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September 11, 2014

Personal Mention

More than 50 friends and colleagues of Edmund M. Clarke, the FORE Systems University Professor of Computer Science, will deliver technical talks Sept. 19-20 at the Clarke Symposium 2014, celebrating the work of both the Turing Award winner and the model checking community he helped create. In addition to the talks both days in the Asian Students Association conference room in the Gates and Hillman centers, the conference will include a Saturday evening banquet celebrating Clarke’s planned retirement in 2015. Clarke played a leading role in developing model checking, a formal method for verifying the correctness of computer hardware and software design. For that achievement, he shared the Association for Computing Machinery’s 2007 Turing Award, considered the highest honor that can be bestowed on a computer scientist, and earlier this year received the Franklin Institute’s prestigious Bower Award and Prize. Clarke directs Computational Modeling and Analysis of Complex Systems, a National Science Foundation project that is extending model checking and other formal verification techniques to produce insights into a variety of complex systems, from embedded computer systems to cancer. Conference speakers include faculty members, former students and fellow researchers in the model checking community. Learn more about the symposium.

Previous research has shown that individuals with supportive and rewarding relationships have better physical and mental health and lower mortality rates. However, exactly how meaningful relationships affect health has remained less clear. In a new paper, Carnegie Mellon's Brooke Feeney and University of California, Santa Barbara's Nancy L. Collins detail specific interpersonal processes that explain how close relationships help individuals thrive. Published in "Personality and Social Psychology Review," Feeney and Collins emphasize two support functions that relationships provide; point out when relationships can do more harm than good; and highlight areas where further research is necessary. "Relationships enable us to not only cope with stress or adversity, but also to learn, grow, explore, achieve goals, cultivate new talents and find purpose and meaning in life," said Feeney, associate professor of psychology in the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Learn more.

Biomedical Engineering Assistant Professor Tzahi Cohen-Karni and his team will share a 2014 Kaufman Foundation grant of roughly $2 million with nine researchers from across six Pennsylvania universities. As a winner in the New Investigator Research category, Cohen-Karni was awarded $150,000, to be disbursed over two years. The Cohen-Karni Lab received this grant to fund its research examining how cells in the pancreatic islet communicate. Through the synthesis of nanomaterials, such as silicon nanowires, and the development of nanoscale sensors, the scientists will be able to peek into the key mechanisms of glucose level maintenance with outstanding resolution. This nanomaterials-based measurement platform will lay the groundwork for further investigations into disease abnormalities. The Charles E. Kaufman Foundation, a division of The Pittsburgh Foundation, provides awards each year to support cutting-edge scientific research at institutions across Pennsylvania.

Julia Corrin
has joined Carnegie Mellon's University Libraries as the University Archivist, responsible for the administration and management of University Archives in Hunt Library. The University Archives collects and preserves records and personal papers of historical or administrative importance to the university, generated by faculty, academic departments, administrative offices or campus organizations, and makes them available for reference and research. "Julia’s experience with the preservation of digital records will move the University Archives forward as we continue to acquire, manage and preserve at-risk born-digital materials generated by our academic community," said Director of Scholarly Publishing, Archives and Data Services Gabrielle Michalek. Corrin comes to Pittsburgh from Arkansas State University, where she was the political collections archivist. She holds a bachelor's degree in American studies from Carleton College, and a master's degree in information, archives and records management from the University of Michigan. Corrin succeeds Patrick Trembeth, who had a one-year temporary appointment.

Kathryn Roeder will give the Seaver Distinguished Lecture at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai’s Seaver Autism Center today (Thursday, Sept 11). Her talk is titled "Networked Assisted Analysis Helps Reveal the Genetic Basis of Autism." Roeder is a professor of statistics and computational biology and a leading expert in statistical genomics and the genetic basis of complex disease. Learn more

The Siebel Scholars Foundation has named five Carnegie Mellon graduate students —  Joydeep Biswas, Anca Dragan, Anirudh Viswanathan, Pengtao Xie and Adams Wei Yu — to the 2015 class of Siebel Scholars. The Siebel Scholars program recognizes the most talented students at the world's leading graduate schools of business, bioengineering and computer science. They are chosen based on outstanding academic achievement and demonstrated leadership. Each receives a $35,000 award for their final year of study.

  • Biswas is a Ph.D. student at the Robotics Institute. Advised by Manuela Veloso, his research interests are primarily in autonomous mobile robots, including autonomous robot localization and multi-robot teams. The CoBot robots, running his localization algorithms, have navigated almost 1,000 kilometers in multiple buildings with varied environments. Biswas is the leader of the CMDragons, CMU's RoboCup soccer team that placed second in the world in the small-size league in 2013 and 2014. He received a master's degree in robotics from CMU, and a bachelor's degree in engineering physics from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.
  • Dragan is a Ph.D. candidate at the Robotics Institute and a member of the Personal Robotics Lab. She was born in Romania and received her bachelor's degree in computer science from Jacobs University Bremen in 2009. Her research lies at the intersection of robotics, machine learning and human-computer interaction. She is interested in enabling robots to seamlessly work with and around people. She is an Intel Ph.D. Fellow, a Dan David Prize Scholar for 2014 and a Google Anita Borg Scholar for 2012. She serves as general chair on the Quality of Life Technology Center's student council.
  • Viswanathan, a master's degree student in the Robotics Institute, has conducted research in the Center for Intelligent Systems at P.E.S. Institute of Technology in Bangalore, developing and field-testing vision-based robotic exploration algorithms. His results have been presented at several peer-reviewed, IEEE-sponsored conferences as well as published in a respected journal. Viswanathan also worked as an intern at several labs outside of his home university, including two groups at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore and an internship at Cisco Systems.
  • Xie is pursuing a second master's degree in computer science. His research interests lie in probabilistic graphical models and distributed machine learning systems. He designed graphical models to solve important problems in machine learning such as learning distance metrics on multi-modal data and integrating document clustering and topic modeling. He works in the intersection between machine learning and computer systems, developing systems to improve the scalability, usability and security of large-scale machine learning. He earned bachelor's and master's degrees in computer science from Sichuan University and Tsinghua University, respectively. Xie was awarded the Goldman Sachs Global Leader Program Scholarship in 2008 for his excellence in academia and leadership. He was the recipient of the National Scholarship of China.
  • Wei Yu is pursuing his master's degree in the Language Technologies Institute. The challenges associated with the Big Data era have motivated Adams: his research interests include statistical machine learning with massive datasets, large-scale optimization and graph query, with applications in social network analysis, Web search and data mining. His co-authored paper was nominated as Best Paper at ICME 2011. He received a master's degree in computer science at the University of Hong Kong and a bachelor's degree in applied mathematics at Beihang University. He was a research intern in Microsoft Research Asia, working on how to leverage a huge knowledge base to assist classifying search engine queries.