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September 06, 2012

News Briefs

Website Can Estimate Your Real Estate Taxes

A new website created by Carnegie Mellon Professor Robert Strauss will allow Allegheny County taxpayers to estimate their 2013 and 2014 real estate tax payments within 2 to 3 percent. This will take most of the uncertainty out of determining tax costs as a result of the county's court-ordered tax reassessments.

The website,, estimates tax payments for every taxable property — more than 550,000 — in Allegheny County, said Strauss, a professor of economics and public policy at the Heinz College. Anybody can enter a property's street address, school district and municipality to see what the 2012, 2013 and 2014 county, municipal and school real estate taxes will be. They also can review tables that show each of the 130 revenue neutral municipal millages and 46 revenue neutral school district millages. Read the full story.

Qatar Celebrates 2016 Convocation

Carnegie Mellon Qatar celebrated the start of the academic year with convocation, a long-standing university tradition. "Class of 2016, welcome – we are delighted to have you. As I start my second year as dean of our Qatar campus, I know that I have made the right decision to come here. So have you," said Ilker Baybars, dean of Carnegie Mellon Qatar. Baybars called on students to "take risks, innovate and follow your passions. Get all you can out of Carnegie Mellon. Go to talks, seminars, and conferences. Participate in our international programs. Become a global citizen." The ceremony began with a traditional procession of faculty members and freshmen students in biological sciences, business administration, computer science and information systems. About 400 family, friends and community members attended. Read more.

CAUSE Partners With Heinz History Center

The Center for Africanamerican Urban Studies and the Economy (CAUSE) has scheduled its 2012-13 Speaker Series in collaboration with the Senator John Heinz History Center. The focus will be on the History Center's upcoming exhibit, "Slavery to Freedom."

Accordingly, this year's CAUSE lectures will highlight the exhibit's main themes, including the history of abolitionism, the Underground Railroad and the impact of 19th century activism on the 20th century civil and human rights movement. Other topics, such as race, crime and modern urban America and African-American politics in the post-civil war era, also will be explored from the country's leading experts on the subjects.

CAUSE will kick off the 2012-13 Speaker Series from 4:30 to 6 p.m., Friday, Sept. 14 in CMU's Alumni Concert Hall in the College of Fine Arts. To RSVP for the CAUSE opening reception, contact Ebony Graham at 412-268-8928 or Learn more about the CAUSE speaker series.

Washington Semester Program Offers Information Sessions

Undergraduates from any course of study who would value firsthand public policy experience are invited to apply to CMU’s Washington Semester Program (WSP), sponsored by the university's Center for International Relations and Politics. In this semester-long program, students live, work and study in Washington, D.C., coming into direct contact with political, business and community leaders, and learning about the most pressing policy issues of the day. Interested students can download a program brochure and application at
WSP information sessions will be held Thursday, Sept. 6; Tuesday, Sept. 11; and Monday, Sept. 24. All sessions will take place from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. in Baker Hall 154R. Refreshments will be provided. All application materials must submitted no later than Oct. 5. For more information contact

Box Cloud Storage Service Now Available

Box Cloud Storage, a new file storage option from Computing Services, is now available for free to all university affiliates. With Box Cloud Storage, you can: access your files from any Web-enabled device, share files with classmates or colleagues or use collaboration tools to edit as a group. CMU Box accounts can be created by visiting Box is the newest of a number of file storage options offered to university affiliates. For a complete listing, visit