May 3, 2012 Vol. 22, No. 41


Patrick Wilson To Give Commencement Keynote   

Carnegie Mellon alumnus Patrick Wilson (A'95) will deliver the keynote address at CMU's 115th Commencement at 11 a.m., Sunday, May 20 in Gesling Stadium. Wilson, a critically acclaimed, award-winning actor, was most recently seen in Paramount Pictures' "Young Adult" and also starring in the CBS drama, "A Gifted Man."

The student speaker will be Caroline Kessler, a Dietrich College graduate with a creative writing major and religious studies minor. She is a recipient of two academic scholarships, a Carnegie Mellon University Press Poetry Prize, and English Department writing awards for poetry and fiction.

Read more about the speakers and honorary degree recipients.     

Qatar Campus Graduation Ceremony is May 7   

Qatar GraduationSixty-two students - 33 business administration majors, 16 computer science majors and 13 information systems majors - will receive their diplomas at Carnegie Mellon in Qatar's graduation ceremony on Monday, May 7 at the Qatar National Convention Centre Theater.

The keynote speaker will be Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani, director general of the Al Jazeera Network. Sara Abbas, a business administration major, is this year's student speaker. 

Read more about the ceremony.    

Inspire Innovation Campaign Update     

As of April We Graphic15, 2012, Carnegie Mellon's Inspire Innovation campaign had reached $1.02 billion. Since March 15, 2012, the campaign raised $1,775,781. For the latest progress, visit

Heinz Students Win $1M Global Challenge      

A team of Master of Public Management students from the Heinz College - Ketaki Desai, Reggie Cox, Elizabeth Cullinan and Tim Kelly - recently won the $1 million Hult Global Case Challenge, the world's largest international case competition.

The competition challenged teams to present solutions to address a growing problem in education, energy or housing. The CMU team competed in the education track and will use their portion of the $1 million prize to implement a solution they developed for One Laptop Per Child, a nonprofit dedicated to providing inexpensive laptops to children in developing nations.

Read the full story.  

Study Finds DC and LEDs Can Save Thousands 

In a paper published in Energy Policy, CMU's Brinda Thomas, Ines L. Azevedo and M. Granger Morgan examined the economic feasibility of using dedicated direct current (DC) circuits to operate lighting in commercial buildings.

"We found that if you used DC instead of AC (alternating current) and your building has fluorescent light, the cost is basically the same or slightly higher with DC," said Azevedo, executive director of CMU's Climate and Energy-Decision Making Center.

But if light emitting diodes (LEDs) were installed instead of fluorescent lamps, CMU researchers found a savings of $2,000 per year using DC instead of AC. If the LEDs were powered with solar PV power augmented with grid electricity, even bigger savings of $5,000 per year could be gained by using DC instead of AC.

CMU Uses "Check-Ins" To ID Popular Locations    

CMU researchers are using the millions of "check-ins" generated by foursquare, the location-based social networking site, to create a dynamic view of a city's workings and character.  These "Livehoods," a term coined by the CMU scientists, reflect the ever-changing patterns of city life.

Computer Science researchers have created maps for New York, San Francisco and Pittsburgh, which are available on the project website. People can help choose the next city to map by voting on the Livehoods Facebook page.

Help ensure the safety and well-being of the CMU community:
University Police: 412-268-2323
Ethics Hotline: 1-877-700-7050

Calendar Highlights

Read about these events and more.  


 Personal Mention
This issue features: 

Chuck Thorpe
Luis von Ahn
Radu Marculescu, Umit Ogras and Paul Bogdan
Don Carter
Judith Hallinen
Wendy Arons and Anya Martin
Franco Sciannemeo
Reza Vali
Sidra Alam and Hanan Mohammed Alshikhabobakr
Kathy Newman

Obituary: Curt Stone
News Briefs
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