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February 04, 2013

CMU Among Global Leaders at World Economic Forum

By Heidi Opdyke

CassellFor the third straight year, Carnegie Mellon was at the table with global business, government and academic leaders discussing ideas to improve the world.

At this year's World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, from Jan. 23-27, CMU President Jared L. Cohon and the Charles M. Geschke Director of the Human-Computer Interaction Institute Justine Cassell participated in a number of sessions. Also there on behalf of Carnegie Mellon was former Computer Science Department Head Jeannette Wing.

Cohon participated in a panel discussion titled "The Disruptive University," which considered how new models of collaboration with and among universities are spurring innovation.

Cassell was part of panel discussions titled "STEM + ART = STEAM" and "Man versus Machine." Head of the WEF's Global Agenda Council on Robotics and Smart Devices, Cassell also moderated a panel titled "Shared History."

Wing served on a panel regarding "Decoding the Digital Gender Divide" and presented an "IdeasLab" session called "Reinforcing Critical Infrastructure with Cyber Experts." She also discussed computational thinking in a talk titled "An Insight, An Idea with Jeannette Wing." A webcast of the talk is available at

CMU hosted a private breakfast on the topic of harnessing big data. Carnegie Mellon's Noah Smith, the Finmeccanica Associate Professor of Language Technologies and Machine Learning, and members of Cognizant Technology Solutions, where CMU alumnus and trustee Francisco D'Souza is CEO, provided insights during the event.

Since 2011, more than a dozen Carnegie Mellon professors, researchers and administrators have participated in WEF proceedings.

Justine Cassell is the head of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Robotics and Smart Devices.