The National Academy of Sciences will award John R. Anderson with the 2016 Atkinson Prize in Psychological and Cognitive Sciences for his “foundational contributions to systematic theory and optimality analysis in cognitive and psychological science and for developing effective, theory-based cognitive tutors for education.” Anderson, the R. K. Mellon University Professor of Psychology and Computer Science, will receive the prize — a gold-plated bronze medal and $100,000 — at the academy’s annual meeting on Sunday, May 1, in Washington, D.C. Anderson is best known for creating the Adaptive Control of Thought (ACT) cognitive models. Using the models, Anderson led a team that built an intelligent computer tutor to teach algebra to high school students. The program solved mathematical problems like students did and was so successful that a spinoff company, Carnegie Learning, developed computer tutors as a commercial product. To date, hundreds of thousands of students have benefited from these interactive systems. Find out more.
President Subra Suresh and collaborators Tony Jun Huang from Penn State and Ming Dao from MIT have demonstrated that acoustic tweezers can be used to non-invasively move and manipulate single cells along three dimensions, providing a promising new method for 3-D bioprinting. Their findings are published in this week’s issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). “The results presented in this paper provide a unique pathway to manipulate biological cells, accurately and in three dimensions, without the need for any invasive contact, tagging or biochemical labeling,” Suresh said. “This approach could lead to new possibilities for research and applications in such areas as regenerative medicine, neuroscience, tissue engineering, bio-manufacturing and cancer metastasis.” Find out more.
Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering B. Reeja Jayan and her team developed a polymer based solid electrolyte that can potentially replace the flammable liquid electroyte in energy storage devices like lithium ion batteries. The presence of these flammable components would otherwise pose significant safety concerns, especially in applications like the electric car. Their article, "iCVD Cyclic Polysiloxane and Polysilazane as Nanoscale Thin-Film Electrolyte: Synthesis and Properties," was published in Macromolecular Rapid Communications. Read more.
Maggie Braun (right) has been appointed associate dean for undergraduate affairs in the Mellon College of Science (MCS). Braun succeeds Eric Grotzinger (far right), who is retiring after a distinguished career with Carnegie Mellon. Grotzinger has been associate dean since 1991, and a member of the MCS faculty since 1979. Braun joined the CMU faculty in 2008 as assistant department head for undergraduate affairs in the Department of Biological Sciences, where she has been the primary academic adviser for all undergraduates in the department, mentoring more than 600 students over the past seven years. In January 2015, Braun was named director of MCS core education, a new, multidimensional undergraduate education program that aims to prepare students for their future as 21st-century scientists. Find out more.
Bart Kolodziejczyk, a mechanical engineering research fellow in Professor B. Reeja Jayan’s group, has become a member of the Global Young Academy (GYA). Founded in 2010 in Berlin, Germany, the GYA is an initiative of the World Economic Forum and the InterAcademy Panel on International Issues. GYA is an international society of young scientists that focuses on issues related to science education, science and society, early career development and other interdisciplinary issues.