Carnegie Mellon University

The Piper

CMU Community News

Piper Logo
June 25, 2015

Personal Mention

Farnam JahanianProvost Farnam Jahanian, who has been instrumental in the creation of numerous federal computer science initiatives, was presented with the Computing Research Association’s 2015 Distinguished Service Award at the annual Association of Computing Machinery Awards Banquet, June 20, in San Francisco. The award is presented to a person whose leadership and service in government affairs, professional societies, publications or conferences has had a major impact on computing research. The CRA selected Jahanian for his work as the National Science Foundation's assistant director for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) from 2011 to 2014. The CRA cited Jahanian’s work in launching three presidential initiatives: the National Robotics Initiative, the Big Data Research and Development Initiative, and US Ignite. While at the NSF, he led 25 new solicitations, including several cross-directorate efforts focused on secure and trustworthy cyberspace, cyberlearning and future learning technologies, and big data. "Farnam has been second to none as measured by the breadth and depth of his impact on the direction of the field, and his ability to partner effectively with the research community, and his peers at NSF and other agencies, and the White House," said Tom Kalil, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy deputy director for Technology and Innovation. Find out more

Ariel ProcacciaThe International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence has named Ariel Procaccia, assistant professor of computer science, as the recipient of its prestigious Computers and Thought Award for 2015. The award, presented every other year since 1971, recognizes outstanding young scientists in artificial intelligence. The judges cited Procaccia for his contributions to the fields of computational social choice and computational economics, and for efforts to make advanced fair division techniques more widely accessible. Procaccia's studies in artificial intelligence focus on the use of social choice and game theory for resource allocation and collective decision-making. Last year, he launched a website,, which leverages 70 years of fair division research to provide people with provably fair methods to resolve everyday dilemmas, such as how to split rent, divide goods or apportion credit for a project. Find out more.

Kenji ShimadaJessica ZhangSeveral Department of Mechanical Engineering faculty members, including Jessica Zhang and Kenji Shimada (l-r), are focused on creating realistic geometric representations of the human body in order to give clinicians a clearer image of organs, bones, and other internal structures that are impossible to visualize.

  • Zhang and her students have created revolutionary computer models for biomolecules and proteins. These computer models can be used extensively to study many biological processes and phenomena such as calcium inclusions in cardiac muscle, which can trigger arrhythmias, hypertrophy and other pathologies. Zhang runs the Computational Bio-Modeling Lab at CMU.
  • Shimada's patented technology for developing 3-D maps of human bones was recently licensed to one of the largest orthopedic device manufacturers through CMU’s Center for Technology Transfer and Enterprise Creation. His software takes 2-D images, such as X-rays, and uses proprietary algorithms to generate fully realized 3-D models. These geometries of an individual patient’s bones can be used to specify hip implants that fit exactly into the existing bone structure, increasing the chances for success.

Find out more.

Linda NorthropLinda Masters Northrop has retired from the Software Engineering Institute (SEI), where she has been in a research leadership role for more than 20 years. Most recently, she was chief scientist of the Software Solutions Division. At a retirement ceremony in her honor on June 11, Northrop was praised for her seminal contributions and leadership in software product line development, software architecture and ultra-large-scale systems. In her work at the SEI, Northrop collaborated with academic and industrial researchers and worked with federal, energy, health care and computational science agencies as well as private organizations in related sectors. William Scherlis, director of the Institute for Software Research, called Northrop “a source of inspiration in the software engineering community, showing an extraordinary capability to work across the spectrum from fundamental research to mission-focused work.” Northrop is one of six staff members designated as a SEI technical fellow in the more than 30-year history of the SEI and the first female to be selected. She is co-author of the book “Software Product Lines: Practices and Patterns” and has given more than 290 invited keynotes, presentations and tutorials across the globe. She is a distinguished member of the Association of Computing Machinery.

Metin SittiMechanical Engineering Professor Metin Sitti and his team are investigating how pH affects bacteria-propelled microrobots. Their article, titled “pH-Taxis of Biohybrid Microsystems,” was published in Scientific Reports. Sitti, who runs the NanoRobotics Lab, focuses on robotics, with an emphasis on micro- and nano-scale robotics. His research program combines applied micro/nano-robotic systems with micro/nanoscale mechanics modeling and analysis. In his NanoRobotics Lab, the functional goal is to develop new methods to design, manufacture, and control innovative and high impact micro/nano-robotic systems in three thrust areas: miniature mobile robots, bio-inspired micro/nano-fiber adhesives, and micro/nano-manipulation systems.