Carnegie Mellon University

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October 24, 2013

Personal Mention

A new book by Carnegie Mellon Associate Professor of English Richard Purcell reveals another side of Ralph Ellison, a writer — like others during the Cold War — who was supported by covert government funds to function as a literary ambassador at home and abroad. "Race, Ralph Ellison and American Cold War Culture" looks at the period following World War II when writers and literary critics — both black and white — debated how African-Americans were represented in literature, which was referred to as the "Negro Problem." As the Cold War unfolded, many of the debates began to appear in journals, conferences and other events that were directly funded by U.S. and British intelligence agencies. Purcell used never before published materials from Ellison's papers at the Library of Congress to fully understand the acclaimed literary figure's thinking of the Negro Problem within the shadow of governmental influence. "Many critics gloss over or downplay this aspect of Ralph Ellison's career," Purcell said. "It's an example of the political usages of literary culture. Ellison's work gives us the opportunity to tell a story about race and racism during the Cold War that is complicated and messy." Read more.

Grace Kihumba has received a fellowship from Carnegie Mellon's Information Networking Institute (INI) and Alta Associates' Executive Women's Forum (EWF) on Information Security, Risk Management and Privacy to pursue her graduate studies. The award was presented this week at the 11th Annual EWF National Conference in Scottsdale, Ariz. Kihumba is receiving the EWF-INI Fellowship, an educational award providing full tuition and a mentor to support her studies in the university's Pittsburgh-Silicon Valley Master of Science in Information Technology-Mobility program through the INI. "I would like to conduct research on mobile learning and intelligent tutoring systems for mobile devices. My interest is in educational technology and e-learning, and I hope to work in a research center that has this focus," said Kihumba of Nairobi, Kenya. "I also hope to get into a doctorate program after the INI. I plan to go back to Kenya and work in the field of educational technology because it can go a long way to complement learning resources in developing countries," she said. Read more.

Thomas Rainey, housefellow and coordinator for Student Life in the Student Life Office, was awarded the Outstanding New Professional Award by the Pennsylvania College Personnel Association (PCPA) at the organization’s annual conference in Harrisburg, Pa., on Oct. 21. PCPA is a state division of the American College Personnel Association (ACPA). This award recognizes an outstanding new professional (less than five years in the field) in student affairs at an institution of higher education in Pennsylvania. One new professional is recognized by the state-wide association each year.

Ian Gorton and John Klein, both senior members of the technical staff at the Software Engineering Institute, published a blog post this past Monday that discusses the software engineering challenges of big data. In their post, Gorton and Klein describe a lightweight risk reduction approach that they developed aimed at helping the Department of Defense and other enterprises develop and evolve big data systems. The approach, known as the Lightweight Evaluation and Architecture Prototyping (for Big Data), or LEAP (4BD), draws upon proven architecture and technology analysis and evaluation techniques. Read “Addressing the Software Engineering Challenges of Big Data.”

Houda Bouamor, Behrang Mohit and Kemal Oflazer, computer science faculty at the Qatar campus, received the best paper award at the 6th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing in Nagoya, Japan, for their project titled "SuMT: A Framework of Summarization and MT.” CMU-Q faculty Abderrahmen Mtibaa and Khaled Harras received the best paper award at the 10th IEEE International Conference on Mobile Ad-hoc and Sensor Systems in Hangzhou, China, for a project tiled “Exploiting Space Syntax for Deployable Mobile Opportunistic Networking.”


Master's degree student Raunaq Gandhok died this past Thursday evening (Oct. 17) as a result of injuries he suffered in a car accident that occurred east of Pittsburgh in Cambria County. Gandhok earned his bachelor’s degree in 2011 from Vellore Institute of Technology and worked as an analyst with Cognizant Technology Solutions following graduation. He joined the Masters in Engineering and Technology Innovation Management (E&TIM) program this past January and was expected to graduate in December. He was from Jammu, India. The E&TIM community will be planning a memorial service in his honor in the coming weeks.