August 19, 2020
Annette Vincent has been named Carnegie Mellon in Qatar’s first associate dean of diversity and climate. Michael Trick, dean of Carnegie Mellon in Qatar, created the new leadership role to oversee and guide the campus’ efforts to become a more diverse, inclusive and equitable learning and working community. Vincent joined the CMU-Q faculty in 2012 and has served as program director for Biological Sciences since 2016. In her new role, she will provide leadership in planning, implementing, and evaluating goals related to diversity, inclusion, climate and equity. “This new role is integral to the Carnegie Mellon mission of cultivating a diverse, world-class talent, encouraging collaboration and ensuring individuals can achieve their full potential,” Trick said. “I am very pleased that Professor Vincent will be guiding our community as we continue to grow and thrive.”
Professor of Biological Sciences Charles Ettensohn has received a $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to support his research into how an organism's genome regulates the development of its body from scratch. In particular, Ettensohn is interested in understanding an organism's gene regulatory network, a collection of molecules that control how and when genes are expressed. This network takes on vital importance during the development of an embryo when the structure of an organism's developing body is mapped out. Using sea urchins as a model organism, Ettensohn plans to study how this network works over the course of an embryo's developments, and how it can go wrong. "This grant allows us to use genomics-based tools to dissect the structure and function of a model developmental gene regulatory network as a paradigm for understanding how the genome of an organism controls its anatomy," Ettensohn said.
Rogerio Bonatti, a Ph.D. candidate in the Robotics Institute, is one of 10 students across North America who will receive a Microsoft Research Dissertation Grant to support research for his Ph.D. thesis. Bonatti, who expects to complete his dissertation next year, has focused his research at the intersection of machine learning theory and motion planning. His dissertation is titled Active Vision: Autonomous Aerial Cinematography With Learned Artistic Decision-Making. "I create methods for robust robot intelligence in real-world settings," Bonatti said. "My work has been deployed for multiple applications, ranging from autonomous cinematography with aerial vehicles all the way to drone racing." He interned at Microsoft Research last summer. He studied mechatronics engineering at the University of São Paulo, Brazil, and spent a year at Cornell University before beginning his graduate studies at CMU in 2016. Now in its fourth year, the Microsoft Research Dissertation Grant offers up to $25,000 to support the research of students nearing the completion of doctoral degrees at North American universities who are underrepresented in the field of computing. About 230 students submitted proposals this year, the most competitive group yet.