February 13, Vol. 24, No. 29                    

CMU, Yahoo Have "Project InMind"  
Carnegie Mellon and Yahoo! Inc. have announced a five-year, $10 million partnership for "Project InMind," a collaborative research initiative highlighted by an industry-first mobile toolkit that will enable CMU researchers to experiment with Yahoo's real-time data services to test new ways that machine learning and interface technologies can improve personalized user experiences.

The mobile toolkit will be the infrastructure for a living laboratory for researchers to explore new approaches to understanding human behavior by using machine learning algorithms to more accurately predict user needs and intentions. It also is expected to enable the development of new personalization techniques and interfaces to provide a more compelling user experience.

"We're thrilled to be partnering with the exceptional faculty and students at Carnegie Mellon," said Ron Brachman, chief scientist and head of Yahoo Labs who called CMU the preeminent academic institution in the world in machine learning. "By creating a way for Carnegie Mellon University researchers to work directly with Yahoo software and infrastructure, we hope to speed up the pace of mobile and personalization research and create a better user experience."

The project will be directed by Tom Mitchell, the Fredkin University Professor of Computer Science and Machine Learning and head of the Machine Learning Department, and Justine Cassell, the Charles M. Geschke Director of the Human-Computer Interaction Institute.

Top Photo: Representatives from CMU and Yahoo celebrate yesterday's announcement.

Learn more about the project.

Working Toward a Healthier Campus       
The university community is invited to participate in "Exploring Health, Discovering Wellness," a first-of-its-kind, interactive health and wellness event in the University Center on Friday, Feb. 21.

From healthy foods and cooking demos to fitness instruction and exercise classes, to crafting, massages and relaxation techniques, the daylong event beginning at 11 a.m. has something for everyone.

At 12:30 p.m., hear from public health and faculty experts about their health-related research and how the daily decisions you make can impact your health and wellbeing. President Subra Suresh and CMU First Lady Mary Suresh will participate in the panel discussion along with CMU faculty Sheldon Cohen, Baruch Fischhoff, Kristen Kurland and Rema Padman, and Karen Hacker of the Allegheny County Health Department.

"Exploring Health, Discovering Wellness" is part of "Crossing Boundaries, Transforming Lives," the yearlong celebration of the inauguration of Dr. Subra Suresh as Carnegie Mellon's ninth president.

See more details and the full schedule of events.

"Academic Idol" Finals Set for Tuesday      
Eleven Ph.D. candidates have advanced from a field of more than 140 to arrive at Carnegie Mellon's inaugural Three Minute Thesis Championship from 5-6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 18 in McConomy Auditorium.

The competition, brought to CMU by Dean of Libraries Keith Webster, challenges Ph.D. students to give a compelling talk explaining their thesis and its significance in just three minutes, in language understandable to a general audience. A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted, but no additional electronic media or props are allowed.
A panel of judges will apply three criteria to determine the top three places: Was the thesis topic and its significance communicated in language appropriate to an intelligent but non-specialist audience? Did the presentation help the audience understand the research? Did the talk make the audience want to know more?
The audience will be asked to apply the same criteria and vote for the "People's Choice" winner.

Learn more about the competition.
See the championship lineup.
Watch the championship webcast.

Just in Time for Valentine's Day    
Elizabeth Q. [Eddy] Cassetti (A'79) has her heart in her work. The Carnegie Mellon alumna designed this year's edition of the U.S. Postal Service Love Stamp. 


USPS Art Director Antonio Alcalá invited Cassetti to submit illustrations for the 2014 version of the stamp after seeing hundreds of valentines she designed and posted on her blog. 


"It was exciting because it was in my wheelhouse," Cassetti said.  


Started in 1973, the Love stamp series has been a special one for collectors. Cassetti's entry into the collection, Cut Paper Heart, was released Jan. 21.  

The U.S. Post Office on the Pittsburgh campus has the stamp in stock. 


Learn more about Cassetti.  

Alumnus Designed USA Olympic Bobsleds     
As creative director of BMW's Designworks USA, Industrial Design alumnus Matt Scully (A'95) has spent the last two years working on the ultimate driving machine for the U.S. Olympic team.


His fleet of two-man bobsleds are reputed to be among the fastest in the world. Now it's up to the athletes to see what they can do. The men will race on Feb. 15-16 and the women on Feb. 17-18 at the Sanki Sliding Center in Krasnaya Polyana. The last time the U.S. won gold in the men's two-man bobsled was 1936.


Scully joined BMW right after graduation. He designed the 2004 BMW H2R, which established new world speed records for hydrogen-powered automobiles. 


Read the L.A. Times article.

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Calendar Highlights 

 Personal Mention

Gina Casalegno, Don Coffelt and Lisa Krieg

Subra Suresh
Michael Scheier
Alan Russell
Lenore Blum

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