September 20, 2012 Vol. 23, No. 11


CMU Launches Institute for Energy Innovation     

Scott Hall

Carnegie Mellon launched the Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation today, a major research and education initiative focused on improving energy efficiency and developing new, clean, affordable and sustainable energy sources. The institute was made possible by a lead gift from CMU alumni Sherman Scott (E'66), president and founder of Delmar Systems, and his wife, Joyce Bowie Scott (A'65), a trustee of the university. The institute is named for Sherman's father, Wilton E. Scott.

"The Scott Institute is a university-wide effort that brings together more than 100 CMU professors and researchers to solve some of our toughest energy challenges," said CMU President Jared L. Cohon. "I thank Sherman and Joyce Bowie Scott not only for their generous gift, but also for their vision in helping to create this institute. They realize the fundamental importance of developing sustainable energy solutions for America and the world."

Scott Institute Logo "By bringing together experts from a range of disciplines, Carnegie Mellon is the perfect place to help meet the energy challenges of the future," said Sherman Scott, who founded Delmar Systems in 1968 and built it into one of the world's leaders in mooring systems for the offshore oil and gas industry. "Energy is a precious resource, and Carnegie Mellon's systems approach can create solutions that ensure we produce and use energy more efficiently."


A symposium, in which several faculty members will preview the institute's work, will be held at 4:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 21 in Rashid Auditorium in the Hillman Center. A reception will follow the program. 


Read the full story. | RSVP to attend the symposium.  


Top photo: The institute will be housed in Sherman and Joyce Bowie Scott Hall, which is being built near Hamerschlag Hall.   


Literary & Cultural Studies Celebrates 25 Years 

One of the first programs of its kind in the U.S., the Literary and Cultural Studies Program is celebrating its 25th anniversary today and tomorrow (Sept. 20-21). The events showcase the program's faculty, alumni and students' wide range of expertise in using the field to understand the world's cultures.

Highlights include: the premiere of "Tributaries: 25 Years of Literary and Cultural Studies at Carnegie Mellon University," a film by Ph.D. students David Haeselin and Sheila Liming;  a "Cultural Studies and Real Life" panel discussion featuring seven alumni who use cultural studies in their everyday work lives; and a keynote address by Larry Grossberg, author of "Cultural Studies in Future Tense."

Read more about the celebration.


CMU Night at Heinz Hall is Saturday    

William Caballero The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) presents Carnegie Mellon University Night at Heinz Hall at 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 22. 

The evening's concert opens with PSO Principal Horn and Associate Teaching Professor in CMU's School of Music William Caballero (right) performing one of Richard Strauss' most famous concertos. Then renowned American baritone Thomas Hampson sings the moving Orchestral Songs by Strauss. Dvorak's Ninth Symphony, nicknamed "From the New World," closes the concert.

Ticket prices, starting at $15 for students and $20 for faculty and staff, include a post-concert dessert reception sponsored by the Office of the President.


Vocal Security Measures Strike Right Chord         

Computer users have learned to preserve their privacy by safeguarding passwords, but with the rise of voice authentication systems, they also need to protect unique voice characteristics. Researchers at CMU's Language Technologies Institute (LTI) say that is possible with a system they developed that converts a user's voiceprint into something akin to passwords.

The system would enable people to register or check in on a voice authentication system, without their actual voice ever leaving their smartphone. This reduces the risk that a fraudster will obtain the person's voice biometric data, which could subsequently be used to access bank, health care or other personal accounts.

"It's not just that your voiceprint might be stolen from the system and used to impersonate you elsewhere. Your voice also carries a lot of information - your gender, your emotional state, your ethnicity. To preserve privacy, we need systems that can identify you without actually hearing your voice or even keeping an encrypted record of your voice," said Bhiksha Raj, an associate professor of language technologies.  


Read the full story.  

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Calendar Highlights


 Personal Mention

Rick McCullough
Cameron Tonkinwise
Amal Al-Malki
Adam W. Feinberg
Mariana Achugar
Denise Rousseau

Dennis Schebetta, Janet Feindel and Randy Kovitz

Maria Sensi-Sellner and Chris Fecteau

Josephine Tsay

Lt. Col. Chris Raible
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