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Dietrich College News
Marianna Brown Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Carnegie Mellon University

July 2013
Six Degrees of Francis Bacon
What if Sir Francis Bacon had been able to "friend" William Shakespeare on Facebook?

The famous scientist and researcher's interactions with the playwright would have created a digital imprint for all to see, giving their other networked friends and peers insights into their relationship.

It also may have left behind evidence of one of the largest questions in all of English literature: Did Bacon or someone else write some of Shakespeare's plays?


To precisely trace the influence and ideas of Bacon, Shakespeare, Isaac Newton and more than 6,000 others from the early modern period, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, led by Christopher Warren, have created the Six Degrees of Francis Bacon project. The living project will allow scholars and students from around the world to reassemble the era's networked culture.

Read more.
Researchers Identify Emotions Based on Brain Activity
Identifying Emotions Based on Brain Activity

For the first time, Dietrich College scientists have identified which emotion a person is experiencing based on brain activity.


The study, published in PLOS ONE, combines functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and machine learning to measure brain signals to accurately read nine emotions in individuals. Led by Assistant Professor of Social and Decision Sciences Karim Kassam, the findings illustrate how the brain categorizes feelings, giving researchers the first reliable process to analyze emotions.


The research builds on previous discoveries by CMU's Marcel Just and Tom M. Mitchell, which used similar techniques to create a computational model that identifies individuals' thoughts of concrete objects, often dubbed "mind reading."


In addition to Kassam, the research team included Just, George Loewenstein, Amanda Markey and Vladimir Cherkassky.


Help Others, Help Your Heart
Help Others, Help Your Heart

It turns out that helping others can also help you protect yourself from high blood pressure.


New research shows that older adults who volunteer for at least 200 hours per year decrease their risk of hypertension, or high blood pressure, by 40 percent. The study suggests that volunteer work may be an effective non-pharmaceutical option to help prevent the condition. Hypertension affects an estimated 65 million Americans and is a major contributor to cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in the U.S.


"Everyday, we are learning more about how negative lifestyle factors like poor diet and lack of exercise increase hypertension risk," said Rodlescia S. Sneed, a Ph.D. candidate in psychology and lead author of the study.


Read more.

Obituary: Steven Klepper  


Steve Klepper

Steven Klepper, the Arthur Arton Hamerschlag Professor of Economics and Social Science at Carnegie Mellon University, died Monday, May 27, at age 64.


A renowned teacher and researcher, Klepper's pioneering work integrated elements of traditional economic models with evolutionary theory, bridging gaps between the study of entrepreneurship and mainstream economics.


"Steven Klepper was a brilliant researcher. His work challenged generations of young economists and entrepreneurs to look beyond traditional assumptions. He was an equally devoted educator and countless students were inspired by his introductory course, which became known as 'Kleppernomics.' His contributions were astounding, and he leaves behind a lasting legacy," said CMU Provost and Executive Vice President Mark S. Kamlet.


Read the full obituary

Congratulations, Class of 2013!

Class of 2013 On May 19, Carnegie Mellon University celebrated its 116th Commencement Ceremony. It was a busy and exciting weekend for the university and Dietrich College, with the college holding its honors ceremony and the college's departments all celebrating at their own diploma ceremonies and receptions.

Additionally, a Dietrich College student was chosen as the commencement student speaker, and the Department of Modern Languages had a special graduate earn degrees in Hispanic Studies and European Studies.

Read more, look at photos and watch videos.  

More Dietrich College News 

Six Dietrich College Students Earn Fulbright Awards

CMU Partners With Human Rights Data Analysis Group To Improve Syrian Casualty Reporting

CMU Invites Brad Pitt To Campus For Face Blindness Diagnosis, Research

MLK, Jr. Writing Award Winners To Read at Chautauqua Institution

Research Shows Self-Affirmation Improves Problem-Solving Under Stress

Counting Civilian Casualties: New Book Explores Proper Way To Record Deaths in Areas of Conflict

Marcel Just, Three Others Earn Highest Faculty Distinction

CMU Authors Reflect on Fact, Fancy and Johnny Miller's 63 at the 1973 U.S. Open

Building Close Relationships: Research Details Cues To Help Avoid Rejection

CMU Awards Top Neuroscientist First Andrew Carnegie Prize in Mind and Brain Sciences


Visual Perception Research Leads to Startup 


Subra Suresh Assumes CMU Presidency 

Dietrich College Multimedia 

Commencement Coverage:
Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences Honors Ceremony
English Department Diploma Ceremony
History Department Diploma Ceremony
Modern Languages Department Diploma Ceremony
Philosophy Department Diploma Ceremony
Psychology Department Diploma Ceremony
Social and Decision Sciences Department Diploma Ceremony
Statistics Department Diploma Ceremony
Information Systems Program Diploma Ceremony
Dietrich College Student-Defined Program Diploma Ceremony
Phi Beta Kappa Spring 2013 Induction Ceremony

2013 Carnegie Prize in Mind and Brain Sciences
2013 Shaw Internship Recipients

Memorial Lecture for Professor Erwin R. Steinberg
2013 Carnegie Prize in Mind and Brain Sciences
2013 Martin Luther King, Jr. Writing Awards  
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Class Notes

Please note, due to the college's name change to the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the indicia is now "DC."   


Jewel Parker Rhodes (DC'75, '76, '79), Adam Lazarus (DC'06), James Bursley (DC'12) Kate Fuhrman (DC'13) and others in Class Notes.  


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Personal Mention
Dietrich College Personal Mention shares news and accomplishments from the college's faculty and staff.

Included in this issue are Richard Scheines, Stephen Fienberg, Edda Fields-Black, Remi A. (Adam) van Caompernolle and more.

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If you have story ideas, news to share or feedback, please feel free to send an email to Shilo Rea, Dietrich College public relations director.
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