Carnegie Mellon University

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CMU Community News

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February 21, 2013

News Briefs

Whittaker Leads NASA Study To Keep Rovers Rolling

William "Red" Whittaker, director of Carnegie Mellon's Field Robotics Center and CEO of Astrobotic Technology Inc., will lead a NASA-funded study to figure out how robots such as the Mars rover Curiosity can avoid getting stuck in sinking sand or similarly hazardous terrain. The study is one of eight advanced robotics projects funded by NASA as part of the Obama administration's National Robotics Initiative (NRI). Carnegie Mellon and Astrobotic each were awarded contracts of $249,000 and $512,000, respectively, from NASA for their portions of the study. Read more.

C-MITES Weekend Workshops To Begin

Registration is open for the Carnegie Mellon Institute for Talented Elementary and Secondary Students (C-MITES) Weekend Workshops. The workshops — half day and full day classes — will be held in March, April and May for students in grades K-10. Classes include Bubbleology, Write Your Own Web Page and Guts of the Matter: Dissection. Classes are offered at Carnegie Mellon, Winchester Thurston North in Allison Park and in two locations near Philadelphia.

Visit for more information or to register online. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis and financial aid is available.

C-MITES has offered challenging and fun classes for academically talented students for 20 years. For more information, visit or call the C-MITES office at 412-268-1629 ext. 1.

Children's School Hosts Family Water Festival

Carnegie Mellon's Children's School is hosting a Family Wonders of Water Festival for its families from 4:30 - 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 28. Participants will learn about water filtration, explore the various properties of water through water play, and participate in water experiments and water art.  Attendees will discover how water is necessary to keep our bodies clean and healthy.

You can help those who need water by donating to the school's "Build a Well" project through at Donors will be entered into a raffle for two tickets to a Pittsburgh Penguins hockey game.  The evening will end with a tour of the CMU pool complete with swimming and diving demonstrations by the CMU Swim Team and a family swim from 6:30 – 9 p.m.

Roberts Road To Close for Scott Hall Utility Work

Campus Design and Facilities Development (CDFD) is scheduling two separate shutdowns of Roberts Drive for the last week of February and two weeks in mid-March to accommodate utility work for Scott Hall. Roberts Drive will be closed at the top near Scaife Hall and at the bottom at the west end of Wean Hall by the FMS pedestrian bridge. During these times, there will be no thru traffic or access to the four parking spaces at the lower Hamerschlag lot adjacent to the nitrogen tank.

Here are the specifics:

  • Underground utility work will begin Feb. 25 thru March 1, closing vehicle and pedestrian access to Roberts Drive from Scaife Hall to Wean Hall.
  • Roberts Drive will reopen from March 4 to March 11.
  • From March 11 thru March 22 Roberts Drive will be closed to complete this phase of underground utility work. There will be no vehicle and pedestrian access to Roberts Drive from Scaife Hall to Wean Hall. 
  • Access to the Roberts Hall loading dock will be maintained.
  • Roberts Drive will not be open on weekends.
  • Pedestrian access from Wean/FMS bridge to Roberts Hall and Hamerschlag Hall will not be permitted during the above road closures.

Additional information can be found at

Bakery Square Parking at a Premium 

CMU staff working at Bakery Square may need to find alternative parking soon. Pittsburgh City Council, acting in response to a petition from area residents and several community meetings, has approved the implementation of residential permit parking for select streets in the Point Breeze and North Point Breeze neighborhoods, effective March 1. Area residents urged council to make the move because the growing workforce at Bakery Square has rendered daytime street parking largely inaccessible for them.

Starting March 1, those parking on the affected streets will be subject to parking tickets. The affected streets are:

  • North Linden Avenue, from McPherson Boulevard to Penn Avenue;
  • Thomas Boulevard, from Fifth Avenue to North Linden Avenue;
  • Fifth Avenue, from Beechwood Boulevard to Penn Avenue;
  • Hastings Street, from Fifth Avenue to Selwyn Street;
  • Elysian Street, from Fifth Avenue to Selwyn Street;
  • and Conover Road, from Hastings Street to Juniata Place.

The closest CMU parking lot to Bakery Square is at 6555 Penn Avenue, however the university provides shuttle service to Bakery Square.

For information on the shuttle service, go to

For information on Carnegie Mellon permit parking and alternative transportation options, go to

For information regarding public transportation to Bakery Square, visit the Port Authority at

Credit Union Offers Special Rate

Carnegie Mellon’s Credit Union is offering a loan special through March 31. Take advantage of the promotional fixed rate of 7.50% APR and pay off those higher interest rate credit cards. Borrow up to $10,000 for a maximum term of 48 months.

Loan Amount / Maximum Term:
$2,500-$5,000 / 36 Months
$5,001-$10,000 / 48 Months

Save a Life: AED Training Classes Scheduled

Two AED training classes have been scheduled for those who have never had the training or for those whose certifications have expired or are about to expire. The classes are:

  • March 15, 10 a.m., Rangos 1, University Center
  • April 12, 10 a.m., Dowd Room, University Center

To register, go to and click on the Training tab at the top of the page, then go to AED Training.  The link to the registration page is at the end of the course description. The classes are open to all students, faculty and staff. Class sizes are limited, so register early.

Recruiting TODSTW Presenters and Volunteers

The Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Staff Council committee is now recruiting presenters and volunteers for Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day on Thursday, April 25. This annual program gives staff and faculty children between the ages of 8 and 15 an opportunity to see a wide range of career and learning opportunities at Carnegie Mellon.
If you would like more information or would like to be included as a possible presenter in 2013, please contact Alicia Angemeer at by March 22. If you would like to volunteer at the event, please contact Gloria Gruber at