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August 11, 2016

Personal Mention

Vyas SekarThe National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded Vyas Sekar a four-year, $1.1 million grant to help develop a software-based solution to the problem of Internet-of-Things security. Sekar, an assistant profesor of electrical and computer engineering and a member of CyLab, is collaborating with two other CyLab faculty members, professors Yuvraj Agarwal and Srinivasan Seshan from CMU's School of Computer Science. While the explosion of the Internet-of-Things has the power to transform society, security experts have exposed vulnerabilities in everything from internet-connected Barbie dolls to SUVs. "The problem is that these are really low-end, cheap commercial devices with little to no incentive for anyone to build with security," Sykar said. "This is a huge problem because these are things actually interacting with your physical environment. There are serious security and privacy risks," he said. Find out more.

Barbara JohnstoneProfessor of English and Linguistics Barbara Johnstone will participate in “Pittsburgh N’at: What Makes Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh” at the Heinz History Center on Aug. 18. The free event will highlight her work with History Center staff on the book “Pittsburghese,” as well as her previous book, “Speaking Pittsburghese: The Story of a Dialect.” The event is part of the Books of the ’Burgh series and Pittsburgh’s Bicentennial Celebration.

Scott WeingartScott Weingart, digital humanities specialist in the Dietrich College, will be among the speakers and presenters at the first Digital Humanities and Data Journalism Symposium, Sept. 29 – Oct. 1 at the University of Miami. Weingart will deliver talks and conduct workshops on topics ranging from big data management and analytics to data visualization and mapping. Weingart is the co-author of "The Historian's Macroscope" (2015). His research lies at the intersection of network science, 17th-century astronomy and media studies. Learn more about the symposium

Joel TarrJoel A. Tarr,
the Caliguiri University Professor of History & Policy in the Dietrich College, recently co-authored “Pittsburgh’s illuminating history” for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. In the article, Tarr and CMU alumna Anna Rosenblum retrace the history of streetlights in the city, from whale oil to LEDs. Read “The Next Page: Pittsburgh’s illuminating history.”

Obituary: Robert Page

Robert PageUniversity Professor of Music, emeritus, Robert Page died Sunday, Aug. 7. He was 89.

Page first joined the Carnegie Mellon School of Music as its head in 1975. He raised the performance standards of the school by laying out an ambitious vision and convincing faculty, students and administrators that it could be achieved. After his stint as head, Page became director of Choral Studies and in 2001 he was named the first Paul Mellon Professor of Music in the College of Fine Arts. Upon his retirement from the School of Music in 2013, Dan Martin, dean of the College of Fine Arts said, “He’s a musical giant. That man conducts with an energy and passion that flows from the very soles of his feet to the tip of his baton.”

Page had a lasting impact on the students he taught and was considered by his peers as the “Dean of American Choral Conductors.” Among the many students he influenced was Christiane Noll, a 1990 graduate who played Hope Caldwell in "Urinetown" and Mother in "Ragtime" on Broadway. “He challenged me and made me the best I could be. He was an inspiration and energy and a force to be reckoned with. I am so thrilled that I got to sing with him and make music with him," Noll said.

Outside of the CMU community, Page prepared choruses for the Philadelphia Orchestra (1956-1975), was director of Choruses of the Cleveland Orchestra (1971-1989), served as music director/conductor of the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh (the chorus of choice of the Pittsburgh Symphony) and was director of Choral Activities and Special Projects for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Prior to joining CMU, he served as director of Choral Studies at Eastern New Mexico University (1954-1959) and Temple University (1956-1975).

Winner of two Grammy awards, the "Prix Mondial de Montreux" and the "Grand Prix du Disque," Page’s choruses can be heard on more than 44 discs. During his lifetime, he conducted over 30 American orchestras and also conducted major orchestras and choruses in most of the countries of Western Europe.

“Robert Page was a brilliant musician, a powerful performer, an indefatigable advocate for the arts, and a profoundly important member of the CMU School of Music faculty," said Denis Colwell, head of CMU's School of Music. "His headship in the late 1970s was the inception of a period of growth for the School of Music that continues today. His sage counsel, force of personality, and inexhaustible energy will be sorely missed.”

The School of Music is planning an event dedicated to his memory in early fall.