professor of social and decision sciences, director of CMU’s Center for International Relations and Politics (CIRP) and the university’s national security adviser, recently wrote an opinion piece that was published in The New York Times. The piece, “Win Over the Blacks Via the Military,” appeared in a section on “What’s Next for the GOP?” During the presidential campaign, Skinner served as an adviser to Mitt Romney.

Kathy M. Newman, associate professor of English, wrote a post for the Working Class Perspectives blog titled “Restoring Traditional America.” In the piece, Newman finds comparisons to President Obama’s tax plans and the features of the working class of the 1950s and '60s.

Onur Mutlu, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, has received the prestigious 2012 Intel Early Career Faculty Award for outstanding research and educational contributions in the field of computer architecture. Mutlu is working to develop computer systems that are more efficient, resilient, predictable and economical. He directs the SAFARI research group at CMU, which is developing microprocessors, computer memories and platforms that can efficiently and reliably store, manipulate and communicate massive amounts of data. Read more about Mutlu.