Carnegie Mellon University

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May 15, 2014

News Briefs

Endowed Fund To Support Student Recruitment

President Subra Suresh has announced a new endowed fund of $30 million, which will be used to support the recruitment of the best and brightest undergraduate and graduate students. The fund will support Presidential Fellowships for graduate students and Presidential Scholarships for undergraduates.
In an email to the university community, Suresh said the fund “seeks to address one of the most pressing challenges for CMU as we try to attract the best and the brightest students, as well as attract and retain the faculty who mentor them, amid increasing global competition for talent.”

Suresh said commitments for these endowed funds have been received from individual donors, alumni, CMU trustees, CMU faculty and philanthropic organizations.
Presidential Fellows and Scholars will be selected annually through a process overseen by the provost, department heads, deans and the Office of Undergraduate Admission. Students receiving the awards, their faculty and staff mentors, and the donors who make these awards possible will be recognized each year in a special campus event hosted on campus by the university president.  The event also will highlight the academic work being performed on campus by the Fellows and Scholars.
Read President Suresh’s full announcement.

PSC Helps Supply Vaccines to Children in West Africa

Researchers from the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, the University of Pittsburgh School of Engineering and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have used computer modeling software to help the Republic of Benin in West Africa to determine how best to bring more lifesaving vaccines to its children.

The team used their HERMES (Highly Extensible Resource for Modeling Supply-chains) tool to evaluate different options of redesigning the vaccine system being considered by the Benin Ministry of Health. Options included maintaining the current system, consolidating 80 "commune-level" supply depots to 34 "health zone" depots; and splitting the current high-level "department" and "regional" stores into 12 new departments. The researchers also evaluated the effects of changing transportation routes.
The computational model favored the health zone approach along with changing transportation routes, which could save between $50,000 and $70,000 in initial expenses and between $50,000 and $90,000 in annual costs compared with the other scenarios.
HERMES is a software platform that allows users to generate an event simulation model to any vaccine supply chain. The model can serve as a "virtual laboratory" to address a variety of questions in supplying vaccines as well as other health supplies.
Learn more.

Finch Robots Now in Chicago Libraries

The Chicago Public Library is now lending 500 Finch Robots to library patrons. The robots, developed by the Robotics Institute's CREATE Lab and marketed by CMU spinoff BirdBrain Technologies, are designed to present an engaging introduction to computer coding. As students learn the basics of coding, they are able to program the robot to do various functions, such as move, make noises, light up and draw. Users hook-up the robot to their home computer and download the tutorials from
"These Finch Robots will offer Chicago Public Library patrons an introduction to crucial 21st century skills in a creative, easy-to-learn way that makes computer programming accessible to Chicagoans of all ages," said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Hear Me 101 Project Sets Public Screening for May 22

Students from five local high schools focused their cameras on classmates, teachers and communities to produce documentary videos addressing such topics as bullying, the role of technology in education and school rankings. The videos, produced through the Hear Me 101 project run by Carnegie Mellon and three other community organizations, will be screened for the public at 6 p.m., May 22 at Pittsburgh Filmmakers Melwood Screening Room, 477 Melwood Ave., North Oakland.

The Hear Me 101 project included about 50 students from Clairton High School, McKeesport Technology Center, Steel Valley High School and the F.U.S.E. after school program, which includes students from Wilkinsburg High School and Imani Christian Academy. The project is a partnership between CMU's CREATE Lab, Pittsburgh Filmmakers Youth Media Program, the Consortium for Public Education and The Western Pennsylvania Writing Project.

Learn more.

Mandates for Renewable Energy Driving Wind-Related Patents

A Carnegie Mellon study has found that Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) — regulatory mandates for an increase in renewable energy production — are most likely the strongest policy drivers for the recent increase in wind-related technology patents.

The growth in patents has been substantial over the past decade, with U.S. wind electricity generation capacity 18 times higher in 2011 than it was in 2001, and the number of patents filed per year 10 times greater. Determining what caused this increase will influence future policy aimed at renewable energy innovation.

Learn more.

Parking Restricted, Stadium Closed for Commencement Prep

Parking will be restricted on Margaret Morrison Street, and Gesling Stadium (including the track) will be closed through Friday, May 23 for commencement preparation and clean-up.

Barricades will be placed on Margaret Morrison Street to indicate where parking is restricted and signs also will be posted. Please do not park in this area. Cars will be towed if necessary.

For more information on commencement, visit Questions? Contact University Events at 412-268-5052 or

UHS Offers Skin Cancer Screenings

University Health Services (UHS) is holding its annual skin cancer screenings from 12:30 – 4:30 p.m., May 16 and May 19. An appointment is needed and can be made by calling 412-268-2157 and choosing option 2. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S. and UHS has more appointment options this year than ever before. Learn more.

Bicycles To Be Removed, May 22-23

University Police and Facilities Management Services will be removing abandoned bicycles from the main Pittsburgh campus on Thursday, May 22. These bikes were identified and tagged for removal on Friday, May 9.
Abandoned bikes are those that are in poor condition from not being used. Bikes in poor condition are identified by such features that include, but not limited to, two flat tires, missing major parts, frozen brakes and rusted chains that make the bike unusable. 
In addition, all bicycles, regardless of condition, must be removed from bike racks located at residence halls by Thursday, May 22.  All remaining bikes will be removed by University Police and Housing Facilities personnel on Friday, May 23.
Those that are deemed to be operational will be stored on campus for six months. Owners seeking to claim their bikes should contact University Police at 412-268-2323. Non-operational bikes and bike parts will be donated to Free Ride,

Andy Award Nominations Now Being Accepted

The nomination period for the 2014 Andy Awards is now underway through July 9. 

The Andy Awards, named for Andrew Carnegie and Andrew Mellon, are a tribute to the spirit of teamwork and dedication embodied by the staff at Carnegie Mellon. Individual staff members and teams of colleagues whose work has had a significant impact on the university are recognized for their outstanding performance and commitment to excellence through the Andy Awards program.

Awards are given in six categories: Commitment to Students, Community Contributions, Culture, Dedication, Innovation and University Citizenship.

For more information on the awards and the nomination process, go to

Kennywood Picnic is Saturday, June 14

Carnegie Mellon's Employee Picnic at Kennywood Park, presented by Staff Council, will be held Saturday, June 14. Pavilion 14 will be reserved all day for CMU employees and their families. A prize giveaway for children 10 years of age and younger will be held at 4 p.m. followed by an adult raffle at 4:15 p.m. You must present your CMU ID to claim a prize.  Ice cream will be given away to everyone beginning at 4 p.m.

Employees can purchase one ticket for $10 with their CMU ID (valid on the June 14 picnic day only), up to four additional tickets for $17 each, and up to five more tickets for $22 each. Sandcastle ($22) and Idlewild ($25.99) tickets also will be available.  Please note, the $10 and $17 ticket is available to Carnegie Mellon Employee's only.  All individuals with a sponsored ID can purchase the $22 funday tickets.

The following are dates, times and locations for the ticket sales. Tickets must be purchased with cash only.

  • June 2, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m., University Center
  • June 3, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m., University Center      
  • June 4, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m., Mellon Institute      
  • June 4, 4:30 - 5:30 p.m., University Center    
  • June 10, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m., University Center      
  • June 11, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m., University Center      
  • June 13, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m., University Center

If you have any questions, please contact Sharon Cavlovich at or Nicole Stenger at

Leadership and Negotiation Academy for Women Opens Enrollment

The Carnegie Mellon Leadership and Negotiation Academy for Women, which consists of six two-day modules, is now enrolling students for its fall cohort, which will begin study in September 2014 and end in March 2015.

"Companies and institutions that are interested in developing their competitive advantage through investing in diverse talent will find this program immeasurably valuable," said Linda Babcock, academy co-founder and faculty director. "Our goal is to help women embrace opportunities to negotiate successful strategic initiatives and deals on behalf of their organizations and stakeholders — and for themselves."

Babcock, the James Mellon Walton Professor of Economics at the Heinz College, co-wrote two influential books with fellow academy instructor Sara Laschever: "Women Don't Ask: The High Cost of Avoiding Negotiation — and Positive Strategies for Change" and "Ask For It: How Women Can Use the Power of Negotiation to Get What They Really Want."

The academy — the first program of its kind to look at critical leadership skills through a negotiation lens — is now offered through Carnegie Mellon's Tepper School of Business Executive Education program in partnership with the Heinz College. Learn more.

Staff Council Offers Tickets to Hershey Park

Staff Council is offering discount tickets to Hershey Park this summer. Purchase your tickets via using promo code 85214. If you purchase tickets before July 6, you will receive an extra savings on the regular 1-day pass and tickets can be used ALL summer long.

Purchases made before July 6

  • Regular 1-day pass (ages 9-54) - $39.95
  • Regular 1-day pass (ages 9-54) - $46.95 (rate for purchases beginning July 7)
  • Jr/Sr 1-day pass (ages 3-8; 55-69) - $34.95
  • Senior+ 1-day pass (ages 70+) - $22.95
  • Regular 2-day pass (ages 9-54) - $78.20
  • Jr/Sr 2-day pass (ages 3-8; 55-69) - $57.50

The gate rate for regular passes is $60.80 and the Jr/Sr rate is $38.30. Each ticket is subject to a $.75 processing fee. If you have any questions, please contact Sharon Cavlovich at or Nicole Stenger at For more information on Hershey Park, visit

Cedar Point Tickets Available, Too

Staff Council also is offering discounted tickets to Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. You can access the discounted ticket offers at The user name is CARNEGIEMU and the password is cmu2014. The user name and password are case sensitive.

Ticket prices are:

  • Ride & Refresh: $49.99 (not available at the gate)
  • Cedar Point: $45 ($14.99 off the gate price)
  • Soak City: $28 ($5 off the gate price)
  • Ride & Slide: $79.99 ($8 off the gate price)

If you have any questions, please contact Sharon Cavlovich at or Nicole Stenger at