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H&SS News
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Carnegie Mellon University
June/July 2011
Unlocking the Brain's Mysteries

Marlene BehrmannHave you ever wondered how exactly your brain works to quickly and seemingly effortlessly recognize different people by their face? Or, how your brain can tell the difference between a cash register or harmonica?

Psychology Professor Marlene Behrmann does. She combines behavioral investigations and brain imaging techniques to identify the neural mechanisms responsible for the visual perception system.

Behrmann also uses brain imaging to uncover what is really going on in the brains of individuals with developmental disorders, such as autism.

Recently, Behrmann made three very important and exciting discoveries in these areas.


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Steven KlepperTo the outside world, Steven Klepper is the recent winner of the prestigious 2011 Global Award for Entrepreneurship Research. To his Carnegie Mellon University students, he's a dedicated teacher and mentor.

Klepper's pioneering research integrates the study of entrepreneurship with mainstream economics. He is particularly focused on industry shakeouts and the role new companies play in innovation.

 "I have spent much of my career digging into the evolution of new industries, especially tracing the origins of firms to understand how regions and nations generate great firms and industries," said Klepper. "This is the lifeblood of any economy." 


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Managing Marcellus

Managing MarcellusWhile Marcellus Shale is recognized as one of the greatest economic opportunities for Pennsylvania, the drilling and processing of natural gas poses both challenges and threats to local infrastructure, the environment and public safety.

What is the best role for communities to play in safeguarding local assets and protecting the environment?  What does the average person know about Marcellus Shale and how do they know it?  

The Program for Deliberative Democracy (PDD), a joint venture between CMU's Center for Ethics and Policy and Pittsburgh's Coro Center for Civic Leadership, is teaming up with WQED-TV, Pop City and Unseam'd Shakespeare Company to explore the critical concerns of the Marcellus Shale debate and the various ways in which local leaders are seeking to support the development of the industry through "Managing Marcellus." 


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Making an Urban Impact

IS Summer 2011When a performing arts company donated millions of props and costumes to Urban Impact in Pittsburgh, they thought that they would never have to purchase another item for a play or musical again. But, the magnitude of the items quickly became overwhelming - simply locating specific items within the warehouse was virtually impossible.  

Urban Impact, a local ministry based on the North Side aimed at helping at-risk youth, did not have the financial means to solve the problem on their own.

Enter eight students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) who spent six weeks in the Information Systems in the Community Summer Program. Working under the direction of professors Larry Heimann and Jeria Quesenberry, the students created an inventory management system for Urban Impact's Performing Arts Program.


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Obituary: Professor Horacio Arlo-Costa

Horacio Arlo-CostaHoracio Arló-Costa, professor of philosophy, died July 14 at age 54. A renowned logician and philosopher, Arló-Costa's innovative research crossed many different fields, including formal epistemology, artificial intelligence, behavioral decision research and cognitive neuroscience.  

"Horacio was incredibly passionate and knowledgeable about his subject," said Richard Scheines, head of the Department of Philosophy. "He read everything and remembered all of it. He was one of those people who so loved the work that he could just never get enough of it. He was also an extremely kind and caring individual. He did not have a mean bone in his body. We will miss him terribly."


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More H&SS News

John Lehoczky and George Loewenstein Named University Professors

Caroline Acker Appointed New Head of History Department

Professor Karen Schnakenberg Retires

English Alum Maureen McGranaghan Publishes Poetry Book

Once in a Lifetime: H&SS Senior Reacts To Attending President Obama's Speech at CMU

Inaugural Winners For Rothberg Research Awards in Human Brain Imaging Announced

Crystal Wray's Internship Report from the U.S. Embassy in Peru

CMU Breaks Record For Most Fulbright Scholars In One Year

Paul Fischbeck: Shutting Down U.S. Nuclear Plants Would Have Daunting Effect On Economy and Environment

Jerk In Charge: Kathy M. Newman Blogs About Bosses

H&SS Multimedia

Photos: 2011 Children's School Kindergarten Graduation

Photos: 2011 Department of English Communication Symposium

Video: Uncovering the Neural Mechanisms of Object Recognition

Do you have pictures or video of your own?  Feel free to share them.

P.S. H&SS is on YouTube!
Class Notes

Find out what's going on with H&SS alumni such as Renee Marks Cohen (MM'63), Peter Fusaro (HS'72), Heidi Hoover (HS'93) and Heather Arnet (HS'97).


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H&SS Personal Mention
H&SS Personal Mention shares accomplishments from the college's faculty and staff.  This month, find out what's new with Hilary Masters, Kendra L. Gaither, Terrance Hayes and more.

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