There's still time to make an impact on our students and faculty with your tax deductible gift. To ensure your gift is counted for the 2011 tax year, please complete our online giving form before midnight December 31, 2011. Every dollar makes a difference. Thanks in advance for your support!
- Major events sponsored by the Inspire Innovation campaign in Seoul, Tokyo and Beijing—all attracting record crowds; These gatherings featured:
- University and campaign updates from President Cohon
- An engaging panel discussion in Tokyo about the Japanese and global economies, hosted by CMU trustee Yoshiaki Fujimori (TPR'81), President and CEO, JS Group Corporation
- A keynote address in Beijing from Kai-Fu Lee (SCS'88), Chairman and CEO of Innovation Works
- Opportunities to meet Dean Dammon and hear updates about the Tepper School of Business in Seoul, Tokyo, Mumbai, Bangalore and New Delhi
Businessman, scholar, philanthropist and longtime Carnegie Mellon University trustee William S. Dietrich II has announced a plan to provide a record-breaking gift of a $265 million fund to support CMU.
It's the largest gift in CMU's history and one of the 10 largest by an individual to a private higher education institution in the United States.
The fund will be a catalyst for CMU’s global initiatives and its fusion of left-brain and right-brain thinking. It will enhance studies connecting technology and the arts, as well as future academic initiatives such as undergraduate and graduate programs, scholarship, artistic creation and research.
In recognition of the gift, CMU’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences will also be named the Marianna Brown Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences after Dietrich’s mother, a homemaker who inspired and supported Dietrich throughout his life.Read the full story.
Shrinivas V. Dempo (TPR '95) had big shoes to fill. With a career at his family's business mapped out for him, he didn't need an MBA for job security. But Dempo knew that family connections don't ensure success.
Read Dempo’s full story to find out why he established The Vasantro Dempo Reflective Chair – a professorship that’s unlike any other at CMU.
Wish you could control your entire television entertainment system with a single device?
Well, it’s possible. The free Dijit app turns your smart phone into a universal remote and much more.
“Dijit is going to solve a point of daily frustration in home entertainment – and then we’re going to add a lot more,” said Jeremy Toeman (HSS’96).
Toeman is the Chief Product Officer at Dijit Media, which was founded by fellow Carnegie Mellon alum Maksim Ioffe (CS’02).
Read the full story >>
Jim (E’77, ’83, ’95) and Janel (E’80, ’84) Miller made their first gift to Carnegie Mellon University because it seemed like the right thing to do. A quarter of a century later, it still does.
Today, they’re lifetime members of the university’s Order of the May in recognition of their 25 consecutive years of giving. And they’re building quite the family legacy at CMU.
Read more about the Millers>>
For that, we’re so grateful!
Financial support this past fiscal year helped CMU:
- Increase the university's alumni giving rate to 19.3% (from 16.8% last year), an important factor in CMU's ranking in U.S. News & World Report and other leading publications
- Raise nearly $23 million for scholarships, fellowships and student programs
- Provide critical financial aid to more than 50% of CMU students
- Raise nearly $32 million to support our award-winning faculty and pioneering research
Thank you to each and every one of our supporters who chose to give to CMU. We couldn’t do it without you!
Ever wonder how the human brain processes thoughts? Learns new things? Or even how it ages?
The answers to these questions are becoming less of a mystery thanks in part to the groundbreaking work of CMU scientists. And now, new research awards will enable scientists to take their research even further.
The Rothberg Research Awards in Human Brain Imaging are made possible by CMU alum and trustee Jonathan M. Rothberg (E’85). The founder of four genetic companies aimed at improving human health, Rothberg wanted to support CMU’s leadership in brain science with the creation of these awards.
The awards allow CMU faculty, post-docs and students to push research boundaries while investigating how the brain thinks, learns and ages.
Seven recipients have been selected to share the $100,000 presented by the inaugural Rothberg Brain Research Awards.
- James Bursley (HS’12), a psychology major
- Alona Fyshe (ML’11), a machine learning Ph.D. candidate
- Amy Hubbard, the A.W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Modern Languages Department
- Guillaume Lematire, a postdoctoral research associate in the Psychology Department
- Amanda Markey (HS’11), a social and decision sciences Ph.D. candidate
- Richard Randall, an assistant professor of music theory in the School of Music
- Leila Wehbe (ML’11), a machine learning Ph.D. candidate
More about CMU’s brain, mind and learning research initiative>>
Alumnus Kushagra Nayan Bajaj, vice chairman of Bajaj Group - one of India’s top 10 business conglomerates – recently made a gift of $2.5 million to Carnegie Mellon University. The gift will endow a professorship in the Tepper School of Business.
This gift continues to strengthen the university’s important connections to India. Outside of the U.S., the largest concentration of CMU alumni live in India. And of the 30 percent of CMU students from outside the U.S., the majority are from India.
Find out more >>
Nearly 250 alumni and friends joined Carnegie Mellon University President Jared L. Cohon and the Boston Alumni Chapter for a special event in Boston on June 9. The event featured a panel discussion on Brain, Mind and Learning —a new initiative at Carnegie Mellon.
- Human vs. Artificial Intelligence: What Will the Future Bring?
- Are computers like IBM’s Watson really that smart? What can they teach us about how the human brain thinks and learns?
- How can a deeper understanding of the brain lead to breakthroughs in autism, Alzheimer’s and dyslexia research?
- How will advances in artificial intelligence shape industries from finance to health care?
A distinguished panel of experts and event attendees discussed the answers to these questions and more.
Check out Carnegie Mellon on Flickr to see photos from the Boston Inspire Innovation campaign event.
Did you know Carnegie Mellon University is one of the fastest growing entrepreneurial institutions in the U.S.?
In the past 15 years, CMU has helped create more than 200 new companies and added approximately 9,000 new jobs to the U.S. economy.
Now the university is Greenlighting Startups.
Greenlighting Startups is a new initiative aimed at accelerating CMU’s record of turning campus innovations into sustainable new businesses. A portfolio of five new and existing campus incubators, the initiative is uniquely designed to further speed the organic growth of company creation at CMU.
Want to know more? Visit cmu.edu/startups.
More than 60 years after Al (E'49) and Mary Rita (MM'51) Mengato met at Carnegie Tech, the university remains a central part of their lives.
The Mengatos value their CMU educations and hope to help today’s students achieve great things. That’s one reason they’ve stayed involved with their alma mater – and given back financially year after year.
“It’s not always a lot, but I’ve given something to Carnegie Mellon every year since I graduated,” said Al.
“If everybody gave a little bit every year, it would all add up,” adds Mary Rita.
Read more about the Mengato's story>>
Help Carnegie Mellon's next generation own it too.
There's no arguing Carnegie Mellon University students
are some of the brightest around. Blazing new trails.
Pioneering solutions for the world. In a word, they are EPIC.
But, consider this:
- For every $1 in endowment funds that CMU has for its students, Caltech has $8.88. MIT has $10.59. And Stanford has $12.59.
- Tuition covers only two-thirds the cost of a CMU education.
- More than half of our undergrads receive financial aid.
Do your part to keep the legacy alive.
Celebrate Geek Pride Day with CMU by supporting our endowed scholarship fund.
Through a generous gift, Kaplan and his wife, Marci Glazer, created the Open Field Entrepreneurs Fund (OFEF) at Carnegie Mellon University. The purpose is to provide early-stage business financing to alumni who have graduated from CMU within the past five years.
The fund is also being supported by fellow alum Peter Stern (E’89), founder of Datek Online and CEO of Bitly.
Kaplan anticipates this fund could reach $25 million within the first five years.
According to Kaplan, it’s not a business plan competition, in which only the best ideas receive funding. Instead, it’s open to all recent CMU grads who have the desire to become entrepreneurs. CMU will create and launch an online application for alumni to submit their proposals later this year.
"Our goal with this effort is to provide Carnegie Mellon graduates with the opportunity to realize their innovative spirit and start new businesses," said Kaplan, former CEO of Pure Digital and five-time entrepreneur. "We'd like to make Carnegie Mellon the destination of choice for young entrepreneurs."
Carnegie Mellon alumni, faculty and students are already creating innovations with impact.
CMU faculty and students have helped to create 200 companies and 9,000 jobs in the last 15 years. And CMU spin-offs represent 34 percent of the total companies created in Pennsylvania based on university technologies in the past five years.
Read the release to find out more>>
In addition to Ralston’s keynote address, the graduates and their families also heard remarks from student speaker Alia Poonawala and Carnegie Mellon President Jared L. Cohon.
During the ceremony, President Cohon announced that Jonathan Kaplan (TPR’90) — who revolutionized online video-sharing with his creation of the Flip video camera — established, along with his wife, Marci Glazer, the Open Field Entrepreneurs Fund at CMU.
Read more about the Open Field Entrepreneurs Fund at CMU and the 2011 commencement ceremony.
The answer isn’t so much a what as it is a who.
Carnegie Mellon Professor Avrim Blum. That’s who. According to his students, Blum makes the often abstract and difficult subject matter “exciting.”
And now Blum is being recognized for his teaching methods. He recently won the Herbert A. Simon Award for Teaching Excellence in Computer Science.
Read more about Blum on cmu.edu>>
Live in Boston or planning to be in the area on June 9? Join Carnegie Mellon University President Jared L. Cohon and the Boston Alumni Chapter at a special event.
Date: Thursday, June 9, 2011
Time: 6:30–9:30 p.m.
Location: The State Room, 60 State Street, 33rd Floor, Boston, MA 02109
Human vs. Artificial Intelligence: What Will the Future Bring? Ask a distinguished panel of experts spearheading CMU’s new brain, mind and learning initiative. Are computers like IBM’s Watson really that smart? What can they teach us about how the human brain thinks and learns? How can a deeper understanding of the brain lead to breakthroughs in autism, Alzheimer’s and dyslexia research? How will advances in artificial intelligence shape industries from finance to health care? Be there to take part in the conversation.
Cocktails and heavy hors d'oeuvres will be served prior to a panel discussion. Dessert and coffee will follow the program.
Don’t miss this opportunity to expand your network of contacts in the Boston area, as well as reconnect with alumni, parents, friends and students.
Space is limited, so RSVP by June 1. Visit the Inspire Innovation site for more information.
They may be “small,” but small undergraduate research grants (SURG) can make a big impact.
As early as their first year, students can apply for SURG grants up to $500 to fund individual research projects. Group projects can receive up to $1,000.
For some students, the extra support makes the difference. Find out how a SURG grant led to a spinoff company and a patent for one Carnegie Mellon student.
Read Rebecca Potash’s story>>
While on campus, Wells had the opportunity to connect with students in the School of Drama and share what he’s learned over the years.
Thanks to a transformational gift from Wells, Carnegie Mellon students in the directing program will now have even greater learning opportunities. The university has established the John Wells Directing Program in honor of his accomplishments and in recognition of his support.
Wells’ gift establishes The John Wells Visiting Professorship in Directing, which will draw leading practitioners from theater, film and television to direct master classes, give lectures and work with students on productions.
It will also support student fellowships in directing, called “Wells Fellows.” The fellowships are intended to help the school attract and retain the brightest and most talented students.
Finally, the School of Drama will also be able to subsidize the cost of visits from guest artists, cross-disciplinary symposia and other activities to enrich the school’s theater training.
Wells is best known for his roles as executive producer of “ER,” “Third Watch,” and “The West Wing.” Shows produced by Wells have received more than 200 Emmy Award nominations and have won more than 50 Emmy Awards. They’ve also received more than 50 Golden Globe nominations and won four Golden Globes. Not to mention Wells is also a five-time winner of the prestigious Peabody Award.
“My education at Carnegie Mellon has been a central component of my success,” Wells said.
“The quality of the education, the interaction with the extraordinary faculty and the classical foundation I received I’m still using every day of my professional life. I’m honored to have been a graduate of Carnegie Mellon.”
For the creators of Jibbigo Voice Translation, that means making the speech-to-speech translation application available to relief organizations deployed in Japan. For free.
Developed by researchers at Carnegie Mellon, the Jibbigo app is a powerful offline voice translation application that functions without Internet or phone connections. Perfect for situations – such as the relief efforts in Japan – where network access is limited or non-existent.
The Jibbigo app was designed as a general translator, though it is particularly attuned to the needs of international travelers and medical doctors. It’s compatible with iPhone and Android devices, as well as tablets such as the iPad. Users simply speak a sentence or two at a time into their device and it will respond with an audible translation.
In addition to translating full sentences, the Jibbigo app includes a robust medical vocabulary in both Japanese and English, ideal for assisting the foreign aid worker.
Jibbigo LLC is a startup company launched by Alex Waibel, professor of computer science and language technologies at Carnegie Mellon University. A professor at both CMU and the University of Karlsruhe in Germany, Waibel also directs the International Center for Advanced Communication Technologies.
The specially designed version of the English-Japanese voice translation app will remain free to relief workers in Japan until March 31, 2011. For more information, email email@example.com.
Image from Jibbigo's Facebook page.
The DSF Charitable Foundation gave a $3.9 million grant to further the development of novel biomedical tools targeted at monitoring and manipulating gene expression.
Simply put, DNA contains instructions for making proteins. RNA then uses those instructions to make functional proteins. That process is known as gene expression.
But if something goes awry during the gene expression process, too much or too little protein can be made. At times, this can have devastating results – even increasing the risk of certain types of cancer for some.
“At CNAST we are creating tools that will help us to answer fundamental scientific questions and lead to the development of practical applications for treating genetic and infectious diseases,” said John Woolford, professor of biological sciences.
Bruce Armitage, professor of chemistry, is also co-director of CNAST. CNAST is comprised of an interdisciplinary team of researchers from Carnegie Mellon’s chemistry and biological sciences departments.
Find out more >>
Potholes go hand-in-hand with springtime in Pittsburgh. But thanks to a new project at Carnegie Mellon, you can do something about it. And we’re not suggesting you fill it yourself.
Simply snap a photo of a pothole and upload it to Facebook.
Thanks to the Road Damage Assessment System (RODAS) Project, the photos are linked to their location on a map. It’s a way for community members to monitor potholes and alert government agencies of their existence.
The RODAS Project is headed by Robert Strauss, professor of economics and public policy in CMU's Heinz College and Takeo Kanade, professor of robotics and computer science.
Read more on cmu.edu.
“Thanks @CarnegieMellon for my science scholarship honoring alum/astronaut Judith Resnik…” Dinah Winnick posted to her Twitter account on the 25th anniversary of the Challenger disaster.
The Carnegie Mellon Judith Resnik Challenger Scholarship for Women in Science is named in honor of Judith Resnik (E’70) who was an engineering major at Carnegie Mellon before becoming only the second woman in space.
For Winnick (SHS’05), the scholarship was an instrumental part of her Carnegie Mellon experience – and top of mind that day.
Read more about how Winnick’s scholarship made her Carnegie Mellon experience possible.
Each year, donors have helped support the $55 million that Carnegie Mellon provides for undergraduate financial aid. While tuition dollars cover about two-thirds of education costs, thousands of donors help bridge the gap.
As part of Carnegie Mellon’s recent “Love a Donor” week, more than 1,500 students turned out to thank alumni, faculty, staff, parents and friends who support CMU with their giving.
Why are our students so grateful? They know donors make the difference. Without the generous support of thousands of donors around the world, their CMU experience would not be possible.
Hear from our students about the impact of past contributions.
Thank you for your continued support of CMU. Everyone talks about our academics, but I feel even more blessed to have made the relationships I've made here. From coaches, to professors, to students, this university exemplifies the spirit of collaboration needed in this world. Thank you for your help in making this all possible.
Visit Carnegie Mellon on Flickr to view more photos from the week.
Answer: This IBM computer system is the first non-human contestant on Jeopardy!
Question: What is Watson?
That is correct!
The first Jeopardy! game ever to feature a non-human contestant is underway this week.
Watson — a Question Answering (QA) system developed by IBM and Carnegie Mellon University — is competing against former champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter.
With one day of game play remaining, Watson has taken the lead.
"The Jeopardy! problem is an important challenge for the field, because systems have to respond much more quickly than they ever have in the past," said CMU's Eric Nyberg.
Nyberg is a professor at CMU's Language Technologies Institute (LTI) at the School of Computer Science.
Just imagine what this computer can do.
Not only does it have to quickly recall knowledge from an array of topics. It also has to evaluate its own confidence level — to determine whether or not to answer immediately or pass on a particular question.
Then there’s the Jeopardy! lingo. The show uses metaphors, rhyming, puns and puzzles – which is another challenge for Watson.
Read more about Watson on cmu.edu or tune in to Jeopardy! tonight at 7 pm est on NBC to watch Watson in action.
For more than a decade, the General Motors Foundation and Carnegie Mellon have collaborated on the next generation of automotive information technology. They conduct their research at CMU’s Collaborative Lab, tapping into the university’s collaborative, problem-solving environment.
The partnership supplements auto industry initiatives to provide passengers safe and easy access to information and entertainment. It also provides CMU students with unprecedented opportunities.
In Feb., students from Carnegie Mellon’s Collaborative Lab met the engineers who designed the Chevrolet Volt electric car with extended range capabilities. They also had the opportunity to test drive the Volt, experiencing its revolutionary technology firsthand.
But that’s not all.
Ed Schlesinger, head of CMU’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, was awarded a $70,000 scholarship grant from the GM Foundation. This scholarship will support outstanding student research and studies at the university’s College of Engineering.
And while we're on the topic, check out the OnStar App Challenge. GM has invited Carnegie Mellon students to take a crack at designing the company's next vehicle voice-enabled app.
World-renowned researchers and scientists at Carnegie Mellon are dedicated to excellence in brain and behavior research. And they’re already making important discoveries.
With the launch of the university's new Brain, Mind and Learning initiative, CMU now plans to become an even bigger player in these fields.
CMU recently presented a panel discussion on the topic, featuring:
- Justine Cassell, director of the Human-Computer Interaction Institute, School of Computer Science;
- Marcel Just, D.O. Hebb Professor of Psychology and director of the Center for Cognitive Brain Imaging and the Scientific Imaging and Brain Research Center;
- Michael J. Tarr, George A. and Helen Dunham Cowan Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience and co-director of the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition;
- Nathan Urban, Dr. Frederick A. Schwertz Distinguished Professor of Life Sciences and head of the Department of Biological Sciences.
Learn more about the panelists, the projects they’re working on, and the dozens of centers and departments that are playing leading roles in the university’s the brain, mind and learning initiative.
It was only a matter of time. As the line between the virtual world and the real word continues to blur, Carnegie Mellon and Stanford University developed the first online game that connects the two.
The game’s called EteRNA. The goal is to uncover principles for designing molecules of RNA.
Biologists believe RNA may be the key regulator of everything that happens in living cells, so understanding its design is critical. It may even prove useful for treating or controlling such diseases as HIV.
Want to help? Play the game.
Players with the best virtual RNA designs – i.e. designs that can be rendered as real, physical molecules – get the most points. Then each week’s top designs are actually synthesized in a biochemistry laboratory.
It’s in the lab where researchers see if the resulting molecules fold themselves into the 3D shapes predicted by computer models. Since EteRNA enlists the help of non-experts to uncover mysterious RNA design principles, it leaves the final scoring up to nature.
“And nature is one tough umpire,” notes CMU’s Adrien Treuille.
Treuille is an assistant professor of computer science at CMU. He leads the EteRNA project with Rhiju Das, assistant professor of biochemistry at Stanford.
Read more at cmu.edu and The New York Times. Or check out videos on the topic – What Have We Learned from EteRNA? and How Was EteRNA Created?
Anybody still clinging to their weight loss New Year’s resolution?
If you’re trying not to think about food in order to keep from eating it, give it up. In fact, whatever your weakness – be it salty or sweet – go ahead and visualize yourself polishing off every last bite. You’re probably better off.
A study by Carnegie Mellon researchers – published in Science – shows that when you imagine eating a certain food, it reduces your actual consumption of that food.
The researchers ran a series of experiments, asking three groups of people to imagine different repetitive actions.
- A control group imagined inserting 33 quarters into a laundry machine (an action similar to eating M&M’S).
- A second group imagined inserting 30 quarters into a laundry machine and then imagined eating 3 M&M’S.
- A third group imagined inserting three quarters into a laundry machine and then imagined eating 30 M&M’S.
It turns out, participants who imagined eating 30 M&Ms actually ate significantly fewer than the other two groups.
To ensure other factors weren’t influencing the results, the researchers conducted additional tests. Each time, the participants who imagined eating the most, ended up eating the least.
Additionally, the study showed it wasn’t enough to merely think about the food – or to think of another food. It was important to imagine the act of eating the very food in question.
CMU’s research team included Young Eun Huh, Tepper School of Business Ph.D. candidate, and Joachim Vosgerau, assistant professor of marketing.
To find out more about the study, read the press release or visit cmu.edu.
That’s what the Peter C. Dozzi Family Foundation is working to do with their Pittsburgh Internship Initiative.
The initiative began with a generous gift from Peter C. Dozzi, founder of Jendoco Construction Corporation. The scholarship money is available to all students who stay in the Pittsburgh Region to complete a summer internship.
It’s an incentive to keep CMU talent in and around the Pittsburgh Region. The Dozzi family hopes the scholarship will encourage students to consider calling Pittsburgh home, developing and contributing their ideas and expertise to the city.
And students are happy to oblige.
For some, the Peter C. Dozzi Pittsburgh Internship Initiative has helped them reach success.
Sam Tsai (CMU’07) received the financial support he needed to spend a summer in Pittsburgh interning at Collaborative Fusion, Inc. – a small startup firm that specializes in emergency response in the event of major disasters. The experience was unprecedented – and it led to a job as a web developer for American Eagle Outfitters.
For Andrew Seay (A’06, HNZ’08), it was an internship with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) that kick-started his career. Upon completing his master’s degree at Heinz College, he was hired full-time by PSO. Now, Seay is a patron services representative.
Seay's internship with the PSO not only launched his career, but it also gave him a chance to explore Pittsburgh. After eight years here, Seay calls the city home.
The Peter C. Dozzi Foundation was honored as “Outstanding Foundation 2010” on National Philanthropy Day in November by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Western Pennsylvania Chapter.