Manuela Veloso, a computer scientist renowned for her work in artificial intelligence and robotics, has been named head of the Machine Learning Department. She succeeds Tom Mitchell who remains part of the faculty. Veloso, the Herbert A. Simon University Professor of Computer Science, has been a faculty member since earning her Ph.D. in computer science at Carnegie Mellon in 1992. “Carnegie Mellon’s AI community has long nurtured the field of machine learning — software that acquires knowledge and improves its performance with experience — culminating in the creation of the world’s first Machine Learning Department 10 years ago,” said School of Computer Science Dean Andrew Moore. “Manuela is the embodiment of this legacy. Her knowledge of all aspects of AI and her dedication make her the perfect person to lead MLD now that machine learning has emerged as a major component of the world’s economy.” Find out more.
Katie Whitefoot has joined the College of Engineering this semester from the National Academy of Engineering in Washington D.C., where she worked closely with policymakers to inform them on manufacturing policy and its potential to re-invigorate manufacturing in the U.S. Whitefoot, a professor of mechanical engineering and engineering and public policy, is focusing her research around sustainable design with connections to energy efficiency and additive manufacturing, also known as 3-D printing. She will be working with Mechanical Engineering Professor Jack Beuth in CMU’s new NextManufacturing Center, and with Erica Fuchs, associate professor of engineering and public policy. “There has been a lot of attention on additive manufacturing lately in the policy realms,” Whitefoot said. “CMU has some of the best researchers on that topic so I am looking forward to working within that space.” Whitefoot also is looking forward to returning to the classroom. “What drew me back to academia is being around the scholarly environment and interacting with students. I’m excited to get back to teaching,” she said. Find out more about Whitefoot.
Senior Kaytie Nielsen has won a nationally competitive fellowship from the Henry Luce Foundation. A Bachelor of Humanities and Arts (BHA) student with concentrations in creative writing and directing, Nielsen is one of 18 students and young professionals selected to participate in the prestigious Luce Scholars Program. The award provides stipends, language training and individualized professional placement in Asia for individuals from various fields and backgrounds who have limited exposure to Asian culture. "Kaytie is an adventurer, an intellectual seeker and a relationship builder. At every turn, she has sought out unique experiences and personal connections to make her a better, more skillful and deeply thoughtful documentary filmmaker," said Stephanie Wallach, assistant vice provost for undergraduate education. "The Luce Scholars Program allows Kaytie to use these very same qualities in Asia as she sets out on her post-graduate journey that will reshape her personal narrative and her professional contributions in the future." Nielsen is determining the country and type of organization that best suits her goals and talents. She hopes to work hands-on with filmmakers who promote social change through their craft, or as part of an educational initiative that makes filmmaking more accessible to underprivileged populations. Find out more.
Boris Bukh, an assistant professor of mathematical sciences, has received a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation. One of the most prestigious awards for young faculty, CAREER awards recognize and support those who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through their outstanding research and teaching. The five-year grant will support Bukh's research into developing a powerful and novel approach to establish connections between two fundamental mathematical fields: combinatorics and algebra. Find out more.
Cheryl Begandy, director of Education, Outreach and Training at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC), will receive the 2016 YWCA Greater Pittsburgh Tribute to Women Leadership Award for Science & Technology. Begandy oversees the PSC’s outreach programs with a particular emphasis on K-12 STEM education. The PSC's outreach efforts include programs that introduce computational reasoning and tools such as modeling and simulation to middle school and high school girls. She oversees the PSC Corporate Affiliates Program through which private sector companies can utilize PSC resources and expertise. Begandy will be presented with her award at the YWCA’s awards luncheon May 26 at the Westin Hotel downtown.