Carnegie Mellon University

The Piper

CMU Community News

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December 01, 2016

News Briefs

Facebook To Acquire CMU Facial Analysis Spinoff

Facebook has agreed to acquire Faciometrics, a spinoff from Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute that develops facial analysis software for mobile applications.

“Now, we’re taking a big step forward by joining the team at Facebook, where we’ll be able to advance our work at an incredible scale, reaching people from across the globe,” said Fernando De la Torre, associate research professor of robotics and head of the Human Sensing Laboratory.

Facial analysis tools have many applications including in animation and virtual/augmented reality. At CMU, De la Torre and his colleagues developed IntraFace, battery-friendly software that was so efficient that it could run on most smartphones. Faciometrics sought to extend this work and also has been developing new applications for it.

Find out more.

Tepper Ph.D. Students Win Top Honors from INFORMS

Several Tepper School Ph.D. students were recognized for their outstanding work and research contributions by the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS).

The Carnegie Mellon INFORMS Student Chapter was awarded a Student Chapter Annual Award at the Summa Cum Laude level, which is the highest level a student chapter can achieve.

Thiago Serra, president of the student chapter, won the Interactive Poster Session for his work done with Tepper School faculty member Egon Balas and François Margot, titled “Reformulating the Disjunctive Cut Generating Linear Program.” Serra also was honored with the Judith Liebman Award, which recognizes “outstanding student volunteers who have been ‘moving spirits’ in their universities, their student chapters and the institute.”

Shunyuan Zhang won the Best Student Paper Award at INFORMS’s Conference on Information Systems and Technology for “Professional versus Amateur Images: Investigating Differential Impact on Airbnb Property Demand.” This paper was co-authored by faculty members Param Vir Singh, Kannan Srinivasan and Dokyun Lee. Lee was runner-up for the Best Dissertation Award.

Additionally, Leela Nageswaran was runner-up for the INFORMS Service Science Section's Student Best Paper Award, sponsored by IBM Research.

Tepper Magazine Now Available Online

The fall 2016 edition of the Tepper Magazine is now available online, featuring content not found in the print edition.

This issue’s cover story, “Ripe for Change,” examines why sidelining women in business can hurt the bottom line and features alumnae Ann Marie Petach, Candice Irvin and M. Elise Hyland, as well as Leanne Meyer, director of the Carnegie Mellon Leadership and Negotiation Academy for Women, and faculty members Anita Williams Woolley, Laurie Weingart, Robert Kelley and Rosalind Chow. Other columns include:

  • “Follow the Leader: Entrepreneurship Meets Leadership,” featuring alumnus Stephen Gold, IBM Watson’s chief marketing officer and vice president for Business Development;
  • “Business Model: Surpassing New Heights,” telling the story of how alumnus John Robinson helped make the new PNC Tower the greenest building in the world;
  • Keeping Up with the Quad, which provides an update on the building’s progress, from the arrival of the crane to the selection of a food vendor;
  • Faculty research highlights, featuring Michael Trick, Denise Rousseau, Jeff Galak and Wolfgang Gatterbauer; and
  • “Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained,” a new column that highlights the entrepreneurial endeavors of Tepper School students and alumni.

Register Your Child for Gelfand Center's Saturday Classes

CMU's Gelfand Center Spring Series Classes for K-12 students are STEM focused and highlight the research and work of Carnegie Mellon faculty and staff. They are developed by CMU faculty and staff to be fun, engaging, rigorous and hands-on. Classes are conducted on select Saturday mornings (Jan. 28, Feb. 18, March 25, April 29) during the spring and registration is first-come, first-served. Student scientists will explore, investigate and discover exciting topics in each workshop. Spaces fill quickly so don’t delay, register today!

Saturday Bookfair Supports CMU’s Children’s School

A Barnes and Noble Bookfair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 3 at the Waterfront will benefit CMU’s Children’s School. A percentage of purchases will be used to purchase books for the school library.

The fair will include craft activities for children, a scavenger hunt, story time at 11 a.m., book readings, and Mrs. Bird and Friends will perform a concert at noon.

Can’t attend? Visit BN.COM/bookfairs Dec. 3-8 and enter Bookfair ID #11870979 at checkout.

PSC Earns HPCwire Awards

The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC) has received two international awards in high-performance computing. The PSC was cited in the annual HPCwire Readers’ and Editors’ Choice Awards for two projects. Its new Bridges supercomputer won “Best Data-Intensive System (End User Focused)” and its ongoing collaboration to reconstruct the microscopic architecture of the brain with Harvard University and the Allen Institute for Brain Science won “Best Use of High Performance Data Analytics.” HPCwire is the leading trade publication in the supercomputing field. Find out more.

Staff Discounts to Kennywood's Holiday Lights

Staff Council is offering discounted tickets to Kennywood's Holiday Lights events, 5 - 9 p.m., Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 24. Tickets are now on sale for $16 and must be purchased by Dec. 23. Purchase your tickets online.

Last Call: Support CMU's Toys for Tots Campaign 

The College of Engineering’s First-Year Advisory Board and the Carnegie Mellon Police Department are teaming up for CMU’s 12th Annual Toys for Tots Campaign. The program is modeled after the U.S. Marine Corps program that has been collecting toys for needy children since the early 1950s. This year’s campaign runs through Dec. 6. Donated toys must be new and unwrapped.

Toys for TotsHere are the drop-off locations:

  • Carnegie Mellon University Police, 300 South Craig Street, Main Lobby;
  • Software Engineering Institute, Main Lobby;
  • Mellon Institute, 3rd floor Security Desk;
  • UTDC, Main Lobby;
  • Morewood Gardens, Student Life Office;
  • Warner Hall, Enrollment Services;
  • Cohon University Center, Student Activities Office;
  • College of Fine Arts, Room 104;
  • Pittsburgh Technology Center, Technology Drive, Main Lobby;
  • NREC, 40th Street, Main Lobby;
  • Hunt Library, 1st Floor Lobby;
  • Tepper School of Business, 1st Floor Main Lobby;
  • Scaife Hall, Room 110;
  • Wean Hall 4212; and
  • FMS Service Response Desk.

If anyone has toys that need to be picked up, has questions or would like to participate further, contact CMU Police Officer Donald Campbell at

Holiday Sale at the University Store

Visit the University Store between Monday, Dec. 5 and Friday, Dec. 16 for its annual Holiday Sale, and get special discounts on some of your favorite items. Guests will receive a free CMU notecard with total purchases over $25, and a free 16 x 13 inch plaid gift bag with total purchases over $75.

Every guest will receive a Scotty Savings coupon worth 10 percent off their purchase total during the Holiday Sale, valid during the month of January 2017.

The University Store is located in Cohon Center. Store hours during the Holiday Sale are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; closed on Sundays. For more information, visit the University Store website.