Carnegie Mellon University

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January 30, 2014

Personal Mention

Roberta Klatzky will receive the Charles J. Queenan Professorship of Psychology in recognition of her outstanding contributions in human perception and cognition research. Klatzky, who joined the Carnegie Mellon faculty in 1993, investigates perception, spatial thinking and action from the perspective of multiple modalities, sensory and symbolic, in real and virtual environments. Her research has been instrumental to the development of telemanipulation, image-guided surgery, navigation aids for the blind and neural rehabilitation. "Carnegie Mellon has been a leader in the cognitive sciences for nearly 65 years, and Roberta Klatzky is one of the reasons we continue to be at the forefront," said John Lehoczky, dean of the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences. "It's fitting that she is honored for her tremendous impact as a scientist and educator with a chair in Charles Queenan's name — a longtime supporter of CMU and our innovation in research."  Read more about Klatzky.

Timothy Verstynen has received a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation for his project "Action Binding During Long-term Sequential Skill Learning: Computational and Neural Mechanisms." Verstynen, assistant professor of psychology and a member of the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, will use the five-year, $507,836 award to study how the brain learns complex sequential skills, similar to learning to play a melody on the piano. He will do this by using a combination of computational modeling, behavioral analysis and neuroimaging to look at how the sequences of concepts — such as reading notes on a sheet of music — are learned differently than sequences of actions — such as hand movements on the keys. He will then look at how those types of learning are represented in the brain. Verstynen's findings will be used to optimize training programs for skilled learning across many domains, including educational environments and clinical rehabilitation centers. Learn more.

Carnegie Mellon President Subra Suresh has joined the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's Board of Trustees as an ex-officio member. For more than 116 years, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) has been an essential part of Pittsburgh’s cultural landscape. Known for its artistic excellence and critically acclaimed as one of the world's greatest orchestras, the PSO is credited with a rich history of the world’s finest conductors and musicians, and a strong commitment to the Pittsburgh region and its citizens.

Associate Professor of Human-Computer Interaction and Design Jodi Forlizzi has been named to the CHI Academy — an honorary group of individuals who have made substantial contributions to the human-computer interaction field. Each year, the Association for Computing Machinery's Special Interest Group in Computer-Human Interaction elects five to seven new academy members whose efforts have shaped the discipline and the industry. Forlizzi’s work in interaction design ranges from understanding the limits of human attention to understanding how products and services evoke social behavior. She joins four current Human-Computer Interaction Institute faculty members who belong to the academy: Professor Scott Hudson, Hillman Professor of Computer Science and Human-Computer Interaction Sara Kiesler, Herbert A. Simon Professor of Human-Computer Interaction Robert E. Kraut, and Professor Brad Myers. Former HCII Professor Bonnie John and the late Randy Pausch also are CHI Academy members.

Justine Cassell, the Charles M. Geschke Director of the Human-Computer Interaction Institute and co-director of The Simon Initiative, has taken on additional responsibilities as Associate Vice Provost of Technology Strategy and Impact. In an email to faculty in the School of Computer Science, Provost Mark Kamlet said Cassell’s duties as associate vice provost will include strategy and outreach efforts related to the Global Learning Council as well as university-wide efforts that fall broadly within the area of human-computer interaction. The Global Learning Council, chaired by President Subra Suresh, is a component of The Simon Initiative. The GLC is a distinguished group of thought leaders from across the globe who are committed to the use of science and technology to enhance learning. Read more about The Simon Initiative and the GLC at

Chester (Chet) Warzynski has joined the Finance Division as senior adviser of finance strategic initiatives. Warzynski was formerly with Cornell University and Georgia Tech, where he was executive director of the Office of Organizational Development and taught leadership in the School of Public Policy.  At Cornell, he was director of Organizational Development and a lecturer in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations. At CMU, Warzynski will work to develop, integrate and align the capabilities of the Finance Division with the changing environment of CMU and higher education.

Cherry Jones (A'78) was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame this past Monday (Jan. 27) at the Gershwin Theatre in New York City.  The School of Drama alumna was welcomed along with seven other accomplished professionals: Ellen Burstyn, Jerry Zaks, George C. Wolfe, Lynne Meadow, Cameron Mackintosh, David Hays and Lorraine Hansberry. "Cherry is an outstanding and active stage, film and television actress with an impressive resume, and whose excellence has been recognized by all sectors of the entertainment industry," said College of Fine Arts Dean Dan Martin who along with School of Drama Head Peter Cooke attended the induction ceremony. Jones stars on Broadway as Amanda Wingfield in "The Glass Menagerie" with fellow Carnegie Mellon alum Zachary Quinto (A'99) and has received rave reviews for her work. She has received nearly a dozen awards. Read more about Jones.