Carnegie Mellon University

Susan Walsh / AP

The National Department of Transportation announced Thursday that Pittsburgh had received an $11 million grant for advanced technology transportation projects. The announcement was made shortly before Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx joined Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto in a panel discussion during the White House Frontiers Conference at Carnegie Mellon University.

Carnegie Mellon University

Outside Kathryn Whitehead’s office at Carnegie Mellon University is a nametag with the words “Nanoparticle Queen” written in black marker. She said a student made it for her at the Department of Chemical Engineering’s weekly happy hour, and she liked it enough to slap it on the wall.

Chuck Szmurko / Wikipedia

Though Pittsburgh lost out on the $50 million Smart Cities grant, city officials are still participating in a project called MetroLab, under the same federal initiative.

The MetroLab network is a city-university partnership that’s part of the White House’s Smart Cities project, where schools serve as research and development arms.



A recent Carnegie Mellon University win at a hacking competition in Las Vegas is helping put Pittsburgh on the map as a cyber security hub.

CMU startup ForAllSecure earned $2 million earlier this month at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Cyber Grand Challenge, with an autonomous computer that can find security weaknesses and defend against malware, CEO David Brumley said.  

Carnegie Mellon University

The phrase “mental math” has a whole new meaning.

Patterns in brain activity are giving Carnegie Mellon University  researchers a glimpse at the stages of thinking involved in solving complex mathematics.

“It’s hard to know what people are thinking while they’re solving problems. We decided to explore how brain imaging data might provide a window to gain insight on the internal stages of problem solving,” said Aryn Pyke, psychology research fellow at CMU and study author.

College of Engineering / Carnegie Mellon University

It’s no bigger than a smartphone, but it could have a big impact on one of the world’s most deadly parasites.

Carnegie Mellon University Ph.D. student Blue Martin is developing a device that she said will sort malaria-infected red blood cells from healthy red blood cells.

“Malaria, when it infects a red blood cell, eats the hemoglobin and spits out an iron crystal, which makes the cell magnetic, before the malaria splits it open and moves on,” Martin said.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

In an open layout room filled with natural light, Carnegie Mellon University Human-Computer Interaction Institute PhD students Yang Zhang and Gierad Laput fiddle with wires and switch on levers. The tables in front of them are covered in interfaces, sensors and tools, and several nearby glass walls display multi-colored formulas and troubleshooting lists. This, Laput says, is the Future Interfaces Group research lab.

Noah Brode / 90.5 WESA

In 1985, Carnegie Mellon University announced that its first driverless vehicle, Terregator, could make its way across a football field in about an hour.

Now, with CMU's fourteenth generation of automated vehicles, a silver Cadillac SUV, able to manage up to 70 miles per hour, state government officials are finally taking regulatory steps to prepare for what they describe as the inevitable rise of driverless vehicles over the coming decades.

Courtesy Carnegie Mellon University

Graduate students at Carnegie Mellon University have discovered a method for classifying nerve fibers that could accelerate the pace of brain-mapping projects.

Meet Herb, A Robot To One Day Help Around The House

May 24, 2016
Carnegie Mellon University

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University's Personal Robotics Lab have spent years working on ways to make robots execute subtle, human-like movements in the hopes of helping around the house. 

With cameras for eyes, two thick arms and the occasional bowtie, Herb – an acronym for home exploring robot butler – only recently learned to move a cup across a table.

"We’re trying to get robots to be able to work in a home environment," said Carnegie Mellon University Ph.D. student Jennifer King. 

Flickr user Giulia Forsythe

Graduate students at Carnegie Mellon University will spend 24 hours this week trying to “hack” the brain using big data.

Flickr user joseph a

It’s no secret that the air quality in Pittsburgh isn’t great. Last month, the American Lung Association ranked southwestern Pennsylvania as having the eighth highest level of year-round pollutants and the fourteenth highest level of short-term particle pollution in the nation.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton told Pittsburghers on Wednesday she wants to create clean energy jobs, repair aging infrastructure and give students better options for financing their educations.

More than 2,000 packed the Skibo Gymnasium at Carnegie Mellon University after hours waiting in the chilly afternoon sun. 

Carnegie Mellon University

Autonomous robots could handle and dispose of waste from nuclear sites as part of a robotics traineeship program between Carnegie Mellon University and the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Environmental Management

Carnegie Mellon University

Over the last year, more than 400 Pittsburghers have gone to their neighborhood Carnegie Library, not to borrow a book, but an air quality monitor.

Now, this partnership with Carnegie Mellon University will be expanded nationwide.

“We want to repeat this experiment all across the nation,” said Sarah Longo, operations manager at AirViz, which makes the monitors. “As a for-profit company, this is our way of paying it forward, because it’s part of our mission to empower as many people as possible.”

Self-Driving Cars Are Coming, But They’re Not Ready For Pittsburgh Yet

Mar 4, 2016
Anita DuFalla / PublicSource

Ninety percent of car crashes are preventable.

As it stands, about 30,000 people die in car crashes every year in the United States, said Mark Kopko of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation [PennDOT]. “If you could reduce that by 90 percent, that’s huge.”

Autonomous cars have the capacity to do that.

In Allegheny County, that could mean a vast reduction in the roughly 12,000 crashes in 2014 — especially of those attributed to driver error, like drunk or distracted driving and speeding.

Christiaan Colen / Flickr

 Researchers at Carnegie Mellon and Stanford University have been given access to password “frequency” information of 70 million Yahoo! users in order to develop methods to make online accounts more secure.

Companies track how many users choose the same, or similar, passwords. Those figures are collected to determine password frequency.

Raymond "Dmitri" Beljan / Flickr


Carnegie Mellon University will receive a $750 million settlement stemming from a patent infringement lawsuit against a Bermuda-based technology company that allegedly used a CMU professor’s data retrieval algorithms without permission.

Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

A soldier in the field with little or no technical training could fix a piece of high-tech weaponry, seniors might use a complex health monitoring device and a newlywed couple can be coached through complicated IKEA instructions, all without the help of another human. 

Researchers at the Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science are using wearable technologies like Google Glass to place an "angel" on a user's shoulder to do those types of tasks.

Highways England / flickr

They come with every new app or piece of software -- they are required to be there by law -- but who actually reads those privacy policy statements that pop up when you are trying to add something to your computer or smart phone?

“Privacy policies that we have at the moment, which are these long legal documents, are important and they play an important roll,” said Florian Schaub, post-doctoral researcher at the Carnegie Mellon University Institute for Software Research. “However, these privacy policies are typically not useful to users and are not meaningful to them.”

Raymond "Dmitri" Beljan / Flickr


Tuition at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh is increasing by 3.2 percent for the 2016-2017 academic year.

Vice President for Campus Affairs Michael Murphy told the campus in an email that the school's board of trustees has approved the rate increase, which brings tuition to $51,196 a year for undergraduates entering this fall and for those who entered in the fall of 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Undergraduates who came in the fall of 2012 will pay $50,690 a year. Graduate prices are set at the program level.


For nearly a decade, astronomers have been puzzled by brief, but bright eruptions of radio waves coming from space called Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs). A team of astronomers, including two from Carnegie Mellon University, uncovered the most detailed record ever of an FRB.

Screengrab / DisneyResearchHUB on YouTube

Imagine turning on your motorcycle and then the smart watch you're wearing automatically vocalizes the estimated time to return home based on current traffic patterns.

Carnegie Mellon University teamed with Disney Research to create technology for smart watches that can do just that -- detect what the user is holding to offer related information.

(CC-BY 3.0)

Updated: 3:15 p.m.  

Carnegie Mellon University is facing renewed criticism over its alleged role in a massive takedown of "Dark Web" sites last year.  

Jennifer Szweda Jordan / 90.5 WESA

Smart home resident Michael Rankin loves his oven. 

“If you put your arm on it, you don’t get burned,” he said.

The induction stovetop, which works by heating only when certain types of pots or pans are on top, stays cool to the touch even when it’s being used. That technology is one of a myriad of clever features incorporated into a "smart home" in Aliquippa designed to cater to its four inhabitants all living with disabilities.

If you’ve ever played the party game ‘Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon,’ you’ll get the gist of Carnegie Mellon University’s latest digital humanities project pretty quickly. 

Six Degrees of Francis Bacon is a web tool that maps the complex social network of Britain during the early modern period. It’s based on analysis of biographical records for more than 13,000 contemporaries of the philosopher and statesman Sir Francis Bacon.

Researcher's Port Authority Sensors Help Smooth Your Ride Into Work

Nov 10, 2015
Jennifer Szweda Jordan / 90

If you've ever ridden a subway, you've probably experienced a bump in the tracks that could send your coffee onto another rider.

George Lederman, doctoral candidate at Carnegie Mellon University, wants to fix that, though you may never notice his work.

Piezoelectric sensors fixed to train cars with electrical tape are at the heart of Lederman's monitoring equipment. They measure changes in pressure, acceleration, temperature, strain and force by converting these changes into an electrical charge. 

Pride In Players Key To CMU Football Coaching Success

Nov 6, 2015
Marcus Charleston / 90.5 WESA

With 193 victories over his 40 years with the Carnegie Mellon Tartans, head football coach Rich Lackner has more than demonstrated his ability to create and maintain winning teams.  His success earned him the title of 5th most winning coach in Division III football. Essential Pittsburgh’s Paul Guggenheimer caught up with the coach to talk about his long-standing career.

“The level of intensity that I display during a football game is incredible, and I love to win,” Lackner said.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

If you want an update on air quality, look no further than your smartphone.

CREATE Lab, a program of Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute, and Airviz, a CMU lab spinoff, have developed a smartphone app called SpeckSensor that gives users real-time access to Air Quality Index (AQI) numbers based on their location.

Bad Hair Day? Try Printing It Instead

Oct 29, 2015
Carnegie Mellon University

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University are printing 3-D hair.

The three-dimensional printers, which translate objects from a digital file into hard, typically plastic objects, have been harnessed to make whistles, shoes, automotive parts and medical devices. But hair is a new, softer, more pliable frontier.

CMU's development team says producing 3-D hair is similar to and inspired by the way stringy strands come out in small bits when a glue gun is used.