April 11, Vol. 23, No. 37

You're Invited to a Screening With the Stars

Wedding Breakup "Breakup at a Wedding," a new independent film by School of Drama alumni Zachary Quinto (A'99), Neal Dodson (A'00), Corey Moosa (A'00) and Victor Quinaz (A'00), will be screened at 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 16, in McConomy Auditorium. The screening is open to the public.

Following the screening, members of the cast and production company will participate in a Q&A session.

Tickets are limited, so advance purchase is recommended. Admission is $10 or $5 with a valid CMU ID. Tickets can be purchased from noon to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, at the Purnell Center Box Office (412-268-2407). Advance tickets can be purchased with cash, check, Visa or MasterCard. Tickets purchased at the door must be paid with cash or check. Proceeds will go to the School of Drama's Senior Showcase Fund.

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Spring Carnival Celebration To Go Interactive 

Make memories that last at this year's Spring Carnival, April 18-20.  


Attendees can visit any of the four Welcome Areas - the University Center and tents at Midway, the Fence and Frew Street - throughout the weekend, where they'll receive a free gift bag and be able to take and share photos. The University Center also will feature a "green screen" photo booth with digital backdrops of the campus. People will be able to take photos with friends and family, receive a free printed photo, post images to an interactive wall and download a free app.


Scotch 'n' Soda will have a special 75th anniversary reception from 6-9 p.m. on Friday. The reception is $10, and registration is required. The group will be performing "Assassins" by Stephen Sondheim. The musical is a hilarious and chilling look into the men and women who have tried to assassinate different U.S. presidents.


A full schedule and listing of weekend events is online at alumni.cmu.edu/scschedule.


See next week's 8.5 x 11 News for more details.  

Technique Can Find Bugs in Surgical Robots 

Surgical Robot Surgical robots could make some types of surgery safer and more effective, but proving that the software controlling these machines works as intended has been problematic. Until now.

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon and Johns Hopkins University have developed techniques that will change how robotic surgery systems are built. Led by CMU's André Platzer, assistant professor of computer science, and JHU's Yanni Kouskoulas, the research team has demonstrated that methods for reliably detecting software bugs and ultimately verifying software safety can be applied successfully to surgical robots as well.

Using theorem-proving techniques to analyze a control algorithm for a research robot that would help a surgeon perform surgery at the base of the skull, researchers identified a safety flaw that could enable a scalpel or other surgical tool to go dangerously astray. It also guided development of a new algorithm and verified that the new controller was safe and reliable.

The researchers will present their findings today (April 11) at HSCC 2013, the Hybrid Systems: Computation and Control conference in Philadelphia.


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Social Media Affects Protection of Human Rights   

Smartphones and social media are giving the world instant, first-hand accounts of human suffering and political repression during events such as the 2010 Haiti Earthquake, recent elections in Kenya and the ongoing uprising in Syria.


To investigate how social media and big data analytics are changing human rights fact-finding, and to better understand the ways that these technologies can advance human rights protection in the future, the MacArthur Foundation recently awarded an 18-month, $175,000 grant to Carnegie Mellon's Center for Human Rights Science, directed by Jay D. Aronson (pictured above). 


"Raw textual narratives, video and photos that depict human suffering raise global awareness and may lead to humanitarian aid from governments, private donations from individuals and even military intervention in some cases," Aronson said. "For seasoned human rights activists, including many technologists, though, these new forms of data also raise serious questions about credibility, comprehensiveness and analytical methods."


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

Calendar Highlights 

 Personal Mention

Aarti Singh;
Diana Marculescu;
Christopher Bettinger, Jay Whitacre;
Justin Cranshaw, Julian Shun

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