Carnegie Mellon University

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March 12, 2015

Personal Mention

Travis BreauxTravis Breaux, assistant professor of computer science in the Institute for Software Research, is the recipient of the National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award, the agency’s most prestigious award for junior faculty. The five-year, $600,000 award will support the study of privacy and security policies and their impact on the evolution of software requirements for pervasive and distributed systems. The study aims to assist end users, lawyers and software engineers to predict changes to software due to changes in contextual and environmental assumptions. “Mobile and Web applications that make our lives easier and more productive are composed of complex systems and services that lack transparency and accountability,” Breaux said. “Our goal is to use this award to study new ways to help industry and government agencies better protect personal privacy by demonstrating how systems conform to changing privacy and security policies.”

Koushil Sreenath, an assistant professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department, has received a Google Faculty Research Award in robotics. He was one of two researchers worldwide to be recognized in the field of robotics during the winter 2015 round of Google’s biannual awards. Sreenath's research interest lies at the intersection of highly dynamic robotics and applied nonlinear control. He employs feedback control to ascribe high-performance features seen in biological systems to robots. He runs the Highly Dynamic Robotics lab and also holds courtesy appointments in the university's Robotics Institute and the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. Learn more.  

Robotics Professor Manuela Veloso and her team of CoBots were recently featured on CBS This Morning – Saturday. For the past three years, Veloso’s CoBots have been navigating the corridors of the Gates and Hillman centers and Newell-Simon Hall, running errands and guiding visitors without human supervision. Last fall, their collective odometer reached 1,000 kilometers — more than 620 miles — a record accomplishment for indoor autonomous robots. Read the CBS feature.

Christophe Combemale, a student in the Heinz College’s accelerated master’s degree program, was part of a winning team at the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration’s (NASPAA) inaugural student simulation competition. The competition, held at the University of Maryland, brought together graduate students from NASPAA schools to analyze a current health policy problem and recommend a bottom-up approach to reform. “In the simulation, we were tasked with improving productivity and increasing the quality, access, cost and supply of health care and every time we looked at our initiatives we found that funding was the main limiting factor,” Combemale said. He said the team focused on programs that led to cost savings, such as preventative care, and used those savings to pay for more initiatives. “It was really the layering of initiatives that helped us succeed,” Combemale said.

Tim ConnellyGary AldrichTwo veteran coaches were appointed to lead the cross country and track and field programs. Associate Head Track and Field Coach Gary Aldrich (near right) has been promoted to head coach and longtime Notre Dame coach Tim Connelly (far right) has been named head cross country and associate head track and field coach. Aldrich and Connelly succeed Dario Donatelli (TPR’81), who retired in January. In Aldrich's eight seasons as the associate head coach for the men’s and women’s track and field teams, the men's program won three University Athletic Association Championships and he coached five All-Americans. Connelly comes to Carnegie Mellon after serving 26 years at Notre Dame as the head women’s cross country coach and assistant men’s and women’s track and field coach. He coached the women’s cross country team to a third-place (2002) and fourth-place (2004) NCAA finish during his tenure. In all, Connelly’s teams have made 12 NCAA team appearances and won two Big East Conference titles.  Since 1993, Connelly has mentored 15 All-Americans and 28 All-Big East cross country runners. Learn more