March 27, Vol. 24, No. 35                          

Lend a Helping Hand Saturday       
There's still time to pitch in.

This Saturday (March 29), more than 1,000 Carnegie Mellon faculty, staff, students and alumni will plant trees, clean up trash, sort donated clothes, assist at pet shelters and serve in various other ways in Pittsburgh communities.

The massive effort - known as 1000Plus - aims to engage at least 1,000 people in about four hours of community service each.

"Those four hours might not seem like much but four times 1,000 is 4,000 hours of service commitment, and that makes a huge impact," said Vivian Chang (DC'14), president of the 1000Plus executive board.

This year's venues include Animal Friends, Craig Street, Light of Life Rescue Mission, the South Side Slopes, the Oakland Planning and Development Corporation, and the North Shore Heritage Trail.

Learn more about 1000Plus.
Register to volunteer.

Victor the Robot Plays Mean Game of Scrabble       
Victor is obsessed with Scrabble. Seated in a corner of the Rohr Café on the third floor of the Gates and Hillman centers, Victor plays anyone who pulls up a stool. He's ready with a taunt - "Is that all you've got?" - as well as a brag - "This one is going to be good." And he has plenty of excuses - "Dude, I let you win."

Victor is a robot. You can call him a gamebot, but don't use it in a game - that word is not in the official Scrabble dictionary.

Developed under the direction of Robotics Institute Research Professor Reid Simmons (top right), Victor is the latest in a series of "social robots" that anticipate the day when people and robots will interact routinely in workplaces, retail centers and even homes. With Victor, Simmons and fellow researchers hope to better understand what it takes to get people to not only engage with a robot, but to enjoy doing it.

Interested in playing Victor? He is usually available to play from 1 to 3 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and from 3 to 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

Learn more about Victor and watch an interview with Reid Simmons.

Education Reimagined: Khan Academy Founder
To Give Simon Initiative Distinguished Lecture       
Sal Khan, founder of the Khan Academy, a nonprofit that has the most widely used library of educational lessons on the Web with more than 10 million unique students per month, will give a Simon Initiative Distinguished Lecture titled "Education Reimagined" at 10:30 a.m., Thursday, April 3 in the Hillman Center's Rashid Auditorium. The lecture will be webcast live. 

Khan will share his thoughts on how he intends to make his dream of "providing a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere" a reality.

Later that evening, Khan will receive a Heinz Award from the Heinz Family Foundation for his work to improve the human condition. Khan has been profiled on "60 Minutes," featured on the cover of Forbes magazine and recognized as one of TIME magazine's "100 Most Influential People in the World."

The Simon Initiative Distinguished Lecture Series is a new forum for thought leaders focused on scientific advancement and disruptive innovation in education. Last November, CMU created the Simon Initiative to harness and leverage its decades of cross-disciplinary research linking cognitive models of learning with computational tools, all with the goal of improving learning outcomes for all students.

Learn more about the lecture.
Learn more about the Heinz Awards.

CMU Joins Intel Design School Network  
Carnegie Mellon is the first member of the newly formed Intel Design School Network to announce plans to embed principles of integrative design and related technologies in the academic experiences of students from all disciplines.

Intel is funding a research scientist position at CMU to collaborate with faculty and students to advance technology/arts-based collaborative learning through eight Integrative Design, Arts, and Technology (IDeATe) concentrations launching in August 2014. Those areas are animation and special effects, entrepreneurship for creative industries, game design, intelligent environments, learning media, media design, physical computing and sound design.

In addition, Intel is donating laptops, tablets and Galileo development boards - created especially for new designers, educators and the maker community - for use in the curriculum.

"IDeATe concentrations will prepare students to pursue careers in areas ranging from social media to the 'Internet of Things,' mobile computing, games for learning and performance technologies. They will be uniquely positioned to work in environments where multidisciplinary collaboration among well-prepared experts is key," said Thanassis Rikakis, CMU's vice provost for Design, Arts and Technology.

CMU has named Daragh Byrne its Intel Integrative Design Fellow. Byrne will partner with faculty members to develop curricula and coordinate equipment use.

See something? Say something. Help ensure the safety and well-being of the CMU community:
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Calendar Highlights 

 Personal Mention

Subra Suresh
Jared L. Cohon
Deborah Stine
Dervla McDonnell

Rebecca Balebako and Skyler Speakman

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