Carnegie Mellon University

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November 21, 2013

Personal Mention

Robert P. Strauss, professor of economics and public policy in the Heinz College’s School of Public Policy and Management, is an invited participant today at “New Jersey’s Next 4 Years,” the third annual Garden State Economic Forum at Thomas Edison College in Trenton, N.J. Strauss will be a panelist and will give a talk, titled “A Human Capital Strategy for the Next Four Years: Aligning Local Responsibility and Authority in New Jersey’s Public Schools (Lessons Learned from Studying Pennsylvania).” Strauss also will be meeting with advisers to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

Raj Rajkumar, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and co-director of the joint U.S. Department of Transportation's University Transportation Center, testified in Washington, D.C., this week before a House Committee and Subcommittee on Highways and Transit. He spoke about how new technology holds great promise for dramatically improving highway safety and efficiency. He also discussed how close we are to making autonomous driving a reality, the economic and societal benefits of autonomous driving, and the importance of continued fundamental research to address the technological challenges that remain, such as handling poor weather conditions and fixed and moving obstacles, and making systems redundant and robust enough to ensure the safety of the traveling public and pedestrians.

Kasey Creswell, assistant professor of psychology, is the lead author of a teen drinking study that will be published in an upcoming issue of Clinical Psychological Science. The study found that compared to their peers who drink only in social settings, teens who drink alone have more alcohol problems, are heavier drinkers and are more likely to drink in response to negative emotions.  Furthermore, solitary teenage drinkers are more likely to develop alcohol use disorders in early adulthood. Read more about the study.

The Harvard Glee Club and the Radcliffe Choral Society will premiere new choral work by Professor of Composition Nancy Galbraith, titled "Three Poems of Miguel de Unamuno," in two concerts early next month, Friday, Dec. 6 and Saturday, Dec. 7. The work was commissioned by the Harvard Glee Club for its annual Christmas concert with Radcliffe at the historic Sanders Theater on Harvard's campus. The new work features three movements — the first performed by the Harvard Glee Club, the second by the Radcliffe Choral Society, and the third by both groups. The work will be recorded later in Harvard's recording studio for a future CD. The Radcliffe Choral Society has recently previewed the first movement in concerts at Harvard and Yale. That movement is titled "By the Lake of El Christo at the Hamlet of Yeltes on a Night of Full Moon."

Robert Fallon, assistant professor of musicology, delivered two papers at the annual meeting of the American Musicological Society, held this year in Pittsburgh Nov 6-10. The first talk, titled "Sounds of Steel and Emeralds: Musical Representations of Pittsburgh's Industrial and Green Identities," critically examined the power dynamics of defining urban identity and how such identity shapes the values expressed in music that represents that place. The second paper offered a diachronic perspective of the 20 nightingales portrayed in the music of Olivier Messiaen and explored their indebtedness to musical, literary and theological traditions. Both talks are intended for inclusion in Fallon's book projects.

Chante Cox-Boyd, associate teaching professor of psychology, participated in WQED's televised panel session on "Portrayal and Perception: African-American Men & Boys," a multiple-part series that explores how the media portrays African-American males and how society views them as a result. The episodes also report on people and organizations working to spotlight positive rather than negative images. Watch the panel session.

In recognition of the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, Associate History Professor Lisa Tetrault appeared on "BackStory with the American History Guys," a program of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. Tetrault, who specializes in U.S. Women's history, spoke about the rise of women orators in the Lyceum movement of the late 19th Century. Listen to her interview.

Sagar Chaki and Ipek Ozkaya, members of the technical staff (MTS) at the Software Engineering Institute (SEI), have been named principal engineers (MTS-A), a special status that honors SEI staff for their significant work on the national and international level, and for leading innovation, discovery and major initiatives at the SEI. Only about 10 percent of the MTS staff have been named principal engineers. Chaki and Ozkaya were recognized during a ceremony this past Monday.