Carnegie Mellon University

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March 06, 2014

Personal Mention

James W. Schneider, a professor of chemical engineering and biomedical engineering, has been elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) for leading-edge research on the development of novel materials for biosensing. He will be honored March 24 by AIMBE at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. Schneider's work focuses on the development of synthetic DNA-like materials for bio-analytical devices, pharmaceutical processing and drug delivery. "The high-speed, gel-free DNA analysis methods we have developed will provide faster, cheaper, and more reliable routes to medical diagnostics and forensic identification," Schneider said. Lorenz Biegler, the Bayer Professor and head of the Chemical Engineering Department, said Schneider is an "outstanding researcher and dynamic teacher whose energy and dedication are essential to the university's successful multidisciplinary research culture."  Read more.

Pulkit Grover has been awarded a five-year, $600,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) Career Award for research aimed at reducing the amount of energy consumed by large data center communication networks by 30 to 50 percent. "This award will help us arrive at radically new strategies to reduce energy in communication and computation networks. These include big-energy networks in data centers, but also smaller-energy indoor communication networks and those in brain-machine interfaces," said Grover, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at CMU. Grover reports that his team is developing novel energy-efficient protocols and circuits that can reduce energy consumption by including the right patterns of "redundancy" for correcting errors in communication links of big data centers. Learn more.

The Air Force Office of Scientific Research has announced that Aarti Singh, assistant professor of machine learning, is one of 42 scientists selected this year to receive research funding for three years through the Air Force's Young Investigator Research Program (YIP). The YIP is open to scientists and engineers at research institutions across the United States who received a Ph.D. or equivalent degrees in the last five years and who show exceptional ability and promise for conducting basic research. Singh’s research proposal was “Compressive and Adaptive Measurement Design for Inference Problems in Multi-Attribute Large-Scale Graphs.” Last year, Singh was the recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER Award. Singh earned a bachelor's degree in electronics and communication engineering from the University of Delhi in 2001, and master's and Ph.D. degrees in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2003 and 2008, respectively. Prior to joining CMU's Machine Learning Department in 2009, she was a postdoctoral research associate at the Program in Applied and Computational Mathematics at Princeton University. Learn more about the research grants.

Robert Fallon, assistant professor of musicology, recently collaborated on two books, "Messiaen Perspectives 1 & 2." The two volumes of Messiaen Perspectives convey the growing understanding of his deep and varied interconnections with his cultural background. "Messiaen Perspectives 1: Sources and Influences" examines the genesis sources and cultural pressures that shaped Messiaen's music. "Messiaen Perspectives 2: Techniques, Influence and Reception" analyzes Messiaen's compositional approach and the repercussions of his music.

Allen Robinson joined nine other experts this week at the EPA’s Transportation Emissions Forum (March 4-5) in Ann Arbor, Mich. “We need to be cautious about the kind of restrictions we develop for emissions because there are so many atmospheric processes influencing how these tiny fine particulates impact the environment,” said Robinson, the Raymond J. Lane Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering and head of the Mechanical Engineering Department at CMU. His research has transformed how scientists, engineers and policymakers view fine particulate emissions from cars, trucks, wildfires and other combustion processes. In addition to leading the development of new research to quantify the climate and air quality impacts of unconventional gas development, Robinson’s work has led to improved policy assessments of air pollution and global climate.

Alex John London, professor of philosophy and director of the Center for Ethics and Policy, will present Allegheny College's Lehman Medical Ethics Lecture on Wednesday, March 12. The lecture is titled “IRBs, What Are They Good For? Absolutely Nothing? Individual Integrity vs Institutional Design.” Before researchers can conduct a study involving human participants they must submit their protocol to an Institutional Review Board (IRB). Recently, a number of critics have challenged the value of IRB review and charged that requiring it represents a violation of First Amendment rights that has had disastrous effects on academics and society as a whole. London’s talk will examine some of these criticisms and challenge the idea that the most basic function of IRB review is to protect research participants. For more information, visit

Kumar Avinava Dubey, a Ph.D. student in the Machine Learning Department, has been awarded an IBM Ph.D. Fellowship Award for the 2014-15 academic year. The IBM program is an intensely competitive worldwide program, which honors exceptional Ph.D. students who have an interest in solving problems that are important to IBM and fundamental to innovation in many academic disciplines and areas of study. Dubey’s research interests include statistical machine learning, non-parametric Bayesian methods, information retrieval and clustering. Fellows receive a stipend for one academic year, are matched with an IBM mentor according to their technical interests, and are strongly encouraged to participate in at least one internship at IBM while completing their studies. Before coming to CMU as a Ph.D. student, Dubey earned a master’s degree in computer science at IIT Bombay and was a researcher for IBM Research India from 2009-2011. His faculty adviser is Eric Xing, associate professor of machine learning, language technologies and computer science.

Jack Mostow, a research professor in the School of Computer Science, stars in the Pittsburgh premiere of Gilbert & Sullivan’s rarely seen comic operetta “Utopia, Limited.” Mostow plays Scaphio, judge of the Utopian Supreme Court. Also in the Pittsburgh Savoyards' production are David Svoboda, a software security engineer at the Software Engineering Institute, and alumnus Guy Russo (A’79). Svoboda plays the role of Mr. Blushington of the County Council and Russo is the operetta’s musical conductor. Learn more.