Carnegie Mellon University

The Piper

CMU Community News

Piper Logo
October 17, 2013

News Briefs

Students To Share Love for Science at Live Show Monday

Carnegie Mellon students will share their personal stories relating to their passion for science and technology — from falling in love under African skies to being responsible for a spacecraft millions of miles away — with The Story Collider, a national storytelling show, at 8 p.m., Monday, Oct. 21 at the Rex Theater on Pittsburgh’s South Side.

The show is a collaboration between The Story Collider, which produces live shows and podcasts, and Public Communication for Researchers (PCR), a CMU student group that promotes science communication skills.

Tickets are $10 each and are available at the door or at

CMU United Way Campaign Underway

Carnegie Mellon’s 2013 United Way campaign is underway and will run through Dec. 12. Last year the university community raised more than $175,000 for United Way and the health and human service organizations it supports. We are still looking for volunteers who would like to serve on CMU’s United Way campaign committee.

You can help make this year a success by incorporating the theme “Live Generously” through donating, advocating or volunteering for CMU’s campaign. Please check out to make your pledge and find out how to volunteer with local organizations. Visit this webpage often throughout the campaign for success stories, contests and campaign progress.

Nominations Due for Dietrich College Teaching Award

Nominations for the Dietrich College's 2013-2014 Elliott Dunlap Smith Award for Distinguished Teaching and Educational Service are due Nov. 4. Nominees must have achieved distinction as a teacher and educator in the college, and perhaps also in the university, higher education in general, and/or his or her discipline. Nominations should consist of a letter (two pages, maximum, signed by at least three faculty, students, or staff) and should be submitted to Joanne Ursenbach, c/o the Dietrich College Dean’s Office, Baker Hall 154. For more information, go to

Air Quality Mobile Lab Debuts Saturday

Carnegie Mellon's newly equipped Community Health: Air Pollution in Pittsburgh mobile laboratory, an outreach van designed to map and monitor air quality throughout southwestern Pennsylvania, will debut at the first 5K Clean Air Dash from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 19 at the Three Rivers Heritage Trail at the South Side Riverfront Park. The outreach van was made possible through a two-year grant from The Heinz Endowments.

"This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase some of our ongoing work in monitoring harmful air particulates," said Albert Presto, an assistant research professor of mechanical engineering and a faculty member of the Center for Atmospheric Particle Studies at CMU.

Presto and Chemical Engineering and Chemistry Professor Neil Donahue, head of CMU's Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education and Research, have been working to develop a holistic approach to improving climate and air quality prediction tools. Their outreach work has spanned everything from studying jet aircraft emissions on the region to how Western wildfires impact air quality.

Read more.

C-MITES Offers Fun Classes for Bright Kids

Carnegie Mellon Institute for Talented Elementary and Secondary Students (C-MITES) offers half-day and full-day fun weekend workshops for academically talented students in grades K-10. The workshops in October and November include Your Awesome Body, Hands-on Algebra, Amazing Apples and Extreme Weather Trends. Workshops are offered at CMU and at two locations near Philadelphia. 

Visit for more information about Weekend Workshops or to register online. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis and financial aid is available. You can also contact C-MITES at or 412-268-1629 ext. 1.

Textbook Adoptions Due

Faculty and departmental administrators are reminded to submit Spring course material adoptions as soon as possible via or by email to Matt Senvisky at Early adoptions mean more rental textbooks, more used books and better textbook pricing for students.

CIT To Host Dowd-ICES Fellowship Seminar, Oct. 23

The College of Engineering and the Institute for Complex Engineered Systems (ICES) will host a seminar to showcase the research of the 2012 and 2013 Dowd-ICES fellows and the funded work of the 2012 Dowd Teaching Fellow from 3–5 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 23 in Roberts Hall’s Singleton Room. A reception immediately follows the seminar. 

The 2013 fellows include:

  • Amy Dale of the Engineering and Public Policy Department;
  • Pengfei Li of the Mechanical Engineering Department;
  • Tong Lu of Mechanical Engineering; and
  • Hang-Ah Park of the Materials Science and Engineering Department.

The 2012 fellows include:

  • Amin Aghaei of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department;
  • Jennifer Hayden of the Biomedical Engineering Departmant;
  • Gagan Srivastava of Mechanical Engineering; and
  • Dinghuan Zhu of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department.

The 2012 Dowd Teaching Fellow is Jeanne VanBriesen, professor of civil and environmental engineering.

The Dowd-ICES graduate student fellowships are made possible by an endowment from Philip L. Dowd, a 1963 graduate of the Materials Science and Engineering Department, and Marsha Dowd. Fellowships are awarded to support graduate students who are conducting cutting-edge research on projects for which traditional sources of funding may not be available.  Read more.

Staff Council Offers Tickets to Idlewild’s Hallowboo

Staff Council is offering discounted tickets to Idlewild Park’s Hallowboo. Tickets are good any Saturday and Sunday from noon – 6 p.m. through Oct. 27. Tickets are $13.50 each (cash only, please); the regular ticket price is $29.99. Anyone interested in purchasing tickets, should contact Sharon Cavlovich at Ticket quantities are limited.

Please see the Staff Council website for other available discounts.

Open Benefits Forum is Oct. 29

How will the Affordable Care Act affect CMU employees? Find out when Staff Council presents its annual Open Benefits Forum from noon – 1 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 29 in McConomy Auditorium, University Center. Join members of the Human Resources Benefits Office as they review upcoming changes to staff benefit plans and answer your questions. Open to all staff members not represented by a bargaining unit.

AED/CPR Training Offered

The Environmental Health & Safety Department is offering four upcoming AED/CPR training classes for the university community. Those who have been certified more than two years ago also can attend to renew your certification. All classes begin at 10 a.m. and last about two hours. The schedule is as follows:

  • Oct. 24 - University Center, Dowd Room
  • Nov. 14 - Mellon Institute Social Room
  • Nov. 26 - University Center, Dowd Room

Register for classes at

Nominations Now Open for Education Awards

The nomination period for the Celebration of Education is now open. Nominations are being accepted for the Doherty, Ryan, Academic Advising, Barbara Lazarus and Gelfand awards. The nomination deadline is Nov. 4. Read more at

Responsible Conduct of Research Seminar Series Continues

CMU's Office of Research Integrity and Compliance (ORIC) is once again sponsoring the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Seminar Series during the fall semester to provide faculty, students and staff with an overview of topics typically covered in RCR curricula. All sessions will be held from 12 – 1 p.m. in the University Center’s McKenna/Peter conference room.  Upcoming sessions are as follows:
  • Wednesday, Oct. 30: Conflict of Interest
  • Thursday, Nov. 7: Safeguarding International Research
  • Wednesday, Nov. 13: Mentor Trainee, Relationships, and Collaboration
More information is available on the RCR website.  Space is limited, so please register early.