Carnegie Mellon University

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February 20, 2014

Personal Mention

President Emeritus and University Professor Jared L. Cohon has been named the new director of the Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation. He will assume the post on July 1 from current Director M. Granger Morgan, the Lord Professor and head of the university's Department of Engineering and Public Policy. Andrew Gellman, the Lord Professor of Chemical Engineering, will continue to serve as co-director. "As an engineer, civic leader, administrator and intellectual force, Jerry is superbly suited to lead Carnegie Mellon's multidisciplinary efforts at the Scott Institute," said President Subra Suresh. A distinguished environmental engineer, Cohon has been a thought leader for energy-related research and policy issues throughout his career. He chaired a National Academy of Sciences panel that found the harm inflicted on public health by the pollution generated by burning coal or gasoline approaches $120 billion. Requested by Congress, the report quantified many of the external effects and costs of energy, and results were reported to the White House. Currently on sabbatical leave, Cohon is also an expert on environmental and water resource systems analysis, and has worked on water resource problems in the United States, South America and Asia. Read more.

The Language Technologies Institute is celebrating the 60th birthday of Jaime Carbonell with a symposium titled “JGC60: A Celebration of the Life and Work of Jaime G. Carbonell.” Carbonell is a University Professor, the Allen Newell Professor of Computer Science and director of the Language Technologies Institute.  The symposium, scheduled for April 11-12 in the Gates Hillman centers, will feature both invited and refereed talks covering the diverse areas of Carbonell’s career. Learn more at

Ignacio Grossmann, the R.R. Dean University Professor of Chemical Engineering, has received the Professor C.N.R. Rao Medal and CHEMCON Distinguished Speaker Award from the Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers. He received the award at the U.S.-India Chemical Engineering Conference and Workshop on Energy, Environment and Sustainability at the Institute of Chemical Technology in Mumbai in late December. At the conference, Grossmann gave a presentation titled “Optimal Synthesis and Planning of Sustainable Process Systems: Water, Biofuels and Shale Gas.”

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has named Jeffrey Bigham, associate professor in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute, as a winner of a 2014 Sloan Research Fellowship. The fellowships are given to early-career scientists and scholars whose achievements and potential identify them as rising stars and the next generation of scientific leaders. Bigham investigates crowd-powered technologies, enabling groups to do things individuals can't and leveraging the on-demand labor of people to perform tasks beyond the capability of today's computers. His other interests include accessible technologies. He is the scientific director of the Disability Rehabilitation Research Project (DRRP) on Inclusive Cloud and Web Computing, a five-year project sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education to develop methods that enable people with disabilities to take full advantage of the resources available on the Internet. Learn more about Bigham.

Roberto Gil, research professor of chemistry and director of the Department of Chemistry’s NMR Facility, has been appointed the features editor of the journal Magnetic Resonance in Chemistry. The journal, which publishes papers on the development and application of magnetic resonance techniques, recently underwent an overhaul to reveal an updated design and a new approach to content and editorial structure. Gil’s research interests focus on developing new NMR methodologies for analyzing the structure of small organic molecules oriented in weak alignment media. Read more.

Paul D. Nielsen, director and CEO of the Software Engineering Institute (SEI), has been named a recipient of the Pittsburgh Business Times’ 2014 Diamond Award, which honors the region’s top CEOs and presidents. Awardees are selected based on evaluation of service philosophy, relationship to employees and contribution to the community. Winners are selected in three categories: small/medium for-profit, large for-profit and non-profit. Nielsen, who was selected in the non-profit category, will receive the award at an April 24 event. After retiring from active duty in the U.S. Air Force, Nielsen joined the SEI as director and CEO in 2004. He has overseen the development and expansion of the SEI in areas of software process improvement, software engineering and network cybersecurity.

Joe W. Trotter, Jr. will give the University of Pittsburgh's 20th Annual E.P. Thompson Memorial Lecture on April 3. His talk, "The History That Doesn't Go Away: African American Urban Life and Labor Since the Atlantic Slave Trade," will be drawn from a synthesis of black urban workers from the colonial era to the present that he is currently completing. Trotter is the Giant Eagle Professor of History and Social Justice and director of the Center for Africanamerican Urban Studies and the Economy (CAUSE). For more information on the event, visit

Thomas Douglas, assistant teaching professor of voice, will conduct Anchorage Opera's production of Mozart's "The Magic Flute" in April 2015. Douglas has been involved with more than 175 musical theatre, symphonic, opera and oratorio productions. Highlights include conducting Andrew Lloyd Weber's "Phantom of the Opera" in Basel, Switzerland; the stage roles of Fats Waller in "Ain't Misbehavin'" in Malaysia; Calaphas in "Jesus Christ Superstar"; and King Amonasro in Elton John's "Aida."

Saurabh Shintre, a Ph.D. candidate in the CMU Portugal’s dual-degree doctoral program, was awarded a $10,000 Bertucci Graduate Fellowship. According to College of Engineering Dean James Garrett, the award is in “recognition of the student’s outstanding work in the field of electrical and computer engineering.” Shintre’s research focuses on the quantitative analysis of the threat posed by side channel attacks on the security of computer systems. Shintre said the award will inspire him “to work even harder and to contribute more to scientific research at CMU.” He thanked his advisers, Professor Virgil Gligor and Professor João Barros for their guidance and support. The Bertucci Graduate Fellowship, which provides $10,000 in tuition support to graduate students pursuing doctoral degrees in engineering, was created through the generosity of John and Claire Bertucci.

The Last of Us, an action-adventure videogame written by 2005 Entertainment Technology Center alumnus Neil Druckmann, was the big winner of the Interactive Achievement Awards presented at the D.I.C.E (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) Summit, a conference for the game design industry. Druckmann also was creative director for the PlayStation3 game, which took home 11 awards, including Game of the Year, Outstanding Innovation in Gaming and Outstanding Achievement in Game Direction.