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February 20, 2014

News Briefs

Grab a "Tweet Seat" for Tonight's Concert

The School of Music is again inviting concert-goers to sit in "tweet seats" (second balcony) and tweet about tonight's Philharmonic and Choirs concert at 8 p.m. at Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland. Participants who are not able to attend in person can still participate by watching the webcast of the performance at

Using the hashtag #CMUSchwarz, for guest conductor Gerard Schwarz, participants can engage in an online conversation with School of Music faculty members Lance LaDuke and Daniel Nesta Curtis, who will be leading the discussion from @CMUMusic. Feel free to tweet reactions to the performance or ask questions.

Read more about the concert.

Academic Idols Crowned

Four Ph.D. candidates were crowned "Academic Idols" at Carnegie Mellon’s 2014 Three Minute Thesis Championship round on Feb. 18. The first-place winner was David Rollinson (Robotics Institute, SCS), who presented his thesis "Snake Robots in the Wild!" Second place went to Suchitra Ramachandran (Biological Sciences, MCS), who presented "The Brain as a Statistician," and third place went to Patrick Foley (Statistics, DC) and his thesis "Statistics and the Human Connectome." 

In an audience vote, Ramachandran and Arun Shrivats (Biomedical Engineering, CIT) with the thesis "siRNA Therapeutics for Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva" tied for the People’s Choice Award.

Eleven Ph.D. candidates made it to the final round out of 140 initial registrants. The competition, brought to CMU by Dean of Libraries Keith Webster, challenged the doctoral students to present their thesis in three minutes or less in language understandable to a general audience. Read more about the competition.

Alum’s Design Helps USA Win Olympic Medals

Matt Scully (A’95) has spent the last two years designing the ultimate sliding machine for the U.S. Olympic bobsled team. His work paid off this week as team USA won the silver and bronze in the women's two-man bobsled, and a bronze medal in the men's two-man bobsled competition in Sochia, Russia. It was the first men's two-man bobsled medal for USA since 1952.

Scully, creative director of BMW’s Designworks USA, joined BMW right after graduating with a degree in industrial design.

Stephen Stadelmeier, associate head of the School of Design, said Scully is in the perfect place at BMW. An accomplished racecar driver and snowboarder, he said Scully enjoyed building things that were fast even in college.

Learn more.

Spinoff Exhibits at Toy Fair NYC

CMU spinoff PieceMaker Technologies has made it to the Big Apple. The 3D printing company that offers a “factory in a store” experience, in which consumers can create low-cost, customized products in stores, exhibited for the first time at Toy Fair NYC, the nation’s largest toy industry tradeshow and earned a mention in Make Magazine and

PieceMaker Technologies was founded by Engineering and Technology Innovation Management (E&TIM) dual-degree master’s degree students Arden Rosenblatt (CEO/Co-Founder) and Alejandro Sklar (CTO/Co-Founder). Rosenblatt also is earning a master’s degree in mechanical engineering, and Sklar is earning a master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering as well.

Learn more at and

CMU Alert App Now on Android

The CMU Mobile Alert App is now available on Android smartphones for students, faculty, staff and parents. Also available on iPhones, the app was developed to provide:

  • Emergency procedures and guidance for 21 different emergencies;
  • Information regarding crimes and crime prevention;
  • Links to important Carnegie Mellon websites;
  • Interactive maps that provide information about locations of Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs); and
  • Automatic dialing for University Police, Safety Escorts and 911.

Download the Android app at
Download the iPhone app at

CMU Hosts Turkish Music Master

Carnegie Mellon's Center for Iranian Music is sponsoring the residency of Turkish music master Önder Özkoç through April. Özkoç's residency will feature free lectures on Turkish music, as well as a recital on Thursday, April 10 at Kresge Recital Hall.

The free lectures will take place weekly from 6:30 - 8:20 p.m. every Wednesday through April 23 in Room 157 of the CFA Building. These lectures are open to the public. The recital will feature five folk and contemporary Turkish music premieres by Turkish composers. They will be performed by a chamber ensemble conducted by Daniel Nesta Curtis, the School of Music's Contemporary Music Ensemble director, and Erberk Eryilmaz, a conducting and composition student in the School of Music. Learn more.

Drawing Symposium Explores Transformative Ideas

The School of Art, in partnership with the University of the Arts London, presents DRAW2014, a symposium bringing together artists and practitioners from CMU, Pittsburgh and around the world, Feb. 27 - March 1.

DRAW2014 features more than 25 challenging and inspiring workshops, artist commissions, lectures, exhibitions and events. The public is invited to attend this unique and exciting conference to explore the ways that the simple act of drawing is flourishing and evolving today.

Because of limited space, paid registration is required to attend workshops and special events. Keynote lectures and exhibitions are free. Learn more.

EH&S Testing Ice Alert Markers

Winter conditions bring an increase in people slipping and falling, and this winter has been no exception. To help make people more aware of potentially icy conditions, Environmental Health & Safety is testing six ice alert warning markers at various points around campus.

These markers look like pinwheels and turn blue as conditions become more favorable for sidewalks to be icy, particularly if there is black ice that is almost impossible to see. If you see these markers and they are blue, adjust your walking accordingly. Walk slower, take a wider stance, use shorter strides, bend your knees slightly and use handrails on stairs. 

The locations of these markers are:

  • Driveway between Hamburg Hall and the Collaborative Innovation Center Building off of Forbes Ave.;
  • Warner Hall campus directory area;
  • Walkway between the East Campus Garage and the University Center;
  • The east end of the East-West walkway;
  • Near the Fence; and
  • Bottom of Tech Street, at the College of Fine Arts parking lot entrance.

Student Employee of the Year Nominations Due Tomorrow

Nominations for the Student Employee of the Year (SEOTY) Award are due Friday, Feb. 21. Sponsored by the National Student Employment Association (NSEA), this award program recognizes the outstanding contributions of students who work while attending college. All undergraduate student employees are eligible for nomination.

The SEOTY nomination process and form are available at: Contact Pati Kravetz at with questions.

Student Employees To Be Honored at Appreciation Lunch

Registration is now open for the Student Employee Appreciation Lunch from 12 – 1:30 p.m., April 2 in the  University Center’s Rangos Hall. Campus supervisors can host their student employees, and join them for lunch to celebrate the great work they do. Entertainment will be provided by musical theater students in the School of Drama. Registration deadline is March 28. Register at

Dates Added for Responsible Conduct of Research Seminar Series

Additional dates have been scheduled for the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Seminar Series this semester. Upcoming sessions are scheduled from 12 – 1 p.m. in the University Center. Dates and topics are:

  • Tuesday, Feb. 25: Ethical Issues with Research Involving Human Subjects
  • Tuesday, March 18: Who Owns the Data?
  • Wednesday, March 26: Data Security
  • Tuesday, April 8: Research Data Management
  • Tuesday, April 22: International Research Considerations: Foreign Travel and Foreign Collaborators

More information is available on the RCR website. Space is limited, so please register early.

Seeking Notary Publics

Human Resources is updating notary public information listed in the online Faculty/Staff Directory. If you are a notary public and willing to provide notary public services free of charge to employees and students for official university business, and would like to be included in the directory, please send email to Haley Lantz at and include your name, department, location and phone number.

Drink for Pink at The Porch, Feb. 26

Carnegie Mellon faculty and staff are invited to participate in “Drink for Pink,” a fundraiser for the Pittsburgh chapter of the Susan B. Komen Foundation, from 5-7 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 26 at The Porch at Schenley Plaza.

Guest bartenders will include Senator Jay Costa, City Council members Dan Gilman (DC'04), Corey O’Connor and Bruce Kraus. The guest of honor is former Steelers Quarterback Charlie Batch.

Sponsored by Dollar Bank, the event is a project of the Oakland Business Improvement District, the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership and the South Side Chamber of Commerce.

Safe Driving Classes Scheduled

Environmental Health & Safety has scheduled two free Safe Driving classes this semester that, depending on your insurance company, may result in lowering your insurance premiums.

University protocol requires that anyone whose job requires them to drive a vehicle on behalf of the university take this class once every three years. The class also is recommended for those who aren’t required to drive as part of their job but who may drive on occasion.
Classes will be held from 8:30 – 11 a.m. on the following days:

  • Tuesday, March 11
  • Tuesday, April 8

To register, go to and click on the Defensive Driving link.