Carnegie Mellon University

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CMU Community News

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November 13, 2014

News Briefs

New Gifts To Support Tepper Quad

President Subra Suresh has announced $8 million in recent gifts for the University Welcome Center and related construction on the Tepper Quadrangle.

The gifts include $5 million for the new University Welcome Center from CMU Trustee David Coulter (TPR'71) and his wife, Susan Weeks Coulter; and gifts of $1 million or more from Per G.H. Lofberg (TPR'73) and an anonymous donor for general support of Tepper Quad construction.

Total gift commitments for the project are now at nearly $104 million, including the historic $67 million original commitment by David A. Tepper (TPR'82) in November 2013 that initiated the university-wide effort.

The first building to be built on the Tepper Quad will provide critically needed infrastructure and space, intellectual and social connections, and opportunities for the entire CMU community. As a forward-looking academic building, along with the University Welcome Center, it will house:

  • the largest auditorium on the campus with sufficient flexibility to create state-of-the-art and globally connected academic spaces for all CMU students;
  • a new home for the Tepper School of Business, which will support infrastructure for forging strategic alliances with other units on campus and planning for future growth;
  • new dining and fitness facilities for the campus;
  • facilities to foster technology-enhanced teaching and learning, and to coordinate the on-campus and global activities of the Simon Initiative;
  • facilities to help enhance innovation and entrepreneurship activities, global industry connections and technology transfer;
  • gathering and meeting spaces for students and faculty from across campus;
  • significant flexibility in reconfiguring physical space in response to programmatic, demographic and curricular changes and opportunities; and
  • shell space for the design of new interdisciplinary activities that benefit a number of campus units.

Learn more.

Popular Science Honors SCS Projects as "Best of What's New"

Four inventions with origins in the School of Computer Science and, particularly, the Robotics Institute, have been honored by the annual Best of What's New Awards by Popular Science.

This year's winners, published in the magazine's December issue now on sale, include LiveLight, a method for automatically editing out the boring parts of personal or security videos; the Flex System, a neck surgery tool based on snake robot research; 360fly, a panoramic video camera; and 3D Object Manipulation Software, a photo editing tool.

The editors of Popular Science review thousands of products in search of the top 100 tech innovations of the year in 12 categories: Aerospace, Automotive, Engineering, Entertainment, Gadgets, Green, Hardware, Health, Home, Recreation, Security and Software.

The Carnegie Mellon winners are:

3D Object Manipulation Software was developed by Natasha Kholgade, a Ph.D. student in the Robotics Institute, and Yaser Sheikh, associate research professor of robotics, and colleagues. It uses available 3D models of common objects to enable photo editors to manipulate objects in three dimensions within a two-dimensional format. Objects can be turned or flipped in any direction, even exposing surfaces not visible in the original photo. It is a winner in the Software category.

Flex System, a robot-assisted surgical device, was developed by Howie Choset, professor of robotics, along with then post-doc Alon Wolf and Dr. Marco Zenati of the Harvard Medical School. Medrobotics Corp., a company that the trio co-founded, has begun limited marketing in Europe of the flexible endoscopic system that enables surgeons to access and visualize hard-to-reach anatomical locations in the head and neck. It is a winner in the Health category.

LiveLight, created by Eric P. Xing, professor of machine learning, and Bin Zhao, a Ph.D. student in the Machine Learning Department, is a method for automatically identifying the unique parts of videos and producing a mini-trailer of the video's highlights. They have launched a startup company, PanOptus, to develop an application that automatically summarizes security videos. It is a winner in the Security category.

360fly, formerly known as EyeSee360, is a spinout of the Robotics Institute. It is producing a rugged, waterproof and lightweight camera that provides a unique, 360-degree horizontal and 240-degree vertical view of the world. The Pittsburgh company, founded in 1998, expects to rollout the camera next year. The camera is a winner in the Gadget category.

The Numbers Are In: IR&A Publishes Fall Enrollments

Institutional Research and Analysis has published CMU’s official fall 2014 enrollments online. High-level enrollments (college, gender, race, citizenship and location) are available in individual pages at
Detailed enrollment cross-tabulations are available in an early posting of the 2015 Factbook at

Carnegie Mellon Today Wins Six Awards

Carnegie Mellon Today magazine recently earned six MarCom Awards, which are given annually to recognize achievement by marketing and communication professionals.
The magazine earned Platinum awards in the Magazine-Educational Institution and Writing/Feature Article categories, Gold awards in the Design/Magazine and Writing/Magazine categories, and honorable mentions in the Design/Magazine Cover and Writing/Column categories.

The winners ranged in size from individual companies to media conglomerates and Fortune 500 companies. There were more than 6,500 entries from throughout the United States, Canada and 15 other countries. Entries are judged by the international Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals. Learn more.

Win Holiday Gifts; Help Heinz Interns

As the winter holidays approach, the Heinz College’s Internship Opportunity Fund (IOF) is giving you a chance to win amazing gifts for the price of a raffle ticket.

The IOF Holiday Rafflepalooza will take place Dec. 1-3 in the Hamburg Hall foyer. The IOF will be raffling off gifts like wine tastings, theatre and symphony tickets, restaurant gift certificates, hotel stays, golf outings and more!

Stop by the Hamburg foyer during these dates and times to enter.

  • Dec. 1, 12 - 1:30 p.m.;
  • Dec. 2, 8 - 9 a.m., 12 - 1:30 p.m. and 4 - 6 p.m.; and
  • Dec. 3, 8 - 9 a.m. and 12 - 1 p.m.

All proceeds from the raffle will support the IOF, a fund to help Heinz College students pursue career-starting summer internships that are low-paid or unpaid. Last year, the IOF helped 33 students with internships at NBC, the Guggenheim, the United Nations Development Programme, Comedy Central, the U.S. Department of Education and many other institutions.

Shop To Support the Children's School

Shop at Ten Thousand Villages in Squirrel Hill on Thursday, Nov. 20, and a percentage of your purchase will be donated to the CMU Children's School Library Acquisition Fund.

The Children's School is an accredited early childhood laboratory school that offers morning and afternoon pre-school and full-day kindergarten programs for children between the ages of 3 and 6.

Ten Thousand Villages is at 5824 Forbes Ave. Thursday hours are 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.

CMU Offers Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers hosts onsite meetings at Carnegie Mellon every Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. in Cyert Hall B6-A. 
If you can’t make the at-work meetings, or prefer your community meeting, you can purchase your membership through Weight Watchers on a special website just for Carnegie Mellon staff, faculty and students AND their family members for only $39.95 a month (regular price is $42.95). The website is, the CMU ID is 21025 and the pass code is WW21025.
Membership includes all Weight Watchers materials, weekly meetings and e-Tools (WW online tools). Contact Rita Motor at 412-268-8071 or with any questions.

Help Feed the Hungry; Food Drive Underway

Carnegie Mellon's 21st annual food drive, sponsored by Staff Council, runs through Monday, Nov. 17. Collection containers are in many campus buildings, including the Cohon University Center (CUC). You also can bring donations to the annual Cans Across the Cut event on Nov. 17.

All donations go to the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank. Cash donations also are accepted. Make checks payable to the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank.

Toys for Tots Campaign Has Begun

The College of Engineering’s First-Year Advisory Board and the Carnegie Mellon Police Department are celebrating the 10th Anniversary of their Toys for Tots Campaign. The program is modeled after the national U.S. Marine Corps program that has been collecting toys for needy children since the early 1950s. This year’s campaign will run through Dec. 9. Donated toys must be new and unwrapped.

Here are the drop-off locations:

  • Carnegie Mellon University Police, 300 South Craig Street, Main lobby;
  • Software Engineering Institute, Main Lobby;
  • Mellon Institute, 3rd floor Security Desk;
  • UTDC, Main Lobby;
  • Morewood Gardens, Student Life Office;
  • Warner Hall, Enrollment Services;
  • Cohon University Center, Student Activities Office;
  • College of Fine Arts, Room 104;
  • Pittsburgh Technology Center, Technology Drive, Main Lobby;
  • NREC, 40th Street, Main Lobby;
  • Hunt Library, 1st Floor Lobby;
  • Tepper School of Business, 1st Floor Main Lobby; and
  • Scaife Hall, Room 110.

If anyone has toys that need to be picked up, has questions or would like to participate further, contact CMU Police Officer Donald Campbell at

Discounts Offered on Holiday Cards

Minted, the online stationery company, is offering CMU faculty and staff 10 percent off, plus free shipping on all Christmas and holiday card orders.  

Just enter the MINTEDFF2 coupon code at checkout. This discount code only applies to Christmas and holiday cards at this time.

"Be the Answer"; Give to the United Way

Carnegie Mellon’s 2014 United Way Campaign runs through Thursday, Dec. 11. This year’s theme is "Be the answer."

Employees are encouraged to live this year’s campaign theme by advocating for, or volunteering with, the United Way and by pledging or donating during the campaign. Please visit to make your pledge online and learn more about featured agencies that benefit from the United Way, including CMU's current featured agency, Oakland Planning and Development Corporation (United Way agency code #300). "Be the answer" to someone in need in Allegheny County. Pledge today!