Impact, Innovation & Imagination

More than 400 alumni, students, faculty and friends gathered in the Silicon Valley June 20 for a day of impact, innovation and imagination.

The day began an innovation showcase presented by Silicon Valley faculty members. Attendees were able to participate in four presentations that explored new technologies, new thinking and new ways to collaborate. The result? Seeing tomorrow’s breakthroughs today.

Next it was on to a panel discussion regarding the dramatic impact arts and technology has on virtually every aspect of our lives. As the gap between art and technology narrows, it’s apparent that the hybrid combination will continue to be a part in the evolution of our culture.

The evening concluded with Lydia Ayers’ “Graffiti: Lucky Calligraphy” performed by Elizabeth Osorio (A’10).

Check out pictures of the event on our Inspire Innovation website. Watch the panel on YouTube or download the audio or video version on iTunes U.


What Did You Hear?

Ever wonder why you automatically react differently to different sounds?

Richard Randall does. That’s why the Carnegie Mellon professor of music theory is researching how the human brain interprets sound.

With the help of scientists from Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh, Randall is exploring the cognitive effects that different sounds have on the brain. More specifically, he’s using the latest brain-imaging technology to research how and where the relationship between music and language takes place.

Randall’s research is supported by the Berkman Faculty Development Fund, which is made possible by a gift in memory of Sybeil Altman Berkman (A’31).


Gates Returns

Bill Gates is no stranger to the university. He delivered the lecture “Bill Gates Unplugged: On Software, Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Giving Back” in Feb. '08 and he visited Carnegie Mellon in Qatar to give the keynote address at the Third International Conference on Information and Communications Technologies and Development (ICTD2009) in April.

Now Gates is planning to swing by Carnegie Mellon’s Pittsburgh campus on Sept. 22 to dedicate the Gates Center for Computer Science. The center was made possible by a lead gift of $20 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


Computer Tutor

From the invention of the wheel to autonomous vehicles; from drawing on cave walls to tweeting in 140 characters or less – technology changes everything.

Now computer science and psychology researchers from Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh are using technology to evolve education. They founded the Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center (PSLC) where they’re identifying which instructional conditions lead to the most effective learning.

The goal: foster robust learning – i.e. knowledge is retained, transferred to new situations or used to accelerate future learning.


Researchers use computerized tutors that record data as students learn, detecting what is being learned as well as what learning skills are being used. This database enables the programs to intervene at appropriate times, either prompting students to ask for help or encouraging them work through it on their own.

Currently these programs are helping middle school, high school, and college students with their math, science, and second language across the country.

Learn more by downloading an interview with Carnegie Mellon’s Ken Koedinger, Director of the PSLC, on iTunes U.