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May 29, 2014

Personal Mention

Jared L. Cohon has been appointed as a co-chair on the Commission to Review the Effectiveness of the National Energy Laboratories, which will advise Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz on how effectively the Energy Department's 17 national laboratories are advancing research that aligns with national science, energy, environmental and security goals. Cohon is CMU president emeritus and a University Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Department of Engineering and Public Policy. The congressionally mandated committee will produce a two-part study, the first part of which is due by February 1, 2015. Read the full story.

Roberta Klatsky was featured in a Psychological Science article on "Making the Most of Science, In and Out of the Classroom" for how she teaches fundamental concepts in cognitive psychology and then gears the rest of the course to how those concepts — perception, cognition, memory, learning, language, and emotions — are applied. Klatzky is the Charles J. Queenan Professor of Psychology. Read the article.

Naoko Taguchi, associate professor of Japanese and Second Language Acquisition, received the TOEFL Committee of Examiners grant that supports her research investigating the predictive validity of the TOEFL iBT test in English-medium universities in Japan and Qatar. The TOEFL iBT test measures an individual's ability to use and understand English at the university level. Taguchi will work with multiple data set to examine the relationship between admission TOEFL scores and academic success among students in English-medium context.

Kiron Skinner, associate professor of social and decision sciences and director of the Center for International Relations and Politics, wrote two opinion pieces on Russian President Putin and the Ukraine. For Forbes Magazine, Skinner wrote "As Putin's Confidence Grows, Cold War Concerns Gain Credibility.” She penned "Credible Leadership Should Seek More Than Containment” for the Hoover Institution."

Danai Koutra, a doctoral candidate in the School of Computer Science, along with Microsoft researchers Paul Bennett, an alumnus of the Language Technologies Institute and Distinguished Scientist and Managing Director Eric Horvitz, studied information-seeking behavior and access to alternative versus reinforcing viewpoints for strongly polarizing topics. In particular, they analyzed the search and browsing behavior on the gun control debate following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newtown, Conn. Read the paper and the MIT Tech Review article and other press coverage.

Carl Bajandas, a 2014 Master of Fine Arts alumnus, is an antidisciplinary artist and classicly trained luthier. With each project he works with concept appropriate media often requiring entirely new production methods. Creating diverse works that contain thoughtful elements of levity and introspection, ranging from a pre-Wright Brothers flight museum to a chemically played instrument-installation. He is the recipient of a 2014 Vermont Studio Center residency and American Austrian/Seebacher Prize for Fine Arts to study and create new work at the Salzburg International Academy of Fine Arts in Austria this summer, proposing to create a series of control-action sound devices for street performers with alumnus Dan Wilcox (A'13). Bajandas' latest artwork for the CMU's MFA thesis exhibition "Lossless" consisted of a large-scale chemically unstable crystal color field that slowly shifts from blue to black. In reaction to this change, custom sound generation software creates a corresponding soundscape. This work explores entropy and our relationship to change.

Carey K. Morewedge, Colleen E. Giblin and Harvard Business School's Michael I. Norton set out to determine how people perceive their own spontaneous thoughts — intuitions, dreams or quick impressions — and if those thoughts have any influence over judgment. Published in the “Journal of Experimental Psychology: General,” their research found that spontaneous thoughts are perceived to provide potent self–insight and can influence judgment and decisions more than similar more deliberate kinds of thinking, even on important topics such as commitment to current romantic partners. Morewedge is associate professor of marketing in the Tepper School of Business with an additional appointment in the Dietrich College’s Department of Social and Decision Sciences; Giblin is a doctoral student in the Tepper School; and Norton is associate professor of business administration at Harvard Business School. Read more.