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June 04, 2015

Personal Mention

Stephen FienbergStephen E. Fienberg, the Maurice Falk University Professor of Statistics and Social Science at CMU, will help lead a new Forensic Science Center of Excellence that will be based at Iowa State University. While Iowa State will coordinate the activities of the center, major aspects of the research, education and training components of the work will be carried out at CMU. The center will be established by a five-year, up to $20 million grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology and will include researchers from Carnegie Mellon, the University of California, Irvine and the University of Virginia. Its primary goal will be to build a statistically sound and scientifically solid foundation under two branches of forensics: pattern evidence (including fingerprints and bullet marks) and digital evidence (including data from cellphones and computers).

Learn more about the new center.

Joel GreenhouseWhile suicide rates in children younger than 12 have remained steady for the past 20 years, a new study published in JAMA Pediatrics is the first to observe higher suicide rates among black children. Led by CMU’s Joel Greenhouse and researchers at the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s, the National Institute of Mental Health and The Ohio State University, the report’s analysis showed that suicide ranked 14th as a cause of death among 5- to 11-year-old black children from 1993-1997 but rose to ninth from 2008-2012. For white children, suicide ranked 12th from 1993-1997 and 11th from 2008-2012. Rates have remained stable in Hispanic children and children of other races. Greenhouse is a professor of statistics in the Dietrich College.

Read more about the study.

Gerald ConstanzoThe Pittsburgh Post-Gazette profiled English Professor Gerald “Jerry” Costanzo as a “Newsmaker You Should Know” for knowing that he wanted to be a teacher since age 10. In addition to teaching in the English Department, Costanzo founded and still directs the Carnegie Mellon University Press and has published more than 400 poems, articles and literary essays as well as seven of his own poetry collections.

Read the Post-Gazette article.


Obituary: John F. Nash, Jr.

John NashCMU alumnus John F. Nash, Jr. (S'48) died along with his wife in a car accident on Saturday, May 23. Nash earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in mathematics from CMU, then the Carnegie Institute of Technology. After graduating from Carnegie Tech, he earned his doctoral degree at Princeton and was a member of the mathematics faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1951-58. He later returned to join the faculty at Princeton, where he remained a senior research mathematician.

In 1994, Nash, along with John Harsanyi and Reinhard Selten received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for their pioneering analysis of equilibria in the theory of non-cooperative games. This work, sometimes called the Nash Equilibrium, has greatly influenced research in economics and finance. Carnegie Mellon honored Nash with an honorary degree in 1999 and holds the biennial Nash Distinguished Lecture Series, which brings prominent scientists to campus. 

In 2002, Universal Pictures released "A Beautiful Mind," a movie about Nash.

Nash's death came less than a week after he received the 2015 Abel Prize from the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters "for striking and seminal contributions to the theory of nonlinear partial differential equations and its application to geometric analysis." The Abel Prize is the most important prize honoring contributions to mathematics over the course of a career, and is considered by many to be equivalent to a Nobel Prize.