Carnegie Mellon University

The Piper

CMU Community News

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November 08, 2012

News Briefs

Open Enrollment for Benefits Ends Monday

The deadline for CMU employees to select their health care benefits for 2013 is noon, Monday, Nov 12. Employees can select their options for next year using the HR Connection website.

Staff Council recently held its annual Benefits Open Forum, in which Mary Oler, director of benefits, and her team from Human Resources gave an overview of the changes for 2013. If you were unable to attend the forum, you can download Oler's powerpoint slides.

Questions should be directed to Human Resources at 412-268-2047 or Read more about Open Enrollment.

Food Drive Ends Friday

There is still time to donate to Carnegie Mellon's 19th annual Food Drive, driven by Staff Council. The drive, which benefits the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, ends tomorrow, Friday, Nov. 9. Look for collection bins or boxes in your area or building. You also can find two blue collection barrels on the first floor of the University Center.

Last year, CMU enjoyed its most successful drive collecting 8,667 pounds of non-perishable items and $3,982.90. Please help us surpass last year’s totals and ensure even more families have an enjoyable Thanksgiving. If you'd like to make a monetary donation, please make your check payable to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.

Questions? Contact Staff Council Food Drive Committee Chair Carole Panno at

Global Entrepreneurship Week is Nov. 12-16

Carnegie Mellon’s fourth annual Global Entrepreneurship Week (Nov. 12-16) features a series of events celebrating CMU’s entrepreneurial and innovative culure. Events include a panel discussion with young entrepreneurs, an elevator pitch competition, a panel discussion about the worst startup mistakes, a startup job fair, a social entrepreneur luncheon and a social innovation showcase. Read more about these events on the GEW website or join the conversation on Facebook.

GEW is sponsored by CMU spinoff Duolingo in partnership with CMU’s Donald H. Jones Center for Entrepreneurship, the Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Club, the Institute for Social Innovation, Project Olympus, the SCS Entrepreneurship Club, ScottyLabs and the Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Club. The Donald H. Jones Center and Project Olympus are part of Greenlighting Startups, a portfolio of six campus incubators uniquely designed to speed CMU faculty and student innovations from the research lab to the marketplace. CMU’s entrepreneurial culture has helped to create more than 300 companies and 9,000 jobs over the past 15 years.  Read more about Greenlighting Startups.

Two CMU Research Projects To Appear on NOVA scienceNOW

On Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 10 p.m. EST, the PBS show NOVA scienceNOW "What Will the Future Look Like?" will feature two Carnegie Mellon research projects. Professors Marcel Just and Tom Mitchell will discuss their thought identification research, which applies machine-learning techniques to brain imaging data to identify the contents of an individual’s thoughts of concrete objects. For the episode, host and New York Times technology columnist David Pogue visited CMU's Scientific Imaging and Brain Research (SIBR) Center and went through various "mind reading " experiments to demonstrate how the process works, including an experimental demo that had the brain analysis computer correctly identify Pogue's thoughts without any type of visual or other stimulation — something that was done for the very first time for the cameras. The episode will also profile Assistant Professor Adrien Treuille and feature EteRNA, his research project that taps online game play to explore RNA design. EteRNA was the first online game to tap the wisdom of the crowd and test the results in a wet lab. Treuille leads the project with Rhiju Das, an assistant professor at Stanford, and Jeehyung Lee, a CMU Ph.D. student.

Pittsburgh Parking Authority Seeks Your Feedback

The Pittsburgh Parking Authority is interested in your feedback on the new multi-space pay by license plate meters. Visit the Oakland Transportation Management Association website to take the survey. The new system has been installed in Oakland, the South Side and North Shore, with installation downtown slated in a few weeks. For more information, please contact Anthony Boule at 412-560-2514 or

Abandoned Bicycles To Be Removed Nov. 8-9

University Police and Facilities Management Services will be removing abandoned bicycles from the main Pittsburgh campus today and tomorrow, Thursday and Friday, Nov. 8-9. University Police identified and tagged the abandoned bikes last week. Those abandoned bikes that are deemed to be operational will be stored on campus for six months. Owners seeking to claim their bikes should contact University Police at 412-268-2323. Non-operational bikes and bike parts will be donated to Free Ride.

Shop To Support CMU Children’s School

Shop at Ten Thousand Villages, 5824 Forbes Ave., in Squirrel Hill from 6 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 15 and a percentage of your purchase will be donated to the Carnegie Mellon Children’s School Scholarship Fund. The Children’s School is an early childhood laboratory school at the Pittsburgh campus that is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. The school offers morning or afternoon preschool and full-day kindergarten programs for children between the ages of 3 and 6.

Dowd-ICES Fellows To Present Research

On Monday, Nov. 19, the College of Engineering and the Institute for Complex Engineered Systems will showcase the research of the 2011 and 2012 Dowd-ICES fellows, as well as the educational research conducted by B. Erik Ydstie, professor of chemical engineering, during his year as the 2011 Dowd Teaching Fellow. The event will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Singleton Room, Roberts Hall, with a reception immediately following. The fellowships are supported by an endowment from Philip L. Dowd (E’63) and Marsha Dowd. Since the fellowship program was created in 2001, 37 graduate students and 15 faculty members from the College of Engineering have benefited as recipients. Graduate students presenting including 2011 fellows Katherine Hess (ME), Quentin Jallerat (BME), Prahlad Menon (BME), and Zonghui Su (ME) and 2012 fellows Amin Aghaei (CEE), Jennifer Hayden (BME), Gagan Srivastava (ME), and Dinghuan Zhu (ECE).

Housing and Dining Conducts Food Services Customer Survey

As part of Carnegie Mellon's ongoing efforts to ensure that its dining services are meeting or exceeding your needs, Housing and Dining Services is once again conducting the National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS) Customer Satisfaction Survey through Nov. 11. On Monday, Oct. 29, you should have received an email from Housing and Dining that contained your unique identifier for the survey. Details on the survey can be found by visiting All participants will have an opportunity to win prizes such as free food from the campus dining locations or a gift certificate to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse (donated by the campus vending company AVI Food Systems). Survey participants are encouraged to take the survey for the dining locations they frequent. The feedback will help identify strengths and areas for improvement. Questions can be directed to or 412-268-9178.

Alumni Association Seeks Service Award Nominations

The Alumni Association is currently accepting nominations in the service categories for alumni and students through Dec. 1, 2012, to be awarded at the 2013 Alumni Awards. An online nomination form, list of current and previous award recipients, and descriptions of the award categories can be found at If you are unable to submit your packet before the deadline, it will be filed for the 2014 award selections. For more information, please contact us at 1-800-226-8258 or

Presenters Needed for Daughters and Sons To Work Day

Staff Council is looking for individuals and groups who would like to present or lead an activity at Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day on Thursday, April 25, 2013. This annual program gives staff and faculty children between the ages of 8 and 15 an opportunity to see the wide range of career and learning opportunities that Carnegie Mellon can offer them. Each activity or presentation will be visited by two groups of about 25-30 students for a repeating 20-minute presentation. The total time commitment is approximately 1 and ½ hours. If you would like more information or would like to be included as a possible presenter or volunteer in 2013, please contact Alicia Angemeer at

Planning on Quitting Smoking?

UPMC seeks healthy smokers between the ages of 18 and 65 who are planning to quit smoking for a four-week research study on the short term effects of a medication on smoking behavior, craving and mood. The medication, Fenofibrate, is FDA-approved for lipid-lowering and may reduce smoking. You will be asked to take the study medication, which may or may not contain the active component for nine days. Although this study is not a treatment trial, everyone who completes the study will be offered brief counseling and Zyban (bupropion) at no cost after the study is over to help them quit permanently. This is not a treatment study, but research study participants will be compensated. For more information, visit or call 412-246-5306.

EH&S Offers AED Training

Environmental Health & Safety has scheduled an additional Automated External Defibrillator (AED) training class for those who are interested in updating their certification, or for anyone who has never had the training. The class is:

  • 10 am – noon, Nov. 21, Connan Room, UC

The class will last about two hours and include training in CPR. To register, go to, click on the Training tab at the top of the page, then click on AED Training. At the end of the course description is a link to the registration page.

CMU has 65 AEDs at various locations on campus. These devices are to be used on anyone whose heart is in fibrillation, or who has gone into cardiac arrest. They have saved lives.

Alumni Association Board Seeks New Members

The Alumni Association Board (AAB) seeks nominations for their 2013 class. They will elect five new members to serve four-year terms beginning July 1, 2013, and strive to balance the board along a number of dimensions such as college affiliation, year of graduation, gender, ethnicity and geographic representation. In addition, the board gives particular weight to the depth and breadth of the nominee's current and previous volunteer experiences, in particular those with CMU. To view the AAB Frequently Asked Questions and access the AAB Nomination Form, visit Questions? Contact Lynn DeFabio at The deadline for nominations is Nov. 30.