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March 10, 2016

Personal Mention

Jaime CarbonellLanguage Technologies Institute (LTI) Director and Allen Newell Professor of Computer Science Jaime Carbonell has won the 2015 Okawa Prize for "outstanding contributions to research in language technologies, machine learning and computational biology in the field of artificial intelligence." Presented by the Okawa Foundation, the prize publicly recognizes people who have made outstanding contributions to research, technological development and business in the international information and telecommunications fields. Carbonell joined the Carnegie Mellon community as an assistant professor of computer science in 1979, and has become a widely recognized authority in machine translation, natural language processing, machine learning, computational proteomics and biolinguistics. He has invented a number of well-known algorithms and methods during his career, and his research has resulted in or contributed to many commercial enterprises, including Carnegie Speech, Carnegie Group and Dynamix Technologies. Carbonell created CMU's Ph.D. program in language technologies, and is co-creator of the Universal Library and its Million Book Project. He founded CMU's Center for Machine Translation in 1986 and led its transformation into the LTI in 1996. Find out more.

Justine CassellJustine Cassell, associate dean for technology strategy and impact for the School of Computer Science, has been named a Corresponding Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE). She is one of 56 distinguished individuals elected this year. The RSE is an educational charity that operates as Scotland’s National Academy, providing independent and expert advice on a wide range of subjects to the government and Parliament, as well as mentoring entrepreneurs, establishing educational programs for young people and engaging the general public through educational events. Cassell was elected for her contributions to computer science and to human-computer interaction. Her research has included a focus on ways in which technology can level the playing field for women and other under-represented groups in STEM subjects. Cassell joined Carnegie Mellon in 2010 as director of the Human-Computer Interaction Institute. Cassell will be inducted at a May 16 ceremony. Find out more.

Kiron SkinnerKiron Skinner met Nancy Reagan in 1994 when the former first lady gave Skinner nearly exclusive access to President Ronald Reagan’s private papers. Skinner, director of the Institute for Politics and Strategy in the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, used those papers to co-write The New York Times bestseller "REAGAN: A Life in Letters.” The book provides an unprecedented look at more than 70 years of Reagan's life through his personal correspondences to friends and family, statesmen, celebrities, children and ordinary citizens. Following Reagan’s death, Skinner gave several interviews to CNN, MSNBC, KABC, WESA and others. Listen to Skinner on WESA.  

Jelena KovacevicJelena Kovacevic, head of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, was recently featured in a Q&A article in, an online publication that focuses on entrepreneurship in Southwestern Pennsylvania. In the piece, the biomedical engineering professor and director of the Center for Bioimage Informatics shares insights about what brought her to CMU, her biomedical research that includes diagnosing ear infections, getting more women involved in STEM programs and the entrepreneurial culture at CMU.

Lynn WalkerChemical Engineering Professor Lynn Walker has been elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). Fellow is AIChE's highest grade of membership, and is achieved only by election by the general body upon recommendation of the AlChE Admissions Committee. Walker's research focuses on understanding and controlling complex fluids for real-world engineering applications. She uses a number of tools including rheometric characterization, classical colloid and macromolecular analytical techniques, small-angle scatterning and microfluidic tools. Find out more

Pulkit GroverPulkit Grover, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, has co-authored a paper with colleagues from Stanford and California-Berkeley that was recently published in the February issue of the IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications. The paper, titled "On Total Power Capacity of Regular LDPC Codes with Iterative Message Passing Decoders," for the first time shows, using equally rigorous mathematics and circuit simulations, that the choice of communication strategies in existing data centers and indoor and millimeter-wave wireless environments is extremely inefficient, and provides explicit techniques for improvement, as well as open-source software for choosing these techniques. “Intellectually, it completely rethinks how these communication systems have been designed since 1948, when the seminal work of Claude Shannon appeared. It also shows how the intuition and design must change completely; no longer can we simply assume that a traditionally ‘good’ code design, namely codes that achieve the 'Shannon capacity,' will be power efficient in these short-distance networks,” Grover said. Read the paper.