Carnegie Mellon University

The Piper

CMU Community News

Piper Logo

portrait of Mark Bier

August 26, 2020

Personal Mention

Research Professor of Chemistry Mark Bier has been supporting a Pittsburgh-based team working to develop an innovative potential vaccine for COVID-19. The vaccine candidate in question would be delivered not as a typical needle injection but rather via a fingertip-sized patch with an array of microneedles. The vaccine candidate was developed by a team from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and was based on work that had already been done for previous coronaviruses. The patches were co-developed by UPMC and a CMU team led by Professor of Mechanical Engineering Burak Ozdoganlar. Bier and his team at CMU are using experimental and commercial mass spectrometers from his lab and the Center for Molecular Analysis, which he directs. Bier's research group has long been at the leading edge of mass spectrometry. Find out more.

portrait of Saswati RaySaswati Ray, a senior research analyst in the School of Computer Science’s Auton Lab, has consistently outscored competitors in the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency’s (DARPA's) program for building automated machine learning systems. Four or five times each year, DARPA evaluates each team's algorithm for building this AutoML pipeline by applying it to several previously unseen problems. Over the last two years, Ray's algorithms have consistently outscored all others in these tests, even though her code is shared with the other teams after each evaluation. "She remains the reigning Queen of AutoML," said Artur Dubrawski, research professor of computer science and director of the Auton Lab. "We've gotten used to Saswati doing this, but to continue being number one in such a tight contest for so long is like winning seven or eight Stanley Cups or Super Bowls in a row." Learn more.

portrait of Tom CortinaTom Cortina has been promoted to associate dean for undergraduate programs in the School of Computer Science, succeeding Guy Blelloch. Cortina has been assistant dean for undergraduate education since 2012. Cortina, who joined the SCS faculty in 2004, has overseen a rapid expansion of the undergraduate program. He helped launch the popular CS4HS workshop for computer science high school teachers, and ACTIVATE workshops for science, technology, engineering and math teachers in the Pittsburgh region. Last year he was named a distinguished member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) in recognition of his outstanding educational contributions in computer science. Cortina has been active in ACM's Special Interest Group in Computer Science Education (SIGCSE) and currently serves on the ACM's Education Advisory Committee.