Carnegie Mellon University

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April 10, 2014

Personal Mention

Computer Science Professor Christos Faloutsos gave a keynote address at the 23rd International World Wide Web Conference this week in Seoul, South Korea. The title of his talk was “Large Graph Mining: Patterns, Cascades, Fraud Detection, and Algorithms.” The WWW conference series is the premier conference  on research and development on Web technologies and the Web "ecosystem." School of Computer Science alumnus Qi Lu also was among the keynote speakers. Lu is executive vice president of Microsoft's Applications and Services Group.

Ricardo Dolmetsch, global head of neuroscience at the Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research, is the recipient of the second annual Andrew Carnegie Prize in Mind and Brain Sciences. The prize, given by the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition (CNBC) and funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York as part of its centennial celebration, recognizes trailblazers in the mind and brain sciences whose research has helped advance the field and its applications. At Novartis, Dolmetsch leads the group responsible for leveraging advances in human genetics to model and treat neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases. The CNBC will present the award to Dolmetsch at 4 p.m., Thursday, May 22 in CMU's Rashid Auditorium, 4401 Hillman Center. As part of the ceremony Dolmetsch will give a presentation on "Insights Into the Brain of a Child With Autism." Learn more.

Inês Azevedo, executive director of the Center for Climate and Energy Decision Making and an assistant research professor of engineering and public policy, is one of the authors of the National Academies’ report, “Reducing the Fuel Consumption and Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles, Phase Two.”  Expanding the use of natural gas as a transportation fuel and greater use of aerodynamic devices on trailers are among the strategies recommended by the National Research Council for reducing fuel consumption by tractor-trailers, transit buses, and other medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.

Linda Babcock, the James M. Walton Professor of Economics in the Dietrich College and Heinz College, wrote an opinion piece for the Boston Globe on how Nazereth College rescinded a job offer to a woman who tried to negotiate over email. The piece, titled “Why Leaning In Can Backfire,” was co-authored by Catherine H. Tinsley, professor of management at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business; Hannah Bowles, senior lecturer in public policy at Harvard University; Andrea K. Schneider, professor of law at Marquette University; and Laura Kray, professor of leadership at University of California at Berkeley. Read the opinion piece.

Michael Trick, senior associate dean for education and the Harry B. and James H. Higgins Professor of Operations Research at the Tepper School of Business, appeared on “Our Region’s Business” on April 6. The program leads off with Trick discussing the field of operations research and how it plays a successful role in the sports-scheduling arena. The Sunday morning business affairs program is hosted by broadcast journalist Bill Flanagan and is co-produced by the Allegheny Conference on Community Development. The program airs on WPXI-TV in Pittsburgh each Sunday at 11 a.m. and is rebroadcast on PCNC-TV the same day at 3:30 and 7:30 p.m., and Mondays at 3:30 p.m. Watch Trick's appearance on the show.

Musical theatre majors Joshua Grosso, Veladya Chapman and Avery Smith took the top three spots at the Campus Superstar competition this past Sunday, April 6, at Carnegie Music Hall. Campus Superstar is an American Idol-like solo singing competition featuring Pittsburgh area college students. Grosso, a sophomore who sang “A Song for You,” was the overall winner. Chapman, a junior placed second with her performance of “He Touched Me,” and Smith, a sophomore finished third with his performance of “Lately.” Ten finalists advanced to last Sunday’s finals from nearly 100 competitors. Campus Superstar is presented by the Edward and Rose Berman Hillel Jewish University Center. Learn more about the competition.

Obituary: Margaret Shadick Cyert

Margaret Shadick Cyert, a loving wife, mother, grandmother and former matriarch of Carnegie Mellon University, died peacefully with her family and loving staff of Longwood at Oakmont by her side on Wednesday, April 9. She was 89.

The Carnegie Mellon flag is being flown at half-staff in her memory today (Thursday, April 10).

Margaret and her late husband, Richard M. Cyert, were a vital part of the Carnegie Mellon community for more than 50 years. Margaret, Richard and their daughter, Lynn, arrived at what was then the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1948 from Columbia University. Richard joined the faculty and a love affair between the Cyerts and the university bloomed and blossomed through the century. 

Richard became president of Carnegie Mellon in 1972 and led the university to national prominence in education and research. Through his 18 years as president Margaret "shared the demands of his office," wrote Carnegie Mellon Professor Emeritus Edwin Fenton in "Carnegie Mellon, 1900-2000: A Centennial History."

Margaret, who earned a bachelor's degree in home economics at the University of Minnesota, offered compassion, fellowship and a motherly-touch to students, faculty and staff.  It was customary to see her comforting anxious parents on freshman move-in day or hosting events to welcome new faculty, administrators and students to the Carnegie Mellon family.

"She was present at hundreds of meetings, entertained with grace and charm and even established 'Margaret's Muffins' — free coffee and food on the steps of Doherty Hall during examination periods," Fenton wrote. 

Margaret also cared deeply about her own family as well as the children of Pittsburgh. She earned a master's degree in child development at the University of Pittsburgh in 1982 and worked closely with many area organizations interested in early childhood education.

Among those organizations was the Carnegie Mellon Child Care Center. She supported the center personally and financially, and in 1998 the school recognized her contributions to the school and Pittsburgh community by changing its name to the Margaret Shadick Cyert Center for Early Education and Program for Collaborative Learning.

Read the full obituary.