David Danks, the L.L. Thurstone Professor of Philosophy and Psychology and head of the Department of Philosophy, has been named one of 35 new Andrew Carnegie Fellows by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Danks will use the $200,000 award to explore human trust in the age of autonomous technologies. Well known for using computational cognitive science to develop computational models to describe, predict and, most importantly, explain human behavior, Danks is a leading expert in the ethics of artificial intelligence. As autonomous technologies become more prevalent, Danks said he believes a structure must be established to guide their use, assess their impacts, develop policies and regulations and inform the public. Find out more.
Vice President for Operations Rodney McClendon has announced that Madelyn Miller, director of the Environmental Health & Safety Department for 21 years, will retire from the university, effective Dec. 31. “To ensure a smooth transition and take advantage of Madelyn’s great institutional knowledge and expertise, I have asked Madelyn to work with me in coming months as a senior adviser to the vice president for Operations,” McClendon said. Succeeding Miller on an interim basis will be Melanie Lucht, who will continue in her role of senior manager for Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity. “Having served in her current role at CMU since January of 2013, Melanie understands the critical importance of environmental health and safety and is the ideal person to lead EH&S during this transition period,” McClendon said. A celebration in honor of Miller’s service to the university will be held closer to her retirement date.
Edward Kennedy is this year’s recipient of the American Statistical Association’s (ASA) David P. Byar Young Investigator Award. The award is given annually to a new researcher in the ASA Biometrics Section who presents an original manuscript at the Joint Statistical Meetings. The award commemorates David Byar, a renowned biostatistician who made significant contributions to the development and application of statistical methods during his career at the National Cancer Institute. Kennedy was recognized for his manuscript, “Robust estimation and inference for the local instrumental variable curve." He is an assistant professor in the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences’ Department of Statistics.
Kiron Skinner, director of the Institute for Politics and Strategy in the Dietrich College, wrote a chapter on President Ronald Reagan for a new book that explores scandal, death and illness in the White House. Published by Oxford University Press, the book offers new approach to presidential biography, tracing the impact of personal crises and emotional instabilities on presidential decision-making and national (and international) outcomes. Learn more.