Carnegie Mellon University

The Piper

CMU Community News

Piper Logo
March 31, 2016

News Briefs

Students Host Sustainability Weekend

Sustainable Earth, a CMU student organization, is hosting its first Sustainability Weekend, today through Saturday (March 31–April 2). The event will bring students and professionals together to spark conversations about the ways we incorporate sustainability into our society.

The conference is free for CMU faculty, staff and students, and admission for the general public is $10. Sponsors also include the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education and Research. Register and see the full schedule

Keynote speakers are:

  • Bea Johnson of Zero Waste Home will share how her family of four produces just a quart-size jar of waste annually from 4:30 to 6 p.m., March 31 in Porter Hall 100.
  • Mark Dixon of COP21Pittsburgh will discuss the state of sustainability from 4:30 to 6 p.m., April 1 in the Cohon University Center’s Connan Room.
  • Jacqueline Patterson of the NAACP will present “Environmental Justice in Fint, Michigan: A Case Study” from 4 to 5:30 p.m., April 2 in the Cohon Center’s McConomy Auditorium.

Carnegie Mellon Today Earns Best in Class

Carnegie Mellon Today magazine, which launched in September 2015, has received the highest award, Best in Class, in the magazine and university categories of the Interactive Media Council’s annual Interactive Media Awards competition. The awards are meant to “recognize the highest standards of excellence in website design and development.” Featured judges come from companies such as The New York Times, Condé Nast Publications and Time Warner.

The council is an international nonprofit organization based in Manhattan that is “dedicated to elevating the standards of excellence on the Internet.” The awards are based on five specific criteria and received a perfect score (100/100) in four of the five (Content; Design; Feature Functionality; Usability) and a 94/100 in Standards Compliance. Learn more

BrainHub Sponsors NeuroHackathon

BrainHub is sponsoring its first NeuroHackathon, an effort to mine existing neural datasets for new insight into brain function, to engage computer and neuroscientists, and to facilitate the development of new collaborations. The event will take place in May 2016 and is open to Carnegie Mellon graduate students. The first-place award will include a cash prize as well as a semester of graduate student tuition support.

Call for Datasets

Have a good idea for a dataset you think is ripe for deeper analysis? Submit your curated datasets to be considered for the NeuroHackathon.

The BrainHub steering committee will select three to five datasets for inclusion into the event. Sponsoring scientists are expected to be present for a large portion of the Hackathon event in order to better direct and engage student efforts. There will be an organizational event in mid-April to plan the Hackathon.

To submit a dataset, or inquire about its suitability or accessibility, contact Alison Barth or Geoff Gordon. The deadline to enter is April 5. Find out more.

NREC Team Picked as a Blueberry Finalist

A team from CMU’s National Robotics Engineering Center has been named one of four semi-finalists and awarded $10,000 in the Naturipe Blue Challenge, a contest to develop innovative technologies for harvesting blueberries.

Dimi Apostolopoulos, senior systems scientist, is principal investigator and Gabriel Goldman, senior robotics engineer, was instrumental in developing the technical concept for the NREC entry. Naturipe will select which of the semi-final teams – or combinations of teams – will be funded to further develop and potentially implement their ideas.

Staff Receive Discount to Tepper Executive Education Programs

New for 2016, all CMU staff are eligible for a 33 percent discount off of open enrollment programs offered by Tepper School Executive Education. Programs are offered in Advanced Analytics and Leadership for Women.

Featured Program: Women on the Rise: Leadership for Emerging Women (May 11-13)

Are you ready to move from doer to leader? Do you have a team member with leadership potential? Carnegie Mellon’s Women on the Rise: Leadership for Emerging Women enhances the skill set of women on the way up. Participants gain mastery from building networks of influences and developing an authentic leadership brand to working with teams and managing conflict. Join Leanne Meyer for an online information session on April 7. RSVP today

Visit the Tepper School Executive Education website for details on additional programs such as Advanced Analytics for Operations and Marketing, Leadership and Negotiation Academy for Executive Women and a Networking Workshop.

Take Our Daughters & Sons to Work Day Registration Opens

Online registration for Take Our Daughters & Sons to Work Day will open April 1 and continue through April 22.

Sponsored by Staff Council, this year’s Take Our Daughters & Sons to Work Day is Thursday, April 28. The national program theme is “Sparking Aha Moments.” Faculty and staff are encouraged to bring their children between the ages of 8 and 15 to campus to give them a glimpse of the wide range of career and learning opportunities that exist at CMU. Following the lunch program, activity sessions will be held at 1:15 and 2:15 p.m. Students will register for a track that includes two activities.

For more information or questions, contact Pattye Stragar at or Tom Wilk at

If you would like to be a general volunteer to help during the event, contact Gloria Gruber at or visit the volunteer website for more information. 

CMUThink Begins With Sports and Games

Game NightThe CMU Alumni Association will launch CMUThink, its new lifelong learning platform for alumni and the CMU community, during Spring Carnival, April 14-16.

CMUThink will begin its series of interactive intellectual programs focused on sports and games. The programs include:

  • Sports & Start-ups, a conversation with the alumni behind (21+);
  • Fastball Screening and Panel Discussion, featuring Michael Tarr, professor and head of the Psychology Department; Gregg Franklin, professor of physics; Emmy Award-winning director Jonathan Hock; and Pirates Director of Performance Chris Johnson;
  • CMUThink @ the ETC: Gender in Modern Games panel discussion and tour (21+);
  • Faculty Lecture: Puzzle-Based Learning: From Huh? To Aha! with Raja Sooriamurthi, teaching professor of information systems; and
  • Faculty Lecture: A Psychological Approach to Designing and Researching Games to Reduce Stereotypes and Biases with alumnus Geoff Kaufman, assistant professor of human-computer interaction.

Visit for more information and registration. Students, faculty, staff and their families are welcome to attend.

Register Your Child for Gelfand’s Summer Series

CMU’s Gelfand Center Summer Series Classes for K-8 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 include Anatomy and Robotics, Finch Programming, Junk-bots, Research @ CMU and Green Engineering. Activities include creating, designing and programming robots. Student scientists will explore, investigate and discover exciting topics throughout the weeks!

Space is limited. Don’t delay, register today!

Last Call: ProSEED/Crosswalk Grant Proposals Due March 31

Students, faculty and staff are invited to submit proposals for the next round of ProSEED/Crosswalk seed funds; proposals are due March 31. This program aims to foster and promote new ideas that cross boundaries within and outside of CMU. Funds ranging from $500 - $2,500 may be requested to support the development of new initiatives in areas such as quality of campus life, service learning, student competitions, new course development, entrepreneurial activities and pilot projects.

Learn more about ProSEED. Email questions to

Swimming Lessons Offered

Carnegie Mellon’s swimming and diving team is offering private swimming lessons for children (ages 3 and up) and adults. Each one-on-one, 30-minute lesson is designed to benefit swimmers of all levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced.

Lesson dates are April 4, 5, 6 and 7. Lesson times are 4:30 – 5 p.m., 5 – 5:30 p.m., 5:30 – 6 p.m. and 6 – 6:30 p.m.

The cost is $25 for one lesson, $80 for four, and $150 for eight lessons.

For more information and to register, contact James Sica at 412-268-6082 or

Responsible Research Conduct Sessions Offered

CMU's Office of Research Integrity and Compliance (ORIC) is once again sponsoring Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Brown Bag Sessions during the spring 2016 semester for faculty, students and staff. All sessions are from 12 – 1 p.m. in the Cohon Center’s Connan room, as follows:

  • Wednesday, April 20: Intellectual Property at CMU; and
  • Wednesday, April 27: Data Management Planning.

More information is available on the RCR website. Space is limited, so please register early.

Find out more and apply online.