December 12, Vol. 24, No. 22             

$10M Gift Supports Hamburg Hall Renovations 

Carnegie Mellon has received a $10 million gift from The Heinz Endowments for the renovation and expansion of Hamburg Hall, home of the Heinz College. The gift will provide funds for new facilities, including collaborative student project spaces and an auditorium.

"We are deeply grateful to the Endowments and the Heinz family for providing this transformational gift, one that will help us strengthen the Heinz College in its vitally important work at the intersection of information technology, public policy and management," said CMU President Subra Suresh.

The university supported the initial phase of renovations for Hamburg Hall. The new funds will enable CMU to expedite the final architectural designs of Phase II of the project, finalize construction planning and begin additional renovations and expansion.

"This latest gift by The Heinz Endowments is vital to our ability to accommodate the increasing number of talented students who want to attend the Heinz College," said Ramayya Krishnan, dean of the Heinz College and the William W. and Ruth F. Cooper Professor of Management Science and Information Systems. "This wonderful gift will allow the college to facilitate collaborative research and learning in our areas of focus, and pursue new opportunities that technology and global collaborations are making possible."     

Read the full announcement.

Jelena Kovačević Named To Head ECE
The College of Engineering has named Jelena Kovačević to head its Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), effective April 1, 2014. She will succeed Ed Schlesinger, who is leaving CMU to become dean of the Whiting School of Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. ECE Professor Larry Pileggi will serve as interim department head until Kovačević assumes the post this spring.

"I am extremely pleased that Jelena will join the college leadership as the new department head of ECE. Her exceptional scholarly reputation, demonstrated commitment to her colleagues and students, her boundless energy and enthusiasm and collegial nature make her an excellent choice for the position," said James H. Garrett, Jr., dean of the College of Engineering and the Thomas Lord Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Kovačević, a professor of biomedical engineering and electrical and computer engineering and director of the Center for Bioimage Informatics at CMU, is a passionate educator whose research involves bioimaging and multi-resolution techniques such as wavelets and frames.

Read the full announcement.

CMU Improving Math Instruction in City Schools 

Professor John Mackey, associate head of the Mathematical Sciences Department, is a co-principal investigator of a National Science Foundation grant to help mathematics instruction in the Pittsburgh Public School (PPS) District.

The NSF is providing $8 million to help the district improve math instruction in grades 6 through 12 and to close the opportunity gap faced by minority and low-income students. One key component of the initiative is to bring together teachers with mathematicians to strengthen teaching practices.

"We're excited to work with PPS teachers on mathematics and mathematics instruction, because all parties involved can learn new techniques and gain perspective on the teaching of mathematics. We anticipate that lasting partnerships will be formed," Mackey said.

In addition to CMU, participants in the initiative include the Education Development Center, a nonprofit organization in Massachusetts, the University of Pittsburgh and Duquesne University.

Read more about the effort.

A Novel Energy Source for Medical Devices        

Professors Chris Bettinger and Jay Whitacre have found that ink from the cuttlefish (right), a close relative of the squid, provides the perfect chemistry and nanostructure to power tiny electronic devices that can be either ingested or implanted into the body for applications ranging from biosensing to drug delivery.

"We found that the melanin pigments in cuttlefish ink make it a perfect fit for use in battery electrodes that would ultimately be used in devices that operate in close proximity to sensitive living tissue," said Bettinger, an assistant professor in the departments of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) and Biomedical Engineering. Melanin is the pigment responsible for the dark color of skin, hair, scales, and is also found in animals.

"Using natural materials in energy storage devices increases the likelihood for use in powering devices that operate in sensitive environments such as the human body," Bettinger said.

Read more.

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

Calendar Highlights 

New Hire Orientation

Dec. 17
Free JourneyDance Class

Dec. 18
Men's Basketball at LaRoche College

Through Dec. 19
International Exhibition of Botanical Art & Illustration

Dec. 24-25
University Offices Closed

Dec. 30
Women's Basketball at Chatham University

Dec. 31 - Jan. 1
University Offices Closed

Jan. 9
Fundamentals of Research Administration

Jan. 13
Classes Resume

Jan. 14
Fundamentals of Research Administration

Jan. 20
Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration (Details to come)

 Personal Mention

Krzysztof Matyjaszewski, Raj Reddy and Subra Suresh

Jendayi E. Frazer
James H. Garrett, Jr.
Robert Strauss
Burcu Akinci
Lynn M. Brusco
Elisabeth Kaske
Jay Kadane

Anthony Rowe and Mario Berges

David Garlan, James Gosling, Greg Morrisett and Milind Tambe

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