February 6, Vol. 24, No. 28                   

Science Center Names CMU Award Winners  
President Emeritus Jared L. Cohon (top left) will receive the Carnegie Science Center's highest honor, the Chairman's Award; Professor Jay Whitacre (middle) will be presented with the Advanced Materials Award; and Taylor Canady (right), a doctoral student in chemistry, will be recognized with the University/Post-Secondary Student Award at the  center's Awards for Excellence banquet on May 9.

The Science Center is honoring Cohon, University Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Engineering and Public Policy, and University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Mark Nordenberg for forging a strong collaboration between Carnegie Mellon and Pitt that helped the universities and Pittsburgh excel in science, entrepreneurship and academics.

Whitacre, professor of materials science and engineering and engineering and public policy, is being honored for developing a novel sodium-ion battery that can be made using low-cost materials and manufacturing techniques. Canady is being praised for his outreach efforts as part of Carnegie Mellon's Center for Nucleic Acids Science and Technology's DNAZone outreach program.

Additionally, alumnus Ronald Bianchini (E'83,'86,'89), co-founder, president and CEO of Avere Systems, was named the winner of the Information Technology Award; Entertainment Technology Center Professor Jesse Schell received an honorable mention Entrepreneur Award for Schell Games; and Associate Professor of Computer Science Luis Von Ahn received an honorable mention Entrepreneur Award for Duolingo.

Learn more.

Students Win Disney Competition      
Carnegie Mellon students used their imagination to create an intercontinental experience truly worthy of Disneyland. Their idea earned them the top prize in Walt Disney Imagineering's "Imaginations" competition.

Teams were tasked with selecting a large, densely populated urban environment and designing an experience for the enjoyment of its residents and visitors. The CMU team created a cross-cultural experience involving antipodes - two locations across the world from each other - Bangkok and Lima, Peru.

Their award-winning project, titled "Antipode," takes the form of a two-week cultural-exchange festival unfolding simultaneously in Thailand and Peru. They used the idea of magical whispering trees as portals between the locations.

The team (above, l-r) included: Christina Brant, a fifth-year senior in architecture and human-computer interaction; Angeline Chen, a junior in communication design; John Brieger, a senior in computer science; and Matthew Ho, a fifth-year senior in architecture.

Learn more about the project and competition.

Bigger Isn't Always Better      
Portion sizes have steadily increased over the last few decades, but bigger isn't better when it comes to food. New research from the Tepper School suggests that larger portions lead consumers to enjoy the foods they eat less, and to eat those foods less frequently.

Each bite of a food or sip of a drink is enjoyed less than the previous one, a familiar phenomenon called "sensory-specific satiety." So consuming a larger portion means that we reduce our average enjoyment of what we eat or drink.

"Our conclusions suggest that how much we enjoy our last bite of a food - the end of an eating experience - appears to determine how long we will choose to wait before eating the same food again." said Carey Morewedge, associate professor of marketing at the Tepper School.

"Although people often say they prefer larger portion sizes, especially for foods that they really like, our research indicates that consumption of larger portions can ultimately decrease the frequency at which these foods are consumed. This suggests people and companies may actually be better off with smaller portions. People will enjoy the food they eat more, and eat the foods they enjoy more often. Companies will benefit from more frequent repeat purchases," Morewedge said.

Learn more.

Model Predicts Success of Social Networks  
Inspired by the late Nobel laureate Herbert Simon, Bruno Ribeiro (right), a post-doctoral researcher in the Computer Science Department, has developed a new model that assesses the viability of websites and social networks to predict which sites are sustainable and which are not.

The model attempts to replicate the dynamics of membership sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and TeaPartyNation, including the role of active users as catalysts of website activity, turning dormant website members into active users and keeping them active.

It's not enough to look at the total membership or the growth of membership of a site to understand which sites will be successful, Ribeiro said. His model accounts for the tendency of active members to become inactive, the influence that active members can have in encouraging friends to join or become active members, and the role of marketing and media campaigns in convincing people to join.

Learn more.

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Calendar Highlights 

Feb. 21
Crossing Boundaries, Transforming Lives: Exploring Health, Discovering Wellness
(Details coming soon.)

Town Hall Meeting: Spring Carnival Relocation in 2015

Feb. 7
International Relations & Politics Lecture: "Grand Strategy in Theory and Practice

Architecture Lecture: Omar Khan

Feb. 7 - 10
Architecture Symposium: Eliciting Environments | Actuating Response

Feb. 10
Architecture Lecture: Jenny Sabin

Trans-Q Television!

Heinz Convocation: Admiral Bobby Inman

Faculty Recital: Cyrus Forough, Violin, with Sung-Im Kim, Piano

Feb. 14
Innovation in Health Care Technology Conference

Feb. 15
Attention Startups: Founder.org Day

Feb. 18
Author Reading Series: Barbara Johnstone & "Pittsburghese"

Feb . 20
Concert: CMU Philharmonic & Choirs

Feb. 22
Film Festival Screening: "Linsanity"

 Personal Mention

Daniel Nagin
Priya Narasimhan
Lorrie Cranor
M. Granger Morgan
Charles Swanson
Matthew Scarlett

Srinath Vaddepally,
Kaihei Takagi and Brett Bergman

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