Carnegie Mellon University

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CMU Community News

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November 02, 2022

News Briefs

ICYMI: Tartans Came Together for Tartan Community Day

Classes were cancelled and students, faculty and staff came together for the fourth annual Tartan Community Day, a time to engage, have fun and celebrate community with friends and colleagues.

From an inflatable escape room on the College of Fine Arts lawn to yoga with live music, to mask-making, a petting zoo and zip line, members of the campus community paused to connect, restore and play in ways most meaningful to them. Some participated in a service project in support of the Light of Life Rescue Mission. And, of course, there were free tasty treats, courtesy of the Food Truck Fest that featured many local vendors.

See some of the fun and activities.

Professors Awarded NSF "Future of Work" Grant

portrait of Lee BranstetterA team of professors from CMU’s Heinz College and School of Computer Science has been awarded one of 14 "Future of Work" grants by the U.S. National Science Foundation.

The grant, designed to increase opportunities for U.S. workers and generate positive societal and economic impacts at the local and national level, will fund a project led by Lee Branstetter (right), professor of economics and public policy at Heinz College, that will investigate how artificial intelligence (AI)-augmented learning can help accelerate student learning in community college information technology (IT) courses.

“We are thrilled to receive the generous support of the National Science Foundation for our project,” said Branstetter. “The digital economy is a source of opportunity, but most IT jobs are open only to workers with a university degree, leaving jobs unfilled and employees locked out of jobs for which they have the right aptitude but not the right degree. This grant will allow us to address worker shortages while creating cost-effective accessible pathways to living wage digital economy jobs for workers who previously lacked those opportunities.”

The project team will work with the Community College of Allegheny County, the Pittsburgh area’s largest community college, to investigate how a framework developed by learning scientists can be used to align knowledge components in the community college’s IT courses with the most effective AI-driven educational technologies to enhance and accelerate learning.

The project team of “A New Bridge to the Digital Economy: Integrated AI-Augmented Learning and Collaboration” includes co-principal investigators CCAC Professor Michael Rinsem, Carolyn Rose (CMU’s School of Computer Science), Majd Sakr (CMU’s School of Computer Science), Lauren Herckis (CMU's Library and Human-Computer Interaction Institute) and Bruce McLaren (CMU’s School of Computer Science).

Find out more.

New Dietrich College Journal Features Student Work in Many Genres

The first edition of WOVEN, a new academic, interdisciplinary journal featuring nine pieces written by undergraduate students, published on Monday, Oct. 24. 

WOVEN features writings from Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences General Education courses that represent many genres to “showcase excellence in communication.” The journal is released twice yearly: once in the fall and spring semesters. It is a collaboration between the Dietrich College General Education and Department of English Writing & Communication programs. WOVEN is co-edited by Courtney L. Novosat and Alan Thomas Kohler from the Department of English.

“We are excited for this first issue, which features a variety of assignments from all different courses spanning many departments in both the humanities and the social sciences. This journal offers a glimpse into what our General Education Program aims to teach students about communication across the curriculum,” said Colleen Libertz, senior academic program manager of the Dietrich College General Education Program.

"Taken as a whole, the works in the coming issue not only highlight the exemplary projects produced in Dietrich College’s General Education Program, but also CMU students’ genuine concern for issues of diversity, equity and inclusion on a global scale,” Novosat said. “I am deeply proud of our students and of my role in helping them to shape and refine these important works for publication."

Read the first issue.  

ISR Is Now the Software and Societal Systems Department

The School of Computer Science has announced a rebranding of its Institute for Software Research (ISR) as the Software and Societal Systems Department. The new name, abbreviated S3D, points to the growing prominence of software and the infrastructure surrounding it in modern life, and the important role the department plays in the field.

"Twenty years ago, few of us could have envisioned a world where computing is as ever-present and vitally important to society as it is today," said Jim Herbsleb, professor and department head for S3D. "Right now, we have researchers working on everything from protecting endangered species using artificial intelligence to designing new languages that assure security on the blockchain. We are doing much more than software research, and our name should reflect that."

Learn more.

Children’s School Coffee Fundraiser Runs Through Nov. 11

Carnegie Mellon’s Children’s School is partnering with Building New Hope in a new coffee fundraising effort in which 30% of the proceeds raised will be donated to the Children’s School.

Order coffee online Nov. 4-11. Coffee will be available for pick-up at the Children’s School on Friday, Nov. 18 or Monday, Nov. 21.

When ordering:

  • Choose the size, grind, roast, organization, and quantity; and
  • don’t forget to choose “Children’s School” as the organization.

Attention Faculty & Staff: Open Enrollment Runs Through Nov. 14

Open Enrollment for 2023 benefits is underway and ends at 5 p.m. ET, Monday, Nov. 14. Open Enrollment is your annual opportunity to review your benefit coverage options and make selections for the upcoming calendar year.

Elections made during Open Enrollment are effective January 1, 2023, and remain in effect for the calendar year. Open Enrollment is the only time you can change your benefit elections unless you experience a qualified life or family status change.

Enrollment changes can be submitted online through Workday. For information about 2023 benefits, including plan changes, rates, the 2023 Benefits Guide and the Open Enrollment System Guide, visit the Open Enrollment website.

Nominate an Educator for the 2023 Celebration of Education Awards

Each spring, the CMU community recognizes educators who exemplify the university's standards of excellence in education at the Celebration of Education Awards Ceremony.

Nominations are now being accepted for 2023 and you are encouraged to nominate an educator whom you admire for their outstanding contributions to the university's educational mission.

To be considered, nominations must be submitted by Monday, November 7. Visit the Celebration of Education website to learn more about the award categories and nomination process.

Who's New at CMU?

Carnegie Mellon welcomes the following new staff members this week.

  • Andrew Fuoco, Sr., Windows System Administrator, Systems Services, Computing Services;

  • Eric Mrock, Associate Buyer, Mechanical Engineering;

  • Josephine Dru, Senior Data Analyst and Dashboard Developer, Enterprise Information Systems, Computing Services;

  • Joel Predd, Executive Director: National Technology Strategy Initiative, Engineering & Public Policy;

  • Man Shi, Assistant Director, Advancement Research, Advancement Info Services, University Advancement;

  • Rebecca Biddle, Costumer - School of Drama, Costume Shop;

  • Rachael Ochoa, Assistant Director of Admission, Undergraduate Admissions; and

  • Raji Alhammouri, Research Associate, Research Seed Funding – Qatar

Did You Know?

Will Bailey in the West Wing wearing a CMU t-shirtWhite House Communications Director Will Bailey, portrayed by Joshua Malina, stops to answer a phone call during his morning jog in an episode of “The West Wing.”

Fans of “The West Wing” may have spotted Joshua Malina’s character Will Bailey sporting some Carnegie Mellon swag during a morning jog around Camp David in the first episode of Season 6.

CMU alumnus John Wells was head writer of the award-winning political TV drama at that time, having taken over the reins from creator Aaron Sorkin who left at the end of Season 4.