Carnegie Mellon University

Energy
3:00 am
Mon April 21, 2014

CMU Develops New Way To Save Energy In The Workplace

A new way to reduce energy in the workplace developed at Carnegie Mellon University could save companies thousands of dollars.

The Intelligent Dashboard lets employees know how much energy they are using at their desk. Developers say this will encourage workers to take action to save energy by unplugging devices that are not in use.

“We wanted to investigate if there is any good way to show their energy usage and if there is any good way to motivate them to conserve energy at work,” said Ray Yun, PhD students and lead developer.  

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Arts & Culture
7:06 am
Fri April 18, 2014

A 17th Century Emoticon? CMU Professor Who Originated The 'Smiley' Responds

Credit Edward Everett Hale, 1904 (via Wikimedia Commons)

An online debate broke out earlier this week over two otherwise unremarkable lines in a 1648 poem by the English poet Robert Herrick:

Tumble me down, and I will sit / Upon my ruins, (smiling yet :)

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Asthma
3:30 am
Mon April 14, 2014

New Computer Program Helps Identify Causes of Asthma

Can depression lead to asthma? How about over-medicating?

Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and UPMC are trying to answer these questions with a new computer program that has the ability to track 112 clinical variables for 398 people who do and do not have asthma.

This program can identify various subtypes of the disease such as asthma related to allergies, sinuses or environmental factors.

Wei Wu, an associate professor at CMU’s Lane Center for Computational Biology, said they want to help clinicians better define “asthma.”

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Science & Technology
3:30 am
Mon March 31, 2014

This CMU-Built, Trash-Talking Robot Wants To Beat You At Scrabble

Victor, created by a research professor at Carnegie Mellon University, is the latest in a series of social robots designed to study human-robot interaction.
Credit Courtesy Carnegie Mellon University

Victor sits in the lounge of Carnegie Mellon University’s computer science building ready to take on anyone in a game of Scrabble.

He’s cocky, and his taunts can be heard across the room.

“Is that all you’ve got?” he shouts from behind his virtual Scrabble board.

Victor has an attitude not atypical of a 17-year-old college freshman. But here's the thing: He’s a robot.

Created by Reid Simmons, a research professor at CMU’s Robotics Institute, Victor is the latest in a series of social robots designed as a tool to study human-robot interaction.

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Environment & Energy
3:48 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

CMU's Cohon to Head Energy Institute

A former president of Carnegie Mellon University is bringing his clout and his ability to raise money to a relatively new institute on campus designed to explore the intersection of energy use, production and policy.

Starting July 1, CMU President Emeritus and University Professor Jared Cohon will add to his business card the title of Scott Energy Institute Director.

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Environment & Energy
3:30 am
Mon February 3, 2014

New Method of Charging Electric Cars Could Bring Savings

A new study by a team of researchers at Carnegie Mellon University suggests that electric car owners can cut costs if they forfeit control over when to charge their vehicles.

The study found that allowing the power grid to control charging is more beneficial than charging the vehicles during peak electricity times.

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Cell Phone App
11:38 am
Mon January 13, 2014

CMU Creates Security Application

It might not be Angry Birds - but this new cell phone application is so secure the creators believe not even the National Security Agency can break into it.

Carnegie Mellon University researchers have created a cell phone application called SafeSlinger that enables users to exchange identity data without the risk of theft, deception or fraud.

Mike Farb, research programmer at CMU, helped create the app.  He said there are many ways attackers could try to steal information.

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Technology
3:30 am
Wed December 25, 2013

New System Uses Photos to Help People Remember Passwords

Do you have trouble keeping track of your passwords without writing them down or using the same one for all your logins?

Carnegie Mellon researchers have created a new system that combines photos and memory techniques to help people remember their passwords.

The system, which is now being turned into a mobile app, was created by Jeremiah Blocki, a Ph.D. student at CMU, Manuel Blum, a professor, and Anupam Datta, an associate professor.

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Government & Politics
7:11 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Are Pittsburghers More Civic-Minded Than The Average American?

People living in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area are significantly more likely to contact their public officials, attend public meetings, volunteer and join community groups than the average American.

That’s according to a new report, called the Pittsburgh Civic Health Index from the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University and the National Conference on Citizenship.

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Business
10:24 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Innovation Institute Intends to Spur Startups in Pittsburgh

The University of Pittsburgh is combining resources to spark innovation and increase support for entrepreneurial initiatives on and off campus.

Pitt Thursday launched the Innovation Institute, which consolidates the existing offices of Technology Management and Enterprise Development as well as the Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence.

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Science & Technology
3:23 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

CMU Researchers Use Inkblots To Improve Password Security

Psychiatrists have been using inkblots to reach into the minds of their patients for almost a century, but now, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University are using the splotches to protect your passwords.

The new security setting, called GOTCHA (Generating panOptic Turing Tests to Tell Computers and Humans Apart) has users create a password. The computer then generates several colorful inkblots and asks the user to describe each image with a phrase. When the user returns, they’re asked to input their password and match the inkblots with their custom phrases.

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Web Accessibility
3:14 am
Mon October 28, 2013

CMU Makes Internet More Accessible for People with Disabilities

Carnegie Mellon University researchers want to make it easier for people with disabilities to read this web story -- and use all web-based services.

The university received a $748,126 grant from the U.S. Department of Education to design systems for people with disabilities - especially vision and cognitive impairments.

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Learning and Play
7:50 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Connecting the Dots Between Play and Learning in the Classroom

At the Children’s School, Carnegie Mellon University student Jean Kwon observes a group of children playing with blocks as part of a child development course.
Ryan Loew 90.5 WESA

It's a typical day at the Children’s School at Carnegie Mellon University, and as director Sharon Carver walks from room to room, children ages 3 to 5 are bursting with activity.

In one space a little boy digs in a sandbox, in another corner children try to match recycling materials to the correct bins, and at another table children are navigating the serious task of sharing and shaping Play-Doh.

After taking stock of the activities Carver asks a reporter, “Which things were play and which things are not play?”

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Science Stories
2:44 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Carnegie Mellon University Science Students Tell Stories

Carnegie Mellon University science students want you to know that they’re just like the rest of us.

That is why they are hosting The Story Collider, a national storytelling project that produces live shows and podcasts, Monday night at the Rex Theater.

Graduate and undergraduate CMU students with majors ranging from computer science to physics and biology will share stories about how science has impacted their lives. 

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:37 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Remaking Cities & the Future of Post-Industrial Pittsburgh

Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh helped to diversify Pittsburgh's economy
Credit Alberto D'Ottavi / flickr

Density, diversity, and networking. Author and Brookings Institute Vice President Bruce Katz says thoughtful utilization of these terms have helped Pittsburgh thrive after the shock of an economic recession. He credits the city’s comeback to civic-minded citizens and policy makers who understood the power of a diverse economy, a dense business district and an effective team of networking leaders. 

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:41 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Concerned About the NSA? There’s an App for That

In the wake of the government snooping scandal and the NSA admitting to have obtained personal data from Google, Microsoft, Apple and other technology companies, there is a growing concern for the safety of our digital information.

Consumers are eager to make sure that their e-mails, texts, browsing habits and all technological data remain private. Research programmers at Carnegie Mellon University’s CyLab say that they have created an app, now available in iTunes and for Android, that provides people with a way to keep snoopers at bay.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:42 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Geeks on a Mission: CMU Grads Engage in Technological Humanitarian Work

Dr. Alex Hills talks about the challenges and rewards of bringing technological systems to NGOs in developing nations.
Credit Katie Blackley / 90.5WESA

At the Carnegie Mellon University Technology Consulting in the Global Community program, students are matched with worldwide non-governmental organizations to assist these humanitarian groups with technological support.

Dr. Alexander Hills, senior adviser for the program, has compiled a book of five essays by these young professionals. The book Geeks on a Mission: In Their Own Words, reflects the students amazing experiences and the impact on the global communities they aid.

“Yes, we help people and that’s a good thing, but what it does for the student is really, really impressive,” he says.

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Science & Technology
7:35 am
Thu September 5, 2013

As People Put More Personal Info Online, Privacy Concerns Persist

A majority of Internet users admit they have taken steps to avoid surveillance by other people or organizations (including the government), and many believe current privacy laws do not go far enough in protecting online privacy.

The Pew Research Center and Carnegie Mellon University conducted a national survey to determine the level of desire among Internet users to be anonymous online, why and what problems they have encountered.

One of the findings is that 86 percent of Internet users have taken steps online to remove or mask their digital footprints.

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Technology
5:10 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

CMU Researchers Unveil Self-Driving Cadillac

Raj Rajkumar and U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster emerge from the self-driving Cadillac SRX after being driven to the airport from Cranberry Township.
Credit Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Carnegie Mellon University introduced its 13th generation of driverless vehicle on Wednesday at Pittsburgh International Airport.

The specially outfitted Cadillac SRX drove itself — with U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch and CMU researchers in tow — from Cranberry Township to the airport.

Raj Rajkumar directs CMU’s University Transportation Center and co-directs the CMU-General Motors Autonomous Driving Collaborative Research Lab. He calls this latest effort the “holy grail” of autonomous driving.

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Public Safety
3:33 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Study: Talking on a Cellphone While Driving Does Not Correlate To Crashes

Talking on a cellphone and driving a car have never been deemed a good combination, but researchers have found that it might not be as bad as everyone thinks.

A study conducted by researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and the London School of Economics and Political Science shows that talking on a cellphone while driving does not significantly increase the risk of crashing.

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Science
4:03 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Pittsburgh Foundation Awards Grants to Spur Scientific Research

Why can starfish regenerate when they lose arms and humans can’t?

The Pittsburgh Foundation has awarded eight scientific research grants from the Charles E. Kaufman Foundation to find answers to questions like these.

Almost $1.6 million will be split among research projects at five Pennsylvania schools: the University of Pittsburgh, Penn Sate, Carnegie Mellon, Drexel and Temple.

The grants are split between two categories: New Investigator and New Initiative.

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Robotics
3:30 am
Mon July 15, 2013

CMU Researchers Create Snake-Like Robots to Patrol Nuke Plants

What’s two inches in diameter, four-foot-long and can find a leak in the most remote area of a failing nuclear power plant? Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University say it's one of their snake-like robots. 

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Environment & Energy
3:30 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Researchers: Solar/Wind Power More Beneficial in Eastern U.S.

California has more solar panels soaking up the sun and creating electricity than any other state, but researchers say those panels would be better off in places like cloudy Pittsburgh.

Carnegie Mellon University researchers said the same is true in western Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia when it comes to wind farms.

Kyle Siler-Evans, co-author of the recently published research paper, said the goal of solar and wind power is to mitigate climate damages and improve health and air quality, but the plants are going out west where they are not needed as much.

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Arts & Culture
3:36 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Charges Against Nude 'Pope Girl' Dropped

The indecent exposure charges against two Carnegie Mellon University students have been dropped in exchange for 80 hours of community service apiece over the next 4 months.

A preliminary hearing was scheduled for today for 19 year old Katherine O'Connor and 22 year old Robb Godshaw, but an agreement was reached among the District Attorney's office, CMU and the students. 

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:27 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

The Wonder Boys Explore the Mysteries of Pittsburgh

The view from the highest point in Pittsburgh. Can you tell where it is?
Credit Daniel Tkacik and Ellis Robinson / I Wonder

Ellis Robinson and Daniel Tkacik are Ph.D candidates at Carnegie Mellon University. When they’re not in the lab or studying, they’ve found time to produce and host a podcast called I Wonder. Each episode starts with a question, which Ellis and Daniel attempt to answer within a half hour. In this clip, they start with a story of Ellis cursing the hills of Pittsburgh on his single speed bike and wondering about the highest point in Pittsburgh.

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