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August 18, 2021

Personal Mention

portrait of Jonathan ChapmanJonathan Chapman, a professor and director of doctoral studies in the School of Design, has authored a new book, titled “Meaningful Stuff: Design that Lasts.” In the book, Chapman investigates why we throw away things that still work, and shows how we can design products, services and systems that last. “Never have we wanted, owned, and wasted so much stuff,” he says. “Our consumptive path through modern life leaves a wake of social and ecological destruction — sneakers worn only once, bicycles barely even ridden, and forgotten smartphones languishing in drawers. By what perverse alchemy do our newest, coolest things so readily transform into meaningless junk?” His recent Op-Ed in The Guardian highlights a few key ideas from the book. The author of four earlier books, Chapman is an award-winning educator, author, consultant and speaker. He directs the Ph.D. in Transition Design —a research program for designers committed to making a positive change in the world. Learn more about Chapman and his new book.

portrait of Valerie ReilingValerie Reiling of the women's track and field team has been honored with an Academic All-America award by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). A mechanical engineering major, Reiling graduated last May as the top student in her class with a 4.0 GPA. With plans to return to CMU for her master's degree in engineering and public policy, Reiling is currently working on a research project with CMU and NASA Aeronautics Research Institute. On the track, she’s a school record holder in the 4x400-meter relay and was an all-region honoree in 2018 in the 4x400-meter relay for both the indoor and outdoor seasons. She deferred competition this spring, but will return to the track in 2022 for the Tartans as a graduate student.

portrait of Aaditya RamdasAaditya Ramdas, an assistant professor in the Machine Learning and Statistics and Data Science departments, was honored by the Bernoulli Society for Mathematical Statistics and Probability with its New Researcher Award. This year, the society recognized three scientists for their innovative contributions in the field of mathematical statistics. The award was announced at the ISI World Statistics Congress, where Ramdas was invited to give a prize lecture. Ramdas is the first from CMU to receive the award since it began in 2018. Ramdas’ research applies statistics, data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence to solve problems in science and technology. He earned his Ph.D. from CMU and spent three years as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, before joining the CMU faculty in 2018.