August 9, 2012 · Vol. 23, No. 5

Faculty Members Move Into Leadership Roles    

Colwell To Lead School of Music
Denis Colwell
, associate professor of music, has been named the new head of the School of Music, effective August 2012. Colwell has served as interim head since October 2011; he has been a faculty member since 1992, teaching instrumental conducting and directing the Carnegie Mellon Wind Ensemble. He was assistant head of the School of Music from 1987 through 1994. Read the full story.

Anderson Named CFA Associate Dean
Eric Anderson, associate professor of industrial design and co-director of the Master in Product Development Program in the School of Design, has been named associate dean of the College of Fine Arts. Anderson will continue to teach the award-winning Integrated Product Develop  capstone course with faculty from mechanical engineering and business. Read the full story.

Yao To Serve as Mech E Acting Head  

In an email to the Mechanical Engineering community, Vijayakumar Bhagavatula, interim dean for the College of Engineering, announced that Professor Shi-Chune Yao will become acting department head of Mechanical Engineering, effective Sept. 1. Yao takes the helm from Nadine Aubry, who left CMU to become dean of the College of Engineering at Northeastern University. Read the email announcement.   


Silicon Valley To Celebrate Graduation Aug. 12     

Earlier this summer Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley celebrated its 10th anniversary. Now the campus is ready to celebrate 63 students who will receive their master's degrees in software engineering and software management at 11 a.m., Sunday, Aug. 12 at Moffett Field.

 

Mark S. Kamlet, Carnegie Mellon's provost and executive vice president, will preside over the ceremony. Edward H. Frank (S'85), a Silicon Valley executive, life trustee of the university and chairman of Inspire Innovation: The Campaign for Carnegie Mellon, will be the keynote speaker. 

 

Read the full story.  


What Makes Paris Look Like Paris?    

Cities can have a look of their own. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon and INRIA/Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris have developed visual data mining software that can automatically detect these sometimes subtle features, such as street signs, streetlamps and balcony railings, that give Paris and other cities distinctive looks.

The software analyzed more than 250 million visual elements gleaned from 40,000 Google Street View images to find sets of geo-informative visual elements unique to a dozen cities, such as cast-iron balconies in Paris, fire escapes in New York City and bay windows in San Francisco.

 

Read the full story.  


CMU Software Helps Guide Rover on Mars 

Now that NASA has successfully landed its Curiosity rover on Mars, a version of Carnegie Mellon navigation software will help guide the robot during its mission to determine if Mars ever could have supported life.  

 

The software is a version of Field D*, which was first developed at the Robotics Institute in 2000 by Tony Stentz, now director of the National Robotics Engineering Center.

 

Read the full story.  

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech 


CMU, Disney Simplify Animation Editing Process

Computer graphic artists who produce computer-animated movies and games spend much time creating subtle movements such as expressions on faces, gesticulations on bodies and the draping of clothes.

A new way of modeling these dynamic objects, developed by researchers at Carnegie Mellon, Disney Research, Pittsburgh, and the LUMS School of Science and Engineering in Pakistan, could greatly simplify this editing process.


Scientists Show Skin-aging Radicals Also  

Age Naturally Formed Particles in the Air

Pine trees are one of the biggest contributors to air pollution. They give off gases that react with airborne chemicals - many of which are produced by human activity - creating tiny, invisible particles that muddy the air.

New research from a team led by Carnegie Mellon's Neil Donahue shows that the biogenic particles formed from pine tree emissions are much more chemically interesting and dynamic than previously thought. The study provides the first experimental evidence that such compounds are chemically transformed by free radicals, the same compounds that age our skin, after they are first formed in the atmosphere.


Kadane's Book Wins Coveted DeGroot Prize

"Principles of Uncertainty," written by Statistics Professor Joseph B. (Jay) Kadane, has won the International Society for Bayesian Analysis' coveted DeGroot Prize.

The prize, awarded every two years to honor an outstanding statistical science book, was established to recognize Morris H. (Morrie) DeGroot, founding head of Carnegie Mellon's Department of Statistics and renowned author of statistics and decision theory books.

 

Read the full story.  


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Simon Engler
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Lori Levin
Kathy M. Newman
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