Carnegie Mellon University

The Piper

CMU Community News

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April 03, 2014

Personal Mention

Larry Biegler, the Bayer University Professor and head of the Chemical Engineering Department, has been selected a 2014 Fellow of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM). The fellowship honors SIAM members who have made outstanding contributions to the field. Biegler will be recognized at the 2014 SIAM Annual Meeting Prizes and Awards Luncheon on July 8 in Chicago. For more information on the SIAM fellows, go to

Kathy M. Newman, associate professor of English, wrote a blog post for Working-Class Perspectives on a Target corporation video that contained anti-union messages. Newman wrote about the role of cultural artifacts — art, film and music — and how they contribute to attitudes about labor. Read “Which Side is Culture On?” Newman also was interviewed for The Guardian about the anti-union video. Read "Why Target's anti-union video is no joke.”

Jay Kadane, a regular blogger for the Huffington Post, wrote a piece examining recent Supreme Court decisions in the Affordable Care Act and Citizen United cases and their impact on corporations. Kadane is the Leonard J. Savage University Professor of Statistics and Social Sciences, Emeritus. Read “The Religious Beliefs of Corporations.”

David Klahr, Audrey Kittredge, Ran Liu and Derek Lomas recently participated in the fourth annual Latin American School for Education, Cognitive and Neural Science in Uruguay. Klahr, the Walter van Dyke Bingham Professor of Cognitive Development and Education Sciences, is a faculty member for the school and also serves on its planning committee. Previous schools were held in Chile, Argentina and Brazil. Kittredge, postdoctoral research fellow in the Psychology Department, returned as an alumnus of the school this year to describe how her experience has influenced her career path. Liu, a psychology graduate student who focuses on high order auditory processing, plans to shift her research toward the learning sciences and attended the school as a student. Lomas, a PIER (Program in Interdisciplinary Education Research) graduate student in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute, gave one of the main talks at the event. His talk focused on his work to incorporate basic learning science research into commercially viable educational games. For more information on the Latin American School for Education, visit

Josh Centor has been named director of Athletics, Physical Education & Recreation following a national search. For the past nine months, Centor has served as the interim director, succeeding Susan Bassett who left the university last summer. “We have appointed to this position the finest individual possible to continue to lead this energizing and vital department and team,” said Vice President for Campus Affairs Michael Murphy. “Josh solidified his reputation as an inspiring, engaged and effective leader during his interim role.” Centor has been with the university for six years — the first four as Assistant Director of Athletics, then a year as Associate Director of Athletics and this past year as interim director. “Josh is a passionate champion of college athletics, of the University Athletic Association (UAA) and of our university, and is deeply committed to each individual and to the vision that the university shares for athletic excellence, fitness and health, education and the welfare of every member of this community,” continued Murphy. “Above all, Josh shares a deep and abiding commitment to our students.  I am delighted that all of our lives will continue to be positively impacted by his leadership and influence.” Learn more about Centor.

In other news from the Athletic Department:

Head Coach Rich Erdelyi and Assistant Coach Joe Rudman earned University Athletic Association (UAA) Golf Coaching Staff of the Year honors for leading the men’s team to a third-place finish at the UAA Championships behind Emory and Rochester in mid-March. Emory posted a 36-hole score of 582, followed by Rochester (591) and CMU (595). CMU hosted the event at Red Tail Golf Club in Sorrento, Fla. Junior Cameron Low led the Tartans with an even par 144 (73-71) over the 36-hole event to tie for second-place overall.  Learn more.

Freshman Jack Serbin of Carnegie Mellon’s men's basketball team became the first Tartan to be named UAA  Men's Basketball Rookie of the Year. In 14 UAA contests, Serbin, a 6’9” forward, averaged 10 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. He ended the season ranked second in the league with 33 blocked shots.  Serbin tallied his first career double-double in the Tartans' win at Emory on Jan. 17 with 10 points and a career-high 14 rebounds. Two weeks later, he recorded a career-high 29 points against Brandeis. He finished the season with three double-doubles. The Tartans finished the year 11-14 overall and 4-10 in the UAA. Learn more

Carnegie Mellon freshman women's basketball player Lisa Murphy, a 6’1” forward, was named the Women's Basketball Rookie of the Year for the All-Great Lakes Region. This marks the second straight year a Tartan has received rookie of the year honors from as a sophomore. Liza Otto earned the honor last year. Murphy led the Tartans in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots with 18.5 points per game, 9.8 rebounds per game and 37 blocked shots. She was named the UAA Rookie of the Year and earned UAA First Team honors, a first for a Tartan freshman. Murphy also led the UAA in scoring and field-goal percentage, making 62.8 percent of her attempts from the field. The Tartans finished the year 12-13 overall and 3-11 in the UAA. Learn more

Carnegie Mellon men's track and field junior Thomas Vandenberg finished fourth in the finals of the 800-meter run at the 2014 NCAA Indoor Division III Track and Field Championships in March to earn All-America honors. Vandenberg crossed the finish line with a time of 1:52.47. He is the second runner in school history to earn All-America indoor track honors. He also is just the third Tartan to compete in a running event at the indoor championships.


Will Crichton, a sophomore computer science major who is considering a double major in Chinese studies, won first prize in the junior level group in the 5th Annual “Chinese Bridge” Eastern USA Competition March 30 in New York. Crichton competed in the Chinese Proficiency Competition against 24 other finalists who were selected from preliminary competitions in 10 Northeastern states, including Pennsylvania. As a first-prize winner he can apply for a full scholarship to study in China for six-to-twelve months and a free trip to Beijing to observe the Grand Final Chinese Bridge Competition. Organized by the Confucius Institute at Pace University, the competition celebrates the talents and accomplishments of college students who are learning Chinese language and culture. The contestants were required to give a speech in Chinese and present a Chinese cultural talent. Crichton gave a speech on “The Rhythm of My Life” and demonstrated a traditional Chinese performance art, Kuaibanr (bamboo clapper).  He was advised by Yueming Yu, teaching professor of Chinese in the Department of Modern Languages, and Chinese instructor Haixia Wang.